Sunday, February 27, 2011

(Oven) Fried Chicken and Savory Waffles with Cayenne-Bourbon Maple Syrup

Cooked this up from a combination of recipes found online, namely this one for the chicken and this one for the waffles. I doctored them both up a bit, and here's the version I used.
Obviously the chicken isn't greasy like it "should" be in the traditional recipes but this is less messy and more healthy.

Anyway, this is really tasty -- highly recommend it!

Oven-Fried Chicken

2 cups cornflakes (or 1 cup already-crushed cornflakes)

1 tsp thyme

2 tsp paprika

½ tsp chile powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 can evaporated milk

1. Preheat the oven to 400. In a food processor, process the cornflakes, thyme, paprika, chiles and salt.

2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Pour the evaporated milk into a shallow bowl. Pour the cornflake mix on to a plate and spread it out so that it's even. Dip each chicken breast, first in the milk, and then in the cornflake mix, pressing it on so that it sticks to the entire breast. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.

3. Put the baking sheet with all of the chicken on it in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Savory Waffles

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

¼ tsp black pepper

2 tsp mustard powder

½ tsp dried thyme

1/4 cup wheat germ

3 large eggs

2 cups well-shaken buttermilk

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

Into a large bowl sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Repeat sifting 2 more times and stir in wheat germ.

In another large bowl whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Add flour mixture all at once and whisk just until combined.

Preheat a waffle iron and preheat oven to 200 °F.

Brush waffle iron lightly with additional oil. Spoon batter into waffle iron, using 1/4 cup batter for each 4-inch-square standard waffle and spreading batter evenly, and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer waffle to a baking sheet and keep warm, uncovered, in middle of oven. Make more waffles with remaining batter in same manner, brushing waffle iron with mire oil before adding each batch.

Bourbon-Cayenne Maple Syrup
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp bourbon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all three ingredients; heat for 1min in the microwave. Drizzle over chicken and waffles. (May want to double or triple the recipe depending on how many are being served!)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Artisan French Bread Boule

I am slightly embarrassed to say that I've never cooked a homemade yeasted bread until now.
The idea of getting the temp right, the dough to rise, etc, always made it seem like it might be more trouble than it's worth.
In truth, it (or at least this recipe) is amazingly easy. And amazingly delicious.

Thanks to Angela K for giving me the recipe and her tips and pointers, most of which are included below.

This one batch got me three good-sized loaves: original, garlic+rosemary, and cinnamon raisin. The extras in the latter two were just folded into the dough as I created the ball pre-baking.

This recipe is from the book " Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Francois. The recipe below is for the French Boule and it is SO good! You can play with this recipe and add different spices to change it up, but it is really good all alone too. I also use this same dough for pita bread too and it comes out great every time!
You can keep the dough in your fridge for up to 14 days and just pull out a hunk of dough whenever you want bread. The longer the dough is in your fridge, the more it will taste like sourdough.

You will need:
~ a 5 quart (minimum) plastic [Kelly's note: I used a big metal bowl actually] container that is NOT air tight. You can use a bigger container if you want too.
~ A pizza stone. This is crucial! Doesn't matter if it's square or round
~ A broiling pan [Kelly's note: A 9x13 basic baking pan works too]
~ An oven :)

1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast (doesn't matter if it is quick rising, active, or something else. I just happen to use "active yeast") ( oh, and keep your yeast in the freezer. it lasts longer)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
3 Cups warm-hot water
6 1/2 Cups Unbleached, all-purpose white flour
Cornmeal for pizza peel (I use a wooden cutting board as my pizza peel)

1. Put Yeast, Salt, Water in your plastic container and mix with big spoon. (You can add herbs here if you want too) Add flour all at once and mix all up. That's it!! Now put the lid [Kelly's note: I just used a piece of foil and laid a kitchen towel on top...I think the idea is for it to be covered but not absolutely airtight] on your container and let it sit on your counter for 2-4 hours. You can start using it after the 2-4 hours, or you can pop it in the fridge.

2. If you want to use the dough right away, after the 2-4 hours of rising, heat your oven to 450 degrees with the pizza stone in your oven and the broiler tray underneath the pizza stone. After 20 minutes of preheating (even if your oven isn't at 450 yet), go ahead and sprinkle some flour on the dough in your container and pull a chunk of dough (grapefruit size or bigger) out. Keep sprinkling flour on your hands and dough to keep it from sticking and stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all sides, rotating the ball around as you go. Dust your loaf and slash it with a knife. Slide it from your pizza peel onto your hot pizza stone (with some cornmeal dusted on top of the pizza stone) in the oven and then pour 1 Cup of hot water into your broiler pan. The water steams the bread, helping it to rise in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Take out and cool on cooling rack

3. If you refrigerated your dough, pull out the chunk of dough, shape it, and put it on your cornmealed pizza peel and let it rise for 20 minutes. If it doesn't rise, don't worry, it will in your oven. After the 20 minutes, then preheat your oven to 450. After another 20 min, stick your dough in your oven on the pizza stone and the 1 cup of hot water into your broiler tray. (The dough will have sat out on your counter for 40 min total before going into the oven). Bake for 30 min. Take out and cool on cooling rack.

Pita Bread:
Do all of the above. But when you go to bake, preheat your oven first to 500 degrees. No need for broiler pan here. No need for rising time. After the oven has preheated, pull out a hunk of the dough and put on a FLOURED pizza peel or wooden cutting board and roll out with a rolling pin until it is super thin, about 1/8 in thin. You can pop it right into the oven onto the pizza stone. Bake for 5-7 minutes until it is puffed and browned a little. Take out and cool between 2 towels on a cooling rack and it will cool and soften.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Turkey and Red Pepper Hash

This was a recent post in NYT's Recipes for Health, and I think it is a great recipe.
Easy once the veggies are chopped, it can be thrown together very quickly and has simple but rich flavors that are perfectly brought out with the turkey-red pepper combo.
I made a few tweaks below, and if I made it again I might increase the spiciness even a touch more.


1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, with juice

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

2 red bell peppers, cut in small (1/4 inch) dice

2 large garlic cloves, minced

Salt to taste

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

10 black peppercorns, ground in a spice mill

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons medium-hot chili powder

4 cloves, ground in a spice mill (1/2 teaspoon ground cloves)

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

For serving:

12 to 16 corn tortillas

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro


1. Blend the tomatoes with their juice until smooth in a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in a blender. Set aside.

2. Bring a lightly oiled, large, heavy nonstick skillet to medium heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, three to five minutes. Add the bell peppers, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about five minutes.

3. Add the turkey to the pan and season with salt, ground pepper, cinnamon, chili powder and cloves. Raise the heat to medium-high, and press the turkey into a layer in the pan. Let it brown for a minute or two. Continue to stir, press down into the pan and cook until all of the meat is nicely browned.

4. Stir in the puréed tomatoes and vinegar, and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and caramelized slightly, 20 to 30 minutes [I found that I had to increase heat/cook longer to really get this to thicken]. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from the heat, serve on hot corn tortillas and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Alternatively, use as a filling for enchiladas, quesadillas or vegetables.

Yield: Serves six to eight.

Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions

My mom made this recipe when I was last home to visit and it was so good I decided to give it a shot. It has a great spicy undertone and the extra step of caramelizing the onions first made a big difference (even if I'm not sure that we'll ever clear the onion smell from our house now!)
I also realized while making this that I've never cooked with huge piece of butcher-cut raw pork before, and to be honest, de-fatting it was a little gross, but worth it.


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 large onions, thinly sliced

1/3 cup raw cane sugar, such as Demerara or turbinado

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1 cup chili sauce (I used a southwest red chili sauce from Whole foods)

4-5 tsp minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce (I increased this substantially from the original recipe)

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or blade (butt) roast, trimmed


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 3 to 6 minutes. Add sugar and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes more. Add garlic, oregano, pepper, and salt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook until mostly evaporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in chili sauce and chipotle to taste.

2. Place pork in a 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook until the pork is almost falling apart, about 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low.

3. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred using two forks. Stir back into the sauce.

