It's me, the Silliest

This is my blog of recipes. I like "eating the rainbow" as well as globe-trotting through food. I totally dig heady local produce and local fresh meats.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Alright, I'm from NY and have high bagel standards. I'll have to say, these were DAMN good! I had all ingredients at hand. My sister and her bestie came over (my sister is the BAGEL MASTER) and we had freshness after a bit of patience (and playing Mario).

4 C bread flour
1 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP veggie oil
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 C water

Combine all ingredients in your Kitchenaid fitted with the dough hook. Mix until a nice dough forms (about 5 minutes). Note: add 1 1/4 c water to start and add the rest at your discretion. Cut into 8 pieces (or 16 for mini bagels) and let rest for 20 minutes. Flatten the balls and push your thumbs trough. Work the dough until you have a bagel shape. Let rest another 20 minutes (trust me - it's worth it). While the dough is resting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and also preheat the oven to 425.

After the 20 minutes is up, boil your bagels for 1 minute on each side. After boiling you can dip into toppings of your choice (we had poppy seeds, garlic powder and kosher salt on hand). Place - seed side up - on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 10 minutes on each side.

While it's baking you can make some whipped cream cheese. Take regular cream cheese and items of your choice (we did scallions... for a scallion cream cheese... duh) and whip the cream cheese and fillings until nice and fluffy.

You should reeeeally let these cool for 15 minutes, but I think we could only wait 5 minutes and they were DAMMED good!

Shallow Fried Cod with Olive Relish

I was cravin something salty, healthy and quick. The freshness of this meal paired with the rich saltiness is a very nice combo! Fresh parsley and a squirt of lemon really brighten up the end product. I really really REEEALLY love arugula... especially when you put a steaming hot piece of protein on top so part of the arugula wilts - yes!

I did for myself - one serving.

1 piece of cod filet
2 handfuls of arugula
1/4 olives, chopped roughly
1 TBSP capers, roughly chopped
1 roma tomato, roughly chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
olive oil
Fresh parsley
1/2 lemon

In a medium saute pan, heat about 2 TBSP olive oil and add the garlic, thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes. Turn the heat off after 30 seconds and let cool while you wash the arugula and lightly flour the cod. Remove the herbs and garlic.

Turn the heat back on to medium. Add 1 tsp olive oil. Once hot, pan fry the cod (about 3 minutes per side). Place the cod on top of the arugula on your plate.

In the hot pan, add the olive, capers, tomato, shallots and herbs/garlic from above. Saute until hot and tender. Place this on top of the cod. Add fresh parsley and a squirt of fresh lemon juice. If you're super hungry you can serve this with a roll. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mini Healthy Pizzas

This really takes zero time and it's a good go-to as you can keep half the ingredients in the freezer. Everyone loves pizza and English muffins and this is a healthy way to combine the two!

1 package whole wheat English muffins
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1 15 oz container of no-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 C frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed free of water
Dried herbs of you have: parsley, oregano, thyme, basil (any or all)

Preheat oven to broil.

Cut open the English muffins and top w a TBSP of ricotta. Cover this with a dash of each of the herbs you have. Cover with some spinach and cover the spinach with tomato sauce. Top with just a enough mozzarella to cover. Bake until top is golden. Top pizzas with tiny bits of tomatoes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Salmon en Papillote avec Watercress

Oh la la, sounds fancy as hell, huh? This meal is really delicious and totally nutritious. I think I almost certainly ate two portions. I guess I do that frequently.

I'll just do enough for one serving below, but multiply it by however many ppl you have and it'll work. I find it's a nice, easy, little-mess, solo after-work meal tho.

1 salmon fillet (God, mine was awesome... zero smell, rich color, plump and delicious!)
1 TBSP Dijon
1 C packed watercress**
2 cloves garlic
1 TBSP chopped onion
4 sprigs thyme
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the salmon on a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with the Dijon and add 1 tsp red pepper flakes and 2 sprigs of thyme on top. Wrap and bake for 8 minutes (for it to be rare).

Meanwhile, add the rest of the ingredients, minus the watercress, plus 1/4 C water in a saute pan and reduce by half. Add the watercress and saute until wilted to your liking.

**Watercress can be very gritty, so it is important to properly wash it before use. To wash, let sit in a large bowl of cold water, changing the water 4 times, for about 20 minutes.

Fruit Tart

This is just a pure looker! It is so gratifying to make something that not only tastes divine, but looks spectacular as well. My neurosis have kicked in and I've been a bit of an obsessive baker.

1/2 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 C AP flour
1 1/2 sticks butter, sliced

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond

1 pint blackberries
1 pint raspberries
2 kiwis

2 TBSP marmalade
2 TBSP water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine A in a food processor and pulse until dough-like. Place half the dough in 9 1/2" pie tart (keep half for next time), poke holes in the bottom and bake for about 12 minutes until lightly browned.

Beat B until fluffy.

Spread B in A and arrange C on top. Glaze with D.

Those are your ABC's to a delicious fruit tart!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pan-Seared Scallops with Buerre Blanc Mini Potatoes

This dish is so wonderfully delicious and classic you must try it!

1 lb sea scallop
1/4 C flour
3/4 C water
1/3 C white wine
1 large shallot, minced
2 TBSP cream
1 stick + 2 TBSP butter
Assorted colors mini potatoes (1 lb)
1 TBSP each fresh tarragon and thyme
3 TBSP olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash, dry and dredge scallops in flour. Shake off excess and place in fridge, uncovered, until ready to use.

Boil mini potatoes for just a few minutes until firm, but tender. Toss with 1 TBSP of olive oil and fresh herbs and set in oven for about 20 minutes.

Combine water, wine and shallots in a small skillet over medium heat and reduce by half. Reduce heat to low, add in the cream. Add the butter, whisking after each TBSP. Set the sauce to the side over very low heat.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 TBSP olive oil until v hot. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes/side.

Coat the potatoes on a plate with the sauce and top w the crisp scallops.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chocolate Mousse

Colleen, a fellow foodie, is one of my friends from college at AU in DC. One of her friends down there, who is a chef, made this for us one night and HOLY MOLY! this is so rich and light at the same time. Serve this with some berries and you have got yourself a night!

11 oz dark chocolate
5 TBSP butter
8 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cream
8 egg whites
3/4 C confectioner sugar

Melt chocolate in a double boiler and add the butter. Alternatively, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment.

Whip the yolks and the sugar to a ribbon stage and set this aside in a bowl. Whip the whites and the confectioners sugar to soft peak, and set aside in a bowl. Whip the cream to a soft peak.

Fold yolks into chocolate, then fold the cream into that and finally fold the whites. Chill (preferably just over night).

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Napoletana Pizza Dough

4 1/2 C 00 flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
1/4 C olive oil
1 3/4 C water, ice cold

Combine flour, salt and yeast. Turn mixer on (with paddle attachment) and and incorporate the olive oil and water, alternatively. Kneed for 5 minutes with paddle attachment.

Tip onto a flour surface and make 4 balls. Cover each with olive oil and put in a ziploc bag. Refrigerate over night or up to 3 days.

Roll out and use as you would pizza dough.

Ina's Strawberry Scones & Marmalade

I wanted to expand my ever-increasing repertoire of baking recipes, so I decided on a classic for me: scones. These scones are so tasty and we're really enjoying having them around in the mornings. I also made some marmalade to go with them. I love this marmalade because I think the lemons provide a perfect tangyness that I thoroughly enjoyed. I actually did the scones with cranberries instead and I am sure you could substitute any dried fruit(s).

Here are the links. I love Ina!



This is a really nice gift after a dinner party! Buy some french jars, a pastry box and a gift bag and send your guests home with something more to look forward to!

French Bread

3 3/4 C bread flour
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C warm water

Add all ingredients in your Kitchenaid with the paddle fixture and mix to combine. Switch to dough hook and mix for 2 minutes. Let rest for 3 minutes. Mix for another 3 minutes.

Kneed dough for 8 minutes on a well floured surface.

Please dough in an oiled bowl and let rest, in warm place, for 1 1/2 hours. After an hour, preheat the oven to 450.

Cut your dough in half and shape into two logs. Let rest for 30 minutes on floured board.

Before cooking, make 4 long slits on top of the loaf. Cook for 20 minutes. Internal temp should be 190.

Coq au Vin

I thought my mom was coming to my apt, so I wanted to make something tasty. I hadn't yet, in all my cooking adventures, tried to tackle a classic French dish. I picked Coq au Vin (inspired by a co-worker) and I was so happy I did. This dish is excellent! Perfect on a cool night. I would recommend serving it with the wine you use, so you want to use a decent wine for the cooking. You really have to try this... it's divine and sounds fancy as shit!

30 pearl onions
3 lbs chicken thighs and legs
3 oz bacon
1 TBSP flour
4 oz button mushrooms + 1 tsp butter
1 bottle pinot noir
1 TBSP tomato paste
1/2 onion, quartered
1 stalk celery
1 carrot
3 cloves garlic
4 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 C chicken stock

Season and flour the chicken. Set aside on a cooling rack until ready to brown.

