Sunday, January 31, 2010

Raspberry Sorbet

YUM. I made this up. I liked it. The caulking adds just that extra kick of artistry.

Raspberry Sorbet

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup 100% fruit juice (I used cranberry‐raspberry juice)
1 bag of frozen raspberries, about 12 oz. (or fresh!)
juice of one lemon or lime

In a small sauce pan, bring sugar and water just to a simmer, to make simple syrup. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then pour into large mixing bowl. Add juice and stir together. Add frozen raspberries to same sauce pan that you made the simple sugar in. Cook until soft and syrupy. Add a cup or so of the simple syrup mixture. Once frozen raspberries are not longer frozen, add to food processor. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Puree for about one minute. Strain raspberry puree into bowl with simple sugar mixture through a fine‐mesh sieve. Continue to press mixture through until as
much of juice as possible is extracted. You should be left with a bunch of seeds in sieve. Chill in refrigerator until completely cooled. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze as directed.

(Servings: makes ~6 cups, Prep time: 30 min., Freeze time: 30 min., Difficulty: easy)

Pad Thai

Who doesn't love Pad Thai? So good. Scot and I are 100% obsessed with cilantro. It is probably my favorite flavor. Ever.

I make this a lot, but this time, I kind of used a recipe in the Joy of Cooking. The trick to making Pad Thai is that you need to prep everything in advance (as the the recipes instructs). The actual cooking time is pretty quick. There are some special ingredients, that may be hard to find at your grocery store. Most grocery stores have fish sauce and toasted sesame oil in the Asian or Ethnic section. The flat rice noodles are actually harder to find for me. We have two regular grocery stores in Boulder. Safeway never has the flat rice noodles and King Soopers sometimes has them (weird, I know). Whole Foods always has them unless they are out because people in Boulder are so dang healthy, they just eat that stuff up!

We love Whole Foods. And totally wish we could shop there for everything. But we already spend too much on food and just can't spend anymore. We do go there for certain items (that are sometimes cheaper): olive oil (always cheaper), special produce, bread, some cheeses, etc. Actually, I hate regular grocery stores. Now that I am on the topic. It irritates me how they bag my groceries and won't let me bag my own. Also, they have way too much stuff that I do not want. And they don't have the things I do want. I love small (expensive) grocery stores! Someday...

Pad Thai
adapted from Joy of Cooking

~16 oz. rice noodles
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
8 oz. shrimp, peeled, deveined, and split lengthwise in half
5 tbsp. Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
5 tbsp soy sauce
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
5 tablespoons of sugar
1 tbsp light oil (peanut)
2 tbsp light oil (peanut)
3 eggs, well beaten
2 tbsp light oil (peanut)
~1/2 cup 1 1/2 -inch pieces of scallions (white part only) – need about 4 bunches
1 to 2 small green chiles, seeded and chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped (optional: save some for garnish)
1/4 cup basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped (optional: save some for garnish)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
lime wedges for garnish (and for squeezing right before eating)

Place rice noodles in bowl, cover with hot water, let soak for 20-30 minutes until softened (still will have a bite to them). When done, drain and set aside (but continue prepping everything else as you wait).

Stir together cornstarch and sesame oil. Add shrimp, marinate for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.

In a glass measuring cup, combine fish sauce, soy sauce, lime/lemon juice and sugar. Set aside.

In a wok or large skillet, over medium-high heat, add first tablespoon of light oil. Swirl to coat pan. Add shrimp, cook for 30-45 seconds and absolutely no longer. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add two more tablespoons of light oil to pan. Add the beaten eggs. Stir vigorously, until set. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add two more tablespoons of light oil to pan. Add scallions, green chiles, and garlic until garlic is slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add drained noodles and stir until well coated. Add fish sauce mixture and stir well. Then add shrimp and cooked eggs, stir well. Add the rest in this order: bean sprouts, peanuts, basil, cilantro, crushed red pepper flakes.

Garnish with lime wedge, chopped peanuts and cilantro.

NOTE: Shrimp is can easily be left out, so this will be listed as vegetarian too! Chicken, tofu or pork can also be substituted for shrimp.

