Monday, 20 February 2012 21:16
melayneseahawk: (salt)
So, I was stuck with 2/3 of a cup of heavy cream after making gorgonzola polenta a couple days ago, and to use it up I decided to make clam chowder, which is one of my favorite soups. It's also super-easy to make, I was surprised how simple it was.

No-Celery Clam Chowder
modified from this recipe
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 (10oz) cans chopped clams in juice (not water)
1 cup heavy cream (you can cut this with up to half milk, if you don't have a full cup of cream)
1 pound Idaho potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter in large pot. When melted, add onion and saute until softened, mixing often. Add flour and stir until evenly distributed. Add stock, clam juice (reserve clams for later), cream, potatoes, and bay leaves, and bring to a simmer. Mixture will thicken. Reduce to medium-low heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender, stirring often. Add clams and season with salt and pepper and simmer for another 2-4 minutes, until clams are just firm.

Remove bay leaves before serving.

Also, this makes a lot (though it's easy to halve), but it's easy to portion out in tupperware and put in the fridge or freezer. Reheat by pouring portion into a saucepan and heating until soup is simmering. Enjoy!

melayneseahawk: (boldy going)
So, I'm stuck with 2/3 of a cup of heavy cream, left over from the polenta I made last night. I'm thinking of using it to make clam chowder, but I have a quandary: every recipe I'm finding calls for throwing celery in it. I hate celery. Super hate it. An overabundance of celery often causes me to reject otherwise good foods, clam chowder included. Can I get away with making this soup but skipping the celery? Hmm...
melayneseahawk: (behold the power of cheese)
This is a delicious, rich side dish. The taste of the gorgonzola is strong with this one, so if that's not your speed, don't bother. :D I made it as a side to go with some vegan bbq riblets, but I can see this working with any number of proteins.

Gorgonzola Polenta
modified from this recipe
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (this is important; regular broth makes it too salty)
1 3/4 cups polenta (coarse-ground yellow cornmeal; you can also use regular cornmeal, but it cooks even faster)
3/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream

Bring broth to a boil. When boiling, whisk in polenta (you actually do want to whisk it in, to reduce clumping). Turn heat down to low and cook covered, stirring often, until broth is absorbed and polenta is tender (I suggest taste-checking with your spoon), about 4-6 minutes. If polenta becomes clumpy, add additional broth by the 1/4-cup.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese and cream, until uniform. Polenta will lighten and become creamier in appearance. Serve hot.

Note: this make a lot, and I'm not entirely sure what to do with the leftovers yet. Epicurious comments suggested making it into patties and frying it, but I'm going to try tossing it in the oven to warm, too.

Edit to add: Amazingly, this can actually be microwaved, as long as you stir it well once it's hot but before you serve it. The more you know, right?
melayneseahawk: (behold the power of cheese)

Ooh, fancy, right? This whole lovely spread took me like an hour or so to make. And I'm even going to share the recipes. :D

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits
modified from this recipe
2 cups buttermilk biscuit mix (such as Bisquick or Jiffy)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare baking sheet with grease or parchment.

Stir together biscuit mix, cheese, garlic powder, and oregano until mixed. Create a well in the center and pour in milk. With a wooden spoon, stir milk into dry ingredients to create a sticky, elastic dough.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes, until just beginning to brown around the edges.

Makes about 20.

Penne Rigate with Broccoli
modified from this recipe
1 1/2 pounds broccoli
1/4 cup salt
1 pound penne rigate (or similarly sized pasta)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnishing
ground pepper (house preference: McCormick Peppercorn Medley, 'cause it's pretty)

Prepare broccoli by removing stems and cutting into bite-sized florets. Bring large pot of water and salt to a boil. When boiling, add pasta and begin timing as indicated on the package. When pasta returns to a boil, add broccoli and cook remaining time, stirring occasionally throughout.

At end of time, strain pasta and broccoli in a mesh strainer and then return to pot. Add olive oil and cheese and stir, until a green-flecked sauce is created. Serve warm, with extra cheese and pepper to taste.

Makes 3-4 dinner-sized portions.

melayneseahawk: (salt)
Have been up to my eyeballs in stuff this week; will update later one. But I've been cooking like a fiend, and some of that I shall share with you all:

Summer rolls are like spring rolls, but unfried. The ingredients must be fresh for best results. Can also be modified to include precooked, cold shrimp.

Veggie Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
2 oz cellophane or rice stick noodles
10 whole leaves of soft lettuce (butterhead types like boston work best)
1 cup shredded or slivered carrot
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
2-3 scallions (green onions), chopped fine or slivered
10 rice paper wrappers, 8" in diameter

Prepare noodles: Bring pot of water to boil, toss in noodles, and remove from heat. Let stand 8-10 minutes, until noodles are cooked through. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Set aside in small bowl.

Prepare lettuce, carrot, sprouts, cilantro, mint, and scallions, placing each in a small bowl. Line up all ingredients, wrappers and lettuce first, on counter or tabletop, along with low, wide dish of as-hot-as-you-can-stand water.

Dip one wrapper into water until softened and transparent. They will get tangled like cellophane, but if you're patient you can get them untangled. Lay out on plate or cutting board. Place one leaf of lettuce in the center to protect wrapper from tearing. Pile on preferred amounts of noodles, carrot, sprouts, cilantro, and mint, starting at one end and rolling wrapper over with each new addition. When all ingredients have been added, fold over the sides and then seal. Place on serving plate, seam down, and repeat until all wrappers and leaves are used. Do not allow rolls to touch. Keep moist. Serve as quickly as possible, whole or cut in half.

You can either dip in this sauce, or you can put it inside the rolls:

1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy is best)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup water
splash of lemon or lime juice
crushed peanuts (optional)
red chili flakes (optional)

Mix all ingredients in small bowl until uniform. Do not refrigerate. Serve immediately.
melayneseahawk: (salt)
Writing down the tweaks I would make to this recipe, but I think it's definitely worth making again. I have an affection for browned butter, and the bite of the vinegar and greens complement each other.

Brown Butter Tortellini
olive oil
coarse salt
20 oz tortellini (cheese or something else, your choice)
1 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
grated zest of one lemon
5 oz torn arugula or other bitter/spicy greens
parmesan cheese
ground black pepper

Prepare tortellini as indicated on the package; I suggest adding a tablespoon of olive oil as well as salt to the water to keep them from sticking.

While that is going on, brown the butter. You do this by cutting it into pieces, melting it in a saucepan, and then continuing to cook it, stirring frequently, until it is a rich caramel color and has a nutty scent. It will develop brown flecks, which is fine, but keep stirring so it doesn't burn. When browned, remove from heat for a minute so it can cool. Whisk in vinegar, a couple generous pinches of salt, and most of the lemon zest.

Drain tortellini, saving a small quantity of the salted water, and place in large bowl. Pour the sauce over the tortellini and toss to coat. Add a small splash of the pasta water and toss again.

Add arugula and toss until gently wilted and then serve immediately, topped with cheese, pepper, and remaining lemon zest.

Serves 4-6, depending on how hungry they are. :D

This would also probably be great with chicken breast flavored with similar flavors, for those of you who want to add a protein source.
melayneseahawk: (salmonella bomb)
Cleaned things, baked (sort of, see below), arranged for my doctors with the new/old HMO. Now if only I could sit down and write. *headdesk*

Have a recipe:

Edible Cookie Dough
ganked from [personal profile] synecdochic at [community profile] omnomnom
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside. In a separate medium bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla; beat until creamy. Add applesauce and beat until mixed. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until mixed. Add chocolate chips, stir until thoroughly dispersed.

Cover, refrigerate, and eat by the spoonful.
melayneseahawk: (salt)
If I accomplish nothing else today, I did make fresh muffins for breakfast.

These muffins are really easy to make, and they do taste just like a sugar-raised doughnut. They have a really light texture, and it's really hard to eat just one. :D

Sugar Donut Muffins
from Buns in My Oven, rewritten slightly by me

3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking power
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted butter, for dipping
1/4 cup sugar, for rolling
1 tablespoon cinnamon, for rolling

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin tins or place muffin wrappers. Stir together sugar and cinnamon for rolling.

