recipe review: nectarine & raspberry cobbler

September 2, 2010 § Leave a comment


A few weeks ago, my foodie friend Kenny told me about a food blog called whiteonricecouple.  I thought the name was silly, but if he thought the recipes were good, then I might as well try it out.  Turns out they have tons of great recipes!  I have so many bookmarked, but this is the first one I finally made.  It is so easy!  I realized last night our nectarines were going to go bad soon, so at 9pm I decided to make cobbler and by 10:15, we were eating it!  And it was delicious.  Sooooo good :)  You can find the recipe here.

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recipe review: pan seared salmon with avocado remoulade

July 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

My husband is the best!  I was working late on Monday and when I got home, he had this whole meal prepared!  It was sooooo good!  As I mentioned before, Simply recipes is one of my favorite recipe sites online and when I wanted to find a quick recipes, I immediately searched their site.  I liked that it did not require many ingredients and they are all easy to find.  Drew said that it was pretty easy to put together and looks like something quite fancy!  I think our only critique was that the remoulade was a little too limey.  We both love avocados so for us it would have been better to let that flavor come through more.  Otherwise, I fully recommend the recipe, which you can find here :)

recipe of the week – lemon bars

June 10, 2010 § 1 Comment

It’s summer time! and that means it’s time for barbeques and watermelons and one of my favorite desserts, lemon bars!  As Drew might tell you, I’m very sensitive to sour.  I will not eat tart fruit.  Since I don’t like sour, I never thought I would like lemon bars, since I assumed that they must be super tart.  But of course, they’re not sour at all, since there’s about 2 cups of sugar in the filling :p  Now I can’t get enough of them.  I’ve tried other recipes before, but this one from my new Tartine cookbook is the best!

tartine bakery’s lemon bars on brown butter shortbread

crust:
55g       powdered sugar
215 g    all-purpose flour
170g     unsalted butter at room temperature
filing:
70 g      all-purpose flour
400g    sugar
280ml lemon juice
6           whole eggs
1            egg yolk
pinch   salt

preheat oven to 375 degrees, butter a 9×13 inch baking pan
make the crust first:
-sift the powdered sugar with the flour and mix thoroughly
-then add the room temperature butter.  You can use a stand mixer if you have one, or since I didn’t I just used a spatula and elbow grease to mix it all together.  It should turn into a smooth dough.
-spread the dough into the pan and about a quarter inch up the sides, try to make it was even as possible.  (the recipe also called for weighing it down with some pie weights, but I didn’t have any and it didn’t seem to matter)
-bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until nicely brown.
making the filling:
-while the crust is baking, start making the filling.  whisk together the sugar and the flour
-add the lemon juice and stir to dissolve the sugar
-in a separate bowl whisk the whole eggs and egg yolk with the pinch of salt
-add eggs to sugar and flour mixture and combine thoroughly
-when crust is ready, pull out the oven rack holding the baking pan and pour the lemon filling directly into the pan
-reduce the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 30-40 minutes or until center of custard is no longer wobbly.
-let cool completely on a cooling rack, then chill.  (cuts much easier when chilled)
-you can add a little powdered sugar on top if you want, but it’s plenty good without it.

recipe of the week – slow cooked salmon

May 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve never been very into seafood.  Some people love it, but I always thought of seafood as having this oddly weird smell and texture.  Recently, however, Drew and I have been trying to limit the amount of meat in our diet and so I’ve started to cook more seafood for protein.  It’s important to us, though, that the seafood we eat is sustainable and caught in a way that limits the harm done to the environment so we’ve been trying to follow the recommendations from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I buy most of our meat from Whole Foods, even though it’s pricey, they have a good selection of local organic chicken, beef, and pork.  They also have fresh seafood, though you have to read the labels to see which are sustainably caught.  Last weekend, I bought some Wild Alaskan King Salmon.  I had never cooked salmon but this was I dare say one of the yummiest things I have ever made!  It was tender, moist, and so flavorful!  King salmon has much higher fat content than other kinds of salmon, and I did feel it was a bit too rich towards the end of my meal, so next time, I think I will try a different kind.

*the trick to keeping it moist and tender is to slow cook it under low heat conditions in the oven.  It will come out looking not really cooked, but take small knife, insert it into the fish and it should come out easily.

Slow Cooked Salmon
The recipe is so simple, I’m not even going to list the ingredients.  Take salmon fillets, sprinkle on salt and pepper and some brown sugar.  Cut up some onions, lay then on the pan and drizzle with some olive oil.  Then put fish on top of onions.  Bake in a 250 degree oven for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out easily.  You can make this with basically whatever flavors you want, you can use oranges or sprinkle with lemon juice or soy sauce.

recipe of the week – coffee macarons with nutella chocolate ganache

May 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

macarons

When Drew and I were on our honeymoon in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to try several different macarons at a couple of different san francisco bakeries and I was hooked! There are a wide variety of flavors from chocolate to rose to pistachio and they were all yummy! However, I haven’t been able to find any here in the OC so I figured I’ll just make them myself! This past Sunday, Shannon came to visit so it seemed like a perfect opportunity :) I had read online about how difficult they are to make and how it’s probably best left to the pros, but the cookies only required 5 ingredients, all of which i had already, and the ganache also only 3 ingredients so there really wasn’t any reason not to try. The recipe I used comes from a site called Italian Food Forever, it is similar to most other macaron recipes I found, I just liked the idea of nutella chocolate ganache :p I’ve also added my bits of advice in the recipe.

coffee macarons with nutella chocolate ganache

for the cookies:
90 grams egg whites (about 3 eggs worth)
30 grams sugar
200 grams powdered sugar
110 grams finely ground almonds
2 teaspoons instant coffee

for the nutella chocolate ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup nutella

*leave the egg white out uncovered for 1-3 days. Apparently this dries them out a bit to reduce the moisture.

-grind almonds and coffee with powdered sugar until it’s finely ground, sift to separate the larger pieces, then grind them again until finely ground. May have to repeat a few times.
-put egg whites in a large bowl, using a hand mixer mix until foamy. Then slowly add sugar and whip until soft peaks form.
-add the almond/coffee/sugar mixture to the egg whites and fold together. (This i think is the tricky part. It’s all about getting everything mixed together without overmixing so just mix until you don’t see any almond clumps then STOP!)
-most recipes use a pastry bag but you can accomplish the same thing by using a ziplock. Just put the batter into the ziploc, then cut off a corner and voila!
-put a piece of parchment paper on the baking sheet, you can also use a silicone baking sheet, but mine came out better on parchment than on silicone.
-dispense batter in 1 inch rounds (I found that swirling in a circular motion was best), then let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (this is apparently important to form the smooth shell, otherwise they tend to crack)
-while you’re waiting, preheat oven to 280 degrees and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
-once the batter has set, bake in oven for 15-20 minutes. Be sure to check at 15 since oven temperatures vary and they will crack when overcooked.
-let cool before trying to remove them from the pan.
to make the ganache:
-heat cream in sauce pan until steaming, remove from heat, add chocolate and nutella and stir until melted and mixed in.
-refrigerate for an hour or so until solidified, then spread onto cookies to make little macaron sanwiches and enjoy!

I have to admit that about half of my cookies came out beautifully, but the other half cracked or sunk in. I think that baking them on parchment paper was better than silicone and that letting them sit longer before baking was better as well. If you try making them, let me know the results and pass on the tips. No matter how they looked, though, all were delicious!

macarons!

May 17, 2010 § 1 Comment

cute and delicious!  i’ll post the recipe soon :)

recipe of the week – lemon almond tart

May 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

I would say that of all the news sites that are out there, the new york times is the only one that I read on a consistent basis.  I like how it’s updated with all the super important news, but that it also has equally good style / travel / entertainment / and food sections.  I frequently find recipes in their food section that are made with simple and seasonal ingredients.  This tart recipe is from Mark Bittman, who is famous for his “how to cook everything” book series.  It’s simple, easy, and by the account of friends, delicious!  I’ve reprinted the recipe below, the only changes I made was I used almond meal instead of ground almonds and half and half instead of cream.

lemon almond tart

4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup ground almonds (i used almond meal)
1/2 cup cream (i used half & half)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoons butter
Powdered sugar, for garnish.

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, salt, ground almonds, cream, sliced almonds, lemon zest and juice.

2. Melt butter in an 8-inch ovenproof skillet over low heat; when foam has subsided, add almond mixture to pan, tilting pan to distribute batter evenly. Continue to cook tart on stovetop until edges just begin to set, then put pan in oven and finish cooking, about 10 to 15 minutes more.  (I just baked the tart in a pie dish as I didn’t have an 8 inch ovenproof skillet)

3. When tart is done, put it in broiler for about a minute or until just golden on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, let cool a bit, then serve.

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