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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Hello fellow culinary enthusiasts! I have moved my blog to a self-hosted platform! What does this mean for you delightful readers?  Pretty much nothing…but feel free to show your awe and support for my new technical skills if you wish.  If you signed up for email notifications, you’ll need to click on the subscription link on my new home page and subscribe via email or RSS (It’s located in the upper right hand corner). I apologize for the inconvenience, but I hope that you will continue to subscribe! You can also follow my posts on Twitter at @kelleygriff or on Facebook.

Here are the links to a few great posts you may have missed!

Pea & Bacon Risotto

Mahi Mahi with Rhubarb Compote

Homemade Hummus

English Muffin Bread

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Asparagus Salad with Truffle Vinaigrette

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I had about a cup of the rhubarb puree leftover from making rhubarb margaritas a couple of weeks ago, and I absolutely hate to throw away leftovers.  So, I decided to dry it.  You could really do this with any fruit puree – be creative!  If you don’t have a fruit dryer, this does take some time (about 5-7 hours), so plan accordingly.  I had a day of house cleaning planned this past weekend though, so I was going to be home for most of the day.  Dried fruit that you buy at the store is often VERY sweet.  Making your own lets you cut down on the sugar a bit, and make the flavor more to your liking.  This would be a great snack for the kids too instead of those scary fruit roll-ups you buy at the store!

Fruit Leather, adapted from jam it, pickle it, cure it, by Karen Solomon

1 cup rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces

1/4 cup sugar

zest of one lemon

1/4 cup of water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until rhubarb is soft, about 20 minutes.  Puree mixture into a food processor or blender.

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees, or if your oven can’t get below 170 degrees, set it to its lowest temperature and lodge a wooden spoon into the door to keep it ajar.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the puree into a large rectangle of even thickness, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch.

Place the pan in the center of the oven for 5 to 7 hours, checking after 5 hours.  The fruit should be sticky but not wet, throughout; the center is usually the last to dry.

Once sticky all over, remove the pan from the oven and gently peel the fruit from the parchment paper, releasing it from all 4 edges first, then peeling up the middle.  Flip it over, and return it to the oven for another 30 minutes.

Tear off a clean piece of parchment or waxed paper larger than the sheet of fruit leather.  Roll 2 inches of the paper over the fruit, then from the long side roll the whole thing up like a jelly roll.  With a sharp knife, slice the rolled-up log into 1-inch pieces.

Solomen’s recipe uses apple butter to make the fruit leather, but she also suggests 1 1/2 cups of pureed bananas or 1 1/2 cups of pureed strawberries.

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No kneading, no waiting for it to rise – just mix it in a bowl, and pop it in the oven!  You don’t even need to break out the stand mixer for this one.  I doubled this recipe, and am very glad that I did!  It was a big hit with the coworkers and the husband.  Delicious the day after as well, as I felt like the flavor intensified and the topping still stayed crisp.  Check out the picture of the crispy crumbly goodness that is the topping in the picture below.  Mmmmmmm

I bought the cinnamon chips from King Arthur Flour, which is my new favorite website.  Tons of great recipes and unique products!  I have heard from the blogosphere that Hershey’s makes a cinnamon chip too, which is probably available in some stores.  But check out King Arthur’s website – you’ll probably find a bunch of other things you want to buy!

Banana Cinnamon Chip Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Topping, courtesy of Two Peas and their Pod

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 over-ripe bananas, smashed up
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup cinnamon chips

For the cinnamon sugar topping:

1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 loaf pan with cooking spray. Dust it lightly with flour and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix the bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add in the flour mixture and carefully stir. Don’t over mix. Add in the cinnamon chips and gently stir.
  4. In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon.
  5. Add the batter to the loaf pan and smooth out with a spatula. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar topping generously over the batter.
  6. Bake bread  for 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack.
  7. Let bread cool for 1o minutes and then remove from pan. Cool, slice, and enjoy

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Okay, these are delicious.  Honestly, the perfect drink for after work on that first warm weather day of spring.  You know what day I’m talking about:  when everybody seems to be in a good mood, you can crack your sunroof a little bit and take the dog for a longer walk than usual.  Also the perfect day to use some seasonal ingredients to make yourself a cocktail!  In keeping with this month’s potluck theme, I of course used rhubarb.  Instead of making a puree like I did for the rhubarb margaritas, I made a rhubarb syrup for this drink.  You could omit the vodka if you would prefer something non-alcoholic.  I chose vodka this time…

Rhubarb Vodka Spritzers

For the syrup:

1 pound rhubarb, sliced thin (this is about 4 cups of raw rhubarb)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups water

  1. In a medium, heavy pot, combine the rhubarb, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, and water. Bring to a brief boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer until the rhubarb is soft.
  2. Strain the fruit and set aside for another use*.  You should be left with a runny, not-yet-syrupy liquid.
  3. Wipe out the pot with some paper towels and add the strained liquid. Boil over medium high heat until reduced to a thick syrup. Cool completely. 

*This recipe could be doubled or tripled, depending on how many drinks you’d like to make.  The amounts listed above yield about 1 cup of rhubarb syrup.  Syrup recipe adapted from Brooklyn Farmhouse.

*Note:  The cooked rhubarb that you’ll set aside can be used as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, or even pancakes or waffles.  It is too good to throw away – I promise!

For the spritzers:

1 ounce vodka
3 tablespoons rhubarb syrup

club soda or sparkling wine to top off

In an ice-filled glass, combine vodka and rhubarb syrup, top with club soda.  Squeeze a few lime wedges into the drink.  Enjoy!

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It’s here!  Thank you so much for your interest in our Seasonal Potluck.  You can find the rules on our intro post HERE.  We are very excited to see and share your recipes.  Please use the link below to post your recipes to share. 

And just a reminder – April’s Potluck ingredient is RHUBARB!

May – TBD



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This coffee cake is both sweet and tart, and in my opinion, has the perfect crumble on top.  Big, buttery, cinnamon-sugargy crumbs.   I think I might actually use this crumb topping for every crumb cake or crisp I make going forward.  Keeping in theme with me and  Betsy‘s seasonal potluck, I decided to make this coffee cake, which is actually a recipe I have already made several times.   Given that I generally don’t like a lot of sweets laying around the house, I made this the night before I was going into the office for a meeting.  Gave me a good opportunity to give it away, as well as a good opportunity to get some feedback!  Just in case you were wondering – the feedback was good. 🙂

Rhubarb Coffee Cake, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

For the rhubarb filling:
1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the crumbs:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour (I’ve used all purpose before and it still worked great)

For the cake:
1/3 cup sour cream (I substituted plain non-fat yogurt)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour (again, all-purpose works just fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into 8 pieces.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. For filling, slice rhubarb 1/2 inch thick and toss with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.

2. To make crumbs in a large bowl, whisk sugars, spices and salt into melted butter until smooth. Then, add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look and feel like a solid dough. Leave it pressed together in the bottom of the bowl and set aside.

3. To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set aside.

4. Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even.

5. Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from rhubarb), 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

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Making sushi at home is easier than you might think.  You will probably have to make a special trip to the store for ingredients, but Asian markets are usually relatively inexpensive.  Your only splurge is going to be  the sushi-grade fish.  You will also need a bamboo rolling mat if you’re making rolls, which is what we did for this particular dinner.  There is no shortage of how-to videos on YouTube or links to websites with pictures and recipes when you do a search on the Internet.  I have included a few basic tips we’ve learned by making sushi at home, as well as some recipes. *Note:  recipes below were adapted from Sushi, by Lulu Grimes.

* Wrap your bamboo rolling mat in plastic wrap.  This will make it easier to roll, the mat won’t stick to the rice, and you won’t have to spend time picking particles of rice out of your mat either.

* Invest in a mandolin if you don’t already have one.  They are the best when it comes to slicing and shredding with some consistency.  I love how everything comes out so perfect!  You don’t need to spend a fortune on one either.  They can be found at an Asian market or  a Chinatown shop for a fraction of the cost of any mainstream retailer.

* Imitation crab sticks work fine for California rolls.  They’re actually much easier to work with too, for this purpose!  They also freeze well if you don’t use the whole package for your sushi rolls.

* Sriracha is awesome!  We mix it with mayo and a little chili oil for spicy tuna rolls, but you can add it to virtually anything to spice it up.  It’s even good on pizza!

