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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Easy Herbed Chicken

I was in need of another quick, but delicious, idea for chicken breasts. I am constantly trying to reinvent them in my house, because it's our main source of protein. I found this on Recipezaar.com, and it sounded both delicious and easy.
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I baked the chicken in the oven instead of grilling, and it was perfect! Delicious, juicy chicken that is prepared and ready in no time.

Easy Herbed Chicken
Source: Recipezaar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 4-6 chicken breasts

Directions

Combine all ingredients except the chicken in a large Ziploc bag and mix. Add chicken breasts.

Marinate in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, no longer then that.

Grill, or bake at 350 degrees F until no longer pink.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Baked Coconut Chicken Curry

I've been moderately afraid of trying dishes with curry. I was afraid I wouldn't like it. Many months ago, I made Ina's curried cous cous and fell in love. I decided it was finally time to make something else, now that I knew it wasn't so scary, and went with this baked chicken curry. IMG_0003c
This dish only intensified my love for curry.  I went with 2 teaspoons of cayenne and the full 2 tablespoons of curry, and it was fantastic!  A perfect blend of heat and flavor.  My husband and I were fighting over the leftovers! 

Baked Coconut Curry Chicken
Source: Slightly adapted from Check it out
  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  • 1 can coconut milk (I use light coconut milk)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 teaspoons cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like your food)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (again depending on how much you like curry)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (alternative sugars, such as agave nectar, work fine!)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2-4 carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • white or brown rice, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash and pat dry the chicken with a paper towel. Pour the chicken broth, coconut milk, and jalapenos in a baking dish then lay the chicken in the broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then sprinkle the rest of the spices and squeeze the lime all over the chicken and broth. Add the carrots.

Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, carefully remove the foil and mix up the broth mixture so the coconut milk breaks up. Put the baking dish back in the oven uncovered for another 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and very tender.

Once you remove the baking dish from the oven, carefully pour the sauce into a saucepan and add 1 tablespoon butter (optional - I made it without the butter and it was delicious!). Mix using a whisk, bring the sauce to a boil and whisk till smooth and reduced. Taste the sauce to make sure it is spicy enough for your liking. If not, add more cayenne pepper and curry powder. Serve chicken and carrots over rice and add the reduced sauce.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I made some simple wreath sugar cookies to celebrate the holiday. A leaf tip with green royal icing made a perfect wreath! I hope everyone has a great holiday season!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Caramel Corn

Caramel corn sounded like the perfect addition to my holiday baking baskets for friends. I'm always intimidated by caramel, since I seem to be adept at burning it, but this was really easy to make and turned out fabulous! Next time I make it (as my husband is already requesting another batch), I'll add the peanuts.
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 Caramel Corn
Source: Christie's Corner/Good Things Catered
  • 1 cup popcorn unpopped (or 3 bags microwave popcorn)
  • 1 cup butter (use just 1/2 cup if using microwave popcorn)
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups peanuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pop popcorn using your preferred method.
  2. Place popped corn and peanuts (if using) in a very large bowl. If you don’t have a big enough bowl, use two bowls. You will need lots of room to toss the corn when coating it.
  3. Preheat oven to 250F.
  4. In a 2-quart saucepan, over medium heat, gently melt the butter.
  5. Stir in the corn syrup, brown sugar and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the sugar mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring.
  7. Remove from the heat, stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Note: The mixture will foam and become frothy.
  8. Pour the caramel sauce over the popped corn and toss to coat throughly. Don’t worry about clumps as the caramel will remain spreadable while cooking and the coating can be evened out.
  9. Spread the popcorn evenly onto 2 large cookie or baking sheets. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
  10. Spoon cooked popcorn onto waxed paper and allow to cool before breaking apart.
  11. Keep grubby handed scavengers at bay with a wooden spoon while you seal cooled caramel corn in an airtight container — Or serve immediately.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Candy Cane Biscotti

In addition to gingerbread and chocolate biscotti, I made these candy cane ones. They just sounded perfect to me, and I even found a box of already damaged candy canes at the store. It felt good saving that box of misfit candy canes, and saved me some work in the kitchen having to break them up!

I almost added a touch of vanilla or peppermint extract to the dough, and I wish I had, but they were still delicious, with lots of minty candy cane spread throughout the cookie. Yum!
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Clearly, I was too lazy to dip mine in white chocolate, but I do think that makes a great presentation for these cookies. Maybe next time. :-)



Candy Cane Biscotti
Source: Loves to Eat, Culinary in the Desert
Yield: About 2 1/2 dozen for me

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup finely crushed peppermint candy canes
  • 14 ounces fine quality white chocolate, melted
  • extra crushed candy canes to sprinkle on top

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined – stir in crushed candy.
Evenly divide dough into 4 pieces on a lightly floured surface. Shape each piece into 9″ x 1 1/2″ round log. Place logs 3 inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake until tops are cracked and ends just start to turn light brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325. Cool logs 10 minutes on cookie sheet.
Cut each log diagonally into 1/2″ slices with sharp serrated knife.  Arrange pieces standing up back onto the baking sheet.
Bake until cookies are light golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 12 to 15 minutes. The centers may still be a little soft, but will firm up as they cool. Place onto cool rack and cool completely.
Dip half of each biscotti into melted chocolate – shake off excess. Immediately sprinkle with additional crushed candy canes and set on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet until the chocolate has set.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gingerbread Biscotti

This year I decided to make some biscotti to share with friends and family during the holiday season. These gingerbread biscotti were so easy to make, and taste fabulous! I thought it sounded like a lot of spices when I was adding them, but the flavor was just perfect, and not overbearing at all.

On a side note, this seems like the perfect recipe to adapt for the clean eating lifestyle. Why use white sugar and then add molasses? It seems obvious to me, now, that using sucanat - which still retains it's natural molasses - would be a better choice. I can't wait to try it out, and I'll update you when I do!
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Gingerbread Biscotti
Source: Loves to Eat, Allrecipes.
Yield: About 2 1/2 dozen for me (perhaps I cut them thick?)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and molasses. In another bowl, combine flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; mix into egg mixture to form a stiff dough. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a roll the length of the cookie sheet. Place rolls on cookie sheet, and pat down to flatten the dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool. When cool enough to touch, cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices. Place sliced biscotti on cookie sheet, and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until toasted and crispy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Potato Tomato Tart

I am finally nearing the end of the 8 pound bag of potatoes I bought to make gnocchi. This tart was a great way to get rid of two more - it's delicious and doesn't require much effort!

I had Idaho potatoes, so I used that instead of the yukon gold she suggests. The tart still turned out great, though I can imagine how wonderful creamy yukon golds would be! I don't have a mandoline for beautiful even slicing, so my layers were kind of wonky. I didn't even bother trying to get it out of the pan in one piece (since I picked a terrible, high sided pan for this), but it was so soft I could cut it with my spatula and serve it right out of the pan. Perfect!

Served on an authentic Florentine hand-painted plate - which I thought was a perfect fit.
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Potato Tomato Tart
Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles, slight adapted wording.
Serves 2 for a light meal

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
salt and pepper
2 large (or maybe 3 small) plum tomatoes, sliced thin
2½ ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced thin (or just over ½ cup shredded)
3-4 basil leaves, sliced thin

1. Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Arrange the potatoes in one layer on the bottom of the skillet, overlapping each slice. Season with pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are almost tender and are lightly browned on the bottom.

2. Arrange the tomatoes in one layer of overlapping slices over the potatoes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly softened. Evenly disperse the mozzarella over the tomatoes and cook a few minutes, until it’s melty. Sprinkle the top of the tart with basil.

3. Transfer the tart as little as possible, or cut and serve straight from the pan.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Balsamic Baked Potatoes

I knew this recipe was going to be a hit when I first saw it, so I didn't wait long to try it! Although they take long to bake the preparation is quick and simple, and they would be great to serve for company since they can bake away, nearly unattended, while you mingle. These are definitely my new favorite way to prepare potatoes, and they made a perfect pairing to the Mediterranean Chicken Packets!
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Balsamic Baked Potatoes
Source: Everyday Food, November 2009
Serves 4
  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 5 sprigs of thyme ( I used 1.5-2 tablespoons of dried thyme)
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In an 8-inch square baking dish, combine potatoes, broth, vinegar, garlic, thyme; season with salt and pepper.  Bake until potatoes are tender and liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 1 1/4 hours, tossing twice.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories: 155
Total Fat: 0.3 g
Sat Fat: 0.1 g
Carbohydrates: 34.3 g
Fiber: 3.9 g
Protein: 4.7 g

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mediterranean Chicken Packets

This meal had all the flavors we love, so I knew it would be a hit.  As a bonus, it is easy to prepare and bakes up quickly.  Between the capers, olives, and feta, I decided there was enough salt and omitted it from the recipe, along with the oil.
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Mediterranean Chicken Packets
Source: Slightly adapted from Everyday Food, April 2009
Serves: 4
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4 artichoke hearts (from a 14-ounce can), quartered
  • 12 Kalamata olives, halved and pitted
  • 4 teaspoons capers
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place four 12-inch squares of parchment paper or heavy-duty foil on a work surface. Place a chicken breast on one half of each square, leaving a 2-inch border; season with pepper.
  2. Dividing evenly, top chicken with tomatoes, artichokes, olives, capers, and feta. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Fold parchment over ingredients, and crimp edges to seal.
  3. Place packets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until chicken is opaque throughout, 20 to 22 minutes.
Nutritional Information, per serving with 1 tablespoon oil per recipe
Calories: 344
Total Fat: 14.1 g (I'm guessing this goes down to around 11g with omission of the oil)
Sat. Fat: 4.3 g
Carbohydrates: 9.3 g
Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 44.1 g

Monday, December 14, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Buffalo chicken-anything is one of my husband's favorite foods. Left to his own devices with some chicken and a grill, and you are getting one of two things for dinner: BBQ chicken-something or Buffalo chicken-something. When I saw this recipe for Buffalo chicken pizza from Bridget, one of my most trusted recipe sources, I knew it would be an instant hit! 

