New Recipe Review - June 2012

bbstxJune 5, 2012

So far, I've tried two new recipes so far this month. We had a jazz band play in the local park on Sunday evening. Several of us couples brought dishes for supper. Here were my contributions:

From the The Spontaneous Hausfrau

Pineapple and Black Bean Salad

3 cups fresh pineapple, diced

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup corn kernels

1/2 cup red pepper, diced

1/3 cup red onion, minced

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon agave syrup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients together. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Will keep for at least 3 days in the refrigerator.

Serves 6 - 8

I also took Layered Mediterranean Dip from Annie's Eats

Yield: 1 12-inch round plate of dip

For the cilantro pesto:

1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup olive oil, divided

2 tbsp. pecans

2 tbsp. pine nuts

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To assemble the dip:


Cilantro or basil pesto

Cucumber, seeded and diced

Red onion, diced

Banana peppers, chopped

Sliced olives (black or Kalamata)

Crumbled feta cheese

Oven-dried tomatoes*


To make the cilantro pesto, combine the cilantro, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, pecans, and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse repeatedly until a coarse paste forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the processor running, add the remaining olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan. (If storing for later use, drizzle with a thin film of olive oil, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto, and store in an airtight container.)

To assemble the dip, spread a layer of hummus on a serving platter. Spread the cilantro or basil pesto over the top of the hummus. Layer evenly with cucumber, red onion, banana peppers, olives, feta, and oven-dried tomatoes as desired. Garnish with an additional few tablespoons of minced fresh cilantro. Serve with pita chips.

*To make the oven dried tomatoes, preheat the oven to 225˚ F. Place the tomatoes in a small baking dish in a single layer, cut side facing up. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. Bake for about 3 hours, or until the tomatoes are mostly shriveled up. Refrigerate until ready to use.

My changes were: I used prepared refrigerated basil pesto; prepared hummus; and kalamata olives, sliced. I omitted the banana peppers.

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Thanks, Bbstx, those look like a couple of recipes I would enjoy.

On Ann's thread about the food porn site, I mentioned a chocolate chip cookie recipe I wanted to try. I did, and we all liked it a lot, even DH, who only barely tolerates Toll House cookies.

Here it is. I'm afraid it's rather long and wordy, but that helps in knowing what to do.

Thousand Layer-Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies (if you're lucky)

1 1/4 cups (that's 2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 room temperature egg
3 room temperature egg Yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into shards (aim for longer, super model-thin "strips," as opposed to cute chubby chunks)
1 large egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash) *The wash won't be used until very late into the recipe...lot's of dough refrigeration time.
Sea salt for sprinkling (optional, but highly recommend)

Brown that butter: Cut 1 cup (that's 2 sticks) of the butter into Tablespoon-sized pieces. (You won't be using the remaining 1/4 cup of butter right now, so leave it in the fridge.)

Have a heat-proof bowl on hand to hold the butter once it has browned. Place the pieces of butter into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk over medium-low heat until completely melted. Crank the heat up to medium, and continue cooking the butter. As it browns, it will foam up, and then it will calm down a bit. If you notice that one side is more foamy than the other, use the handle of the pan to swirl it around occasionally. Once the foam settles down, check for light brown specks forming at the bottom. Those specks are letting you know that it's almost ready! Keep cooking, and swirling the pan, until the butter develops a nutty aroma. *As soon as it's golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and pour the brown butter into a medium heat-proof bowl. Allow the browned butter to come to room temperature before covering, and refrigerating until solid **(at least 4 hours.)

*Note: Once the butter starts changing colour, it can burn super-fast, so don't wander off while it's cooking.

**Well covered, the browned butter can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Any longer, and it may lose some of that nutty flavour.

Remove the solidified brown butter from the fridge, and allow it to soften to room temperature. (Bring the remaining 1/4 cup of regular butter to room temperature as well.)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking Soda, and salt; Set aside.
Scrape the softened brown butter into the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the 1/4 cup of regular butter and both sugars. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and light (about 3-5 minutes). Add the egg and beat for about one minute. One by one, add the yolks, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Turn the mixer down to low speed and slowly add the dry ingredients. Beat just until the streaks of white have disappeared. Use a large rubber spatula to stir in any reaming bits of flour.

