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Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Sunday, December 28, 2014
I served this on top of my pernil asado. Recipe to come for that...
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 C chopped white onion
- 4 green onions, thinkly sliced
- 1 anaheim pepper, diced
1 habanero pepper, diced(I forgot to add this)
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 T vinegar
- freshly ground salt
- freshly ground pepper
Stir all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes so the flavors can meld.
This process of preparing coconut rice comes from Colombia, and involves cooking the coconut milk until it separates and the coconut solids caramelize. The resulting toasted coconut flavor is then cooked into the rice, along with the delicious crispy bits of browned coconut. Raisins add a touch of sweetness, but this is definitely a savory rice. It was delicious with our red beans.
- 1 can coconut milk (or approximately 1-1/2 C)
- 2 C rice (I used 1 C jasmine rice and 1C paella rice)
- 1/4 C raisins
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 C water
- 1 t salt
- 1 T organic granulated sugar
In any case, I started with R's Handmade Corn Tortillas and went from there. We stuffed ours with queso fresco and topped them with crumbled morcilla, blood sausage. I had just picked some up from Boccalone in the Ferry Building.
- 2 C masa harina
- 1 C hot water
- 1 C hot chicken stock
- 4 T butter, softened
- 2 egg yolk
- 1 C crumbled queso fresco
- butter or oil for cooking the arepas
- cooked blood sausage, crumbled, for serving
- fresh cilantro, for garnish
- crema Mexicana or sour cream, for garnish
Place the masa harina in a large mixing bowl. Add the hot water and stock. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until well-combined. Stir the egg yolk and butter into the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
Ingredients makes 12 by cutting each plantain into thirds
- 4 ripe plantains
- 1 T melted butter
- queso fresco, cut into slices thin enough to stuff into your plantain
- Homemade Membrillo, for serving
Saturday, December 27, 2014
- 4 C quince, peeled, cored, and diced
- 4 C water
- 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
- 4 C organic shredded coconut (I used a finely shredded kind that's really between shreds and flour)
- 1 can sweetened, condensed milk
- 12 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- salt (I used a vanilla salt that I had gotten from Susan, The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen)
In a large bowl, stir together coconut and condensed milk; it will form a thick, sticky paste. Roll mixture into 1" balls - you should get about 3 dozen balls from this quantity. Place coconut balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put the tray in the freezer form, at least, 30 minutes.
I have had this on my to-do list for a ridiculously long time. But I never got around to it. I don't know why.
I have vanilla; I have jars; and I, usually, have vodka. Still it took until we got this vanilla infusion kit at the family Christmas party this week for me to actually do it.
Funny story: D picked this through the White Elephant Gift Exchange. My uncle tried to steal it from him. "I want that vodka," he declared.
There's no vodka, I retorted. It's a homemade vanilla extract kit. Later, when I looked in the bag and there actually was vodka. Whoops. I would have given him that vodka and kept the vanilla had I known.
I opted to use Tito's Handmade Vodka out of Austin, Texas. My rule: I don't cook with anything that I wouldn't drink straight. Tito's is a great story and this is a great vodka.
Thankfully, this recipe didn't use all of Tito's and I still have some for cocktails this week.
- 3 vanilla beans
- good quality vodka
- stoppered jar
For another cookie tray offering for the guys at work, I was inspired by the Chocolate Chili Dipped Sriracha Peanut Butter Cookies that I received from Awesome with Sprinkles for the #FBCookieSwap this year. Click to read more about that event: here.
D liked them so much that he asked if Heidi could send some for his birthday dinner party. Ummmm...no. But she did send the recipe.
Mine is slightly adapted. I skipped the dipping and I used some hot sauce from my friend Belle.
