Warm Potato Salad

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb boiling potatoes

1 1/2 Tbsp wine vinegar

1 Tbsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/4  c. olive oil

1 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh tarragon

2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

Put potatoes in medium pot and cover with lightly salted cold water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and continue cooling until a fork goes into the middle of the potato easily, about 20 minutes.

Whisk vinegar, mustard, and salt in a medium bowl while potatoes cook.  Whisk in oil, tarragon, scallion, and garlic.

Drain potatoes.  When cool enough to handle but not cold, cut into cubes or even-size chunks, put into bowl with dressing, turn to coat.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve.

4 servings (255 cal, 3 g pro, 31 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 14 g fat)                                   From:  Prevention Magazine

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Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 2:00 am  Comments (1)  
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Easy Pie Dough

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.  Super easy!  I know you can use both vegetable shortening and butter, but I didn’t have any shortening the day that I made it – and it tasted really good with just butter!  The best homemade crust I’ve ever made. Great for quiches and one crust pies. Make it in a food processor – it’s the only way to go!

Makes one nine inch crust.

INGREDIENTS
– 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling out the dough)
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1 Tbsp sugar
– 10 Tbsp COLD, unsalted butter (straight from the fridge!), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
– 4-5 Tbsp ice water

PROCESS

1) Process flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined.
2)  Add the butter pieces and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and clumps together (about 10 seconds).  Turn the mixture into a medium bowl.
3)  Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture.  With a spatula, use a folding motion to mix.  Press down on the dough until it sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water, if necessary.  Flatten the dough into a 4-inch disk.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour (or freeze for 30 minutes) of up to 2 days before rolling.

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 1:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fried Rice – an indonesian staple

Here’s one of the quintessential dishes that I learned to cook in Indonesia.  Makes a great use of leftovers whether it’s the rice or vegetables.  I make this for breakfast, lunch or dinner!  Traditional indonesian fried rice uses sambal or a sort of garlic/chili paste and ketchup manis or sweetened soy sauce.  You can simply use normal soy sauce and can leave off the chili if you do not want the spicy heat.  There’s a lot of flexibility in this dish.  This recipe uses eggs but you can also add shrimp, chicken, or tofu.  Can easily be modified to be vegetarian.

Serves 4

Ingredients

– 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
– 2 eggs, beaten lightly
– 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
– 1 medium onion, minced or 2 shallots, minced
– 1 tsp chile paste or 1 thai chile, minced (both optional, if you like it spicy)
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tbsp ketchup manis or soy sauce
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1 cup of veggies, chopped (anything will work: broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, asparagus, eggplant, celery, carrots)
– 2 cups cooked white rice (can also do a mix of 1 cup white rice, 1 cup brown rice)

Toppings (optional)

– chopped scallions
– crushed peanuts or cashew
– chopped cilantro

Instructions

1.  Heat oil in a large skillet or wok on medium high heat (better low than high) until shimmering.  Add eggs until cooked.  Remove eggs and set them aside.
2.  Add garlic and onions or shallots and cook until fragrant and onions are softened, about 3-5 minutes.  Be careful not to burn the garlic and onions – you only want them to sweat.  If you are using any vegetables that require a longer cooking time (i.e. carrots) add them at the same time.
3.  Add chili paste or chili (if using) and garlic powder and any additional vegetables.  Cook until vegetables are softened, stirring frequently.
4.  Add rice and mix thoroughly.  Rice should absorb the oil and any juices released from the veggies.
5.  Add soy sauce and stir to combine.  Remove from heat.  Rice should be uniformly light brown in color.  Sauced lightly but not drowning in sauce – the dish is actually quite dry.  Serve in bowls and add toppings, if using.
6.  Enjoy!

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sauteed Greens

Taken from Cook’s Illustrated. This is super easy and can be easily adapted or modified.  You can use any greens that you have: swiss chard, beet greens, spinach, whatever.  Makes a great, healthy, quick side dish.

Serves 4.   Published September 1, 1994.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
2 pounds fresh spinach , beet greens,or Swiss chard, cleaned and stemmed per illustrations below, (do not dry)
lemon wedges (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil with garlic in large, nonreactive sauté pan or Dutch oven. When garlic starts to turn golden, add wet greens. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until greens completely wilt, but are still bright green, about 5 minutes. Uncover, season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat until liquid evaporates, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges, if desired.
Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Naan Bread – the easiest, most foolproof bread!

Taken from Manjula’s Kitchen. Click on the link for the original recipe and a video of how to make it. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can also use a cookie sheet or unglazed ceramic tiles. Make sure the oven is good and hot!

Makes 6 Naan.

Ingredients:

* 2 cups of All Purpose flour (Plain flour or maida)
* 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* Pinch of baking soda
* 2 tablespoons of oil
* 2 1/2 tablespoons yogurt (curd or dahi)
* 3/4 cup lukewarm water

Also needed:

* 1 teaspoon of clear butter or ghee to butter the Naan
* 1/4 cup All Purpose flour for rolling

Method:

1. Dissolve active dry yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.
2. Add sugar, salt and baking soda to the flour and mix well.
3. Add the oil and yogurt mix, this will become crumbly dough.
4. Add the water/yeast mixture and make into soft dough.Note: after dough rise will become little softer.
5. Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The dough should almost be double in volume.
6. Heat the oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone for at least thirty minutes so stone is hot. Using a pizza stone will help to give naan close to same kind of heat as clay tandoor.
7. Next turn the oven to high broil.
8. Knead the dough for about two to three minutes and divide the dough into six equal parts.
9. Take each piece of dough, one at a time, and roll into 8-inch oval shape. Dust lightly with dry flour to help with the rolling.
10. Before putting the Naan in oven, lightly wet your hands and take the rolled Naan, and flipp them between your palms and place onto your baking/pizza stone into the oven.
11. You can place about 2 Naan on the baking/pizza stone at a time. The Naan will take about 2 to 3 minutes to cook, depending upon your oven. After the Naan is baked(Naan should be golden brown color on top).
12. Take naan out of the oven and brush lightly with clear butter or ghee.
13. wait 2 to 3 minutes before baking the next batch of naan. It gives oven the chance to get heated again to max.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My Favorite Creme Brulee

Taken from Cook’s Illustrated.com.  I’ve made this recipe many, many times and it is delicious every time. It really makes a difference using a vanilla bean.  The critical thing is not to overcook the custard and to take it out of the oven just as it has set.

Serves 8.   Published November 1, 2001.

Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks after the cream has finished steeping; if left to sit, the surface of the yolks will dry and form a film. A vanilla bean gives custard the deepest flavor, but 2 teaspoons of extract, whisked into the yolks in step 4, can be used instead. The best way to judge doneness is with a digital instant-read thermometer. The custards, especially if baked in shallow fluted dishes, will not be deep enough to provide an accurate reading with a dial-face thermometer. For the caramelized sugar crust, we recommend turbinado or Demerara sugar. Regular granulated sugar will work, too, but use only 1 scant teaspoon on each ramekin or 1 teaspoon on each shallow fluted dish. If you don’t own eight individual ramekins, see the related Family Style version.

Ingredients

4 cups heavy cream , chilled
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch table salt
1 vanilla bean , halved lengthwise
12 large egg yolks
8 – 12 teaspoons turbinado sugar or Demerara sugar

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine 2 cups cream, sugar, and salt in medium saucepan; with paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into pan, submerge pod in cream, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that sugar dissolves. Take pan off heat and let steep 15 minutes to infuse flavors.
  3. Meanwhile, place kitchen towel in bottom of large baking dish or roasting pan and arrange eight 4- to 5-ounce ramekins (or shallow fluted dishes) on towel. Bring kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat.
  4. After cream has steeped, stir in remaining 2 cups cream to cool down mixture. Whisk yolks in large bowl until broken up and combined. Whisk about 1 cup cream mixture into yolks until loosened and combined; repeat with another 1 cup cream. Add remaining cream and whisk until evenly colored and thoroughly combined. Strain through fine-mesh strainer into 2-quart measuring cup or pitcher (or clean medium bowl); discard solids in strainer. Pour or ladle mixture into ramekins, dividing it evenly among them.
  5. Carefully place baking dish with ramekins on oven rack; pour boiling water into dish, taking care not to splash water into ramekins, until water reaches two-thirds height of ramekins. Bake until centers of custards are just barely set and are no longer sloshy and digital instant-read thermometer inserted in centers registers 170 to 175 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes (25 to 30 minutes for shallow fluted dishes). Begin checking temperature about 5 minutes before recommended time.
  6. Transfer ramekins to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Set ramekins on rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
  7. Uncover ramekins; if condensation has collected on custards, place paper towel on surface to soak up moisture. Sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (1 1/2 teaspoons for shallow fluted dishes); tilt and tap ramekin for even coverage. Ignite torch and caramelize sugar. Refrigerate ramekins, uncovered, to re-chill, 30 to 45 minutes (but no longer); serve.My F
Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 2:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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