Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Blackberry Scones

I'm getting close to my due date which means that I need to try and cook/bake as much as possible before I get banned from my kitchen.

Blackberries were the inspiration for these scones, but they were just as good without the blackberries, too.  They were light and lemony.  I think you could easily use this as a base for other berries or even chocolate chips.

Thanks to Joanne and Adam Gallagher of Inspired Taste for creating this recipe!  The website has a great step-by-step tutorial as well.  Grating butter is definitely the way to go for maximum butter distribution.  I had to substitute yogurt for sour cream which made the batter a little too moist but I just dropped them like biscuits and baked them for 16 minutes.  This yielded 12 smaller scones for me.

Blackberry Scones

You Will Need
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 container (6 oz) fresh blackberries
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  3. Now, use a box grater to grate butter into flour mixture OR cut the butter into small cubes then work in with fingers until mixture looks like coarse meal.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream, egg and lemon zest with a fork then add to flour and butter. Use the fork to stir everything together until just moistened. Add blackberries and gently stir into dough. Don't worry if some of the berries are smooshed or crushed a bit.
  5. Empty the loose dough out onto a clean, floured work surface then shape the dough into a 7-inch circle then cut the dough into 8 wedges and carefully transfer to the baking sheet. Sprinkle the top of each scone with the remaining sugar and bake 14 to 16 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Notes and Tips
Use a box grater with large holes for grating the stick of butter, and make sure it’s very cold for best results.

Store cooled scones in an airtight container at room temperature 1 to 2 days or in the refrigerator 3 to 4 days. They can also be frozen up to 3 weeks.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Homemade Wonton Wrappers

I ran out of wonton wrappers and found this recipe online.  It was easy to make and the hints on the website were very helpful.

Thanks to Kitchen Simplicity for posting this!

Wonton Wrappers

HOMEMADE WONTON WRAPPERS
 
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 24 wrappers
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ -1/2 cup water
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk together egg, salt and ¼ cup water. Pour into flour well. Mix together, adding additional water until the mixture will stay together in a ball. (You may need more or less then ½ cup, use your discretion. Keep in mind that you do not want it to be sticky.)
  2. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and pliable.
  3. Let rest for 30-60 min. (This is so the gluten can relax. The longer it sits the easier it will be to roll out)
  4. Divide dough in half. Keep one half covered while you roll out the other one on a surface lightly coated with cornstarch (if you use flour it may toughen it up). Roll out as thin as you possibly can.
  5. Cut into 3.5 inch squares (You should be able to get approx. 12 wonton wrappers out of each half).

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Japchae

Fun fact: our family used to eat japchae cold because it was in the refrigerated section of the Korean market and we didn't know any better.  Now I know that it's a lot more delicious as a hot dish.  What were we thinking?

The recipe I've been using comes straight from the bag of japchae noodles.   I probably modify the technique/ingredients a little bit to make it faster but otherwise everything else is the same.

Thanks to ASSI for printing the recipe.

Ingredients:
1.1 lbs of ASSI Dangmyeon
7 oz of beef
5 pieces of shitake mushroom
5 pieces of black mushroom
1 carrot
1 bunch of spinach
1 onion
1 egg

For sauce
6 Tbsp of soy sauce
1 Tbsp of sugar
2 tbsp chopped green onion
1 tbsp of minced garlic
1 tbsp of sesame oil
Roasted sesame seeds

Instructions:
1. Slice the beef, shiitake mushrooms, black mushrooms, carrot and onion and fry them until fully cooked.
2. Parboil the spinach and after cooking rinse it under cold water.  After draining the water, mix the spinach with salt, sesame oil and minced garlic.
3. Separate the egg whites from the yolk and cook them separately using a fry pan.  After cooking, slice them into strips.
4. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce.  Cook the ASSI Dangmyeon noodles in boiling water for 4-5 minutes.  Afterwards drain the noodles and rinse thoroughly under cold water.  Mix all the ingredients with the sauce and noodles and cook everything under medium heat in a fry pan.



