Sunday, November 3, 2013

(Better Home and Garden Magazine's) Strawberry Waffles

This is not the first time that I've made big promises for breakfast while still laying in bed, only to come downstairs and find that I'm short on the ingredients for the breakfast that I promised. Today it was waffles. But usually those box mixes are some mixture of flour, baking powder, salt, and probably some scary preservatives that we don't need anyway. So I tried out a recipe for making them for scratch, added some strawberries, and BAM we're having a nice little Sunday.

Serves: 6 belgian waffles
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes

I'll clean this mess up while the waffles are cooking...

  • 2 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 3/4c - 1c diced strawberries (optional)

1. Preheat waffle iron. Preheat oven to 300F.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix just until smooth. Turn in strawberries.

3. Spray waffle iron by lightly misting with cooking spray. Pour 3/4 c waffle mix into iron, turn it over, and let cook 5 minutes.

4. Transfer cooked waffles to a baking sheet in the oven while you cook the rest.

5. Serve warm and crispy with a glass of milk. We like to top ours with organic peanut butter and maple syrup.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Enchilada Pie (twisted two times)

Cat Cora put a twist on her mother's Enchilada Pie, then (as is known to happen when recipes enter my kitchen) I twisted it some more.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can refried beans (original recipe calls for black beans)
  • 1 c light sour cream
  • 1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 c broken tortilla chips (I sliced tortillas and baked at 400, turning occassionally for ~10 min)
  • 2 c grated cheddar
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 T chopped fresh jalapeno pepper
  • 1.5 c salsa (i used homemade, the recipe calls for "green salsa")

1. Preheat oven to 400F.  While oven warms, brown beef with onions and garlic. Add enchilada sauce and beans. Simmer for 10 minutes.
2. In a food processor, combine sour cream, peppers, cilantro and salsa until smooth.
3. Spoon half of the meat-bean mixture into a 9x13" pan. Top with 1/2 of the broken tortilla chips, then 1/2 of the cheese. Cover the chips and cheese with the remaining meat-bean mixture. Spoon on the sour cream mixture and spread evenly. Finish with the rest of the chips and cheese. Sprinkle on the scallions.
4. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Apple Avocado Tuna Salad Melts

A little spicy, really wonderful!

  • 1 large can of tuna in water, drained
  • 1 fuji apple, finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced, 
  • 1/2 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • fresh mozzarella slices
  • 2 T mayo (to taste...)
  • sturdy whole grain bread, sliced
1. Combine tuna, apple, celery, jalapeno, onion, and mayo by stirring gently.
2. On one slice of bread, spread the tuna salad. On the other slice, lay down avocado slices and mozzarella.
3. Bake at 425 for 5-10 minutes to toast bread and melt cheese.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Seafood and Asparagus Risotto


  • 1 c arborio rice
  • 5 c chicken or veggie stock
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • zest of one unwaxed lemon
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 5 oz raw, peeled shrimp
  • 4 oz large scallops
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, chopped into 2" pieces

1. Combine lemon zest, garlic, and salt into a paste. Mix paste into seafood and set aside.

2. In a large sauce pan, using a wooden spoon, brown arborio rice over medium heat in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add white wine and stir continuously until absorbed.

3. Add one cup of stock, stir continuously until absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 c of stock at a time, each time stirring continuously until all liquid is absorbed. (This process will carry on for 20-30 minutes). Your end risotto product will be creamy and the rice will be tender.
4. In a saute pan with a light coating of olive oil- saute scallops (2-3 minutes on each side) and shrimp (turning occasionally until cooked). Once the seafood is cooked, set aside and deglaze the pan with small amount of chicken stock and lemon juice.
5. Add asparagus to the saute pan, and cook 1-2 minutes (just quickly, to warm it through).
6. Gently fold seafood and asparagus into risotto.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Crispy Orange Beef

Adapted from the Shun Lee Cookbook by Michael Tong & Elaine Louie. The original recipe calls for about half of the amount of sauce I made, and I don't think it came out too saucy... So I say go for it!

  • 8 oz flank steak, cut into pieces 1"x1/2"x1/4" (very thinly sliced...)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 orange
  • 4 Tbs sugar
  • 4 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs rice wine
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 c cornstarch
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3 scallions, white part only, sliced
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 tsp hot chile paste
1. Mix steak, baking soda and 3 Tbs water in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours (to tenderize the meat)

2. Remove the peel of the orange with a veggie pealer. Cut the zest into thin strips. Slice the rest of the orange in half and set aside.