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Normally, I am not as big of a Buffalo chicken fan as my husband, but I totally fell in love with this pizza!  The combination of flavors is just perfect!
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Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles
Serves 3-4
  • 1 large bone-in skin-on chicken breast (about 12 ounces)
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • pinch of sugar
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 ounce (¼ cup) blue cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup red onion or scallions, diced very fine
  • 12-16 ounces pizza dough (one third of a recipe calling for about 4 cups of flour), stretched out to 9-12 inches (Whole wheat pizza dough recipe here)
1. For the chicken: Stir 2 tablespoons salt into 2 cups cold water until it dissolves. Add the chicken; refrigerate for 30 minutes, then remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry. Adjust an oven rack to the middle-low position and heat the oven to 450ºF. Heat a small oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan; place the chicken breast in the pan skin-side down. Cook without moving until well-browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and move the pan to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken measures 160ºF or the juices run clear when small cut is made in the chicken. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside. When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove and discard the skin (or eat it, because it’s crisp and delicious!) and shred the meat with your fingers or two forks. (If you’ve used good chicken, brined it, and pan-roasted it like this, I dare you not to resist stealing bites of the shredded chicken. It’s delicious.) Increase the oven temperature to 500ºF.

2. For the buffalo sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar, hot sauce, and vinegar. Mix the sauce with the shredded chicken.

3. For the white sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk or yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, garlic powder, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

4. Assemble the pizza: Place the pizza dough on a wooden paddle that’s been liberally coated with cornmeal. (Or use parchment paper instead of the cornmeal, or the back of a baking sheet instead of the paddle.) Spread the white sauce evenly on the pizza dough; top with the chicken, then the cheeses, and finally the onions.

5. Bake the pizza for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is browned. Let the pizza rest about 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter Cranberry Cupcakes

I went a little crazy a few weeks ago when cranberries went on sale, and I bought 7 (7!) bags that I promptly stuffed in my freezer. I was so happy thinking I'd be able to make cranberry-whatever all through the summer. Then I realized we are likely moving well before then. Whoops!  No time like the present, apparently, to work down the stock I just created!
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First on my list was this recipe for cranberry white chocolate cupcakes. Cranberries and white chocolate are two of my greatest loves, so I knew this would be a great combo. I almost left the white chocolate bits out of the batter, and ultimately I think it would be better without them, especially with the white chocolate frosting. For the snowflakes, I melted some white chocolate, then added it to a ziplock bag. On a piece of parchment paper, I traced some snowflake designs, then flipped the parchment over. I cut a small tip off the end of the bag, and piped white chocolate, following the snowflake designs, onto the parchment. I let them set for about 20 minutes while I frosted the cupcakes, then carefully lifted each one off the parchment with an off-set spatula.

These cupcakes are fantastically delicious with the cranberries providing just the right amount of tart, and the hint of orange play very well with the cranberry. Perfect for any winter gathering!

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White Chocolate-Cranberry Cupcakes
Source: Culinography (adapted from Baker’s Chocolate)
Yield: 18-20 cupcakes
  • 6 (1 ounce) squares white baking chocolate
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake tins with liners. Chop 6 of the chocolate squares and set aside. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, orange peel, and orange juice; mix well. Add flour and baking powder; beat until well blended. Fold in chopped chocolate and the cranberries. Bake approximately 18-20 minutes (mine took more like 25) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to wire rack. Cool completely.

White Chocolate Buttercream
Source: Cupcake Shop
  • 7 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1 package (8 ounces) philly cream cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • ~2 cups powdered sugar
1. In a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, gently melt the white chocolate. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.
2. Beat in the melted white chocolate.
3. Add the vanilla and 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar to arrive at the consistency and sweetness you like. 2 cups worked for me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Roasted Cauliflower with Crab, Lemon, Garlic and Breadcrumbs

I have the fortune of being married to someone who was born and raised in Northern California. Every trip home to visit family means a fun side-trip to Napa Valley. While we are far from connoisseurs, we love tasting different wines and enjoy this activity immensely. A favorite of ours, for quite some time, has been Cakebread Cellars.

Each time we head to Napa, we like to visit different wineries, but Cakebread is the one mainstay on our list. It's a definite must-go. After our first visit, many years ago, it was immediately clear to us that Cakebread is all about the wine. No fancy gimmicks or drawn out tours - just very knowledgeable employees and some really fantastic wine. Perhaps we adore them because on that first visit, while walking over to a tasting station, the workers were unloading crates of grapes, fresh picked from the vines, and dumping them right into the crusher. Our wine guide poured each of us a sampling from the freshly crushed grapes, and it was amazing!

I've been on their (e)mailing list for a while now, and one feature they have is a Recipe of the Month - a meal created to be enjoyed with a specific wine they produce. In October, that meal was designed for their chardonnay. We happened to have a bottle of 2007 Chardonnay patiently waiting to be enjoyed, so I thought I'd finally try out one of their recipe pairings with the Roasted Cauliflower with Dungeness Crab, Garlic, Lemon and Toasted Breadcrumbs. I messed around with the proportions a bit, as I think my head of cauliflower was on the small side, and my 6 ounce can of crab only yielded about 3.5 ounces of crab (yes, I used canned crab, but I live (for now) in the midwest so that's just the easiest way to go), and I went a little overboard with the breadcrumbs.

