Sunday, February 26, 2012

Roasted red pepper soup

1 15 oz. jar roasted red peppers, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream/yogurt for topping

Heat oil in a medium size soup pot. Add onion, sautee until translucent. Add garlic, saute 1 more minute. Add potatoes, salt and pepper, and cover with broth. Bring to boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer 10 minutes. Add peppers and remaining broth, bring back to boiling. Turn hear down again and simmer for 10 minutes, adding more broth or water if necessary. Puree soup with an immersion blender. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

Buttermilk waffles for two

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 cups buttermilk* or 1 1/2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together the buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt and the egg yolks. Stir in the butter and vanilla.

Brush the waffle iron lightly with oil and preheat it. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites with the whisk or electric mixer (spotlessly clean ones work best) until they hold soft peaks. Stir them gently into the batter.

Spread a ladleful or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Serve immediately or keep warm for a few minutes in a low oven.

Recipe from The Smitten Kitchen

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shrimp risotto

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
6 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 lb pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
2 cups arborio rice (11 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan and keep warm.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and crushed red pepper, then shrimp. Sauté until shrimp begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup wine. Simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Drain shrimp, reserving cooking liquid.

Heat the remaining butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups broth mixture. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Continue adding broth mixture 1 cup at a time, stirring often and simmering until liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 20 minutes. Stir in reserved shrimp cooking liquid. Cook until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Stir shrimp and 2 tablespoons parsley into risotto. Season risotto to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowls. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons parsley.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pumpkin creme brulee

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pinches nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/3 cup coarse sugar or raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmegginger, and cloves over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until it comes to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse at least 15 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar. Whisking constantly, gradually pour in the hot cream mixture. Whisk in the pumpkin puree. Pour the mixture into 4 ovenproof ramekins and arrange in a hot water bath. Bake in the center of the oven until almost set but still a bit soft in the center, 30 to 40 minutes. The custard should "shimmy" a bit when you shake the pan; it will firm up more as it cools. Remove from the water bath and let cool 15 minutes. Tightly cover eachramekin with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic does not touch the surface of the custard. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours.

When ready to serve, preheat a broiler to very hot (or fire up your kitchen torch). Uncover the chilled custards. Pour as much coarse sugar as will fit onto the top of 1 of the custards. Pour off the remaining sugar onto the next custard. Repeat until all the custards are coated. Discard any remaining sugar. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and broil until the sugar is melted and well browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool 1 minute before serving.

Recipe adapted from the Food Network

Thursday, February 16, 2012

French onion soup

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
6 onions (about 3 pounds), sliced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
3 cups canned beef broth
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 sourdough bread slices, toasted
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until very tender and brown, about 45 minutes. Add wine and simmer until reduced to glaze, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, beef broth and mustard. Simmer 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate. Return soup to simmer before continuing.)

Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into broilerproof bowls. Top each with slice of toast and grated cheeses. Broil until cheeses melt and bubble.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Kale salad with pinenuts, currants and parmesan shavings

2 tablespoons dried currants
7 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, divided
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 bunches Tuscan kale (about 1 pound), center ribs and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
Parmesan cheese shavings

Place currants in small bowl; add 5 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar. Let soak overnight. Drain currants.

Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, honey, oil, and salt in large bowl. Add kale, currants, and pine nuts; toss to coat. Let marinate 20 minutes at room temperature, tossing occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese shavings over salad and serve.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Seafood paella

1 1/2 lb. uncooked, cleaned shrimp
1/4 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper
Dried Oregano
1 Yellow Onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 Cups of Arborio rice
2 cups of chopped vine ripened tomatoes, need to be juicy, or 2 cups of diced canned tomatoes without juice
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4-5 cups of fresh chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp saffron powder (or a pinch of saffron threads)
1lb. clams
1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen
1 lemon
Heat oil in 14 in paella pan. when oil is hot, saute the onions, red bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and some of the parsley, reserve the other half for later. Cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Then, add tomatoes, season well and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld, the vegetables should have a thick consistency. Fold in the rice and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in chicken broth and make sure every grain of rice is covered with broth. Add half of the saffron and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs some of the liquid. Add the rest of the saffron and parsley. Continue simmering for another 5 minutes. Add the clams and shrimp, tucking them into the rice. The shrimp will take about 8 minutes to cook. Clams are cooked once they are fully opened. If they don't open, they are no good. Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is to the consistency you want, al dente or soft for about 15 minutes. Add peas about 5 minutes before paella is finished - when the rice looks fluffy and moist. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cranberry white chocolate cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and oats and stir until blended. Stir in all chocolate chips and cranberries.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are light brown, about 16 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious