Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pizzelles v2.0

I made pizzelles again today, using a different recipe this time, adapted from Food Blogga.
These are thicker than those from the first recipe, which were lighter and more airy/crumbly. I tend to like these a bit more, but I think a lot of people prefer the thin and crispy versions. Either way, you can't go too wrong.
I divided the dough in half and tried two flavorings -- vanilla, and 5-spice/anise. My taste for these things obviously aren't too discerning, as I have been enjoying them both way too much.

6 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks), melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp baking powder
5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 tsp anise seed

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Preheat pizzelle iron. Coat with cooking spray and wipe off excess with a paper towel. You do not have to re-apply.
Beat eggs and sugar. Add cooled melted butter, and vanilla extract. Sift flour and baking powder in a bowl and add to the egg mixture. Batter will have a dough-like consistency.

Split dough in half, and move one half to another bowl. Add Chinese 5 spice and anise seeds to one bowl, and vanilla bean paste to the other bowl, blending evenly into dough.

With your hands, roll into one-inch round balls and place in the center of the pizzelle iron grids. Close the cover of the iron and bake for about 45 seconds, or until golden brown. Remove from iron and place on a cookie rack to cool.Dust with confectioner's before serving, if desired.Pizzelle will last for a couple of weeks if stored in an air-tight container and kept in a cool area.

Mole Chicken

This recipe requires Mole Mix Spice Blend from one of my favorite shops here in Boulder, Savory Spice. I'm sure you could substitute something similar if you had a good mole spice blend, but I can vouch for this stuff and say that it really turned out so well, and I only made a couple very minor tweaks. Great served with some warm corn tortillas!

2 medium sized tomatillos, roasted [Peel paper coating off tomatillos (if it is still intact), cut each in half, and bake at ~450 for ~5min on each side, or until they start to char]
4 oz. Mexican Molé
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups chicken broth, divided
2 tbsp. raisins
2 tbsp. olive oil [--> I just used Pam to reduce some fat/calories]
1 lb. thickly sliced chicken breast

1. Roast tomatillos in broiler until blistered and slightly blackened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. In small bowl, mix Savory Spice Shop’s Mexican Molé seasoning, 1/4 cup warm water and 1/4 cup chicken broth into a smooth paste.
3. In food processor or blender, pulse molé paste, raisins and tomatillos until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
4. Next, heat an oiled/pam-sprayed pot over medium high heat. Add chicken and brown on both sides but do not cook through. Remove and set aside.
5. In same pot, over a medium heat, sauté molé paste stirring for no more than 1-2 minutes. Add sliced chicken and rest of chicken broth and stir thoroughly. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 12 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Champagne Cupcakes with Sweet Champagne Buttercream Frosting

Given my bordering-on-obsessive love for cake, champagne, and buttercream frosting, it shouldn't be surprising that I have been drooling for weeks over this recipe. A friend's birthday dinner this weekend finally gave me the excuse to go for it. This is the first that I've tried from Gimme Some Oven, but given how these turned out, and after looking around on this great website, I know it definitely won't be the last.
These are truly delicious cupcakes even on their own -- light and fluffy but maintaining a solid and not-at-all-crumbly consistency. The buttercream frosting sets it over the edge though -- absolute perfection!

Champagne Cupcake Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour [I used just short of 3 cups for altitude considerations]
3 tsp. baking powder [I used ~2 3/8 tsp for altitude]
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup champagne (the sweeter the better)
6 egg whites

Sweet Champagne Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature

To Make The Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 for altitude). Prepare a cupcake pan with liners. (This recipe yielded about 24 for me.)
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne.
In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
Bake at 350 degrees F (325 at altitude) for 20 minutes (maybe a bit longer if doing 325), or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

To Make The Frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes. Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute.

Frost each cupcake liberally, and top with white decorating sugar crystals.

(**The original post on Gimme Some Oven said that she had to nearly double this recipe to have enough to frost all of the cupcakes as pictured above. I LOVE frosting and actually found this to be enough...although maybe 1 1/2 times the recipe would be the perfect amount!**)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This recipe was adapted slightly from Hungry Girl.
It turned out really well, and was especially delicious with a layer of 3 lightly-oven-crisped corn tortillas as a base.

