Sunday, July 25, 2010

Martha's Peach Crumble

From: Mad About Martha

I would say this probably makes about 6 servings. I thought it was really delicious, but I also think that next time I might cut back on the butter and sugar for the topping - there was quite a bit of topping and, while it was really delicious, it would still be good with a bit less.

8 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced (I used 10 because my peaches were smallish)
Juice of 1 lemon
Large pinch of ground cinnamon
Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into thin pieces
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats (I used old-fashioned and it was fine)
Heavy cream (optional) (I served with vanilla yogurt)

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Arrange the peach slices in a buttered shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with the lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. With your fingers, blend the butter into the flour-sugar mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the oats and sprinkle the mixture on top of the sliced peaches. Bake until the peaches are soft and the topping is brown, about 25 minutes.

Serve warm with fresh or whipped cream, if desired. [or ice cream or yogurt]

Saturday, July 24, 2010

1000th post!!!

Check my counting, cooks; I think Alissa's Baked Kale Chips were our thousandth post on Food Goodness!!

I will send a goodie in the mail this week!

White Gazpacho Recipe

Gwen and I were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over Elise's recipe on g-chat recently and I finally made it for a dinner guest last night. I exclaimed "mmmm!!" when I tasted a spoonful straight from the food processor. Easy, delicious, nutritious, cooling...what more could you ask for?

>>

The recipe calls for stale bread because this soup is an excellent use of old bread that is too hard to eat. Sometimes when we buy freshly baked bread we don't eat it all, and the leftovers get dry and hard within days. We keep the bread to make bread crumbs. So, this is what you would typically use. If you don't have any old bread lying around, you can use white bread, with the crusts removed. Use a good quality white bread, such as a French or Italian loaf.

Ingredients

2 cups of crustless stale bread, broken into pieces [half of a baguette worked perfectly and now I will make another batch tomorrow with second half of loaf!]
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup slivered blanched almonds (must be blanched, the skins are bitter)
2 cups green seedless grapes, sliced in half
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1-3 chopped garlic cloves (depending on how garlicky you want the result to be)
2-3 Tbsp sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Chives for garnish

Method

1 Heat the stock until it's steamy. Turn off the heat and add to the stock the broken up pieces of stale bread. Let cool.

2 Put the almonds, salt and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are pulverized. Add the soaked bread and any stock that was not absorbed by the bread into the food processor, then add the grapes and cucumbers. Pulse until the mixture is a rough purée.

3 Add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and pulse a few seconds to combine. Taste and add the other tablespoon if it needs it – grapes can sometimes be acidic enough to leave out the final tablespoon of vinegar.

4 With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Turn off the motor and taste the gazpacho. Add more salt if needed.

Chill before serving, garnish with chopped chives.

Serves 6-8.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spaghetti with Zucchini, Walnuts, and Raisins

from Real Simple

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Serves 4


12 ounces spaghetti (3⁄4 box)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup walnut halves, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds small zucchini (4 to 5), cut into thin half-moons
3/4 cup raisins
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)


Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, about 1 minute.

Add the zucchini and raisins to the skillet, season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until the zucchini is just tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the zucchini mixture to the pasta and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the Parmesan before serving.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cheddar Chicken

from Real Simple, May 2010, page 242

The Ritz crackers make the crust nice and crispy. I don't think it would reheat well, but that's just a guess on my part.

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves 4

16 buttery crackers (such as Ritz), crushed (about 3/4 cup)
6 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
kosher salt and black pepper
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Heat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine the crackers, cheese, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Dip the chicken in the butter, then in the cracker mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. (Note from Becky: don't forget the foil! The chicken stuck to the foil; I can't imagine scraping it off a pan.)

Sprinkle any remaining cracker mixture on the chicken and drizzle with any remaining butter. Bake until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Lemon cheesecake bars

This is Ernie's nirvana -- a cross between a cheesecake and a lemon square.

I adapted this from a recipe on Cookie Madness -- basically, I doubled the filling because it seemed to need more filling. And I didn't bother with the sour cream/whipped cream topping. I bet it's good, I just didn't bother. This would be really good with a blueberry compote on top. Maybe next time.

Shortbread Crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 scant teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter

Filling:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 packed teaspoon lemon zest
2 large egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, powdered sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl or bowl of food processor. Cut in butter with pastry blender or use the food processor and pulse until crumbly. Press into 8 inch pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Combine cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the evaporated milk, then stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat just until smooth (do not overbeat after adding the egg). Stir in the flour. Alternately, you can do this in the food processor or in a blender.
Pour mixture over crust and bake for an additional 15 minute or until set. Cool in pan set on a wire rack. Chill until very cold.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

gooseberry crumble

Made with gooseberries bought at Hefk's Baltimore farmer's market this morning! I wasn't exactly sure what to do with them, but this non-recipe recipe (based on some weird old Gordon Ramsay recipe; is he British?) made it worthwhile to turn on the oven for the first time this summer.

A pound or so of gooseberries; I didn't have that many and augmented with elderly apricots and frozen blueberries

Enough sugar to make the fruit sweet, and it's more than you think you need, because those gooseberries are tart little guys

Old stale granola

A little more sugar

Cinnamon and nutmeg

Butter or Earth Balance or whatever

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a saucepan, mix together fruit and sugar and stir on medium heat, until everything is saucy and delicious. Pour into a loaf pan.

In a bowl, mix together the granola, about another T of sugar, and the spices. Spread evenly over the top and dot with butter substance of your choice.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and topping is brown. Serve with something creamy on top; I used Greek yogurt with some agave syrup.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Enchiladas two ways

by two of our favorite ladies...

I made Sandwiches' version last night and I like several things about it. I love the gravy texture and flavor - smoky, spicy and smooth. I also love the chopped onions in the filling that cook only slightly in the oven. flavah!

I did a couple things differently to suit my whims. I didn't fry each tortilla, I filled and rolled them as-is and then served the dish with tortilla chips to crumble on the top for the missing crunch. I schmeared a layer of refried beans on the tortilla before sprinkling on the cheese and onions. I also think the oil in the gravy nicely crisps the baked edges that stick up out of the sauce. I also added a can of Rotel to the gravy to get some tomatoes in there and stretched the gravy over 12 enchies. After baking, I served portions over chopped lettuce, sour cream and PW's restaurante salsa. (I'm getting so chubby, but at least I'm happy at dinnertime!)


tex-mex cheese enchiladas
(Recipe adapted from Homesick Texan)

for the chili gravy
1/4 c canola oil)
1/4 c flour
1 t garlic powder
2 t ground cumin
1/2 t dried oregano
1/4 t dried chipotle
2 T chile powder
2 c vegetable broth (or water)
1 t habanero hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce), optional

In a medium-sized pot, heat up oil over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the flour mixture browns, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle and chili powder and cook for another minute, all the while stirring like the dickens. Add in broth and turn heat to low, whisking sauce to smooth out any lumps. Let the sauce simmer and thicken. If the sauce gets too thick, add in a bit of water and whisk.

for the cheese enchiladas
1/2 t vegetable oil
8 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
One small onion, diced
2 cups chili gravy

Preheat oven to 450F. Brush a small skillet with vegetable oil and heat each corn tortilla on both sides until pliable and warm. Set aside, keeping them wrapped in a clean tea towel until they are all finished.

Mix together the cheese and onions into a medium-sized bowl. Pour half a cup of the gravy into the bottom of a square baking pan. Assemble the enchiladas by putting a handful of cheese and onions into the centre of the corn tortilla and bringing the edges together so they overlap. Place each rolled tortilla into the baking pan seam-side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour the gravy over the enchiladas and sprinkle any remaining cheese & onions over top. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese has melted. Makes 8 enchiladas.




and now for Elise's...

I like this one when I want a very tomatoey sauce. I make hers as specified, but pull my refried bean trick on these too b/c I'm so hungry!

Enchiladas Recipe

A note about the tortillas. The corn tortillas must be softened before they are rolled and baked in the casserole. Frying them gently in a little oil greatly enhances the flavor of the tortillas. [She's right, but it's time and fat and sometimes I need more time and less fat]

Ingredients

Grapeseed oil (or another high smoke-point oil such as peanut or canola oil)
12 corn tortillas
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup of salsa (Mild prepared salsa or make your own using cooked or canned tomatoes, roasted green chiles, onions, cilantro, oil and vinegar. Do not use salsa made with fresh, uncooked tomatoes for this dish.)
3 Tbsp of tomato paste
1 cup water
1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
Olive oil
1 lb of jack cheese, mild cheddar or longhorn or any mild yellow cheese, grated
A handful of cilantro
1 cup of sour cream
Half a head of iceberg lettuce [Elise loves iceberg, but any wide stemmed, crunchy lettuce will do.]

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 In a large fry pan at high heat add 3 Tbsp of grapeseed oil. Add a tortilla to the pan. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift up the tortilla with a spatula, add another tortilla underneath. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift again, both tortillas, and add another tortilla underneath. Repeat the process with all the tortillas, adding a little more oil if needed. This way you can brown and soften the tortillas without using a lot of fat. You do this process to develop the flavor of the tortillas. As the tortillas brown a little, remove from the pan one by one to rest on a paper towel, which absorbs any excess fat.

2 Sauté up the chopped onion and garlic, then turn off the heat. Add 1 cup of salsa. Dissolve 3 Tbsp of tomato paste into 1 cup of water, add to pan. Add 1 cup of crushed fire roasted canned tomatoes. Taste. If the sauce tastes too vinegary, add a teaspoon of sugar.

3 Put some olive oil on the bottom of a large casserole pan. Take a tortilla, cover 2/3 of it lightly with the shredded cheese, then roll up the tortilla and place it in the casserole pan. Continue until all tortillas are filled and rolled. Add sauce to the top of the tortillas in the the casserole pan. Make sure all are covered with the sauce. If not, add a little water. Cover the whole thing with the rest of the grated cheese. Put the casserole in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.

4 Garnish with cilantro and sour cream. Serve with sliced iceberg lettuce that has been dressed only with vinegar and salt. See Perfect Guacamole for a great guacamole avocado side dish. [I haven't made the guac for this recipe, but it sounds delightful!]

Serves 4.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Zucchini and Summer Squash Saute

'Tis the season for zukes and summer squash. Adapted from Nigella's Forever Summer.

6 medium zukes and summer squashes, thinly sliced or cut into ribbons
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C pine nuts, toasted
1/4 C golden raisins
1/4 C feta cheese, crumbled
S&P to taste

I used my fancy new food processor to slice my squashes. It makes for perfectly sized slices so everything cooks at the same time. In a large pan, add olive oil and onions and cook over medium heat until onions are soft and starting to turn golden in color. Add garlic and stir. Add squash rounds and raisins and stir until slices are well coated in oil (add more if need be). Allow to cook, stirring periodically, until squash starts to wilt a bit and some pieces become a bit browned. You want the squash to cook a bit but you don't want it overly mushy. When reached desired doneness, season to taste with S&P and add pine nuts and feta. Serves 4 as a main entree with salad or other veg (or meat for that matter).

As an alternative, you could cut the squash into thick rounds and grill and then combine with remaining ingredients and serve as a sort of roasted veg salad. I would still saute the onions and raisins but otherwise it would be very tasty and I love the pretty grill marks you get when you grill out.

Chocolate Chip & Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles

Um...is that title long enough, you think?

I really changed very little from Joy's original recipe save this:

*use peanut butter in lieu of the yogurt (I used natural)
*use half peanut butter chips and half chocolate chips for the cookie dough

It's peanut butter-y and chocolate-y and so delicious. OMG, yum. Anyway, a great "no bake" treat for the hot days of summer. Also, I'm hoping to score a few brownie points at my new job.

Note: I made smaller balls and did them more like truffles instead of sticking forks in them and dipping them only halfway into the chocolate. I used a small cookie scoop to help me portion them out into about 24 tablespoon-sized truffles. I say "about" because I conducted a couple of quality assurance tests along the way to ensure the integrity of the final product.