I loved making this - it was fast and easy, both of which are a huge plus when you have a great bottle of wine staring you down, waiting to be enjoyed. The lemon juice nicely complemented the subtle crab and crispy breadcrumbs. And of course, it went great with the chardonnay!

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Roasted Cauliflower with Crab, Lemon, Garlic and Breadcrumbs
Source: Cakebread Cellars

  • 1 head cauliflower, broken up in to large pieces
  • 5 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. coarse breadcrumbs*
  • 1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 6 oz. Dungeness crab meat
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread out on a sheet pan or shallow casserole dish. Place in the center of the oven and roast for 10-12 minutes, stirring once or twice until cauliflower is tender and starting to brown in spots. While the cauliflower is roasting, toast the breadcrumbs in a small skillet. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet, add the breadcrumbs and toss until brown and crispy. Remove from the heat and place in a small bowl. Combine the garlic, parsley and lemon zest and mix to combine. To finish, remove the cauliflower from the oven, toss with the crabmeat and garlic, parsley mixture. Return to oven and roast for 4-5 minutes more. Squeeze lemon juice over top and sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs.

* It is preferable use homemade breadcrumbs from stale country style bread for this dish. The toasted breadcrumbs provide a crunchy contrast to the cauliflower that is not achievable with the finely ground breadcrumbs available in the grocery store.  When sufficiently dry, pulse stale country style bread that has been cut up in the work bowl of a food processor until coarsely ground.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

This is another quick, easy, delicious dish, inspired by Everyday Food Magazine.  The original recipe was part of a two days, two meals type of menu, where sauce made on the first day is reserved and used the next day in a different dish.  I wasn't making the first meal in this series, so I adapted the recipe to work with what I had on hand.  The dish came together in the time it took the broiler to heat up, and then baked in about 10 minutes - perfect for a hectic day or when you just don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  We served it with steamed broccoli.

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I had to broil mine a little longer than the recipe suggested to cook the shrimp, so my feta got a little... black in the process.  In the recipe below, I've adjusted the instructions to add the feta after the shrimp have baked for a few minutes, to keep it from burning.  Between the capers, olives, and feta, the dish is on the salty side, so cut back on those ingredients if that's a concern for you.
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Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta
Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine
Serves 2-3

8 ounces (1/2 pound) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tsp capers
2 tsp chopped kalamata olives
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat broiler. Combine sauce, tomatoes, capers and olives in a small bowl.  In a broiler safe 1.5 quart baking dish, layer shrimp then sauce.  Broil 5 minutes.  Top with feta crumbles, broil an additional 3-5 minutes until shrimp are opaque throughout and feta is golden brown.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Bagels

In this house, we have been obsessed with whole wheat bagels since I first made them in August. I've finally figured out a plan, so I only have to make them once a month. I made two double batches - one cheddar jalapeno for my husband, and usually sesame for me - and we are able to (stuff our freezer and) stretch this for four weeks. Last time I decided to make a seasonal bagel for myself instead of the sesame, and of course, pumpkin was the first thing that came to mind. I really wasn't sure whether it would be better to add the pumpkin to the biga, the soaker, or at the end in the final dough. I decided on final dough, with a slight adjustment in flour at that step since the pumpkin made the dough quite wet. Overall, they were a huge success! I was hoping for a nice swirl from the cinnamon, but it eluded me this time. Swirl or not, they are delicious, and the pumpkin and cinnamon are a subtle but welcome addition to these hearty bagels.

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Pumpkin Spice Whole Wheat Bagels
Source: Adapted from Whole Grain Breads, Peter Reinhart

Day 1: Make the soaker and biga
Soaker:
1 3/4 cups (227 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (142 grams) water
2 tablespoons (35.5 grams) barley malt syrup, dark or light (for most authentic flavor), or honey

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl for about one minute, until all of the flour is hydrated and the ingredients form a ball of dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temp for 12 to 24 hours. (If you need more time, place in refrigerator for up to 3 days, but leave at room temp 2 hours before continuing with bread).

Biga:
1 3/4 cups (227 grams) whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) instant yeast
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (142 grams) filtered or spring water, at room temperature (about 70 degrees F)

Mix all the biga ingredients together in a bowl to form a ball of dough. With wet hands, knead dough in the bowl for 2 minutes to be sure all ingredients are evenly distributed and the flour is fully hydrated. The dough should be tacky. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead again with wet hands for one minute. The dough will be smoother but still tacky. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Remove from the fridge two hours before making the dough.

Day 2: Make the final dough, and bake

Final Dough:
All of the Soaker
All of the biga
5/8 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
2 tablespoons (28.5 grams) water, at room temperature (about 70 degrees F)
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (106.5 grams) whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons sucanat (or brown sugar)

1. Chop the soaker and biga into 12 smaller pieces (sprinkle flour over pieces to prevent sticking).

2. By hand: Dissolve yeast in water in mixing bowl, then add biga, soaker, and salt and stir vigorously with a mixing spoon or knead with wet hands for about 3-4 minutes, until all ingredients are evenly integrated. Add the pumpkin and flour and knead for 2 more minutes, the dough should be firm but not sticky. If not, add more flour or water as needed.

By stand mixer: Dissolve yeast in water in mixing bowl, then add biga, soaker, and salt and mix on low speed for one minute with hook. Add pumpkin and flour and mix on medium-low speed for 3-4 minutes until dough becomes cohesive and assimilated into each other. Add more flour or water as needed until the dough is firm and not sticky. This is a stiff dough, so turn the mixer off if necessary to avoid stressing the motor.

3. Dust a work surface with flour, the roll the dough in flour to coat. Knead by hand for 3 to 4 minutes, incorporating only as much flour as needed to form a stiff dough that is supple enough to shape. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes while you prepare a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

4. Resume kneading for 1 minutes to strengthen the gluten and make any final water/flour adjustments. Dough should have the strength to pass the windowpane test, yet feel supple and satiny. Form dough into a ball and place in prepared bowl, rolling to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for approximately 45 to 60 minutes, until it is about 1.5 times its original size. Meanwhile, prepare a baking sheet with parchment or silicon mat dusted with whole wheat flour or cornmeal.

5. Transfer to lightly floured work surface and divide into 6 or 7 four ounce pieces (I managed to get 8). In a small bowl, combine sucanat and cinnamon.  Stretch out each piece of dough to approximately 7"x2".  Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Starting at one end, roll up each piece of dough.  Then, roll each piece into an 8 inch rope, shape a circle around your hand. Seal tight at the point where the ends overlap by squeezing or pressing it into the counter. There should be a 2-inch diameter hole in the center. Place on prepared pan, cover loosely with a towel, leave at room temperature.
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6. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment (dusted with cooking spray) or silicon mat. Bring 4 inches of water to a boil in a wide pot, add the baking soda to the boiling water. Lower the head to maintain a steady simmer.

7. The bagels should be read to boil within 20-30 minutes of shaping . Drop one in the boiling water, if it doesn't float within 30 seconds, boil it until it floats and then remove it, but wait 5 minutes before testing another. When they pass the test, boil 2-4 bagels at a time, gently turning them after 30 seconds so they boil for a total of one minute. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to remove them from the water and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Apply toppings, using an egg wash to help them stick, if necessary.

8. Place the baking sheet in the oven and reduce to 450 degrees F. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes more until bagels are nicely browned on top and bottom. Remove and cool on cooling rack for 20 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bulgur Dinner Rolls

I had to laugh when my friend Katie pointed me in the direction of this recipe.  I immediately identified with the blogger, as I also suffer from CDUWG!  (That is, Compulsive Disorder of Using Whole Grains).  A few months ago, I thought I was cool for using brown rice instead of white rice.  Now my pantry is overflowing with whole wheat couscous, bulgur, quinoa... and I can't wait to discover and try out new whole grains. 

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This recipe instantly drew me in.  The dinner rolls looked gorgeous and sounded perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.  Except, of course, that the recipe calls for all purpose flour.  Certainly, it has it's place, but I hate making "whole wheat" bread with 50% white flour.  Seems... silly, to me.  So, I poked Bridget, a fellow Reinhart/Whole Grain Breads follower, and asked for help figuring out how to adapt this to a whole wheat recipe.  See, I can bake right along with a recipe, for the most part (I see you, the elusive scone that I can't make without destroying). When it comes to translating technique from one recipe to another, I get lost.  I get scared.  I don't really take defeat in the kitchen very well, so I don't take too many chances.  I took Bridget's suggestion of combining the flour, milk, and some salt to make a soaker (as in the other recipes I've made from Reinhart).  Making the dough the next day was tricky, as it was way too wet. I didn't panic :-) and just added some more flour until it was no longer sticky.
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The final product was beyond delicious.  I used fresh thyme instead of rosemary, since that's what I had.  The nutty whole wheat-y-ness was wonderful, even though I think I under-baked them a tad.  My husband and I fell in love with these dinner rolls, and they will certainly grace the table at Christmas.

Bulgur Dinner Rolls
Source: Adapted from Chef In You

Day 1: Prepare the soaker
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl for about one minute, until all of the flour is hydrated and the ingredients form a ball of dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temp for 12 to 24 hours. (If you need more time, place in refrigerator for up to 3 days, but leave at room temp 2 hours before continuing with bread).

Day 2: Make the rolls
  • 1/2 cup bulgur (bulghur or burghul)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water (about 110 degrees F)
  • 2 tbsp fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc)
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1. Place the cracked wheat (bulgur) into a bowl and pour out the boiling water over it. Cover and soak it for an hour until it has absorbed all the water.

2. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer) and stir to dissolve.  Chop the soaker into 12 smaller pieces (sprinkle flour over pieces to prevent sticking).