(Servings: 4, Prep time: 45 minutes, Cook time: 15 minutes, Difficulty: Intermediate)

Weekly Meal Plan - The Lighter Side

Too. Much. Butter. After the last two weeks packed with butter, saturated fats, red meat...all of which I love, don't get me wrong. I was inspired this week to go Asian and go seafood (not everything, of course). My favorite food is Asian. Not Chinese take out. But brothy Asian and fish goodness. It is the kind of a food you eat, and still feel so good. I love that. I have also been reading the Joy of Cooking. It may be the best resource ever. Every cook should own it. It is amazing. Anyways, here is this week's plan:

Sunday: Pad Thai
Monday: Salmon Pouch with white rice
Wednesday: Chicken Piccata with Crashed Potatoes and Asparagus
Thursday: Homemade biscuits with some leftover gravy (from pot pies) and maybe some eggs

Leftovers (all lunch portions, 2 cup Pyrex bowls):
Pad Thai: 2
Salmon Pouch: 2 (I steamed all the extra veggies and packaged with rice topped with soy sauce)
Japanese Noodles in broth: 4
Chicken piccata with Crashed Potatoes and Asparagus: some potatoes and asparagus that we ate the next night
Biscuits: lots...maybe 6 biscuits

Printable Version of meal plan and grocery list.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Risotto and Zucchini Fritters "Cooking Lesson"

Meet M and K. Last weekend, they asked me to give them a cooking lesson. See, a few weeks ago, potatoes were on sale at the grocery store. How much? 89 cents for 10 lbs!!! So, K and M did what anyone else would do, they bought 40 lbs and, of course, carried them home on their bikes. They have been eating these potatoes since. They have been very creative, making potato soup, french fries, twice baked potatoes, and a lot more. However, they told me that they have had several disasters in the kitchen and would like some help. Please note, their disasters were still eaten, they just suffered through them. I really couldn't have asked for two better students. (Pictured with vegetable bouillon cubes, it's fine)

Here is a summary of what we learned:
-don't wash mushrooms under water, just wipe with damp cloth...although this is controversial, Alton Brown supports washing them under water, I still say just wipe them, then you don't have to dry them
-if you are using the food processor for multiple things, rinse and dry in between
-salt releases the liquid in veggies, so does ringing them out in a clean, thin kitchen towel
-how to chop an onion (food processor-less)
-don't use the woody/hard stems when chopping the fresh herbs
-green onions are the whole onion, even the white part

So....we made risotto with sauteed mushrooms on top, a recipe from Pioneer Woman. I think it went well.


2 cups Parmesan, Romano, Or Asiago Cheese (or A Mixture Of All Three)
3 cloves (to 4 Cloves) Garlic
1/2 whole Large Onion
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 pound Arborio Rice
7 cups (to 8 Cups) Chicken Broth
1 cup (to 1 1/2 Cups) Heavy Cream
1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Chives, Chopped
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Grate 2 cups of cheese. Peel and finely dice 3 to 4 cloves of garlic. Dice 1/2 of a large onion.

Heat a large skillet over medium‐low heat and add 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil. Then add 1 tablespoon of butter. Throw in the garlic and onion and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent.

Add 1 pound of Arborio rice and stir to coat the rice thoroughly. Adding 1 cup at a time, add 7‐8 ounces of chicken broth, stirring constantly after each addition. As soon as it appears that the rice has absorbed each helping of broth, add in the next helping. Do not stop stirring. This process will take at least 20 minutes. Rice is done when it no longer has a hard bite.

When more of the broth is absorbed pour in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream. Next add the grated cheese and stir thoroughly. Add in plenty of fresh cracked pepper and about 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped chives. Add salt to taste.

(Prep time: 15 min., Cook time: 45 min., Difficulty: Easy, Servings: 8)

We also made zucchini fritters, a recipe from Closet Cooking and Tzatziki (which I posted previously, here).