Friday, December 19, 2014

Pan-Seared Tilapia

Usually I steam fish for dinner (Chinese-style, and not as elaborate as my previous post because frankly, I'm too lazy) but I like experimenting and seeing how V responds to fish cooked in different ways.  She likes it steamed and deep-fried, so pan-fried wasn't too much of a risk.

This recipe was nice because she could help, too.  I let her help me coat the fish with flour (which I now consider essential for pan-fried fish because it prevents the fish from sticking to the pan.)  She ate almost an entire filet by herself.  I didn't even have to use butter at the end.

Thanks to AppleChef for this delicious recipe!  I'm grateful for fast seafood recipes.


INGREDIENTS:
4 (4 ounce) fillets tilapia
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
DIRECTIONS:
1.Rinse tilapia fillets in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides of each fillet with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish; gently press each fillet into the flour to coat and shake off the excess flour.
2.Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; cook the tilapia in the hot oil until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 4 minutes per side. Brush the melted butter onto the tilapia in the last minute before removing from the skillet. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

My cousin just had a birthday and when I asked what dessert she usually likes best she answered "peanut butter."  She's not a fan of chocolate so V and I made her classic peanut butter cookies.

There are hundreds of recipes for this but I was immediately drawn to Joanne Chang's version from Flour.  I had her on the brain since I just started following her on Instagram and she posts pictures of pastries almost every day.  Flour is our favorite bakery in Boston and I love Joanne's cookbook.  I don't have the hard copy with me now but thankfully someone else posted the recipe on her blog.

Thanks to Joanne Chang and Madeline from Thursday Night Baking!  These cookies are perfect.  We halved the recipe and it still made almost 30 cookies.  No stand mixer was required either- just some good old-fashioned elbow grease.  10 minutes wasn't quite long enough for us so I ended up somewhere around 13 minutes.  The warm cookies were amazing with caramel swirl ice cream, and they were nice and crisp the next day.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter (not all natural, there is too much oil in it. Stick with the Jiff!)
  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes)
  3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix again to ensure completely mixed.
  4. On medium low speed, beat in the peanut butter for another 2 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt until well mixed. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, mix until just combined.
  6. Drop the dough in tablespoon sized balls onto ungreased baking sheet. Using a fork, make the traditional criss cross pattern on top of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges, but still pale in the center. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken

I made this for my in-laws and they liked it (or at least said they did!)  I thought it was pretty on par with Three Cup Chicken that we've eaten at Taiwanese restaurants in Boston.

Thanks to Cathy Erway from Serious Eats (my new favorite food website)!

Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup Asian sesame oil
  • One (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
  • 12-15 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1-2 fresh Thai red chilis, stemmed and halved
  • 2 pounds skin-on chicken drumsticks, thighs, and/or wings, either chopped into 3-inch, bone-in pieces, or thighs halved along along the bone, wings split at the joint, and drumsticks left whole
  • 2/3 cup rice wine
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups fresh Thai basil leaves (from 1 large bunch)
  • Steamed white rice, for serving

Procedures

  1. 1
    Heat sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add ginger, garlic, and chilis and cook until very fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. 2
    Add chicken pieces to the skillet in a single layer and cook, tilting the pan if necessary to submerge all pieces in the oil, for 1 minute. Flip chicken pieces and cook for 1 minute longer.
  3. 3
    Add rice wine, soy sauce, and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover the skillet to prevent splashes of oil and cook, turning the chicken pieces every few minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Stir in Thai basil and remove from heat. Serve immediately with rice.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

Pioneer Woman has a classic cinnamon roll recipe which looked fun, delicious, and surprisingly easy enough for me to accomplish in one afternoon.  I've made it three times now and it's never disappointed me.  I most recently made it with my mom and toddler and they were able to help with the assembly process (and had a lot of fun in the process.)  My daughter loved them so much that she did her best to eat more than one roll at each sitting (and often succeeded.)