3. By hand: add soaker and all the remaining ingredients to the yeast and stir vigorously with a mixing spoon or knead with wet hands for about 2 minutes, until all ingredients are evenly integrated. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky, if not, add more flour or water as needed.

By stand mixer: add soaker and all the remaining ingredients to the yeast and mix on low speed for one minute with paddle (preferred) or hook. Switch to hook and mix on medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes until dough becomes cohesive and assimilated into each other. Add more flour or water as needed until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.

4. Dust a work surface with flour, the roll the dough in flour to coat. Knead by hand for 1 to 2 minutes, incorporating only as much flour as needed, until the dough feels soft and tacky, but not sticky. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes while you prepare a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

5. Resume kneading for 1 minutes to strengthen the gluten and make any final water/flour adjustments. Dough should be soft and supple. Form dough into a ball and place in prepared bowl, rolling to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for approximately 45 to 60 minutes, until it is about 1.5 times its original size.

6. Transfer to lightly floured work surface. Divide into 10 pieces and roll into a round shape.  Place on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a cloth towel. Let rise at room temperature for approximately 45 minutes, until it is about 1.5 times its original size.

7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Bake for15-20 minutes, until the edges turn a light brown.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lemon Thyme Roasted Turkey Breast

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This turkey is nothing short of fantastic. Clearly, I've been away from butter for too long. I splurged for Thanksgiving, and welcomed butter under the skin of my turkey with open arms. And it was utterly delicious, perfect in every way!

Easy Roast Turkey Breast with Lemon and Thyme
Source: Reworded from Cook's Illusrated, November/December 2007
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced, pressed or grated (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon grated zest from one lemon
  • 1 whole, bone-in, skin on turkey breast ( 6 to 7 pounds), trimmed of excess fat and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 cup water
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix butter, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, and lemon zest in medium bowl with rubber spatula until thoroughly combined. Carefully separate turkey skin from meat over breast; avoid breaking skin.
  2. Place half butter mixture under skin on one side with a spoon, repeat with other side.  Using hands, work butter mixture under skin on both sides to evenly distribute butter over breast. Spray V-rack with nonstick cooking spray and set inside large roasting pan. Place turkey in rack with skin side facing up; pour water into roasting pan.
  3. Roast turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue to roast turkey until thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour longer. Transfer turkey to carving board and let rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Clean Eating Recipe Index

Welcome to my Clean Eating Recipe Index! I hope this makes it easier to find recipes you want to try. I've sorted recipes by category, though some recipes will fall under multiple categories.
(Q/E) Denotes recipes that are Quick and Easy.

My Take on Clean Eating

Beverages
The Green Monster
Hot Cocoa Mix


Bread
Bulgur Dinner Rolls
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Cranberry Pecan Bagels
Whole Wheat Bagels
Whole Wheat Burger Buns (or Sandwich Bread)
Whole Wheat Hearth Bread
Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Breakfast
Baked Oatmeal
Chicken Breakfast Sausage Patties 
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Citrus Scones
Cranberry Orange Muffins
Cranberry Pecan Bagels 
The Green Monster (Q/E)
Homemade Granola  
Maple Bars
Oatmeal Banana Pancakes 
Pumpkin Banana Oat Muffins
Pumpkin French Toast
Whole Wheat Bagels

Crockpot
Chicken San Marco 
Southwestern Chili 
Whole Chicken in a Crockpot

Dessert
Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cranberry Pumpkin Pecan Biscotti (almost clean)
Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies 
My First Attempt at a Clean Cupcake
No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies  
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grilling
Artichoke Stuffed Turkey Burgers  (Q/E)
Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce 
Chili Chicken Kabobs  (Q/E)
Chili Turkey Burgers (Q/E)
Herbed Balsamic Chicken 
Jerk Chicken Wings  
Lemon Basil Chicken  (Q/E)
Lemon Oregano Chicken (Q/E)
Lime Marinated Chicken
Turkey-Jack Burgers with Mango Salsa (Q/E)

Lunch Ideas
Bagel Sandwiches
Gazpacho 
Pesto Chicken Salad
Squash Burritos

Main Dishes
Artichoke Stuffed Turkey Burgers  (Q/E)
Baked Coconut Chicken Curry
Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta (Q/E)
Chicken Chili Verde
Chicken Divan
Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce 
Chicken Piccata (Q/E)
Chicken San Marco 
Chicken Shawarma
Chili Chicken Kabobs   (Q/E)
Chili Turkey Burgers (Q/E)
Cilantro Ginger Tilapia (Q/E)
Easy Herbed Chicken (Q/E)
Eggplant Parmesan with Bulgur and Pine nuts 
Farfalle with Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta 
Fish Tacos with Avocado Cream  (Q/E)
Ginger Sesame Chicken with Boy Choy
Herbed Balsamic Chicken 
Jerk Chicken Wings  
Lemon Basil Chicken  (Q/E)
Lemon Oregano Chicken (Q/E)
Lime Marinated Chicken
Mediterranean Chicken 
Mediterranean Chicken Packets (Q/E) 
Moussaka 
Orange Saffron Chicken
Pumpkin Penne (Q/E)
Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro (Q/E)
Quinoa with Zucchini and Avocado Dressing  (Q/E)
Roasted Cauliflower with crab, lemon, and breadcrumbs (Q/E)
Sesame Chicken and Noodles
Southwestern Chicken Pizza 
Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken and Scallions (Q/E)
Southwestern Chili 
Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon, and Breadcrumbs (Q/E)
Spiced Cilantro Shrimp  (Q/E)
Spicy Red Pepper Pasta with Eggplant (Q/E)
Stuffed Zucchini 
Sweet Potato Gnocchi 
Turkey-Jack Burgers with Mango Salsa (Q/E)
Turkey Sausage Ragu
Walnut Crusted Chicken with a Cinnamon Sage Sauce 
Whole Chicken in a Crockpot
 
