Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Paprika Potatoes

I got this easy recipe from Cook’s Country. I loved that the paprika is an integral part of the dish here, as opposed to something that’s sprinkled on at the end. My potatoes didn’t brown as nicely as those in the magazine, but I don’t think it mattered much, as the Engineer and I both enjoyed it tremendously. I served it here with roasted pork tenderloin served with apricot-miso glaze.

2 lbs baby red potatoes, scrubbed and halved
¼ cup olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp smoked paprika, divided
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

Place cut potatoes in colander. Rinse under cold water until water runs clear; drain.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and 1 tsp paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add potatoes, broth and ½ tsp salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until potatoes are just tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove lid and increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Whisk remaining oil and remaining paprika in small bowl. Add paprika oil to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Miso Glaze

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appétit. It originally called for red miso, but I used sweet white miso, since that’s what I had on hand. I really like making pork tenderloin, because it’s pretty much a hands-off experience and only calls for a good side dish, which you can easily make while the pork is in the oven. The sauce here was great: pork goes quite well with apricots, and the miso added a welcome je-ne-sais-quoi to the dish. Of course, I actually had to remember to serve the sauce – it’s amazing how forgetful I can be when assembling a plate! I served this dish with paprika potatoes, but rice would be great too.

5 Tbsp apricot preserves
¼ cup red (or white) miso
¼ cup Champagne vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
2 tsp finely grated orange peel
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 pork tenderloins (1 lb each)
½ cup low-salt chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425 °F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil.

Combine preserves, miso, vinegar, orange peel, and garlic in small pot over medium heat. Cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Reserve.

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet, tucking thin end under to ensure even cooking. Brush with 2 Tbsp apricot glaze; roast 12 to 15 minutes. Turn pork over with tongs and brush with 3 more Tbsp glaze. Continue to roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 160 °F, 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Transfer pork to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add chicken broth to remaining apricot glaze. Bring to simmer and cook until reduced to 2/3 cup sauce, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice pork crosswise into ½ to ¾ inch-thick slices and arrange on platter. Spoon sauce over and serve.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Couscous Cheesecake

I found this recipe for couscous cheesecake on Flickr, of all places! I’m told this is originally a Jewish recipe, though it’s undoubtedly been adapted over time, and this here is a lactose-free version, though still dairy. The Engineer and I had never had such a cake: you see, the cake itself isn’t sweet, and it’s the syrup poured on top that really gives it flavour. We came to the consensus that even though we liked it and it was very interesting, neither one of us could imagine ever having a craving for it. I will give you the recipe I used, though, since I had to translate/adapt it from European measurements.

For the cake
1 ½ cups couscous
2 cups water
½ cup butter, cut in small pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 pinch salt
16 oz strained lactose-free cottage cheese (or ricotta if lactose if not an issue)
8 oz cream cheese substitute (like Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese)
2 Tbsp honey

For the syrup
1 cup honey
½ cup water
1 pinch saffron or cinnamon
1 splash rosewater or orange blossom water
shredded coconut (optional)

For the cake
Preheat the oven at 400 °F.

Boil the water in a saucepan and add the couscous; take off the heat and let stand, covered, about 30 minutes. Fluff it with a fork. Add the butter and mix well; add the egg and salt and mix until you get an even consistency. Put half the couscous mixture in a 9-inch springform pan and smooth it out to have an even layer on the bottom.

In a medium bowl, mix the cottage cheese, the cream cheese substitute and the honey. Spread the mixture over the couscous layer in the pan, then spread the rest of the couscous evenly on top. Bake for 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown (you can use the broiler to finish it off).

For the syrup
Mix the honey with the water in a saucepan and add the saffron. Boil for about 10 minutes to form syrup (the consistency will still be runny, as the mixture if hot). Mix in the rosewater or orange blossom water and let cool.

