Sunday, March 14, 2010

Baileys Rocky Road


This dessert, modified from the March 2010 issue of Delicious Magazine, is amazingly simple, no real "baking" required. And it's so delicious and filled with wonderful things that it makes you feel like a kid again. Well, a kid with access to her parent's well-stocked liquor cabinet.

Makes 15 squares

Time: 3 1/2 hours (Takes 20 minutes to make, 10 minutes to cook, 2-3 hours to chill

Ingredients

100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
4 tbsp Baileys liqueur (feel no guilt if you want to add more)
300g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I recommend about 70% dark chocolate, but not unsweetened)
50g chopped unsalted pistachios (or ground toasted hazelnuts and almonds, whatever nuts you feel like really)
200g marshmallows (preferably mini ones, but if regular size, chopped)
75g shortbread biscuits, roughly crushed
250g white chocolate, roughly chopped


Method

-Grease a loaf tin or small deep-sided cake tin (we used 23cm x 8cm loaf tin).
Line the base and sides with baking paper, leaving some overhanging the sides.
-Place the Baileys, dark chocolate, and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (making sure that it doesn't touch the water). Allow to melt slowly, then stir gently until smooth.
Remove from heat, cool slightly, then stir in the pistachios (or other nuts), marshmallows, biscuits, and 100g of the white chocolate. Spread the mixture into the loaf tin, then chill for 2-3 hours until firm.
-Melt the remaining 150g white chocolate in a heatproof bowl as before (It's also delicious if you put another tbsp or so of Baileys in with the white chocolate. Drizzle over the rocky road, leave for 3-4 minutes to set (faster if you put it in the fridge for a little bit), then lift out of the tin. Cut into pieces.

It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Citrus Salad with Ginger Yogurt

This breakfast fruit salad, adapted from Bon Appetit's December 2004 edition, is delicious, a little cinnamon, a little ginger, a little yogurt. It's perfect for claiming a "healthy" breakfast and yet is just a bit sinful at the same time. What's not to love?

Ingredients

1 pink grapefruit, peeled

2 large tangerines or Minneolas, peeled

3 navel oranges

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 16- or 17.6-ounce container Greek yogurt

2/3 cup minced crystallized ginger

1/4 cup golden brown sugar

Additional dried cranberries or currants (any dried fruit will work here)

Method

Break grapefruit and tangerines into sections.

Cut grapefruit sections into thirds; cut tangerine sections in half.

Transfer grapefruit, tangerines, and all juices to deep serving bowl. Using small sharp knife, cut all peel and white pith from oranges.

Slice oranges into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, then cut slices into quarters.

Add oranges and all juices to same bowl.

Mix in 1/2 cup dried cranberries, honey, and cinnamon.

Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Mix yogurt and ginger in bowl. (Fruit and yogurt can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.)

Spoon yogurt atop fruit. Sprinkle with brown sugar and dried cranberries.


Delicious Indian Coconut and Seafood Soup


A soup to warm the heart and soul, adapted from the Naked Chef himself, Jamie Oliver. My roommate and I would make this at least once a week. We've changed it slightly over the years, and have upped the amount of curry in the recipe. What can we say, we're spice fiends.


Ingredients

5 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil

3 tablespoons brown mustard seeds

3 tablespoons medium-hot curry powder

2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or ground cumin)

1 teaspoon garam masala

1½ teaspoons chilli powder

2 teaspoons turmeric

3 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced

2 large thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 onions, peeled and finely chopped

2 handfuls of basmati rice

565ml water

600g fish, skinned, filleted and cut into 2– 3 inch chunks (or whatever kind of seafood you want, I've used mixed shellfish, cod, squid, shrimp, mussels, etc.)

2 x 400ml tins of coconut milk

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

juice of 2 limes

a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

optional: 3 tablespoons freshly grated coconut


Get yourself a big pan and heat up your oil, then add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, cumin seeds, garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric. Cook for a few minutes and you'll get the most amazing smells filling the room from all these spices. Then add the chillies, the ginger, the garlic and the onions. Continue cooking slowly until the garlic and onions are soft. Then add the rice and the water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add your fish and the coconut milk with a pinch of salt. Put the lid on the pan and simmer for a further 10 minutes, then stir well to break up the pieces of fish. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper, then just before you serve it squeeze in the lime juice and stir in half the coriander. Serve in warmed bowls, sprinkle over some freshly grated coconut, if you have it, and rip over the rest of the coriander.

Serves: 4 (or 2, if you enjoy this soup as much as I do)

Chicken and Vegetable Cobbler




An updated take on an old classic. I love that everything here can be done in one pot- from the chicken to the veggies to the dumplings/cobbler topping. It's a great fall or winter meal- warming and hearty. But, heck, I've also made it in the summer too. What can I say? I love dumplings.

I've slightly adapted the Mark Bittman's recipe from the New York Times' cooking section to include a little deglazing with wine and a few more carrots and leeks. But I have used his suggestion on buttermilk, which is an amazing trick and saves you from having to buy a quart of buttermilk for one recipe. But this is a recipe that is really easy to customize, so feel free to make it your own!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 leeks, well washed and chopped

Salt and black pepper

2 cups quartered button mushrooms

1 1/2cups chicken stock

1 sprig fresh rosemary

4 medium carrots, cut into coins

1/4 cup white wine, preferably dry

2 boneless chicken thighs, diced

1 cup peas, frozen or fresh

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits

1/2 cup buttermilk (see note)

1 egg


Preparation

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the leek, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until liquid has released and evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add stock and rosemary; bring to a boil, and let bubble for a minute or two, then add carrots and chicken and reduce heat so the liquid simmers. Add the wine to deglaze the pan a bit, cooking it on medium until most of the wine has evaporated. Cook until carrots are almost tender and chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Next, add the peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are brightly colored and feel slightly soft, another minute or so. If you want, you can take out the rosemary at this point, but I just leave it in because I'm a sucker for rosemary.

3. Whisk cornstarch with a few tablespoons of broth to make a soupy paste. Add the paste to pot and stir until liquid thickens slightly. Transfer everything to an ovenproof dish and set aside.

4. Put flour in a food processor with baking powder, soda and salt. Add butter and process until mixture resembles small peas, no more than 30 seconds. I actually prefer to do this by hand, basically because I hate getting out the food processor and it's fairly easy to get the same consistency by mashing the mixture together with a fork or a pastry cutter. Transfer mixture to a bowl and mix in buttermilk and egg until it just comes together; it should be sticky.

5. With a 1/4 cup, scoop up the batter and drop it on top of the vegetables and chicken. You want to cover most of the surface, but make sure to leave a few gaps between the dumplings for steam to escape.

6. Bake for about 45-50 minutes until golden on top and bubbly underneath. Scoop into bowls and serve immediately.



Note: If you don’t have buttermilk, gently warm milk until it’s about 100 degrees; stir in a couple of teaspoons of vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.

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