Place the cookie dough onto a lightly floured surface, and divide it into 3 equal parts. Shape each piece into a 4x6-inch rectangle, wrap each one in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. If you haven't done so already, you can pass the time by chopping the chocolate!

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper; Set aside. (No, you're not ready to use the oven just yet. Patience grasshopper) :)

Remove the rectangles from the fridge. If they feel like they're going to be too hard to roll out, leave them at room temperature for a few minutes. Place one of the rectangles onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle it with half of the chocolate shards. Top with a second piece of dough, and sprinkle it with the remaining chocolate. Top with the final piece of dough. You should have a high, delicious, messy cookie sandwich sitting in front of you. Try not to eat it! Dust the top layer of dough with flour, and use a *rolling pin to carefully/gently roll the dough into a rectangle that's about 9x6-inches and about 1 1/2-inches thick.

*This is the part where things started to go south for me. My dough cracked, split, and threw a fit when I tried to roll it out. If this happens to you, don't worry! Instead of rolling out the dough, I used my hands to work the chocolate into the dough. And instead of one big 9x6-inch rectangle, I worked with small portions of dough at a time. Still delicious!

Once the dough has been rolled, patted, or squished into a thickness of about 1 1/2-inches, use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut out rounds of dough. [Note: I used 1 1/2-inch round cutters because I'm selfish and wanted more cookies.] Flour the cutter if necessary, and feel free to re-roll the scraps. Place the cut-out cookies onto the prepared sheets, cover loosely, and refrigerate for at least one hour. (Oh the humanity!) The longer you chill the unbaked cookies, the deeper the flavour!

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Have the egg wash on hand, ready to use.

Separate the chilled cookies before baking. These spread out a bit, so make sure to leave about 2-inches between each cookie. Brush the top of each cookie with a little bit of the egg wash. Sprinkle with sea salt (if using).
*Bake for 14-15 minutes, or until the edges have just set. Rotate the sheets half-way through the baking time to ensure even browning. Remove the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for about 5 minutes before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack.
*My cookies were perfect after only 11 minutes. They looked slightly underdone (which I prefer anyway), but they firmed up nicely as they cooled.


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart via Tracey's Culinary Adventures


Here is a link that might be useful: Une Gamine dans la Cuisine website

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 9:26AM
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This recipe is from Pefect Recipes for Having People Over, by Pam Anderson. I made it for a brunch gathering of neighborhod women. I used dried cherries for the top layer, & pecans instead of walnuts. The recipes calls for it to be baked 35 - 40 minutes, but my oven needed 40 - 45; the strata needs to be set & lightly browned. It's easy to put together & can be done the evening before, which makes it great for a morning get-together. The flavor is lovely. It went well with chicken breakfast sausage, fresh fruit & a sour cream coffee cake.

Orange Cream Cheese Strata with Cranberries and Walnuts
12 servings
Prepare night before

12 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest and 1/4 cup juice from a large orange
9 large eggs
3 cups half and half
2 Tbsp, plus another 2 Tbsp sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries (see comment above)
12 to 13 slices cheap fluffy white bread, such as Wonder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup orange marmalade

With a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and orange zest in a medium bowl, adding 1 egg at a time, to form a lumpy batter. Beat in half and half, sugar, and vanilla (Batter should still be lumpy).
Spray a 13-by 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Line pan bottom with 6 slices of bread, fitting in additional bread, cut into strips, to form a tight fit, which keeps the strata from puffing unevenly.
Pour 1 cup of the egg mixture over the bread, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cranberries.
Make another layer with remaining bread (and strips, if necessary). Slowly pour remaining egg mixture over bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from refrigerator about an hour before baking.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Before setting the casserole in the oven sprinkle with walnuts and remaining cranberries, lightly pressing them into the bread. Bake until casserole is firm and puffy, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove strata from oven, let stand for 8 to 10 minutes
Meanwhile, warm marmalade and orange juice in a small saucepan, or microwave on 8 power about 30 seconds until warm.
Cut strata into 12 to 15 portions and serve with orange sauce.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 6:35PM
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BBstyx I am definitely making the Layered Mediterranean Dip from Annie's Eats. That sounds DELISH!

