22 June 2008

ginger-infused rice pudding

makes 10 small servings

1/2 c water
2/3 c cup plus 2 T brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar

3 T grated peeled fresh ginger
3 c low-fat milk, divided
3 c plain soy milk
1 c short-grain rice
1/4 c heavy cream
sliced fresh strawberries and crystallized ginger, for garnish

To make the syrup, combine water and sugars in a medium saucepain. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Turn heat to low, stir and simmer about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Combine milk, soy milk, and ginger in a large saucepain. Simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Occasionally skim top. Pour milk/ginger mixture through a sieve to separate out ginger.

Stir rice and syrup into milk (you may not want all the syrup if you don't want it quite as sweet). Cook on high until mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until pudding thickens and rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Add heavy cream.

Spoon pudding into each of 10 cups, topping each with strawberry slices and ginger, if desired.

15 June 2008

bistro steak with garlic & olive oil mashed potatoes

using rinse and pat steaks dry on paper towels. season liberally with salt and pepper. place on baking rack set on jellyroll pan and put in 275 degree oven for around 20-30 minutes until internal temperature is 90-95 degrees.

wash 2 pounds of russet potatoes. do not peel or cut out bad spots (you will do this later) put them in a pot and add cold water to cover by about 1". bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

while potatoes are cooking:
put 4 oz olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. mince/press 5 cloves of garlic into oil. cook until garlic is golden. meanwhile, put 6 oz of olive oil in a medium bowl. mince/press one clove of garlic onto a cutting board, then sprinkle a bit of salt on and smear with the side of a knife to make a paste. add that paste to the uncooked oil.

after about 5 minutes of cooking, the garlic/oil mixture on the stove should be ready. add to the fresh garlic/oil mixture. add a squeeze of lemon, a teaspoon of kosher salt and mix.

as potatoes finish (a knife should pierce very easily), remove them from the oil. hold the potato in a towel, and remove the peel with a knife. mash into a large bowl using a potato ricer. repeat until all potatoes are cooked, peeled, and mashed. stir in garlic/olive oil mixture.

unless serving immediately, keep potatoes warm by making a double boiler by turning the cooking water to a very low temperature, and placing the plastic-wrapped bowl on top.

put a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a 12" skillet and heat until oil is shimmering. add the steaks, spacing them evenly. steaks will start to smoke quickly. after 60-120 seconds, depending on thickness, the steaks should be ready to flip. after another 45-90 seconds, they should be done (120-125 degrees internally for rareish). remove from the pan and set on clean rack. brown the sides by turning the pan down to medium heat, and using tongs to hold the steaks to the pan, rotating a few times until all sides are evenly browned.

to make a pan sauce, pour the grease out of the skillet, but do not scrape bottom. add a little vegetable oil and 8 oz of mushrooms and let wilt for about five minutes over medium heat. meanwhile, mince a shallot finely. while mushrooms are golden, add shallots and saute until softened. add 1/2 c chicken broth, 1 c red wine and bring to a simmer. cook for about 6 minutes until the liquid is a little syrupy. add a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar, a couple tablespoons of dijon mustard, chopped fresh chives. then whisk in a couple tablespoons of cold butter; sauce should be glossy and somewhat thickened. stir in any juice from the dripping pan.

12 June 2008

Cream of Avocado Soup

1 T unsalted butter
1 very small onion, chopped (about 1/3 c)
2 t peeled finely chopped fresh ginger root
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, scooped out
¼ c fresh basil leaves
¼ c fresh cilantro leaves
¼ to 1/3 c heavy cream
¼ to 1/3 c fresh lime juice
3 ½ c ice water
salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

Place small pan over med low heat; when hot, add butter. When butter is melted, add onion, ginger, garlic, cook til golden. Cool for at least 5 minutes.

Place the avocados, basil, cilantro, cream, and lime juice in a blender and blend until pureed. Gradually, while the machine is running, add the water and reserved onion mixture and blend until completely smooth. Add seasonings to taste.

Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Garnish with basil and cilantro.

09 June 2008

cheese straws

recipe #1

Into the food processor put 4 oz. grated extra-sharp cheddar, 4 Tbs softened unsalted butter, 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Then add 1 Tbs half and half and process until it forms a ball.

Now you roll it out into a 8 X 10 inch rectangle on a floured surface.

After that, you cut the dough into long, tin strips 1/4 top 1/3 inch wide. Place on a cookie sheet 1/4 inch apart:

Then bake 12 to 15 minutes in a 350 oven until the ends are barely browned. Take out, cool and eat!

recipe #2:

from the NY Times

Time: 20 minutes

½ pound Cheddar or other hard, flavorful cheese
1/3 pound Parmesan cheese
2 cups (about 9 ounces) all-purpose flour
Pinch cayenne
8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into chunks, plus a little more for greasing the baking sheet
Few drops ice water, if necessary
Coarse salt (optional).

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Grate cheese by hand or in food processor and place in bowl. Pulse flour and cayenne in processor. Add butter and process until butter and flour are combined. Pulse in cheese.

2. Turn out onto counter or cutting board and knead by hand, adding a few drops of ice water if necessary. (You may wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 days, taking it out for about a half hour before proceeding.)

3. Roll out into a rectangle about ¼-inch thick, on a lightly floured surface or between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, then cut into ½-inch-wide strips as long as you like. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, if using. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Yield: At least 10 servings.