To serve, place a piece of cake on a plate and drench it in syrup; top with shredded coconut and enjoy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

I used to be a fan of This is why you’re fat dot com, “where dreams become heart attacks”. It used to feature Frankenfood, dishes assembled because they might be good individually, but together, it was so over-the-top as to be ridiculous. To give you an idea, there was the "30,000 Calorie Sandwich" made of minced beef, bacon, corn dogs, ham, pastrami, roast beef, bratwurst, Braunschweiger, turkey, fried mushrooms, with onion rings and five varieties of cheese, served on white bread. Scattered in there were also some traditional dishes, like poutine and Welsh rarebit. The vast majority of the Frankencreations made me gag, but every once in a while, there was one thing I would actually drool over. Like this bacon cinnamon roll (the picture below is from the now defunct website).

Then I saw a post on Cakespy and realized how easy it is to make said roll if you use premade cinnamon roll dough from a can (there are decent brands out there, believe it or not, including gluten-free ones). What with the Engineer’s baking project, I had almost forgotten about cans of dough. And I had leftover bacon, so I bought some dough and made these rolls on a Saturday morning. They were DELICIOUS and I regret nothing.

Just open the can, separate the rolls, and unroll them. Put a strip of halfway cooked bacon on each (it needs to be soft enough to be folded, and will cook a bit more in the oven), or two if the rolls are big. Roll them back up and cook according to package directions. Let cool a bit, then glaze, eat and swoon. You’re welcome.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tarte aux framboises de Maman

Cette recette est adaptée d’une recette de ma mère, qui l’a tirée d’un livre d’Anne Lindsay. Je l’ai modifiée un peu pour la faire dans un moule à tarte de 9 pouces, que j’ai, alors que pour la recette d’origine, il faut un moule de 10 pouces. De plus, pour la croûte, il faut normalement 2 blancs d’œufs, mais ça fonctionne très bien aussi avec un œuf entier. J’ai utilisé du yogourt grec que je sais pouvoir digérer; je recommande sinon de mettre votre yogourt dans un coton à fromage suspendu au dessus d’un bol le jour d’avant, pour le faire épaissir un peu, la consistance de la tarte étant ainsi parfaite. J’adore ce dessert, mais ça, c’était déjà connu. J’étais curieuse d’avoir l’opinion de l’Ingénieur, puisqu’il n’aime pas les framboises... Il a dit que c’était très bon, et que si le dessert contenait un autre fruit à la place des framboises, il serait absolument remarquable (« outstanding », qu’il a dit). Bon appétit!

Pour la croûte
1 ½ tasse de farine tout usage
½ tasse de sucre
1 ½ c. à thé de poudre à pâte
1/3 tasse de margarine
2 blancs d’œufs (ou 1 œuf entier)
1 c. à thé de vanille

Pour la garniture
3 tasses de framboises fraîches OU 1 paquet (300g/10oz) de framboises surgelées, non décongelées
2 c. à soupe de farine tout usage
2 tasses de yogourt grec sans lactose
1 œuf, légèrement battu
2/3 tasse de sucre
zeste d’un citron
1 c. à thé de vanille

Préchauffer le four à 350 °F.

Dans un robot (ou un bol, avec deux couteaux), combiner la farine, le sucre, la poudre à pâte, la margarine, les blancs d’œufs et la vanille; bien mélanger. Presser dans le fond d’un moule à tarte de 10 pouces (ou de 9 pouces) à fond amovible.

Parsemer de framboises.

Dans un bol, saupoudrer la farine par-dessus le yogourt. Ajouter l’œuf, le sucre, le zeste de citron et la vanille; mélanger jusqu’à homogénéité. Verser sur les framboises.

Faire cuire pendant 70 minutes (un peu plus si vous avez un moule de 9 pouces; protéger la croûte au besoin) ou jusqu’à ce que le dessus soit bien doré et que la garniture semble ferme.

Servir froid ou chaud.

Chicken and Dumplings

This is a recipe I got from Smitten Kitchen. Once again, these are “dumplings” in the Southern sense of the word, as opposed to wontons or pierogies. I halved the original recipe, so I had enough for 4 generous servings, and that’s what I’m printing here. I used white win instead of the sherry, since I had it on hand, and omitted the tarragon. I also recommend making small balls of dough for the dumplings, as they do plump up quite a bit – the original recipe recommends making them the size of golf balls before they are cooked, but I would halve that too. This dish was excellent, very homey and hearty, exactly what we needed for the last cold snap in San Antonio.

For the stew
2 ½ lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
table salt and ground black pepper
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
1 medium leeks, white and light green part only, cut in half lengthwise, washed and sliced
1 medium onion, minced
3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp dry sherry or white wine
2 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp lactose-free whole milk
½ tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1bay leaf
½ cup frozen green peas
1 Tbsp minced fresh tarragon leaves

For the dumplings
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp table salt
½ cup lactose-free whole milk
1 ½ Tbsp reserved chicken fat (or unsalted butter)

For the stew
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove the browned skin. Pour off the chicken fat and reserve.

Add the butter to the Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, onion, and a pinch of salt and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the broth, milk, thyme, and bay leaf. Nestle the chicken, with any accumulated juices, into the pot. Cover and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and tender, about 1 hour.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Discard the bay leaf. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes, then skim the fat from the surface using a wide spoon. Shred the chicken, discarding the bones, then return it to the stew.

For the dumplings
Only begin preparing the dumplings once you are ready to drop them into the stew. Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Microwave the milk and fat in a microwave-safe bowl on high until just warm (do not over-heat), about 30 seconds. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth.

Return the stew to a simmer, stir in the peas and tarragon, and season with salt and pepper. Gather a small spoonful of the dumpling batter onto a spoon, then push the dumplings onto the stew using a second spoon. Cover the stew with the dumplings, leaving them about ¼ inch apart. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve.

S'mores Cupcakes

Since I’m now officially a full-time domestic goddess, I figured I would make some elaborate cupcakes – and by elaborate, I mean filled. I adapted this recipe from Bon Appétit, though I ended up having to change it a bit. You see, when I read the ingredient “heavy whipping cream” in the original recipe, I logically assumed that the cream would be whipped at some point, so I got a dairy-free substitute that can be whipped. But it turns out that it’s only meant to be heated and then combined with chocolate to make a ganache, so a creamer is a better lactose-free option here. Instead of having a chocolate ganache layer covered with a grilled puff of marshmallow crème, I made a chocolate frosting (which didn’t turn out like I had hoped, because the warm chocolate seized up on contact with the cold whipped frosting; it was good, though unexciting). So my cupcakes don’t exactly look like the ones in the recipe, but I feel they are closer to s’mores anyway, because there’s only one layer of marshmallow sandwiched with the chocolate between the two graham crackers. The meringue-like topping called for might have been overkill, if there can be such a thing when it comes to marshmallow crème (I doubt it, since I like to eat the stuff straight from the jar, but that’s another story).

These cupcakes looked impressive, but really weren’t that hard to make. The cakes themselves were actually quite moist, and stayed good for days. And of course, the time-tested combination of flavours was great! I recommend this recipe, with the topping (chocolate frosting OR chocolate ganache + marshmallow crème meringue) of your choice. A note about the RichWhip: it contains high fructose corn syrup, so I certainly can’t recommend it for frequent use. That being said, in the short term, it is better than lactose (if you are lactose-intolerant) and it is allergen-free. Kineret toping does not contain sweeteners, so I feel it’s a better option, but so far I’ve only seen it at Central Market, while my local grocery store “only” carries the RichWhip – but I’m still on a cloud about being to find this kind of product at all, so this isn’t a complaint. It’ll be tough summering in Montreal without all those goodies!

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 8 whole crackers ground in processor)
½ cup all purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold vegan margarine
¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup lactose-free whole milk
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
½ cup heavy creamer (or 1 cup dairy-free topping, to be whipped)
¾ cup marshmallow crème (plus plus one 7-oz jar, if using the creamer)
12 pieces broken graham crackers, for garnish (I used the last big cracker in the small package and cut each quarter in three pieces)

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

Whisk graham crumbs, flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt in medium bowl. Beat margarine and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in vanilla. Add graham-cracker mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with graham-cracker mixture. Divide batter among muffin cups.

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center come out clean, about 22 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack; cool completely.

Place chocolate in medium bowl. Bring creamer just to boil in small saucepan; pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute; stir until smooth. Cool ganache until lukewarm. (Or, if using a topping to be whipped, go ahead and whip it with the chocolate, and some sugar if needed; skip the marshmallow crème broiling)

Push an apple corer about 1 inch into top of each cupcake; remove cake, forming hole. Spoon ¾ cup marshmallow crème into a resealable plastic bag, pushing into 1 bottom corner. Cut ½ inch off corner. Pipe into holes in cupcakes. Spread 2 tsp ganache over each cupcake.

Preheat broiler. Coat rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spoon dollops of marshmallow crème on sheet. Broil until slightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon dollop of charred crème over each cupcake; garnish with piece of graham cracker.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pâté chinois végétarien

Bon, ce n’est pas que je ne veux pas vous donner de lien, mais il s’agit encore une fois d’une recette adapté de Coup de Pouce, tirée à l’origine de Better Homes and Gardens, et qui n’est pas sur leur site! La présentation n’est donc pas très raffinée, il s’agit plutôt de ce que les Anglo-Saxons nomment « comfort food ». C’est un plat inspiré du pâté chinois, mais à la place du bœuf haché, on utilise un mélange de lentilles, de carottes, d’oignons et de tomates, et on oublie le blé d’Inde. L’Ingénieur et moi n’étions pas certains d’aimer cela, mais nous avons été agréablement surpris. Le pâté a un petit goût de revenez-y, vraiment, et avec la pâte de tomates au fond et le cheddar fort dans les patates pilées, c’était vraiment excellent. On s’en est resservi le premier soir, et j’en ai mangé pendant trois jours, midi et soir, sans me fatiguer. Nous avons adopté la recette!

1 ¾ tasse de bouillon de légumes
¾ tasse d’eau
1 tasse de lentilles brunes sèches, rincées et égouttées
3 gousses d’ail, hachées finement
1 ½ lb de carottes (ou de panais), pelées et coupées en tranches de 1 cm
1 oignon rouge, coupé en quartiers
1 boîte de tomates en dés (19 oz)
2 c. à soupe de pâte de tomates
4 pommes de terre pelées, coupées en morceaux
2 c. à soupe de beurre ou de margarine
1 c. à soupe de thym frais (ou ½ c. à thé de thym séché)
½ c. à thé de sel
1/3 tasse de lait sans lactose chaud (ou plus, au goût)
1 tasse de cheddar fort sans lactose, râpé

Dans une grande casserole, mélanger le bouillon, l’eau, les lentilles et l’ail. Porter à ébullition. Réduire le feu, couvrir et laisser mijoter pendant 20 minutes. Ajouter les carottes et l’oignon et porter de nouveau à ébullition. Réduire le feu, couvrir et laisser mijoter de 10 à 15 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que les légumes et les lentilles soient tendres. Retirer la casserole du feu. Ajouter les tomates et la pâte de tomates et mélanger. Égoutter au besoin.

Entre-temps, dans une autre casserole d’eau bouillante salée, cuire les pommes de terre de 15 à 20 minutes ou jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient tendres. Égoutter les pommes de terre et les remettre dans la casserole. À l’aide d’un presse-purée, les écraser. Ajouter le beurre, le thym et le sel. Ajouter petit à petit le lait en continuant d’écraser les pommes de terre, jusqu’à ce que la purée soit lisse et légère. Ajouter le cheddar et bien mélanger.

Préchauffer le four à 350 °F. Dans un plat allant au four d’une capacité de 8 à 10 tasses, étendre la préparation de lentilles. Couvrir de la purée de pommes de terre. (Ici, j’ai mis le plat au réfrigérateur pour quelques heures.) Couvrir le plat de papier d’aluminium et enfourner. (Si le plat sort du réfrigérateur, cuire environ 50 minutes; sinon, 10 minutes suffiront amplement.) Retirer le papier d’aluminium et poursuivre la cuisson de 10 à 15 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que le pâte chinois soit chaud. Terminer sous le gril si désiré.