Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ricotta Gnocchi

Ricotta Gnocchi
from Cookbook of the Month

2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 lb. ricotta (recipe here, I needed a little over 2 batches)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 Tbs. olive oil

1. Beat the eggs together in a small bowl.
2. Whisk together flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add ricotta and combine gently with flour.
3. Make a well in the middle of the ricotta mixture and add the eggs, and gently incorporate. Once eggs are mostly mixed in, use hands to briefly knead the dough until it comes together into a ball. If too moist, add more flour (I had to add quite a bit more).
4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured cutting board, cut into 8 equally sized pieces and cover with a kitchen towel.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Taking 1 piece out at a time from under the towel, roll into a 1" (or less) thick rope, and cut into 1" pieces. Take a cut piece, place on the tip of your thumb, and roll the tines of a fork around on the opposite side from your thumb, creating the classic gnocchi texture with the fork and a well with your thumb for sauces.
6. In batches, pop the gnocchi into the water. Once the gnocchi have floated to the surface, let cook for 1 minute, and then take out with a slotted spoon and place on a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil.
7. Serve with sauce of choice (mushroom/corn/sage/browned butter recipe here)

Creme de Cassis

This turned out way better than expected! I doubled the recipe. so I have a ton of this stuff. I'm going to give the university farmers a bottle today at the farmer's market because they're awesome and who I got the black currants (aka cassis) from. Things to come: creme de cassis cream and kir!

Creme de Cassis

1 lb. black currants, mashed
2.5 cups red wine
4 - 5 cups sugar
2 - 2.5 cups vodka or brandy

1. Combine currants and red wine in a ceramic or glass bowl (non-reactive) and leave for 24 - 48 hours.
2. Puree mixture in blender and strain through cheesecloth-lined sieve into a large sauce pan.
3. For every cup of liquid, add 1 cup of sugar.
4. Heat gently, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved.
5. Leave mixture on stove for an hour or more, stirring occasionally, until the liquid had reduced a little and become slightly syrupy. Do not let the liquid come to a simmer to avoid boiling off the alcohol.
6. Allow liquid to cool.
7. Once liquid is cool, mix 1 part vodka or brandy with 3 parts syrup and funnel into clean, dry bottles. Store in a cool place for at least 2 weeks before drinking.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cream Cheese Syrup

Delicious on pancakes, especially carrot cake pancakes (recipe here)!

Note: For the buttermilk, I used the yogurt substitute (2 Tbs. milk + enough plain yogurt to fill up to 1 cup line), found on this great buttermilk substitute post.

Cream Cheese Syrup
from Cooking Classy

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk (note above)
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over low heat. Stir in sugar, buttermilk, and cream cheese.
2. Cook mixture, whisking constantly until cream cheese has melted. Stir in baking soda and whisk for 10 seconds, until frothy.
3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm.

Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week and reheat before serving.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

This was one of the main dishes in Sunday brunch, and it was absolutely delicious. Make sure to make the cream cheese syrup to go with it!

Carrot Cake Pancakes
from Cooking Classy

1.5 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 medium)
1 cup buttermilk (or substitute)
3 Tbs. sugar
1 cup flour
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 recipe Cream Cheese Syrup (recipe here)
chopped pecans, to garnish

1. In a medium airtight container, whisk together grated carrots, buttermilk, and sugar. Cover container and refridgerate overnight.
2. Heat 2 skillets over the stove on medium heat (or a non-stick griddle to 300F).
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, oil, and vanilla extract. Add egg mixture and carrot mixture to flour, and whisk until just combined.
5. Butter the skillets and pour on 1/3 cups batter onto each, and slightly spread batter out. Cook until bubbles begin to form and bottom is golden brown, then flip, and cook until opposite side is golden-brown.
6. Serve immediately with syrup and garnish with chopped peacans.

Gutherie's Sauce

This is perfect for fried green tomatoes (recipe here).

Gutherie's Sauce
from Dash of East

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used vegenaise)
1/4 cup katchup
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire (I used Annie's)
lots of black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Fried Green Tomatoes

The last of my recent deep-frying adventures. These are truly amazing with Gutherie's Sauce.

Note: for the buttermilk, I used the sour cream watered down with milk until buttermilk consistency is reached substitute.

Fried Green Tomatoes
from Dash of East

2 medium-sized green tomatoes, cut into 1/3" slices
1 cup buttermilk (or substitute)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
oil for deep frying
1 recipe Gutherie's Sauce (recipe here)

1. Fill oil to specified line in deep fryer and heat.
2. Sprinkle salt on both sides of tomato slices and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, beat an egg. Add buttermilk, and mix well.
4. In another medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, pepper, sugar, paprika, and cumin and mix well.
5. Wipe of excess salt from the tomato slices.
6. Dip each tomato slice first into butter milk mixture, and then into flour mixture. Repeat with each slice for a double coating.
7. Once the oil has come to temperature, drop slices in and cook until outside is golden-brown. Serve hot with Gutherie's Sauce.

Squash Fritters

Since my friend was in town, that was a special occasion. Special occasions warrant cracking out the 4-cup deep fryer that my roommate gave to me a couple years ago. Best (and worst-for-me) xmas present ever. We made tempura green beans (and a delicious wasabi sauce to boot), jalapeño poppers (amazing using fresh, local jalapeños), potato fries (your standard cut, throw in oil, salt-to-taste), but best of all: These squash fritters. These are basically little delicious rosemary-squash soufflés.

Squash Fritters
from What About Second Breakfast?

1.5 cups pumpkin or squash puree
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cups grated Parmesan
2 Tbs. fresh rosemary, chopped
oil for deep frying (I used peanut oil)

1. Fill deep-fryer to marked level, and heat.
2. Beat eggs in medium bowl. Stir in squash purée with eggs. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine flour mixture in with the purée mixture. Add Parmesan, rosemary, and pepper. Stir until it just comes together.
3. When oil is at temperature (340F), scoop 1 Tbs. of dough into the oil, being careful not to get splashed with hot oil. Cook until golden brown on both sides, making sure to turn fritters so both sides get cooked.
4. Remove fried fritters with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve immediately.

Mushroom Corn Browned Butter Sage Sauce

This was the epic dinner I cooked for my friends the Saturday night when my good friend was in town (right before going off to India! He's there now, as I post this : ) So excited for him!!) Lets just say I was fattening him up on western food one last time before he went off to lose weight in the East.

Mushroom Corn Browned Butter Sage Sauce
from Cookbook of the Month

1 lb. short spiral pasta or ricotta gnocchi, cooked
1.5 cups fresh breadcrumbs
4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
7 Tbs. butter, divided
1 lb. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced uniformely
1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbs. fresh sage leaves, slice
4 ears of corn, kernels stripped
2 large shallots, finely diced
1.25 c. flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper

1. Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs and stir to coat with oil. Cook, stirring occassionally, until breadcrumbs are toasted and golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
2.  Add remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil plus 1 Tbs. butter to pan, and heat until butter foams. Add mushrooms, thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper. Saute mushrooms, not stirring too much, until most sides are carmalized. Set aside.
3. Add remaining 6 Tbs. of butter to the pan, and cook until butter browns and smells nutty. Scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, add sage, and cook for 1 minute until it sizzles. Add corn, shallots, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper. Saute, stirring frequently, until corn is tender (2-4 minutes).
4. Add prepared pasta to the pan, and toss to coat with butter. Add mushrooms, breadcrumbs, and parsely and stir to combine. Heat the dish if necessary.
5. Season to taste, and serve hot.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Squash Pepper and Sausage Quiche

My parents came into town for family weekend, and I made them Sunday brunch, which involved this quiche. This was a definite crowd pleaser, but I suppose I wasn't 100% satisfied with it because I've been cooking so gourmet (at least for my standards) recently, but it's a super solid recipe, used tons of fresh, in season stuff (my parents took me to the farmers market when they were in town!!! fridge.veggies = full; ) Perhaps the fact that I used pre-made things (the sausage) is what bothered me. I dunno, but I originally wasn't going to blog about this, but my parents and friends who tasted it all agreed that it should be blogged about, so here it is!

This quiche is one of the few Ann-originals. No recipe (besides the crust recipe) was used : D But it is really nice to know that even if I go off of the books, I can still produce something delicious ^_^ Finally getting to that point in my cooking career. So, much more to come!

