Wednesday, March 31, 2010

coming soon - recipe #1000

Tonight, in search of a vegetable side recipe for our family Easter gathering on Sunday, I realized I never label my posts. I logged in to blogger do some retro-labeling and realized that we, the Food Goodness-nicks are fewer than 100 posts from logging 1000 recipes. I'd like to pledge that I'll mail box of homemade cookies to the one of us who posts the thousandth recipe. Who's with me?

Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Sauce

From: Simply Recipes

Ok, I admit that I tried to cheat and use frozen pre-cooked shrimp in this dish. I wouldn't recommend going that route- go get yourself some fresh shrimp, or even some frozen uncooked shrimp. Still, even with that less-than-great substitution (hey, that's what I had in the house and wanted to make this at the last minute), this dish was tasty. Using the pre-cooked frozen shrimp just left me with a lot more liquid in the final dish than I think you would otherwise have. The flavors were really good, though, and it was quick to throw together.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
1 to 1 1/4 pounds medium sized raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (can leave tails on), thaw if frozen
Pinch of salt, more to taste
Pinch black pepper, more to taste
3 ounces feta cheese (about 2/3 cup, crumbled)


1 Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat oil in a large, oven-proof skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.

2 Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, reduce heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the juices thicken a bit.

3 Remove from heat. Stir in the herbs, shrimp, feta cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Place pan in oven and bake, uncovered, until shrimp are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.

Serve immediately. Serve with crusty French or Italian loaf bread, pasta, or rice.

Serves 4.

cheesecake (Passover or regular)

Sorry for all the Passover dessert recipes, but it's that time of year (and I was in charge of dessert for our mini-seder). I'd never made a cheesecake before and felt a little absurdly proud of myself about this one... there is a definite leap of faith involved, because it's impossible to tell if it's done or not, but I followed the directions exactly, and it set just fine. And no one got salmonella. That I know of, anyway.

For the crust, I Passover-ized it by taking 2 c coconut macaroons and mixing them with 3 T melted butter, and then pressing it into the pan. You don't have to go up the sides; the cheesecake adheres to itself and you don't need any crust on the outside. A graham cracker crust would probably be even more delicious.

Make crumb crust as directed. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make filling and bake cake:
Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.

Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken. Let stand in baking pan on a rack 5 minutes. Leave oven on.

Make topping:
Stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Drop spoonfuls of topping around edge of cake and spread gently over center, smoothing evenly. Bake cake with topping 10 minutes.

Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen and cool completely in springform pan on rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side from pan and transfer cake to a plate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guac Rockin' Beets Brown Rice Bowl

This recipe doesn't have an official name yet, and the Chemical Brothers homage, while fun to say, doesn't quite capture all of the key ingredients. Neither does Kev's more exclamatory "Sweet Guac-y Beets." Feel free to weigh in once you've taken a look or a taste. Might be my first actual recipe not based on someone else's idea. That's something...

As with most rice bowls, this is an assembly-style recipe. Each layer requires time to prep/cook, so I've tried to list the steps in such a way that you're not waiting around too much. You could drain, cube and marinate the tofu ahead to save some time.

2C uncooked brown rice
2 blocks extra firm tofu
2 cans beets
1 large sweet potato
1-2 avocados
teriyaki sauce
wasabi paste
soy sauce
chili-garlic paste
toasted sesame seeds

Drain two blocks of tofu, wrap in towels and press under a heavy pot for 30 minutes or more.

Prepare 2 cups of uncooked brown rice using your preferred method.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice beets into four wedges each. Dice sweet potato into tiny, 1/4" pieces (more like bits than chunks). Toss in olive oil just to lightly coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes.

When the tofu is drained, slice blocks into slabs and then cube the slabs into cute little 1/2" pieces. Spread in a single layer in a casserole or baking dish, add enough teriyaki (Soy Vey is good.) to coat generously. Bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Slice avocado in half lengthwise and remove pit. Score flesh while still inside skin and then scoop out the good stuff into a bowl. In a small bowl, combine a squirt of wasabi paste, chili-garlic paste and the soy sauce and then fold into the avocado until it forms a pleasingly chunky mixture.

Layer in bowl: rice, wasabi guac, tofu, veggies, toasted sesame seeds.

Enjoy! (drink lots of water - this meal is not exactly light on sodium)

Please let me know if the directions or ingredients need adjustments.

Gingered Carrot Oaties

from Always in the Kitchen

1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 cup stoneground whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup finely grated carrot
1 1/4 cups low fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger root
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup (scant) honey
2 tablespoons canola oil

Soak the oatmeal and the bran in one cup of the buttermilk. Let stand for 1/2 hour to let the oatmeal soften. The mixture will get very thick and a bit stiff.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly spritz a muffin pan with canola oil.

Add the grated carrot and grated ginger to the oats. Beat the egg, honey and canola oil separately, then add to the oat mixture. Stir well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ground ginger. If you want to add raisins or dried cranberries, go ahead and add a handful of them now. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of buttermilk to the oat mixture, and then carefully stir the flour mixture into the oats, adding half the dry ingredients at a time, and stirring until just combined.

Spoon into prepared muffin tins (smooth the tops if using mini-Bundt pan). Bake for 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for five minutes, then turn out to cool on wire rack. Excellent with a little butter, or a smear of jam, but also delicious plain (see comments above recipe re: honey).

Should make 12 small-ish regular muffins, or 6 mini-Bundts plus two "cookies."

Which brings me to my other note - you can bake these simply as a drop cookie, using large tablespoons of batter on a lightly greased/spritzed cookie sheet. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until they bounce back slightly.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Couscous with Chickpeas, Tomato and Edamame

From: Serious Eats

I made this pretty much as written, except I didn't have any scallions. It was a tasty lunch for me, but it seems like it would be easy to adapt for a side dish, pot-luck, etc... maybe add shrimp or chicken if you want.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/4 cups water, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 cup coarsely chopped green onions (about a bunch)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add edamame, red pepper, and garlic; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup water, basil, chickpeas, and tomatoes; simmer 15 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water and salt; bring to a boil. Gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in onions and feta; toss well.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

caramel and chocolate matzah

My friend Amanda found this recipe, which tastes better than anything involving matzah has a right to taste.

4 to 6 sheets unsalted matzohs (I only managed to fit about 3.25)
1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup (215g) firmly-packed light brown sugar
big pinch of sea salt (and, optional, some coarse sea salt for sprinkling on the top, which I put on because Amanda thought hers needed more salt)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (160g) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet (approximately 11 x 17", 28 x 42cm) completely with foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges. Cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).

2. Line the bottom of the sheet with matzoh, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.

3. In a 3-4 quart (3-4l) heavy duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the salt and vanilla, and pour over matzoh, spreading with a heatproof spatula.

4. Put the pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 350F (175C) degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. As it bakes, it will bubble up but make sure it's not burning every once in a while. If it is in spots, remove from oven and reduce the heat to 325F (160C), then replace the pan.

5. Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with an offset spatula.

6. If you wish, sprinkle with toasted almonds (or another favorite nut, toasted and coarsely-chopped), a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, or roasted cocoa nibs.

Let cool completely, the break into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. It should keep well for about one week.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Irish soda bread scones

We have been eating actual food these days, despite it looking (based on the recipes I've been posting) like we've just been eating bread and sweets. It's just that...the breads and sweets are calling to me for whatever reason, and there's something cathartic for me about going in the kitchen and mixing a bunch of things together and coming out with this amazing and wonderful dessert or bread or whatever.
Definitely not as cathartic and exciting about going in the kitchen every evening and making chicken adobo or a crab boil or or hummus or homemade chicken wings. And yet, I've been making those, too. And having a few cooking fails along the way.
And so, with that preface, I give you these scones, which are amazing. I'm eating one right now, in fact, with Devonshire cream and strawberry preserves. (it's my treat for eating salad with tuna for lunch) Enjoy.

From the lovely, and very talented Smitten Kitchen. (Have you seen her son? So cute) My notes in itals.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon table salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 tablespoons softened, 1 tablespoon melted)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I made my own, with milk and lemon juice. Didn't have any buttermilk)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup currants or raisins
1 tablespoons caraway seeds (I left these out, because I don't have any)

Heat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the upper-middle position. Whisk dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt) in a large bowl. Work the softened butter into the dry ingredients with a fork, pastry blender or your fingertips until the flour mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the wet ingredients (buttermilk and egg), currants or raisins and caraway seeds, if you’re using them, and stir with a fork until the dough just begins to come together. Turn out onto a work surface and knead until the dough just becomes cohesive and bumpy. You’re not going for a smooth dough.
Pat dough into a round and use a knife or dough divider to cut it into 8 wedges. Form each wedge into a round and place on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Cut a cross shape into the top of each. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Scones should be golden brown a skewer should come out clean. Remove from the oven and brush with butter before cooling to room temperature.
Now, Deb and several of her readers point out that soda bread gets very dense after the first day. So I froze my remaining scones, and plan to take them out one at a time and, per one of her commenter's suggestion, wrap them in foil and heat at 350 until warmed through.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spicy Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Adapted from Sunset Magazine. This was the last recipe I bookmarked before my hard drive crashed. All those bookmarked recipes *poof* are gone now. Sigh...

1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs.)
1 can fat-free evaporated milk plus enough regular milk to make 2 C
1 large jalapeño, stemmed and finely diced (remove seeds if you want less heat)
1 chili in adobo sauce, minced
1/4 C red onions, small dice
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 T canola oil
1 C shredded jack cheese, reserve a handful to top casserole

Poke several holes in skin of squash with a fork and microwave it on high 10 minutes. Squash should be tender when pierced with a fork; if it isn't, microwave on high in 1-minute intervals until tender. Let sit until cool. You can also do this in the oven but it takes 30-40 minutes at 375. When squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the strands out of the skin and onto a large absorbent tea towel. Cover with another tea towel and roll up into a tight cylinder. You want to remove as much moisture as possible or water will form at the bottom of the casserole. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 375. Combine milk and flour with a whisk until smooth, set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add oil, jalapeños and onions and stir. Saute until onions are light brown and fragrant. Add chile and salt; stir. Add milk and flour mixture and whisk constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue whisking until mixture thickens. Add cheese and whisk until smooth and creamy. Add squash and stir until well combined.

Transfer mixture to a buttered 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining jack cheese and bake until bubbling and brown on top, about 30-40 minutes. Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 side dish servings and 6 entree servings (3 Kelly-sized and 3 Michael-sized).

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Adapted from WWs New Complete Cookbook.

1 lb asparagus, woody ends trimmed
1 tsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1.5 C vegetable broth (can substitute chx broth)
1 C water
1-2 tsp fresh thyme
1 C skim milk
2 T flour
S&P to taste

Chop top 4" of asparagus into 1" pieces and set aside. Chop remaining pieces into 1/2" lengths. In a dutch oven or saucepan, heat oil and add onions and garlic, stirring until lightly browned and fragrant. Add 1/2" pieces of asparagus, broth, water and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until asparagus is tender, about 10-15 min depending on the size of your asparagus. Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Return soup to heat.

In a small bowl, combine milk and flour; whisk to combine. Whisk into soup and add reserved asparagus. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow soup to boil. Season with S&P to taste and serve. Makes about 4 servings.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Old fashioned raisin bread -- in the breadmaker

This recipe is for a 2-lb loaf. From "The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook."

1 1/3 c. dark raisins
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 large egg
2 1/2 tbsp. canola oil
3 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
4 c. bread flour
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. gluten
2 tsp. salt
2 3/4 tsp. bread machine yeast

Place raisins in a small bowl to heat in the microwave. Cover with water and heat to boiling. Let stand for 10 minutes to plum, then drain on paper towels.
Place all the ingredients, except the raisins, in the pan according to the order for bread machine. Set crust on medium and set for sweet bread or fruit and nut cycle.
In between knead 1 and knead 2, add the raisins.
When finished, let cool before slicing.

Peasant bread -- in the breadmaker

This recipe is for a 2-lb loaf. From "The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook."

1 1/2 c. water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
4 1/4 c. bread flour
1 tbsp. gluten
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. bread machine yeast

Place all ingredients in the pan according to manufacturer's directions. Set crust on dark and program for french bread cycle.
When baking is finished, allow to cool before slicing.

French toast oatmeal

More oatmeal!
This is the second of the two oatmeal recipes here (the first being the banana nut oatmeal that I made a couple of weeks ago and keep eating like an obsessed woman).
I've adapted it for a few things -- first of which being the microwave, per Alissa's suggestion.