This is dinner tonight - really tasty and I love that at least one child will eat it (The Picky One had pizza at a school event).

I used "mini" peppers instead of full sized ones, so I had a lot of "stuffing" left over. I just piled it into the middle of the casserole dish and baked it all together.

Stuffed Peppers with Black Beans and Corn
Serves 8

8 medium red, yellow, or orange bell peppers,, 1/2 �inch trimmed off tops, stemmed, and seeded
1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium jalapeno chile, minced (include seeds and ribs if you want it hotter)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 14.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen or fresh corn (if frozen, make sure to thaw)
1 cup 2% shredded cheddar or pepper Jack cheese
� cup cilantro, chopped
Fresh ground black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Set aside a 9x13 baking dish.

2) Boil 4 quarts water in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add 1 tablespoon salt and all the bell peppers. Cook 3 minutes. Remove peppers from water and drain them in a colander. Once drained, stand them up on paper towels.

3) When water is boiling again, add rice. Cook 13 minutes, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks.. Drain.

4) While rice is cooking, add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeno. Cover. Saute 8 or 10 minutes, until onion is translucent and soft. Uncover. Add garlic. Saute until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add black beans, tomatoes, and corn. Cook 2 minutes. Pour everything into rice bowl.

5) To the bowl, add cheese and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine.

6) "Carefully and loosely" even distribute filling among the peppers. Place in baking dish. Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the middle of the oven. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, and Price Per Serving
320 calories, 4.7 g fat, 6.6 g fiber, $1.57

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 7:09PM
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I made the Layered Mediterranean Dip you posted above for a little gathering last night and it is excellent! Thanks for sharing the recipe - it will make frequent appearances this summer!


    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 9:53AM
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It was "ice cream weekend" to keep busy. I tried three recipes. One I fiddled with and I would fiddle some more before making it again. It was pineapple that used crushed pineapple, but I'd puree it before trying it again. It wasn't in the directions to do that, but I surely would! I also subbed coconut milk for some of the milk, but I think, I'd rather find some extract or flavoring to add coconut next go round. It tastes good, but the texture was all wrong and the pineapples were frozen solid. Another was a recipe that has intrigued me for some time. For all the monstrous effort, it wasn't worth it--Apricot and Praline ice cream. I had it in mind that I wanted to highlight apricots since they're in season. That so doesn't happen with this. It's more like peach ice cream. Spiced peach ice cream. Well phooey on both of those! So I tried A chocolate gelato that looked really good in Saveur from about a billion years ago. That, I liked. I will give the coconut pineapple a whir in the blender with some rum later on. The peachy stuff, I'll likely throw out. The chocolate is half gone.

Saveur's Chocolate Gelato

In the late 1600s Sicilian ice cream makers were famous throughout Italy, creating their frozen delicacies only for aristocratic households. It wasn't until the late 19th century that ice cream became available to the masses��"and every time we dip into this irresistible dessert we are so thankful it did!

3 cups milk
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
3⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1. Bring 2 cups of the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat. Combine remaining 1 cup milk, sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa in a bowl, add to hot milk, and cook until sugar and cocoa dissolve.

2. Set aside to let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Saveur's gelato recipes (chocolate and pistachio)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Japanese Eggplant with Haricot Vert and Thai Red Curry

1/4 cup peanut oil
3 small Japanese eggplants (about 7 ounces total), unpeeled, cut into 3-inch-long, 1/2-inch-wide strips
5 ounces haricots verts or thin green beans, trimmed
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons yellow miso (fermented soybean paste) mixed with 1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste

Heat oil in wok or heavy large skillet over high heat until hot. Add eggplant strips and toss to coat with oil. Stir-fry until eggplant strips begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Add haricots verts and stir-fry until eggplant strips are tender and haricots verts are crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry 10 seconds. Add miso mixture, soy sauce and curry paste and stir until liquids thicken, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Here is a link that might be useful: Epicurious Japanese Eggplant with Haricot Vert and Thai Red Curry

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 4:36PM
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I made this marinated salad for dinner last night. It's from Relish, a monthly food supplement to our local newspaper. It is definitely a keeper for me - I like crisp, vinegary dishes. I used Persian cucumbers & substituted celery for the red pepper.

