Just a quick “Happy Monday!” post to alert of a great article by Frank Bruni, former New York Times restaurant critic, that ran in the Times on Friday about Bruni’s trip to Ireland. If you’ve never been to Ireland then you will only get a tiny hint of what he’s talking about, and if you have been this article will probably give you nostalgic goosebumps. If you live there… you’re probably rolling your eyes. Whatever.
Monthly Archives: October 2012
I Googled “easy biscuit recipe” and a beauty came up. Not only did these take 30 minutes from start to finish, but they tasted absolutely delicious and were perfectly moist and flaky. Now there’s no excuse for Pillsbury.
On the menu:
Makes 12 biscuits
2 cups flour plus more for kneading
4 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup 2% milk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add shortening and cut into the flour mixture until the dough resembles small pebbles (use a pastry cutter or a fork). Whisk in egg and milk until mixture is combined.
Dump the dough out onto a heavily floured surface and knead it 20 times. Roll the dough out to 3/4 of an inch thick and use a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter (or the open end of a drinking glass) to cut out the biscuits. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until the biscuits are browned on the bottom. Serve warm.
This is a salad that I tasted for the first time at one of my favorite restaurants in New York, Otto. My only hang up is that the original calls for olives, which I loathe. When I made this I left the olives out but you could easily chop up and add 16 Kalamata olives during the last step to make it a truly authentic Mediterranean dish.
On the menu:
Roasted cauliflower salad
Serves 4 as a side
1 large head of cauliflower (around 3 lbs)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp capers
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
Clean stem and leaves off of the head of cauliflower. Chop cauliflower into bite sized pieces with flat sides (this just makes roasting and caramelizing easier). Rinse in a colander and shake off as much excess water as possible.
Toss cauliflower in a large bowl with olive oil and black pepper. Spread in one layer on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip cauliflower with tongs and roast for another 10 – 20 minutes until your pieces are golden brown and softened.
Spread cauliflower on a plate in one layer so that it cools down a bit.
In a large bowl, add capers, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and a healthy pinch of salt. Add cauliflower and toss to coat. (This is where you would add your chopped olives if you wanted)
‘Tis the season to cook with pumpkin. You’ve been bombarded by orange at the farmer’s market, inundated with pumpkin recipes from your daily email recipe newsletters, and overwhelmed by Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts commercials featuring pumpkin flavored everything. I would say it’s cliche, but really… it’s just delicious. Below is an incredibly easy recipe that yields a flavorful soup that would serve as a lovely first course to any fall meal, or as a hearty lunch with crusty bread on the side. Don’t hold back, friends… give in to the power of pumpkin.
On the menu:
Pumpkin Ginger Soup
Adapted from this recipe at Yumm.com
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp ginger, finely grated (or use 1 Tbsp ginger powder)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 15-oz. cans of pumpkin puree
3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp Sriracha (or similar hot sauce)
Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 8 – 10 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, cook for another 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, pumpkin, stock, cream, and hot sauce. Stir until combined and turn down heat until the soup is simmering. Simmer for 25 minutes, occasionally stirring. Use an immersion blender to blend* in the pot, or pour soup into a standing blender and blend until completely pureed. Replace soup in the pot and heat until hot and ready to serve. Top with crunchy pumpkin seeds if desired.
*Note: you don’t necessarily have to blend this soup, but I found the crunchy onions distracting so I ended up blending the entire pot after I ate one bowl. It was much creamier and much more flavorful after all. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of dirtying your blender, though, it’ll still be delicious without the blending.
I don’t know too many people who like preparing elaborate breakfasts on weekday mornings, including me who is sans day job at the moment. I prefer cereal and the occasional bagel if I have an extra minute. But The BF grabs whatever is handy and races out the door, eating later at his desk while checking email. He’s not a big fan of hot oatmeal and one can only eat bananas for so many meals, so I decided to try and come up with something that he’d look forward to eating but that also didn’t start his day off with a total calorie fest. I found these incredible and surprisingly healthy breakfast bars on “Oh She Glows” (don’t worry, guys, men can eat these, too) and added a few things to make them BF-friendly.
On the menu:
PB&J Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Makes 9 large squares (you can cut them smaller if you like)
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant), divided
3 Tbsp chia seed
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk (use soy milk or almond milk to make these vegan)
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 ripe banana, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper.
Blend 1 cup of rolled oats in a blender or food processor until it forms a fine flour (you can skip this by buying oat flour and just using 1 cup of it). Add oat flour, remaining 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats, chia seed, flax seed, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl and whisk until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, honey, peanut butter, banana, and vanilla until combined (obviously the chunkier ingredients won’t fully combine but do the best you can). Add this bowl to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth over so the batter is even.
In a small saucepan, combine orange juice and jam. Over low/medium heat, cook until the mixture becomes smooth with no lumps. Pour the hot jam over the batter in the pan until the bars are completely covered.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and remove from the pan. Let fully cool before cutting into squares.
Note: You could do virtually anything you want with these bars. I was thinking a pumpkin pie oatmeal bar would be to die for, with the addition of a cup of pumpkin puree, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp all spice, and maybe a crumble of brown sugar on top (removing the jam and PB and banana, of course). Still just as healthy as the above recipe and a completely different taste.