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, March 31, 2010

Blueberry Lemon Loaf

I swear I don't eat this cake for breakfast or anything totally piggy like that! This is a quick thing to put together, but the bake time is almost an hour. I like to make this the night before and eat a slice to get me out of bed and then bring it to work for my friends!

1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 TBSP unsalted butter
3/4 C sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
Zest from one lemon
1/2 C milk
1 C blueberries

1/4 C sugar
Juice from one lemon (~2 TBSP)

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan with Pam.

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

In your Kitchenaid, beat the butter for about 2 minutes and then add the sugar and beat for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time and make sure to beat the eggs after every addition. Add the lemon zest and vanilla and combine.

With the mixer on low, add the flour and the milk alternatively starting and ending with the flour. You should do flour, milk, flour, milk, flour. Make sure to not over beat the batter at this point. When finished, fold in the blueberries and transfer to loaf pan. Bake for about 55 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cinnamon Buns

I swear this Kitchenaid isn't good for me! Cinnamon buns def take some tending to; there is a lot of down time while letting the dough rise. However, if you can power through (I just did it at night after work), it is WELL worth it. GOOD GRIEF are these delicious!

4 3/4 C AP flour
1 pack active dry yeast
1 C whole milk
1/3 C butter
1/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs

1 C light brown sugar
1/4 C flour
1 TBSP cinnamon (you should really try to use fresh, good quality cinnamon... Penzy Spices!)
1/2 C butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 C raisins
1/4 C chopped pecans
1 TBSP light cream

Combine 2 1/4 C flour with the yeast in your Kitchenaid equipped with the paddle attachment.

Heat the milk, butter, sugar and salt from A until just combined (do not boil). Add this mixture slowly to the flour and yeast while your Kitchenaid is on speed 2. Add eggs one at a time and combine. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and beat on speed 8 for 3 minutes.

Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook. And kneed on low speed, adding the rest of the flour from A until smooth and no longer sticky (about 4 minutes).

Shape the dough into a ball, oil all sides (I used Pam) and put in a bowl in a warm place (on top of the stove) and let double in size. It should take about 1 1/2 hours to double.

After an hour and a half, punch the dough down, reform into a ball and set on a lightly floured surface and cover with a clean towel and let sit for another 10 mins (trust me, it's allllll worth it!)

While your dough is resting, mix B together (minus the raisins and pecans) with a pastry cutter or with two knives.

Roll out the dough into a 12X12 square, cover the inside with the filling and then sprinkle with the raisins and pecans and roll into a log, pinching the ends to seal them so no filling comes out. Cut into 8 equal pieces and arrange on a 12X9X2 baking sheet. Let them rise again for another hour. Also, if you'd prefer, you can refrigerate at this point for up to 24 hours. If you do refrigerate your dough, make sure to let it come back to room temp after you take it out of the fridge by letting it sit in a warm place for 40 minutes.

When ready to bake, brush the dough with half of the light cream and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the dough feels hollow to the touch, is light brown and a tester comes out clean. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes, take out of pan and onto cooling rack and then brush with the rest of the light cream. EAT!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Scallop Ceviche

Man! This might be one of my fave dishes! I wandered the Lincoln Mall in South Beach recently trying to find the perfect ceviche. Not going to lie, I think mine is better. Way better. So, I went to Whole Foods last night... my love, my one true love (not including Meeg)... and they had this huge bowl of ceviche out. I tasted it and knew what I wanted for dinner! I then asked the fish monger chef dude how he did it and it was easy! Also, the scallops had just come in fresh that morning so it was a done diddle.

1 lb sea scallops
Juice from 2 limes and 1 large lemon
1 vine tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 TBSP cilantro, finely minced
1 serrano chili, finely chopped
1 avocado, cubed

You just juice the citrus, add the scallops and let this "cook" in fridge for an hour. After an hour, add all the veggies and let sit at room temp for 5 minutes before you serve. I served this with a side of quinoa.

**Also, as we all know, citrus yields different amounts of juice and ish... basically, the scallops should be covered by the juice when you first set them in to marinate.

Fava Bean Spread with Whole Wheat Flatbreads

This is a good, healthy, cheap and easy snack! I bring it to work, keep it in the fridge and snack on it all week when I get hungry! I also switch up the flatbreads w carrot and celery sticks quite often.

