Archive | October, 2010

Rice Krispie Treats

29 Oct

Shout out to JJ– Happy 28th!  JJ loovvees rice krispie treats– so much so that he buys those imitation kinds from Starbucks on a daily basis.  So for his bday,  I whipped him up a batch.  I hadn’t made them in years– I remember once accidentally using  3 sticks of butter instead of 3 tablespoons. It came out as butter soup w. some krispies floating in it.  But as long as you can read, these are super easy and take about 10 minutes– and they taste as good as you remember.

6 cups rice krispies
1 bag marshmallows- big or mini (the recipe on the side of the box says you only need 4 cups- a little less than a bag of mini- but whole bag doesn’t hurt)
3 tablespoons butter

Grease 9×13 inch pan. Melt butter in pot.  Add in marshmallows and stir until totally melted.  Take off heat. Add rice krispies and stir.  Put into greased pan.  Place a sheet of wax paper on top of treats, so you can press down to flatten out.  Wait until cool and cut.

Advertisements

Chicken Stock

25 Oct

Check out the new section- Inside The Tiny Kitchen!!

Make your own stock. So much better than the store bought kind- what’s in those bullion cubes anyway?  This particular recipe simmers for 4 hours but there is very little effort required- you don’t even have to peel and chop the vegetables.  I learned a couple things while making this the second time around.  First, I bought this thing called a soup sock (got it at the co-op, obvi) but it is basically just a mesh bag.  It doesn’t look like it can fit very much but it stretches- I put the whole chicken, all the vegetables and peppercorns in it.  Last time I made it, it was a bit of a struggle straining out the chick & veg–this way, you just lift out the whole bag.  Next, I used a small saucepan lid as a weight to keep the bag submerged- so I didn’t have worry about flipping the bag over or smushing it down.  Also, I decided to refrigerate this stock in the big pot which, makes skimming the fat off easier.  Then, when you are dividing it into container for freezing, measure out the amount that fits in each tupperware (use a measuring cup as ladle so it is not an extra step.) That way, when a recipe calls for 4 cups of stock you know how many containers you have to defrost.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa.  I halved the original recipe because her’s requires a 16-20 quart pot– and I only have an 8.  She uses three chickens and takes two out after an hour and shreds breast meat for chicken noodle soup- and returns carcasses to pot.  After 4 hours of simmering, just throw the chicken & veg out.

1 chicken, about 3 pounds, rinsed
1.5 onions, quartered, unpeeled
3 carrots, unpeeled and halved
2 celery stalks, cut into thirds
10 fresh parsley sprigs
7 fresh thyme sprigs
10 fresh dill sprigs
1/2 head garlic, cut crosswise
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Put everything in the pot.  Fill up pot w. water.  Bring to boil.  Lower and simmer for 4 hours.  As water cooks off, can add more water. When done, strain.  Chill.  Skim off fat. Divide into Tupperware and freeze. (You can see stock comes out pretty dark– but oh so delicious)

Pumpkin Gnocchi w. Brown Butter & Sage

22 Oct

This is the fastest, easiest, best recipe ever.  Like crazy delicious.  I bought the gnocchi at Murray’s- great to just have on hand in your freezer.  Then all you have to buy is the sage- and your set.  Dinner in 10 minutes.

gnocchi
sage
butter
Parmesan

Cook gnocchi according to directions.  As always, check a few minutes before time prescribed on box– it seems to take like 3 minutes less than they say.  Put butter (I’d say about 1 tablespoon per serving of pasta maybe) in a small skillet.  Saute until browned- about 3 minutes.  I chopped a few leaves of sage, and left another couple whole.  Add sage into butter.  Let it saute another minute– watch it fry.  Add gnocchi back in- stir around to coat.  Take off heat.  Salt & pepper to taste.  Add a couple grates of Parmesan.

Mahi Mahi w. Chipotle Lime Butter and Coconut Rice

20 Oct

Very tasty.  This recipe was actually written for halibut… but I used Mahi Mahi– so feel free to use whatever fish.  I love this rice–it is a bit sweet and tastes good w. anything– like w. thai curries.  It is made w. coconut water- so healthier than rice made w. coconut milk.  Also, I had some leftover Chipotle Lime Butter- so I decided to fry tofu in it– and put it in Everything But the Salad— worked well.

The fish
From America’s Test Kitchen
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 halibut steaks (or I used Mahi Mahi)
salt and ground black pepper

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.  When the oven reaches 425 degrees, heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet over high heat until the oil just begins to smoke.  (i think I ended up some extra olive oil b/c fish was sticking).
2.  Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of fish generously w. salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and swirl the oil in the pan to distribute; carefully lay steaks in pan and sear, without moving them, until spotty brown, about 4 minutes (if steak is thinner than 1 1/4 inches, check browning at 3 1/2 minutes; thicker steaks of 1 1/2 inches may require extra time, so check at 4 1/2 minutes). Off heat, flip steaks over in pan using two thin-bladed metal spatulas.
3. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into steaks reads 140 degrees, flakes loosen, and flesh is opaque when checked with tip of paring knife, about 9 minutes (thicker steaks may take up to 10 minutes). Remove skillet from oven and separate skin and bones from fish with spatula. Transfer fish to warm platter and serve immediately, with flavored butter or sauce (see related recipes), if desired.

