Archive | November, 2010

Honey + Lavender Ice Cream (without an ice cream maker)

22 Nov

I can’t tell you how many times in the past few years I have stumbled upon some amazing ice cream recipe while browsing Epicurious and my favorite blogs only to remember that I DON’T HAVE AN ICE CREAM MAKER. That Apple Fritters with Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream recipe that’s been floating around lately? Nope, sorry Chelsea. A nice pink batch of Peppermint-Stick Ice Cream for the holidays? Guess I’ll have to wait until AFTER the holidays are over (that is, after I’ve unwrapped my gifted ice cream maker) to try that.

Well, no longer. Because I have discovered a recipe (via Kevin and Amanda’s blog – no I do not know them) for ice cream without an ice cream maker!! Its not exactly the same, but it certainly tastes close enough!! Although the recipes that they suggest look delicious (um, Krispy Kreme Ice Cream, anyone?), I decided to make Honey and Lavender ice cream after seeing some fresh lavender at the market. This made quite a large batch – we even still have some left in the freezer that gets stuck with a large spoon every couple of nights.

Honey + Lavender Ice Cream (without an ice cream maker)

Adapted from Kevin and Amanda

Ingredients

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons butter

2 handfuls fresh lavender

2 tablespoons honey

Whip the cream until stiff.  Melt butter in small saucepan and add lavender. Cover and simmer on low heat about 25 minutes. Place a bowl under a mesh strainer to collect butter but separate lavender. Discard leaves. Stir lavender butter and honey into condensed milk. Fold in the whipped cream. Freeze 6 hours or overnight and enjoy!


Buttermilk Biscuits

15 Nov

I had a whole bunch of leftover buttermilk in the fridge last week after making Buttermilk bread with my friends and since that’s not the type of thing I use on a daily basis I decided I needed to use it up by making pancakes or biscuits. Well…you know I always love me some pancakes but this time I decided to make homemade buttermilk biscuits, just because I don’t make them very often. In fact the only times I tend to eat biscuits at all are when I am eating a Buttermilk Biscuit (breakfast) Sandwich from Clinton St Baking Co, or on family vacation when my mom’s best friend Janet makes Sawmill gravy and biscuits.

I figured these would be good to have around to eat with eggs for breakfast, or have with soup. I made my own version of a Buttermilk biscuit breakfast sandwich, sans the tomato jam, that was pretty good, but not as good, due to the fact that it was sans tomato jam. Since I’ve been making tons of soups lately, they were the perfect thing to go with white bean soup, potato leek soup, and Portuguese kale soup. Just wrap them in foil and heat them up in a warm (200°) oven and they taste fresh the next day! (or 2 days later…)

Buttermilk Biscuits

From Bon Appetit

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup (1 1/2sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Using fingertips, rub 3/4 cup chilled butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened. Using 1/4 cup dough for each biscuit, drop biscuits onto baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm.

 

Goulash

10 Nov

My first real experience with goulash was at Max and Moritz in Berlin. I’m sure I had some form of it at some point during my childhood, but not any time that I have a particular memory of. Goulash can be made in either soup or stew form – I had it in soup form, and that’s the way I made it this time. In fact, I did everything I can, without having any idea of the ingredients, to imitate the soup that I had in Berlin as much as possible.

Goulash is savory and thick and the perfect Sunday night dish (with plenty of leftovers for weekday lunches) for the colder months. And it seems like those came all of a sudden this year in New York. Right around mid October – it was sunny, in the 70’s and BAM – suddenly it’s in the 40’s and low 50’s and brisk and windy.

What’s amazing about this dish is that it will fill you up, and it feels hearty but still is not heavy. I actually eliminated the 4 large baking potatoes from the recipe because I just didn’t think the soup needed it. Its really a comfort food but its all vegetables and meat! No cheeses or pastas or anything that will make you go into a major food coma afterwards. Our leftovers were just finished off and I’m already ready to make another batch.

Goulash

Adapted from Gourmet

Serves 12

Ingredients

5 slices bacon, chopped

3 pounds boneless chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 medium onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), chopped fine

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons paprika (preferably Hungarian sweet)

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

1/4 cup tomato paste

5 cups beef broth

3 cups beer

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 red bell peppers, chopped fine


In an 8-quart heavy kettle cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. In fat remaining in kettle brown chuck in small batches over high heat, then transfer with slotted spoon to same bowl.

Reduce heat to moderate and add oil. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden. Stir in paprika, caraway seeds, and flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Whisk in vinegar and tomato paste and cook, whisking, 1 minute. (Mixture will be very thick.) Stir in broth, water, beer, salt, bell peppers, bacon, and chuck and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer soup, covered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes.

Season soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Chicken Schnitzel with Apple-Cucumber Salad

8 Nov

More apples! This obsession will end soon, I promise.

I feel like I spend an overly large percentage of my life explaining my allergies, but still, I will explain my apple situation to you if for no reason but a defense of why I have been buying at least 1 bag a week.

So, when I was in high school, I used to sometimes eat an apple at lunch and say to my friends “sometimes I think I am only allergic to apples at lunchtime”. It seemed that there were times that I ate them and was completely fine, and times that I took a few bites and my mouth and throat swelled up. Over the next 2 or 3 years, I started having more reactions to apples. I was always fine drinking apple juice or eating applesauce but no fresh apples. My allergist finally gave me a series of allergy tests, and was told that I was “slightly” allergic to “some types” of apples, namely, Granny Smiths. My doctor also said that people who have problems with nuts also seem to have problems with apples (I was also in the process of trying to figure out my nut allergies and whether I had them).

Since then, I have basically stayed away from apples. My reactions were so inconsistent and I am pretty sure that the more times you have an allergic reaction to a food, the worse it gets.

This year, I found myself a new allergist in New York. I explained to him all the weird, inconsistent reactions I had been having to various foods (apples, peaches, plums, pears, peanuts, hazelnuts), and he basically started finishing my sentences. It turns out that I have something called “Oral Allergy Syndrome”, where my body basically mistakes various foods for the pollens that I am allergic to. Just read about it here rather than me explaining it to you.

So it turns out that I can eat apples!! As long as I peel them or cook them. I have not yet experimented with the other fruits. So, Chelsea’s apple obsession mystery REVEALED.

And now, here’s a recipe I found that kept popping up on Epicurious whenever I was browsing for a food fall dinner to cook. I altered the original recipe a bit, which was Schnitzel with Apple-Frisee salad, because I couldn’t find frisee that day and so used cucumbers instead. Simple recipe, seasonal, and YUMMY.

 

Chicken Schnitzel with Apple-Cucumber Salad

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can also use thighs)

All-purpose flour

1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley

2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon canola oil

 

Individually wrap chicken breasts in plastic wrap or put them in sealed plastic bags (make sure there is no air in them). Using a mallet, pound chicken breasts down into 1/4-1/3 inch thickness.

Place large scoop of flour in shallow dish. Beat eggs and parsley in another dish. Place breadcrumbs in a third dish. Unwrap chicken cutlet and season all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Coat cutlet completely in flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumbs. Transfer cutlet to baking sheet and repeat with the next one, adding more flour or breadcrumbs if needed.

In a large skillet, melt butter into oil on medium-high heat. Add cutlets to skillet and and cook until bottom is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Turn over until the other side is golden brown and cutlets are cooked through (about another 3-4 minutes).

 

Apple-Cucumber Salad

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

4 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 large shallots, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly and then in half

2 small heads of Belgian endive, cut crosswise into thin strips

2 small  apples, quartered, cored, cut into matchstick-size strips

4 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, sliced into thin strips

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley


Combine lemon juice, chopped shallots, and grated lemon peel in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine cucumber, endive, apples, radishes, and parsley in large bowl. Toss salad with dressing and serve.

Apple Pancakes

5 Nov

As hard as it is to believe, I didn’t like pancakes as a kid. I hated the texture of them – I felt as though they were just like soggy bread. Sure, give me a bagel with half Marmite/half cream cheese and I’m happy as a clam, but nothing sweet and syrupy.

At some point during my early college years, I finally came to my senses. My college roommate was a huge (not physically) baker, and made pancakes every weekend. I waitressed one summer at the Noho Star and started eating a single banana pancake from there at least once a week during my break. Pancakes are indeed…delicious.

And, since I’ve been on my huge stint with apples lately, I decided to make apple pancakes. I found this recipe over at one of my favorite cooking blogs, Smitten Kitchen. This blog is amazing and has been around for about 4 years now. Its run by a woman named Deb, who describes SK as “Fearless cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City.” Huh. Not unlike me! Except she has a husband, and a baby (in fact, she even blogs baby food recipes here). Just about every recipe she posts is mouthwatering and the recipes are never dull. The fact that she’s been keeping it up for 4 years (with a baby) is praiseworthy.

Anyways, moving past my Smitten Kitchen rant and onto the pancakes…well, these are the most delicious pancakes ever. They’re fried in oil and crunchy at the edges and soft and melty in the middle.  They are almost like eating fresh doughnuts. And an awesome way to use up your apples for weekend brunch!

Apple Pancakes

From Smitten Kitchen (…who adapted it from Joan Nathan and various other sources)

Ingredients

2 eggs, well beaten

1 1/2 cups of milk or yogurt (I used yogurt)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

3 medium apples, peeled and grated

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

vegetable oil, for frying

confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

maple syrup, heated slightly (optional)

Mix the eggs together with the milk or yogurt in a large bowl. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and sugar in a smaller bowl. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together and fold in the apples.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet over low-medium heat. Drop a large spoonful of batter into the skillet (or a couple if your skillet is large). make sure they are flattened out slightly so they cook all the way through. Cook until golden brown underneath, then flip. Cook until the other side is also golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately with warm maple syrup on the side.

Açaí na Tigela – Açaí in the Bowl

4 Nov

THIS is honestly one of the best breakfasts I have had in a while. Jay’s old fraternity brother Erik was in town last weekend for Halloween, and was staying with us. After some Halloween festivities as a Skeleton (Erik), Kick-Ass (Jay) and a Troll (the kind with the gem-Me), we woke up on Saturday needing a good breakfast. Erik does PR for a company called Sambazon, which you may have seen floating around in various beverage forms at Whole Foods. Their main product is Acai, which, as you probably already know, is super high in antioxidants. Anyways, they also sell frozen pure unsweetened acai in “Smoothie Packs”.  All you have to do is let it thaw for 10-15 minutes (or run it under hot water for about 1, which is what I do), then you can mix it into a smoothie or make this frozen parfait like we did!

I was honestly skeptical. I wanted to make smoothies, but Erik suggested that we make it in bowls instead. I did some research later and found out that this is a popular dish in Brazil, and they call it “Açaí na tigela” or “Acai in the Bowl”.

I wish that I had known about this when I was 6 years old, because I would think that I was eating ice cream for breakfast!

Frozen Açaí Berry Parfait

Serves 3

Ingredients

2-3 packs Sambazon frozen pure unsweetened acai

2 cups mixed frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)

1/2 cup frozen vanilla or plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon honey

2 bananas, sliced

1 1/2 cups granola

Mix Acai, Berries, Yogurt, and Honey in blender. Pour into bowls. Top with sliced bananas and granola.

 

Vanilla Granola

Adapted slightly from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup sliced almonds (optional)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter or vegetable oil

1/8 cup honey

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 300°. Lightly spray baking sheet with vegetable spray or grease with butter. Mix oats, almonds, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Combine butter or oil and honey in small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture. Mix well. Spread evenly over baking sheet and bake until golden brown, tossing/flipping occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Shrimp and Edamame Fried Rice with Ginger Pickles

2 Nov

I threw this dish together the other night basically with whatever I had left in the fridge/cabinet, and it came out amazingly delish. Lately whenever I make any type of fried rice or stir fry, I love to make some sort of pickled vegetable to top it with or to serve on the side. I just feel like its a good alternative to a salad, which doesn’t go that well with the rice in my opinion. And the zing of the pickles is a nice contrast to the savoriness of the main dish. I used a cucumber a red onion because thats what I had on hand, but it would also be delicious with radish, sliced green beans, or carrots.

Thank goodness for the Wok that I received from my family last Christmas. It is probably my most used kitchen item.

Shrimp and Edamame Fried Rice

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 cup rice

1 1/4 cups water

14-16 shrimp

1/2 bag frozen edamame, thawed

3 bell peppers (any color), chopped finely

1 onion, chopped finely

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

4 teaspoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

1 clove garlic, minced

1 egg

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the rice by combining rice and water, bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer over very low heat, stirring occasionally, about 20-30 minutes. You may need to add additional water depending on the type of rice you’re using. I prefer using Jasmine or Sushi rice. The best way to make fried rice is actually to use cold rice, so if you have that available, or if you have time to let it cool, I recommend doing so.

Next, get out your wok. Spread a bit of oil around in it, turn it on medium-high heat, then add the shrimp, bell peppers, onions, edamame, garlic, and five-spice powder. Simmer and toss until shrimp and bell peppers are just cooked through. Slowly fold in the rice. Make a little hole in the middle of the rice and pour 2 teaspoons of soy sauce in.  Let the soy sauce cook until it starts to bubble, then slowly mix the rice, shrimp, and veggies in. Do this once more with the remaining soy sauce.

I actually like to let the rice sit for a minute because I like to get some crunchy bits before adding the egg. If you don’t want this, Go ahead and make another hole in the middle. Crack the egg into the pan and using a bamboo spoon, scramble the egg as it cooks. Once it is softly cooked, you can slowly mix the rice, etc, in. When it is well mixed, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with pickles on the side or on top.

Ginger Pickles

Ingredients

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

1/2 cup ginger-rice vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon course sea salt

1 handful fresh dill

In a small saucepan, combine  garlic, ginger, vinegar, water, and sugar and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, at medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour over cucumbers and onions (or whatever veggies you have chosen). Add a handful of fresh dill, cover, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until ready to eat. Remove with a slotted spoon to serve over fried rice.