Pasta
Evelyn's Favorite Pasta
Farfalle with Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta 
Lemony Almond Spinach Pesto Pasta
Pumpkin Penne  (Q/E)
Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken and Scallions (Q/E)
Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon, and Breadcrumbs (Q/E)
Spicy Red Pepper Pasta with Eggplant (Q/E)
Sweet Potato Gnocchi 
Turkey Sausage Ragu
Tuscan Style Couscous (Q/E)
 
Poultry
Artichoke Stuffed Turkey Burgers  (Q/E)
Bagel Sandwiches
Baked Coconut Chicken Curry
Chicken Breakfast Sausage Patties 
Chicken Chili Verde
Chicken Divan
Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce 
Chicken Piccata (Q/E)
Chicken San Marco 
Chicken Shawarma
Chili Chicken Kabobs   (Q/E)
Chili Turkey Burgers (Q/E)
Easy Herbed Chicken (Q/E)
Ginger Sesame Chicken with Boy Choy
Herbed Balsamic Chicken 
Jerk Chicken Wings  
Lemon Basil Chicken  (Q/E)
Lemon Oregano Chicken (Q/E)
Lime Marinated Chicken
Mediterranean Chicken 
Mediterranean Chicken Packets (Q/E)
Moussaka 
Orange Saffron Chicken
Pesto Chicken Salad
Sesame Chicken and Noodles
Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken and Scallions (Q/E) 
Southwestern Chicken Pizza 
Southwestern Chili 
Stuffed Zucchini 
Turkey-Jack Burgers with Mango Salsa (Q/E)
Turkey Sausage Ragu
Walnut Crusted Chicken with a Cinnamon Sage Sauce 
Whole Chicken in a Crockpot

Sauces 
Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce 
Sun-dried Tomato Spread
Tomatillo Salsa
 
Seafood
Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta (Q/E)
Cilantro Ginger Tilapia  (Q/E)
Fish Tacos with Avocado Cream   (Q/E)
Roasted Cauliflower with crab, lemon, and breadcrumbs (Q/E)
Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon, and Breadcrumbs (Q/E)
Spiced Cilantro Shrimp   (Q/E)

Side dishes
Balsamic Baked Potatoes
Butternut Squash Fries (Q/E)
Cannellini Beans with Tomatoes, Bulgur, and Spinach   (Q/E)
Coconut Saffron Risotto
Eggplant Parmesan with Bulgur and Pine nuts 
Gazpacho 
Garlic Mashed Cannellini Beans (Q/E)
Herb Roasted Onions 
Lemony Almond Spinach Pesto Pasta
Oven Baked Fries 
Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro (Q/E)
Quinoa with Zucchini and Avocado Dressing  (Q/E)
Tuscan Style Couscous   (Q/E)

Snacks
Homemade Granola 
Maple Bars
Pico de Gallo 
Roasted Garlic Hummus
 
Vegetables
Butternut Squash Fries (Q/E)
Eggplant Parmesan with Bulgur and Pine nuts
Gazpacho 
Herb Roasted Onions 
Pico de Gallo  
Squash Burritos

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cranberry Ice Cream

Ice cream is just one of those things I can't give up. White sugar and white flour have been no big deal for me, but ice cream (and all it's heathen saturated fat) will never leave my diet. Instead of eliminating it, I just try to find ways to reduce the amount of heavy cream while still keeping a reasonably palatable final product. I've recently started using agave nectar in ice cream, in place of sugar, and realized that the agave really keeps the ice cream soft. It was an unexpected, but very welcome, bonus.

So, what to do about the cream. I don't like to use more than 8 ounces (1 cup) of cream (in a batch that yields 4-5 cups of ice cream). I try to keep it down to 4 ounces. Previously, I made up the remaining volume with fat free half and half, and whatever milk we had, either 2% or skim. Fat free half and half, I've decided, has too many chemicals for me to using it on such a regular basis, so that ingredient had to go. But making up the rest with milk would yield some very crystal-y (yes that is now a word) ice cream.

Enter: tofu. Firm silken tofu, to be exact. I started this time with 4 ounces, blended up with 1 ounce of milk. I was reserving the remainder of the package for another dish, so 4 ounces was all I had to spare for the ice cream experiment. I also decided to make it part custard by making an egg yolk base with 4 ounces each of cream and milk, and two egg yolks.

