Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
My parents' fridge is always "stocked". By which I mean, there's a sixty-gallon tub of mayo, at least four bottles of ketchup, and multiple mustard containers with varying degrees of crusting going on in their lids sitting in there at all times.
Is it any wonder, then, that I grew up totally condiment averse? That the little packets that come with just about any take-out meal give me nightmares? (Ummm unless we're talking soy sauce. Which I could, and sometimes do, drink straight.) That I gag a little bit at the sight of those signature squirt bottles?
Right now I bet you're seriously amazed that I had any friends growing up. Yeah, me too.
After years of dry sandwiches, boring burgers, and less-than-stellar tacos, I've worked myself up to the point where I can allow sauces on my foods.
Pesto, guacamole, hummus, tabasco...all totally acceptable.
And now, romesco sauce can be added to that list. Infused with bell peppers, tomatoes, and almonds, it's no wonder that this puree was pretty much love at first spoonful(s). (I had to "taste test" it at least five times to be sure I liked it. Obviously.)
I have grand plans to smear it on everything I eat, love and cherish (friends and family - be wary if I come at you with a spoon), but first up was these tostadas.
Inspired by the recipe for Roasted Potatoes with Chicken and Romesco Sauce from the Food Matters Cookbook, which was Mireya's Food Matters Project choice for this week, I decided to roast just about every veggie I had in my fridge, toss them with this romesco sauce and then place them atop a crispy delicious Tortilla Land tortilla. And thus, these tostadas were born,.
Both light and satisfying at the same time, these make for an excellent summer meal.
And while they won't necessarily cure me of my mayo/mustard/ketchup disdain...they've at least given me one more sauce that I can use to lubricate my food. And/or eat straight from my fridge for a midnight snack.
Obviously they're not helping with the not-being-a-weirdo-at-the-lunch-table thing. Oh well. Whatever. Fitting in is overrated anyway.
Roasted Potatoes, Zucchini and Corn Tostadas with Romesco Sauce
Serves 5, adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb new potatoes or other small potatoes, halved
- salt and black pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 zucchini, cut into thin half moons
- 4 ears corn
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 large red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 packed cup fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 5 Tortilla Land tortillas (or other flour tortillas)
- Heat the oven to 400. Put the potatoes on the pan. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the top of them and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, undisturbed, until they're just beginning to sizzle, about 10 minutes.
- Top the potatoes with the rosemary, then the zucchini and corn kernels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until zucchini is starting to brown.
- Meanwhile, combine the almonds, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, parsley and vinegar in a food processor. With the machine running, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and puree into a thick paste. Season with salt and pepper.
- When the potato mix is done, toss it with the romesco sauce.
- Heat a nonstick skillet. Place one tortilla on the skillet and cook 1 minute or until bubbles start to form. Flip it over and cook for another 30 seconds. Top the tortilla with some of the potato romesco mix. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Friday, July 27, 2012
You know how, when some people are going to Florida in less than 24 hours with their boyfriend for a week-long vacation to celebrate his taking the bar exam, they might, you know...attempt to clean out their fridge and rid themselves of all perishables before leaving?
There's actually, uh, this other subset of people who buy ten pounds of stone fruit a mere FIVE DAYS before their departure.
I wouldn't know anyone like that.
Other than myself. Oops.
But guys, I couldn't help it! My eyes are totally bigger than my stomach when it comes to stone fruits. I think it's because they're only around for such a narrow window of time that I feel this absurdly strong compulsion to stuff as many of them into my mouth as possible as often as possible while they are.
But really...there are only so many pounds of peaches a girl can eat in one day.
Unless, of course, they're in cobbler form. Then...she may or may not be able to eat 2.5 pounds in an hour.
I won't tell you how I know this. But it's been experimentally proven.
Just make this cobbler. You'll see.
PS - Even though I'll be away on vacation, my ridiculous ramblings on the blog will continue as usual and I have some great recipes coming your way next week, so be sure to stop by! Responses to comments/emails might be slightly delayed. Sorry!
Blueberry Peach Cobbler
Serves 12, adapted from Cooking Light
- 5 lb peaches, pitted and sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 3/8 tsp salt, divided
- 6 3/4 oz plus 2 tbsp flour, divided
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 375.
