Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ginger Jack Cookies

These cookies are SO addicting. I modified these today using 1 cup unsalted butter and 1/4 cup vegetable shortening instead of 1-1/4 cups shortening. I also threw in 1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal for additional texture, fiber and flavor. They came out great!

1-1/4 cups vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cornflakes
1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1-1/4 cups finely chopped candied (crystallized) ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets.

Put the shortening into a mixing bowl and, using the back of a large spoon, cream it around the sides of the bowl. Slowly add both sugars and continue to cream and blend until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir with a fork until mixed. Add to the creamed mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add the cornflakes, oatmeal and ginger. Mix well.

Drop by teaspoonfuls 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake about 8 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool.

Store or freeze in airtight plastic bags.

Yield: about 7 dozen 2-inch-diameter cookies

The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bacon Ice Cream

From David Lebovitz

Bacon Ice Cream

Makes about ¾ qt (¾l)
For the candied bacon:

5 strips bacon
about 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

For the ice cream custard:
3 tablespoons (45g) salted butter
¾ cup (packed) brown sugar (170g), light or dark (you can use either)
2¾ (675ml) cup half-and-half
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons dark rum or whiskey
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. To candy the bacon, preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
2. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or aluminum foil, shiny side down.
3. Sprinkle 1½-2 teaspoons of brown sugar evenly over each strip of bacon, depending on length.
4. Bake for 12-16 minutes. Midway during baking, flip the bacon strips over and drag them through the dark, syrupy liquid that's collected on the baking sheet. Continue to bake until as dark as mahogany. Remove from oven and cool the strips on a wire rack.
5. Once crisp and cool, chop into little pieces, about the size of grains of rice.
(Bacon bits can be stored in an airtight container and chilled for a day or so, or stored in the freezer a few weeks ahead.)
6. To make the ice cream custard, melt the butter in a heavy, medium-size saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and half of the half-and-half. Pour the remaining half-and-half into a bowl set in an ice bath and set a mesh strainer over the top.
7. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the warm brown sugar mixture to them, whisking the yolks constantly as you pour. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
8. Cook over low to moderate heat, constantly stirring and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
9. Strain the custard into the half-and-half, stirring over the ice bath, until cool. Add liquor, vanilla and cinnamon, if using.
10. Refrigerate the mixture. Once thoroughly chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the bacon bits during the last moment of churning, or stir them in when you remove the ice cream from the machine.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First All Team Recipes

Kristi's Two Way Saffron Orzo
You can make this yummy side into a main dish by adding shrimp!

Saffron Orzo with Sugar Snap Peas and Shrimp (or without shrimp)

½ yellow onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 ½ cups orzo
2 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ lb sugar snap peas, trimmed
½ lb shrimp, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
Salt and pepper to taste

Warm oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and saffron threads and
sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in the orzo and stir well. Then stir in the broth. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is just tender – about 8 minutes.

Add the asparagus and sugar snap peas and simmer until partially cooked, about 3-4 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Calories = 315, Total fat = 5 grams

Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Salad by Ruth
Ruth's tip is to double up on the chilie paste to give the salad more kick.

Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Salad
Brad Levy, Firefly Restaurant as published in SF Chronicle Cookbook

4 medium zucchini, preferably 2 green and 2 golden
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Chinese chilie paste with garlic
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 small carrot
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

Trim the zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/16 inch thick slices on a 45 degree angle. Combine the zucchini, 1/4 cup of the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl. Toss well and let stand at least 1 hour.

Drain the zucchini well. Add the remaining 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt, the chilie paste and cilantro; mix well.

Peel the carrot, cut in half lengthwise, then slice as thinly as possible on a 45 degree angle. Blanch the carrot slices in boiling water for 10 seconds, then transfer to ice water to stop the cooking. Drain, pat dry and add to the zucchini. Add the onion and let stand 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 6-8

Chris’ (by way of Hilda) Orzo
A few people commented on how tasty this was and as much as I’d love to take credit, Hilda is the brains behind this find. One great tip she shared was that orzo typically comes in 1 lb boxes so, just double the recipe and you have lunch for a week!

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
Contessa Parties! 2001

This recipe is a slight variation of a wonderful summer dish invented by Sarah Leah Chase in her book, The Open House Cookbook.
1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced

1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound orzo or rice-shaped pasta

For the dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts), toasted
3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.

For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil.

Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.

Gina's Delish Corn Pudding
I heard Pat walked out of the meeting with a big cup of Gina's yummy corn pudding. It sounds super easy to make, give it a try!

Santa Fe Corn Pudding
June '07 Sunset Magazine

4 c fresh (or frozen) corn, divided
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
About 1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped roasted green chiles (like anaheim or new mexico varieties)
1 cup crushed buttery salted crackers (like Ritz),divided
4 Tbsp melted butter, divided
1/2 cup grated monterey or pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 2 qt baking dish. Put 1 ¾ c corn kernels in bowl of a food processor Pulse until mixture is pureed but still a bit chunky, about 5 pulses. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, and 1 tsp salt. Add whole and pureed corn kernels, green chiles, ¼ c crackers, and 3 Tbsp melted butter. Stir to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and scatter cheese over the top.

In a small bowl, mix together remaining ¾ c cracker crumbs and 1 Tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle over cheese. Bake pudding 45-50 min., or until puffed and golden brown. The edges should be a bit crusty and the center still a little jiggly. Serve hot.

Jared's Amazing PB&J Cheesecake Bars
Get this, not only are these incredibly's also a Weight Watchers recipe so you don't have to feel guilty about eating the whole tin! Not that I know from experience...

PB & J Cheesecake Bars
Weight Watchers

15 items reduced-fat vanilla wafer(s), crushed
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp sugar
1 sprays cooking spray
8 oz light cream cheese
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, with salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg(s)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup spreadable fruit, blackberry
1 items reduced-fat vanilla wafer(s), crushed

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine first three ingredients; press into bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350ºF for 6 minutes.

Beat cream cheese and peanut butter with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and egg, beating well. Stir in vanilla.

Spread blackberry spread evenly over crust. Pour cream cheese mixture over fruit spread; sprinkle with remaining crushed vanilla wafer.

Bake at 350ºF for 14 minutes or until almost set. Cool 30 minutes. Cover and chill 1 1/2 hours. Yield: 16 servings

Patti's International Pasta Salad
Patti said she had a lovely pasta salad from the marketplace in Barcelona that she's tried to replicate by taste...what did you think?

Pasta Salad

1lb pasta (i.e. Rotini)
1 can corn (approx. 15 oz)
1 small can sliced black olives (approx. 3 oz); save a bit of juice
½ red onion, diced
2 roma tomatoes
Feta Cheese (approx. 3-4 oz)
Olive oil (to coat)
Splash of Sherry Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)

The One We've Been Waiting For
Lindsey's Goat Cheese Tart ('nuff said)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board Kosher salt
13 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, divided
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
3/4 cup chopped shallots (3 to 4 shallots)
3/4 cup chopped pancetta
10 1/2 ounces garlic-and-herb soft goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet}
1 cup heavy cream
3 extra-large eggs
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, put the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Cut 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of the butter into large dice, add to the bowl, and pulse until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, add the ice water all at once and process until the dough becomes crumbly. Don't overprocess. Dump the dough out on a floured board, gather it loosely into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough on a well-floured board and fit it into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable sides, rolling the pin over the top to cut off the excess dough. Butter 1 side of a square of aluminum foil and fit it, butter side down, into the tart pan. Fill the foil with rice or beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and foil from the tart shell, prick the bottom all over with a fork, and bake for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a small pan and saute the shallots and the pancetta over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tender for the shallots and crispy for the pancetta. Place the goat cheese in the bowl of the food processor and process until crumbly. Add the cream, eggs, basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper and process until blended.

Scatter the cooked shallots over the bottom of the tart shell. Pour the goat cheese mixture over the shallots to fill the shell (if the shell has shrunk, there may be leftover filling). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tart is firm when shaken and the top is lightly browned.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve hot or at room temperature.

All Team Recipes continued...

Matt's Kind of Hard Lasagna
This recipe is so long, I decided to give it it's own space...if you tasted the finished dish at the meeting you know it's worth the effort!

roughly, 3 cans (32 ounce) stewed tomatoes
1 large yellow onion diced
1 full head of garlic minced
1 bunch flat leaf (
italian) parsley chopped
1/2 bunch basil chopped
1/2 bunch oregano chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 pound sweet
italian sausage
1/2 - 1 cup
marsala wine

start with a tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot, heated over medium heat. add the garlic and onion
sauté until soft. add meats and stir until lightly browned, be sure to break up meat as you go. add tomatoes and lower heat to simmer. allow to simmer for about 1 hour stirring often. add herbs, wine and freshly ground pepper and allow to simmer for another hour. stir occasionally, add salt to taste. allow sauce to cool (this allows the flavors to meld).

cheese blend:
16 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
1 cup of ricotta cheese
2 ounces p
2 eggs
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley chopped fine
1/2 bunch oregano chopped fine
1/4 bunch basil chopped fine

mix cheeses with eggs. stir in herbs, freshly ground black pepper.

1 package of lasagna noodles
cheese blend
1/2 bunch basil whole leaf

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

boil noodles if using uncooked noodles. if using ready to bake noodles skip this step. use a 9 x 13 inch pan and spread thin layer of sauce across the bottom. layer 3 or 4 noodles across the bottom to cover pan. spread about 1/3 of cheese mix over noodles. layer meat sauce over top of cheese. follow with another layer of noodles. repeat with cheese blend and sauce. add one more layer of each. before last layer of noodles add a layer of whole leaf basil across the top of sauce. place last set of noodles on top. finish with sauce over noodles. on the very top add about 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella and a few ounces of p

wrap pan with foil and place in oven at 350 degrees. allow to cook for about 45 minutes, until lasagna starts to bubble. remove foil and allow to brown the top of cheese, about 10-15 more minutes. allow to cool for 10 minutes. serve with extra sauce in a bowl to place over top of individual pieces.