Zucchini Fritters

2 cups zucchini (grated, and squeezed to drain)
1 handful fresh herbs (such as parsley, dill, mint; chopped)
1 green onion (chopped)
1/4 cup feta (crumbled)
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons oil

1. Mix the zucchini, herbs, green onion, feta, flour, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Spoon the zucchini mixture into the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.

(Servings: 2, Difficulty: Easy, Prep time: 20 min., Cook time: 30 min.)


1.5 cups Greek yogurt
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 garlic clove
1 medium cucumber (seeded and diced)
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp dill
black pepper

Put cucumber in colander, sprinkle with salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain and wipe dry. In food processor blend everything except yogurt together. Add mixture to yogurt. Taste and salt. Refrigerate for two hours before eating. (i.e. you should make this ahead of time!)

Ok, so you may be wondering why "Cooking Lesson" is in quotes? Or maybe you didn't notice? Well, approximately 1 hour into the cooking lesson, the doorbell rang. K left to get it. All of a sudden, in comes someone, we will call Klean K, kind of dressed up carrying all these sandwiches and talking about everything being dirty. I don't think I have ever been more confused in my life. Especially since K, M and Scot all seemed equally confused. Klean K continued to get out her panini press and explain that she was there to share the food she made. And continued to complain about how dirty everything was, and then she put on latex gloves. If you have no idea what I am talking about, trust me, I had no idea either. Then, we asked Klean K why she was dressed up??? She said, well we are going to a party after this, just thought we would stop by and share our Cuban sliders that we made. WHAT?!?!? You made Cuban sliders??? Why isn't your fiance All-Star A, dressed up??? She says, oh, I thought he was going to dress up an then he didn't (note: All Star A is wearing a Vikings sweatshirt and sweatpants that are stuffed to make him look really large).

At this point, the cooking lesson is only halfway through. If that. Somehow, we are supposed to continue the cooking lesson while mass chaos is erupting. So, we kinda did. Klean K just kept coming in and stirring the risotto like it was normal. And the two students, K and M with Scot, just continued to be "confused" about these people arriving.

Then, the doorbell rang again. And a bird type, red dressed man came in repeating, "ka-kaaaa" and began perching on chairs and couches. This is more or less when it got really weird. Let's call him Take-off T. He came in with Tell Tale T and Believer B. Tell Tale T had a notebook with him and was showing people different things in it. Believer B was preaching and was wearing a sweater vest. What was weirder...they brought food with them...jello cubes, greek salad, and corn fritters. I always make jello cubes and greek salad type things. And corn fritters from the bloggy???

Ok, I think, this is fine. Obv. something is going on, but at least I have these three: K, M and Scot. At that point, Scot starts racing people. Someone was eating something and he goes, I bet I could eat that faster than you. My first reaction was, Did you really just say that? My second reaction was, I've lost him. Then, M leaves and comes back with a shirt that he has written multiple eating challenges on (ex: drinking a gallon of milk, eating a tsp. of cinnamon, eating 6 saltines in 60 seconds). What? What does that even mean. People continue to come in and eventually we have: Priceless P, Paring P, Fidgety F, Righthand R, Reading R, and Hotshot H. Montona. They each brought dishes, including maple/dijon brussel sprouts, corn fritters, cabbage and fennel slaw, blackberry cheesecake, spring rolls, etc. Priceless P kept saying everything was an antique and worth a lot of money, Paring P was whittling sticks into different things and it never looked like anything, Righthand R kept saying she could see dead people, Reading R said he knew what everyone was thinking or "I knew you were going to say that", and Hotshot H Montana was Hannah Montana's forgotten sister, "Daddy broke my achy breaky heart".

At some point, I also lost K, who gradually became more and more confused. Almost to the point that it was impossible to continue any sort of cooking lesson, but somehow we managed.

Throughout all this, a few people said Happy Birthday to me. I didn't know if they were in character or not. Finally, Scot pulled me a side and gave me a note that explained what was going on. "Confused??? Well, SURPRISE and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Shapely Shanon!!! Welcome to your Surpise/Confusion Mystery Birthday Party!!!" It went on to explain that the cooking lesson was real and that K and M asked me to do it before this was planned. And that everyone made dishes inspired by me or my blog. And finally, this is a mystery party where everyone has a character to play and mine is described below.

