Sunday, October 29, 2006
No changes were made to the recipe, but I did bake them for an extra 15 minutes. Pumpkin is very wet, so sometimes it takes longer for these to cook all the way through. Make sure that when you stick a toothpick in it doesn't come out gooey. If that happens, put some foil over the outer edges of the squares and bake for 10-15 more minutes.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin purée (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
4. Lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). Peel off foil, and use a serrated knife to cut into 24 squares.
-If you can’t find pumpkin-pie spice, substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon each allspice and cloves (all ground).
-In addition to keeping the cake from sticking to the pan, lining the pan with foil makes it easy to lift it out after baking.
Yield: 2 dozen
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Tonight I made Rice & Bean Burritos, with very few tomatoes because my refrigerator decided to destroy a lot of my produce. I love these burritos. I make them at least once a month.
Monday, October 23, 2006
For some bizarre reason I could not find Swiss Chard :( So I substituted kale. Other than that, I followed the recipe as written.
My lentils and beans sucked up all the liquid so this ended up being less of a stew and more of a dry curry. It was almost too dry. Next time I would increase the amount of broth used. I really liked the addition of plain yogurt and kind of wished there was more of that creamy texture in the stew. So don't skip the yogurt. I did like this dish, and I'm taking it to work for lunch tomorrow, but I was not super impressed. It's a nice curry, extremely easy, and quite a healthy dish. I'll save the recipe but I doubt I will make it again.
CURRIED RED LENTIL AND SWISS CHARD STEW WITH GARBANZO BEANS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
5 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 14-ounce cans vegetable broth
1 large bunch or 2 small bunches Swiss chard, tough stalks removed, coarsely chopped (about 12 cups)
1 pound red lentils (about 2 1/4 cups)
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until golden, about 13 minutes. Mix in curry and cayenne. Add broth and chard. Increase heat; bring to boil. Add lentils and garbanzos; reduce heat to medium.
Cover; simmer until lentils are tender, stirring twice, about 10 minutes. Divide stew among bowls. Top with yogurt.
Yield: 6 servings
Picture from Bon Appetit:
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Coconut, Shrimp, and Corn Chowder
Real Simple, April 2006
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (peeled, if desired), cut into a 1/2-inch dice
3 cups corn (from 6 ears fresh or 16 ounces frozen)
1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, potatoes, and corn and stir to coat. Add the coconut milk, broth, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the shrimp and simmer until pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Ladle the soup into individual bowls.
Tip: For a creamier chowder, puree half the recipe before adding the shrimp, then return it to the pot and heat until warmed through.
Yield: 4 servings
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Well, turns out that no matter how much I wish I liked Brie, I just can't seem to. I did not enjoy this sandwich, but I think if you like the cheese you would love the sandwich. I wish I liked Brie :( I don't know if I would have liked the Camembert better because I've never had it before. Oh well :(
Grilled Camembert and Pumpkin Butter Sandwiches
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for skillet
8 slices Panera Stone-Milled Rye about 1/2" thick
1/2 cup pumpkin butter
1/2 pound Camembert cheese, thickly sliced
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, washed
Spread 1/2 tablespoon of butter on a slice of bread, then spoon 1 tablespoon of pumpkin butter on top and spread to edges. Lay 2 to 3 thick slices of Camembert over pumpkin butter. Place 2 to 3 basil leaves on top of cheese. Spread 1/2 tablespoon of butter on another slice of rye bread. Lay on top of the basil and press, buttered-side down, into the sandwich. Repeat with remaining sandwich ingredients to create 4 whole sandwiches.
Heat a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and let it melt to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Put the sandwiches in the pan and toast for 2 to 3 minutes until the bread becomes golden and cheese begins to melt. Turn the sandwiches over and toast until golden and cheese is bubbly. Cut the sandwiches in half before serving.
Yield: 4 servings
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
My changes: instead of basic "tomato sauce with garlic," I used TJ's tomato and basil marinara sauce; I substituted soy crumbles for the ground round; and I didn't bother simmering the sauce, I just heated it up with the soy crumbles.
From Cooking Light, May 2000
1 pound ground round
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cans tomato sauce with garlic -- (8-ounce)
1 1/2 cups low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup (2 oz.) 1/3 less-fat cream cheese -- softened
4 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
1 1/3 cups shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese -- (about 5 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook meat in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain well, and return meat to pan. Stir in salt, pepper, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Combine the sour cream, green onions, and cream cheese in a small bowl, and set aside.
Place the spaghetti noodles in a 2-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Spread the sour cream mixture over spaghetti noodles. Top with meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
Yield: 6 servings
Photo added retroactively on February 1, 2008:
Monday, October 16, 2006
It was good but nothing special. I had hoped for more of a creamy chowder, as the name implied, but it was more of just a basic broccoli-cheese soup. I enjoyed it, but probably would not make it again.
