Friday, May 28, 2010

Spicy Farro Salad with Kale, Chicken, and Cherries

Spicy Farro Salad with Kale, Chicken, and Cherries

The other day I went home with a general idea that I would be making something that resembled this dish, but hunger got the best of me and I ended up having a quick turkey sandwich for dinner instead. I still cooked though and this is what I came up with. This was a fridge clearing meal of sorts to use up some kale before it went bad and the last of the cherries I hadn't snacked on. This is one of my favorite lunches I have made for myself recently. There is a lot of flavor in each component from the farro cooked in chicken stock to the garlicky kale and sweet cherries. This can be altered in many ways to make it vegetarian or vegan. Instead of using chicken, sub with some tempeh or tofu and cook the farro in vegetable broth or salted water. Try adding some toasted nuts or goat cheese or feta to add to the textures. This recipe is transportable and would be a great addition to a picnic or perhaps your Memorial day barbecue.

It's going to be a busy long weekend. Hope you have a great one!

Spicy Farro Salad with Kale, Chicken, and Cherries
(By Esi)

Makes 2 main dish servings

1 cup farro, soaked or rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
Extra virgin olive oil as needed
1 bunch of kale, washed and patted dry with the leaves roughly torn
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into chunks
1-2 handfuls cherries, pitted and sliced in half
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot combine the farro and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let the farro cook 12-15 minutes until tender, but still chewy. Drain, and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1-2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kale and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and cook until the kale is wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Toss the kale with the farro.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In the same pan you cooked the kale in, heat another 1-2 teaspoons of oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook 6-8 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

In a large bowl, toss the kale and farro mixture with the cooked chicken and cherries. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more oil. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Self Frosting Nutella Cupcakes

Self Frosting Nutella Cupcakes

For our beach potluck last weekend, I was stumped as to what I could make. I knew it had to be something that was both kid and adult friendly. I didn't want to spend a whole bunch of money trying a new recipe so I wanted to keep it limited to things I had on hand. I knew that there would be healthy stuff so I could get away with something sweet. Back before I even started food blogging, I saved many recipes and as I was going through my old recipe binder, I came across these cupcakes not once, but three times. Apparently I really wanted to make these back in the day. I already had the Nutella thanks to my recent investment at the grocery store and the rest of the ingredients were things I always keep on hand in case the mood to bake strikes which in my case happens to be often. This could not have been a more simple recipe.I think the most difficult thing was swirling the Nutella and even that was kind of fun. Make these immediately. The buttery cake is tender and the Nutella is the star as the frosting/topping. It's uncomplicated and completely delicious. I'm super shocked I restrained myself at just one.

Self Frosting Nutella Cupcakes
(Adapted from Baking Bites)

Makes 10-12 cupcakes

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Nutella (approximately 1/3 cup, about 1 teaspoon for each cupcake)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners or alternately spray and flour each muffin tin and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the eggs one at a time making sure that each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, stir in the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Fill each muffin tin with batter about 3/4 full. Top the batter in each tin with 1 teaspoon of Nutella. Swirl the Nutella into the batter with a toothpick taking care to spoon some of the batter over the Nutella.

Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire pan to cool completely.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Red Wine Risotto with Peas

Red Wine Risotto with Peas

It is very rare that I get a weekend completely to myself without having any chores or work things to worry about. This past weekend was one of those rare amazing times when I had two whole days to do whatever I wanted. I kicked off the weekend by cleaning out my very old recipe binder, followed by a beach picnic with a few of my favorite blogging pals, and rounded it out with a little Sunday afternoon fun with some of my best boys. The sun was shining, the weather was perfect and I could not have asked for a better time. While I was cleaning out my recipe folder, I found this particular risotto recipe that I had printed out nearly three years ago. At the time I remembered thinking how unusual it was to put red wine in risotto when you normally use white. The wine not only gives the risotto that beautiful color, but adds a nice deep flavor without additional ingredients that would make it feel heavy. Perhaps a little unconventional, I paired this risotto with shrimp because I love shrimp and risotto together. The green peas add a nice pop of color and their lovely sweetness which rounds out this dish. Now that I have been through my old recipe binder again, I have pulled out a bunch of recipes and can't wait to share some of them soon!

Red Wine Risotto with Peas and Shrimp

You wish you could live here:

Will Rogers Beach 5/22/10

Red Wine Risotto with Peas
(Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

Makes 2 servings

2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons frozen peas, defrosted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
1-2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the stock to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, and keep the stock warm over very low heat.

In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent,but not browned, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for about 2 minutes until the rice is toasted. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed, about 1-2 minutes. Add one ladle full of the hot chicken stock to the rice; simmer until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Repeat, one ladle full at a time until the rice is tender and creamy.

Stir in the peas, Parmesan and parsley. Season to taste. Spoon the risotto into bowls and serve.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nutella Sandwich Cookies, A Blogiversary, and a GIVEAWAY!!

Nutella Sandwich Cookies

My little baby blog is growing up before my very eyes. Today I am celebrating two fab years of food blogging. Last year I made a cake. This year cookies will have to suffice. It's been another great year of blogging. I made a goal to meet at least three food bloggers in person. Well I exceeded that and met many, fabulous people. In fact, I met so many bloggers, I would love to name them all here, but unfortunately I don't have that kind of time. You all know who you are and we've had so much fun together!!

Of course this wouldn't be a celebration without highlighting some of my favorite and most popular posts from the past year.

Last summer I moved out of the apartment I lived at for quite a while. For nearly two months, I hardly cooked a thing so after some time, I was eager to get back into the kitchen. One of the first things I did was use my favorite end of summer fruit in a simple tart.

Fig Bacon and Gorgonzola Tart

Lately I've really been getting in to Korean food and recipes. After a field trip to Koreatown here in Los Angeles, I came back and made chicken bulgogi. I have so many ingredients left over, it's been really fun to play around with different recipes.

Dak Bulgogi

I love to bake as a way to relieve stress and delight my coworkers with treats. Two of the most popular baking recipes have been Sticky Meyer Lemon Rolls and Crack Pie. It's not difficult to figure out why.

Sticky Meyer Lemon Rolls

Momofuku's Crack Pie Bars

I had a couple of parties and made a cake.

Cuban Opera Cake

I got to go to fun events with food and wine.

LA Food Bloggers with Curtis Stone at Good Food Live

I ate at fancy restaurants, not so fancy restaurants, and food trucks and enjoyed it all.

Pastrami Melt from The Grilled Cheese Truck in Los Angeles

I participated in two bake sales and a fundraiser for Haiti.

National Food Blogger Bake Sale

Some really nice people have said some really nice things about me.

It's been another delicious year and I want to give back to my readers who make it possible. I'm giving away a $100 gift card to Williams Sonoma! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post by 11:59PM PST, June 3rd. That's it! I'm keeping it simple and also keeping this open for a couple of weeks so everyone gets a chance to enter. One entry per person please and while I would like to be able to ship anywhere in the world, that's just not possible so this is open to US residents only. When the contest is done, Random Integer Generator will come up with the winner for me since I don't like picking favorites amongst friends.

Thanks to everyone all over the world who have made it worthwhile for me to continue finding and creating new recipes for you to enjoy here on this little site. It's been so much fun and I hope to continue doing it for years to come!

Oh yes, and the cookies have a recipe. They're super simple to make and even better to eat. Nutella fans will love them and lest you think they would be too sweet with all that sugar, there is a nice dose of salt to bring out the flavors and balance them out. Try them soon. Nutella is still on sale at the store!!

Nutella Sandwich Cookies
(Adapted from Indecisive Baker who adapted from Living Eventfully)

Makes 24 cookies (12 sandwiches)

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. and set aside.

In a stand mixer bow place the Nutella, butter, and both sugars. On medium speed cream together mixer for about about 3 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla and blend until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated.

Carefully shape the cookie dough into 1 inch, about 1 teaspoon sized round balls. . Roll the cookie balls in sugar and place the cookies on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 6-8 minutes. The cookies will look underdone, but they will continue to cook once the pan is removed from the oven.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookies sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once cool spread a layer of Nutella between two cookies.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Fritatta

Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Fritatta

A few weeks ago I mentioned that until recently, I didn't own a nonstick pan. I was actually kind of surprised that so many people were surprised by this. When I had a roommate, I used her nonstick pan occasionally, but once I moved out, it was all stainless steel all the time. I had a variety of reason for not purchasing a pan and it took me a long time to find one that I wanted to get. Around that same time, CSN stores contacted me about doing a product review so I decided to use the opportunity to get the pan I had been coveting. I specifically chose the Cuisinart Green Gourmet pan because it's earth friendly and also a great little pan. It does not contain any of the harmful chemicals found in most nonstick pans and it's versatile. It goes from the stove top to the oven (it's also safe in the broiler) and can be heated up to 500 degrees. Plus, the biggest benefit of nonstick cooking is not having to add as much fat to your pan. I chose a smaller size pan because I cook in small batches. I have made everything from fried eggs to fish to pancakes in this pan. I totally love it and it has been a welcome addition in my tiny kitchen.

This past Sunday at the farmers market was a beautiful day. The sun was shining (sort of) and I got to spend time with great friends while we geeked out over cherries! There was also an Amy Poehler sighting, a viking sighting, and other randomness. All in all, a great morning! Most of the time when I go to the market, I have a specific list of things I want to buy. Once in a while, I just stroll through and pick up whatever looks good. This week it was strawberries, cherries, kale, carrots, arugula, and my beloved asparagus. If I could, I would probably eat roasted asparagus every night of the week, but sometimes I want to be a bit more adventurous. I broke out my new pan to make this meal. This fritatta is so good. The salty salmon and mild oniony flavor of the chives are great with the cream cheese. I dressed my arugula simply with a balsamic vinaigrette and paired this with a glass of crisp white wine which definitely helped me feel like I was eating in a classy restaurant instead of sitting home on my couch catching up on trashy TV.

Pan image from CSN Stores

Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Fritatta
(By Esi)

Makes an 8-inch fritatta

8-10 spears pencil-thin asparagus, ends trimmed and cut in half
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons chives, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
2 ounces cream cheese, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 ounces very thinly sliced smoked salmon
Arugula for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare an ice water bath. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the asparagus. Boil for 1-3 minutes until the asparagus is bright green but still crisp. Immediately plunge the asparagus into the ice bath to stop the cooking process.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, chives, dill, cream cheese, and season well with salt an pepper. In a nonstick skillet, add the egg mixture and cook until the eggs are set on the bottom. Arrange the asparagus on top of the eggs in whichever way you like.

Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and cook until the top is set 15-20 minutes. Serve a wedge of the fritatta on top of salad with a slice of smoked salmon.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Korean Spicy Chili Paste Chicken (Mae-un Dak Gui)

Korean Spicy Chili Paste Chicken

I'm 90% sure I was Korean in a past life. Lately I cannot get enough of Korean inspired recipes and recently I even took another trip to Korea town to get ingredients I didn't really need, but really wanted to have. However I didn't have to purchase anything new for this recipe which was the beauty of it. Another great thing about this was that I was able to prep all of the marinade the previous evening and just cook this off when I was ready to eat. Because of that simplicity, this makes a really great weeknight meal that is jam packed with flavor. I needed a touch more depth in the final outcome so I would probably add more sugar next time, but otherwise this is a great "school night" recipe. Since it only takes a few minutes to actually cook, this is perfect for any night of the week and the marinade is great for maximum flavor with minimum effort. I am ready to play with this again and see what else I can come up with.

Korean Chili Paste Spicy Chicken (Mae-un Dak Gui)
(From New Asian Cuisine)

Makes 4 servings

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons gochujahng (Korean chili pepper paste)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons sake
1 small onion, pureed
1 tablespoons ginger, minced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except chicken together. Wearing gloves (or using clean hands), mix all the chicken into the marinade. Make sure each chicken piece is thoroughly coated and well mixed with the marinade. Cover and marinate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Cook for about 6-8 minutes per side over lower heat.

Serve with rice or noodles.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Baked Doughnuts

Baked Doughnuts

If you find yourself with a little bit of extra time this weekend, make these doughnuts. They are super easy and can be prepared the night before and then baked off just before you want to eat them. Then you can come back and thank me. Who doesn't love doughnuts? Unfortunately they are not so friendly towards the daily diet with their deep fried fattiness. This baked version is definitely lightened up, but as with any baked goods, you should definitely go easy on them. Although it is understandably difficult to stay away from them. Especially when they are just so wonderfully soft and just sweet enough. Next time I want to try these with different glazes, but I loved the crunchy cinnamony texture of the cinnamon sugar. I can't wait to make these treats again!