1/2 cup Quaker Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1/2 c. milk
1/2-1/3 cup water
3 teaspoons maple syrup, separated
1 1/2 tablespoons raisins, separated
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
A few shakes cinnamon
A few dashes Kosher salt

In a bowl, combine oatmeal, milk, water, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon raisins, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Heat in microwave for 5 minutes at 50 percent.
Top with remaining raisins. Drizzle with remaining teaspoon syrup.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Black bottom coconut bars

I went into the kitchen to taste these to make sure they were alright, and had to force myself back out of the kitchen after my second "taste" because I was afraid I'd just stand there and eat the whole pan.
When Ernie got home I gave him a taste, and he went into the kitchen specifically for more.
These taste sort of like a brownie with a macaroon on top, and are amazing. And didn't take any time at all to come together.
G -- will definitely put some in your box, if I don't eat them all first.

from Baking Bites

Chocolate Base

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang.
Using a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in microwave. Whisk in sugar and salt. Whisk in egg, then cocoa and flour. Mix until smooth. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. The sides should be beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Set aside to cool.

Coconut Topping

2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut – reserve 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top

Whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour and coconut.
Drop mounds of topping onto chocolate base. Spread and press into base with moistened fingers. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool completely in pan. Then, remove from pan using overhang. Peel off parchment and cut into bars.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Soba and Vegetable Soup & Sushi Rice Salad

Both adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites p. 88 and 146.

For the soup:

4 C vegetable broth
1 piece of kombu
2 cups shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 C leeks, sliced into thin half moons and well rinsed (white part only)
2 t ginger, freshly grated
2 T mirin
1 T soy sauce (I use low-sodium soy)
4 oz. soba noodles
2 C spinach, washed and picked (chop if leaves are large)
2 T white miso
thinly sliced scallions for garnish

Bring veg broth and kombu to a boil over medium heat then lower heat and allow to simmer with lid on pot for 10 minutes. Remove kombu and return to a boil and add shitakes through soy sauce. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until leeks are tender.

In the meantime, prepare soba noodles by bringing a pot of water to a boil and adding noodles. Cook until al dente, about 5 min. Drain and set aside.

When leeks are tender, add spinach and simmer until it is wilted but still bright green. Take a few T of broth and mix it with the miso to make a watery paste. Pour miso mixture into pot and stir. Divide noodles among 4 bowls and ladle over soup. Sprinkle on scallions. Serve with extra soy sauce if desired.

For the rice salad:

1 C brown rice, cook according to pkg directions (or 1 pkg frozen rice from TJs)

1 small carrot, finely diced
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 small cucumber, seeded and finely diced
1 sheet of nori
1 T sesame seeds
1-2 tsp wasabi paste or to taste
2 T or so of mirin
1 T sugar
fat pinch of salt
2 tsp freshly grated ginger

Combine cooked rice and vegetables except nori into a large bowl and set aside. Mix together wasabi, mirin, sugar, salt and ginger and pour over rice and veg; toss to mix. Toast nori and sesame seeds and sprinkle over rice mixture. Serve at room temperature or chilled. If chilling, reserve nori and sesame seeds until serving. Serves 4.

Makes for a nice light yet filling supper and comes together in under 30 minutes if you use frozen rice.

Citrus cornmeal cookies

This is the first of three bookmarked recipes I decided I was going to bake today. I need goodies to take to my brothers-in-law this weekend, and some for us to eat on our trip. Plus some others to mail to a certain someone.
In any case, I changed the citrus of choice from lemon to orange, because I had orange in the house. Orange is really good, I bet lemon will be, too. I'll try that sometime I've got a lemon in the fridge. These are quick to come together, and don't take too long to bake, either. And it only makes about 18 cookies, which means you aren't faced with dozens and dozens of cookies in your kitchen. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Adapted from a Poppytalk recipe

2/3 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c yellow cornmeal
2 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c confectioners (icing) sugar
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
zest from 1 orange
Demerara sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, blend together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the vanilla and lemon zest and mix. In another bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, cornstarch and salt and whisk together. Slowly add in the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture and stir until just combined.
Prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat, and using your hands, pinch off about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Press each ball with a fork and repeat, spacing each cookie about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the undersides of the cookie are slightly golden. Cool on wire racks. Makes 18 cookies.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chicken picadillo

I wrote on my blog earlier this week about how I had been inspired by a blog post I'd read in which the author used one chicken for 17 meals.
I roasted the chicken on Monday, and we each ate some -- 4 meals (3.5 really, Katie doesn't eat that much).
Tonight I made this recipe, which was really quick with leftover chicken -- 4 (3.5) meals. There are at least 2 portions left. We had it with Mexican rice and some black beans (cooked in the slow cooker today).
Tomorrow I'll be using the rest of the chicken for one more recipe -- 4 (3.5) more meals.
I also used the chicken carcass, plus a neck/back bone I had in the freezer, to make about 12 cups of chicken stock in the slow cooker yesterday.
But on with the recipe.

adapted (slightly) from Cooking Light

1 pound chicken
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup bottled salsa (I used some leftover Aunt Kinky's salsa, so I left out the garlic)
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Place chicken in a food processor; pulse until ground.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken, cumin, salt, cinnamon, and garlic. Stir in salsa. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in almonds right before serving.

Mexican rice

H -- I am definitely not leaving Food Goodness! I meant that other blog Gwen and I were writing on for a brief period of time. That's the one I'm abandoning.

Now, on to more important matters. Mexican Rice. So good. And so easy.

This is a Pioneer Woman recipe. I didn't change it that much.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ whole Large Onion, Chopped
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cups Long Grain Rice (I used jasmine, it's what I had in the house)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (I used the mild kind)
1 can Whole Tomatoes (14.5 Ounce)
2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth or more, if needed (I used homemade stock from the chicken I roasted on Monday)
1 teaspoon Cumin (more To Taste)
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
pinch of saffron

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and garlic, then cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add rice and garlic. Stir constantly, making sure the rice doesn’t burn. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Add Rotel and tomatoes. Stir to combine and let cook for 2 minutes. Finally, add broth and saffron and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 additional minutes or until rice is done. Add more liquid as needed; rice shouldn’t be sticky.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Chipotle Portobella Wraps with Oven Fries

Adapted from Ezra Poundcake.

I love portobella mushrooms and I love using chiles in adobo so I bookmarked this recipe right away. It did not disappoint and neither did the fries.

4-5 large portobellas, wiped, stemmed and gills removed
3 to 4 canned chipotle chiles with adobo sauce
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
3 T vegetable oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 slices pepper jack cheese
tomato slices
1-2 avocados, sliced
wrap medium of your choice (I used WW lavash from TJs)
3 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 10 wedges, each

Prepare mushrooms as directed. In a large baking dish, say a 9x13 pyrex, spray with cooking spray and set a side. Score the tops of the mushrooms with a cross-hatch pattern. Place mushrooms cap side up in baking dish, sprinkle with S&P and set aside. In a food processor or blender, mix chiles thru oil until a paste is formed. Spread an even amount of chipotle marinade on top of caps and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. *Note, this makes for spicy mushrooms so it may not be a good choice for those who are spicy heat intolerant.

Preheat oven to 475. You can do double duty and bake the fries and the mushrooms in the oven at the same time. The mushrooms will be done first but will remain hot as they rest in the dish until it's time to put everything together. For the oven fry recipe, see Annie's post which is the recipe from Cook's Illustrated. No need to re-type everything when she's already done it for me. These made outstanding oven fries and I will make these again for sure.

When the mushrooms are done and the fries are ready, prepare your wraps. It only takes a moment to put these together. Slice your mushrooms into strips and place on wrap/bun/tortilla/whatever. Top with cheese, tomato slices and avocado. Roll up and secure with toothpicks and serve. We had enough for leftovers since the recipe serves 4. To reheat, you can simply do the mushrooms in the microwave. As for the fries, you can bring them back to near perfection by preheating the oven to 400 and putting the fries on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray. I'm not sure how long it took the fries to get hot but probably 5-10 minutes. They were so good that I can't wait to make them again.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Corn Chowder

Adapted from: Mollie Katzen

I had a big bag of corn that I had cut off the cob and frozen during the summer, and this is what I made with it tonight. I had to taste and adjust the ingredients at the end to get the flavor and consistency the way I wanted, so you might have to play with it a bit. I ended up adding more milk, more butter, and a spoonful of sugar. I also added 2 bay leaves to the potatoes while they were simmering (remove before pureeing). If you have the corn cobs, you can add them to the soup as it simmers and remove before pureeing.

Mollie says it is also good with a bag of frozen corn if you don't have fresh in-season corn.

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small (about 2 cups diced)
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 medium stalk celery, finely minced
1 small red bell pepper, finely minced (I omitted)
5 cups (approximately 4 to 5 cobs' worth) fresh sweet corn
White pepper to taste (I used fresh ground black pepper)
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil, or more, to taste
1 cup milk, at room temperature, lowfat OK (I used more milk than this at the end)
[~1 Tbsp sugar if the final product isn't sweet enough - depends on your corn]

1. Place the potatoes and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender. Set aside, including cooking water.
2. Melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add the onion, thyme, and salt, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring. After about 5 minutes, add celery. Five minutes later add the cooked potatoes with all their liquid, the red bell pepper, the corn, and a few shakes of white pepper. Stir well, cover, and reduce heat. Cook quietly for about 5 minutes longer.
3. Using a blender or food processor, purée about half the solids (about 2 to 3 cups--it doesn't have to be exact!) in some of the soup's own liquid. Return this to the kettle, and let it rest until serving time (I used an immersion blender).
4. Stir in the basil and milk about 10 minutes before serving time. Don't actually cook the soup any further; simply heat it--gently!-- until it's hot enough to eat. Adjust seasonings before serving. Serve immediately.

Citrus Cornmeal Cake

Adapted from Martha Stewart. I made this cake with orange juice and zest but you could easily swap out orange for the citrus of your choice. Lemon would also be quite tasty. This cake is amazing, really, and is so easy. I made it on the fly when a friend was unexpectedly joining us for dinner. He liked it so much that I sent him home with a large piece to eat for breakfast the next day.

1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar, plus 1/3 cup for topping (I used demerara for the topping)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
cooking spray
whipped cream and orange slices (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan with oil; line bottom with a round of wax or parchment paper, and brush paper with oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, 1 cup sugar, and OJ until smooth. Add flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and orange zest; whisk gently to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1/3 cup sugar (topping will be thick). Bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool in pan 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake; invert cake gently onto a plate, and remove parchment paper. Reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely. Serve with orange segments and whipped cream. I "supreme-d" my orange slices and they looked so pretty with the cake. Serves 8. This cake keeps well if wrapped tightly in foil to prevent it from drying out. So, so good.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Chewy granola bars

I made these yesterday, and between the ones I sent home with my Nana today, the ones Ernie took to work, and the ones Katie and I ate this morning, I'm going to need to make more soon.
Yum. That is all. I'll never buy granola bars in the store again, because these were super easy, and so good.

adapted (slightly) from Smitten Kitchen (of course)

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use more for a sweetness akin to most purchased bars; use less for a mildly sweet bar -- my note: I used a little more than 1/2 and they were perfectly sweet. I'm going to cut it down a little next time)
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (you could use kosher or regular, I guess, but I like the way you get a little bit of salt with your sweet)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups dried fruits and nut
1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter (optional) (I used peanut butter, but will be getting some almond or cashew butter to try soon)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter (you could use fake butter, G, or some canola oil)
1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup (I used honey)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.
Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap can help with this, as you press down on the back of it.)
Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.
Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. (Alternately, after about 20 minutes you can use your parchment “sling” to lift and remove the bars, and place them in their paper on the rack to cool the rest of the way. This can speed the process up.)
Once cool, a serrated knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars into squares. [Updating to note, as many had crumbling issues:] If bars seem crumbly, chill the pan of them further in the fridge for 30 minutes which will fully set the “glue”, then cut them cold. To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an airtight container. In humid weather, it’s best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

*Suggestions: Dried cranberries, apricots, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, walnuts, sesame seeds, pepitas, dried apples or even chocolate chips. My mix: 1/2 cup wheat germ, 1 cup dried cherries, 1 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes. Because my pieces were all pretty coarse, I pulsed them in the food processor a few times to break it up a little, though this isn’t necessary if you don’t mind yours chunkier. (I used 1/3 c. wheat germ, 1/3 c. sweetened coconut, 1/3 c. pepitas, 1/3 c. pecans, 2/3 c. cranberries and the rest diced dried fruit. Mine equaled 3 1/3 cups, because of the wheat germ)