Thursday, September 30, 2010

Olive Oil Cookies with Red Wine and Rosemary ...farewell food

Well, the time has come to say farewell to Bitty...sort of.  Over at IHCC, where we cook from one cook/chef for a six month time period, this is the last week of our Bittman months.  I know that I won't stop cooking and learning from him "in general", just won't be making a point of a weekly post.  So, to say tootles to one of my favorite guys, I baked him some cookies.  Some of his own cookies.  Does that seem backwards, somehow?  Nah... it's a tribute, right?  Some farewell food.  I thought they would be the perfect send-off...since they contain rosemary...for remembrance and red wine...for forgetance.  I'll miss having you in my life as much, Bitty...don't be a stranger.

Olive Oil Cookies w/ Red Wine and Rosemary
from The Minimalist Entertains by Mark Bittman
yield: ~4 dozen cookies

2½ c. ap flour
½ tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
¾ c. sugar
2 eggs
 ½ c. olive oil
 ¾ c. red wine, or a little more

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Combine the dry ingredients.  Beat the eggs w/ the olive oil and wine.  Use a rubber spatula to stir the liquid mix into th edry one, just until well combined; if the mixture is stiff, add a little more wine.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake until browned, 12-15 minutes.  Cool for a couple of minutes, then remove to a rack to cool further. Store in a covered container for up to 3 days.
Starting next week, we'll be welcoming Giada DeLaurentiis to IHCC, so please join us if you like her.  Or don't like her.  Or are just interested in making up your mind.

***Attention Bittman devotees...all hope is not lost!  If you are still wanting a place to connect with other like-minded bloggers, my friend Alex of A Moderate Life is going to be opening up her Tackling Bittman project and sharing it with everybody!  Starting the first week in November, she'll be putting up a monthly linky for you to share what you've cooked with Bittman each month!!  Check out her past Tackling Bittman posts for more ideas...and don't let any dust gather on your Bittman books!***

*This post is linked to:
IHCC VFF familyfoodfridays WWFatHFL

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Daigaku Imo ...Caramel-Coated Sweet Potato for Regional Recipes

Some of you may remember telling you of a time when I did not understand the glory of the sweet potato.  Can you imagine?  Until the time when I first tasted one of these gorgeous, orange tubers unadulterated;  roasted in its jacket...with nothing but a pat of golden butter to accentuate its natural sweetness...sticky-sweet juices peeking from the steam holes poked around the outsides before roasting.  That was all it took.  The skies opened up and a whole world of possibilities shone on the horizon!

I love sweet potatoes with a pat of butter, a smattering of bleu cheese and bacon, and a sprinkling of salt...that's my go-to.  But I also like to try different avenues.  I was flipping through a great book full of easy Japanese recipes in search of something to bring to the table for Regional Recipes this month when a page fell from my thumb...a page that required the fan of pages to stop.  Immediately.  Staring me in the face was THE exact thing I wanted in my belly.  I read the description on my way to the library check-out desk, eyes glued to the page...led only by memory and spidey-sense...desire building and tummy waking from its slumber.


"Daigaku imo (meaning "university potato") is so called because it was created to fill the stomachs of the young, cheaply and easily, and became very popular among university students living away from home.  This dish is eaten as a sweet snack as well as a dessert."

Daigaku Imo
(Caramel-Coated Sweet Potato)
from Easy Japanese Cookbook by Emi Kazuko
serves 4

2 Tbs. sea salt
3-4 sweet potatoes (~1½ lbs), sliced lengthwise and cut into ½" thick half-moons
oil for deep-frying
 ½ c. sugar
1 tsp. shoyu (soy sauce)
1 Tbs. black sesame seeds (black, white, or a mix)

Stir the salt into 2 c. water and add the sweet potatoes; leave 10 minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels. 

Heath the oil in a deep wok or pan to 200° F.  Gently slide in the potatoes and deep-fry, gradually increasing the heat to a higher temperature,5-6 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove w/ slotted spoon and drain on wire rack.

Put sugar and shoyu in a large saucepan w/ 5 Tbs. water. Heat over medium heat 5-6 minutes, stirring until mixture becomes syrupy. Remove pan from heat and fold in hot, fried potatoes. Sprinkle w/ sesame seeds and serve hot.
These are an amazing snack...the light shell of salty caramel softly envelopes the crisp outsides of the sweet potato...and then you bite in, exposing a tender, warm semi-circle of bliss.  It's the simple things in life, isn't it?

RegionalRecipes





Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Apple Coffee Cake w/ Pecan & Bacon Streusel

Feast your eyes on THE single most delectable cake I've eaten in...well...a long arse time!!!  It's a coffee cake, so it's good for breakfast, but don't count it out for dessert, lunch, dinner...heck, midnight snack, even!  Right after I made this...while it was still warm...I cut a quarter of the cake out, and like a fabulous, thoughtful neighbor, I marched next door.  I knocked.  I rang the bell.  I waited.  I repeated said steps.  Like a good neighbor.  Unfortunately for them and my thighs nobody was home.  Well, nobody answered the door, at least.  Once I we tried a slice...that was all she wrote!  I sincerely hope that my neighbors didn't choose today to peek into my inner-thoughts this place, cuz then I'll feel guilty.  And I'll have to make another Apple Coffee Cake with Pecan and Bacon Streusel.  That would be horrible.  Maybe I should remind them once again that I'm a food blogger...and that is why I'm always outside primping the food and straddling the picnic table.  Because guilt is an awful thing.

Apple Coffee Cake with Pecan and Bacon Streusel
from Deb's Test Kitchen (Rick Bayless newsletter Sept. '10)
Serves 8 to 10

Streusel Topping
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 ounces pecans
6 tablespoon butter (3/4 stick), softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 slices crispy bacon, crumbled


Cake
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (8 ounces), plus extra for the cake pan and the apples
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick butter, softened, plus extra for the cake pan
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 pound firm, tart cooking apples (2 - 3 apples) peeled, cored, and cut into a medium dice

Finishing
1/4 to 1/3 cup warm cajeta


Set your oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch x 2-inch round baking pan. Line the bottom with a parchment round, and sides with 2" strip of parchment paper.

In a food processor, pulse together all the streusel ingredients except for the bacon until well combined. The mixture should hold together, but still be a little crumbly. Scoop the streusel into a bowl and mix in the crumbled bacon.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Pour in the vanilla and scrape in the sour cream. Mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium low until the mixture is smooth, taking care not to overmix. Toss the apple pieces with 1 tablespoon flour, then fold them into the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top. Bake the cake for 65 to 70 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of cake comes out clean. Cool the cake completely in pan before unmolding. Once unmolded, drizzle the warm cajeta over the top.
Work it...
Own it....
Seriously, make this now.  Or I will.  Oooooh, scarey, huh?  I bet your thighs are quivering at the thought... oh wait, those are my thighs.

flash-back Friday Cookin' for my Captain


Monday, September 27, 2010

Hearth and Soul Hop Volume 16

Welcome to the Hearth 'n Soul Blog Hop Volume 16!


Mission:

Food from your hearth, to feed your soul. Food that follows your intuition. Preparing food from scratch to nourish your family…body, mind AND soul! Food made with your own hands…infused with energy and passion and intent. Real food made by real people to feed real families (big and small, in blood or spirit). Ingredients from scratch, be it something grown in your garden or raised on your land…food foraged in the field or woods…food from local farms, farmers, or farmers markets…or even ingredients chosen by you from your local market that will be turned into something that feeds your soul. Tapping the food memory that each of us has stored inside; letting it guide and influence our own time in the kitchen.

We hope to embrace not only the “expected” areas of real food, but also those who want to incorporate healthier choices without sacrificing their love of food…how it tastes, the memories it conjures up, the comfort it brings. Yes, we’re trying to steer clear of packaged, processed, and boxed foods in favor of real foods….without absolutely excluding the sometimes frowned upon white sugar or flour (because the body craves what it craves…and sometimes things just don’t taste the same when you replace these). Making conscious choices and being present in the now with what your body needs…and taking steps towards exploring and enjoying healthier choices. If you take the time to listen, your body will tell you what it needs.

The warm comfort of the home hearth…stories, anecdotes, lessons, adventures, journeys, recipes, meals, beverages…we want to share the “why” of how food feeds more than just our bodies…how it also feeds our souls. After all, aren’t these the essential ingredients in defining real food? Please share links from your Hearth ‘n Soul with us each week.

*All of the hosts will visit each link before the next linky period opens, because this is personal for us…we want you to know that we appreciate that you’ve taken the time to create a post, add a link back to the hop, and add your link! We’ll be sure to acknowledge this with a comment and a tweet on Twitter (using hashtag #hsoul).

Rules for linking:
  • One link per week, please
  • Must include a link back to one/any of the host sites (through worded link or badge) in individual post, not on sidebar…although we love having links on your page, as well (this benefits all of us). You will be sent a gentle reminder if no link is added to your post, we understand that sometimes people forget…but if it becomes a regular occurrence, (even though we don’t like to do it) your post may be removed. It’s just not fair to those who do take the time and show the grace to link back.
  • Try to link a post that you think fits into the mission of Hearth 'n Soul. You don’t have to link up every week…link up when you can. We welcome posts that are shared in other events. If you have an older, archived post that you want to add, we welcome that…as long as you go in and add a link back to Hearth ‘n Soul

Linky will stay open from 10 pm Monday to 11:59 pm Wednesday (Eastern time).

Your Hosts:
Hunger and Thirst
Frugality and Crunchiness with Christy 

H‘nSgirlichef
Please feel free to ask questions at any time through either comments or email at any of the hosting sites and we will answer you as soon as we possibly can.  I'm really looking forward to reading everybody's links. Thank you!

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This linky list is now closed.