(Can be made ahead and frozen as well)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Olive oil salted dark chocolate brownies

From the NY Times...amazing.
I'll also admit that I made another batch in a pinch and used trusy ol' Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie mix with half olive oil/half canola oil, and the salt and coconut added as instructed below. Have to say...I don't know that you could have told the difference?
At any rate, use high-quality chocolate and this recipe will quickly become a favorite.

3/4 cup olive oil, plus more to grease pan

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Fleur de sel, for sprinkling (be generous!)

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water until smooth. Add the unsweetened chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the eggs, yolks and vanilla, and continue to whisk until combined. Add the sugar, whisking until fully incorporated. Using a spatula, fold in the flour and salt until just combined. Fold in the bittersweet chocolate pieces.

3. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded coconut on top of the batter. Pour in the remaining batter and smooth. Top with remaining coconut. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and bake until just set and firm to the touch, about 25 to 30 minutes. (These brownies solidify as they cool, so inserting a toothpick to check for doneness will not work; it does not come out clean.) Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into 2-inch squares.

Yield: About two dozen brownies.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Pecan Streusel

I actually made these for Thanksgiving in Nov but just came across the photo on my computer and was reminded to finally post the recipe. I stumbled upon this one from Cookin' Canuck, and I'm so glad I did.
They were delicious -- multi-step, but not hard, and you can make it all ahead of time and do the second baking the next day. This was my favorite Thanksgiving dish this year!

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Pecan Streusel

Sweet Potatoes:
6 medium red-skinned sweet potatoes (also called yams)
1 tbsp canola oil5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
Pinch salt

Chipotle Pecans:
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups pecans
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp chipotle chile powderPinch salt

2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, slightly softened
2/3 cup chipotle pecans, chopped

Sweet potatoes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Set one rack in the lowest position and the other in the middle of the oven. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on the lowest rack.
Rub sweet potatoes with canola oil. With a fork, pierce each potato 5 to 6 times in different places around the potato. Place the potatoes directly on the upper rack and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and place on a cutting board to cool slightly.

Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Gently scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch layer of potato. Place 8 of the potato shells on a large baking sheet and discard the remaining shells. Place the sweet potato flesh in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Using a whisk, mash and vigorously stir the sweet potato until slightly dry, about 5 minutes. Add butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, chipotle chile powder, and salt. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Evenly divide the sweet potato mixture between the shells.

Chipotle Pecans:
Melt butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add pecans, chipotle chile powder, and sugar to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the sugar begins to caramelize and the pecans are coated with the sauce, 4 to 5 minutes. Make sure the pecans do not burn. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with salt, and cool.

Streusel:In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, chopped pecans, butter, and salt. Using your fingers, mix the ingredients together until combined.

Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the mashed sweet potatoes. Bake until the streusel mixture is melted together and beginning to bubble, about 15 minutes. Serve.

Serves 8

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Gravy

I got this recipe from my first issue of Food and Wine, and was at first disappointed. It seems that the picture they post is either not the photo that corresponds to the recipe, or the recipe was wrong. Either way, I doctored it up, fixed some issues with their instructions, and now deem it delicious :)

It is actually incredibly fast to make (you can also make ahead and let it simmer in the slow cooker on low for few hours at least), and very healthy. Oh and pretty spicy too -- yogurt helps!


8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 jalapeños, chopped
One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

3 onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Two 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves


1. In a mini food processor, combine the garlic, jalapeños and ginger and process to a paste. (If your food processor is not small enough and doesn't reach everything enough to really get a paste don't worry about; just do the best you can.) Drain 1 can of tomatoes and add to the food processor, process til smooth.

2. In a large lightly oiled/pam'ed nonstick skillet, heat the pan to medium heat, add the onions and cook over moderately high heat until sizzling, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned, about 7 minutes.

3. Add the garlic/ginger/jalapeno/tomato blend and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

4. Add the remaining can of tomatoes and simmer over moderate heat until thickened, about 6 minutes.

5. Add the chickpeas and water and simmer until the chickpeas are flavored with the gravy, about 8 minutes. (May need to go longer to really thicken up the "gravy").

6. Season the chickpeas with salt, garnish with the cilantro and serve with naan and plain greek yogurt.