Chipotle Lime Butter
Also from America’s Test Kitchen
makes about 1/4 cup.  (i was only making 1 piece of fish so I halved this recipe and still had a bunch leftover)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
1 canned chipotle chili in adobo , seeded and minced, with 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (btw if you aren’t used to using this it is a bit spicy— and so much flavor)
1 medium clove garlic , pressed through garlic press or minced to paste (about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon table salt

Beat butter with fork until light and fluffy; stir in remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined. Dollop a portion of butter over pieces of cooked fish, allowing butter to melt; serve immediately.

Coconut Rice
From Emeril
2 1/2 cups coconut water
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup long grain white rice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (i usually leave this out due to sheer laziness)

In a saucepan, combine the coconut water, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir well, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer undisturbed until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy, about 20 to 24 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit without stirring for 10 minutes.

Fluff with a fork and add the cilantro. Adjust seasoning, to taste. Serve hot.

Dips

19 Oct
This weekend I made some appetizer’s for a party at Char & Phil’s (happy bday Phil).  My first real experience catering a cocktail party– i learned many valuable lessons.  The first is, whatever you make- and however much you buy- people will eat it all. The second is, try to make things easier on yourself.  One way to do this– is to make dips.  They are fast, easy and you can make them ahead of time.  On this plate we have a Moroccan Carrot Dip and a Spicy Whipped Feta.  Those are paired w. some halved sun dried tomatoes (the jarred in oil kind) and mascarpone w. honey.  Also, buy a lot of crackers etc– i bought 1 baguette, 2 bags of pita chips and 1 box of crackers for 20 people, and we ran out surprisingly quickly. Better to have an extra box of crackers leftover then a bunch of dip… with no vehicle for the dipping.

 

Moroccan Carrot Dip from Char & Phil’s CSA website

1 lb carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch cayenne pepper
sea salt, to taste
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp seedless green olives (whole or chopped) [optional]
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves [optional]
1. Cook the chopped carrot and garlic in simmering, salted water, for about 20 minutes or until soft. Drain well, then return them to the hot, dry pan for a minute or two, over medium heat, to dry them out further. (this part is dumb, the carrots just stuck to the pan)
2. Place carrots and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the cumin, paprika, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, sea salt, honey and lemon juice and process again. With the machine still running, add the olive oil gradually. Allow to cool.
3. Spoon into a serving bowl, drizzle with a little extra olive oil, scatter with olives and cilantro leaves (if using), and serve with lightly warmed flat bread or pita (or pita chips, crackers etc).

 

Spicy Whipped Feta
From America’s Test Kitchen (makes about 2 cups… which is kinda a lot)
1 pound feta cheese, crumbled (about 4 cups) [Make sure to rinse feta before using, otherwise it will be too salty]
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus extra for serving
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon

Process all of the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth, about 20 seconds.  Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl, cover w. plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or up to 2 days.  Drizzle w. additional extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle w. additional cayenne before serving.
Spread can be made up to 4 days ahead of time.

Spiced Pecans w. Rum Glaze

17 Oct

This recipe converted me— I never used to really like nuts.  But rum, sugar & spice– a delicious combination.  Perfect for cocktail/holiday parties.  Quick & easy.

From America’s Test Kitchen
2 cups (8 ounces) raw pecan halves

Spice Mix
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (if using table salt, reduce amount by half)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Rum Glaze
1 tablespoon rum, preferably dark
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1.  Adjust an over rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed sheet w. parchment paper and spread pecans on it in an even layer.  Toast for 4 mins, rotate pan, and continue to toast until fragrant and the color deepens slightly, about 4 mins longer.  Transfer the baking sheet with the nuts to a wire rack.
2.  For the spice mix: while the nuts are toasting, stir the sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice together in a medium bowl; set aside.
3.  For the glaze: bring the rum, vanilla, brown sugar, and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly.  Stir in the toasted pecans and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the nuts are shiny and almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 1-1/2 minutes (mine took less than this).
4.  Transfer the glazed pecans to the bowl with the spice mix; toss well to coat.  Return the glazed and spiced pecans to the parchment-lined baking sheet to cool.

The nuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 

Nightcap

13 Oct

This recipe is pretty loose- so play around with it- it is a cocktail after all.  If you don’t have something on the list, don’t worry about it.

Sprinkle of nutmeg
Sprinkle of cloves
Pinch of cinnamon
tiny bit of butter
Couple pinches of brown sugar
2 drops of vanilla extra
tiny bit of maple syrup
milk
dark rum (i think burbon would work nicely too)

In a saucepan, heat some milk.  Watch it- be careful not to burn or bubble over. Put butter in mug- soften in microwave- for 10 seconds.  Add spices and sugar, mix in.  Add a generous splash of rum. Add hot milk.  Add vanilla and syrup.  Keep seasoning to taste.  Enjoy.

%d bloggers like this: