Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bread Pudding Cups


I made these by eyeballing it, so this recipe is very approximate in numbers, but came out really well.

makes 6

4-5 slices of good bread
1/2 apple, chopped up quite small
1/3 c. dried currants
1 egg
1/2 c. eggnog
cinnamon
cardamom
butter

1- grease cupcake molds with butter. Set aside.

2- Tear up bread into small pieces, put in bowl. Add chopped apple and currents to bowl, mix.

3- Whisk eggnog and egg together. Pour over bread mix. Mix together. Add cinnamon and cardamom to taste.

4- Spoon bread mix into cupcake molds. Pour any extra liquid on top. Push bread down in molds with back of spoon and hold for one minute.

5- Cover and put in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

6- Next morning: Preheat oven to 350 F. Pop pudding cups in oven. Bake until knife comes out clean, appx 30 minutes.

7- Let cool two minutes. Unmold and serve. Enjoy.

Note can be kept until later in the day or even the next day, good hot or cold.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream


Peppermint Buttercream Frosting:

1 stick (1/4) lb unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
2-3 T. creme de menthe (will turn frosting a pale, pale green)
OR
1/4 peppermint schnapps (will need to play will sugar amounts, frosting will stay white, not as MINTY)

1. With a paddle attachment in mixer, combine butter and sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and creme de menthe.

2. Change out paddle to whisk, put mixer up to medium high. Let whisk until frosting is lighter and white in color, about three minutes.

Sorry, the cake recipe has to stay a secret for now.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hasselback Potato


I've been wanting to make these for a long time, but it's one of those things I just keep forgetting about as soon as the idea pops into my head. But the other night I managed to remember it, and made my own little version of this simple to make but fancy looking potato dish.

Ingredients:

2 red potatoes, peeled
garlic powder
celery seed
thyme
kosher salt
olive oil
butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Slice a piece off the bottom of the potatoes so they sit flat. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the potatoes, end to end, almost to the bottom, leaving the bottom in tact. (Slices should be about 1 cm wide).

3. Sprinkle potatoes with garlic, celery seed, and thyme, fanning carefully as you go, to allow spices to get in between.

4. Drizzle potatoes with a good gurgle of olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

5. Place in oven on baking sheet on parchment or aluminum foil. After half an hour, take out and put about 1/2 T. butter on each potato. They will be fanning out by now. The idea is to get the butter in between the slices.

6. Return potatoes to the oven for another 20 minutes to half an hour.

7. Take from oven. Let rest one minute. Serve and enjoy.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Peach and Fontina Puff Pastry Breakfast


I've been really into puff pastry this year for some reason, I guess I just love the simplicity of it and the possibilities it presents. I fell in love with this flavor combination this week and have been making this sweet/savory pastry for breakfast a lot, though it would work well at any time of day. I've been making it in my toaster oven, since it's still hot here and it's small enough. Trying to be green in a little way.

makes 1

Ingredients:

5 inch square of frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
1/4 peach, sliced thin and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 c. shredded fontina cheese
honey
garlic powder
dill

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put pastry dough on foil or parchment paper on small baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make a 1/2 inch border around the edge of the dough.

2. Place cheese evenly inside border. Place peach slices on top of cheese. Drizzle cheese and peaches with honey (appx 1-2 T). Sprinkle toppings with garlic powder and dill to taste (appx 1/8 t. each).

3. Place tart in oven. Bake until puffed and golden brown, including bottom (appx 15-20 min).

4. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Toasted Almond and Brandied Nectarine Ice Cream


Yes, more frozen treats. I know, it's enough already, but summer is almost over, at least officially with the end of August and all (although I'm hopeful about it lasting a bit through September...) and there won't be much time left to make this seasonal dessert without it chilling us to the bone.

I only made ice cream once before this summer. I was at camp and I was about nine. The whole process required ten of us, a ton of cream and eggs and big pots and pans, and a huge contraption made of wood and metal, an absurd amont of ice and salt, and what seemed like hours of cranking and cranking. Clearly, this was not something you would ever try at home.

That was my vision of making ice cream, something you could not do unless you had many small children tricked into thinking this was "fun," or something you might be able to muster if you had a fancy ice cream machine, but a task that would be ridiculously complicated and arduous.

My thoughts about all this changed after reading Food and Wine's wonderful article on Jeni Britton of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream in June. Her recipes are so creative and accessible they got me thinking... and the concept of egg-free ice cream that still tastes wonderful was extremely exciting. So after a little internet research and some trial and error I figured out a way to make ice cream and sorbet without a machine. Ms. Britton's article changed my summer, and I'm sure my friends weren't too upset about it either.

This recipe is basically an alternate take on Ms. Britton's Pistachio Ice Cream recipe, which I made for my birthday.

Toasted Almond and Brandied Nectarine Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 c. whole milk
1 T. + 1 t. cornstarch
3 T. plain yogurt
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 T. light corn syrup
3/4 c. slivered almonds
1/2 t. almond extract
1/4 t. kosher salt
2 large nectarines
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. brandy

1. Lay out almonds on cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees F for 5- 10 minutes, shaking occasionally, until toasted. Be careful to watch, they will burn quickly. Let cool. Put toasted almonds in food processor. Grind until they are a fine meal. Set aside.

2. In small bowl mix 2 T. of milk with cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk yogurt until smooth.

3. In large saucepan combine remaining milk with cream, 2/3 c. sugar, and corn syrup. Bring mix to boil. Cook over moderate heat until sugar dissolves. Off heat, gradually mix in cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

4. Gradually mix milk mixture into yogurt until smooth. Whisk in almonds, almond extract, and salt. Put bowl in refrigerator for half an hour to an hour.

5. While milk mixture is cooling, cut up nectarines and peel off skins. Put them in food processor and pulse until they are very small pieces. Put pieces into a small bowl. Mix in brandy and 1/3 c. sugar. Let stand half an hour to one hour.

6. After milk mixture is cool, move to freezer or ice cream maker. If putting in ice cream maker, add nectarines now. If following stand and freeze method, wait.

7. Stand and freeze: after about one hour: whisk mixture, add nectarines. Continue waiting half an hour to one hour between whisking mixture for four to six hours, after which you can transfer ice cream to intended container or if leaving in the bowl, cover and let freeze.

8. Serve and enjoy.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nectarine and Almond Tart with Lavender Honey

Last night my friend K. had a housewarming party and I brought this tart over. The crust is my fav Martha Stewart pastry dough recipe, the frangipane is from Bill Granger's, Bills Food, always an amazing source of inspiration.

My stomach is grumbling and I'm thinking of all the food they had at the party last night. I should have brought some home like they said. Right now I'm kicking myself for not taking any of K.'s boyfriend's macaroni salad -- it was so good, with dill and tuna, and I could really go for some right now. Damn.



Nectarine and Almond Tart with Lavender Honey

serves 8-10

you will need: a 10" tart pan

Ingredients:

for pastry crust:

1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. sugar
7 T. butter, chopped
1/2 T. distilled white vinegar
1 oz. ice water


for frangipane:

2 1/2 oz. butter, chopped
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. finely ground almonds/ almond meal
2 egg yolks
1/2 t. vanilla extract


for topping:

1 large nectarine, sliced thin
1/2 t. lavender
2 t. honey

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Put lavender in small bowl with honey (can be done up to 2 weeks ahead of time).

2. To make pastry dough, pulse flour and 1/2 t. sugar together in bowl of food processor. Add 7 T. butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour in vinegar and ice water. Process until dough just comes together. Pat into a disc. Roll out to 1/8" thickness. Place in tart pan, roll off edges.

3. Prick bottom and sides with fork. Line tart shell with aluminum foil. Put pie weights or uncooked rice on top of foil. Put in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.

4. Remove tart shell from oven. Remove aluminum and pie weights.

5. While tart shell is baking, mix 2 1/2 oz. butter, 1/3 c sugar, the ground almonds, egg yolks, and vanilla together in the food processor until combined.

