Friday, December 31, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Orangette, who adapted it from Casa Moro
Yield: 4 servings
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons olive oil
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.
3. Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.
4. To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Either add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully, or you could serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Serve immediately.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I found this particular chocolate crinkle cookie recipe in a 2008 National Public Radio article on making the perfect chocolate crinkle cookie by utilizing science. The cookies are rolled in plain sugar first, and then the confections' sugar so that the cookie does not soak up to much sugar and more stays on the surface. (Creating that dreamy snow covered appearance). The corn syrup and oil work to prevent crystallization and grease the flour proteins in order to produce a soft gooey chocolate center.
Makes 3 to 5 dozen, depending on size
- 1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8.2 oz/232 g) spooned and leveled bleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 g) baking powder
½ teaspoon (3 g) salt
8 ounces (227 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 3/4 cups (19.3 oz/547 g) sugar, divided
1/3 cup (79 ml) canola oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) light corn syrup
2 large eggs (3.5 oz/99 g)
1 large egg yolk (0.65 oz/18 g)
1 teaspoon (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon peppermint extract
1 cup (4 oz/120 g) confectioner'' sugar
1. In a medium bowl, beat together well the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on 50 percent power for 1 minute, stir, and microwave for 15 seconds more and stir.
3. In a large bowl beat together 2 1/2 cups (17.5 oz/496 g) of the sugar, the oil, and corn syrup to blend. Beat in the eggs, egg yolk and vanilla. Then slowly beat in the melted chocolate. Add the flour mixture and beat in slowly
4. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F/163 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Take out about one-quarter of the dough at a time to shape. Roll the dough into 1 1/2 to 2-inch (3.8 to 5 cm) balls. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup (1.8 oz/51 g) granulated sugar into one bowl and the confectioners' sugar in another bowl. Roll each cookie dough ball lightly in granulated sugar first, then very heavily in confectioners' sugar. (By rolling in plain sugar first, the confectioners' sugar does not soak in so much and stays on the surface better.)
7. Arrange cookies 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the foil. For crisp cookies, bake 12 to 14 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Monday, December 6, 2010
I like to categorize these little cranberries morsels as a "dessert appetizer". They are one of my favorite things to do with cranberries and they are so beautiful to have on a table. I made them for Thanksgiving this year and just to have around during the holidays last year. Yes, they do use an a lot of sugar, but it is a cranberry dish and cranberries need sugar. Plus think of all of the antioxidants, they must counter some of the sugar out ;)
Sparkling Cranberries adapted from 101 Cookbooks
2 cups cranberries, picked over
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
More sugar for coating
1. Place the cranberries in a medium glass bowl and set aside.
2. Make a simple syrup by bringing the water and sugar just to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Let the syrup cool for a couple minutes and then pour it over the cranberries. If the syrup is too hot the cranberries will burst, so be careful. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. The next day, drain the cranberries and toss them with larger grained sugar until they are well coated. I only use a scoop of sugar at a time, and small batches of cranberries, so the sugar doesn't get too damp. Place the coated cranberries on a baking sheet to dry for a few hours.
4. Do a second toss with the regular granulated sugar, this typically takes care of any sticky spots on the cranberries. Let dry another hour.
Makes 2 cups of sparkling cranberries.