Vinagrete (Brazilian Tomato Slaw)
8 servings

1/2 English cucumber, unpeeled, quartered and thinly sliced
5 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced green onions
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and let stand 3 hours at room temperature.
"This refreshing combination, something like a salad-textured gazpacho, makes a fresh, piquant side for a black bean dish."

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 6:26PM
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I made the Szechuan Eggplant posted on What's For Dinner by Unorthodox Epicure. We liked it a lot and I'll definitely make it again.

Szechuan Eggplant

5 � slender eggplants (Italian or Asian)
4 � garlic cloves, minced
2 � green onions (white and green parts) sliced thinly
1 Tablespoon � chile paste
1 teaspoon � ginger, minced
3 Tablespoons � vegetable oil
1/2 cup � vegetable or chicken stock
3 Tablespoons � dark soy sauce
1 Tablespoon � rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon � light brown sugar, packed (or 1 TB of Turbinado sugar)
1 Tablespoon � cornstarch
1 tablespoon � toasted sesame oil
Cilantro leaves
Cut the eggplants in half, lengthwise. Slice into strips about 1-inch wide.

Heat a wok or large skillet to medium-high. Add vegetable oils, making sure bottom and sides of pan are coated. Add half of eggplant. Stir-fry until edges are slightly browned � about 2-3 minutes. Remove cooked eggplant and set aside. Repeat method with remaining eggplant.

In same heated pan, add onions, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add chile paste. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Add the stock. Meantime, in a separate bowl, mix soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Pour mixture into hot wok with onions, garlic and ginger. Cook about one minute, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened. Add eggplant and sesame oil. Cook, tossing for about a minute.

Garnish with cilantro leaves.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 6:51PM
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I posted this in another thread, but it is so good, it is worth a second posting - and it is a new recipe for me. DH and I ate about 1/2 while it was still soft.

Peaches and Cream Ice Cream
The Essential Diabetes Cookbook, Kyle Books, 2010
by way of Leite's Culinaria
Serves 4

1 cup cool water
3/4 cup superfine sugar (if you don't have superfine sugar, simply blitz some granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until super finely ground but not powdery)
4 ripe peaches, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 tablespoons peach schnapps, brandy, or orange flavored liqueur
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (preferably full-fat)
2 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)


Bring the water and the sugar to a boil in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the mixture forms a clear syrup.

Place the peaches in a bowl and pour the hot syrup over them. Stir in the schnapps, brandy, or liqueur and let cool.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer half the fruit to a small bowl and set aside. Pour the remaining peaches and all of the syrup into a blender or food processor and blend along with the cream and the yogurt to the desired consistency.

If using an ice-cream maker, pour the mixture into the machine and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

If not using an ice-cream maker, pour the mixture into a large shallow container, such as a metal baking pan, and place in the freezer. Whisk the mixture every 30 minutes.

Toward the end of the freezing process, fold in the reserved peaches and the hazelnuts. Enjoy immediately or transfer to a container and freeze a little longer if you're the sort who likes a slightly firmer texture. Regardless, you may wish to remove the ice cream from the freezer about 10 or so minutes prior to serving to soften it slightly.

NOTES: I did not add the hazelnuts. I only used 1 Tblsp of triple sec and I think I could have done without it at all. I made the peaches and syrup the day before, only because I thought I had greek yogurt in the fridge, but didn't. I used 2% greek yogurt because my local grocery doesn't seem to carry full-fat. It was, nevertheless, very creamy!

Here is a link that might be useful: Leite's Culinaria Peaches and Cream Ice Cream

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 2:45PM
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DH hates salmon. I keep trying to find ways to make it palatable to him. He loved this recipe! It has been added to my