6. Spread almond mixture evenly in the tart shell with a spatula.

7. Arrange nectarine slices neatly on top of the frangipane. Return tart to oven. Let bake 15 minutes.

8. Take tart out of oven. Carefully brush nectarine slices with honey, making sure to dab with lavender as well. Return to oven. Bake another 10 minutes.

9. Take from oven. Let cool on rack.

10. Serve and enjoy.




Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mixed Berry Cheesecake




My friend's birthday was yesterday, and needed something that was lower in sugar, fat, and carbs, due to her special diet. I used a recipe I saw at Bon Appetit as a jumping off point and went from there.

My recipe is below:



You will need:

7" spring form pan
roasting pan or deep cake pan
aluminum foil


Ingredients:

3 8 oz packages neufchatel cheese, room temp
1 c. frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries), thawed
1/2 c. plus 2 T sugar
1 1/2 T. flour
3 eggs
1/4 c. plus 1 1/2 T. cream
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract
3 oz. dark chocolate chips
fresh raspberries

1. Puree berries in processor. Should be about 3/4 c. of puree.

2. Preheat oven to 350 F.

3. Beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Beat in flour. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in 1 1/2 T. cream and 1 1/2 t. vanilla. Stir in berry puree and almond extract.

4. If spring form pan in nonstick, leave as is. If not, butter and flour bottom and sides. Pour batter into spring form pan. Wrap bottom and sides in aluminum foil twice. Set pan in roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with hot water until 1 inch high. Bake around 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, until middle is set.

5. Remove springform pan from water bath. Set on cooling rack. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes, leaving springform on.

6. Bring 1/4 c. cream to simmering. Pour over 3 oz. chocolate chips. Stir until completely melted and incorporated. With a large spoon, put some ganache in center of cheesecake, then gently circle out with the back of the spoon, icing the cake. Continue until cake top is iced. Take raspberries and gently place them on top of the cake, around the edge.

7. Place the cake in the fridge for half an hour, then remove spring form. Return to fridge for another 3 1/2 hours, at least. Or, if you're in a hurry, like I was, another, half an hour, then put it in the freezer for an hour, then back to the fridge.

8. Serve and enjoy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blueberry Lavender Sorbet

Last night was the weekly get together to watch Project Runway at my friend K.'s. I have made a point of bringing dessert every week, because what's a girl's night watching super skinny models if you aren't happily eating sweets while talking about how freakin' tiny those poor girls are? But last week K. was feeling "bloaty" from a week of over indulgence, and I was feeling a little pudgy myself after going away on vacation, so when K. requested something low fat, I complained at first, but eventually relented.

I had these amazing blueberries that I'd brought back from vacation, that were full of flavor and kind of tart.

I was thinking of making a galette but that's not very lowfat, so I came up with this sorbet instead. I even went to the local ice cream place and bought a little pint container so I could bring it over and have it look all proper.


The super cute label was printed out from The Small Object, artist Sarah Neuburger's website, where you can find her artwork, products, blog, free downloads, and more. It's worth checking out.

By the way, do you like how I messed up and then tried to cover up my spelling of "Lavender"? So instead of the word looking the way it should, like a summer breeze over the fields in Normandy or some place, it says "laven DER-- moron." But my friends don't care, which is nice, because really, who would want friends who would judge you on the label of the sorbet you just made them from scratch?


Blueberry Lavender Sorbet

makes appx 1 pint

Ingredients:

1 pint blueberries
1/2 c. sugar syrup (see recipe below)
1 t. dried lavender
1/2 c. fat free plain yogurt

1. Make sugar syrup.

2. Let sugar syrup cool for 5 minutes. Stir in lavender. Let cool 25 minutes.

3. Puree blueberries in blender. Add 1/2 c. sugar syrup and all of lavender buds. Blend.

4. I don't have an ice cream maker, so I use the stand and freeze method (pour in large bowl, put in freezer, stir with whisk every half hour or so). If you have an ice cream maker, use it now.

5. When mixture is starting to stiffen up (after about three hours with the stand and freeze method), mix in 1/2 c. yogurt, until it is completely incorporated. Continue making sorbet as usual.

6. At appropriate time, pack mixture into pint container and let freeze.

7. After frozen, serve and enjoy.


Sugar Syrup Recipe
this sugar syrup recipe comes from Jeni Britton of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream via Food and Wine


1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. water

Combine all in small sauce pan over moderate heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand til cool, about 30 minutes.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Salami and Romano Mini Quiches

Posted by Picasa


makes appx 4 mini quiches

Ingredients:

2 eggs
1 c. heavy cream
1-2 oz. salami, sliced into 1/4" rounds, then chopped into small pieces
3/4 c. grated romano cheese
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough
salt and pepper
nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Thaw dough until malleable. Cut into squares. Fit into cupcake tins. Poke bottoms and sides with fork. Fill with parchment paper or foil, weigh down with pie weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until pastry starts to puff up and get dry.

3. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and cream together in a bowl. Mix in cheese. Add S&P to taste. Mix in about 1/8 t. of nutmeg. Fold in salami.

4. Take pastry shells out of oven. Remove parchment/foil and weights. Spoon in egg mixture. Put quiches in oven. Bake another 20-25 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden and quiche is solid in middle (will be soft, but not liquid, will not quiver).

5. Remove from oven. Let cool five minutes in cupcake tin. Remove from tin and let cool on racks. Can be served warm, room temp, or cool. Enjoy.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Sour Cherry and Chocolate Tartlettes



It's been very hot here lately, so I've been baking things I can make in my toaster oven. Even using that small appliance seems make my hot apartment even hotter, but after days of craving nothing but cucumber sandwiches, I got itchy to bake. I made up this recipe for these tartlettes after staring at the beautiful cherries I got at the farmer's market, and used my favorite pastry dough recipe from Martha Stewart for the shells.

I brought these over to my friend's new apartment for our weekly Project Runway date and we gobbled them up with some chilled wine. They softened the blow of Suede's win. Suede is psyched. Suede talks in third person. We love to hate Suede.

Sour Cherry Tartlettes
(makes 6)

Ingredients:

Filling:

1 c. sour cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 c. sugar
6 T. bittersweet chocolate chips

Pastry: (Martha Stewart recipe)

1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. sugar
1 c. butter
1/2 T. white distilled vinegar
1 oz. ice water


1. Put cherries and sugar in bowl together and mix so cherries are coated. Set aside.

2. Pulse flour and sugar in food processor. Add butter (cut into 1" pieces), pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add vinegar and half of ice water, pulse until dough comes together. If dough is too dry, add water half a teaspoon at a time, until a ball forms.

3. Gather dough together and form into a round disc. Cover and put in fridge if it needs to stiffen.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

5. When dough can be handled, roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper until 1/8" thick. Cut and shape into cupcake pan. Poke bottom and sides of shells with fork.

6. Line each shell with parchment paper (or foil) and weigh down with pie weights or uncooked rice. Bake about 10 minutes.

7. Remove shells from oven. Remove parchment (or foil) and weights. In each shell put 1 T. chocolate chips. Spoon sweetened cherries on top of chocolate. If there is a sugar syrup at bottom of bowl, pour a small amount on top of each tart.

8. Put tarts back in oven. Let back for approximately 20 more minutes, until pastry is golden.

9. Remove tarts from oven. Cool for five minutes in pan. Remove carefully from pan and allow to cool completely on a rack. Enjoy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mache, Raspberry, and Goat Cheese Salad




I have refrained from writing about salads for a long time now, because they seem so simple, but the more I go out and the more I read, the more I realize that tossing together ingredients for salad can be just as confusing as making an entree. It's still all about the combination of tastes and textures, and inspiration is inspiration, so... this is the salad I had at my dinner party the other night. Pretty simple, but tasty.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

3 1/2 c. mache
1 pint raspberries
1/3 c raw slivered almonds
3 T. goat cheese
1 lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper

put mache, raspberries, almonds and goat cheese in a bowl. Toss. Sprinkle with the juice of one lemon, appx 2-3 T. olive oil, and S&P to taste. Toss and serve.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Angel Biscuits



I'm veering off a little, finding some great stuff to make on blogs and in books and wanting to write about it, so my blog is turning into a mix of both lately. Mostly it will continue to be just my recipes, though, not to worry.

I had some buttermilk in my fridge and was thinking about what to do with it, when I found this recipe at Ezra Pound Cake for Angel Biscuits from The Blue Willow Inn Bible of Southern Cooking, and had to make them.

Some notes:

I cut the recipe in half and I'm posting it below. It yielded 1 dozen small biscuits for me.

I substituted butter for shortening.

The original recipe says to use a biscuit cutter to cut the biscuits. I don't have one, so I used a white wine glass. But after carefully cutting out all the biscuits so they were perfect, the one that came out the best was the one I smooshed together free form out of the left over dough at the end, sort of rolling it in a ball and flattening it down. It came out fluffier and lighter than all the rest. When I make this recipe again, I'm going to form them all like that.

Ingredients:

2 c. flour
1/8 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 c. salted butter
1/2 package of yeast (1/8 oz)
1 t. warm water
1 c. buttermilk

1- Preheat oven to 475 F.

2- Sift flour, sugar, powder, and soda together. Cut in butter.

3- Stir yeast and water together in small bowl until yeast is a paste.

4- Stir buttermilk in with yeast in batches, making sure that yeast is dissolved into buttermilk.

5- Combine buttermilk mixture with dry ingredients. Mix until soft ball forms.

6- Place dough on well floured surface. Sprinkle dough with flour. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness with floured rolling pin, cut out with biscuit cutter (or just free form it).

7- Place biscuits on buttered baking sheet (note: I didn't use butter, but a sheet of parchment instead, with no problems, and no burning of the bottoms). Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown (keep a good eye on them, they bake quickly).

8- Remove from oven, let cool on rack. Enjoy warm or cooled.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Birthday Dinner Desserts



I don't usually write about other people's recipes, but I made two desserts for my birthday dinner that I really enjoyed, and wanted to share the sources:

Pistachio Petit Four Cake:

I found the recipe at Smitten Kitchen, but the recipe is from a book called Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne . The original recipe is for a three layer cake baked in 8" pans, but for my birthday I made a single layer cake and was able to skip odd measurements by using a 10" pan and cutting the recipe in half. I actually made the same cake as a double layer for my mom's birthday, and while it looks awesome it's a lot to eat, and I didn't want to be left with that much cake.



It's a pistachio cake with a layer of apricot preserves, a layer of marzipan, covered in chocolate ganache.

Pistachio Petit Four Cake Recipe


I also made Pistachio Ice Cream. The recipe is from Food and Wine Magazine, from an article about Jeni Britton, an artisan ice cream maker of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream shops in Ohio.
I made a few changes: I didn't grind the pistachios that fine, and didn't strain them out. I left them to set in the ice cream. I also don't have an ice cream maker, so I used the stand and freeze method (whisk every half hour or so).

You can see the recipe here: Pistachio Ice Cream

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto


For my birthday dinner the other night I also made this risotto.

Serves 8-10.

Ingredients

3 1/2 c. arborio rice
1 lemon
5-6 c. vegetable broth (I got mine at Trader Joe's)
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
2 c. white wine (I ended up using green wine, 'cause, um, it was what was open)
1 bunch of pencil asparagus
3 c. assorted mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2/3 c. shredded fontina cheese
1/2 c. shredded romano cheese
3 T. butter
olive oil
salt and pepper

1- Chop two inches off the bottoms of the asparagus. Discard. Chop off asparagus tips, set aside in bowl. Chop the rest of the stems on a diagonal into 1" pieces. Put all in boiling salted water for 2 min, then blanche in ice water. Set aside.

2- In a large pot, heat 4 T. olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, stir til translucent. Add rice. Stir 'til all the grains are coated and start to become translucent. Add 2 cups of white wine. Stir until absorbed.