- In a large bowl, toss peaches with lemon juice, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and 2 tbsp flour. Arrange peaches in a 9x13-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Place the butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed. Add in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and buttermilk, alternating between the two, starting and ending with the flour. Stir in the blueberries. Pour the batter over the peaches and spread evenly. Sprinkle the top with the turbinado sugar.
- Place pan on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until topping is golden and filling is bubbly.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
This morning I woke up in a cold sweat.
No doubt it was due to the fact that I have to spend what feels like my thirtieth work day in a row attempting to clone my gene-of-interest into a lentiviral vector that not only likes to recombine in strange and unusual ways once it is transformed it into bacterial cells so that even though it seems like you have a whole plate full of positive colonies. Really. You have none. Which you learn after you mini-prep FIFTY OF THEM. (Ugh.) But also likes to randomly degrade itself every other time you try to digest it, sending you on a wild goose chase looking for some nuclease-contaminated digestion ingredient that may or may not exist.
To those in science. I know you feel my pain. Please send good cloning karma my way.
To those who have no idea what I just wrote...basically I have this circular piece of DNA and I want to put the DNA for the gene that I'm studying into that circular piece of DNA, so I have to cut open the circular piece of DNA and paste in my gene. Which is much harder in practice than it is in principle because in experiments like this, whose success rely on every condition being absolutely perfect at every step...everything that can go wrong. Does. And you never have any idea why. So all you can really do is try. And try. And try again. Ever. And anon.
Until you've finally pulled all of your hair out in the process and delegate cloning responsibility to your summer student while you go on vacation for a week. Maybe she'll have beginner's luck. We can only hope.
Otherwise...neither of us will have any hair on our heads by the end of the summer. And we won't have our vector either. Awkward.
Which brings me to the other thing I find equally as frustrating as molecular biology.
Pancake-making. Tough stuff.
I know most of you are shaking your heads right now and half of you are going to unsubscribe from my blog because who in their right mind would take cooking advice from someone who finds making a damn pancake to be an unsurmountable task!? It's okay, I understand.
But in my defense, I have tried countless recipes. There have been buttermilk, greek yogurt, and ricotta varieties. I have tried greasing the pan with olive oil and/or butter and/or oxygen. To no avail. Whatever I do, they are dense and slightly charred. Every time.
The last time I made them, The.Boy. suggested (in the sweetest way possible, of course) that I invest in some Bisquick. After I finished throwing up in my mouth a little bit at the thought, I vowed then and there that I would someday make a perfect pancake (without the aid of any boxed mix, mind you). Even if it costs me every hair follicle to do so.
You can degrade all of my DNA and dense-ify all of my pancakes. But kill my spirit, you cannot!
So, crepes. They are French, which should without a doubt make them infinitely more complicated than pancakes.
I somehow managed to make ten of them. All perfectly thin with a slight fluff. Not a single burnt bit in sight. Hallelujah.
And then I stuffed them with an utterly delicious swiss chard, caramelized onion, monterey jack cheese mix.
Pancake success story. In my mouth.
I highly recommend making them. Today. So that even when your cloning attempts fail for the six hundredth time this month...you can at least have crepe-making under your belt. And really...that's far more impressive anyways.
Masa Crepes with Chard, Chiles, and Cilantro
Serves 4, adapted from Vegetarian Suppers From Deborah Madison's Kitchen
For the crepes
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or regular milk)
- 1/2 cup masa harina
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp melted butter
For the chard filling
- 1 tbsp light olive oil
- 1 large white onion, finely diced
- 2 jalapeno chiles, finely diced, seeds removed
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 big bunches of swiss chard, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
- sea salt
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt
- 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
- Put all the ingredients for the crepes in a bowl and stir until smooth.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion, chiles, and oregano and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cilantro and cook for a few minutes more, then add the chard and cook until wilted. Season with salt to taste and cook until chard is tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the greek yogurt and turn off the heat.
- Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup crepe batter into the pan and swirl around so that it forms a thin layer. Cook until mostly set, about 1-2 minutes, and then flip. Cook for another ten to fifteen seconds and remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter, stacking crepes on the plate as you go. Spread half the crepe with the chard, add a little cheese and then fold the edges together so that the crepes form a half moon. If desired, serve with a jicama cucumber salad dressed with some lime juice and a hint of chipotle chile powder.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
If pasta salad bathed in a sea of green sounds like your kind of meal, then check out my recipe for this zucchini, edamame and buffalo mozzarella salad over at Marcus Samuelsson's blog!
Monday, July 23, 2012
Stubbornness is a virtue, my friends, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise.
I like to call it "mental willpower" though. Since it really is just the power to persevere in your line of thinking even when common sense and a second, third, fourth, and sometimes even fifth opinion is telling you otherwise.
Like, for instance...last night when I absolutely insisted that my sister and I had to move my piano from my parents' dining room in Queens to my bedroom in Manhattan even though there was not a single young, virile, able-bodied male present to aid with any of the heavy lifting. (Brother dearest. I'm looking at YOU.)
You see. My keyboard and I have lived three years, twenty-two days, ten hours and five minutes in separation from each other. With occasional weekend visits. And when you occasionally feel like you've birthed the damn thing, you just love it so much, every additional second is just too much to bear.
This was not even a matter of desire anymore. It was sheer, brutal, physical need.
Which, come to think of it, is also how I felt about this pasta.
You see, when Buitoni sent me some of their new butternut squash agnolotti a few weeks ago to taste test and to play around with, I hemmed and hawed for days over what to pair it with. Until finally, inspiration struck and I remembered a butternut squash dumpling with peanut sauce that I had eaten with Lauren while we were in San Francisco for the Foodbuzz Festival.
Basically. Love at first bite.
And that was that. From there on out, it was peanut sauce or bust. Nothing was going to get in my way.
Until, of course, it came time to actually make the dish that I had dreamt about every night since my peanut sauce epiphany. I pulled out the containers of ravioli from the fridge. Read the fine print. And realized that the butternut squash filling also contained parmesan cheese and little bits of amaretti cookies. Delicious in theory, obviously, but when paired with a Thai flavor profile? I had my doubts.
Enter the little peanut butter loving brat inside my head who wanted peanut sauce and wanted it NOW. I had no choice but to push on or risk a raging headache/mental breakdown combo. And I am so glad I did. Because though the two sets of flavors shouldn't work together AT.ALL. Somehow...they do. In a most awesomely addictive way. In case you don't believe me (or think that I just have weirdo taste buds), you can ask The.Boy. who has a totally all-American normal palate and happened to love this. (And who, also, speaking of which is spending the next three days taking the bar exam, so can we all wish him LOTS OF LUCK BABY. K thanks.)
Or...you can try it for yourself! Buitoni has given me TEN VOUCHERS for their refrigerated pasta and sauce to give away! I will choose two winners each of whom will receive five vouchers. All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment telling me what kind of sauce you would have paired with this pasta. A winner will be chosen on Friday!
Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Thai Peanut Sauce
Serves 4, an Eats Well With Others Original
- 2 packages Buitoni butternut squash agnolotti
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece of raw ginger, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium eggplant, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 (14 oz) can lite coconut milk
- 1 tbsp thai red curry paste
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- While water is boiling, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and saute, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the pepper and eggplant to the pan. Stir fry until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the coconut milk, red curry paste, peanut butter and brown sugar. Pour into the pan with the veggies and cook until heated through. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Cook the agnolotti in the boiling water until tender. Drain and mix in with the veggies and peanut sauce.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Call me crazy. Obsessed.
But I err a little bit on the stalker-ish side of the spectrum when it comes to cherries.
I wait with bated breath and yearning taste buds for that first day of the year when the price drops, precipitously and without warning, from a small fortune per pound to (at least in NYC) less of a small fortune per pound.
And then. I pounce.
While most bags get carried around with me everywhere I go, like a security blanket in edible form, the cherries ready and waiting to be plucked out and devoured whenever the mood strikes (which, if we're being honest, is every thirty seconds). My last bag met a much grimmer fate.
The Cherry Massacre of 2012. Also known as The Day I Let Four Cups of Cherries Bleed Out On My Kitchen Table Without A Single Ounce Of Remorse.
It happened. There are splatter stains to prove it.
What can I say in my defense, other than that sometimes sacrifices must be made for the greater good.
And sometimes the greater good involves cherry guts on your ceiling and the most delightful cherry nutella hand pies in your oven.
That's an ethically sound argument if ever I've heard one.
This post was sponsored by Whole Foods Market in celebration of Cherry Fest which is going on there right now! Though the cherries and other ingredients for these hand pies were provided to me by them, free of charge, my thoughts on their deliciousness are my own. For more awesome ways to use cherries, check out the cherryrific recipes on their site!
Cherry Nutella Hand Pies
Makes about 30, adapted from MattBites and Smitten Kitchen
For the pie crust
- 8 oz chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 8 oz lowfat cream cheese
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp maple sugar or brown sugar
For the filling
- 4 cups pitted fresh cherries, chopped
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup nutella or chocolate almond spread
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cold butter and cream cheese until combined. Add the flour, salt, and sugar. Mix until the dough just comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, split it into two and form each half into a patty, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Remove one of the dough patties from the refrigerator and unwrap it. On a floured surface, roll it out so that it is 1/4-inch thick. Cut the dough with a 2.5" biscuit cutter and set cut-out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Continue rolling the scraps until all the dough is used and then repeat with the second dough patty. Place pan with cutouts in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
- In a large pan, combine the cherries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and almond extract. Bring to a boil and then simmer, stirring, until cherry juice has become slightly thick. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Remove dough cutouts from the refrigerator. On one piece of pastry dough, spread a thin layer of nutella and top with about a tsp of the cherry filling. Cover with a second pastry dough and use a fork to press down and seal the sides. Return this to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg mixture onto the top of each mini pie.
- Bake pies for 20-25 minutes or until golden with cherry filling oozing out.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Choosing a favorite pie crust is like sitting around the dinner table, your entire family and your daughter's boyfriend in attendance, and saying, with unequivocal surety, no hesitation at all whatsoever. "You were the best baby."
In that...you just don't do it.
So much time, energy, and butter is spent on each one.
Carefully kneading, rolling it out, molding it into what it needs to be. Patching it up when you inevitably wear it just a little bit thin with all of your overprotective attention.
And then finally, before you know it, popping it into the oven, and hoping that you've instilled in it all the flaky, melt-in-your-mouth qualities that a good pie crust requires in this world.
They grow up so fast, don't they?
And you go through life thinking this - that you shall love all of your pie crusts like you would children. Equally and impartially.
That is, until the unthinkable happens.
And you find The One.
The pie crust that takes all of five minutes to come together. 30 minutes to chill. A mere seven minutes to roll out because it is so dang easy to work with.
And did I mention that it is chock full of healthy olive oil fats instead of artery-clogging buttery ones?
And though you'll never admit it outwardly (for fear that all your other pie crusts will rebel and put you in a nursing home when you're 95, senile, and just a bit delusional instead of moving you into an apartment across the street, hiring around-the-clock help and stopping by at least six times a day to check up on you).
Just like I was that baby. This is that pie crust.
While I wouldn't necessarily use it for all of my pie crust needs (it's a bit too savory for, say...cherry pielets stuffed with nutella. Coming up. Friday.) It happens to pair just about perfectly with thyme and parmesan-infused ricotta and garlicky summer squash.
So perfectly, in fact, that without even realizing it you'll find yourself spouting declarations of favoritism at the dinner table. A big no-no, to be sure, but when something is this good, it is really not to be helped.
No worries. I get it.
Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette
Serves 4-6, adapted from Cooking Light July 2012
- 7.25 oz all purpose flour (about 1 2/3 cups)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 large yellow squash, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 oz grated fresh parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp water
- 1 large egg white
- Weigh or lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor and pulse to combine. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil and the water in a small bowl. Drizzle it into the food processor while the machine is still running and process until the dough is crumbly.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute, adding additional flour to prevent sticking, if necessary. Press the dough into a 5-inch disc, cover in saran wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Combine the remaining 1 tbsp oil, zucchini, yellow squash and garlic in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan cheese, fresh thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, black pepper, and egg. Stir until well mixed.
- Unwrap the dough and roll it out into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface or a sheet of parchment paper. Place it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Spread the ricotta mix over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange the zucchini and squash in concentric circles over the ricotta, slightly overlapping the pieces. Sprinkle with salt. Fold the edges of the dough toward the center, pressing gently to seal.
- In a small bowl whisk together 1 tsp water and the egg white. Brush the dough edges with the egg white mixture.
- Bake at 400 for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool ten minutes before serving.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
You might think I'm crazy for even so much as suggesting soup as a viable dinner option right now, but this Green Goddess Soup is worth the mere fifteen minutes of eat it takes to make it! And it pairs perfect with this pesto mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich. For the recipe, check out my post on Marcus Samuelsson's blog!
