Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mmmm Lazy Lemon Bars

I'm a pretty lazy cook.  If I can do it more easily, I'll do it.  And this is really easy.  It's from the "Smitten Kitchen" cookbook.

Whole Lemon Bars

Crust

1 c flour
1/3 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, cut into chunks


Filling

1 small to medium size lemon
1 1/3 c sugar
1 stick butter, cut into chunks
4 eggs
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Line pan with parchment, butter the parchment well.  

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in the food process.  Add the butter and process until it's the texture of crumbs that hold together when pressed.  Press the crust into the pan and prick with fork.  Bake approx 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Cut the lemon into slices 1/4" thick.  Remove the seeds.  If the rind is less than 1/4" thick, use the entire rind.  If it's 1/4" or more, remove the pith from half of the lemon although it's nice to keep the zest.   Put the lemon slices and the sugar into the food processor and puree until it's smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour the filling over the hot crust.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling is set and the top is lightly browned.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Rugelach

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, rugelach!  My timing isn't the greatest but mmm, this stuff is.

This is from the "Smitten Kitchen Cookbook" by Deb Perelman.  I've read her blog for years and my neighbor just lent me the cook book.  I modified a bit.

Alex's Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach

Dough

2 sticks butter, room temp
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/2 tsp salt
2 c flour

Cream the butter and cream cheese.  Add salt and flour.  Chill at least 2 hours, up to 3 days.


Fillings

2/3 c raspberry jam
2/3 c sugar
1 T cinnamon
1/2 c finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
3 T pecans toasted and finely chopped (I didn't bother with nuts)

Mix cinnamon and sugar.  Bring the jam to a boil to loosen it up.


Assembly

Cut dough into 6 equal pieces and roll into balls.  Keep two out.  Roll each into a circle about 8 or 9" in diameter.  Spread with a thin layer of jam, about 2-3T.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and some of the chocolate.  Tap down with waxed paper to keep the fillings in as you roll.

Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 12 pizza  slice shaped slices.  Roll up each piece, beginning at the wide end.  Place on a parchment paper lined sheet.    Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Place the rolled cookies in the freezer for 15 minutes.


Glaze

1 large egg yolk
1 tsp water

Additional cinnamon sugar

Brush each with egg yolk, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Remove promptly from the parchment to cooling racks.

Try not to eat too many of them!



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chickpea stew


 I took this to a pot luck and people really liked it...

Ingredients
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • cayenne to taste (I used a sprinkle)
  •  1 tsp paprika
  • 3 peeled tomatoes, diced
  • 1 lb chickpeas, cooked
  • Water or chickpea cooking water 
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 oz baby spinach


Directions

Saute the onions, add spices and saute for about a minute.   Add remaining ingredients except the spinach.  Cook for about 45 minutes, add the spinach at the last minute.
 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Indian Touch

I really like Indian food but haven't cooked it because, well, I don't really know the herbs and spices used so I have a hard time looking at a recipe and trying to figure out if it'll be any good. So I cheated a bit and picked up a cookbook at the library, one that looked simple and showed pictures of the ingredients. It is "Pure & Simple Homemade Indian Vegetarian Cuisine" by Vidhu Mittal. I've made a couple of things and what I've discovered is that I love the combination of cumin and tumeric. I've been making variations of this recipe, basically swapping out the peas for whatever vegetables I might have floating around the house and have had generally good results...with modifications of course. First, the modifications. I cook the rice first, not completely, but enough that I'm not tapping my foot and waiting for the dish to be done. Let's say about 2/3 of the way done. And I add the peas near the end because the first time I made them they turned that horrible shade of green I associate with canned peas.

Mixed Vegetable Pilaf

1 c brown basmati rice, cooked about 2/3 of the way through
2 potatoes, medium size, cut into cubes
1 c cauliflower
1 c green peas
1 T ghee
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp tumeric
About a cup of water
1 1/2 tsp salt

Heat ghee in a pan on medium heat for about 30 seconds, add cumin seeds and tumeric.  Add potatoes and cauliflower.  Cook for a minute.  

Add water and salt.  Bring to a boil and cook, covered, until the potatoes are soft.  Add the rice and additional water if needed.  Add peas.  Cook until rice is tender.


Double White Chocolate and Pretzel Peanut Butter Cookies…with Sea Salt

Double White Chocolate and Pretzel Peanut Butter Cookies…with Sea Salt

1 stick softened butter, 8 tablespoons
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup white chocolate chips, to melt
1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter (reserve 2 tablespoons to add to melting white chips)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup broken pretzel pieces
1 Cup additional white chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Melt white chocolate chips and 2 Tablespoons peanut butter over a double boiler until melted. Add melted chocolate chips and remaining peanut butter to beaten butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla.
2. Place flour, baking soda and salt in bowl; mix to combine. Add to wet ingredients until just combined then pour in pretzels and additional white chocolate chips. With a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. With the palms of your hand, gently press down each cookie to about 1/2 inch in thickness. Sprinkle each cookie with a touch of sea salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges become golden and slightly crisp. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet before removing.
3 dozen cookies

From: http://picky-palate.com/2011/02/10/double-white-chocolate-and-pretzel-peanut-butter-pretzel-cookies-with-sea-salt/

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mmmm, cookies!

Not just any cookies, fancy time consuming checkerboard cookies!

I used to subscribe to "Fine Cooking" magazine and one year they had a spread on Christmas cookies. I saw the checkerboard cookies and really wanted to give it a try myself. They were time consuming to make but turned out very well. The problem with the recipe the way it was written is that there is chocolate cookie dough left when you're done, a waste of perfectly good cookie dough. I knew I could take care of that problem.

The checkerboards in the recipe are a 3x3 configuration as such:My solution to the problem was to turn them into 4x4 squares instead of the 3x3 squares. It worked! I ended up with logs of dough that looked like this:



Slice and bake!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A very happy mishap

I like shepards pie. It's easy to like with all those lovely mashed potatoes, ground beef, and corn. I have a bunch of freshly dug potatoes as our potatoes grew very well this year so shepards pie seemed to be a perfect Sunday dinner of comfort food with friends.

Alas, I had no ground beef, just ground turkey which, let's be honest, doesn't have a lot of flavor. And I had a few leeks from the garden that were getting a little old and it's not acceptable to waste leeks! So I did what I often do, I improvised. This creation turned into a dinner that was addictive, none of us could stop eating. So while it was bad for the waistline, it was terrific for the tastebuds.

Luckily, or unluckily, it made a huge batch and I froze some for a future dinner.


Potato Leek Shepards Pie

Amounts are approximate

1 lb ground turkey
1 large diced onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Seasoned salt to taste

3 leeks, cleaned and sliced thin
4 tbl butter

About 2 oz cream cheese

Milk


About 2 lbs potatoes, peeled, cooked, and mashed
salt and pepper to taste

Frozen corn

Grated cheddar cheese

Brown the meat with the onions and garlic and season it to taste. Sautee the leeks in the butter until soft and sweet. Use an imersion blender to mix the leeks, butter, some milk and the cream cheese. Stir the leek mixture into the mashed potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Put the meat mixture into a casserole dish, layer corn on that, then top with mashed potatoes, and grated cheese. Bake at 400 until the cheese is melted and the dish is hot, about 30 minutes.

Try not to eat too much.