3- Add enough stock to cover rice by two fingers. Stir until absorbed. Continue adding stock and stirring until absorbed until rice is creamy and cooked through, seasoning with S&P.

4- While rice is cooking, heat 1 T. olive oil in a frying pan. Add mushrooms. Season with S&P. Saute for appx. 4 minutes. Add asparagus. Saute another 3 minutes. Take off heat.

5- When rice is cooked, turn off heat. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon, stir through. Add in cheese, stir through. Stir in butter. Stir in mushrooms and asparagus. Season with S&P to taste. Serve and enjoy.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Caramelized Onion, Chicken, and Fontina Cheese Tart



Yesterday was my birthday and I had a bunch of friends over for dinner. One of the things I made was this tart with caramelized onions, chicken and sweet basil sausage, and fontina cheese.

I made enough to feed eight, but this recipe serves 4 to 6.

More birthday posts to come.


Ingredients

1 large vidalia onion
2 chicken sausages, raw (mine were from Whole Foods, sweet basil)
1 c. shredded fontina cheese
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 t. brown sugar
salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Chop onion into thin strips. Put in saucepan with 1 T. olive oil over medium heat. Cook about 20 minutes, stirring. Add balsamic vinegar, sugar, S&P. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and caramelized.

2. While onion is caramelizing, squeeze sausages out of their casings. Discard casings. Put meat in large skillet with some olive oil. Cook over medium heat, making sure to break up large pieces, until cooked through.

3. Put pastry dough on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Score a 1/4" border around the edge of the pastry. Poke holes in pastry with a fork. Within border, layer cheese, onion, and sausage. Place in oven. Bake until puffed and golden, and baked all the way through, about 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Let cool on sheet five minutes. Transfer to plate and serve. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Papaya Sorbet



I am a luddite. To some degree anyway. I do not own a large number of gadgets, refuse to update my cell phone because the one I have still has analog signal (what if I want to call for help or pizza while camping?) and don't have a lot of kitchen appliances like deep friers, bread machines, or ice cream makers.

But it has been quite warm out lately, and there have been so many lovely recipes for homemade ice creams and sorbets all over the internet that I was just itching to make some myself. Unfortunately, after some point, the instructions all read: "follow the instructions on your ice cream maker"... is this something that every household has? Did I somehow miss this while buying my basic kitchen needs? Good knives, cutting boards, pots, pans, ice cream maker? There had to be another way.

I looked around and there were suggestions involving ziplock bags and coffee cans... mmm... I don't think so. So yeah, actually there is a way to make sorbet that does not involve shelling out a bunch of cash on an appliance you may only use three times and then wonder where to put it, and one that does not involve buying instant coffee or freezing your hands. Instead it involves a bowl, a whisk, and some time. Yay.

Papaya Sorbet:

makes appx 1 1/2 c.

Ingredients:

1 small papaya (yields appx 1 c. of puree)
1/4 c. sugar syrup (see below)
1 t. fresh lemon juice
juice of 1/2 lime

1. Half papaya, scoop out seeds and discard. Scoop out flesh, place in blender. Puree.

2. Add 1/4 c. sugar syrup, 1 t. lemon juice, and juice of 1/4 of lime to papaya puree in blender. Blend.

3. Pour mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, place in freezer. About every half hour or so, for about 3-4 hours, take out and whisk. Let freeze 8 hours or overnight.

4. Eat and enjoy.

Sugar Syrup

this sugar syrup is Jeni Britton's recipe, of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream (see full article at Food and Wine)
makes 3/4c.

1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. water

In small saucepan, combine ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat 'til sugar dissolves, appx 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool, appx 30 minutes.