Beat sugar and egg until light and fluffy. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl and then mix into sugar and egg mixture until well combined; mixture will resemble coarse crumbs. Add wet ingredients and mix until smooth, soupy batter is formed.

Fill muffin cups until almost full. Bake 15 minutes, spinning once, until tester comes out clean.

Remove from pans. Dip tops of muffins in melted butter and then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture until tops are coated. Can be eaten warm or kept over night.

Makes 24 mini-muffins or 12 regular muffins.

I attempted to make an artier picture. Did it work?
melayneseahawk: (salt)
Last night was apparently Asian Food Night in my house. I don't even know. Did make one old recipe and one new one, so I thought I'd share.

The first is an iteration of my favorite way to cook: throw [some kind of vegetable] in wok, stir-fry with [some kind of sauce], serve. I made it this time with soy puffs for protein, but it can easily be done with chicken breast or pork stir-fried in similar seasonings. I prefer to used Shanghai bok choy, since it has an added spiciness inherent to the leaves, but any similar Asian green will do.

The second is a nummy dessert, very easy to make. I prepped the rice before dinner, then made the sauce after we'd finished the meal, so it could be served hot. Yum!

Stir-Fried Chinese Greens with Soy Puffs
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 1/2 pounds Shanghai bok choy
1 package soy puffs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons chicken stock

Cut bok choy into bite-sized pieces. Cut soy puffs in half.

Heat oil in wok or similar pan until it sizzles if you flick in a drop of water. Stir-fry boy choy until coated with oil and just beginning to wilt. Add soy puffs, soy sauce, and chicken stock, tossing the contents until the leaves are coated and the puffs have absorbed some of the liquid (they will turn light brown on the cut sides). Stir-fry 2-3 minutes, until leaves are softened slightly but not squishy.

Serve over rice or noodles. Serves 4.

Mango Sticky Rice
1 cup sweet, sticky, or sushi rice (very short grain)
1 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
2 ripe mangoes, or 1 pkg frozen mango (thawed completely)

Soak rice in 1 cup of water in mid-sized sauce pan for 20 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add 3/4 more water, 1/4 of the can of coconut milk, the salt, and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn heat down to low. Cover with lid, but tip it so that the steam can escape. Cook like this for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is completely absorbed, stirring occasionally. Cover tightly, remove from heat, and let stand at least 5 minutes, or up to 1/2 hour.

Rice can also be refrigerated in a tightly closed container for a few days.

To make sauce, mix remaining brown sugar, coconut milk, and vanilla in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Do not allow to come to a boil. Add dissolved cornstarch and turn heat down to low. Continue to stir as sauce thickens to 3/4 its original volume.

Scoop rice into bowls. Ladle generous helping of sauce over rice and top with slices or chunks of mango. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

melayneseahawk: (salt)
This pie is so good that I've never managed to get a picture of it; it always gets eaten too quickly! It's also supremely easy to make.

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart
1 9" frozen deep dish pie crust (house brand: Pet-Ritz)
1 1/2 cup milk
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate morsels (or larger pieces, chopped)
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Prepare pie crust as indicated on the package. Heat milk in microwave until simmering. Add chocolate and whisk until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Beat egg and add, mixing until smooth.

Pour filling into crust and place in oven. Bake 15-18 minutes, until center seems set but still quivers slightly when nudged (like Jello). Let cool on rack. Serve warm or room temperature, with whipped cream. Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, but should not be served cold.
melayneseahawk: (salt)
These rolls are a lot of work to make, but well worth it. One of the things I'm making for Thanksgiving (more recipes to follow).

Buttermilk Fantail Rolls
1 stick unsalted butter
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105–115°F)
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (can use all all-purpose if you prefer)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk (mix 1 cup milk with 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice for similar result)

Stir together yeast, warm water, and honey in a large bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, start over with new yeast.) Melt butter in small dish and set aside.

Mix flour, salt, buttermilk, and 6 Tbsp melted butter into yeast mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a soft dough forms. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and knead, dusting surface and your hands with just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is elastic and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Form dough into a ball.

