Archive | Recipes 2010

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Aztec Chili Hot Chocolate

Aztec Chili Hot Chocolate
2 Servings

Real hot chocolate is quick and simple to make, and nothing is quite as decadent. The bitterness of the chocolate marries perfectly with cinnamon and vanilla. Cayenne adds depth and spice that lingers as you sip, but skip it if you don’t like the heat.

3 cups milk
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cinnamon stick
2½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped or grated

istock_000011455443smallIn a small saucepan, slowly heat milk along with the vanilla bean, cayenne, and cinnamon stick until steaming. Heat for a few minutes, being careful not to boil. Add chocolate to the milk, whisking until melted. Remove from heat and steep for ten minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and heat through again, if necessary. Serve hot.

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Cranberry Margaritas

Cranberry Margaritas

Seemingly, a frozen drink has no business in a winter cocktail repertoire. This one is different. It allows you to stand over a simmering pot of cranberries and orange, enveloping your kitchen with a Cranberry Margaritacheerful and alluring citric air. Paired with spicy Mexican fare, Cranberry Margaritas will take you to a warmer place and you don’t even have to leave your kitchen to get there.

For each drink:

1⁄2 cup of cranberry purée (see recipe below)
11⁄2 ounces tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1⁄2 ounce Cointreau (optional—there’s enough orange flavor in the cranberry purée, so if you don’t have Cointreau on hand, omit it or just add more tequila)
Orange zest for garnish (optional)

Combine cranberry purée, tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Pour over ice and garnish with orange zest.

For a blended margarita, add purée, tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau in a blender with about a half cup or so of ice per drink. Blend until smooth. For a pretty and festive garnish, stir together some orange zest with ¼ cup of sugar on a plate. Rim the glasses with lime juice and dip the rimmed glasses in sugar mixture before pouring frozen cocktail into the glass.

Cranberry Purée
(Makes enough for six drinks)

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup orange juice
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

Combine sugar and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then stir in cranberries. Boil for about a minute. Reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes, allowing cranberries to burst, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and cool mixture to room temperature. Purée in a food processor or blender until velvety and smooth.

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Triple Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Triple Chocolate Crackle Cookies
About 3 dozen cookies

The surface of the cookie splits open while baking, revealing uneven stripes of the chocolate interior beneath the cracked white surface. Use top-quality chocolate, such as Scharffen Berger or choccookiesGhirardelli; it really makes a difference here. Note that the dough balls need to be frozen for several hours before baking, so plan accordingly and make room in the freezer for the baking dish ahead of time.

4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate bar
1 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate bar
2 ounces (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
2 tablespoons light cream
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar, approximate

In double boiler, melt bittersweet chocolate, semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring as it starts to melt until it’s smooth. In large mixing bowl, whisk together egg, cream, and almond extract. Add brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Add melted chocolate; stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into batter; stir until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate until firm enough to handle, about an hour.

Line a small baking dish with waxed paper; have more waxed paper ready. Roll a heaping tablespoon or so of dough into a firmly packed ball, a little over one inch wide, transferring to the baking dish. When you have a full layer of balls, cover with waxed paper and make more balls; continue until all dough has been rolled. Freeze for at least
2 hours, or as long as overnight (for longer storage, pack the frozen balls into a vacuum-sealed bag and freeze for up to a month).

When you’re ready to bake, heat oven to 350 °F. Line two baking sheets with kitchen parchment. Place powdered sugar into a plastic bag. Add frozen balls, 6 at a time, to the bag; shake to coat and transfer to baking sheet, about and inch or so apart. Continue with remaining balls, working quickly to prevent the frozen balls from thawing. Bake for 8 minutes, then switch positions of the sheets in the oven, also turning the pans from front to back as you switch them. Bake until cookies are firm around the edges but still slightly soft in the center, 7 to 9 minutes longer. Cool on pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks (be careful, because the powdered sugar is hot); cool completely.

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Mock Duck Bahn Mi with Pickled Turnips and Carrots

MOCK DUCK BAHN MI WITH PICKLED TURNIPS AND CARROTS
Makes 2 sandwiches

img_3806Bahn mi is best on a light, airy baguette with a thin crust, rather than a dense and chewy one. You can substitute any meat you like for the mock duck—roast pork, pâté, meatballs, chicken, even catfish are all good options. You will probably have more pickle than you need, but I like to make extra to snack on. If you have a mandoline, use it to julienne the carrot and turnip.

2 demi-baguettes
Mayonnaise
1 can mock duck, drained
1⁄4 cucumber, sliced
1 jalapeño, julienned, seeds and ribs removed if you want a milder flavor
6 sprigs cilantro

Pickled Turnips and Carrots

1⁄2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup rice vinegar
1 medium turnip, in 1⁄8 inch julienne
1 medium carrot, in 1⁄8 inch julienne

For the pickles: Pour the hot water over the sugar and salt and stir to dissolve. Add the vinegar and stir. Add the turnip and carrot. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To make the sandwiches: Preheat oven to 350°. When hot, place baguettes directly on oven rack and heat for 5 minutes. Cut in half horizontally. Spread mayonnaise to taste on the bread. Layer each baguette with mock duck, cucumber slices, jalapeño, and pickles to taste, and top with the cilantro.

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rosti

TURNIP ROSTI

TURNIP RöSTI
Serves 4

rostiThough rösti, a Swiss dish, is traditionally made with potatoes, using turnips in their place adds a pleasant bit of sweet sharpness. This is good with poached eggs for breakfast or, for a light supper, with a simple arugula salad and a generous spoonful of sour cream or crème fraîche.