All the half hour intervals seem like a pain, and I guess you could time it with something that beeps, but it's not that precise. I made it in the evening and was watching TV and reading and stuff... who needs a timer, when you have sitcoms?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Corn and Black Bean Tortillas with Lime




These are actually cheese free, due to the cleanse I'm on right now. I was pretty sure this was going to be better if I had allowed myself cheese, but I actually really like it as is. It's the season for butter-sugar corn, and if you get the fresh stuff, it tastes so amazing it really doesn't need anything on it. Actually my favorite way to cook it is soaking it in it's husk, then tossing it on the coals of a campfire, and eating it with nothing at all, except perhaps a sprinkling of salt. Perfection. This recipe allows the flavor of the corn to shine through, and doesn't miss the addition of cheese at all, surprisingly.

Makes 4 small tortillas

Ingredients:

1 ear of butter-sugar corn, husk removed
1/2 small vidalia onion, diced
4 heaping T. of refried black beans
olive oil
salt and pepper
paprika
garlic powder
dill
5" round corn tortillas (tortillas maiz)
2 limes


1. Soak corn in water for 10 to 30 minutes. Cut kernels off the husk.

2. Heat 1 T. olive oil in a skillet over med heat. Add onion. Let start to heat through, stirring occationally. When it starts to turn color, add corn, stirring to coat. Add S&P, paprika, garlic powder, and dill to taste. Continue stirring mixture occasionally until onion is translucent and corn is soft.

3. Transfer corn mix to a paper towel on a plate. Add oil to the skillet.

4. Place one tortilla in skillet. Spread 1 heaping T. of refried black beans on tortilla. Put one quarter of corn mixture on top of beans. When tortilla is fried properly (after 1 or two minutes), fold in half, and put on a plate. Sprinkle with salt, and squeeze fresh lime juice over it.

5. Repeat step 4, for the next three tortillas. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Roasted Garlic and Herb Risotto



When I started this whole "Quantum Wellness" cleanse, I thought I would be starving. However, with a little creativity, I find I'm eating quite well. I made this risotto the other night, and while it was sans wine, cheese, butter, and cream (I know, I know...), it was rich and tasty enough to eat any day, regardless of any restrictions.

This recipe serves 1

Ingredients:

1/4 c. arborio rice (do not substitute)
vegetable stock (I got mine at Trader Joe's)
4 garlic cloves, skin on
fresh herbs
fresh lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper
soy milk (opt)


1. Preheat toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Place four cloves of garlic, skins on, on a sheet of tin foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast until very soft.



2. Take garlic out of skins. In either a processor or by hand, blend the garlic, fresh herbs (I used dill, lemon verbena, and savory), 1 T. of lemon juice, 1 1/2T olive oil, and S&P into a paste. Set aside.

3. Heat appx. 1 T. olive oil in a small sauce pan. Add rice and mix to coat. Keep mixing until rice is starting to turn translucent. Add enough stock to cover rice. Stir occasionally until stock is absorbed. Continue adding stock and stirring until absorbed until the rice is al-dente.

4. Once rice is almost tender, mix in the roasted garlic paste, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some S&P. You will need to add more stock at this time. Just keep adding a little at a time, continuously stirring until it's absorbed, and tasting to see if the rice is properly tender. The rice should be getting creamy.

5. Once the rice is cooked and creamy, turn off the heat. Mix in a splash of soy milk. Season with S&P, and lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bacon, Onion, and Apple Tart














Ingredients:

puff pastry
3/4 1 apple, diced, skin on
1/2 small sweet onion, diced
2 1/2- 3 slices turkey bacon
1/2 slice of white cheddar cheese
1/3 T butter
olive oil
nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Cook turkey bacon in skillet. Put on paper towel and set aside.
3. Add a touch of olive oil to skillet and turn heat down to lowest setting. Add onion and allow to cook slowly, stirring occationally.
4. Let puff pastry thaw. Cut two 5" x 5" squares. Cut a 1/4" border halfway through dough.
5. When onions are soft, add apples and turn up heat slightly. Add a drop more oil.
6. When apples are slightly browned, break up bacon into 1/2" pieces and mix in. Turn off heat. Sprinkle in nutmeg. Mix in butter.
7. Spoon mixture onto puff pastry squares inside the border. Break up the cheese and tuck it into places in the mixture.
8. Put squares (on ungreased baking sheet) in oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on rack. Enjoy.