May 26, 2009
This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Beth of Supplicious. Chipster-Topped Brownies are basically standard brownies (made with 9 ounces of chocolate and 2 sticks of butter!) with a thin layer of cookie dough baked on top.
I used peanut butter chips in my cookie dough layer. The top gets very crunchy, while the dough underneath melts into gooeyness...not your standard cookie texture. The brownie layer, of course, was fabulous. I swear, once you make real brownies (with melted chocolate), you'll never use that boxed mix again!
Anyway, I took these to a beer tasting party at Mike & Irene's house on Saturday, and they seemed to be a big hit!
*Note: A lot of Dorie's recipes say to bake the pan on a cookie sheet. Someone in the TWD group recently asked about this...does it make the bottom cook more evenly or does it prevent burning? As far as I know, baking a pan on a cookie sheet doesn't affect the baking at all. Instead, it's simply an easy way to get the pan in and out of the oven without having to grab the side of the pan and potentially messing up the top of the cake.
May 25, 2009
And now, as demanded by my friends and readers, here is that recipe. I think it's an awesome combination of spicy, sweet, salty, and sour. And it goes great with a cold beer!
1 pound of ground beef (or chicken or chopped shrimp)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 teaspoon candied ginger spread (or finely chopped candied ginger pieces) *
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
zest & juice of one lime
handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
*Note: If you don't have candied ginger, you could use freshly grated ginger root with a bit of honey or agave nectar for sweetness.
1. Saute the onions in a little bit of olive oil, just until they begin to soften. Add the meat and brown, breaking it up as it cooks.
2. Add the curry paste & ginger spread to the pan and stir until it's melted & incorporated into the meat. Add the soy & oyster sauce, stir to combine.
3. Turn off the heat and add the lime zest, lime juice, and parsley. Taste for seasoning. Add more curry paste if you'd like it a bit spicier or more lime or more ginger or whatever you think it needs...but you should be able to taste each of the components: spicy, sour, sweet, salty.
4. Serve on iceberg or Boston bibb lettuce leaves.
May 24, 2009
Of course, my appetite has changed with the weather. Instead of comforting pastas, soups, and casseroles, I crave crisp salads and lots of fresh veggies. So, I'll be eating a lot of these kinds of things over the next few months...
May 21, 2009
I'm obsessed with books. I have stacks in nearly every room of my house...on the coffee table in the living room, on the night stand in the bedroom, on the table & some chairs in the dining room, on the kitchen counter....everywhere.
Lately, I've been particularly obsessed with cookbooks. Even though I have so many cookbooks that I've never cooked from, I still want to buy more.
My most recent acquisition is A Platter of Figs by David Tanis.
It's a beautiful book with seasonal menus. And when I spotted fava beans at Soulard farmers market last week, I knew exactly which recipe from the book I'd try first. I'm a little sad that favas aren't available more often so that I could eat this whenever I wanted...it was that good.
2 scallions, thinly sliced
3 sprigs mint leaves, coarsely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
fruity extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt & black pepper
- To prepare the fava beans, remove the beans from their pods & boil them for 2-3 minutes. Shock the beans in ice water, then pop them out of their skins. See photos of the process here.
- Mix the beans with the sliced fennel, scallions, and a good sprinkling of salt. Drizzle generously with the olive oil to coat. Add the mint leaves & lemon juice. Toss and taste for seasoning.
- Top each serving with a few grinds of pepper and, if desired, a few shreds of parmesan cheese.
May 12, 2009
- Preheat the oven to 500°. Trim the radishes and wash the greens; pat dry.
- In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the radishes for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender.
- Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the butter to coat the radishes. Add the radish greens and cook over moderate heat until they are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Serve the radishes right away.
May 10, 2009
- Cut kale leaves (without heavy stem) into 2-inch pieces. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil on top, then toss the leaves around so they are well-coated. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
- Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes, turning leaves once during cooking, until crispy. Be careful not to burn them or they'll turn bitter!
Here are some of the rolls they made:
Salmon with asparagus & avocado
Carrot, green apple, & cream cheese
Crab with asparagus & Nigiri (in the background)
We're teaching the class again in September. Check out the schedule of classes at Kitchen Conservatory for more info and to register.