It's not a fast recipe (you need at least 2 1/2 hours from start to finish, more if you refrigerate the dough for a little) but it yields a lot of cinnamon rolls.  I usually don't add coffee to the frosting but I'm sure it'd be delicious if I did.  It was a nice intro to baking with yeast as well.

Thanks, Ree!  


Ingredients

  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Reserved) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  •  Plenty Of Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  •  Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  •  _____
  •  MAPLE FROSTING:
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Melted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.
Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.
To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar! Gooey is the goal.
Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.
Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)
Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.
While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.
Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor. They only get better with time… not that they last for more than a few seconds. Make them for a friend today! It’ll seal the relationship for life. I promise.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Miso-glazed Eggplant

Easy, pretty, delicious!  There's not much more I could want from an eggplant dish.  Thanks to Joy for posting this recipe.

Miso Glazed Eggplant
serves 2

5 small Japanese eggplants
Canola oil
1/4 cup white miso
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoon rice wine
Toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cut off the top of each eggplant and slice in half, lengthwise.  Carefully cut crosshatches into the flesh of the eggplants, but do not cut all the way through.  Place the eggplants skin side down on a baking sheet and brush the tops with some oil.  Bake for about 8 minutes, until the flesh starts to become tender.  Remove the eggplant from the oven and set your oven to broil.

In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine the miso, sugar, mirin, and rice wine.  Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the sauce begins to thicken.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Top each eggplant liberally with the miso glaze.  Place under the broiler until browned and bubbly, just a few minutes.  

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve with rice.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Easy Pull-Apart Pepperoni Garlic Knots

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has been one of my favorite food writers for some time now, and I finally got around to making one of his recipes for a family dinner.  One of my family members is not very adventurous when it comes to new food but she ate half of the garlic knots.  I'd consider it a success.

I can't even tell you how many hours I've spent reading Food Lab articles.  Let's just say it was worth it for this recipe.

Easy Pull-Apart Pepperoni Garlic Knots

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 ounces pepperoni, cut into 1/4-inch squares
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough (see note above)
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Homemade or store-bought pizza sauce for serving

Procedures

  1. 1
    Heat butter and oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until butter melts and foaming subsides. Add pepperoni and cook, stirring, until pepperoni begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Add pepper flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add parsley and chives and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in Parmesan cheese. Do not wipe out skillet.
  2. 2
    On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into two even pieces. Working one piece at a time, roll or stretch into an oblong about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. With a bench scraper or knife, cut crosswise into 12 strips. Repeat with other half of dough.
  3. 3
    Tie each strip into a knot and transfer to bowl with pepperoni/garlic mixture. Toss and fold with your hands until every knot is thoroughly coated in mixture. Transfer the knots to the skillet in a single layer. Drizzle with more olive oil, cover tightly with plastic, and set aside until doubled in size, about 4 hours. Alternatively, refrigerate until doubled in size, 12 to 16 hours.
  4. 4
    When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425°F and adjust oven rack to center position. Unwrap garlic knots. Sprinkle with Romano cheese. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. 5
    Remove from oven and immediately brush with more extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle lightly with more Parmesan. Serve right away with warmed sauce on the side.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chinese Pork Tenderloin

This pork tenderloin smelled good but didn't have as much flavor as I had hoped.  I think it would have been better if I had marinated it overnight.

Thanks to Jennifer for posting on allrecipes!




    Directions

    1. Place tenderloins in a shallow glass dish. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sherry, black bean sauce, ginger, sugar, garlic, sesame oil, and five-spice powder. Pour marinade over pork, and turn to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
    2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Remove tenderloins from refrigerator while the oven preheats.
    3. Bake pork in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or to desired doneness. Let stand for 10 minutes, and then slice diagonally into thin slices.