3. To begin the sauce, mix sugar, vinegar, rice wine, soy sauce and 2 tsp cornstarch in a bowl. Set aside.

4. Heat a large wok over high heat with about 1 1/2" of vegetable oil in it. Bring oil to 375 degrees.

5. Combine beef, 1 c cornstarch, and lightly beaten eggwhite. It will be kind of dry, but coat the meat.

6. Add the steak to the oil one piece at a time so it doesn't splash or stick together. Stir gently until it begins to look crispy (this happens quickly). Remove steak from oil and put in a colander to drain. Fry the rest of the beef in batches.

7. Remove most of the oil, leave 1-2 Tbs in the wok. Add sauce mixture, orange zest, scallions, sesame oil, orange juice, chile paste, and beef. Stir-fry until all of the ingredients are blended, about 30 seconds.

Ham, Cheese and Spinach Focaccia

 This recipe is adapted from one called "Cheese Focaccia from Recco" found in Savory Baking from the Mediterranean by Anissa Helou. Her recipe called for a cheese focaccia made with taleggio cheese (an Italian take on brie)... I added a few bonuses and substituted fontina cheese (another soft, cow's milk cheese).

I was totally dazzled by how few ingredients go into making the bread. There is an element of "mix it, walk away, knead it, take the dog for a walk, knead it, take a nap" ... So I thought it was perfect for making on a laid back Saturday :)

  • 1 1/3 c unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for working with the dough
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil for the dough
  • extra olive oil for brushing the pan
  • 9 oz soft cow's milk cheese (Fontina, Taleggio, Brie, Mozzarella... you pick)
  • 1/2 c finely diced ham
  • 1/2 c chopped spinach

1. Combine flour and fine salt in a large mixing bowl with a well shaped into the center. Add the EVOO into the well and incorporate into flour with your fingertips. Slowly add 1/3 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon warm water. Knead briefly to make a rough ball of dough.

2. Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes on a floured work surface. Turn the bowl over and cover the dough on the countertop for 15 minutes. (It's really amazing how much the dough "relaxes" during it's 15 minute cat-nap!!)

3. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until it's smooth. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly floured bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Let it sit in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

4. Fold the dough. Cover again. Put it back in it's happy place for another hour. The dough will have expanded some during this rest period.

5. On your floured work surface, cut the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest 15 minutes.

6. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. On your floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough to be quite thin and about 12 inches in diameter. Liberally brush a non-stick baking sheet with olive oil and place the dough round on it. Add thinly sliced cheese, ham, and spinach to the center of the dough.

7. Roll out the other dough ball to just slightly bigger than the first piece. Just barely dampen the edges, and flip it over so that it covers the dough/toppings. Seal the edges by pressing with your fingers. Optional: I added some finely shredded fontina to the top of the focaccia (because it felt very "Panera") and it turned out crispy and visually enhanced the look of the bread.

8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown all over. Let sit 5 minutes, then slice and serve while cheese is still warm.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Balsamic Chicken Caprese

This one came together sort of... off the cuff. But really, we're combining some great concepts here, so it was bound for greatness!

  • 4 thinly sliced cuts of chicken breast
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 2 roma tomatoes, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 c baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 c fresh mozzarella pearls
  • 3 T pesto
  • 1/2 lb linguine

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Prepare linguine according to al dente instructions on package.

2. Heat olive oil on medium in a saute pan. While oil is heating, lightly dredge chicken in flour. Saute chicken for 3-4 minutes on both sides, until golden brown. Set chicken aside, keep warm.

3. Saute onion and garlic (in the same pan used to saute chicken) for 5 minutes, until tender.

4. Deglaze pan with balsamic vinegar, whisk gently for a minute, then add chicken stock. Stir and cook down on med-high heat for ~5 minutes, until sauce begins to thicken.

5. Add chicken and mushrooms, simmer on low an additional 3 minutes.

6. In a separate bowl, combine tomato, mozzarella pearls and pesto.

7. Remove chicken and sauce from heat, toss in pasta, tomatoes, and mozzarella pearls coated in pesto.