Squash Pepper and Sausage Quiche

1 pie crust,  blind-baked (I used Martha Stuart’s recipe)
1 yellow squash (or zucchini), shredded
4 "sausage" patties (I used Morning Star)
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk (or cream)
1 handful fresh basil, torn
1 - 2 small red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced length-wise
2 Tbs. + 1 tsp. oil, divided
salt and pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
2. Heat 2 table spoons on medium-low heat. Place shredded squash in the skillet, sprinkle evenly with salt, and saute for 10 minutes until most all of the water has leeched out and evaporated, stirring often. Then turn heat up to medium, and cook until caramelized. Set aside on a plate.
3. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet on medium heat. Crumble the sausage patties and fry until caramelized on all sides.
4. Whisk the eggs and milk together, then whisk in the salt, pepper, and basil. Add in the sausage crumbles and squash, and pour mixture into the pie crust. Use a brush (or you finger) to dip into the quiche mix and coat the crust.
5. Arrange the red pepper slices on the top in a circle (I made an inner and outter circle with most-all the curved parts of the peppers overlapping).
6. Cover with tin-foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover, and bake until crust and top of the quiche is golden-brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Apple Almond Granola

This makes SO much granola, but it's delicious. I prefer it without the salt, and I would like to play around with it temperature and cooking time wise. I think lower temperature for longer, or perhaps taking it out and stirring ever 10 minutes would help it so the inside and outside of the pan is more evenly distributed with crispiness.

Apple Almond Granola
from Anecdotes & Applecores

1 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts (or peacans), choped
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, flakes or shredded
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt (optional)
1 cup dried apples, chopped

1. Pre-heat oven to 300F.
2. In a large bowl mix together almonds, walnuts, oats, coconut, and flax seed.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over oat mixture and stir together with a large wooden spoon or spatula.
4. Divide between 2 cookie sheets, and spread into a thin, even layer. Bake for 30 - 50 minutes, until desired crispyness is achieved. (I only cooked mine for 30 minutes, and the edges started to burn by then)
5. Once removed from the oven, stir in the apples and allow to cool completely before storing in a container.

Sesame Candy

Simple and delicious sesame candy recipe. It's a very asian-flavor candy, so be expecting that when you eat/make it : D

Sesame Candy
from Hot From My Oven

1 cup sesame seeds
3 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. brown sugar (recipe here)
1/4 tsp. cardamon, ground (2 pods)
1/2 tsp. ginger powder

1. Dry roast the sesame seeds for 5-7 minutes on medium-low heat, until fragrant. Stir every minute or so to turn the seeds over.
2. Combine honey, brown sugar, cardamom, and ginger in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. The syrup should come to a boil.
3. While sauce boils, line a metal baking sheet with parchment paper, and have another sheet of parchment paper the length of the baking sheet torn off and set to the side.
4. Add the sesame seeds to the syrup and combine quickly and well, then dump onto the lined cookie sheet. Place the other sheet of parchment paper on top of the candy pile and roll out into a continuous sheet of sesame-candy to the desired thickness (1/2" to 1/4" is suggested).
5. Cut the sesame batter into 1" squares and they will break apart once completely cool. Alternatively, cut into squares after the candy has cooled completely.

Mac and Beer Cheese

Great and complex beer flavor. If you enjoy *good* beer, this recipe is for you.

Mac and Beer Cheese
from the Beeroness

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 fresh jalepeno, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup flour
1 Tbs. corn starch
2 cups unfiltered-wheat beer (I used Boulevard Wheat)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups cheddar, freshly grated + more for garnish
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1.5 cups elbow macaroni

1.  Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion and jalapeño, and cook until softened, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
2. Add in the butter and stir until melted. In a separate bowl, combine flour and corn starch. Sprinkle on top of the melted butter and whisk/stir until combined.
3. Add the beer and broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer. Sprinkle cheese in small-handful at a time (1/2 cup about), stir until cheese is melted in, and then add more until all cheese is incorporated.
4. Add the salt, pepper, and paprika and stir to combine. Add in macaroni noodles, and cook until noodles are al dente.
5. Add additional beer or broth to thin to desired consistency. Serve with extra grated cheese to garnish.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Garlic Scallion Noodles

Surprisingly sweet, but in the best possible way. This was a great, quick lunch.

Garlic Scallion Noodles
from Week of Menus

8 oz. long whole-wheat pasta
4 Tbs. butter
5 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 scallions, finely chopped + more for garnish
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. brown sugar (recipe here)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic, and cook without browning garlic (~5 minutes).
3. Add sugar and soy sauce and cook for another minute. Increase heat and add noodles. Saute for another minute, until noodles are coated with garlicy-butter.
4. Serve immediately.