Broccoli-Cheddar soup is a classic winter warmer; this hearty version may not win prizes for its beauty but will get a blue ribbon for taste every time. The broccoli stems are added before the florets so every bite is tender.
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion -- chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 large carrot -- diced (1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery -- diced (1/2 cup)
1 large potato -- peeled and diced (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth (two 14-ounce cans)
1/2 pound broccoli crowns -- cut into 1-inch pieces, stems and florets separated
1 cup grated reduced fat cheddar cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/8 teaspoon salt -- or to taste
Heat oil in a dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring often, until onion and celery soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add potato and garlic; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, dry mustard and cayenne; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add broth and broccoli stems, bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in florets; simmer, covered, until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes more.
Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a bowl and mash; return to the pan. Stir in cheddar and sour cream; cook over medium heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the chowder is heated through. Season with salt.
Yield: 6 servings
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I couldn't bring myself to deep fry so I decided to lightly pan-fry.... forgetting that eggplant is exceptionally absorbent so they ended up oily despite my change. I didn't double-bread the eggplant (didn't feel it was necessary), and I used Trader Joe's marinara sauce instead of making my own.
I doubt I would make this again because it's sort of just a fancy take on eggplant parm, but if I did I would reduce the heat on the oil so that the eggplant would have more time to cook through before browning. Some of the thicker slices didn't cook all the way through and I didn't enjoy that. I did like this dish and would not mind eating this again, I just don't think I will make it again.
Deep Fried Eggplant and Mozzarella with Basil
from Curtis Stone, Take Home Chef
For the tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons/30 ml olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red jalapeno chili, chopped
7 ripe plum tomatoes, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For eggplant sandwiches:
1 eggplant (cut crosswise into 1/8 inch slices)
One 7-ounce ball fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese (cut crosswise into 8 slices)
8 fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup/95 g all purpose flour
4 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/2 cups/210 g dried plain bread crumbs
Safflower oil, for deep frying
To make the tomato sauce:
Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and chili and sauté for another 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are very tender and mushy, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the eggplant sandwiches:
Arrange the eggplant slices on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and allow them to sit for 10 minutes. Rinse the eggplant under cold running water to remove the salt. Pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towels.
Place 1 slice of cheese and 1 basil leaf atop 1 eggplant slice. Top with a second eggplant slice. Repeat to make 8 sandwiches total. Place the flour, eggs and bread crumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls or pie plates.
Working with 1 eggplant sandwich at a time, dredge the eggplant sandwiches in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip the sandwiches in the eggs, allowing the excess egg to drip back into the bowl of eggs, and dredge in the bread crumbs to coat completely.
Repeat the process to give the eggplant sandwich a second coating of the eggs and bread crumbs (not the flour). Add enough oil to a heavy large frying pan to reach the depth of 2 inches/5 cm. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350°F/180°C.
Working in batches, add the sandwiches to the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fried sandwiches to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Sprinkle the hot sandwiches with salt. Cut each sandwich into 4 wedges. Serve the sandwiches on a platter with the warm tomato sauce.
Yield: 4 servings
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I didn't make any changes to the recipe. My advice though is to drain the tofu on paper towels before you put it in the pan or else the water content will seep out and it'll take longer for the pieces to brown. Also, follow the directions exactly regarding how long to cook the tofu once you add the chili sauce - it burns quickly!
Chili-Glazed Tofu over Asparagus and Rice
From Cooking Light, October 2004
4 cups water
1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
2 1/4 cups chopped asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon bottled minced ginger
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce with garlic (such as KA·ME) [Note: I use Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce. The sauce is red and the bottle has a green top and a rooster on it]
1 pound extrafirm tofu, drained and cut lengthwise into 9 pieces
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup preshredded carrot
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add bag of rice, submerging bag completely in water. Boil 10 minutes. Carefully remove bag from pan, leaving boiling water in pan. Add asparagus to pan; cook 1 minute. Drain.
While rice cooks, heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and chili sauce in a small bowl. Sprinkle tofu with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add tofu to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Combine rice, asparagus, 1/2 teaspoon salt, carrot, and sesame oil. Serve tofu over rice.Yield: 3 servings
Photo Added November 20, 2010:
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I found the most beautiful chard called Bright Lights swiss chard. The stalks are neon pink and orange and yellow and were just so pretty. It looks like this:
It cooked down really quickly and tastes a lot like spinach. I enjoyed it and plan to cook with it again, definitely. And I will always try to find Bright Lights because it's so awesome-looking.
Anyway back to the recipe. So it was very tasty. The salsa I used was way too spicy though, which is odd because I like spicy things. Next time I will use a more mild salsa. I liked the chard, and I liked using tortilla chips better than tortillas (which my other recipes call for). I would recommend this to people trying to sneak greens into their diets. I would make this again.
