Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Contest for the Holidays

I haven't quite figured out the art of blog giveaways but I hope to learn eventually. In the meantime head over to Jaden's Steamy Kitchen for the Holiday Giveaway of a lifetime.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Forgotten Recipe

This one I literally haven't made or thought about for 2 years. Sad huh? I actually mentioned it on this blog a small century ago but here it is again. How can such a gem get thrown to the wayside? This is fabulous. It makes an incredible sauce that would be great served on chicken, pork, or duck. Plum, mango, and curry are a match made in heaven.

Cornish Hen with Curry-Plum Glaze
adpated from Bon Appetit 2003

2 cornish game hens, halved lengthwise
2/3 cup plum jam
4 tablespoons mango chutney
2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup chicken broth
Scallions, thinly sliced

In a small saucepan combine jam, chutney, curry powder, and chicken broth. Heat until sauce comes together, about 5 minutes. Prepare the hens by cleaning them thoroughly and patting them dry. In a baking pan lined with foil, place the hens cut side down with a small amount of oil. Season the hens lightly with salt and pepper. Baste the hens with some of the jam mixture. Bake the hens at 400 until the skin crisps and juices run clear -- about 20 minutes. Bring the jam mixture to a slight boil to thicken. Spoon the sauce over the finished hens and sprinkle with scallions.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The recipe broccoli haters don't want you to know about...

There are several 'special interest' groups that I just cannot understand -- the cilantro haters, the sour cream haters, the fish haters, the mushroom haters, the broccoli haters, etc. In some cases there are entire websites dedicated to displaying people's hatred (dare I say misunderstanding) of these foods. I always think of how interesting it would be to gather all of these food haters together and force feed them their most hated foods, done up in a different way just to see if they could be swayed.

I challenge even the most devout broccoli hater to taste this recipe. Try this variation of the frightening green vegetable and invite all of your broccoli-hating friends over and show them the error of their ways.

Roasted Broccoli with Lemon
seen on TAG and in Barefoot Contessa's Back to Basics

1 head of broccoli (don't wash it!!!)
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
olive oil
1 lemon, zest
Grated Parmesan

Heat the oven to 450. Cut the broccoli into florets and arrange in a foil lined baking pan. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the sliced garlic over top. Pour in a good amount of olive oil and coat the broccoli -- mixing everything together with you hands. Roast in the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until tender and the edges just slightly brown. Take the pan out and immediately zest an entire lemon over top of the pan so all of the wonderful lemony oils hit the broccoli. Cut the lemon and squirt in the juice from half. Dress it with a tad more olive oil (you might use a tastier oil here) and grate fresh cheese over the top.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Martha Stewart Knows Cookies

Martha Stewart's Cookie cookbook came out earlier this year and I have been vying for it ever since. It was a wonderful coincidence that my aunt 'donated' it to me (by donate I mean she purged some cookbooks) right before I was about to give in and buy it from my cookbook club.

I've only tried one recipe from this book so far and already I'm in love. The book is organized by putting cookies into different categories like chewy, sandy, dense, crisp, etc. So if I crave something chunky and nutty I need look no further than the appropriate section. What's more is that every recipe has a picture! Beautiful pictures! I was so enthralled by the cover photo of the chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies that I had to make them first.

These cookies turned out fabulous. Chewy and rich in flavor. They go easy on the sugar content which makes me feel less guilty about eating a handful. I love how they crinkle when they bake and the light coating of granulated sugar makes them look snow dusted and sparkly. Include these in your Christmas cookie tins, Martha would want it that way.

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
seen in Martha Stewart's Cookies book
Makes 2 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves (I used allspice because I only had whole cloves)
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tblsp Dutch-process cocoa powder (I used Hershey's special dark which is 1/2 Dutch-process, 1/2 regular)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 tblsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp boiling water
7 oz chocolate chips (this would probably be good without the chocolate chips at all)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

In a bowl, sift the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa. In a separate bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and fresh ginger for several minutes until pale and fragrant. Add the brown sugar and beat until combined. Finally, beat in the molasses.

Dissolve the baking soda with the boiling water (I think this may be the key to making them wonderfully chewy). Beat half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add the dissolved baking soda and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix chocolate in with a spoon.

Martha then suggests turning the dough out onto plastic wrap into a 1-inch thick square and refrigerating for at least 2 hours (or overnight). This worked well to help in forming the cookies. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325. Form the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place about 2 inches apart. Chill the balls for another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and roll the balls in the granulated sugar to coat. Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies began to crackle. They may seem soft but they will harden as they cool.

Martha says they taste best the day they are baked but I think they get better the next day -- if they last that long.

Monday, December 1, 2008


It just dawned on me that I have yet to share one of my favorite recipes. How could I not share this quick and tasty bulgogi that P requests weekly. I'm not quite sure where I saw it first but this recipe is a winner. I've tweaked it ever so slightly to cut back on the saltiness and I think I've finally got it just right. This fish goes great with rice and lightly sauteed bok choy with garlic and shitakes. You can also use the same sauce on beef for the more traditional bulgogi approach.

Salmon "Bulgogi"
seen in Bon Appetit June 2008

1 large garlic clove
2 chopped scallions
< 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use about 1 oz)
1 tblsp Chinese rice wine
1 3/4-inch cube peeled fresh ginger
2 heaping tsp sugar
1 tblsp honey
1 tsp sesame oil
3/4 tsp sambal oelek (sriracha would work fine as well)
2, 1/5 lb center-cut skinless salmon fillets

In a food processor combine all of the above ingredients except the salmon. Mix until everything is combined. Taste to see if you need to add more sugar. Clean and thouroughly dry the fish. In a oven-safe skillet brown the fish on one side then flip it, add some sauce, and finish it off in a hot oven. Pour the remaining sauce over the fish and serve hot over rice or bok choy.