Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Mmm…cheese

So there is little in this world that is more perfect than cheese. It can accompany wine to a black tie event, yet can relax at home with simple crackers…it would have been voted most popular in high school (and most likely to succeed!!!)

Is it obvious that I put cheese on a petal stool?  It can do no wrong!  So when I came across this recipe it was a no-brainer…it was going on the menu.  These fritters are delicious and easy.  Plus it lends itself to anything your creative imagination can come up with.   Substitute the cheeses with your favorites, add some spices…get crazy and have fun with it!!

If you need a push to get those juices flowing…

Cheeses: Gouda, chedder, mozzarella, Italian blend (mozzarella, romano, parmigiana)

Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, basil, oregano

Ok…now there is no excuse…get to it, the cheese is waiting!

Fritters:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh whole milk ricotta
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded smoked mozzarella
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 large eggs
  • all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Fritters: In a small bowl combine the ricotta, smoked mozzarella, salt, and pepper.  On bowl #1 put the flour about a cup or so.  In bowl #2 beat the two eggs, and in bowl #3 pour in the panko.  Line a tray or large plate with parchment paper.

Scoop a 1 1/2 tablespoon ball of the cheese mixture into the flour and roll to coat. Transfer the ball to the eggs and roll to coat. Transfer the cheese ball to the panko and again roll to coat. Transfer the ball to the parchment-lined tray. Continue with the remaining cheese mixture.

Meanwhile heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees F. Fry fritters in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel to drain.  Serve warm with Balsamic Dipping Sauce.

Balsamic Dipping Sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and honey in a blender. Blend until combined. Add the oil in a steady stream while the machine is running. Season with the salt and pepper. Serve in a small bowl alongside the fritters.

New York City and cookies

New York City.  My first visit was over a year ago.  I left with hundreds (yes hundreds) of pictures, great memories and tired legs (another reminder I need to exercise more!)

But that isn’t the point….

When I started unpacking, which I hate to do by the way, I found the best surprise.  Tucked away in the deep dark crevasses of my purse was my new love.  I squealed with delight, I thought we were separated forever!

The Black and White cookie. What can be said of this little wonder.  It is a cake in a cookie’s body.  It is vanilla and chocolate.  It is dessert and breakfast (well at least for me it is).  It is the perfect answer for those of us that can’t make up our mind.  In short, this cookie has it all!

I have been craving black and white cookies ever since.  Fantasizing flying up to NYC so I could indulge in them once again.  I no longer have to fantasize. Why you ask?  Because now I just follow a simple recipe and in a few hours I am back in New York with my love, once again!  Thank you Joy the Baker !!!

Black and White Cookies

Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup or small bowl.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Spoon a 1/4 cup of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool.  This should take around 15 minutes or so.

Vanilla Glaze*

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*I had to add milk to this recipe in order to get it to the proper consistency to spread.  Just pour a little splash at a time.  When you can pour it off of a spoon then it is perfect!  Do this before adding the vanilla or you will end up with little clumps of vanilla and powder sugar.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used mini chocolate chips, they melt faster and easier)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup

In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of corn syrup and 2 tablespoons hot water, until smooth.

In a separate bowl, melt the butter and the chocolate in a microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring inbetween.  Add the corn syrup and stir until smooth.

Once the cookies are cooled, face them all bottom-side-up on a clean surface. Spread half of the cookie with vanilla glaze and the other half with chocolate glaze.

Blueberry Cupcakes

Blueberries + Cupcakes –> Scrumptious

This recipe was a kitchen experiment born in my crazy imagination.  I wanted a way to combine blueberries and cupcakes but was slightly scared.  For bakers, to deviate from a recipe could spell disaster.   But come on….cupcakes with plump juicy blueberries and purpley blue buttercream…how can I not take my chances?  This time disaster was diverted and declared a victory for Team Baker, the experiment worked.  I must share with you because it is way too good not to!
Blueberry on Foodista

Blueberry cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk plus 4 tablespoons (this is an approximate just to loosen the batter a bit to compensate for the blueberries)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl stir together the milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add in the sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until fully incorporated. Beat in the flour and milk mixtures, alternating one-third of each at a time, until each mixture is fully incorporated and the batter is smooth.  Add blueberries and gently fold into batter

Fill each muffin cup three-fourths full of batter. Bake the cupcakes until puffed, set and lightly golden, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 18 to 25 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes before frosting.

Blueberry buttercream

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups powder sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls blueberries, pureed

In a bowl of a mixer cream butter until it’s light and fluffy.  While mixer is set at a low speed  add remaining ingredients.  When all ingredients are fully incorporated, increase the speed until frosting is fluffy.

It is all about the pasta

In my heart, I am Italian!  I will call Italy my home one day…the vineyards, the olives, the architecture…

(focus Kristie)

Where was I?….oh yeah…because of this I have an obsession for anything Italian…most importantly the food!  Two words….tomatoes and basil (mmmmmm).

Making pasta is one of my favorite things to make.  Dried pasta is good, really good but there is just something  about freshly made pasta.  It is lighter, the taste is cleaner, and best of all it can soak up the yummy sauce like a sponge.  Fresh pasta is super easy and I bet you have all the ingredients right now in your pantry.  The process is a bit time consuming but oh so worth the wait, I promise!!!

Egg pasta

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix slowly just until most of the flour is absorbed by the wet ingredients.  When the dough starts to form a ball stop and knead dough by hand on a lightly floured surface.  Add flour as necessary if dough is sticky, I usually have to add around 1/2 cup.  Flour is your friend with pasta, be liberal with dusting your work surface. When the dough is no longer sticky and has a uniform consistency and color form into a ball and cover with an over turned bowl.  Let rest 30  minutes.

After 30 minutes divide dough roughly into 3 parts (while working with one part keep the others under the bowl).  Shape the dough into a flat oval and run through a pasta roller on the largest setting.  Fold rolled pasta in thirds and run through again.  Keep doing this until the dough is smooth.    When smooth run dough into a smaller and smaller settings until it is the desired thickness.  If needed, cut the rolled dough into lengths that are workable for you. Let these ribbons of rolled dough dry for 20 minutes on paper towels. Remember flour is your friend, flour the surface of the dough, and the roller as needed.

Depending on your recipe run it through a roller that will give you the pasta you need (fettuccine, spaghetti, lasagna).  You can use this recipe for any type of pasta you need.

To cook, boil in water until pasta floats to the top, this takes seconds.  Keep an eye on the pasta to avoid over cooking.

Things I have learned….

Work in small batches.

As soon as I run the dough to cut into pasta I cook it immediately.

As soon as pasta is done I transfer it to a  colander set over a bowl to drain water.   I drizzle olive oil over it so it doesn’t stick together.

Hope this helps you to enjoy the greatness of fresh pasta…because it is all about the pasta!

Thirsty?

Sweet, pink and full of watermelon.

So, I had this culinary dilemma last weekend.  There was half a watermelon sitting in the fridge and it was going to go bad soon.  So I cranked up the culinary gears in my head and tried to figure out a way to use it….FAST!

The watermelon mojito, with a simple twist, was the perfect solution.  A wonderfully sweet fruity cocktail for a warm summer dinner.    Cheers!

Watermelon Mojito

  • watermelon, cubed
  • Mojito mix
  • light rum (I used Malibu Rum)*

I eyeballed this recipe so I don’t have exact measurements but this allows you to adjust the amount of mix or watermelon to your own tastes.

In a blender puree the watermelon until smooth, pour into a small bowl and set aside.  Make mojito as directed on mix.  Add pureed watermelon to the desired level of taste.  Pour into some cocktail glasses over ice.  Garnish with a lime slice.

*if you would like a non-alcoholic version you can use club soda

Summer Lemons

Tart & tangy lemony goodness!

Not sure why but when summer comes around so do my cravings for lemons.  Lemon bars…lemonade…lemon curd tarts…there is no end to the madness.  I love sweetening my summer days with a touch of tang.  Every year I spend hours scouring the internet for new lemon-centric recipes to try out.  This year I have not only found a superbly lemon-filled recipe but a simple one to boot.  Lemon glazed cookies have made my lemon-starved taste buds dance and I hope they do the same for you!  The glaze is super simple and I am already scheming of other uses for it…it is that good!  Any suggestions??

Lemon Glazed Cookies (thank you Martha Stewart!)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat until combined. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until edges are golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool.

Lemon Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice until smooth.

A Fantastic Chicken Dinner

Yep I said it…it was a FANTASTIC chicken dinner!  Now I have to admit it wasn’t perfect but it was darn good.  I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

I have to admit something before sharing last night’s recipes.  This sounds silly I know but, I have recipe ADD.  I am usually not happy following just one recipe, and thus I mix and match recipes to come up with the right combination of ingredients.  Because of this some measurements are approximates, I tend to go by sight and smell when cooking.  I will do my best, I promise, to be as accurate as possible!

Now on to the good stuff….

The menu:

Garlic Lemon Roasted Chicken (recipe follows)

Quinoa and Corn Salad (recipe follows)

Homemade French Bread

and for cocktail hour….Watermelon Mojitos

Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

  • 1 5lb whole chicken (fresh or thawed), rinsed and patted dry
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 lemons
  • 9 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 26 oz chicken stock or broth

Let chicken and butter stand out for about 30 minutes to reach room temperature.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove giblets and anything else that might be in the body cavity of the chicken.  Rinse and towel dry chicken.   Sprinkle salt and pepper inside and outside of chicken; don’t be stingy!

Next slice onion, 1 lemon and the cloves of garlic.  Place onion, lemon and all but 2 cloves of garlic on the bottom of your pan making a bed for your chicken to sit on.  Place chicken in pan.  Half remaining lemon and place inside of chicken along with 2 cloves of garlic.

Coat chicken liberally with the softened butter.  This step  can get a bit sloppy, but isn’t it fun to make a mess??  Make sure you coat the WHOLE chicken including getting under the skin (my mom hates this part!).  If needed, salt and pepper chicken again. Pour about half of stock into bottom of pan.

Cover with foil and bake for approximately 1 hour.  Check chicken occasionally during roasting, if needed you can add chicken stock if it seems to be getting dry.  Remove foil and continue to roast for 30 minutes more or until the juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 180 in the breast and 190 in the thigh.

Let chicken rest on a plate for 10 – 15 minutes.  Meanwhile pour pan juices, minus the lemon slices, into a small sauce pan.  Make sure you get all of the good meaty brown bits off of the bottom of the pan.  The more “stuff” you get out of the pan the better your sauce will taste!   Using either a fat separator or a spoon, skim off the fat.  Simmer juices about 15 minutes, taste.  If too salty add more stock, if bland add salt and pepper to taste.

When serving you can choose to pour a bit of sauce over chicken or serve on the side in a gravy boat or dish.

Quinoa and Corn Salad

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained (about 4 Cups cooked)
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut from cob
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Bring 2 3/4 cups water to boil in a small saucepan and stir in the quinoa and some salt. Return to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Add corn, red pepper, onion.  Cover and continue to simmer on low until onion is tender.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic, oil, and salt to taste; pour over quinoa. Cover and simmer on low until heated through.

Add scallions and cilantro. Stir thoroughly.  Salt and pepper to taste.