Egg Drop Soup

Better than at the restaurants. The fresh ginger really makes it.

Egg Drop Soup
adapted from Bella Eats

4 cups vegetable broth, divided
1" ginger root, peeled and finely grated
3 scallions, finely chopped
4 tsp. corn starch
3 eggs
salt to taste

1. Reserve 3/4 cups broth, and place the rest in a large sauce pan. Add ginger and scallions and bring to a rolling boil.
2. In a bowl, stir together remaining broth and cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs together. Drizzle the egg in a steam into the boiling mixture, and take off the heat as soon as you're done pouring in the egg.
4. Stir in the corn-starch/broth mix to thicken, salt to taste, and serve.

Avocado Shake

This is EXACTLY like the delicious avocado shakes my friend David and I travel to Chicago's China town for. So tasty good! You can probably throw half a banana in here if you want the banana-avocado version : ) Some recipes add chocolate syrup, but I feel this recipe is just perfect as-is.

Avocado Shake
from ang sarap
makes 1 serving

1 avocado
8 ice cubes
1/3 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup milk

1. Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.
2. Serve immediately.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Walnuts

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Walnuts
adapted from Pinch of Yum
makes 6 servings

1/2 butternut squash
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup toasted walnuts + more for garnish
salt and pepper
1 lb. whole wheat rotini
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 Tbs. butter
3 oz. cream cheese
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded + more for garnish
1-2 cups. vegetable broth (as needed)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
2. Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds, then cut into large chunks. Place the chunks in a baking pan, fill pan half way up with boiling water, and bake for 1 hour, or until fork-tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a bit.
3. Scrape out the flesh and purée with the milk. When squash is smooth, add the walnuts and purée until walnuts are coarsely chopped throughout. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Cook pasta according to directions.
5. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for several minutes until onions are golden and translucent. Stir in squash purée and cream cheese, and combine. Turn the heat off, and stir in the cheddar cheese until combined.
6. Combine pasta and squash/cheese mixture, adding vegetable broth as needed for getting the right consistency. Serve with extra cheese and toasted walnuts to garnish.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Last week at the University Farm market they had grape leaves! Awesome, I thought. Unfortunately, they were far from being experts at picking them, so some of these were too tough to eat. I would suggest getting the pre-canned ones for anyone attempting to make these, but for those who have fresh leaves, instructions are below. I let mine sit in brine for about a week and a half before using them, and they tasted/smelled exactly like the professionally done ones. : )

If using fresh leaves:
1. Rinse all leaves and get off any debris. Don't use leaves that are too tough (where the vein is white, not green still or are hard to roll tightly).
2. Prepare enough brine to fill a jar 2/3 the way up (1 oz. salt to 1 cup water). 
3. Pour brine into a jar. Roll leaves tightly into cigarette-like looking tubes and place into the jar. Continue rolling the remaining leaves, and pack tightely.
4. Make enough brine to fill the container up to the brim and store in the refrigerator until use. (You can probably store these in a cabinet, but I'm untrusting when it comes to bottling)

For more information, refer to Scroll down to the "Store in Brine - the Cigarette Method" section. (Unfortunately it's not tagged properly, so I can't give you all a nice link to this part x.x)

Note: I forgot to add the hot pepper to the inside of my rolls, so you see them on the outside. Also: I only cooked a 1/3 batch.

Stuffed Grape Leaves
from Kitchen bloody Kitchen
makes ~30 leaves

30-35 grape leaves, soaked in brine

for filling:
250 g. long-grained rice
250 g. onion, minced
50 g. pine nuts
30 g. raisins
handful of parsley, minced
1 Tbs. fresh mint, minced
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbs. tomato paste (double concentrate) OR 1-2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and mashed
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and minced
large pinch salt and pepper

for marinade:
3 cloves garlic, whole
300 g. water
60 grams olive oil
2 large lemons, juiced
2 pinches of sugar
pinch of turmeric
salt and pepper

1. Unroll the leaves and stack them in a large bowl. Pick through them and get rid of any with tears or blemishes. Cover with boiling water and mash a little so that the water penetrates between the leaves. Let stand for 20 minutes.
2. Put the rice in a bowl and cover with room-temperature water. Let stand for 20 minutes.
3. Rinse the rice several times under cold water until the rinse water is almost clear. Drain well, and combine well with all other filling ingredients.
4. Drain and rinse soaked grape leaves well.
5. Place a leaf on a flat working-surface, vein-side up. Put 1-2 Tbs. filling (depending on size of leaf) onto the center of the leaf. Fold the top of the leaf over the filling, just enough to make a cap. Take a side leaf, and pull all the way across the filling (tuck the bottom part around the filling on the bottom). Roll the filled-sde towards the unrolled side-part of the leaf (not too tightly, leaving room for the rice to expand). Set seam-side down into a pot (if cooking on the stove) or a cake pan (if baking).
6. Fill the first level of your cooking pan, then you can start to make layers. Keep rolling grape leaves until you run out of filling or grape leaves.

if using the oven: Pre-heat to 350F

7. Nestle the garlic cloves into your cooking pan between the grape-leaf rolls.
8. Combine the rest of the marinade ingredients, and pour over your grape leaves. Then add enough water to cover the rolls, and salt lightly.

if using the oven:
9. Cover dish with foil and bake for 1 hour (until the water has been soaked up, but rolls aren't dry)

if using stove top:
9. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes, until the water has been soaked up but the rolls aren't too dry.

10. Turn off heat and let sit until leaves are room-temperature. Serve.

Sweet and Sour Tofu

Make some rice of your choosing before starting this recipe, so the rice and tofu will come out at about the same time. (I suggest brown rice! It works great with this recipe) Other note: I couldn't find raw cashews in my small-town grocery store, but I used the regular cooked and salted variety and that worked fine! And somehow didn't over-salt the whole dish, so feel free to use that.

Sweet and Sour Tofu
from Veggieful
makes 4 serving (when served over rice)


for the sauce:
1/2 cup tomato sauce
4 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. Worcestershire (I used Annie's)
1.5 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup vegetable stock

for the rest:
350g. extra firm tofu, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 cups snow peas, chopped
1.5 cups raw cashews

1. Whisk all sauce ingredients together, and set aside.
2.  Heat oil in a large pan/wok over medium-high heat, and then add tofu, ginger, garlic, and onion. Use tongs to flip tofu and fry until all sides are golden brown.
3. Once tofu is cooked, add bell pepper and carrots, and cook 3-4 minutes until bell pepper is softened.
4. Add snow peas and sauce, and cook for another few minutes. Add cashews, and server immediately over (brown) rice.

Mediterranean Zucchini Salad

This is the first time I've made something involving zucchini "noodles". It's a fresh and easy salad, and is great for raw and cooked lovers alike. Perfect flavor combinations and not too salty!

Mediterranean Zucchini Salad
adapted from Keep it in Kind
makes 3 large servings or 4 smaller servings

1-2 regular-sized zucchini
salt to toss zucchini
1 - 15 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
15-20 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
4 canned artichoke hearts, drained and diced
1/3 cucumber, halfed and sliced thinly (mandoline medium size)
2 Tbs. capers
1/4 cup basil chiffonade (<- wiki)
3 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar

1. Make pasta into ribbons using the grater plate on your food processor (alternatively use a box grater's large holes, a spiralizer, or a mandolin). Toss with salt in a colander, and set over the sink to drain.
2. While the zucchini is draining, combine the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine. Refridgerate for 10 minutes.
3. Divide the zucchini between plates, and top with a large amount of the chickpea salad. Serve immediately.

Southwest Acorn Squash

One of my favorite things I've made this semester. Healthy, in season, delicious.

Southwest Acorn Squash
from Ambitious Kitchen
servers 4

2 acorn squash, halved length-wise, stem and seeds removed
1 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped small
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 - 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups corn kernels
1 tsp. cumin
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
4 Tbs. crumbled goat cheese

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Grease a baking sheet with oil (separate from the listed 1 tsp.), and place the squash halves cut-side down on the sheet.
2. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender and edges are browning. Turn off oven and leave squash in oven while preparing the filling.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, red pepper, onion, garlic, and jalapeño and cook until softened (~3 mins). Then add cumin, beans, and corn and stir well to combine, cooking a couple more minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Fill squash halves with bean and corn mixture, and top with a tablespoon of goat cheese each and serve.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Spinach & Sun-dried Tomato Ravioli

This ravioli was so easy to make, there's hardly an excuse any more to buy store-bought ravioli. This recipe makes 6 servings (2 servings of about 10 ravioli each shown above), so plenty left over to save and freeze for later! Read instructions below for freezing.

Spinach & Sun-dried Tomato Ravioli
from Call Me Fudge

1 Tbs. olive oil
10 oz. fresh spinach
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped, oil reserved
2 eggs
15 oz. ricotta (recipe here)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbs. water
1 package wonton wrappers

1. Heat the olive oil and oil reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes in a large skillet on medium heat. Add spinach, and saute until wilted and most water has evaporated.
2. Drain spinach, and add to mixing bowl with sun-dried tomatoes, ricotta, 1 egg beaten, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix well until completely combined.
3. Beat the remaining egg in a bowl with the tablespoon of water, and set aside.
4. On a clean, dry surface, lay out a wonton wrapper, put about a teaspoon of filling on one half of the wonton wrapper, centered. Dip a brush in egg wash, and brush 2 touching edges of the ravioli, and then bring the corner farthest away from the filling towards the opposite edge to make a triangular shaped ravioli. Gently press the sides together with your fingers, and then use a fork to again gently press the sides together that you just brought together. Repeat until all filling is used up (I ended up with about 1/4 cup extra filling)
5. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Gently add each ravioli, and cook until they float to the top (2-3 minutes). Remove with spoon and serve with grated Parmesan (and perhaps toss in olive oil to prevent sticking)

To store extra ravioli:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and tessellate the ravioli to maximize space usage. Place sheet in the freezer, and once ravioli's are frozen, you can transfer to a freezer-safe container and user later. When using later, do not unfreeze before using. Pop the still-frozen ravioli in a pot of boiling water and wait for them to float to the top before removing.

Frangipane (Almond Cream)

Frangipane (Almond Cream)
from Yasmine's Kitchen

100 grams blanched almonds (3/4 cups)
100 grams sugar (1/2 cup)
100 grams butter (1 stick)
2 tsp. cake flour (regular flour works too)
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg + 1 egg white, beaten together
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  In a food processor, ground up almonds to a fine texture. Add flour, cornstarch and salt, and pulse a few times to combine.
2. Add sugar, and pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixed in.
3. Add eggs slowly and pulse until a runny paste is formed. Mix in vanilla extract and refrigerated until used.

Pâte sablée

Pâte sablée
from Yasmine's Kitchen

125 g. butter, cold, cut into small cutes
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk, beaten with a drop of vanilla extract

1. Put flour, sugar, and salt in food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until texture is like coarse cornmeal.
2. Add egg yolk, and combine until dough seems less dry (don't wait for dough to come together, test to see if mixture comes together when you squeeze a pinch)
3. Butter a tart pan, and press in dough evenly, not pressing too hard. Cover with tin foil and freeze for 40 minutes or more.
4. Pre-heat oven to 375 F, and cook crust for 20-25 minutes not letting it brown. Let cool before using.

Pear and Almond Tart

This was incredibly delicious. Truly worthy of a French patisserie. I estimated that I'd sell this for 15 Euro (or 20 USD), assuming I'm buying all ingredients and making these tarts in bulk. : D

Pear and Almond Tart
from Yasmine's Kitchen

5 ripe, firm pears
4 cups water
1 cup granulate sugar
1 vanilla bean, split with seeds saved
juice and zest of a lemon
1 recipe pâte sablée (recipe here)
1 recipe frangipane (recipe here)

sliced almonds to garnish (optional)

1. Peel pears, slice lengthwise, and core and remove stem. Cover pears evenly in lemon juice.
2. Fill a pot with the water and boil (enough to cover the pears), add sugar and vanilla pod and seeds and lemon zest. Stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Rinse pears and add to the boiling syrup.
4. Poach pear until soft (when you insert knife, there's no resistance). Take off heat and cool completely.
5. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
6. Take cooled tart crust, and spread fragipane evenly into it.
7. Remove poached pears from syrup and place on doubled paper towles to absorb extra moisture.
8. Slice pears crosswise (shown above) or lengthwise, and fan-out on top of the frangipane.
9. Sprinkle (optional) almonds on top, cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes, uncover, and bake for another 25-30 or until frangipane sets.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Basil Pesto

An ingredient I've used forever, and just finally made! Super simple, as long as you have copious amounts of basil on hand (thank you university farm for giving me 2 cups basil packed for 1$!)

Basil Pesto
from Naturally Ella

2 cups basil leaves, packed
2 cloves garlic, chopped.
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. lemon juice
salt to taste

1. In a dry skillet, lightly toast the pine nuts.
2. In a food processor, pulse garlic. Add basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil and lemon juice. Pulse until well combined, adding more oil/lemon juice as needed.
3. Season to taste with salt.

Ricotta Cheese

This stuff is so delicious, I highly suggest making a double-batch, minimum. Trust me when I say you'll find a use for it....

Ricotta Cheese
based off of Little B Cooks

2 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbs. white wine vinegar

1. Line a colander with 2 layers of dampened cheese cloth, and set over the sink.
2. Add milk, cream, and salt to a sauce pan and bring to a full boil over medium heat. Turn off heat and stir in vinegar. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes.
3. Pour into colander and drain for 20-25 minutes, or until desires thickness is reached.
4. Use, or store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.

Zucchini Pizza Crust

So this recipe, I must admit, is not perfect, but it's darn near perfect. I just need to get temperatures/cooking times exactly perfect and then viola! Definitely a great alternative to wheat-based pizza crust, and packed full of great protein.

Zucchini Pizza Crust
from oatmeal with a Fork

2 c. zucchini, finely grated, lightly packed
1 c. almond meal
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 t. oregano
1/4 t. garlic powder
pinch of dried basil
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

1. Place grated zucchini in a strainer, sprinkle with salt, and toss to combine. Place over sink and let drain for 30 mins.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Place grated zucchini in dry dish towel, wring over sink to squeeze out water.
3. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread zucchini mix into oval shape 1/4" thick.
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Take out, add on toppings (I used pesto and mozzarella), then bake at 500 F for 5 minutes.

Pesto Rosso

A very fresh and light combination! I ate on baguette slices and as spread for veggie dogs. Delicious!

Pesto Rosso
from the Foodie Physician

1.5 oz. chopped almonds (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 leaves fresh basil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
5 oz. cherry/grape tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. Parmesean, grated

1. Place almonds, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, and basil in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add balsamic vinegar and tomatoes, and pulse until tomatoes are finely chopped. Then add oil in stream until a paste is formed.
3. Scrape down the sides, add Parmesean, and process until just combined.

Serving suggestions: Server on croustini, on sandwiches, or use as pasta sauce.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pesto Potatoes with Egg

Pesto Potatoes with Egg
from Naturally Ella

1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
3 cups small potatoes, 1/4" slices
1/3 cup pesto
2 eggs
Parmesan cheese

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened.
2. Stir in potatoes, add 1/4 cup water, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until tender (about 15 minutes), stirring occassionally.
3. Stir in pesto until potatoes are well covered, make a well in the center, and crack the eggs in. Cook until egg whites are set, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Honey Jalapeño Roasted Acorn Squash

I got so spoiled over the labor day weekend, at my parents huge kitchen, with natural light everywhere, that I made us come outside before dinner to try and snap a shot. Unfortunately, the only good light was rays coming through between the trees and buildings, so my friend had to hold up the plate of food to watch any of the light. She didn't want to be in the picture, but this one is just so great I had to post it (bad blogger Ann!).

But this acorn squash recipe was delicious! And super simple. I've never eaten acorn squash rind before, I've always trimmed it off (though this is not a simple task), but it was fine just like this! I would suggest cooking this in a glass pan for easier cleaning.

Honey Jalapeño Roasted Acorn Squash
from Naturally Yella

1 acorn squash
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. honey
juice of a lime (2 Tbs.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 jalapeño
2 cloves garlic

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out insides, and remove stem. Cut into 4 wedges, and place shell side down in baking pan.
3. Whisk olive oil, honey, lime, and salt together, and brush over acorn squash.
4. Bake squash for 20 minutes. Mince jalapeño and garlic, sprinkle evenly over squash slices, and bake for another 10-20 minutes until squash is tender.

Optional: server over brown rice, garnish with cilantro.