Put dough in an greased large bowl (I use the butter wrapper) and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch down dough (do not knead), then halve. Roll out half of dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin (about 1/8 inch thick; keep remaining half covered with plastic wrap). Brush dough with butter and cut into 6 equal strips. Stack strips, buttered sides up, and cut crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Turn each piece on a side and put into one of the cups in a muffin pan. Make more rolls with remaining dough in same manner. Separate outer layers of each roll to fan outward.

Cover rolls with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and dough fills cups, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake rolls until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush tops with remaining butter, then transfer rolls to a rack and cool at least 20 minutes.

Makes 12.

melayneseahawk: (double)
Finally went over to Borders to see whether I still have a job and--surprisingly--I do. And, in the time I was gone, the Boss was able to fire CafeBoss and replace him, so that means I no longer have to do the spy gal deal. And I'm going to be able to get good (re)training at another store, so when I go back to work I'll actually know what I'm doing.

Here, it's hot, have a yummy summer recipe.

Mel's Ginger Limeade
4 limes
4 by 1 by 1 inches of ginger
8 tablespoons sugar
filtered water

Use a pitcher with measurements on the side. Juice limes. Peel ginger and coarsely chop. Add limes, ginger, and sugar to the pitcher and mix. Add water to the 2 quart line, then add ice to increase liquid level an additional cup. Shake vigorously and chill at least 12 hours before serving, shaking often if possible (like, whenever you go near the fridge).

Mix will become more gingery over time, so let it steep until you like the way it tastes and strain out ginger pieces and any lime pulp. Serve chilled.

needs more cookies!

Saturday, 3 July 2010 19:43
melayneseahawk: (salt)
Or dots. :P

Mood seems to be much better. Have gotten over my head cold (who gets a cold in 90 degree summer weather? I do!). Going to try to sort out the Borders situation soon; hopefully, they'll be willing to take me back, and then I'll have a job.

Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Smitten Kitchen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl and set aside. Cream melted butter and sugars until well blended and smooth. Beat in vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in dry ingredients until just blended, then stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

Drop cookies by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-covered baking sheets. Bake 10-15 minutes, until edges of cookies are toasted, then remove to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen.

a fic and a recipe

Wednesday, 16 June 2010 16:24
melayneseahawk: (salt)
written for [ profile] lgbtfest

prompt 3206. Stargate: SG-1, Jack/Daniel and Sam/Janet and Sam/Daniel, Aliens Made Them Do It: Daniel and Sam are doing alright after having to participate in an alien sex ritual. It's their partners that aren't coping too well with the fact that they've had 'straight' sex.

Conversations | PG | 2377 words | complete
Stargate: SG-1; Jack/Daniel, Sam/Janet, Sam/Daniel; “Jack, it’s got to be me and Sam. There aren’t any other options.”

You can find some of my original thoughts on writing this fic here.

Cilantro Lime Rice
3 cups of hot cooked long-grain rice
2 small limes (or 1 large lime), juiced and zested
1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt

Fluff cooked rice with a fork. Add lime juice, zest, cilantro, and salt, and mix until combined evenly. Serve warm, plain or with Mexican-seasoned meat or veggies.


Tuesday, 8 June 2010 15:55
melayneseahawk: (salmonella bomb)
Had D&D with [ profile] allandaros and folks last night, so I baked cookies. A new recipe, so I thought I'd share.

Note: these recipes are meant to be made with a cookie gun, and I haven't tried them without.

Crispy Gingerbread Cookies

2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cream butter, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy. In separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Gradually add to creamed mixture and beat well to make a smooth, stiff dough.

Fill cookie press and press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet; the dough is more than greasy enough to keep the cookies from sticking, and parchment will just make you crazy. Feel free to pack them in tight, they don't spread at all. Bake 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges. Spin cookies to separate them from the sheet and then relocate them to a rack to cool.

Makes about 8 dozen, give or take. They store really well if packed in wax paper in a tin.

melayneseahawk: (salmonella bomb)
Chocolate Shortbread Stars
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I suggest Hershey's Extra Dark)
1/2 cup powdered sugar*
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Cut butter into inch-thick chunks and rub into dry ingredients with fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add yolk and vanilla and mix with hand mixer or food processor until smooth dough develops; dough will be very thick and almost crumbly. Flatten dough onto plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 45 minutes. Dough can be chilled overnight if necessary.

