Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jicama, Cucumber, and Pineapple Salad (Pico de Gallo)

  • 1 pound peeled jicama
  • 1 rinsed cucumber (12 oz.)
  • 1 pound peeled and cored fresh pineappple
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika or ground ancho chile

1. Cut jicama, cucumber, and pineapple into sticks or slices about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. Arrange on a platter. Squeeze lime over vegetables and fruit.

2. In a small bowl, mix cayenne, paprika (or ground dried ancho chile), and salt. Sprinkle half the mixture over vegetables and fruit. Offer lime wedges and remaining chile salt to add to taste.

from Sunset

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend Apple Pancake

  • 2 large or 3 medium apples, preferably Granny Smith
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, fresh ground if possible
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat the oven to 400°F. Peel and slice the apples; you should have about 3 cups. Mix the fresh cinnamon, ginger and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

In the oven, or over a burner, melt the butter in an 8x8" pan or a deep cast iron skillet, tilting to coat the bottom and sides with melted butter. Add the brown sugar to the butter in the bottom of pan. Spread the apples on top of the sugar and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the apples. Put the pan back in the oven to start the apples cooking.

Beat the eggs until foamy with a whisk or eggbeater. Fold in the flour, salt, and sugar gradually while mixing. Add milk and vanilla and beat just until smooth. Let rest for a couple minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and pour the batter over the apples. Sprinkle more cinnamon or cinnamon sugar on top if desired. Bake for about 20 more minutes or until center is set and sides are lightly browned. If the top browns before the center sets, tent with foil for the duration of the baking. The pancake will puff up dramatically but fall after you take it out of the oven.

Serve with powdered sugar or more cinnamon sugar.

serves 3-4

From Apartment Therapy

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rockport Breakfast Menu

  • Cranberry-Orange Spritzers
  • Cranberry-Pecan Hotcakes with Caramel-Rum Sauce
  • Firecracker Bacon

Applejack Baked Apples with Ricotta Cream

For the Ricotta Cream:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier

For the Apples:

  • 6 large apples, such as Gravenstein, Ida Red, or Northern Spy
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup (5.5 ounces) cropped almonds
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon applejack or other apple brandy (can substitute sweet apple cider)

1. To make the Ricotta Cream, place the ricotta, sugar, cream, and liqueur in a small bowl and stir until well blended and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Wash the apples well and core, but do not peel. Scoop out enough of the center to leave a 1-inch space that does not extend through to the bottom of the apple.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the dried cranberries, almonds, brown sugar, and butter until well blended. Place 1 tablespoon of the cranberry mixture in the cavity of each apple. Place the apples in a 9-inch glass pie plate and pour 1/2 cup of the applejack around the apples. Add water so that the liquid comes about 1 inch up the sides of the apples. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of applejack evenly over the filling in the apples. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the apples are tender.

4. Serve warm or cold, topped with a generous dollop of Ricotta Cream.

Serves 6

From The New England Table

Firecracker Bacon

Rub thick slab bacon with a blend of 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne. Bake on a rack (over a foil-lined cookie sheet) at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Cranberry-Pecan Hotcakes with Caramel-Rum Sauce

Both the sauce and batter (without the pecans and cranberries) may be prepared the night before.

For the Caramel-Rum Sauce

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Hotcakes

  • 1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) pecans
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. To make the caramel sauce, place the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a 2-quart saucepan. Place over high heat and stir just until the sugar dissolves. Bring the syrup to a rapid boil, then cook without stirring until the syrup turns a deep amber color, 12 to 15 minutes. Do not let the syrup burn. Remove it from the heat and stir in the butter, bit by bit, then add the cream, rum, and vanilla. Set aside and let cool slightly. (Leftover sauce will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.)

2. To make the hotcakes, place the cranberries, pecans, and sugar in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon into a medium bowl. In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat together until very well combined. Fold in the cranberry mixture.

3. Heat a large griddle over medium heat and grease it with 2 tablespoons of the butter, reserving the rest to regrease the pan for subsequent hotcakes, if necessary.

4. Drop the batter by 1/4-cup portions onto the hot griddle or skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bottoms are well browned. Flip the hotcakes and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve immediately with the warm sauce. You can keep the cooked hotcakes warm in a single layer on a baking sheet, covered with foil, in a 200-degree oven.

Makes 15 hotcakes

From The New England Table

Cranberry-Orange Spritzers

  • Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Sparkling water
  • Fresh mint (optional)

To make the spritzers, stir together 2 parts orange juice, 2 parts cranberry juice, and 1 part sparkling water. Pour over ice and garnish with a sprig of mint, if desired.

Adapted from The New England Table

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pinto Bean and Zucchini Hummus

  • 1 cup dried pinto beans
  • 5 or 6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4 or 5 whole dried red chilies
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons whole fat yogurt
  • juice from one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Rinse the pinto beans and soak overnight in several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. Drain the beans and add to a medium saucepan. Cover with several inches of fresh water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are soft. Drain.

Meanwhile, cover the sun-dried tomatoes and dried red chilies with hot water in a small bowl and soak for 20 minutes. Drain.

Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, chilies, zucchini, garlic, tahini, yogurt and lemon juice in a small bowl. In a food processor, blend with the beans, olive oil and salt until smooth. If necessary, process the mixture in batches. Serve with flatbreads, pitas, crackers or vegetables.

Makes approximately 3 cups of hummus.

from Lisa's Kitchen: Vegetarian Recipes

NOTES: Tried 1/10: meh

What to Do with Pinto Beans

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Use pinto beans in chili recipes in place of kidney beans.

Blend together pinto beans with sage, oregano, garlic and black pepper for a delicious spread that can be used as a crudité dip or sandwich filling.

Layer cooked pinto beans, chopped tomatoes and onions and shredded cheese on a tortilla. Broil in the oven until hot and cheese melts. Top with chopped avocado and cilantro.

Add pinto beans to vegetable soups.

Heat pinto beans together with cooked rice. Add cooked chopped vegetables such as carrots, zucchini and tomatoes. Season to taste and enjoy this simple-to-prepare one pot meal.

from The World's Healthiest Foods

Butterscotch Pudding

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, not ultra-pasteurized
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk (or 2 cups half & half)
  • 5 oz. dark brown sugar
  • 1.5 oz. unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 splash vanilla extract

In a heavy bottomed stainless steel sauce pan melt butter over low heat and add brown sugar. With a wooden spoon stir in well to incorporate. Cook for at least 10 minutes, stirring infrequently. Add salt.

Meanwhile combine dairy and warm up, but do not let boil.

Whisk egg and yolks together in mid sized bowl.

Sift cornstarch and sugar into another mid sized bowl. If it looks like you lost some cornstarch in the process, add a little more. Cornstarch absorbs moisture and loves to stick to everything! Whisk to combine these and make a "well" in the center.

When brown sugar/butter has been on the stove for a bit, add dairy and whisk to smooth out. When this mixture is hot to the touch, shut off heat.

OK. Now you are making a liaison. You need to get the eggs and cornstarch into the mixture, but evenly and delicately. The Instruction I am about to give is the best way to make any stove-top pudding, the most popular being pastry cream.

Using a ladle, lift a small amount (betw 2-4 oz) of the hot liquid and pour it directly in the middle of the cornstarch "well." Using a small whisk, whisk this mixture in tight concentric circles from the middle out. You want a smooth, loose paste. If you have not put in enough, or put in too much liquid you will get clumps. When you have your unlumpy mixture, ladle in a little more liquid and do the same again.

Now ladle, while whisking, some liquid into the beaten egg bowl. This step is not nearly as delicate a matter as the previous step. Again, you want to warm up the egg mixture, turning the bowl into warm-hot eggy liquid.

Whisk eggy liquid into cornstarchy liquid. Incorporate as much as possible. Pour this into the pot. Whisk to incorporate. If you notice a lot of any kind of lump, pass this mixture through a fine meshed sieve.

Put pot back on stove over medium heat. Whisk continuously and violently. Try to whisk at all sorts of angles so that the whisk bottom makes it into the "corners" of the pot. If you are not breaking a sweat or getting sore, you may not be whisking hard enough. Pain = Pleasure

Whisk until custard thickens and "comes to boil." I put this in quotes because once custard gets thick, these bubbles are hard to see. When it starts to get thick, stop to see if bubbles are rising to the surface. The sound they'll make is "Gloop."

Take off heat and add in vanilla extract. Taste. Does it taste like butterscotch? Does it need more vanilla extract? Salt? Not sure & don't want to ruin the whole batch finding out? Take a small amount out, put in a bowl and experiment on that.

Spoon into bowls. Chill, and unless you like custard skin, press plastic wrap right to the surface. Of course you can always eat it warm too. MMMmmmmmmmmm.

I like to garnish my butterscotch pudding with toasted pecans. But many things would be complementary. Coconut cream is nice, a la Claudia Fleming. Or praline. Whipped cream, for the added opulence, or straight out of the pot like you know you want to!

from eggbeater

Ricotta Honey Crostini

Toast some whole grain-type bread. Butter it (yes, butter) while hot. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with really good honey, then top with ricotta and drizzle with more honey. Variation: add sliced banana.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Barley Casserole

  • 4-5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth

1. Melt the butter and sauté the onions and mushrooms until soft. Add the barley and brown it lightly. Pour into a buttered casserole. Before you pour the broth over the barley, taste the broth for seasoning. If it has enough, the casserole will need not additional salt or pepper.

2. Pour 1 cup of broth over the barley in the casserole and cover. Bake in a 350° oven for 25 to 30 minutes and then uncover and add the second cup of broth. Cover and continue cooking until the liquid is absorbed and the barley is done (i.e. soft and a little chewy), about another 30 minutes.

- serves 4 -

Adapted from The James Beard Cookbook by James Beard.