Glazed Salmon

1/2 cup apple cider (not hard cider)
1 1/4 tablespoons honey
4 skinless salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 lemons, cut in half
1 Tbsp butter
12 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine
1 Preheat oven to 350�F. Place salmon fillets in a baking dish large enough to hold the salmon in one layer.
2 In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cider and honey to a boil and let the mixture bubble steadily until it reduces by half.
3 Pour the cider over the salmon, then let it sit for 10 minutes.
4 Heat olive oil in a large skillet with a oven-proof handle on medium-high. Sprinkle the flesh side of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Place the fish in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, brushing the top with cider glaze so that the fish begins to caramelize.
5 Turn the salmon fillets over and brush with the remaining cider glaze. Add the lemon halves to the skillet. Transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily when tested with the tip of a knife. When you remove the skillet from the oven take special care with the very hot handle. I tend to forget that the handle is hot once the skillet is back on the stove. As a precaution I will melt an ice cube on the handle, or drape a hand towel on it.
6 While the salmon is cooking, in another large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, or just until the leaves begin to wilt. Pour the wine over them and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes more or until tender. 7 To serve, drain any excess liquid from the spinach and divide it among 4 plates. Arrange a piece of salmon on top and garnish with a lemon half.
Serves four.

Here is a link that might be useful: Simply Recipes Glazed Salmon

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 9:28PM
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Annie1992, I made that dish as well (Thank you, Unorthodox Epicure!), two nights ago. It's a keeper!

The only thing I didn't have, and couldn't find during my trip to the store, was the chile paste, so I used Sriracha instead. Oh, and I used a pan and not a wok. Delish!


    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 10:18PM
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I made a Trader Joe's Recipe tonight... on the side of the box of crisp rice cereal, the recipe is called Super Yummy No-Bake Peanut Butter Crisp Rice Cereal Treats.

I only made half a recipe, but here are the full recipe amounts:

1 C Trader Joe's brown sugar (didn't have TJ's, so used what I had)
1 C Trader Joe's Blue Agave Syrup
1 C Trader Joe's Creamy Peanut Butter (didn't have TJ's, so used what I had)
7 C Trader Joe's Crisp Rice Cereal (less expensive than Rice Krispies!)

Combine brown sugar and agave syrup in a saucepan and bring to a near boil, stirring often. Continue stirring until brown sugar dissolves (okay, you're making *caramel* here!) and then remove from heat.

Add peanut butter to mixture and mix well, then add the crisp rice cereal and mix well. At this point, the recipe suggestion, if you so desire, is to add chocolate chips and mix well.

Press the mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2 greased baking pan. Refrigerate for several hours to cool and harden.

It came out tasty and maybe should be called Caramel Krispie Treats. It's less time and less "work" to just make regular or peanut butter Rice Krispie Treats. Getting the agave and brown sugar to near boiling took a while.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:32AM
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I took a book out of the library : The best Chicken Recipes by Cook's Illustrated. There are 300 recipes. So far it looks really good, I'd love to be able to find it and buy it. It's a thick book, with no pictures, and I do like to see some pictures.

Tonite I tried one, for company and it was fantastic. I'm putting it in my keeper binder as we speak.

Orange-Honey Glazed Chicken Breasts (Cook's Illustrated)
Corn syrup enhances the glaze without adding sweetness. The chicken stays moist and flavorful.

4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups orange juice, plus 2 tbsp
1/3 cup light corn syrup
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp vinegar
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium shallot, minced (3 tbsp)

Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk 1 1/2 cups orange juice, corn syrup, honey, dijon, vinegar and red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place flour in a shallow dish. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat the oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat just until smoking. Brown chicken on both sides; 5-8 minutes per side, reducing the heat if the pan begins to scorch. Remove chicken to a plate.

Pour off all but 1 tbsp fat from skillet. Over medium heat cook the shallot until softened, 1-2 minutes. Increase heat to high and add the orange juice mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally until syrupy and reduced to about 1 cup; 6-10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and tilt it so the glaze pools in the corner. Roll each breast in the glaze to coat and place skin-side down in the skillet.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the thickest part of the breast registers 160 to 165; 25-30 minutes. Turn the chicken skin-side up halfway through. Remove to a platter and let rest 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, using oven mitts, return the skillet to high heat and cook the glaze, stirring constantly until thickened and syrupy, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tbsp orange juice. Spoon some glaze over the chicken and pass the remainder separately.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 7:45PM
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jasdip, is this the book?

Here is a link that might be useful: ATK The Best Chicken Recipes

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 7:54PM
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Yes, that's it bbstx.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 6:57AM
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Every Sunday evening in June, our town has a concert in the park. A group of us meet and bring dishes for dinner while we listen to the music. Last night, I took Grilled Peach Salad.

