Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rather than making the same recipe for choc. chip cookies every time, I have a few that I rotate through. I like them all for different reasons. This is a new one we just tried for the first time and it's extra good. The whole family LOVED. Micah, who is usually poker-faced about food, was very enthusiastic about these new cookies.

2 cups butter, softened (that's 4 sticks)
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
5 1/2 cups flour
2 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
small pkg French Vanilla instant pudding straight from the box
2 pkg chocolate chips
Basic cookie directions...Cream butter & sugars. Add eggs & extract. Mix dry ingredients together. Slowly pour dry into wet. Stir in chips. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
P.S. I used plain vanilla pudding(the store didn't have French) and they were still great. Oh, and I use less chips too.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Food O' The Irish

Happy St. Pattie's Day! Here's what's on the menu tonight at our house:

Irish Soda Bread

cooking spray or butter for the pan
2 cups flour, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. caraway seeds (can leave out if you don't like them)
1/2 cup raisins
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 5X9 loaf pan or 8-inch round pan with spray (or rub with butter). Dust bottom and sides of pan with flour.
2. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt with wooden spoon; stir in seeds and raisins.
3. With a fork lightly beat eggs and milk. Gradually add mixture to dry ingredients and stir with spoon until mixture forms a sticky, thick dough.
4. Turn the dough into prepared pan. Sprinkle a little flour on the top.
5. Bake 1 hour for loaf pan or 50 minutes for round pan. Turn out of pan onto wire rack to cool.

Sweet Pea Soup

5 TB. unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white part only
5 TB. flour
6 cups chicken broth
5 cups fresh or frozen peas
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
croutons or crusty bread, optional for garnish

1. Heat butter in large pot over medium high heat. Add leeks; saute until soft, 4-5 minutes.
2. Add flour, stirring until dissolved. Add broth; bring to boil, whisking constantly.
3. Stir in peas; reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.
4. Puree using a handheld blender (can do it in batches in a blender or food processor). Stir in cream and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with croutons or a piece of toasted crusty bread if desired.

Shamrock Sugar Cookies

*everybody's got a sugar cookie recipe......right?

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

KitchenAid Recipes

Here are the recipes we made for the Macy's bridal event.

Fire Roasted Tomato Chipotle Salsa

1/4 cup plus 1 TB. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, cut into rings
2 LB. Roma tomatoes, blackened
1 head garlic, roasted (cut in half, rub with olive oil, wrap in foil & roast in oven until soft)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 Chipotle Chili's in Adobo (find canned in mexican section)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (can use red wine vinegar)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

Place oven rack in broiling position. Preheat oven to broil setting and allow to heat for 10 minutes. Cover cookie sheet with foil. Cut tomatoes in half length-wise, place on sheet and broil tomatoes until skins blister and blacken.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tb. olive oil in saute pan. Add onion and saute over medium heat until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Allow tomatoes and onions to cool.

Attach food grinder to stand mixer and place bowl under grinder to catch salsa. Turn to speed 4 and grind tomatoes, onions, chipotle peppers, cilantro and garlic. No chopping required! Fold in remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, salt and sugar.

*if you don't have the food grinder attachment, try pulsing in a blender.

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Spicy Tuna Tartar with Wasabi Ginger Creme

Spicy Tuna Tartar:
1 LB. sushi grade Ahi Tuna, cut into large pieces
3 TB. Mayonnaise
1 1/2 TB. Sriracha hot sauce
2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 TB. chives, sliced thinly
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/8 tsp. ginger puree
1 tsp. black sesame seeds or to your taste

Cut tuna into large cubes about 1-2" pieces, place on plate and freeze tuna for about 30 minutes or until firm but not frozen. Mix mayo, hot sauce, lemon juice, chives, sesame oil and ginger in a bowl; set aside. Using food grinder attachment with coarse grind plate, grind tuna (try food processor or blender if you don't have attachment- you don't want it to be mush). When all tuna has been ground, gently mix with mayo mixture and sesame seeds. Can be made about 4-6 hours in advance and placed in refrigerator.

Wasabi Ginger Creme:
3 TB. sour cream
1/4 tsp. ginger puree
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. wasabi
pinch salt

Mix all ingredients in small bowl and set aside. Can be made 2 days in advance kept in refrigerator.

Sesame Wonton Crisp:
4 large wonton skins, cut on the bias to create a triangle
Sesame oil
Black sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Brush sheet pan with sesame oil. Brush both sides of wonton with sesame oil and place on sheet pan. Season lightly with salt and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

TO PLATE: Serve on a bed of Japanese seaweed, mound tuna in the middle and add a dollop of wasabi ginger creme. Can also garnish with sweet fish roe (masago).

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Fresh Tomato Pesto over Fresh Pasta

3/4 lb. grape tomatoes, very ripe and sweet
12 large basil leaves
1 large clove garlic
1/3 cup whole almonds, lightly toasted
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. fresh pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Rinse tomatoes and basil and pat dry. Drop tomatoes, basil, garlic clove, almonds, red pepper flakes and salt in to blender. Blend for a minute or more to a fine puree; scrape down sides and blend again if any large pieces have survived.

With blender running, pour in olive oil in a steady stream, emulsifying the puree into a thick pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning. (Can be refrigerated for longer storage, up to 2 days, but bring back to room temp. before dressing pasta).

Cook and drain pasta. Scrape pesto into large bowl {can add a scoop of pasta water to thin it out if you need to}. Toss in pasta, coating completely. Sprinkle with cheese all over, toss again and serve.

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Coconut Lime Cookies

We made these for FHE last night. They are a dream!

Coconut Lime Cookies
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 TB. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 tsp. lime zest
12 TB. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups flour

Process sugars, salt, coconut and lime zest in food processor until no lumps of brown sugar remain, about 30 seconds. Add butter, vanilla, and egg and process until smooth and creamy, about 20 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl, add flour, and pulse until dough forms.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and roll into 10-inch log. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days (dough can be wrapped in foil and frozen up to 1 month).

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice dough into 1/4-inch rounds and place on baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Glaze.

for glaze:
whisk 1 TB. softened cream cheese, 1 tsp. ground ginger, and 2 TB. lime juice until combined. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar until smooth (can thin with water to desired consistency).

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