Chocolate Bundt Cake

20121231-121824.jpg

Who does not love chocolate cake? I am a fan of the bundt cake because it does not require any fancy cake decorating skills. As you can see mine are not so great.

Ingredients:
1 c butter unsalted butter, melted
1/3 c cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 c water
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Icing:
3/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F.

Butter and flour a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and water together.

Place the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Add half of the melted butter mixture and whisk until completely blended. Add 1/2 the butter, stir, add eggs mixture, stir add butter and stir till smooth. Whisk in the sour cream until smooth.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a rack. Let cool completely before glazing.

Combine icing ingredients in a food processor until well combined. Drizzle over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip and dribble down the sides.

Serves 10 – 12.

Advertisements

Butternut Blondies

20121231-095819.jpg

This recipe appeared on Whole Foods tweet last week. Veggies in Blondies – oh yeah!! I added pecans because nuts make everything better!

Ingredients:
4 TBSP melted butter
1 1/2 c butternut squash purée
1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 c white chocolate chunks
1/4 c chopped pecans
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 c coconut palm sugar
2 eggs
1 TBSP vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter; set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss together squash, flour, chocolate, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. In a large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs together until pale and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in butter and vanilla, then add flour mixture and stir together just until combined.

Transfer to prepared pan and bake until just set in the middle and golden brown around the edges, about 30 minutes.

Set aside to let cool, then cut into 24 squares and serve.

3 ww pp per cookie

Swiss Chard Ricotta Malfatti

20121231-053304.jpg

I love these big veggie cheese dumplings – thanks Epicurious for another great recipe! Be warned they are a little funky and you need to hold back your desire to add more flour. I always freeze them before cooking, I’m just to worried they will fall apart in the boiling water if I don’t. 3 of these is perfect for a meal, pop the rest in a zip lock bag once completely frozen for a quick weeknight meal. They are not very pretty, but what they lack in looks they make up for in taste.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 lb Swiss chard, center ribs and stems removed
2 tsp salt
1/2 c
1 1/4 c whole-milk ricotta, drained
5 egg yolks
1 egg
1/4 c all-purpose flour
12 sage leaves
pepper
Finely grated Parmesan

Cook chard in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still bright green, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to ice water; let sit until cold.

Squeeze chard dry. Transfer to a large double layer of cheesecloth; gather ends and squeeze to thoroughly wring out liquid (be sure to use cheesecloth; the chard will stain a kitchen towel).

Pulse chard in a food processor until minced, about 30 seconds. Return chard to cheesecloth; wring out again to remove any remaining liquid.

Transfer chard to a large bowl. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add melted butter, ricotta, egg yolks, egg, 1/4 c flour, and 2 teaspoons salt to chard. Using an electric mixer, beat until a dough forms, 1-2 minutes – it will be sticky!!

Lightly flour a rimmed baking sheet. Scoop out scant 2 tablespoons dough; dust with flour and roll between your palms to form an oval-shaped malfatto; place on sheet. Repeat with remaining dough to form 24 malfatti. Freeze on baking sheet, then transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag. Keep frozen.

Working in 2 batches, cook malfatti in a large pot of boiling salted water until cooked through, 6-8 minutes per batch (8-10 minutes if frozen). They will float to the top. Scoop out.

Heat remaining 1/4 c butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sage and cook until butter foams and begins to turn brown and sage becomes crispy, about 30 seconds. Season sage brown butter with salt and pepper. Divide malfatti among plates; spoon sage brown butter over. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Serves 6 – 8.

Spicy Stir Fried Long Beans

20121230-133527.jpg

Today I went to Ranch99 in Dublin. It is the ultimate Asian store and I went a little crazy! The amount of dumplings and buns they had was crazy. So I got the steamer going and the whipped up some spicy long beans to accompany all the tasty dumplings.

Ingredients
1 1/2 lb Chinese long beans*
1/2 c unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
2 to 3 jalapeños, thinly sliced
1 1/2 TBSP peanut oil
1 TBSP garlic, minced
1/2 c shallot, thinly sliced
2 TBSP chile garlic sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Cook untrimmed beans in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer with tongs to a large bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then drain in a colander and pat dry with paper towels. Trim beans and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces.

Heat wok or skillet over high heat until a bead of water dropped onto cooking surface evaporates immediately. Add oil, swirling to coat, then add garlic and stir-fry until garlic begins to turn pale golden, about 5 seconds. Add peanuts and shallots, and stir-fry until all of mixture is golden, about 30 seconds. Add beans, and stir-fry until hot and well coated, about 2 minutes. Then stir in chili sauce and drizzle in lime juice. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

20121230-080317.jpg

It’s Sunday and in our house that means we all sit down for nice breakfast together. This weeks treat is baked pumpkin waffles. I topped two with Nutella and sprinkles for the boys.

Ingredients:
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 c coconut oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c pumpkin purée
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 c flour

Cinnamon Sugar mixture
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease donut pans.

In a large bowl, beat everything together except flour until smooth. Add in flour and stir until just smooth.
Spoon donut batter into molds about 3/4 filled. Bake 15-18 for regular donuts until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let donuts cool before coating with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Pour 3/4 c sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon into large sandwich bag and mix together until thoroughly mixed. Put donuts in and zip closed and roll donut around until covered in cinnamon sugar. Remove donut. Repeat with remaining donuts.

Makes 12 donuts.

Pears & Foie Gras

20121230-074744.jpg

The sale of Foie Gras is banned in Califonia, before the ban went into effect I make a sizable purchase and stashed it away in my freezer. This is the perfect winter dish – pears and foie with some roasted onions on a bed of bitter greens is perfection.

Ingredients:
3 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and quartered
1 red onion, quartered
Olive oil
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground coriander
Salt & pepper

3 1/2 thick Foie Gras medallions

Vingairette:
1 TBSP sherry wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper
1 1/2 TBSP walnut oil
2 1/2 TBSP olive oil
Combine in a jar and shake well.

3 c arugula

Preheat oven to 375.

Toss pears and onions with olive oil and spices. Spread on a pan in one layer and roast until tender about 40 minutes.

Toss arugula with vinaigrette (you will have extra vinaigrette).

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Season Foie with salt and pepper cook 2 – 3 minutes on one side and 1 – 2 on the other.

Serve with greens and roasted fruit and veggies.

Serves 2.

Roasted Shredded Brussel Sprouts

20121230-045716.jpg

This may be the easiest Brussels Sprout recipe ever! Roasting the sprouts really brings out their nutty flavor.

2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/4 c olive oil
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/8 c Parmesan cheese, grated.

Preheat the oven to 425°.

In a food processor fitted with a slicing blade, coarsely shred the brussels sprouts. On 1 large rimmed baking sheets, toss the brussels sprouts with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and spread in an even layer.

Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until the brussels sprouts are tender and browned in spots.

Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and lemon juice, toss. Transfer the brussels sprouts to a bowl and serve.

Serves 4.

Lentil Ham Soup ala Pressure Cooker

20121227-191013.jpg

For Christmas I received a pressure cooker, I know, I can’t believe I didn’t already have one – big thanks to my Dad!! This is my first recipe in my new pressure cooker.

Ingredients:
1 TBSP olive oil
1 c each chopped: onion, celery, carrot
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
4 c chicken broth
1 c water
1 lb lentils

3 TBSP tomato paste
1 TBSP balsamic
2 c ham, diced

In a pressure cooker on simmer heat oil, add onions, cook 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery and garlic, cook until soft, 4 minutes. Add herbs, broth, water and lentils. Lock lid, set on high pressure, cook 8 minutes. Release as directed. Add remaining ingredient and cook on simmer for 2 minutes.

Remove bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6.

Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes

20121226-070947.jpg

What do you do when you have a boat-load of extra mashed potatoes? Add some cheese, sour cream and green onions – bacon would be great too, but since we were having ham I left it out. I’ve also put this filling in a pie crust and baked it – amazing – potato deep dish pizza!!

Ingredients:
4 c left over mashed potatoes
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 c green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 425.

Stir 3/4 cheese, sour cream and green onions into the potatoes. Put into a baking dish, top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese starts to bubble. Put under the broiler for 3 minutes until cheese starts to brown.

Serves 4 – 6.