Grilled Peach Salad

1 cup pecans
4 large fresh, ripe peaches, halved
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (4-oz.) wedge Gorgonzola cheese, broken into 8 pieces
2 cups arugula
1/4 cup honey*
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

2. Preheat grill to 350 degrees to 400 degrees(medium-high) heat. Gently toss peach halves in 1 Tbsp. olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Grill peaches, cut sides down, covered with grill lid, 2 to 3 minutes or until golden. Turn peaches, and place 1 cheese piece in center of each peach; grill, covered with grill lid, 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese begins to melt.

3. Toss arugula with remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange arugula on a serving platter; sprinkle with toasted pecans, and top with grilled peach halves. Drizzle peaches with honey, and sprinkle with chives.

*Aged balsamic vinegar may be substituted.


1. I have burned pecans too often. I roasted mine dry at 250 degrees for 20 minutes, then tossed them with a little butter, returned to the oven for 10 minutes. When I removed them the second time, I salted them with a little kosher salt.

2. 1/2 ounce of blue cheese per peach is quite a bit. I had a shade less than that.

3. I did mine in a skillet indoors since it was 106 outside. I heated a non-stick skillet with a tiny smear of olive oil in it. Cooked the peaches cut-side down until they began to brown. Turned them cut-side up, put the cheese in the cavity where the seed had been, covered the skillet, turned the heat to low until the cheese began to melt. Then turned off the heat, but left the peaches in the skillet until the cheese was completely melted.

4. After placing the peaches on the bed of arugula, I drizzled with a tiny amount each of balsamic vinegar and honey.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 6:41AM
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This recipe came from the Some Like It South! cookbook by the Junior League of Pensacola, Florida. I like it a lot & will make it again. It has good flavor, it was simple to put together & the chicken wasn't dried out as in many other recipes. It keeps well - we had it two days later & it was just as good.

Garlic Sour Cream Chicken
4-6 servings

1 2 1/2-3 lb chicken, cut up, or boneless chicken breasts
3/4 c sour cream
2 cloves, garlic, crushed
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
pepper to taste
1/2 c butter, melted
3/4 c bread crumbs

Grease a shallow 9x13 baking dish.
Mix together in small bowl all ingredients except butter & bread crumbs.
Coat chicken with sour cream mixture. Arrange skin-side up in baking dish.
Melt butter & mix in bread crumbs. Spread on chicken pieces.
Bake at 350 degrees 1 hr 15 minutes or until brown.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 1:52PM
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I finally made this for dinner tonite, as we had 2 neighbours over. I know that someone here makes this regularly. My croutons got soggy, but other than that it was great. Maybe I didn't toast them enough, I'm not sure.

This is Ina's recipe, but a little less dressing. It fed 4 of us, along with Pasta Puttanesca.

Greek Panzanella (Gorging George blog)

Adapted (only a little) from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten

1/4 cup olive oil
1 boule/loaf rustic bread, cut into 1-inch cubes)
salt and pepper
1 English cucumber, halved, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, diced into large pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, diced into large pieces
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lb feta cheesed, diced into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400F. Toss bread with olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking pan and bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes until browned. Remove from oven and let cool.

Combine remaining salad ingredients (minus dressing) in a large bowl and toss gently with your hands.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small canning jar (or any container you have with a very leakproof lid). Put the lid on and vigorously shake. Note: Ina (and many other cookbooks) suggest putting all the dressing ingredients; minus the oil into a small bowl and whisking together, then suggest you slowly add the oil and whisk away (while somehow magically keeping your small bowl steady) in order to create what's called an emulsion. But here's the secret: if you have mustard in your vinaigrette, it will do all the work for you, as long as you shake up your ingredients really well. Sure this isn't what you'd do to impress the chef if you were in culinary school-- but we're at home, why make things harder on yourself?

Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl, add the bread on top, then lightly toss the salad together. Let the salads flavours combine for 15-30 minutes before serving. This will allow the bread to soak up some of the dressing, while still staying crunchy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Greek Panzanella

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 9:07PM
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Tuna Rillettes
Serves 8

3/4 lb fatty tuna belly
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2/cup finely chopped scallions
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
10 brined green peppercorns, drained and finely chopped
1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
crackers or toasted bread rounds for serving

Fit medium pot with steamer insert. Add 1 inch wear to pot and bring to boil. Add tuna and steam until cooked through - about 8 minutes. Let cool

Flake tuna into medium bowl; do not remove fat. Gently stir in the cilantro, scallions, butter, green peppercorns, lemon juice and cayenne

In small bowl, beat cream until stiff. Fold cream into the tuna and seasons with salt.

Transfer to crock and serve at room temperature or slightly chilled with crackers or toasted bread rounds.

Can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Let stand at room temp for 30 minutes before serving.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:01PM
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Tuna Rillettes
Serves 8

3/4 lb fatty tuna belly
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2/cup finely chopped scallions
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
10 brined green peppercorns, drained and finely chopped
1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
crackers or toasted bread rounds for serving

Fit medium pot with steamer insert. Add 1 inch wear to pot and bring to boil. Add tuna and steam until cooked through - about 8 minutes. Let cool

Flake tuna into medium bowl; do not remove fat. Gently stir in the cilantro, scallions, butter, green peppercorns, lemon juice and cayenne

In small bowl, beat cream until stiff. Fold cream into the tuna and seasons with salt.

Transfer to crock and serve at room temperature or slightly chilled with crackers or toasted bread rounds.

Can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Let stand at room temp for 30 minutes before serving.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:02PM
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I haven't been cooking much. Too hot and my new field job leaves me pooped at the end of the day. I love it but it still wipes me out. The potato salad I made after having and loving it as Wegman's. The carrot cake I made last weekend for BF's birthday. I had made it once before and liked it, but this time I ran out of carrots and subbed crushed pineapple for some of the carrots and it was fantastic! I just love one layer cakes, they are the perfect size! The baked beans recipe is going to be my new "go to" baked beans. It is the first completely "from scratch" baked beans recipe that I have liked. If you use a crockpot, it is still a cinch to make.

Latin Red Potato & Corn Salad
Recipe from Wegman's
Makes 12 cups.

2 bags (24 oz each) Baby Red Potatoes, 1-inch dice
1/2 red sweet pepper, 1/4-inch dice (about 3/4 cup)
3 ears of corn, shucked, kernels removed (about 3 cups) or 1 pkg (16 oz) Whole Kernel Corn, thawed (Frozen Foods)
1/4 red onion, peeled, very thinly sliced
1 Tbsp Tabasco Pepper Sauce
3/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 1/4 cups Cilantro-Lime Pesto (see related recipe)
Zest of 1 lime

Add potatoes and enough cold water to cover in stockpot. Simmer on MEDIUM about 20 min (don't boil), until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain.

Lay potatoes flat on baking sheet to cool 10 min (still warm, not completely cooled).

Combine red pepper, corn, onion, Tabasco, and salt in large bowl. Fold in potatoes, pesto sauce, and lime zest.

Cilantro Lime Pesto
5 cloves Peeled Garlic
1 bunch cilantro, washed, roots trimmed
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (Bulk Foods), toasted and cooled
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Pure Olive Oil
Juice of 1 lime (about 1-2 Tbsp)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Add garlic, cilantro, toasted pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lime juice, and sea salt to food processor.

Pulse on HIGH until well-combined.
Chef Tip(s): Toast pumpkin seeds in skillet on MEDIUM-HIGH, 1-2 min, until lightly browned. Let cool.
Great dipping sauce for quesadillas and grilled vegetables.

Lpink's notes: Can use regular red potatoes if you don't have the dosh for the pricey baby ones. Just cut them up. Can also use parsley and maybe fresh oregano or some other herb in place of the cilantro if you can't find that either. Add a healthy dash of ground corriander seed to compensate.

Torta di Carote del Veneto (Carrot Cake from the Veneto)
from "Cucina Ebraica" by Joyce Goldstein
Note: Joyce says use fresh young, sweet organic carrots. She's probably right, but subbing a cup of canned crushed pineapple for a cup of carrots adds a note of freshness if you can't afford the fancy carrots.