I am also submitting this to Deb over at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays!
Monday, July 16, 2012
This weekend, I thought it might be fun to give myself post traumatic stress disorder.
So I ran 12 miles.
And then I went bathing suit shopping.
I think deep down, I was kind of hoping that the stars would align and all the water I lost from running in 80 degree weather for two hours would come straight from my abdominal area (specifically the love handle region).
But that's kind of like wishing that chocolate chip cookies will go straight to your boobs instead of your thighs.
Somehow it just never quite happens that way...
In the end, the whole experience was not quite as injurious to my inner psyche as I thought it would be.
I didn't burst into tears or silently curse one of the dressing room attendants not even once! (Okay that last part...so not true. But she couldn't even count to ten! I'm not even exaggerating.) Which cannot be said of past bathing suit purchasing endeavors.
That being said...I am so not off the PTSD hook.
Because baring your stomach area to a two by nothing fitting room cubicle is not the same as wearing a bikini for a week a straight in Hollywood, Florida. In front of STRANGERS.
Which is what I'm going to be doing. In two. Weeks.
So basically I'm going to spend the next fourteen days curled up in fetal position and going on a cucumber diet.
Which is to say, I'll be hitting the gym and eating totally normally except that whenever I get the strong and unnerving desire to stick a spoon into a jar of peanut butter and go to town...I'm gonna stick it into this bowl of salad instead.
And given how each bite of this mix of corn, avocado, red bell peppers, tomatoes and black beans is just about bursting with flavor...I'd say that's not much of a sacrifice. Nope, not at all.
This recipe was Jenn's pick for The Food Matters Project this week! For the original recipe (I changed it up quite a bit), check out her site. And to see how other Food Matters Project participants interpreted the recipe, click here.
Corn-Avocado Salad with Black Beans and Barley
Serves 8-10, adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook
- 1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight
- 1 cup barley
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- Kernels from 4-6 ears of corn
- 1 medium avocado, skin and pit removed, chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, diced finely
- 1 tsp ancho chile powder
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Boil the black beans in salted water for 1 hour or until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, combine 1 cup barley with 3 cups salted water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, simmering for 40 minutes or until barley is tender and water has evaporated.
- In a large bowl, combine the barley, black beans, red bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes, corn kernels, and avocado until well combined. Add in the cilantro, chile powder, orange juice, and olive oil, tossing until well combined. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Friday, July 13, 2012
It's not enough just to eat, sleep and dream about food.
The inexorable truth of the matter is that when you want to really show your love for something, you have to permanently imprint it on your body.
If it doesn't take a laser or a plastic surgeon to remove it, then it's not the real thing.
And so while I've long dabbled with the idea of getting a cupcake tattoo on my right hip as proof of my utter devotion to the foodie lifestyle (yes, I aspire to be a walking cliche, why do you ask?).
Fate intervened two nights ago. And now there is no going back.
It all started with a ciabatta roll and a totally crappy knife. The kind you find a set of in your med school apartment building's hallway, totally free for the taking, that some smarter-than-you soul could obviously bear to part with.
This is not gold standard cutlery, folks. You just don't part with the good stuff and you certainly don't leave it outside the garbage room for the vultures that roam these halls to snatch up. That's for damn sure.
So why exactly I decided to grab one of these subpar knives when my Wusthof was literally five inches away...
...that really is the question, now isn't it?
I think we all know how this story ends. Knife slipped. Finger was sliced. And instead of going to the ER like a normal person to have a real doctor stitch me up. I called in my med student colleagues and asked for their first, second, and third opinions. (In my defense, it was 10pm and I still hadn't eaten dinner yet. Spending four hours in the hospital to have them possibly tell me I didn't even need stitches was not how I wanted my night to go.)
The bleeding stopped pretty quickly so we decided that Steri-Strips were the way to go (after I vetoed the idea that we Krazy Glue my skin back together. Which was apparently the more surgically appropriate thing to do. At least that was what the surgery resident in my lab said after he got over being angry at me for (a) not texting him a photo of the wound when it happened and (b) despising any and all real medical intervention in my life.)
The good news is that I can stop internally debating whether I'll still want a cupcake on my hip when I'm eighty because, uh, a serious scar is definitely in my future. I just need to come up with a better story to go with it.