Add the chopped bacon, into a pot large enough to hold the chicken, with 1 TBSP water. Boil the water until it evaporates and continue browning the bacon. Remove bacon, add 1 TBSP olive oil, add the onions and cook, over medium heat, until browned. Remove the onions and put aside with the bacon. Add the sliced button mushroom with the butter and brown. Remove the mushroom and put with the onions and bacon. Set aside.

Brown the chicken on all sides. Continue working in batches, taking the browned pieces out, until finished.

Deglaze the pot with 1 bottle of wine. Add the quartered onion, carrots, celery, tomato paste, stock, thyme, bay leaf and the chicken. Kill the heat and let this mixture sit in the fridge over night.

The next day:
Preheat oven t0 325 and put the pot in the oven for 1 hour 45 minutes. Take out of oven, add in the pearl onions, mushrooms and bacon and let cool for 30 minutes.

I served this simple with some risotto that had sliced button mushrooms and a lot of thyme (maybe 5 sprigs).

Spiced Topioca Pudding

I served this dessert after a simple Indian curry-from-a-package meal and the flavors were a perfect sweet end to the simple meal. Sometimes I find it nice to keep the meal extremely simple (I combined chicken tenders, cauliflower and onion with an Indian spice pack, crushed tomatoes and chicken stock and served w basmati rice) and finish with a great home made dessert. This dessert also happens to be cheap and you will almost certainly have all the ingredients on hand (you can add whatever spices you have... don't worry about getting all of them).

3 C 2% milk
1/2 C large tapioca pearls
1/4 tsp salt
2 small cinnamon sticks
1 cardamon pod
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 whole cloves
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a small sauce pan, cover and simmer on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar gradually, stirring constantly. Whisk, temper and add the eggs into the milk mixture. Continue cooking, uncovered, on medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add the vanilla, turn off heat and let cool for at least 20 minutes.

Fizzy Cola Cupcakes

My brother and I were youths growing up outside of London. We would ride our bikes to the Pic a Mix place, which are loose candy stores in the UK. Fizzy colas were his favorite. He recently just moved to a new spot in BK, so I wanted to bring him something.

1 1/3 C AP flour
3/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 C yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C butter (1 stick)
4 TBSP cocoa powder
3/4 Coke

1 1/3 C powdered sugar
1 stick butter
2 TBSP Coke

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, yogurt and vanilla.

In a saucepan, heat the butter, cocoa powder and coke until just melter. Stir the mixture into the dry mixture. Stir to combine. Add the wet ingredients. Spoon into cupcake tins (should be about 2/3 way full) and bake for 20 mins.

Decorate w icing and top with a fizzy cola!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Heath Crunch Cake

1 C butter
2 C sugar
3 C flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 C milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and milk alternatively until all gone. Bake for about 30 mins.

While cooking, make the icing.

3 3/4 C confectioner sugar
1 stick butter
3 - 4 TBSP milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz. dark chocolate, melted

Beat all ingredients until fluffy.

Put a thick layer of Heath Bar bites in the center of the cake. Also sprinkle them around the outside of the cake.

Ceasar Salad with Chicken

Wow, have you got to try this! Caesar salads are one of the things I think from my earlier years that I get viscious cravings for every once in a while. We were gonna go to Patsys for one of these, but then I wanted to try my own. It's so easy and soooo worth it! The chicken tenders and shaved parm made it way better than any restaurant.

3 anchovy filets
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 1/2 tsp Dijon
1/3 C olive oil
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese

Romain hearts
Italian baguette
Olive Oil
Small handful fresh basil
Small handful Parmesan cheese
Chicken tenders (pre-cut into thin strips)
Egg wash (1 egg + 2 tsp milk)

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut half of the baguette into big cubes and put in the oven until dry (maybe about 15 mins).

Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining A in a food processor until well blended.

Once dry, food process the cubes with the basil and add in a handful of Parmesan cheese to get your breadcrumbs for the chicken tenders.

With the rest of the baguette, cut small slices, drizzle w olive oil, sprinkle with salt and put in the 350 oven. This will create your over-sized croutons.

Chop, clean and dress your lettuce at this point.

Dip your tenders in an egg wash then the breadcrumbs then pan fry in olive oil until golden and cooked through.

Take croutons out and rub down with whole fresh garlic.

When you are ready to assemble, put the dressed romaine on a plate, top with 3 tenders, shaved Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and your garlic-rubbed croutons.