Tomato Chutney Risotto

Tomato Chutney Risotto
adapted from Pham Fatale

4 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 leek (green-part only), thinly sliced
2 cups long-grained rice
4 cups vegetable stock, warm
1 cup tomato chutney (recipe here)
1 Tbs. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
1 Tbs. curly parsley leaves, chopped

1. In a pot, heat oil on medium-high heat, and saute until golden (30 secs). Add leeks and stir until light golden. Add rice, completely coat all grains in oil.
2. Add 2 cups vegetable stock, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Then change to medium-low heat cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add 2/3 cups chutney and the remaining 2 cups of stock. Cover, and simmer for another 25 minutes.
4. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of chutney, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, garnish with sun-dried tomatoes, and let sit for 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tomato Chutney

Tomato Chutney
from Cup of Sugar/Pinch of Salt

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 bay leaves
pinch of cloves (ground)
pinch of cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large onions, chopped
salt and pepper
5 large tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. sugar
pinch of nutmeg

1. Heat oil on medium heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Add bay leaves, cloves, and cinnamon to the pan. Then add garlic and saute until fragrant (30 secs), then add onion, garlic, and black pepper and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add tomatoes, sugar, and some more salt to the mixture, stir to combine, and cover for 5 mintues.
3. Take the lid off, cook for another 5 minutes stirring occassionally.
4. Remove bay leaves, pour the mixture into a blender, add the pinch of nutmeg, and blend until mostly smooth.

Curried Deviled Eggs

Many kinds of delicious. Definitely an improvement on a classic.

Curried Deviled Eggs
from Cup of Sugar/Pinch of Salt

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut length-wise
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbs. dijon mustard
2 tsp curry powder
tomato chutney (recipe here)

1. Gently remove the cooked egg yolks and place in a mixing bowl. Mash with the backside of a fork until no large lumps remain.
2. Combine mayonnaise, mustard, curry powder, and pepper in the bowl, and mash the ingredients together with the back of the fork until even consistency.
3. Spoon the filling back into the egg white shells until all the mixture is used up.
4. Garnish each egg with a generous dollop of chutney, and serve.

Rosemary Garlic Croutons

Rosemary Garlic Croutons

1 baguette
olive oil
1 spring fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, pressed
salt and pepper to taste

1. Pre-heat the broiler.
2. Slice the baguette into 1" rounds. Brush each side with generous amounts of olive oil, and arrange on a baking sheet.
3. Broil for 2 minutes, flip the pieces, and broil for 2 more.
4. Chop the baguette into cubes, put into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle 2 Tbs. or so of olive oil over, and gently stir with hands until the olive oil is evenly distributed.
5. Add rosemary leaves, garlic, and salt and pepper to croutons, and mix gently with hands until evenly distributed.
6. Spread croutons out evenly over the baking sheet, broil for 2 minutes, put back into mixing bowl, stir with a stirring spoon, and then spread back evenly out on cookie pan and broil again for 2 minutes. Repeat this process until croutons have reached desired hardness.
7. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container, and use within the week.

Herbed Spinach Dip

Super fresh and light dip to go with chopped veggies, long and thin toasts, or can even be used as a salad dressing. It should be a little thicker than this picture shows, if spinach is properly drained : )

Herbed Spinach Dip
from Laura Sweets Pot

10 oz. spinach (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, packed
1 Tbs. fresh dill
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped finely

1. If using frozen spinach, drain. If using fresh, make sure you pat down with a paper towel after rinsing (unless using ready-to-use spinach).
2. Add spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, parsley, dill, garlic, hot sauce, salt, and pepper into the food processor, and process until smooth.
3. Pour into a bowl, stir in bell pepper, and serve.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Goat Cheese and Gruyere Artichoke Toasts

Finally back in business! I've been so busy lately I haven't had a chance to cook or blog (also: I don't have internet at my apartment yet. I didn't realize how much I relied on the internet to inspire me for cooking, so I've not been interested in cooking lately, just eating salads with avocado and delicious salad dressing, but hopefully that will be fixed soon). So, once I get back to school and I get internet, watch out world!

Goat Cheese and Gruyere Artichoke Toasts
adapted from Laura Sweet Spot

1 baguette
olive oil, for brushing (4 Tbs. or so)
2 oz. goat cheese
2 oz. grated gruyere cheese
3 Tbs. canned artichoke hearts, drained, chopped finely
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
ground black pepper, to taste
squeeze of lemon juice

1. Pre-heat broiler.
2. Slice baguette diagionally, and brush both sides of each slice with oil and arrange on baking sheet.
3. Place baking sheet in oven, broil for 1 - 2 minutes, turn each piece, and broil for 1 - 2 minutes more.
4. Combine goat cheese, Gruyere, artichokes, parsley, black pepper, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Make the mixture as consistent as possible.
5. Spoon desired amount of cheese mixture onto the toasts (about 2-3 Tbs.), spread evenly on each piece, and broil until cheese is golden and bubbly (2 - 3 minutes).
6. Serve warm.