5 medium turnips
4 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp, drippings saved
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup grated Gruyère, Raclette, or Comté cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil as needed

Peel and halve turnips; boil them in salted water for 10 minutes or until just tender, not fully cooked. Drain and let cool. Crumble the bacon. Grate the turnips and place them in a bowl with the bacon, scallions, cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Heat the bacon drippings in a well-seasoned 12” cast iron or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. There should be enough grease to coat the bottom of the pan generously; if not, add vegetable oil. Add the turnip mixture; pack into the pan with the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until brown and crisp on the bottom, 5–10 minutes. Transfer the rösti to a plate, flip back into the pan with the cooked side up (add more oil to the pan if needed), and fry on the other side until brown and crisp. Cut into wedges and serve.

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Sweet Savoy Slaw with Cranberries and Apples

SWEET SAVOY SLAW WITH CRANBERRIES & APPLES
Serves 6

slawwebThis version of coleslaw has a vinaigrette base and an Indian spice, but if you’re hankering for a creamy style, try adding some plain yogurt. The fruit provides a nice contrast and the raw cabbage provides optimum nutrition. Garam masala is a blend of spices that varies from region to region, but usually includes coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, caraway, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. It’s incredible on pan fried potatoes and worth buying, but if you don’t have it on hand, sprinkle in some of the individual spices listed above.  

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 small head savoy cabbage
1 large sweet apple, HoneyCrisp or Pink Lady
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
¼ cup sweetened dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small jar with a lid, combine the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and spice. Cover with lid and shake until combined. Set aside. Prepare the cabbage by cutting into quarters, coring, and slicing into a fine chiffonade, as thin as you can. Place into a large serving bowl. Halve and core your apple, dice it into small squares and place them into a small bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice, stir to coat, and add to the cabbage. Add the nuts and dried cranberries, and finally the dressing. Toss well. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Preparing this salad well before the meal will only improve the taste.

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Amma's Hot Red Cabbage

redcabbageAMMA’S HOT RED CABBAGE DISH
Serves 6-8

She is known by my children as Amma, the Icelandic word for “Grandma,” and everything coming out of her kitchen has not only zip but vibrant color as well. The sauté method here ensures a slightly crunchy texture, and the Brag’s Liquid Aminos give it a nice flavor that enhances anything paired with it. (A good quality soy sauce may also be substituted.) Serve one, lightly steamed broccoli spear per guest on top of a bed of this purple cabbage, and delight in the colors of good nutrition.

2-4 tablespoons butter
1 sweet onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, sliced thinly
1 large red cabbage or ½ of a giant one
1 teaspoon Brag’s Liquid Aminos, or a good-quality soy sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar (Brag’s brand is a good, gluten-free choice)
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Prepare cabbage by removing any coarse, outer leaves. Slice into rectangular strips by first halving, coring, and then quartering, slicing each section along the edges. Go back and cross-cut the strips to form thin rectangles. In a sauté pan with a matching lid, melt the butter. Toss in the diced sweet onion and garlic and sauté until clear. Add cabbage by the handful in batches, stirring gently to coat. Once all the cabbage has been incorporated, add liquid aminos, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Stir to evenly coat, cover, and let simmer on medium-low heat for 3 minutes or so, until reaching the desired tenderness.

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FETTUCCINE WITH CHIVES AND TOASTED BREADCRUMBS

Fettuccine with chives and toasted breadcrumbs

2 servings; easily increased

This easy pasta dish uses a large amount of chives. The chives get only a short cooking time, which allows their flavor to bloom and mellow. Serve alongside grilled fish or poultry, or as a simple first course.

2 teaspoons butter
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs* (about 3⁄4 ounce)
4 ounces uncooked (dry) fettuccine
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 large clove garlic, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup snipped chives (1⁄4-inch lengths; about 3⁄4 ounce)
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Begin heating a large pot of water to boiling over high heat. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in breadcrumbs; cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and just crisp, about 3 minutes. Scrape into a small bowl and set aside. Combine broth and garlic in same skillet. Heat to boiling over high heat, then cook until broth has reduced to about 1⁄2 cup, 5 to 10 minutes (see tip below). Remove from heat; mash garlic with a fork.

Add fettuccine to boiling water and cook until barely tender; near the end of cooking time, return the skillet with the reduced broth to medium heat. Drain fettuccine, and add to skillet with reduced broth. Cook over medium heat, tossing constantly with tongs, for a few minutes, until most of the broth has been absorbed. Add chives and a few grindings of black pepper; stir to combine. Divide between two deep serving plates; sprinkle evenly with toasted breadcrumbs. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

* To make fresh breadcrumbs: Cut day-old firm bread, such as French or Italian, into 1-inch cubes. Start a blender on high, with the blender cover in place. Lift the cover just enough to allow you to toss a handful of cubes into the blender jar, re-covering immediately; the bread will pop up and out of the blender with great vigor unless the blender is covered. Process until chopped to medium texture.

TIP: It can be difficult to judge when the broth has cooked down to 1⁄2 cup. Before you start cooking, pour 1⁄2 cup water into the skillet you’ll be using. Tilt the skillet so the water pools along one edge, and make a mental note of the level. When you’re reducing the broth, cook it to the same level; it doesn’t have to be exact. (Dry the skillet before toasting the breadcrumbs.)

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