Black Bean Chilaquile
1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans ( 15 ounce can, drained)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups rinsed, stemmed and chopped Swiss chard or spinach
2 cups crushed baked tortilla chips
8 ounces grated fat-free or reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups prepared salsa
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Saute the onions in the oil for about 8 minutes, until translucent. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, black beans, lime juice, salt and pepper and continue to saute for another 5 to 10 minutes, until heated through.
Meanwhile, in another saucepan, blanch the greens in boiling water to cover for 1 to 3 minutes, until just wilted but still bright green. Drain immediately and set aside.
Prepare an 8 x 8-inch casserole dish or baking pan with a very light coating of oil or cooking spray. Spread half the crushed tortilla chips on the bottom. Spoon the sauteed vegetables over the chips and sprinkle with about two-thirds of the cheese. Arrange the greens evenly over the cheese and spoon on half the salsa. Finish with the rest of the chips and top with the remaining salsa and cheese. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown.
Yield: 8 servings
Sunday, October 08, 2006
I also made some Caramel Apple Bars that Exa posted on her blog, that she found on DesertCulinary. It was time-consuming to make the caramel, but at least now I understand what "soft-ball stage" means and I know I am capable of making it again. I really like the bars, but they got stuck to the aluminum foil during baking and now they don't want to come off so I'm just scooping them out with a spoon. Next time I would not line the pan with foil. I usually don't, so I don't know why I followed that direction this time. Oh well! Anyway these are good. I would make these again.
Oh, and my changes! I used fat-free half and half instead of heavy cream. And I used pre-sliced fresh apples from Trader Joe's because I'm lazy.
Caramel Apple Bars
For the Crust:
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup ground pecans
2 cups rolled oats
For the Filling:
3 1/2 cups sliced apples (about 24 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Homemade Caramel* (recipe follows)
1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9X13 pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
2) In a medium bowl, beat the brown sugar and the next 4 ingredients (through baking soda) until thoroughly combined. Mix in the flour, ground pecans and oats until crumbly. Scoop out 1 cup and set aside.
3) Place the remaining crumbs into your prepared pan and press down firmly to coat the bottom. Toss the apples in a large bowl with the salt and cinnamon. Arrange them over the crust. Drizzle the warm homemade caramel over the top and then sprinkle with the remaining crumbs you set aside.
4) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until bubbly and the apples are just tender. Remove and let cool until they are just warm to the touch. Cut into squares. Try and let the bars rest until the caramel has set before serving.
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1) Mix all of the above ingredients into a 2 quart saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until it reaches soft-ball stage (230-234 degrees). Remove and gently pour your 1 cup over the apple mixture.This recipes makes more than you will use so pour the rest into a 8X8 pan lined with foil and let cool. Cut into squares and you have your own homemade caramel squares!
Saturday, October 07, 2006
I also found some late-season peaches at the grocery store so I decided to buy a couple. I also had some honey and mascarpone cheese so I decided to try out a recipe from Emeril Lagasse for grilled peaches. I made them on my grill pan. They were very yummy. Not too sweet, almost a little savory since the only sugar comes from the fruit and the honey. I think they would be awesome at the end of like a summer picnic or something. I would make these again.
Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone and Honey
6 large ripe peaches, halved and pits removed
6 tablespoons honey, plus more for serving if desired
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
Preheat a grill to medium-high.
Place the peaches cut-side down onto the grill and cook until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the grill. Transfer the peaches, cut sides up, to a grill-proof baking dish or baking sheet and drizzle evenly with the 6 tablespoons of honey. Place the dish on the grill and cover the grill. Continue to cook until the peaches are soft, about 5 minutes, again depending on the grill. Remove the baking dish from the grill and divide the peach halves between 6 dessert plates. Divide the mascarpone evenly among the plates and drizzle with additional honey, if desired. Serve immediately.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
By the time I had finished making it, it was kind of completely different. First of all, I used penne rigate instead of bow-ties. Then, I made the lemon-garlic-butter mixture and was getting ready to cook my frozen broccoli when I realized that I did not have broccoli at all - it was a bag of frozen peas. So I used those. And then I decided that peas were not substantial enough so I threw in some frozen shrimp. For some reason I had a fresh lemon, pine nuts, and a block of parmesan so I was able to follow the rest of the recipe as written.
It was very good and flavorful, and does not seem to be hurting my stomach. I enjoyed it the way I made it but I do think it would be much better in its original form - with broccoli. I would definitely try this recipe again.
Broccoli and Bow-Ties
8 cups broccoli florets (4 heads)
1/2 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 lemon, zested
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted pignoli (pine) nuts
Freshly grated Parmesan, optional
Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according to the package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to the broccoli.
Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, and lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with the pignolis and cheese, if using, and serve.
To toast pignolis, place them in a dry saute pan over medium-low heat and cook, tossing often, for about 5 minutes, until light brown.
Yield: 6-8 minutes
Photo Added June 1, 2009:
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Hopefully next week I'll be cooking more!