The comparison of the nutritional information from the original recipe to mine is startling. The calories per serving were cut in HALF! Total fat was reduced by over 15g, saturated fat by over 11g. Even the cholesterol was reduced! On the plus side, I increased the potassium, fiber, and protein content. All around, a huge win for ice cream!
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I almost forgot - how does it taste?  It's pretty awesome.  There is a perfect balance between tart cranberry and sweet agave nectar!

Cranberry Ice Cream
Yield: 5 cups

1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces heavy cream
18 ounces milk (I used 2%), divided
2 egg yolks
4 ounces firm silken tofu
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1.  Heat cranberries and water in a small saucepan until boiling. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes, until the cranberries pop and become soft. Let cool 10 minutes.  Pour into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not pureed.  Add cinnamon and set aside.
2. Scald cream and 4 ounces of milk in a small saucepan.  Place egg yolks in a small bowl.  Add 4 tablespoons of heated cream, 1 tablespoon at a time while whisking constantly, to warm up the yolks.  Add yolks back to pan with heated cream.  Stir gently with a wooden spoon until custard thickens, coating the back of the spoon.
3.  Blend tofu and 1 ounce of milk in food processor until smooth.
4. Combine cranberries, custard, tofu, salt, agave nectar and remaining 13 ounce of milk in a large bowl and blend well.  Chill at least 4 hours, or overnight, then freeze in an ice cream maker.

Nutritional Information, per 1/2 cup serving:

Reduced Original

Calories: 153.4 310.7

Total Fat: 6.5 22.2

Sat. Fat: 3.8 15.4

Poly Fat: 0.1 0.0

Mono Fat: 0.4 0.0

Cholesterol: 62.5 88.0

Sodium: 66.8 22.0

Potassium: 3.8 0.0

Carbohydrate: 20.3 23.3

Fiber: 0.9 0.0

Sugar: 14.7 19.2

Protein: 3.3 0.1





















































































Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

In my never ending quest for clean eating approved desserts, I saw this recipe on The Way the Cookie Crumbles and could not wait to try it.  All I needed to do to make it clean was switch out the sugar source!  The original recipe calls for powdered sugar, so I got to thinking... if you can make powdered sugar at home by grinding up regular sugar, then I should be able to make powdered sucanat by grinding up regular sucanat.  It worked like a charm!  Per Bridget's suggestions, I cut down the amount of sugar, and found that they were still sweet enough to have reduce it even more, next time.
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I think I slightly under-baked mine, but I loved how they turned out because they were still soft.  Bridget mentioned they were much like meringue cookies, and that was true of my version - but only around the edges.  The centers were soft and gooey and deliciously chocolatey!  Mine spread quite a bit more than Bridget's, so perhaps next time I will chill the cookies in the fridge while the oven finishes warming up. 

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies
Source: Adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles, originally from Bon Appetit June 2008
Servings: Makes about 13
BA note: Made without butter or flour, these dense, chewy cookies will satisfy even the most intense chocolate craving.
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (about 6 ounces), divided
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup sucanat, ground into a powder, divided
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line one large baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 90 seconds. Cool slightly.
2. Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup powdered sucanat. 3. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme. Whisk 1/2 cup powdered sucanat, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and ½ cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff).
4. Scoop 1 rounded tablespoon dough onto prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.

Nutritional Information, per cookie:
Calories: 137
Total Fat: 5.4 g
Sat. Fat: 3.1 g
Sodium: 96.2 mg
Carbohydrate: 23.3 g
Fiber: 1.2 g
Sugar: 20.1 g
Protein: 1.8 g

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Buffalo Wings

Somewhere over a year ago, we discovered a place serving up buffalo wings near our house. Things started out innocently enough, as we ordered wings for the first time when my parents were visiting. Over the course of the next year, there were one or two more meetings with this lovely buffalo wing joint (no pun intended). Recently, my husband has been requesting it more and more often. I caved one night and agreed. Then he said, "We should do this every Thursday!"  Hold the phone. Definitely not! I had to find a way to make good wings at home, because once a week wing ordering was NOT going to happen here!

Tucked away in the back of my mind, for quite some time now, was Alton Brown's buffalo wing episode of Good Eats (The Wing and I). It was definitely time to bring up that recipe and put it to good use! After waiting over a month for the darn wings to go on sale at the store, I finally was able to pick some up and prepare wings, at home, for my buffalo-adoring husband. The method, although not at fast as picking up the phone and driving a mile down the road, worked out quite well and produced wonderfully moist and flavorful roasted wings. I ended up using a bottle of buffalo sauce we got from the Anchor Bar ages ago instead of Alton's sauce, but when that bottle runs out I will surely be trying Alton's.

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Buffalo Wings
Source: Alton Brown

  • 12 whole chicken wings
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Place a 6-quart saucepan with a steamer basket and 1-inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Using kitchen shears, or a knife, separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings into the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay the wings out on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Replace the paper towels with parchment paper. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.
  5. While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small bowl along with the garlic. Pour this along with hot sauce and salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine.
  6. Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve warm.