Shanon: You are a fitness-healthy junkie. You are critical of EVERY recipe and dish you come across. You notice every health no-no, you comment on all the calories, fats, salts, etc. Of course, you know that it is not the cook's fault, but what they had to work with, and you'll show them an exercise routine to make up for the lack of healthiness in their recipe choice. You also like to make exercise fun. So you try to devise new ways to get people to exercise with you. Show them a dance routine, or teach them how they can stand up twice before getting up from a chair. You always stand up - sit down- stand up before you get up from your seat. You always open and close doors multiple times to get in that little bit of exercise and when you walk, you lift your legs really high then kick up your heels to burn a few more cals.

The other characters were really funny. One of the best was probably Take-off T, because he was this superhero bird half the time, and then all of a sudden he would change costumes and become a deaf janitor and start mopping the floor. He definitely was a huge source of confusion for me. K was a blind person, who wouldn't admit she was blind and was pretty much confused about everything. M was into eating contests but would always get full after one bite even though he thought he could eat a bunch. Scot was "Super Scot" and always had to one up everyone. If someone was stirring, he could stir faster. If someone was whittling, he could do it better.

As we finished cooking, people kept playing their characters and ate all the food:

Those are the brussel sprouts, Cuban sliders, spring rolls, my pasta salad (Scot made), corn fritters, cabbage/fennel slaw, jello cubes, and greek salad (left to right, top to bottom).

After eating was done, we all got together to solve the mystery, "who stole the cake?". We played a game of charades, which was set up to give us all the clues we needed.

After following about 20 clues, we found that the cake box was in the bike basket. And that the cake was in the shower!

Thanks everyone! That was really fun!!!! A special thanks to Scot, K and M for all their hard work in planning out the mystery and characters and the partay!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eggplant and Fried Green Tomato Parmesan with Spaghetti and Italian Chopped Salad

Fried Green Tomatoes was one of my favorite movies growing up. I have made fried green tomatoes many times in the past summers. Green tomatoes are not easy to find in the grocery store in the winter. They did have some tiny ones with the heirloom tomatoes, though, so we bought some to try it parmesan style. I like a good eggplant parmesan, but HATE it when the eggplant is all squishy, wet and slimy. The trick is to salt the eggplant to release a lot of the liquid. It is awesome!

This recipe is combination of Closet Cooking's recipe and Annie's Eats' recipe. I really liked the idea of the cornmeal breading, which is what Closet Cooking did. And I really, really liked it.

We also made the tomato sauce from last night again. This time we doubled it and used San Marzano tomatoes. Amazing.

Fried Green Tomato and Eggplant Parmesan
from Closet Cooking and Annie’s Eats, modified by Shanon

1 medium eggplant (sliced into 1/4 inch thick circles)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 green tomatoes (sliced 1/4 inch thick)
salt and pepper to taste
~1/2 cup flour
~2 egg (beaten)
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup light cooking oil
~4 cups marinara sauce (see recipe for tomato sauce with butter and onion, double recipe)
1 cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano (grated)

1. To prepare the eggplant, toss the eggplant slices with the kosher salt in a large bowl until combined. Transfer the salted eggplant to a colander and set the colander over the now empty bowl. Let stand until the eggplant releases at least 1 tablespoon liquid, 30-45 minutes. Spread the eggplant slices on a triple thickness of paper towels (or layers of clean kitchen towels); cover with another triple thickness of paper towels. Press firmly on each slice to remove as much liquid as possible. Wipe off any excess salt.
2. Season the tomato slices with salt and pepper.
3. Dredge the tomato and eggplant slices in the flour, then dip them in the egg and finally dredge them in the corn meal and flour mixture.
4. Fry the tomato and eggplant slices in the light oil until golden brown on both sides, about 1-3 minutes per side.
5. Place the fried green tomato and eggplant slices on the bottom of a baking pan.
6. Spread the marinara sauce on top of the fried green tomato and eggplant slices.
7. Spread the cheese on top of the marinara sauce.
8. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the cheese is golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.