When ready to bake, remove dough from 'fridge to thaw slightly. Preheat oven to 325°.

Roll dough out on flat surface to 1/4 inch thick. Using cookie cutters or a butter knife, cut out shapes. I use a star-shaped cookie cutter, but any shape that will give you a 1 inch square area is fine. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper and place cookies; they don't spread at all, so you can pack them in pretty tight, as long as they're not touching. Reroll dough until as many cookies are made as possible.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until cookies are firm in the center but not burnt; watch them carefully, since it's hard to tell with dark chocolate cookies. Remove to wire rack to cool.

pictured here with my famous peanut butter cookies

A Note About Sugar: Powdered sugar has the teeniest bit of flour in it, which keeps these cookies from being too fragile. They still work if you use granulated sugar, though I'd consider subbing out half a teaspoon of the sugar for additional flour to keep them from being too crumbly.
melayneseahawk: (salt)
So, you all asked for the recipe for the rosemary bread I made this weekend. Here it is:

Scrumptious Rosemary Bread
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 cups bread flour

olive oil
additional whole rosemary leaves
1 egg, beaten

Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a medium bowl. When mixture is bubbly, stir in salt, butter, chopped rosemary, and dry seasonings. Gradually mix in flour to form a workable dough, and knead 10 to 12 minutes.

Coat the inside of a large bowl with olive oil. Place dough in bowl, cover with a dry towel, and allow to rise 1 hour in the warmest spot in the kitchen. Dough will double in size and form dents if poked with a fingertip.

Lightly grease loaf pan with olive oil. Punch down dough, shape into oval, and place in pan. Sprinkle with remaining rosemary. Cover with towel, and allow to rise 1 hour, or until again doubled in size. If dough is uneven, shake pan to settle.

Preheat oven to 375°. Brush loaf with egg; I use the back of a spoon. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until egg wash is golden brown and loaf makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack.

or, if you don't own a loaf pan:

After first rise, punch down dough, split in half, and shape into two round boules. Place boules on parchment-covered baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining rosemary. Cover with towel, and allow to rise 1 hour, or until again doubled in size.

Same baking procedure, but only 15 to 20 minutes.

This bread reheats really well, and is good for breakfast or with dinner. It might also make good sandwich bread, if you like a little bit of a kick.

subject quote by Carmen McRae
melayneseahawk: (salmonella bomb)
Because, man, I've got it down pat.

Seder tonight was fun. If people are interested, I could be persuaded to tell the Chad Gadya story, and maybe even record me doing the last verse in one breath and post it on the eljay.

Since no food eaten during Passover can contain traditional leavening agents (yeast, baking powder or soda, etc.), one has two options for baking: come up with an option that will survive being hefty (macaroons), or use some other method of trapping air to lighten your project. The standard solution is egg whites.

These are the household favorites. The macaroons are only a teeny bit sweet, so the flavor of the nuts doesn't have to fight with anything else. And the brownies? Good enough to make year-round.

Pistachio Macaroons
3 cups shelled pistachios (roasted, unsalted)
1 cup sugar
3 egg whites

Crush pistachios into chunks. You can use a blender, but we tend to throw them in a plastic bag, close out most of the air, and banging on it with the bottom of a cup. You want them ground into small pieces but not powdery.

Mix pistachios, sugar, and egg whites in small bowl until blended and place in refrigerator to chill at least 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 325°.

When mixture is done chilling, remove and drop onto parchment-covered baking sheets by rounded teaspoons. You might want to press them flat if the mounds are particularly thick. Mixture will be thin but cohesive. If it starts to fall apart, through it back into the fridge for a few minutes.

Bake 12-17 minutes, until bottom edges are browned. Increase heat to 350° and bake for another 5 minutes to dry them out a little, then remove to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen.

In the background you can see, left to right: ubiquitous loose change can, knife block, decaf Kona coffee Da brought Mum from Hawai'i, Mum's flax seed grinder, and our shiny brand new stand mixer.

Passover Brownies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
5 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
1 cup 60% dark chocolate chips
1 3/4 cup almond flour
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 9 inch square baking tin.

Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in egg yolks until uniform. Melt chocolate and add to butter mixture. Add almond flour and salt and mix until uniform.

In separate bowl, whip whites until stiff. Fold into batter; be careful to handle it as little as possible so you don't lose the lovely air bubbles you've made in the whites.

Pour batter into tin, smoothing top if necessary. Bake 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted one inch from the edge comes out clean. Remove pan to wire rack to cool and cut into squares.

I'm also a personal fan of meringues (second recipe down):

The rice steamer is visible in the far left of this picture.
melayneseahawk: (salmonella bomb)
1. Well, that was a nice couple days of normal moods. Too bad it seems to be over. :(

2. Real-Person Slash is never not creepy. *shudders*

3. Recipe! These guys are less maple cookie and more sugar cookie with a hint of maple. Subtle, but in a good way. I'm guessing that the glaze would negate that, but I didn't make it since I was concerned that it would make the cookies too sticky to store.

Maple Cookies (with optional glaze)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup maple syrup and eggs. Gradually stir in flour and salt. Dough will be very sticky.

Scoop dough onto baking sheets in rounded teaspoons, spaced 2" apart. Using fingers or the back of a spoon, flatten cookies to 1/4 inch thickness.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to brown at the edges. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Glaze: In a small saucepan, simmer 1 cup maple syrup until reduced to 3/4 cup. When cookies are cooled, spoon the syrup over the cookies and sprinkle each cookie with a little salt.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies (I made a half batch and came up with 29, so do the math).

3a. OMG I have so much work to do tomorrow...
melayneseahawk: (salt)
Have effectively been snowed in since this weekend, so I've been entertaining myself with World of Warcraft, harassing the rabbit, and baking. Yesterday, I made my first yeast bread. Recipe follows, but first, a request:

I'm in need of a content editor for a piece of original fiction. Because of the snow, I'm very possibly going to miss out on most, if not all, of my editing time for my first story for the creative writing class, and I refuse to submit something that I know can be improved. The story is complete, but the ending is rushed an unsatisfactory. Would someone be willing to look over it and help me make what changes I can? More details available if you're interested.

And now, the recipe. I snagged this from [ profile] copperbadge, but I'm rewriting it because his version was very hard to read-while-cooking. This is a very basic crusty bread, good as a vehicle for Nutella or jam. I think it would also make great sandwich bread if made in a rectangular loaf pan.

No-Knead Bread
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus extra for dough-thickening and dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (I accidentally used double this, but the bread still came out just fine)
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 5/8 cup warm water
cornmeal for dusting
This recipe requires 16-22 hours to make, so start the night before.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Gradually stir in water; resulting dough will be very sticky, but that's fine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit 12 to 18 hours, in slightly-warmer-than-room-temperature kitchen.

Dough is ready when the surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour hands and work surface and then shape dough into a ball, adding additional flour if the dough is too sticky. Be careful to use the sides of your hands--not your fingers--so you don't disturb the air bubbles in the dough.

Generously coat a cotton (not terry) towel with flour or cornmeal. Please dough ball seam-side down on the down and top with additional flour/cornmeal. Cover with sides another towel and let proof (read: rest) for two hours. When ready, dough will double in size and spring back slowly when poked.

If using a covered pot, preheat oven to 450° at least half an hour before dough is done proofing. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is done proofing and oven is hot, carefully remove pot and set aside lid. Use towel to flip dough into pot. It should now be seam-side up. Shake pot once or twice if the dough is very uneven; it will settle out while baking. Cover pot and return it to stove. Bake 30 minutes, and then remove lid. Bake an additional 10-20 minutes, until loaf is golden brown, and--when removed from the pot--makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack.

If using a loaf pan, preheat oven to 450° when dough is done proofing. If using a metal loaf pan, grease and flour it before using. When ready, place dough into pan, seam-side up, and bake 30-45 minutes, until golden brown and--when removed from the pot--makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack.

The faint checker-pattern you see is from the towel I used sticking to the dough slightly. I'm definitely going to use cornmeal next time, since it should leave the loaf less floury.


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September 2014

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