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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Yorkshire Pudding with Bacon and Sage

People like to bag on British food (and it’s not entirely unjustified, what with the tendency to overcook meats and use lots of bland, boiled vegetables) but I’ve learned that Yorkshire pudding is not something that should be knocked until you’ve tried it. Yes, the abundance of bacon fat does not make this health food, but it contributes to the scrumptiousness. It’s also a very easy and filling dish; it’s perfect for an evening when you don’t feel like working too hard on dinner. It also keeps and reheats well for leftovers. It’s now a standby meal for me.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces bacon slices (about 7 slices), cut into 1-inch pieces [I never use this much bacon and I always have plenty of grease and don’t need to use the butter noted below to increase the amount of grease]
  • 2 tablespoons (about) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk [I always use lowfat and it’s still great]
  • 3 large eggs

Preparation

  • Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 450°F. Sauté bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Transfer drippings to glass measuring cup. If needed, add enough melted butter to measure 1/4 cup total. Pour drippings into 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Place dish in hot oven to heat drippings 10 minutes.
  • Whisk flour, 2 tablespoons sage, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Whisk milk and eggs to blend in large bowl; add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth. Whisk in 2/3 of bacon. Remove hot baking dish from oven. Using oven mitts or pot holders to protect hands, tilt dish to distribute drippings evenly. Pour batter into pan. Bake 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake until golden brown and puffed, about 12 minutes longer (do not open oven door while baking).
  • Remove pudding from oven. Crumble remaining bacon over pudding, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sage, and serve.

–Recipe courtesy Bon Appetit magazine.

Finished product, just out of the oven, sprinkled with garnish:

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Mexican Pizza

This recipe is an invention of mine; I hadn’t tried it before. We had a bunch of taco fixings, but no tortillas, so I decided to use them in a slightly different way than usual. I also was inspired by the tlayudas I had in Oaxaca on my recent Central America trip, which are pizzalike treats often served by street food vendors. This is why I used mozzarella blobs as the cheese – it’s somewhat similar to Oaxacan cheese they put on the tlayudas.

I made a half-and-half pizza – one side had meat and the other side just cheese. The middle kind of had both!

Ingredients

  • Store-bought pizza dough
  • Your favorite salsa (probably very pureed salsa would work better than chunky)
  • Refried beans or chunks of cooked meat left over from another dish
  • Tomatoes
  • Cheese (I used mozzarella since it’s similar to Oaxacan cheese, but jack or cheddar or whatever you like could be used)
  • Sliced olives
  • Diced onion
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro or green onions (optional)

Instructions

  1. Stretch out the dough on a greased baking sheet or glass baking dish (or if you have more serious pizza setup, do what you normally do to support pizza).
  2. Spread salsa over the dough as you would tomato sauce on a pizza.
  3. Spread beans over salsa.
  4. Sprinkle diced larger tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes over.
  5. If using meat, distribute it over the pizza.
  6. Distribute the olives over the pizza.
  7. Distribute the cheese over the pizza.
  8. Bake pizza according to dough instructions (usually 400 or 425 for about 15 minutes). Check in on it and rotate once. Bake until crust is browned and cheese is bubbly.
  9. While pizza is baking, dice up a small amount of onion, and squirt some lime juice onto it. Also chop up some cilantro or green onions if using.
  10. When pizza is done and you’re about to eat it, sprinkle the onion and lime mixture over it, as well as the cilantro/green onion bits for color. Enjoy!

My finished pizza (not very pretty, but tasty!):

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Sweet Potato & Turnip Mash with Sage Butter

Again, necessity dictated what I chose to make; we received turnips in the farm box, and the last time I tried to cook them, they turned out horribly bitter and unpleasant (I actually thought I had told the FFTY people not to send them anymore, but maybe I didn’t). Since I had them, I wanted to find a recipe that would make them edible. I also had a can of prepared sweet potatoes that had been around a while that I wanted to use up. The recipe turned out a bit soupier than it probably was supposed to, due to the extra moisture from the prepared potatoes, but it wasn’t bad at all.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced [I used a can of prepared sweet potatoes]
  • 8 ounces turnips (about 2 medium), peeled and diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 30 fresh sage leaves, divided (12 left whole, the rest cut into strips)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked pepper

Preparation

  1. Place potatoes, turnips, garlic and 12 sage leaves in a medium saucepan and cover with water [since I used prepared potatoes, I didn’t cook them, just the turnips, garlic, and sage]. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain. Return the vegetables to the pan and keep covered.
  2. Heat butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. As it melts and turns lightly brown, add the strips of sage and allow them to crackle and flavor the butter, about 1 minute.
  3. Pour the sage and butter over the vegetables and smash with a potato masher. Stir in salt and pepper and serve.

–Recipe courtesy Eating Well magazine.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Coconut-Lime Bars

I found myself with a lot of limes that were going to go bad soon, so I decided to make these bars. Imagine my surprise that they only had zest in them, not lime juice. I added some anyway, and saved the rest for margaritas!

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking pan
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar [I used dark]
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts [I didn’t have macadamia nuts, just used slivered almonds]
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • [1 or 2 tablespoons lime juice]
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 package (7oz.) sweetened shredded coconut [I didn’t have quite 7oz left from another project using coconut, I just used what I had left in the filling, and saved 1/2 cup for the topping, as directed]

Preheat oven to 375F. Butter [I just sprayed with cooking spray] a 9 inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch over hang on two sides. Butter parchment [ditto cooking spray]. In a large bowl, whisk butter, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Add 1 egg; whisk until smooth. Stir in 1 cup flour, salt, nuts and lime zest [and lime juice if using]. Spread batter in pan and bake until top is set and very light golden, 15 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs and vanilla [and lime juice if using]. Reserve 1/2 cup coconut; stir remaining coconut and 1 cup flour into egg mixture. Gently spread over base; top with reserved coconut. Bake until golden and toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Using parchment, life cake from pan and cut into 24 bars. Store in an air tight container, up to 1 week.

–Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, December 2011.

First layer (crust) ready for baking:

Second layer applied, plus topping, ready for baking:

Finished product:

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Curried Lentil Soup

The fabulous Molly Wizenberg strikes again. This soup is so perfect.

Ingredients

  •     3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  •     1 medium onion, chopped
  •     1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  •     2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
  •     2 tablespoons (or more) curry powder
  •     1 cup French green lentils [we still have tons of Moong beans from the Indian store, I used them    instead]
  •     4 1/4 cups (or more) water, divided
  •     1 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
  •     1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  •     2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  •     2 green onions, thinly sliced
  •     1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Ingredient Info: French green lentils are small, dark green, and speckled with black; they can be found at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.

Preparation

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add half of chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add 2 tablespoons curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lentils and 4 cups water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in processor.

Add chickpea puree and butter to lentil soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. DO AHEAD Soup can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Rewarm before continuing.

Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions and serve with lemon wedges.

–Recipe courtesy Bon Appetit Magazine, December 2010.

The vegetables cooking at the beginning of the process:

Finished product:

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Quinoa Pancakes

Having rediscovered quinoa recently, I wanted to give these pancakes a try. I didn’t have any plain cooked quinoa ready, so rather than waiting for the stovetop method, I tried the microwave method, which worked rather well and fast, though it took longer than the microwave instructions on the box would have you believe.

These cakes have a wonderfully chewy texture and nutty flavor from the quinoa. When some of them were cooking, I sprinkled some dried wild blueberries from Trader Joe’s on the cooking batter. They turned out all right, but the plain ones were best. The cakes are slightly on the drier side for pancakes; I had to add a little more syrup than normal. But I’m not complaining!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • [I sprinkled some dried wild blueberries on the batter when cooking]
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • Fresh fruit or fruit preserves (optional), for serving

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, butter, milk, and syrup until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine.
  2. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter and heat over medium-high. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on top, 2 minutes [and add any mix-ins you would like to the cooking batter – blueberries, choc chips, etc]. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, 2 minutes. Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more melted butter and remaining batter (reduce heat to medium if overbrowning). Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit or preserves if desired.

–Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine.

The cooking cakes, with blueberries and without (yes, I accidentally added too much oil):

Finished cakes:

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Molasses Spice Cookies

These cookies have an addictive flavor and keep their wonderfully chewy texture for a long time. I would make them all the time if I could.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, 1 cup sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until tops are cracked. Cool on wire racks.

–Recipe courtesy Brenda Hall on allrecipes.com.

Finished cookies:

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2011 in Uncategorized