We had this over spaghetti with a chopped Italian salad. In it were the same veggies from last night: romaine lettuce, cucumbers, green and red peppers, red onion, carrots and celery. Plus, I added black olives and shredded mozzarella cheese. It was dress with olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper.

Also, found San Marzano tomatoes at Whole Foods! These tomatoes are always recommended in recipes that call for whole tomatoes. They are amazing. It is going to be hard to go back to anything else.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions served over Spaghetti with a Chopped Salad

I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen's blog. To be honest, I was mostly intrigued. It seemed too good to be true. Too simple. But I loved it!

My maternal grandpa was 100% Italian. It makes me feel cool. I wish I was more Italian. I love Italians. My mom always made a HUGE pot of what we called "spaghetti sauce". I think it is something I will never be able to make the same. She always puts meatballs, ribs and sausage in it, seriously amazing. When I read Smitten Kitchen's recipe, it reminded me of my mom's tomato sauce because I believe she also put an entire onion in it (instead of chopping it up). Although, I am pretty sure I used to think it was a hard-boiled egg. But maybe there were both?

One thing I do know for sure, is my mom would cook the sauce for like an entire day. This is something I am trying to do more, but hardly ever do with anything I make. Mostly because Scot is too hungry to wait. Yeah, it is his fault.

Tonight I was gone again, so Scot started this (it is simple, you just throw three ingredients in a pot). I have decided there are three things in the recipe that make it really good: (1) the onion left whole, (2) the quality of the whole tomatoes, we used an organic brand with no added gibble gobble, and (3) you need to cook the tomatoes down for at least an hour. I think it would get even better if you did it for longer. I also think this recipe needs to be doubled (maybe 1.5'ed) for 1 lb. of pasta. I actually intended to double it to have some for tomorrow's eggplant parm, but forgot to mention that to Scot. It is ok though, it will be nice to try it again tomorrow night.



Result: I thoroughly enjoyed this sauce. It is so clean. I make marinara sauces all the time. But I never do the three things mentioned above. I have this one pasta that I make all the time...a simple tomato sauce with green olives and sometimes canned tuna. I think you all just unsubscribed, but then you forgot that I love brines. I invented the recipe when we were living in Switzerland, where it costs $400 for a chicken breast. But, I really like it! I am definitely going to use this new sauce for the green olive version.

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions

28 ounces (800 grams) whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if you can find them)
5 tablespoons (70 grams)
unsalted butter 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt to taste

Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan (it fit just right in a 3-quart) over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste (you might find, as I did, that your tomatoes came salted and that you didn’t need to add more) and keep warm while you prepare your pasta.

Serve with spaghetti, with or without grated parmesan cheese to pass. Serves 4 as a main course; barely makes enough sauce to lightly coat most of a pound of spaghetti.

We had a chopped salad with it. It was cucumbers, red/green peppers, carrots, celery, red onions and lettuce. I had some leftover "homemade" ranch, so we used that. Tomorrow we will do an Italian chopped salad. I like rabbit food.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

I can think of one person, in particular, that will probs make this. She LOVES pot pies and thinks it is normal when her brothers put dead deer on top of their mid-size sedan until they are ready to butcher it. This recipe is definitely dedicated to all the country folk out there. I want to live on a farm.

I made these babies yesterday. I made the filling and the pastry. Assembled them and put them in the fridge unbaked. Scot put the egg wash on, slit them and baked them tonight (b-ball night, remems?) I wouldn't recommend making too much more ahead of time without baking them first. He also made the same salad previously posted with the Potato Bacon Torte.

I used a recipe from Ina Garten, although was inspired by Annie's Eats recipe. I just liked Ina's a little better. I don't like using frozen carrots because fresh carrots are so easy and always available. Peas, on the other hand, I always use frozen unless it is summer. I followed Ina's recipe exactly, except for one thing, I used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I do that a lot. I don't think it is that much more expensive and it just makes my life a little easier. However, I do like to roast the chicken myself too, because I love having carcasses saved up for stock. Ina's recipes are always so fine tuned, you can almost never go wrong with her. Except if you are on a budget. This one wasn't too bad at all money-wise.

Taste-wise ... delicious. I have tried several different pot pie recipes. I tried Emeril's once and it was kind of horrible. Yeah, just everything about it. This was everything I wanted in a pot pie. I will use it from now on. This is not a good week day meal because it takes some time to prepare. And all the time is active prep time. I would guess it took me about 1.5-2 hours. Hard to say because I was also making the beef and barley soup last night. And some apps for the game.

The only trick to making good pastry dough it to keep it wicked cold. Be quick, don't mess around. As soon as it comes together, wrap it up and put in the fridge. There is a little butter in this. Nothing to be scared of. You will be ok. You burn most of the calories off just by making it. Sometimes I just jog in place or do handstands against the refridge. That seems to help.

Anyways, Ina says this makes four bowls. She must have huge bowls, because for me it made eight servings. Scot had two. I had one. I am going to save two for leftovers later in the week and freeze three for later.

Chicken Pot Pie

from Ina Garten

3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on

3 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

2 chicken bouillon cubes

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)

1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

For the pastry:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Printable Version

Coffee Ice Cream

Ice cream is hard to photograph because I really just wanted to eat it. I am not a big sweets person. Of course, I LOVE dessert, but I don't ever crave it. I won't have a ton of dessert recipes on here. I do whip up a few here and there. On the other hand, I LOVE ice cream. And I just got an ice cream maker for Christmas from the parents-in-law (thanks!).

I have tried a few different recipes with it. The first was a disaster for several reasons. The second was forgettable. The third (this one) was ridiculously amazing. I made the custard last night so that it could completely chill overnight. It takes a little while to make the custard, but it isn't hard and there is a bit of waiting. The only chance you have to ruin it is if you don't temper the eggs. Add the hot cream very slowly while whisking the eggs as the recipes says, and you will have no problems.

It has such a good coffee flavor. I like my coffee strong and I like my coffee ice cream strong. It is so smooth and velvety. I might become addicted to making ice cream. I would have to say that this is my favorite recipe so far posted on this blog. Annie's Eats blog has a lot of amazing looking desserts. This recipe is hers. It is perfect, I wouldn't change a thing.

Oh yeah, and this sort of made up for the Viking's lose. Wait, no it didn't. Just going to have to wait that one out...check in with him in the morning.

Coffee Ice Cream
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz via Annie’s Eats

11/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
11/2 cups whole coffee beans
Pinch of salt
11/2 cups heavy cream, divided
5 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. finely ground coffee or espresso powder

Combine the milk, sugar, coffee beans, salt and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the mixture is warm and just begins to bubble, remove from the heat and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

After steeping, return the saucepan with the coffee mixture to the burner over medium heat. Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Once the coffee mixture has become warm again, slowly pour the mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Return the egg-coffee bean mixture to the saucepan over medium high heat.

Cook the mixture, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula or spoon (about 170-175° F.) Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible, then discard the beans (I used a heavy-bottomed drinking glass to do this.) Mix in the vanilla and ground coffee or espresso powder. Chill the batter over an ice bath, or in the refrigerator. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator and then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Beef and Barley Soup

I love soup. Can you spot the bay leaf? I like to make sure Scot's bowl gets it because he has issues with non-edible things on his plate. Like when he eats meat with bones, he has to put the bones on a separate plate as he finishes the piece of meat. I think it must have something to do with his clean plate club-ness, but we all have our OCD problem.

Anyways, this soup (almost a stew!) was delicious. The meat was succulent. And I don't use that word unless it is true. Like you can cut it with a spoon. It is a perfect winter meal. It is not particularly cold in Boulder/I had the windows open this morning when I was cleaning. isn't warm so that's fine.

A few tips/warnings. This takes a long time. But I have made a lot of soups and any non-cream soup HAS to take a long time for it to be good. However, actual working/prep time is very short...maybe 30-45 minutes. I think the recipe is great and didn't change anything. For fingerling potatoes, you can substitute any baby/new potato. The grocery stores always have small red potatoes, that is what I used. For the meat, the cut we bought was called a chuck pot roast. It wasn't particularly "lean" but when I cut it into pieces, I did throw away some of the thicker chunks of marbling (fat).

Beef and Barley Soup

from For the Love of Cooking

2 tsp olive oil (divided)

2 lbs of lean chuck, diced

1 small sweet yellow onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

8 cups of beef broth

1-2 bay leaves

Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

8 oz of mushrooms, sliced

3 stalks of celery, diced

3 carrots, diced

5-6 fingerling potatoes, diced

1/2 cup of pearled barley

1/2 cup frozen peas

2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with a little water

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the beef in batches and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelized. Once the beef is cooked, add the onion and garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the beef broth, bay leaves and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and place into the oven for 2-3 hours.

Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Add the mushrooms, carrots, celery, fingerling potatoes and pearled barley to the beef soup. Cover and cook on the stove top over medium low heat for 45-60 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the pearled barley is cooked through. Mix a bit of cornstarch with some water and stir until completely dissolved. Add the cornstarch slurry to the boiling soup and stir. Remove from the heat and serve. Enjoy.

Printable Version

Weekly Meal Plan - Classic Dishes

This week we will be having a lot of classic dishes. Here is the plan:

Leftovers (all lunch portions, 2 cup Pyrex bowls):

Beef and Barley Soup: 5
Chicken Pot Pie: 5 (ate two for leftovers on Thursday, froze 3)
Combo of Spaghetti/Tomato Sauce with E and FGT Parm: 5

Printable Version of meal plan and grocery list.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Reuben Dip and Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Friday night, Scot and I joined in on a wonderful potluck dinner with some friends. The theme this week was "Food from your Homeland". Everyone interpreted the theme differently, which made it even more interesting. Some people did food from their heritage. Some did food their mom used to make. Some did food popular in the city or state they grew up in. We did the last opt.

Since Scot and I have different homelands, we decided to make two dishes from each one. Scot's was Minnesota Chicken Wild Rice Soup. We followed this recipe, but not really at all. It was very nice. Here is what we actually did:

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, peels and diced
1 small onion diced
3/4 cup all‐purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
6 cups chicken broth
1 (4.5 ounce) package quick cooking long grain
2 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
olive oil

In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and cook chicken. Remove from pot to cool and then dice.
In the same pot medium heat, cook carrots, celery and onion in more olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add butter and flour to make a roux. Cook for about 2 minutes to remove flour taste. Add chicken broth and bring to a bubble. Let cook for about 5 minutes until it thickens. Add rice and reduce to a simmer. Cook until done (about 20 minutes). Add chicken,
milk, salt and pepper. Serve when all warmed through.

Mine was a Reuben dip that I found on Closet Cooking. Duh, Reubens were invited in Omaha. Proof here. We decided New York has enough, let Omaha have this one. I love a Reuben. Seriously! Remember when I was going on and on about pickles? Well, I must have a thing for brines because I am equally in love with corned beef. One of the reasons I love St. Patrick's day. The ingredients in a Reuben are some how magical. Who would think corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, rye bread and thousand island dressing could be so good? Go Reubin! Anyways, this dip is just all of those things in one. Oh and really healthy. I actually quadrupled the recipe below. Closet Cooking does do a nice job of writing recipes for 2 people, so check his blog out! However, I wanted enough to share. I think doing 4 x's the recipe is the perfect amount of dip for one loaf of rye bread.

Reuben Dip by Closet Cooking
(makes 2 servings)

1/2 cup corned beef (diced)
1/4 cup sauerkraut (squeezed and drained)
1/4 cup Swiss cheese (shredded)
4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon horseradish (or mustard)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Mix everything in a large bowl.
2. Pour the mixture into a baking dish.
3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.

Serve with small pieces of rye bread, obv.

Here were some of the other tasty dishes from the potluck. Perogies representing Polish-ness, Roadkill meatballs from Tennessee, Bison meatloaf from a NY mom, twice baked potatoes from a MI mom. Not pictured Boulder Canyon chips from Boulder! and crab dip from Maryland.