Friday, December 26, 2008

Scalloped Potatoes with Leeks and Slow-Cooked Onions

Makes a 9" x 13" pan
This recipe is from Palisades; the measurements are approximate (like making a lasagna). It's important to blanch the potatoes as a first step. Best if made a day ahead.

2 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled, blanched and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Parmesan cheese - one cup, grated
Gouda cheese - one cup, grated
black pepper
sea or kosher salt

Leek/onion mix:
2 T. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium leeks, washed, trimmed, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp. ground thyme

White sauce:
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 cup vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

Heat olive oil in large frying pan. Add the onion, garlic and leeks. Saute until the mix begins to caramelize, Add thyme, reduce heat to low and let onion mixture cook and mature until tender.
De-glaze with white wine and reduce until mixture is almost dry.

To make the white sauce, begin by melting the butter in a sauce pan. Whisk in the flour, creating a roux. Cook without scorching for 3-4 minutes. Add the broth, whip cream and bay leaf. Whisk to blend, and cook until sauce is smooth. Turn off heat and blend in the sour cream and salt. Remove bay leaf before assembling the dish.

To assemble:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Evenly layer half the potatoes in buttered pan. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Layer half of the onion-leek mixture on top of the potatoes

Mix grated parmesan and gouda together, and scatter half on top of the onion mixture

Layer the rest of the potatoes evenly into the pan. Season with the remaining salt and pepper.

Top with the rest of the onion/leek mixture

Pour the sour cream sauce over the potoatoes (you don't need to use all of it if the pan seems to full). Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

Cover the pan with foil and cut a couple of vent slits in the foil.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, then remove foil and bake another ten minutes.

If making ahead, cool, refrigerate and re-heat for 25 minutes until heated through.

Moroccan Tagine with Cinnamon Couscous

Makes 8-10 servings

Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large, heavy pan. Add:
-4 cups small-diced onions
-1 cup small-diced red peppers
Stir and cook for three minutes.

2 T. minced garlic
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 T. sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. paprika
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Cook, stirring spices into onion mixture for a couple more minutes.

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in puree
4 cups water or vegetable stock (I always use stock)
2 cups large-diced carrots,
4 cups green beans, tipped, tailed, and cut in half.
3 cups (one pound) red potatoes, cut in quarters
2 cups large-diced parsnips
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained
Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and slowly simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice with 1 and 1/2 T. cornstarch. Stir into simmering tagine. Cook for a couple more minutes. Stir in 2 T. chopped cilantro and 2 T. chopped parsley.

Serve in warmed bowls over cinnamon couscous. Top with sliced, toasted almonds and a little more chopped cilantro

Cinnamon couscous:
Makes 10 cups, serves 8-10

Place 4 cups (one box) couscous (I use whole wheat) in a 9-by-13 inch baking dish.
Stir in 2 T. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. salt.

Bring 3 cups water to a boil and our over the couscous, stir, and immediately cover with plastic wrap. et sit for 6-8 minutes, fluff with a fork.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dutch Baby

Smaller size serves 2-3; larger size serves 4

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Smaller size pan (somewhere between 8x8 and 13x9):
Put 3 T. butter into the pan and put it into warm oven to melt

Swirl 4 eggs in blender several minutes at high speed until foamy

Pour in one cup of milk and blend on high another minute

Slowly add one cup of flour and blend another minute

Immediately pour the mixture into the hot butter, sprinkle with nutmeg, and return pan to the middle rack of the oven.

Bake 15-20 minutes until puffed and brown around the edges.

Serve immediately with powdered sugar and lemon wedges.

13 x 9 inch pan:
-Use 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), 6 eggs, one-and-a-half cup milk, one-and-a-half cup flour.

Christmas morning glory muffins

Makes 12 muffins (adapted from Macrina's Cookbook)

2/3 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 and 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium carrot, grated
1 Granny smith apple, peeled and grated
3/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained (one small can)
3 beaten eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
6 T. butter, melted
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the inside of a muffin tin with canola oil.

Sift flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Mix gently with a wooden spoon and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine walnuts, carrot, apple, pineappe, eggs, canola oil, meltd butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and coconut, and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Add dry ingredients and continue stirring just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. It's important not to overmix.

Scoop batter into oiled muffin tin, filling cups to the top. Bake on center rack of the oven for 40 minutes; finished muffins will be deep brown.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Greek Stew

Serves 4:
Heat one tablespoon olive oil in heavy soup pot. Stir in two cups diced onions, and one tablespoon minced garlic. Cover and cook on low, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until the onions are translucent.

Stir in one teaspoon dried oregano, one teaspoon salt, 2 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned), four cups ( 2 pounds) cubed potatoes (I use Yukon Gold), and four cups (one pound) green beans, with the ends snapped off. Cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the beans and potatoes are tender.

Just before serving stir in 1/4 cup chopped parsley (I skipped this), 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, and black pepper to taste.

The last step: stir in a half cup (2 ounces) kasseri cheese, or if you prefer to use feta cheese, just sprinkle it on top of the stew rather than stirring it in.

Good served with crusty whole grain bread and a green salad.

From Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Easton/Farrell family Thanksgiving applesauce

18 apples (I used Granny Smiths for a tart sauce, the recipe suggests McIntosh)
1 cup apple cider
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbs. vanilla
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Peel, core, and quarter apples

Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan with a lid. Cook on medium heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring often, until apples are saucy. Mash any remaining large apple pieces with a spoon.

Taste the applesauce and add more sugar and spices as needed.

Applesauce can be stored for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers

serves 4

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup parsley

1 15oz can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)

salt and pepper

1 large egg

1/2 cup flour

Hamburger buns

Chop up onion, parsley and garlic a food processor until finely chopped. Add chickpeas, egg, and salt and pepper. Pulse until the chickpeas are fairly smooth, although a few chunks are fine.

Mix in flour and stir until well mixed (I use my standing mixer for this).

Form the mixture into 4 patties, each about 1/2" thick.

In a large skillet or fry pan, heat olive oil over medium heat, then stick in the patties. Cook them on each side until brown, at least 5 minutes.

Lightly brown buns in the oven. Top the patties with chedder cheese, and then put in buns with lettuce, red onions, ketchup, and mustard.

Becky Teagarden's Salted Chocolate Cookies

Makes 5 dozen cookies

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter
12 ounces (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons flaked salt (such as Maldon or Fleur de Sel)
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract Directions: 1. Melt unsweetened chocolate, butter and 1 cup of chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Cool.

2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

3. In another large bowl, beat sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and frothy, about two minutes. Whisk in chocolate mixture until blended. Stir in flour mixture at low speed until blended. Stir in remaining chocolate chips. Refrigerate batter, covered, until dough is firm, about two hours.

4. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and arrange 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in batches until puffed and set, about 10 minutes per batch. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.