* Only buy from a grocer that sells sushi or sashimi grade fish.  If you’re eating raw fish, you’re always running a risk of getting sick.  However, “sushi or sashimi grade” fish is supposed to have been treated a certain way (i.e. freezing, storage temps, etc.) to destroy parasites.  The fish should be clearly labeled, and often is pre-packaged in smaller quantities.  This is perfect for sushi making, since a little goes a long way.

* 2 cups of uncooked sushi or botan rice yields 4 cups of cooked rice.  This is enough for about 8-10 rolls.

* We haven’t typically followed many recipes verbatim when making sushi.  A lot of the time I’ll just purchase a handful of different vegetables and fish and we’ll just sort of make it up as we go along.  However, I have listed a few basic recipes that are easy for beginners.

California Roll

Sushi rice

Nori sheets

Avocado, cut into thin sticks (ripe)

Crab sticks

Cucumber, cut into thin sticks (I like to use English or seedless cucumbers)

Wasabi paste and pickled ginger for garnish (optional)

Spread a portion of the rice in an even layer on the nori, leaving about ¾ of an inch of nori visible on the ends.  Layer the crab sticks, avocado and cucumber on top of each other, keeping them parallel to the edge of the nori nearest you.

To roll the sushi, fold the mat over, starting at the end where the ingredients are, and tucking in the end of nori to start the roll.  Keep rolling, lifting up the mat as you go and keeping the pressure even but gentle until you have finished the roll.  Moisten the top of edge of the nori with water to seal the sushi roll closed.  Don’t worry if anything falls out the sides, just push it back in.  The edges might look a little ragged, but you can just sample those yourself!  Make sure you slice the roll with a  very sharp knife into even pieces.   Wetting the knife will help too.

Salmon, Asparagus, and Mayonnaise Rolls

Sushi rice

Nori sheets

Asparagus spears, blanched and cut into thin strips

Salmon filet, sushi grade, cut into thin sticks

Japanese mayonnaise

Wasabi paste and pickled ginger for garnish (optional)

Spread a portion of the rice in an even layer on the nori, leaving about ¾ of an inch of nori visible on the ends.  Layer the salmon and asparagus on top of each other, keeping them parallel to the edge of the nori nearest you.  Spread some of the mayonnaise on top of the salmon and asparagus.

To roll the sushi, fold the mat over, starting at the end where the ingredients are, and tucking in the end of nori to start the roll.  Keep rolling, lifting up the mat as you go and keeping the pressure even but gentle until you have finished the roll.  Moisten the top of edge of the nori with water to seal the sushi roll closed.  Don’t worry if anything falls out the sides, just push it back in.  The edges might look a little ragged, but you can just sample those yourself!  Make sure you slice the roll with a  very sharp knife into even pieces.   Wetting the knife will help too.

Spicy Tuna Rolls

Sushi rice

Nori sheets

Tuna, sushi grade, diced

Japanese spicy mayonnaise (recipe below)

Wasabi paste and pickled ginger for garnish (optional)

For the spicy mayo, mix together some Japanese mayonnaise, Sriracha, a dash of rice vinegar, and a dash of chili oil.  You will want to adjust the quantities until have the desired level of heat in your sauce.  Mix the diced tuna with the spicy mayo.

Spread a portion of the rice in an even layer on the nori, leaving about ¾ of an inch of nori visible on the ends.  Spread the tuna mixture in a line, keeping them parallel to the edge of the nori nearest you.  Spread some of the mayonnaise on top of the salmon and asparagus.

To roll the sushi, fold the mat over, starting at the end where the ingredients are, and tucking in the end of nori to start the roll.  Keep rolling, lifting up the mat as you go and keeping the pressure even but gentle until you have finished the roll.  Moisten the top of edge of the nori with water to seal the sushi roll closed.  Don’t worry if anything falls out the sides, just push it back in.  The edges might look a little ragged, but you can just sample those yourself!  Make sure you slice the roll with a  very sharp knife into even pieces.   Wetting the knife will help too.

We served the sushi rolls with some steamed edamame and homemade egg rolls.  But even just the sushi can be a meal in itself!

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