Kamis, 30 September 2010

Quick Seafood Stew

This is a beautiful Dinner for Family or Company. The sauce can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge. 10 minutes before you are ready to serve - just add the fish and/or seafood (you can choose any firm fish you like) and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

Seafood Stew
(Blanchard's Table)

1/4 cup olive oil
4    scallions, thinly sliced
1    large yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1    red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
2   14 1/2 oz cans Italian stewed tomatoes (or 1 big can)
2    cups bottled clam juice or fish stock
1    teaspoon dried oregano
1    teaspoon dried basil
12  shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails left on
12  sea scallops
12  littleneck clams, scrubbed
3/4 pound firm white fish (Swordfish, Mahi Mahi, Cod, etc.)
3   Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt & Pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat, and add the scallions, onion and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and break them up slightly with a spoon. 

Ad the clam juice, oregano, and basil: then cover and bring to a boil.

Uncover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Add the fish and seafood, cover and simmer until the fish and shellfish are cooked through and the clams have opened, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and ladle into shallow bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Selasa, 28 September 2010

Banana Bread

This Banana Bread might not be the very fastest I ever made, but I liked the idea of a recipe where you can swap ingredients according to your likings. I made it with Yoghurt instead of the Coconut Milk and I added Walnuts and Chocolate Chips for my chocolate loving son. Don't overbake it or it gets too dry.  A loaf will take about 1 h, a mini loaf about 35 min. and Muffins would take about 25 min.

Lots-of-Ways Banana Cake

(Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”)

The inspiration to bake a banana cake always seems to strike when a bunch of bananas are mottling on the counter. But just because you’ve got the fruit doesn’t mean you have all the other stuff you need, which is why I created this amazingly flexible cake. No coconut? Skip it. No brown sugar? Use white. No coconut milk? Use milk, buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt. You can serve the cake as a single layer or a double (the recipe makes two layers, plain, frosted, filled or frosted and filled. Take a look at Playing Around for some ideas.

If you make the cake with the ingredients listed first below, you’ll get a consistency that isn’t heavy but not featherweight either. It has enough substance to chew on, but its light enough to entice you to go back for a second serving … or a third.

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (360 g)
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda (7g)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature (175 g)
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar (or granulated sugar) (200 g)
¾ cup sugar (165 g)
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark rum or Malibu coconut rum (optional)
About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 ½ - 1 ¾ cups)
½ cup canned unsweetened coconut milk, regular (stir well before measuring) or “lite” (or whole milk, buttermilk, sour cream, or plain yogurt) (120 g)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, preferably toasted (or an equal amount of moist, plump dried fruit, such as currants, raisings, chopped apricots, cranberries, blueberries, or halved cherries, or a combination of coconut and dried fruit)

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9x2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Put the pans on a baking sheet. (I made one loaf and 2 mini loafs out of the recipe)

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugars and beat at medium speed for a couple of minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, followed by the vanilla and rum. You’ll have a beautiful satiny batter. Now lower the speed and add the bananas-the batter will curdle, but that’s fine; it will come together as you add the remaining ingredients. Still on low speed, add the dry and liquid ingredients alternately, adding the flour mixture in three portions and the coconut milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Mix just until everything is incorporated. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently stir in the coconut. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cakes are a deep golden brown. They should start to pull away from the sides of the pans and a thin knife inserted into their centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes, then unmold and invert onto another rack to cool to room temperature right side up.

Playing Around
 To frost one layer or to fill and frost both layers, consider Sweetened whipped cream to which you’ve added vanilla, a splash of dark rum or Malibu coconut rum and toasted coconut, Marshmallow frosting (p. 247), Chocolate Whipped Cream (page 457) and just for fun, a crown of chocolate shavings (p. 471) or Bittersweet Ganache (p. 453).

Rum Syrup: If you like the flavor of rum, you can douse the cakes with rum syrup as soon as they come out of the oven (see page 226 for the syrup recipe-give these cakes the same treatment you’d give the Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes).

One-Layer Cake: Serve just one layer, lightly sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder, and accompany it with lightly whipped cream and/or ice cream (chocolate, coconut, vanilla, or coffee) and/or Hot Fudge Sauce (page 465).

Grand Banana Sundae: You can cut one cake into small cubes and make a sundae. Toss the pieces of cake with some cubes of fresh banana and a little rum and top with ice cream, hot fudge sauce and whipped cream. Why not go all the way and add some toasted coconut too?