Serves 8

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract (I omitted this because I added pineapple this time.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Grated zest of one large lemon
2 cups all purpose flour (I used half whole wheat pastry flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (I used half nutmeg and half ground ginger)
Pinch of salt
4 cups finely grated carrots (about 1 lb.) (Thank you again Johnliu for the Cuisinart!!)
1/2 cup ground toasted almonds
Confectioners sugar for the topping (I made cream cheese frosting)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9 inch cake pan, line it with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

Beat together softened butter and other wet ingredients. In another bowl sift together flour and dry ingredients. (Or not, Lpink never does!). Fold flour mixture into batter, then fold in the carrots and almonds. Pour into the prepared cake pan.

Bake until golden and the top springs back to the touch and the cake tests done. 45-60 min. (I baked it for 45 and it was done). Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Invert the cake onto a cake platter when cool. Sift confectioners sugar over the top of it and serve with a dollop of whipped cream if you want to be Continental. If not, frost with cream cheese icing.

Lpink's note: Sub one cup pineapple for one cup of carrots. This greatly improves the recipe. Also, I think I would like it better with walnuts, but I didn't have any so I made as written with almonds. It was very good, but if you don't have almonds on hand, feel free to sub walnuts. You could also add plumped raisins for extra interest, but not needed.

Last but not least, a "Cooking Light" baked beans recipe we have been enjoying all week. I didn't use chorizo, I just used some turkey kielbasa we had on hand. Not as sweet as regular baked beans and picante, both good things IMHO.

Smokey Baked Beans with Chorizo from June 2011 "Cooking Light" magazine.

1 pound dried Great Northern beans (2 1/2 cups)
1 cup diced dry-cured Spanish chorizo
4 cups chopped onion
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons brown sugar (NO! Use 4 heaping TBLSP)
3 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
3 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (Lpink subbed a WHISPER of ground chipotle, since she didn't use chorizo)
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Sort and wash beans; place in a Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans. Cover; let stand 8 hours. Drain.

2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chorizo; cook 4 minutes or until fat begins to render. Add onion and garlic; sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Add beans, water, and next 7 ingredients (through bay leaves); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until beans are just tender. (Lpink made the beans in the crockpot.)

3. Preheat oven to 350°.

4. Stir brown sugar and the next 3 ingredients (through crushed red pepper) into bean mixture; bring to a simmer. Cover; bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until beans are very tender and sauce is thick. Remove from oven; stir in vinegar, black pepper, and ground red pepper. Discard bay leaves; sprinkle with green onions and parsley.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Hi Pinky,
My go-to carrot cake recipe that was Mom's also calls for crushed pineapple. It's delicious.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 1:40PM
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Caliloo- your stuffed peppers have me drooling!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 10:37PM
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If you enjoy long, complicated recipes with a high probability of something going wrong, them you will love this recipe! It's Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Epicurious. Yikes, I burned the first batch of caramel even though I've used this method tons of times. I also ended up with some scrambled eggs in the custard which I strained out. If you persevere and make it through, you will be rewarded with a silky smooth bowl of caramel goodness! I highly suggest you read the reviews before trying this. I usually do but got in a hurry and did not. Definitely not my best idea but all was well n the end.


1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs

Equipment: an ice cream maker
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Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.
Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170�F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.
Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 2:44PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

I normally have two coleslaw recipes I use - an old North Carolina slaw recipe and an old BBQ restaurant recipe. However, yesterday (July 4th) I decided to use the following, very simple recipe. It is quite delicious and so easy. I also made a corn dish which was a new recipe for me; it is posted below the coleslaw recipe and we loved it.

Brookville Hotel Restaurant Sweet & Sour Coleslaw
1 1/2 lbs shredded green cabbage
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 cup whipping cream

Put shredded cabbage and salt in a bowl and mix. Refrigerate several hours or until well chilled.

30 min before serving time, mix ingredients in order given. (I did this about 2 hours before we were going to eat.)

Chill and serve.

I prefer to shred cabbage on a box grater. It seems to me that the cabbage is much more tender when shredded by this method, as opposed to a food processor.

Brookville Hotel Restaurant Cream Corn
20 ounces frozen corn
1/2 cup oleo
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (I softened this to room temp)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Cook on low in crock pot about 4 hours, stirring occasionally, until ingredients are well blended and hot.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 3:45PM
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