1 C dried split fava beans, soaked over night and then boiled for an hour (reserve cooking liquid)
1 handful fresh parsley
1 TBSP cayenne pepper + 1 tsp red pepper flakes (I'm kinda nuts, what can I say)
Juice from one lemon
1/4 tsp cumin
1 TBSP olive oil
At least 1 TBSP cooking liquid

1 3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C water
1/3 C olive oil

This is pretty damn simple. First, preheat your oven to 350. Puree A in blender. Mix B and roll out in 6 separate portions until "cracker thin". Put the 6 flatbreads on foil and bake until browned about 10 mins. This is a good and healthy snack for work! Make sure you sub the flatbreads w veggies from time to time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Radicchio, Endive and Asparagus Slaw

Unlike most slaws, I like to serve this one without much "sitting" time. The veggies go perfectly and it's great to serve in the spring when the asparagus are tender and delicious (and cheap!) When I eat beef, I really like it to be high quality and bloody as hell! I got this roast beef at Murray's, which is a fancy gourmet market with a little stand in Grand Central Market (which I go to entirely too often).

I would recommend packing this up with some seltzer and potato chips and bringing it as a picnic!!! HELLO SPRING

3/4 lb roast beef
Loaf ciabatta bread, sliced medium
1 inch of fresh horseradish, grated finely
1 TBSP creme fraiche
1 TBSP mayo
Truffle oil

1/2 head radicchio, sliced thinly
2 heads endive, sliced thinly
1/2 bunch asparagus, shaved with a veggie peeler
1/3 C pine nuts
1 TBSP pepperoncinis, diced
3 garlic cloves
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBS fresh parsley, finely minced

Mix the creme fraiche, mayo and horseradish together. Season with salt/pepper. Spread the dressing on the bread, toss the arugula with a tiny amount of truffle oil and assemble the sandwiches. You can also add tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, etc. I kept it v simple.

For the slaw, cut all the veggies accordingly and toss with the pine nuts and parsley. In a small saute pan, heat the oil, add the garlic and then the vinegar and let simmer until reduced by about half. Add the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tomato Sauce

I make this pretty often. You can double (triple, etc) the recipe and freeze this in portions too. It's delicious and nutritious.

1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 carrot, finely chopped (I mostly just do this to pack in some beta carotene)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp each: red pepper flakes, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried parsley, dried basil
1 TBSP olive oil

Saute the shallot, garlic, carrot and herbs in olive oil over medium heat until soft (about 6 minutes). Add the can of tomatoes and cook, on medium-high heat for about 15 minutes. Add 2 TBSP water and puree in a blender.

Sam's Pizza

I put everything Italian I love into a pizza. Holy shit. Holy fucking shit. (Sorry. Excuse my French.) Check it...

1 recipe Napoletana Pizza Dough
1/4 lb proscuitto di parma (don't you dare get some domestic B.S.)
3 crimini mushrooms, paper-thin sliced
1 recipe Tomato Sauce
1 ball Burrata cheese
1/2 lb wine washed rind Fontina (just go to your cheese monger and ask him for a stinky cheese)
White truffle oil

Yeah, I think you get it. Heat up your pizza stone, assemble everything (except the arugula and truffle oil) on the the pizza and cook until done. Add a ton of fresh arugula over the top as SOON as it comes out (so some wilts and some is still crisp... wow). Sprinkle with truffle oil!!!

Go-To Vinaigrette

I make this vinaigrette all the time. I think most people tend to do the balsamic and olive oil, but the tanginess of the Dijon and the freshness of the lemon juice is really unparalleled. Shallots are also just nice on anything. This is a v versatile dressing: you can carry any herbs you're using in your main course to this dressing. Thyme is especially nice! This dressing on arugula is a quick meal. I also love this dressing because the acidic lemon gives salty flavor and adding extra salt is not necessary! I really like not cooking with salt. That's one of the main reasons I can't eat at restaurants frequently... the salt makes me thirst all day long!

1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard (please don't cheap out on this ingredien)
1 tsp herbs (thyme, oregano, parsley, etc etc)
1 tsp grated shallot
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 TBSP olive oil

Whisk everything together and enjoy. You can do just the lemon, mustard and oil if that's all you have. You can add anything you want to this.

Shroom Salad

I love the olive bar at Whole Foods. They not only have several types of delicious olives ... they have marinated beans, mushrooms and artichokes, they have dried tomatoes and cured peppers. The marinated mushrooms are the best! I made this salad for them.

1 portabella mushroom
1 small package dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in boiling water
1/2 C marinated mushrooms
1/4 log goat cheese, crumbled
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 TBSP olive oil
White truffle oil
Go-To Vinaigrette

Heat a grill pan to high heat. Brush the portabella and reconstituted porcini mushroom with the combined olive oil, thyme and crushed red pepper. Grill the mushrooms for about 3 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, dress the arugula so they have a second to hang out and wilt just slightly. The arugula will be the only thing that is dressed in this salad as the other ingredients have their own flavors (i.e. marinated mushrooms and rubbed portabellas and porcinis).