Senin, 27 September 2010

Rosemary Focaccia

I think this is one of the best breads I ever made. The crust is crunchy and
the inside of the bread is tender and full of airy bubbles. This Focaccia is
the reason why I like to bake my own bread so much.
It might seem to be a lot of work, but the dough comes together in a couple
of minutes. You just have to remember to start the Biga the night before you
want to eat the bread. Don't skip this step. The next day all you have to do
is stay at home for the next 3 hours and don't forget to fold and turn every
30 minutes.

Rosemary Focaccia
 From Cook's Illustrated.
makes two 9 inch loaves
If you don’t have a baking stone, bake the bread on an overturned, preheated rimmed baking sheet set on the upper-middle oven rack. The bread can be kept for up to 2 days well wrapped at room temperature or frozen for 2 months wrapped in foil and placed in a zipper-lock bag

  • Biga
  • ½ cup (2 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  •  cup (2 2/3 ounces) warm water (100-110 degrees F)
  • ¼ teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • Dough
  • 2 ½ cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping
  • 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) warm water (100-110 degrees F)
  • 1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1. FOR THE BIGA: Combine flour, water, and yeast in large bowl and stir with wooden spoon until uniform mass forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 minute. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature (about 70 degrees) overnight (at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.) Use immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 3 days (allow to stand at room temperature 30 minutes before proceeding with recipe.)

2. FOR THE DOUGH: Stir flour, water, and yeast into biga with wooden spoon until uniform mass forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt over dough; stir into dough until thoroughly incorporated, about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 30 minutes. Spray rubber spatula or bowl scraper with nonstick cooking spray; fold partially risen dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. Turn bowl 90 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough 6 more times (total of 8 turns). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat folding, turning, and rising 2 more times, for total of three 30-minute rises. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, place baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees at least 30 minutes before baking.

4. Gently transfer dough to lightly floured counter. Lightly dust top of dough with flour and divide in half. Shape each piece of dough into 5-inch round by gently tucking under edges. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each. Sprinkle each pan with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Place round of dough in pan, top side down; slide dough around pan to coat bottom and sides, then flip over. Repeat with second piece of dough. Cover pans with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes.

5. Using fingertips, press dough out toward edges of pan. (If dough resists stretching, let it relax for 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.) Using dinner fork, poke surface of dough 25 to 30 times, popping any large bubbles. Sprinkle rosemary evenly over top of dough. Let dough rest until slightly bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.

6. Place pans on baking stone and reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees. Bake until tops are golden brown, 25 to 28 minutes, switching placement of pans halfway through baking. Transfer pans to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes. Remove loaves from pan and return to wire rack. Brush tops with any oil remaining in pan. Let cool 30 minutes before serving.

Jumat, 24 September 2010

Pasta with Chickpeas

I am not sure if this a soup or a pasta dish but I think it leans more toward being a soup. It is a simple, Italian dish, which uses chickpeas as its base.
Pasta e ceci
adapted from Jamie Oliver
Serves 4
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 stick of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
A sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 14-oz. cans of chickpeas
2 1/4 cups of chicken stock (use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
3 1/2 oz. ditalini or other small Italian "soup" pasta
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional: a small handful of fresh basil or parsley, leaves picked and torn
Put the finely chopped onion, celery, and garlic into a saucepan with a little extra virgin olive oil and the rosemary and cook as gently as possible, with the lid on, for about 15-20 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft, without any color.
Drain your chickpeas well and rinse them in cold water, then add them to the pan and cover with the stock. Cook gently for half an hour and then, using a slotted spoon, remove half the chickpeas and put them to one side in a bowl.
Puree the soup in the pan using a handheld immersion blender. If you don't have one, you can whiz it up in a food processor instead, then pour it back into the pan. Add the reserved whole chickpeas and the pasta, season the soup with salt and pepper, and simmer gently until the chickpeas are tender and the pasta is cooked.
At this point, if the soup is a little thick, pour in some boiling water from the kettle to thin it down, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve drizzled with good-quality extra virgin olive oil. Lovely sprinkled with some freshly torn basil or parsley. A real treat

Selasa, 21 September 2010

Dear Jamie,

I am very grateful that your dishes turn out to be great every time. I can always rely on your recipes even if I have guests for dinner and never tried that recipe before.
This soup is comforting, easy, fast and tastes like fall on your tongue.

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup
(adapted from Jamie Oliver)

1 ¾ quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
olive oil
2 large carrots, peeled
2 celery stalks, sliced evenly
2 medium onions, peeled and rough chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 ¾ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and rough chopped
7 ounces chorizo sausage, sliced
small bunch fresh parsley, fine chopped
1 heaped teaspoon Madras curry powder
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh red chile, fine diced

Bring the stock to boil in a saucepan. Let it simmer on the back burner.

Bring a large pot to medium-high heat. Pour in the olive oil. Put all the chopped and sliced foods (including the chorizo) into the hot oil. Add the curry powder and mix it all up.

Cook until the carrots have softened but are not falling apart and the onions have turned a little golden, about 10 minutes.

Pour in the hot stock. Give the soup a stir and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup until the sweet potato is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Season the soup with salt and pepper. Stir. Taste. Season it to your taste.

Blend the soup with an immersion blender (easiest) or by pouring it into a large blender or food processor. (I left some chunks in the soup because it looks nicer)

Top with a bit of diced chile and serve.

Rabu, 15 September 2010

I love soup

I didn't know that I really liked corn until I stumbled over this recipe on the web.
This soup is light, spicy, sweet and absolutely delicious. Also it comes together in only a few minutes.

Miso and Corn Soup
adapted from Dave Lieberman

1 stalk of lemongrass, cut in 2 inch pieces (optional)
4 shallots, minced
2-inc h piece ginger, peeled and thickly sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken stock
4 cups water
¼ cup miso paste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons fish sauce
1 Jalapeno Pepper , cut in little dices (optional)
Sugar, to taste (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
Dash chili flakes
5 ounces frozen corn kernels (I used 2 fresh cobs of corn)
1 package firm tofu
2 big handfuls snow peas (or frozen peas if snow peas are too expensive)

Sweat shallots and ginger in the oil in a large saucepan. Stir in flour and cook until it looks like wet sand. Whisk in stock and water. Add miso paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, sesame oil, lemon grass and chili flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes. Add corn, Jalapeno Pepper and tofu and cook 10 minutes longer. Remove the lemon grass, if used. Add snow peas or frozen peas and cook until vibrant green. Season, to taste, with salt.

Selasa, 14 September 2010

Only 8 minutes

I love cookies. Especially when they are sweet and salty and BUTTER is involved.

It took me only 8 minutes to mix the ingredients that make these delicious cookies . Be careful! They make you want to eat all at once.
The recipe is from Dorie Greenspans new book Around my french table

Salted Butter Break-ups
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, 200 g
  • cup sugar, 130g
  • ¾-1 teaspoon sel gris or kosher salt
  • 9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 18 pieces, 125 g
  • 3-5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 egg yolk, for the glaze
  • fleur de sel

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Drop in the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal—you’ll have both big pea-size pieces and small flakes. With the machine running, start adding the cold water gradually: add just enough water to produce a dough that almost forms a ball. When you reach into the bowl to feel the dough, it should be very malleable.

Scrape the dough onto a work surface, form it into a square, and pat it down to flatten it a bit. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill it for about 1 hour. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months.)

When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and, if it’s very hard, bash it a few times with your rolling pin to soften it. Put the dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper and roll it into a rectangle that’s about 1/4 inch thick and about 5 x 11 inches; accuracy and neatness doesn’t count for a lot here. Transfer the dough to the lined baking sheet.

Beat the egg yolk with a few drops of cold water and, using a pastry brush, paint the top surface of the dough with an egg glaze. Using the back of a table fork, decorate the cookie in a crosshatch pattern. Sprinkle with some fleur de sel.

Bake the cookie for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is golden. It will be firm to the touch but have a little spring when pressed in the center — — the perfect break-up is crisp on the outside and still tender within. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and allow the cookie to cool to room temperature.

Minggu, 12 September 2010

Mediterranean Fish

The beauty of this dish is that you can make it hours ahead. Prepare it, cover with plastic foil and store it in your fridge until you are ready to bake it.

(serves 2)

2 T Olive oil
3/4 pound fish (Halibut, Cod, etc.)
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
1 6 oz. jar artichoke hearts, quartered
3 oz feta, crumbled
1 Tomato, medium, diced
1 T Lemon juice or White Wine
Fresh or dried Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley minced
Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 400Degree
Wash and dry Fish and brush it then with half the olive oil. Place in a baking dish big enough to hold our fish. Sprinkle with fresh pepper.

Mix carefully together diced Tomato, Feta, Artichoke, Lemon juice or wine and place on top of the fish.

Drizzle remaining olive oil over it and sprinkle with the herbs. Bake uncovered 30 - 40 min. until the fish is not translucent anymore.
Serve with rice or fresh Bread