Thursday, July 13, 2017

Marshmallow Crispy Bars

Marshmallow Crispy Bars

A classic summertime treat is upgraded with browned butter, vanilla, brown sugar and fine grey sea salt.

Ingredients

4 ounces butter
10.5 ounces marshmallows
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 ounces crispy cereal (I use Nature's Path whole grain brown rice cereal)
1/4 tsp. fine grey sea salt

Method

Butter an 8 x 8 inch pan.

In a large sauce pan, brown the butter over medium-low heat: After the butter melts, it will turn frothy, then golden in color, and then finally brown in color with a nutty smell.

Turn off the heat. Add the marshmallows, brown sugar and vanilla to the pan and stir until the ingredients are well combined and the marshmallows have melted.

Add the crispy cereal and sea salt and stir to combine.

Lightly press the mixture into the prepared pan; do not press so hard as to turn the bars into bricks! The goal is tall, chewy bars.

Let the bars cool. And then enjoy!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fresh Cranberry Galette

Galette: What is it? It's no stress, one crust pie. Here is a free-wheeling version made using a bag of frozen, fresh cranberries that I found in our freezer, and based upon a recipe from health.com.


Ingredients

1 pie crust, rolled out thin (about 1/8")
1/2 cup toasted pecans
(Note: Toast nuts at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes; cut into smaller pieces when cool)
1 bag of cranberries
(Note: If frozen, then use frozen, but rinse in cold water before using. Yes, some ice may form; break it up, and any clumps)
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 Tbs. AP flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbs orange juice
1 Tbs. unsalted butter

Method

Heat the oven to 350. Roll out a pie crust and place it into a 9-inch pie pan, allowing the dough to hang over the sides of the pan. In a medium sized bowl, combine the nuts, cranberries, sugar, flour, spices and orange juice. Pour the filling into the pie plate. Dot the filling with butter, and then fold the crust's hanging edges into the pan, over the fruit. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the crust with water and then sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the galette for 1 hour, or until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbly.

Enjoy!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Chicken Marinade

In anticipation of making chicken parmesana, I marinaded chicken breasts using the recipe below. The chicken was excellent, very moist and flavorful. Give this a try!

For 1 pound of chicken:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
A pinch of sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken and marinate in refrigerator for 6 hours.



Adapted from The New York Times.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Chocolate Cake : Pastel de Chocolate

Chocolate cake with Mexican flair? Si, por favor! This recipe, adapted from 1,000 Mexican Recipes by Marge Poore, makes one 9-inch round cake that is moist and flavorful. Additionally, it is mixed in a food processor, which is quick and easy.

Ingredients

3/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder (aluminum-free stuff brings better flavor to baked goods, IMO)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
One 4-ounce bar of Ghirardelli 60% Cacao chocolate, chopped into pieces
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
3 large eggs (I like organic eggs)
1/4 cup best unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla (I make my own; you?)


Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan, and then line the bottom with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon).

Have the boiling water at the ready. Place the chocolate and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and then pulse until the chocolate is very fine. While the processor is running, pour the hot water through the feed tube, keeping the processor on until the chocolate melts. Turn the processor off, add the three eggs, and then process for 20 seconds. After scraping the bowl, add the butter, sour cream and vanilla. Again, process for 20 seconds. Add the flour mixture and pulse until the ingredients are just mixed, 7 or 8 times.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and then bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean when the cake is done.

Allow the baked cake to cool on a rake for 5 minutes. Remove it from the pan and then continue cooling the cake on the rake.

Frost with your favorite chocolate icing after the cake is cool.

Enjoy!