To assemble, slice the grilled mushrooms and place on top of the arugula . Arrange the marinated mushrooms on the plate as well. Crumble with goat cheese and top lightly w truffle oil if you have it!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Blueberry Crumb Cake

The tart blueberries paired w the caramelly crunchy brown sugar topping is amazing. The sour cream gives it it's richness; you wouldn't be able to identify the sour cream, but once you know it's there the velvety perfect texture makes sense. Really, do this.

I even prepared a bit the night before (because I was leaving for my moms the next morning and wanted to make it fresh in the morning). I mixed the thopping - minus the butter - and I also mixed the dry ingredients for the cake. I made sure the butter I was going to melt was ready to go and the butter I wanted at room temp was out. I pre-cracked the eggs and had the sour cream measured out, so all I really had to do was assemble while drinking my coffee and bake while having my shower. Quite nice!

1/3 C brown sugar
1/4 C regular sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter
1 1/3 C flour

1 1/4 C AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 stick butter
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest
2/3 C sour cream
1 1/4 C blueberries

The night before: mix the sugars and cinnamon for the topping in a medium bowl. Also, in another medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for the cake.

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat the butter and sugar for the cake until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat for antoher 30 seconds. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and sour cream and mix. Add the dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Fold in blueberries.

Spread cake mixture in a buttered 9" cake pan.

Melt the butter for the topping and add to the sugar and cinnamon. Stir. Add the flour. Crumble the topping on top of the cake.

Bake for 45 mins.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Pita Chips

The nutrients in any bright orange veggie are pretty much insurmountable. A simple butternut squash soup in the winter is a really light, yet warming way to end the day.

1 medium butternut squash
2 shallots
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leave
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 TBSP butter
5 C water or low-sodium stock
2 TBSP heavy cream

Whole wheat pita bread
Dried sage
Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Chop the shallots and add to a medium pot over medium heat with the butter. Stir to combine and add the herbs. While this mixture is sweating out (you don't want anything to be browning), chop your butternut squash. Once the shallots are tender, add the butternut squash and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the water (or stock), cover and boil for 15 minutes or until the squash is tender. Turn off the heat and let the soup rest while you prepare the chips.

Cut the pita into triangles and brush w olive oil. Sprinkle with the sage and some kosher salt. Bake for 12 mins or until firm and slightly browned.

Puree the soup, return to pan, add the cream and simmer for until ready to serve.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is one of my faves! It is super yummy and the applesauce in this recipe makes it super moist; dry carrot cake is the worst! Piping on carrots with the cream cheese frosting was the best!

2 3/4 C finely shredded carrot
1 C walnuts, toasted
2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
1 C veggie oil
2 tsp extract
1/2 C plain applesauce

8 oz cream cheese
1/4 C butter
2 C confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Toast and grate your carrots. To toast, lay nuts out on a cookie sheet and place in oven for about 7 minutes.

Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

Whip the eggs in your Kitchenaid until frothy and add the sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time. After you have a light and fluffy mix and while the mixer is on at a low speed, add the oil, vanilla and applesauce. Mix for about 30 seconds on medium speed. Add the dry ingredients and just mix to incorporate. Add the carrots and the nuts and mix just to incorporate.

Butter two 9" round pans and distribute the batter evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cake is cooling, you can make the frosting. Whip all ingredients until light and slightly fluffy.

Decorate the cake as desired!!! I did 8 little carrots to mark off pieces. They were Sam-style pieces... aka big :-)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tandori Chicken and Curry Okra

Love love LOVE Indian food! Especially when you make it yourself; you avoid the excess oil and are able to jack up the heat!

Curry Okra
1 lb okra, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, washed and dried for 30 minutes
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 TBSP ginger, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp each: turmeric, cumin and curry powder
1 tsp each: corriander, red chili and cayenne
1 TBSP plain yogurt
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 large tomato, seeds removed and chopped
Fresh mint and cilantro
Veggie oil

Tandoori Chicken
1 3lb chicken, cut into serving pieces
1/2 C plain yogurt
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 TBSP peeled and grated or crushed ginger root
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cardamom pod, cracked
3 whole cloves
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish
Slices of cucumber, red (Spanish) onion, tomato and lemon, for garnish

The chicken is easy. Marinate the chicken in the first 11 ingredients (after the chicken of course) overnight. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, remove excess marinade and brush with oil and salt. Bake for about 20 minutes. Turn heat to broil and broil each side for about 7 minutes or until nicely browned. Turn off oven and let the chicken cool in oven for 25 minutes.

For the okra, fry the onion, garlic and ginger in veggie oil until browned. Add the okra and continue cooking for another few minutes. Add the spices and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and yogurt and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the tomato and heat through. Remove the veggies and add 1/4 C of water to the hot skillet to remove the bits from the bottom and create a sauce. Pour this over the veggies. Serve with the garnish of your choice.

Serve both dishes on a large platter with rice on the side.