3 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 medium-sized diced sweet yellow onion
3 cups green enchilada sauce
One 15-oz. can pure pumpkin
12 oz. cooked boneless skinless lean chicken breast, chopped or shredded
1 1/2 cup frozen white (or yellow) corn
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
dash hot sauce, or more to taste

Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, crushed tortilla chips

Directions:In a large pot, saute garlic and onion until slightly tender. Add broth and bring to a low boil on the stove. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in enchilada sauce, pumpkin, and spices. Once soup returns to a low boil, add chicken and corn, and mix well. Cook for an additional 3 - 5 minutes, until soup is heated throughout. Add a dash or more hot sauce. Serve and, if you like, top with shredded cheese and/or crushed chips.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Butterfinger Blondies

I just barely tweaked this recipe from Recipegirl for my brother-in-law's bday treat. I wish I had baked it about 3 or 4 minutes less, but otherwise they were great. A really tasty deep buttery flavor!

2¼ cups flour (+1-2Tbsp for altitude)
1 tsp baking powder (-1/8 tsp for altitude)
1/2 tsp salt
¾ cup butter, softened
2¼ cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 regular-sized butterfinger candy bars, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch baking pan, or a Baker's Edge pan
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, combine butter and brown sugar.
4. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth.
5. Stir in flour mixture and about 2/3 of crushed butterfingers.
6. Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining crushed butterfinger bars over top of batter.
7. Bake 30- 35 minutes [I would check after 20 or 25min though, esp if making in a Baker's Edge], or until the bars are a bit firm to the touch. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vegetarian Italian Sausage and Bean Stew with Polenta

I got this recipe from the Morningstar website and just made a few tweaks. We *really* liked it, and it is super-easy to prepare. Throw together a salad and a take-and-bake crusty loaf of break (we love Pillsbury) and you have a wonderful (and healthy) meal with minimal effort. The hardest part is finding the veggie sausage crumbles -- if you can't, you could use the regular ground crumbles, but I'd add some more savory spices if you go that route.

2 teaspoons olive oil (I just used Pam)
2 Tbsp jarred minced garlic (or fresh, to taste)
1 1/2 cups chopped white onions
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
2 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained
1 package Morningstar Farms Sausage Style Recipe Crumbles
1 package (16 oz.) prepared polenta (preferrably with Italian seasoning) cut into 1/4-inch slices
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste...and a dash of cayenne pepper if so inclined

1. In large saucepan combine olive oil (or Pam), onions, and garlic over medium heat, saute until onions are translucent.
2. Add tomatoes, beans, and sausage crumbles. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Season additionally if desired.
3. Fry polenta slices in a large skillet in olive oil (or Pam) until golden and crusty, about 3 minutes per side. Spoon stew over polenta slices and serve immediately.

Fig and Prosciutto Pizza

We made this recipe loosely following one posted on Culinary in the Desert. It was completely phenomenal (especially when washed down with a growler of Upslope Brewery's newest addition, a delicious dunkelweizen...followed with some also delicious Italian red wine... :-P). All in all, an awesome Saturday night!

cornmeal, for dusting
1 package prepared multigrain pizza dough (we got ours from Whole Foods)
olive oil/pam
minced garlic
salt and black pepper
1/2 cup fig preserves
4 oz prosciutto
2 oz cheese*

* I skipped this on my half and added tomatoes, red onions, and mushrooms. Scott used some specialty cheese on sample at Whole Foods. The recipe says gorgonzola...I say just use what you like best!

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Sprinkle enough cornmeal to lightly cover a pizza peel.
Stretch and roll out dough to a rough 12 to 13" circle and transfer to the cornmeal-dusted peel.
Drizzle dough with oil and sprinkle with garlic and rosemary - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Drop small dollops of the fig preserves all over the top, leaving a 1" border around. Scatter the cheese/toppings and prosciutto over the top.
Slide dough onto a baking stone or cookie sheet and bake until golden, about 10 to 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. Makes about 4 servings. (Ha, we ate it all...)