Baked Doughnuts
(From Apricosa and 101 Cookbooks)

Makes a lot of 3-inch doughnuts

For the doughnuts
2/3 cup warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1/8 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and let sit for five minutes until the yeast gets foamy. Meanwhile, stir the butter into the remaining warm milk to melt it. Add the remaining milk, butter, sugar, egg, flour, nutmeg, and salt to the yeast and mix together with the paddle attachment, then switch to the dough hook and continue mixing until dough is smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, adding more flour if dough is sticky or more milk if too dry.

Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead a few times (dough should be barely sticky), shape into a ball and place in an oiled boil, turning to coat the dough with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-2 hours.

Punch dough down and roll it out onto a lightly-floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out 3-inch circles and transfer them to parchment-lined cookie sheets. Then cut out 1 1/2-inch circles from the centers. Loosely cover the donuts with plastic wrap.

At this point, you may either let the donuts rise for 45 minutes and proceed to bake them, or refrigerate them overnight. After refrigeration, let donuts rise 1 hour in a warm place. Bake at 375 degrees just until donuts take on a golden tinge, about 8-10 minutes.

While donuts are baking, pour the 1/2 cup milk into one bowl and mix the sugar and cinnamon in another.

As soon as the donuts are done, dip the tops of the donuts in the milk and then press into the cinnamon sugar. Work quickly to finish this while the donuts are still hot (the heat will melt the sugar slightly, helping it to stick and form a divine crunchy layer). Serve donuts warm from the oven

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Halibut Piccata with Artichokes on Farro

Halibut Piccatta with Artichokes on Farro

I got back from another quick trip to San Francisco yesterday and was in the mood for something tasty and light. I had some Pacific halibut in my freezer from a little while ago. I'm currently out of quinoa, but well stocked with farro which was a great substitute. This is a great meal to make when you're starving as it comes together quickly and does not skimp on flavor. The lemon and capers give this bite while the butter cuts through it and makes the sauce rich without feeling overly decadent. I love halibut for it's flaky non-fishiness, but it can be tricky to do this in a stainless steel pan. I recommend using non stick especially if you are watching your calories so you don't have to use as much fat. The farro helps this feel like a complete meal and even with the butter, it's enough to keep you full, but not feeling guilty.

Halibut Picatta with Artichokes on Farro
(Adapted from Closet Cooking)

Makes 2 servings

1/2 cup farro, rinsed
1 cup chicken stock
3 artichoke hearts (halved)
2 teaspoons olive oil
6-8 ounces halibut
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of dry white wine (can substitute chicken stock)
Juice of 1/2 a small lemon
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 /2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Bring the farro and chicken stock to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the stock is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Drain any remaining stock and stir the artichoke hearts into the farro.

In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the halibut with salt and pepper. Add the halibut and cook until lightly golden brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side and set aside.

Add the white wine and lemon juice to the pan, deglaze and simmer to reduce the sauce for a few minutes. Add the capers and butter and heat until the butter melts into the sauce. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.

Serve the halibut on a bed of farro with the artichoke hearts and top with the lemon and caper sauce.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Strawberries and Nutella

Strawberries and Nutella

Nutella was on sale at the grocery store last week. I went a little crazy and bought three jars. If I could I would eat Nutella and strawberries all day every day, but there are a million and five recipes using Nutella that I want to try. Leave me your favorites in the comments.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Korean Rice Bowl with Steak, Asparagus, and Fried Egg

Korean Rice Bowl with Steak, Asparagus, and Fried Egg

Now that Gourmet is dearly departed, I get my food magazine fix from Saveur and Bon Appetit. I save so many recipes, it will be impossible to ever get through them all, but I knew I had to do this spring take on bibimbap soon. This past weekend I went on another field trip to Koreatown to get the thinly sliced beef. I couldn't resist picking up some marinated spinach. I love that this is a meal in one and if I am ever craving one of Chego's hearty rice bowls, I can have one at home very easily. This is a pretty healthy dish and if you want, you can sub brown rice or even quinoa for the white rice. Even though I only made half the recipe, I had food for days so plan accordingly. However, it's so good, you'll probably crave it again soon after you've finished your first helping.

Korean Rice Bowl with Steak Asparagus and Fried Egg
(Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2010)

Makes at least 3 servings

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
3/4 pound thinly sliced rib eye
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon gochujang
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sake
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 1/2 pounds slender asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
2 teaspoons vegetable oil plus additional for brushing
2-3 large eggs
2 cups freshly cooked medium-grain white rice
Marinated spinach (can be purchased at an Asian market)
Sriracha (optional)
Kimchi (optional)

Grind sesame seeds, sea salt, and chile powder in mortar with pestle or in spice mill until about half of sesame seeds are finely ground. DO AHEAD: Sesame salt can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Whisk soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, gochujang, green onions, sugar, sake, and garlic in medium bowl. Toss steak in soy mixture. Let marinate at room temperature 30 minutes to an hour.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss asparagus with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil on large rimmed baking sheet. Sauté asparagus until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Return to rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle sesame salt over; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Tent with foil to keep warm.

Working in batches, cook the steak in the same skillet steak until just browned. Transfer to the baking sheet with the asparagus re-tent to keep warm. Brush a nonstick skillet with vegetable oil. Crack eggs into the skillet. Cook until whites are set but yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes.

Divide warm rice among bowls. Top with the fried egg. Divide asparagus, then beef, then the spinach among bowls, placing atop rice and egg whites. Serve with Sriracha and kimchi if desired.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sauteed Spicy Green Beans and Tomatoes

Sauteed Spicy Green Beans and Tomatoes

Lest you think my life is all desserts lately, I've actually been eating pretty well. I've been battling a cold the last few days and strangely, I've been craving vegetables a lot. I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy the bounty of each season so when this recipe arrived in my inbox courtesy of Serious Eats. I quickly ran out and picked the best green beans I could find. I detest soggy vegetables so this is right up my alley. The green beans stay crisp and firm after a very quick blanch and ice bath and pair well with juicy tomatoes and crunchy almonds. The spices give this a warm gentle heat and make what could easily be a ho hum dish, something extraordinary. Plus, it's really beautiful to look at and as they say, we eat with our eyes first, right?

Sauteed Spicy Green Beans and Tomatoes
(Adapted from Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods)

Makes 2 servings

8 ounces green beans, stem end trimmed and cut into 2-3 inch pieces
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
Dash ground cinnamon
Dash ground cayenne
15 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons sliced almonds or pine nuts, toasted

Fill a large bowl with water and ice and set aside. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, add the green beans. Bring back to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Drain the beans, then plunge into the ice water. Remove the beans after 1 minute; drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, coriander, and the cinnamon and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Add the green beans and stir to coat well with the onion and seasonings. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes.

Place the vegetables onto a serving dish. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Goober Ice Cream Sandwiches

Goober Ice Cream Sandwiches

I like to think that it's fairly clear that my last few posts were leading up to the glorious moment of me sharing these ice cream sandwiches with you. I kind of (sort of) didn't even plan them to be this way. Soon after I made the original batch of brown sugar ice cream, I immediately started to think of another delicious ways to enjoy it besides straight out of the container. About a week later I was going through my Bon Appetit cookbook (randomly gifted to me by Raul at one of our legendary gift exchanges) when I realized the ice cream would be great in these sandwiches. The original recipe calls for vanilla wafers and plain chocolate cookies, but I knew I would need to find a way to cut through all of that sweetness for my not so sweet tooth and that is why I went with the world peace cookies as my cookie of choice to tie these sandwiches together. Just like Dawn, I like my desserts to have an interesting combo of sweet and salty and chunky and this has all of that. The saltiness of the cookies and peanuts cuts through the sweetness of the ice cream and the chocolate helps bring out the flavor of the rich caramel-y flavor of the ice cream. If I had a pool I could envision many summer days outdoors enjoying many of these treats while poolside...for now I'll just sit next to a window and enjoy the sunshine.

Goober Ice Cream Sandwiches
(Adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh)

Makes as many ice cream sandwiches as you want

Chocolate cookies
Brown sugar ice cream, softened (can also use vanilla ice cream)
Roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Place a couple of tablespoons on the bottom of a cookie. Top with another cookie and roll the sandwich in peanuts until they stick. Place the sandwich on a plate and freeze for 15-30 minutes until set. Can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and wrapped tightly in the freezer.

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