May 5, 2009
This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Megan of My Baking Adventures. It's a simple two-layer vanilla cake that's moistened with espresso syrup, iced with espresso-spiked mascarpone whipped cream, filled with dark chocolate chips, sprinkled with cocoa powder, and decorated with chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Once again, I'm getting this posted near the last minute....but it's not for a lack of trying. I actually baked the cakes last night, wrapped them in plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge. And I had every intention of icing them as soon as I got home. BUT...when I got home from work today, my kitchen was overrun with ants!
It's happens every year about this time...especially if we've had a lot of rain. The first time it happened was several years ago. It was Memorial Day weekend, and I was having a bunch of people over for Sunday brunch. I spent the entire day on Saturday getting ready, including baking scones from scratch. I stacked them neatly in a domed, glass cake stand and set them on the buffet in the dining room.
The next morning, I woke up to find the cake plate--inside & out--covered in tiny ants! I was devastated and grossed out all at once! Afterward, I tried everything to get rid of the ants...everything, that is, besides spraying poison all over my house and yard. I tried leaving out corn meal for them to eat (supposedly, they will take it back to the nest, eat it, then died because it expands in their stomach). I tried putting baby powder around the window sills and other places they might be getting in (they weren't supposed to like walking through it). I tried organic ants traps and sprays. Nothing worked.
Eventually, I broke down and called an exterminator to spray outside around the house only. And, that did it. So, every year, when I start to see ants roaming around the kitchen, I call for the guy to come spray. They were scheduled to come last week, but apparently there was too much rain. I called them again tonight.
Still, I was hesitant to put the cake together tonight and create an ant's sugar paradise. I mean, you drop one little speck of sugar and they are ALL over it.
Nevertheless, I got it done tonight, then promptly stuck the cake in the fridge & bleached the countertops.
May 3, 2009
Here are the cooking classes I'm teaching at Kitchen Conservatory this summer:
GIRLS' NIGHT OUT: CIAO BELLA
Sat, June 6 @ 6:30 pm to 9 pm
- Prosecco & saba cocktail
- Roasted red pepper & caramelized onion bruschetta
- Antipasto salad with oil-cured olives, locally-made artisan salami, radicchio & arugua
- Halibut with Sicilian caper & tomato salsa
- Limoncello trifle with pound cake, blackberries, & mascarpone custard
GIRLS' NIGHT OUT: BREWED AWAKENINGS
Fri, June 26 @ 6:30 pm to 9 pm
- Espresso martini
- Coffee-infused mushroom soup
- Grouper glazed with coffee, honey, & red chile with coffee slaw and grilled pineapple
- Classic tiramisu.
GIRLS' NIGHT OUT: SOUTHERN BELLES
Sat, Aug 22 @ 6:30 pm to 9 pm
- Sweet tea martini
- Classic pimiento cheese spread on crostini
- Artichoke-crab beignets with remoulad
- Couscous and feta-stuffed red bell peppers
- Mint julep peaches with cheesecake ice cream.
GIRLS' NIGHT OUT: SATURDAY NIGHT CHIVE (Vegetarian)
Sat, Aug 29 @ 6 pm to 8:30 pm
- White sangria with peaches & grapes
- Lime-bathed peanut salad with tomatoes & jalapenos
- Caramelized onion bread with olives & parmesan
- Vegetable kabobs with toasted walnut, red pepper, chive& pomegranate marinade
- Mushroom, spinach, & tofu-stuffed black tea spring rolls with mango-chutney dipping sauce
- Mesquite chocolate chip cookies.
DATE NIGHT FOR COUPLES: FROM BEER TO SUSHI ETERNITY
Sat, Sept. 19 @ 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Jerad and I are doing a repeat of this class since it sold out the first time. In this hands-on class you’ll learn to make salt-and-pepper edamame, sticky sushi rice, a variety of hand-formed nigiri and rolled maki, including spicy tuna rolls, California rolls and Philadelphia rolls -- all served with Japanese beer.
GIRLS' NIGHT OUT: THE LURE OF LAVENDER *(NEW DATE)
Saturday, Sept. 26 @ 6 pm to 8:30 pm
- Lavender-tangerine mimosas
- Garlicky lavender-curry hummus with baked pita chips
- Spinach salad with lavender-lemon vinaigrette
- Northwest lavender crab cakes
- Lavender couscous with artichokes
- Lavender-honey ice cream & lavender sugar cookies.