- 1 stick (1/2 C) butter, softened
- 3/4 C creamy peanut butter
- 1 C organic granulated sugar
- 2 T hot sauce (homemade or some kind of Sriracha)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 C flour
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 3/4 t baking soda
- more organic granulated sugar, for rolling
- 3/4 C butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 C organic granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 C white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 C ground almonds
- zest from one lemon
- 1 t vodka
- 1 t cold water
- jam (I had some passionfruit jam)
Pinch off pieces of dough and form into small balls, about the size of a walnut in its shell. Place each ball onto the baking stone or baking sheet, pressing a "thumbprint" into the center of each and slightly flattening. (The cookies will not spread, so make them the size that you want!)
Outloud: What?!? No...it's bed time. Past bed time.
In my head: I have to wrap presents from Santa...and I don't want to be up past midnight.
"But, Mom! We need to leave cookies for Santa."
Note - leaving cookies out is not a tradition in our house. We leave carrots and celery in the klompens I wore as a child in Holland. D already put the carrots and celery out for the reindeer.
- 1/2 C organic granulated sugar + 1 C, separated (I didn't have powdered sugar which make a more dramatic crinkle look. Oh, well!)
- 1 2/3 C flour
- 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 C butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 t instant espresso powder
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 1 t coffee liqueur
Ingredients makes about 1 cup
- 3 T coriander seeds
- 1 T black cumin seeds
- 1 t cardamom seeds
- 1/2 t green peppercorns
- 1/2 C shelled raw pistachio nuts
- 1/4 C white sesame seeds
- 3 T unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 t sea salt
Let spices cool, then transfer to a mortar and pestle. Crush to desired consistency. I prefer mine still chunky and rustic, but feel free to grind as fine as you like.
Meanwhile, roast sesame seeds and pistachios in a small skillet until golden, approximately 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, blend together the toasted spices, seeds, and nuts. Stir in the coconut and salt. Let cool completely before spooning into jars and sealing.
You can add this to olive oil for a tasty dipping sauce for bread.
You can add it to salad dressings instead of just salt and pepper.
For this batch, I sprinkled it generously on oven-roasted Brussels sprouts for our large family's Christmas potluck dinner. It was a hit.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
I called a fish place on the commercial wharf that sometimes has it. No luck.
So, our last resort was Monterey Abalone. I thought: we'll just clean two fresh ones and change the menu to "sea urchin-flecked soup."
D was so, so sad and very disappointed. But, always my sunny boy, he concluded, "it's okay, Mom, we just have to change the menu for tonight, but I'll make urchin soup for my friends in January."
Our tour guide, Michelangelo, was very funny and very well-informed about chocolate history. And - best part! - he let me know about some other chocolate must-trys in the City that weren't included in the walk. I love locals' tips. We'll definitely head back up and check out those other spots another time.
The first two stops on the tour itinerary were actually closed. I wasn't sure if it was because of the holiday - or because it was Sunday (and, perhaps, Michelangelo doesn't usually do Sundays), but our guide seemed genuinely surprised.
NewTree: This was also closed.
We had a good time and, I think, it was well worth the Groupon price I paid for it. But I do not think it would be worth the retail price of the tickets. But I was inspired to do my own chocolate tasting tour with some of those other stops Michelangelo mentioned. Cannot wait to try the cacao pulp smoothie at Dandelion. Maybe for Jake's 40th. Coming soon...
Monday, December 22, 2014
We love shortbread. I love that it's shippable to friend and family far away. And it's so easy - and flexible - to make. The kids who were in my Spice it Up! class still talk about the Sage Shortbread; I sent Matcha-Black Sesame Shortbread to my #FBCookieSwap recipients in 2013; but I think my favorite has been the Salted Fennel Pollen Shortbread.
I realized that I have never made a chocolate shortbread. I had to fix that after our Chocolate Tour in The City yesterday afternoon. I added in raw cacao nibs and some instant espresso for even more decadence.
- 10 T butter
- 1/2 C organic granulated sugar + some for rolling
- 2 t pure chocolate extract
- 1 T honey
- 1 T instant espresso powder
- 2 T raw cacao nibs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1-1/2 C white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder