Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
















Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter – room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 egg white, whipped but not stiff peaks
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan

In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in beaten eggs and bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture, stir just to moisten. Fold in chocolate chips until mixed and then fold in whipped egg white. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of cake.

Banana Topping
Melt ½ cup butter, ½ cup brown sugar & 1 tsp vanilla on stove. Add in chopped bananas. Stir about 1 minute then serve over Choc. Chip Banana Bread.

*** There are a few tricks I do for this recipe that I won't reveal because they are secret but if you follow the recipe above you'll still have a delicious dessert.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lima Bean Soup w/ Spicy Tempura Fried Leeks
















Ingredients:

4 Cloves of Garlic – Chopped
2 Celery Stalks – Diced
2 Carrots – Diced
1 Large Red Onion – Diced
1 Small Russet Potato – Peeled & Finely Diced
2 20 oz bags of Lima Beans – thawed (use fresh if you can get them)
2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt
Pepper
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Cumin
1 ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
¼ cup White Wine
4 Cups Veggie Stock + 2 Cups Water

In a large pot, melt butter and 2 tbsp EVOO, sauté celery, carrots, onion, potato. Add 1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, red pepper flakes and cumin. After about 5 minutes add in garlic and Dijon mustard. Sautee another 5 minutes. Add in white wine and sauté another 5 minutes. Add in 1 ¼ bag of lima beans and veggie stock and water. Season with another tbsp of salt and 1 tsp pepper.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes or until the lima beans become soft.

Put soup through a food mill or if you don’t have a food mill then a blender and then strain. Add soup back into pot, taste to adjust any seasonings and then add in the remaining lima beans and cook on stove until whole lima beans are warmed through.

I topped my soup with spicy tempura friend leeks but garlic croutons would be a nice touch too or just serve as is.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Double Chocolate Fudge Chocolate Chip Espresso Brownies w/ a Ganache Frosting
















Ingredients
2/3 cup + 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
½ cup bittersweet chocolate – melted
¼ cup butter –melted
2 tbsp coffee (I use leftover from my morning coffee)
1 ½ tbsp espresso granules
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1 large egg white – whipped but just shy of stiff peaks
¼ cup milk chocolate chips
¼ tsp course sea salt
¼ cup hot fudge topping

Ganache Frosting:
4 oz. chocolate (mix bittersweet & milk chocolate)
1 pat of butter
2 tbsp cream

Over double boiler mix ingredients until melted.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Coat bottom of 8 inch square baking dish with butter, then line with parchment paper with enough paper to go up and over the sides to pull out on all 4 sides as handles.

In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, unsweetened cocoa, butter, coffee, espresso, vanilla, baking powder and 1 egg. Mix until blended. Add in melted chocolate and sift in 2/3 cup flour. Mix well. Gently fold in the beaten egg white. In a small bowl add the chocolate chips and 2 tbsp flour. Shake until coated and then sift out flour. Add all but a few of the choc. chips into the batter.

Pour ½ of the batter into the baking dish and spread out evenly. Add in hot fudge topping and spread evenly. Add in remaining batter and top w/ remaining choc. chips.

Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Let cool about 10 minutes before frosting w/ the ganache. Sprinkle top w/ coarse sea salt. Let cool completely and ganache has somewhat hardened. Brownies will be VERY gooey and a VERY messy. Perfect for an ice cream topping or to eat with a spoon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Spicy Roasted Corn Soup
















Ingredients:

8 Ears of Corn
2 Tomatoes cut in half
2 Carrots, diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced
1 Red Onion, quartered
4 Cloves of Garlic
3 Jalapenos (I like it pretty spicy so I used 3, use 2 for more subtle spice)
6 cups vegetable stock
1 Scallion chopped
Butter
½ pint cream
1 tsp Cumin
Salt
Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:

Take 7 of the ears of corn and place them in tin foil w/ extra virgin olive oil, butter, salt and pepper. Wrap up tightly and place on baking tray in 400 degree oven for 1 hour. Coat the jalapenos in extra virgin olive oil and place on the tray with the corn and roast for 40 minutes, flipping them over after 20 minutes.

In a baking dish place the tomatoes, carrots, onion and garlic (unpeeled). Mix with salt, pepper, olive oil. Place in 400 degree oven for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once cooked, shave down 6 ears of corn and put in a large sauce pot with the other roasted vegetables. Shave down the 7th & 8th ear of corn and set aside separately.

In the pot with the veggies, pour in 6 cups of hot vegetable stock. Simmer for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes pour soup through a food mill. If you don’t have a food mill you can use a blender or a food processor or an emersion blender, but then just use a fine strainer and return to the pot and back on the stove.

Add the remaining roasted corn that you shaved and reserved, ½ pint of cream (I used ½ and ½), ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste) and 1 teaspoon of Cumin. Simmer 10 minutes.

Garnish with the remaining 8th ear of raw corn and scallion.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Coconut Cream Pound Cake
















Ingredients:
2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter – room temperature
5 eggs – room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ cup coconut milk
4 oz. cream cheese - softened

Frosting:
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a loaf pan. The traditional recipes that I got the inspiration from used a 10 inch tube pan but I didn’t have one so my cooking time was a little off and I had to wing it.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, cream cheese and butter. Whip it till it’s light but not over beaten. Add in the eggs 1 at a time, fully incorporating the egg before you add the next. Add in coconut milk and blend till light and creamy.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour and baking powder.

Add the flour in 3rds to the creamed mixture, fully incorporating the flour before adding the next 3rd. Pour into the prepared baking pan. *Fill to the rim but you might have a little extra left over.

Here’s where it gets tricky. Because I changed the baking pan to a loaf pan and ovens vary in temperatures, here’s what you do: Bake for an hour. I saw the middle still hadn’t set so I kept increasing the time in 10 minute increments. All in all I baked it for almost an hour. Keep checking till you can insert a wooden skewer in the center and it comes out clean.

For the icing, combine coconut milk, water and confectioners sugar in a sauce pan. Whisk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and occasionally whisk until it turns into a syrup like consistency. You may have to add a little more water or sugar depending.

Once cake is out of the oven, flip out of the pan and place on a cooking rack. After about 10 minutes when the cake is not hot, but still warm, take a pastry brush and basically baste the cake (top and sides) and continue to let cool. You will have icing left over but that’s ok. You can drizzle it over slices or use it in the whip cream like I did:

Take an 8oz container of whipping cream and beat till (almost) stiff peaks in a chilled glass bowl. Just before you fully beat it, add in a little of the icing mixture. I added in about 2 tbsp. Then finish whipping until stiff peaks.

Slice the cake, top with whipped cream and maybe some strawberries like I did and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spicy Toasted Chick Peas
















2 cans chick peas - drained and rinsed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh rosemary – finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Toss in a bowl and spread out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Cook in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes. When finished they should almost resemble the texture of a peanut.

Perfect little snack, full of protein, similar to peanuts. Also, play around with the ingredients and spices to mix it up a bit.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Split Pea W/Ham Soup W/Garlic Croutons
















Split Pea w/Ham Soup

Approx measurements

4 Carrots – small dice
4 Celery stalks – small dice
2 Medium Onions – small dice
4 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Cups split peas (1 bag)
1 Bay Leaf
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Butter
Salt
Pepper
Ham Hock (optional)
2 Cups Ham – Diced or Sliced
6 Cups Turkey or Chicken Stock
2 Cups Water
1 tbsp Mint Leaves – finely chopped

Directions:

Sautee carrots, celery, onions, 1 tbsp. each of salt and pepper, 1 tbsp of EVOO and 2 tbsp of butter, about 8 – 10 minutes over med-high heat. After about 3 minutes add in minced garlic.

Remove mixture from pot and set aside. In same pot add in ham with about 1 tbsp of EVOO. Cook over heat just enough to brown the ham a bit. Remove ham from pot.

In a large pot add in the veggies, ham hock (optional) and bay leaf. Cover with about 6 cups of turkey or chicken stock (I make my own stock but store bought is ok, just look for low sodium, but turkey stock works best here) and 2 cups water.

Simmer 2 hours with a lid ½ covering the pot. Remove ham hock if used and bay leaf. Add in split peas. Simmer another ½ hour.

Blend mixture in a food processor or blender (in batches) or with an immersion blender. You’re looking for a smooth texture but not silky. Ok to have a little texture to it.

Put back in pot, add in ham and mint. Simmer about 10-15 minutes.

Top with giant garlic croutons and serve. *Croutons: Slice a store bought baguette in ½, drizzle with EVOO. Toast in oven until golden brown. Take a peeled raw clove of garlic and rub on baguette. Largely dice up baguette, place back in oven for about another 5 minutes to toast the other sides. Place on top of soup and enjoy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pickled Red Onion Jam
















This is approx. since I don't really measure:

2 med - large red onions, sliced
1 large clove of garlic, chopped finely
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar... See More
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 heaping tbsp of brown sugar
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
pinch of salt & pepper

Stir everything in a sauce pan on high till boiling. Reduce to simmer for about an hour stirring occasionally until liquid is evaporated and onions are caramelized.