"I did it while cutting a ciabatta roll"...so not the stuff that battle scars are made of.
Speaking of cupcakes on our hips...I made these babies for my friend Adam's birthday this past week and they were a surefire hit. You can't go wrong with cheesecake in general but when you add a raspberry swirl, it really just gets better.
They're also pretty excellent at consoling you as you're sitting on your kitchen table, bleeding out, and waiting for your medical "team" to arrive. Just saying.
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes
Makes 24, adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tbsp sugar
For the raspberry swirl:
- 6 oz raspberries
- 2 tbsp sugar
For the filling:
- 2 lb reduced fat cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 325. Line two cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, 4 tbsp melted better and 3 tbsp sugar. Stir until well combined. Press 2 tsp graham cracker filling into each cupcake liner (I used a small cookie scoop to scoop it in and a shot glass to press it down). Bake until just set, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, puree the raspberries. Pass raspberries through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl tp re,pve tje seeds. Stir 2 tbsp sugar into the raspberry puree.
- Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Blend in the sugar until smooth. Add in the vanilla, stirring until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition. Pour 3 tbsp cheesecake filling into each graham cracker-crust lined cupcake liner.
- Dot 1/2 tsp raspberry puree in a few dots on top of the cheesecake filling. Using a toothpick or chopsticks, lightly swirl the puree to create a marbled effect.
- Bake cupcakes until the filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I'm fairly certain I had an out-of-body experience yesterday that involved a jar of nutella and a jar of cookie butter jumping out of my cabinets, into my hands and then scooping themselves into my mouth while I moaned in
I tried to stop them. By, you know...licking every crevice of the two jars that my tongue could reach and then throwing the jars out after they were empty.
That'll show 'em.
And then, when all was said and done, I breathed a huge sigh of relief that they were gone and could no longer haunt every waking moment of my existence.
Truly, they can be so persistent. And my self control is nearly zilch, especially during one specific week every month when it may or may not be in the negative range.
My stomach was none too pleased with all of this "extra-curricular activity". It gurgled. Angrily.
And then there were my taste buds, which were overstimulated by all of that sugar and not in a good way.
I had to make it up to them somehow. Apologize for my indiscretions.
Enter these black bean patties. Forget Hallmark cards, these babies say "I'm sorry" better than a cheesy quote and a picture of a sunset ever could. They are slightly spicy, smoky and just a tad bit sweet, not to mention healthy and utterly delicious.
The perfect make-up food. I'm pretty sure they'll be making a regular occurrence in the Eats Well With Others kitchen...because though I'd like to say that this excessive consumption will never happen again, we all know that next month I'll probably convince myself that, yes I can finally muster up the self restraint necessary to consume a jar of cookie butter in a reasonable fashion. And then a few day later I'll find myself with an empty jar and a craving for these babies.
It happens. But at least now we have some damage control recipes under our belt.
**To anyone in the NYC area, the Whole Foods Market at Columbus Circle is hosting what is sure to be a fabulous public beer tasting event on Friday, July 13th from 4-8 pm. Whole Foods has partnered with Harpoon Brewery to create a new beer together called Saison Liaison. The brewers will be present, and beer samples and refreshments will be provided. It will most certainly be a fabulous way to relax after the work week is over and kick off the weekend!
Black Bean Patties with Corn Relish
Serves 6, adapted from Elly Says Opa via Annie's Eats
- 1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight and boiled in salted water until tender (or 2 15-oz cans)
- 2 roasted red bell peppers, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1/2-2/3 cup cornmeal
- salt and pepper
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 2 cups corn kernels
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 tbsp minced cilantro
- To make the patties, place half of the beans in a food processor along with 1 coarsely chopped red bell pepper, the eggs, oregano, cumin, and chipotle pepper. Process until smooth.
- Finely chop the remaining red bell pepper.
- Mash the remaining beans. Stir the pureed bean mixture, red bell pepper, and onion into the mashed beans. Add enough cornmeal so that the mix can be formed into patties. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for thirty minutes.
- While the bean mixture is chilling, make the corn relish. Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add in the corn and saute until starting to brown, 2-3 minutes. Add the jalapeno and garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato and lime juice and turn off the heat. Mix in a large bowl with the avocado and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Form the bean mixture into approximately 15 patties. Heat about 2 tbsp canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties in batches, cooking until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Serve the patties warm topped with the corn relish.