Thursday, August 27, 2009

Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Adapted from via

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes (or buy the already peeled and cut stuff from Trader Joes)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed ( is bitter if you don't)
1 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 orange, juiced
Cumin, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the squash with a small amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread onto a foil covered baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, turn and bake for an additional 15 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup lightly salted water and 1/2 cup quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes.

In a separate saute pan, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sage and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the garlic is soft, but not browned. Add the orange juice, cumin, and season with salt and pepper.

Toss the orange juice mixture with the quinoa. Add the butternut squash and toss to combine. Serve warm, garnished with sage leaves if desired.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Ok, this one isn't crazy simple, but if you have an ice cream maker way in the back of the closet of neglected appliances, it isn't so hard, either. But it is very different and very, very delicious. I mashed up two recipes, one from Gourmet Magazine, and the other from the NY Times magazine which adapted its recipe from Nicole Kaplan at Eleven Madison Park in NY. The inspiration was the heavenly pint procured by my lovely cousins in San Francisco at the Mission's Bi-Rite. Note that you need to start preparing the day before you want to eat it for best results.

1 cup sugar
1 tsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt (can go all fancy and use fleur de sel, or go all basic and use kosher)
1 c heavy cream
1 c whole milk
6 large egg yolks

Cook sugar and corn syrup in dry 4-5 quart saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt (you can swirl it around, but don't stir.) Continue to cook until it becomes a dark golden brown color. Carefully pour in the will vigorously (love that word) bubble and steam.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, salt and milk. Whisk a little of the caramel into the bowl to temper the eggs (so they don't cook when they are added back into the caramel in the next step.)

Pour the egg mixture into the caramel in the pot and stir. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and stick in the fridge overnight to cool completely.

Freeze in your ice cream maker and sprinkle with sea salt or the fleur de sel before serving.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blueberry Nectarine Crumble Adapted from Chez Pannise

The point of my putting the recipes on Facebook is to get dinner on the table, not to showcase dessert, which can be satisfied on a weeknight by pulling the ice cream out of the freezer. But this dessert is so simple and so Summer in a Nutshell that I would be doing you a disservice if I failed to let you in on it. Prep is simple and it cooks while you are eating dinner.

The Stuff you Need:

½ cup almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 ripe nectarines, pitted and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached flour
zest of one lemon, chopped fine
1 tablespoon aged rum (optional...I didn't do it.)

For the Topping

Preheat oven to 375 F. Toast the almonds until they smell nutty and are slightly more brown, about 7 or 8 minutes. Chop the almonds to a medium to fine consistency (I used the food processor.) Combine the flour, the sugars, the salt and spice in a mixing bowl (or, add to the nuts in the trusty food processor.) Add the chilled butter in pieces and mix with your fingers until it becomes mealy (or blitz in the food processor a few Pulses until mealey.) Add the nuts (if you didn't use the food processor) and mix until the flour mixture holds together when squeezed. Put aside. (The topping can be prepared up to a week in advance and refrigerated).

For the Crisp

Mix the fruit in a medium-sized bowl and then add the sugar. Dust the flour over the mixture and stir gently. Spoon the topping into a small cooking dish is just big enough to hold the fruit. Mound a small amount in the center of the dish. Then, gently add the crisp mixture on top. Lightly push the crumble on top of the fruit mixture.

Place a cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven (to catch any overflow juices) and put the crisp dish on top. Bake in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the fruit juices are thickened and bubbling. The delicious smell of baked fruit will help you know when it's close to being ready.

Serve with rum flavored whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Finish the ice cream with a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt. Yeah, I didn't do this...I just did fresh whipped cream with a bit of sugar because I had it in the fridge. for the archive.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chili Egg Puff

This recipe came from my friend, Angela, who nabbed it from a craft service. It is a great brunch or light dinner option. EVERYONE loves it and it is crazy easy.

6 eggs
1 c cottage cheese
1/4 c melted and cooled butter
1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 c shredded jack cheese (I use the TJ's Shredded Mexican Cheese)
1 small can diced green chilis (I use the TJ's Hatch Chilis)
green salsa for serving (optional....I often forget this step and it still turns out great.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then stir in everything else, mixing after each addition. Bake in an 8 inch square pan for 35 min or so. Recipe easily doubles, just remember to use a bigger pan!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kylie Kwong's Fried Rice

I totally love really good fried rice and I totally hate lazy bland fried rice. This is one of the best recipes I've tried and the ingredients aren't too tough to procure (e.g. bacon instead of charshu pork.) A bit of effort in the chopping department, but the result is delish.

3 T peanut oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten

4 thick cut slices of bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/2 ince pieces (the better the bacon, the better the dish...go for the thick cut applewood smoked stuff!)

4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 T chopped fresh ginger
1 medium onion, diced
2 T dry sherry
1 t sugar

6 c cooked white rice (use the leftovers from the chinese restaurant for best results, but DO NOT use freshly cooked rice. Worse comes to worse, cook your rice earlier in the day and shove it in the fridge to chilll.)
2 1/2 T oyster sauce
2 1/2 T soy sauce
1 t sesame oil
5 scallions, thinly sliced

In a large wok, heat 2 T peanut oil over high heat until very hot. season eggs with salt and pepper and pour into wok. Scramble for a minute or so until the eggs are just cooked through. Transfer eggs to a paper towel lined plate.

Add bacon to wok and cook about 4 minutes, stirring all the while. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the egg plate. Drain off the bacon grease and wipe out the remainder from the wok with a paper towel.

Heat the remaining T peanut oil and add garlic and for 30 secs or so. Add the onion and cook for a couple more minutes. Stir in the sherry and sugar and cook for another 30 secs or so. Add the rice, oyster sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil, eggs, bacon and most of the scallions and toss, breaking up the eggs until combined.

Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with remaining scallions.

Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum.