Wednesday, March 30, 2011

pasta with rich leek "pesto"

Some words from Mr. Bittman about Pasta with Rich Leek Pesto*:

"It's worth noting that 'pesto' means 'paste; and comes from the same root as 'pestle'-- as in 'mortar and...' Since pasta also comes from that root, you might describe this recipe as Rich Leek Paste Tossed with Paste. But with a thick, custardy texture that's a lot like a carbonara or cream sauce, it's much better than that, I promise."

I really like leeks, and I love seeing them in the stores in the spring. I had some fancy pasta to use up (thanks, Emmel, preesh) so I made the leek pesto for dinner last night.

I started by sauteeing my leeks and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat. Once they were very soft (after about 30 minutes), I added them to the food processor, along with parsley, an egg, and some salt and pepper. I processed until it looked like paste, and then returned the mixture to my skillet. I tossed it with cooked pasta and some cooking water, and then I sprinkled on some nutritional yeast (hey nooch! I still like you!).
This leek pesto? Amazing. It is creamy and rich, just as promised. I thinned mine with more pasta water than recommended, because the leek puree was quite thick.
EDW said you could instantly taste the flavors of this sauce: "it's not easy mac." I'm still not really sure what that means, but I can tell you we both had seconds of the pasta. It tastes pretty decadent, actually, and not really anything like traditional basil pesto. We really enjoyed our leek paste, and I can't wait for leftovers at lunch. I'll make this again.
Bittman, Mark. The Food Matters Cookbook. "Pasta with Rich Leek 'Pesto'." p. 220

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ikan Percek (Baked Fish, Malay Style)

I made Ikan Percek (Baked Fish, Malay Style)* for dinner on Sunday. My friend Emmel likes to give me interesting used cookbooks for my birthday, and I found the recipe in a Moosewood cookbook from this year's present. (I've also recieved a 1987 Asheville Junior League cookbook and a collection of Traditional Dutch recipes. So fun.)

To prepare the fish, I rubbed each fillet with a ginger, garlic and onion mixture, and let that sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, I made the sauce with more ginger, garlic and onion, along with tamarind, coconut milk, and dried hot chilis. Then I covered the fish with the sauce and baked it for about 20 minutes.

The sauce was pretty tasty. The tamarind gave it a tart flavor, but the coconut milk and garlic balanced it nicely. The recipe suggested I serve the fish with rice and spinach raita.** I made the raita by combining finely chopped steamed spinach, yogurt, cumin, salt, and ground coriander. I decided on whole wheat couscous since it's faster than rice, and I stirred in some wilted spinach along with it.
The fish smelled amazing when it came out, but I wasn't very pleased with the meal. Maybe if I had used a different type of fish? There wasn't any one specified, so I went with cod because it's cheap. Maybe I don't like cod? Do I have any readers with Malaysian expertise?
Edwin was happier with the dinner than I was, and he seemed to really like the cod. I'm glad I didn't make a ton of this-- I'm also glad the raita makes so much, because that was delicious. I'm going to dip crudites in it for part of my lunch today and I'm excited.

*The Moosewood Collective. New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant. "Ikan Percek." p. 177.
**The Moosewood Collective. New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant. "Spinach Raita." p. 217.

Monday, March 28, 2011

bracket food 2011

You may remember that I usually cook some sort of bar food in honor of March Madness. Traditionally, it's been grilled buffalo chicken strips with blue cheese dip, but that was out of the question this year since our grill lives at my in-laws. (We can't have a grill at our condo, so they're guarding ours for us until we can reclaim it. It's a little sad to not have a grill.)

I decided to make spinach-artichoke dip with feta on Saturday. It's an Arnaudin favorite, and I loved the idea of adding feta to the mix. The whole thing is so easy, which is something I've found to be almost always true when making an appetizer laden with mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese.
We had our spinach dip with sweet potato chips and Highlands beer, and it was delightful.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

curried rice salad

Here's the last in the curry and sweet potatoes recipe installment:

Curried Rice Salad
serves 4-6

for the salad:
1 1/4 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed and picked over
1 cup brown rice
1 LB sweet potatoes, chopped
cayenne pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
fresh spinach

for the dressing:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t fresh ginger, minced
juice of 1 lime
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T plus 1 t honey
1.5 t curry powder
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 cup greek yogurt

Cook the chickpeas and allow to cool. Cook the rice. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the apricots to the rice pot to allow them to plump. Cool the rice. While rice and chickpeas are cooking, preheat the oven to 400. Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Roast, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes. Allow sweet potatoes to cool.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Toss salad ingredients together in a large bowl and add curry dressing. Serve and enjoy.

I used my favorite wild rice salad with yogurt vinaigrette as inspiration for this meal, and I have to say, my curried version may be even better. I love the different textures in the salad, and the yogurt dressing is phenomenal.
EDW loved it too, though he said he would have liked some chicken thrown in. The salad does have a bit of a curried chicken salad feel to it, and I think grilled chicken would be a nice addition if you're so inclined. Edwin gives this meal an A- and I give it a solid A (no chicken needed for me).
Of my 3 sweet potato and curry dishes, this is definitely our favorite. If you're just now joining me or forgot what the other two were, here's a brief rundown:

Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Kale and Black Eyed Peas
I made it pureed and then I made it chunky. We liked the chunky version better. We were still assigning numbers and have since switched to letter grades. I'm thinking it's a solid B.

Curried Sweet Potato Hash

We really liked this one, and it was featured on Oh She Glows. We gave it a B+.

So far, I'm doing a good job with my resolution to create at least one new recipe a month. Check the fancy created tab to see them all.

I haven't decided what my next quarter's ingredients will be. Any suggestions or requests? I need something with enough versatility to make 3 different recipes, and I'd like it to be semi-seasonal. Be thinking of springtime produce and spice combinations and let me know.

Friday, March 25, 2011

the muffin chronicles, part XIX revisited

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. My one and only hissers was in town, and we were too busy bonding for me to even think about blogging. I'll get back into a more regular routine soon, I promise, but in the meantime I thought I'd share a bit about my latest muffins.

Remember how I was worried EDW wouldn't like the cherry almond muffins because they weren't super sweet? He really loves them.

The other day he told me, "these are some of the best muffins you've ever made," and then yesterday morning, "I'm sad these are going so fast." (I keep them in the freezer. They aren't really going that quickly-- he eats one a day). I asked Edwin what it was about them he loved so much, and he said it was the texture.

I think the almond meal really improved the crumb of the traditional whole wheat muffin, which can be a bit dense with 100% whole wheat flour. So. If you want to make amazing muffins, replace 25% of your flour with almond meal.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

the muffin chronicles, part XIX

Here's another muffin recipe I made up:

Cherry Almond Muffins
makes 12

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup almond meal/flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 t salt
3 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
3 T unsweetened apple sauce
1 egg
1 cup almond milk
1 t vanilla
1 cup frozen cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 400. Combine dry ingredients and make a well. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add wet ingredes to dry, and stir, being careful not to overmix. Gently fold in cherries. Divide batter evenly in greased muffin tin. Bake 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
I know there aren't any almonds in the muffs, but there is almond milk and almond flour, so I'm sticking with the title. As soon as I tasted one of these, I was worried they wouldn't be sweet enough for EDW. (I use unsweetened almond milk in everything-- if you want a sweeter muffin try it with vanilla almond milk or up the sugar). Edwin really liked these, though, even if they aren't very sweet.
I think they're pretty special.

Friday, March 18, 2011

veggie burritos

I made this vegetarian taco filling for dinner this week, and you should too.

I pretty much followed the recipe, except I used a whole red pepper instead of half and added 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt along with the rest of the spices. After I sauteed my onion, pepper, and mushrooms, I added the lentils, broth, carrots, celery and spices and let them simmer for about 30 minutes. Then all I had to do was transfer it to the food processor and pulse a couple times, and like magic, I had taco filling.
I decided to make burritos. I used some whole grain tortillas, and I filled them with mild (for EDW) and spicy (for me) extras. Here's mine before the roll-up. It has half a smooshed avocado, spinach, red onion, red cabbage, halved grape tomatoes, chopped jalapeño, hot salsa, and taco filling. EDW's was the same sans avocado and with medium salsa. I rolled them up and we were ready to eat.
My burrito skills aren't really that exceptional, and this was a very messy meal. If I'd put less in my burritos or used larger tortillas, I'm thinking my lack of burrito rolling experience wouldn't be an issue. Regardless, these were incredible.
Edwin and I really couldn't get over how good the bean filling was, and I'll definitely be making it again. We've been using the leftovers this week for taco salad lunches. Think everything in the burrito over a mess of salad greens. Delicious!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

having a beer with EDW

I love a good tradition, so I asked Edwin to write another beer post for St. Patrick's Day. Bottom's up!

EDW here with another booze post.

Whether you're celebrating St. Patty's Day, the start of March Madness, or your sister's birthday, chances are you're going to be tipping a few back today. You can't go wrong with car bombs, but for something with a little longer glass life, I recommend heading to your favorite pub and ordering up a flight or two and sharing them with a special someone.

At the Thirsty Monk South, our real neighborhood bar and grill, sampling and comparing a variety of brews is their specialty. For a reasonable price, you get four 4-6oz pours of whatever's on tap. All high-alcohol "big" beers? Sure. A summertime wheat beer roundup? Why not?
Personally, I want to eventually try everything that comes through the place, and with a four-pack of these mini servings, brought to your table in cute little shot glasses on steroids, there's no better way to rule them all. Here's how (Sarah and) I rank 'em so far, from worst to first, separated by visit:

First Visit
11. Bell's Cherry Stout - Carbonated cough syrup. Bartender says it's his favorite; nice guy, but an ass clown on this one

10. Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter - Decent, but syrupy; glad when it was finished

9. Nantahala Bryson City Brown - Basically a watery Newcastle (not a compliment)

8. Wedge Community Porter - Weak; slightly watery nut brown ale

7. Foothills Seeing Double IPA - Smoother than the average IPA; a subdued bite

6. Wedge Iron Rail - Wedge's best offering so far

5. Rogue Yellow Snow - Good light flavor

4. Allagash Vrienden - Combination wheat beer and cider taste; too sugary for Sarah, but I like

3. Terrapin Moo Hoo - Milky dark goodness; a new and welcome experience

2. Catawba White Zombie - Delicious wheat beer; have since had a full pint and it was lovely

1. Pisgah Vortex II - Strong (11.2%!) and dark, but not overwhelming; similar to Highland's Black Mocha Stout, but better. So nice, we had to order it twice.

Second Visit
4. Wedge Russian Imperial Stout - Liquid Russell Stover's raspberry chocolate; somewhat cough-syrupy, but better than the Cherry Stout

3. Mother Earth Weeping Willow Wit - Smooth, juicy taste; like Five Alive, but boozy

2. Chatoe Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager - Nice ice coffee taste; dark and heavy, but not too strong

1. Highland Weizenbock - Mellow fruit taste cloaked in a full dark flavor; interesting overall taste experience
If I were to order a flight based on findings to date, I'd go with the Vortex, Weizenbock, White Zombie, and the Dirtoir. That'll give you a good idea of what the Thirsty Monk has to offer and provide a range of delicious tastes. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

vegetable biryani

I made vegetable biryani* last night to make sure my house continues to smell like curry. Actually, I made it because I love biryani (lamb especially and especially if you call it lambs) and this looked like a good recipe to try from Indian Vegetarian Cooking from an American Kitchen.

I made some modifications, and I'm not sure they were entirely wise. I used 2 sweet potatoes instead of 1 regular potato, because I had them in the kitchen and I really prefer them to other potatoes. I also used more than 10 cauliflower florets, because I'm not sure how big a floret Vasantha was talking and I like vegetables. So I used probably 2/3 of a large head. I just had baby carrots, and I used a large handful of them, chopped in half instead of 2 carrots. I used 2 cups of frozen peas instead of 10 ounces. So yeah. A lot of extra veg.

I made my green curry paste, and I only used 1 jalapeño because I wanted EDW to be able to eat it. The recipe says to use 1 to 2, and I didn't seed my jalapeño before tossing it in the food processor. The curry paste smelled really pungent and delicious, what with the garlic, cardamom, coriander, cumin, coconut, ginger and jalapeño.
I sauteed 3 thinly sliced onions (yes 3; no I didn't increase the recommended amount) and then added in my paste. That smelled divine, and I added my cooked rice (cooked it on Sunday. It's what I do) and cooked vegetables. At that point I realized I had probably added too many vegetables, because they barely fit in my large skillet.
I tasted the dish, and was unimpressed. It tasted bland. I couldn't understand why it tasted bland, because the curry paste had smelled so very not bland, but it did. I added some green curry powder, and some salt, and prepared myself for an uninspiring meal.
Once we sat down and tasted our meals, EDW and I both decided to add more seasoning. I added a bit of salt, a good amount of cayenne pepper, and some extra hot mango chutney I bought at the international grocery store. Edwin added salt, regular pepper, and some cayenne. With the additions, the meal was pretty good and definitely edible, but I have to say, it wasn't my favorite. Edwin loved the texture of this, and was more impressed than I was.
What am I missing? Is it really because there's not a lot of deliciously soft lamb stirred in? I don't think it's all the extra vegetables. It would taste bland with fewer veggies I think. Isn't biryani usually reddish brown and more saucey? If you have a good biryani recipe, I'd love it. Maybe I'll try another version from one of the other Indian cookbooks I have on the counter. (I may or may not have 4 Indian cookbooks checked out to me right now). *Prasad, Vasantha. Indian Vegetarian Cooking from an American Kitchen. "Vegetable Biryani." p. 149.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

chana masala and other weekend foods

Edwin was out of town this weekend, which left me on my own. A weekend spent by myself used to mean gypsy meals over the sink (you know when you eat a bowl of cereal, and a little while later have a salad, and then some fruit, and maybe a little yogurt later on? EDW calls those gypsy meals), but now these weekends mean one thing and one thing only: spicy food!

I kicked off the weekend with my spicy chipotle pumpkin soup for lunches, and Friday night I made spicy chickpeas*, or chana masala, for dinner. I'm still previewing vegetarian Indian cookbooks from the library-- if you have a recommendation, let me know! This one is from Pure and Simple Homemade Indian Vegetarian Cuisine, and while it is a beautiful book, I'm not sure it's the one for me. Many of the recipes call for lots of ingredients I don't usually have on hand and couldn't find at the international grocery store (anyone in Asheville know where I can find mango powder?).

I love chana masala, and I was excited about making the spicy chickpea dish. I started by liquidizing my tomatoes (the book also uses ridiculous cooking terms, like liquidize. Why not just say blend or puree?). I used canned again, and then I added the tomatoes to sauteed onions, garlic, ginger, and cumin. Then I stirred in chili powder and coriander, followed by cooked chickpeas, some water, chana masala, pomegranate seed powder, and green chiles. I used jalapeños, and I only slit them, per the recipe's instructions. That mixture simmered for a while and made my kitchen smell like its usual curry, and then I sat down to eat.
This was good. It had a nice flavor, and I really enjoyed it with a scoop of rice, but it just wasn't spicy. I sent EDW a text that said "Indian was good but not too spicy. I mean, you could eat it." I wished I had diced the jalapeños for more heat, and I sprinkled a ton of cayenne pepper on my plate.
I was going to eat spicy leftovers all weekend, but since this dish is pretty mild, I decided to save some for Edwin and make spicy soba noodles instead. The last time I made spicy almond soba noodles, EDW almost died and vowed never to eat them again. I didn't blog about it at the time, but spicy almond soba noodles did not sit well with poor Edwin the next day. I loved them, though, and made some last night using peanut butter instead of almond butter. My nose was running and I was a happy girl with tingling lips.
Mittal, Vidhu. Pure and Simple Homemade Indian Vegetarian Cuisine. "Spicy Chickpeas: Chana Masala." p. 112.

Friday, March 11, 2011

spicy chipotle pumpkin soup

Sometimes I really like cooking for one. Don't get me wrong-- I love cooking for Edwin, and for family, and for friends, and for random coworkers-- it's just that cooking for yourself can be such a joy.

Like yesterday. It's March. It was raining. It wasn't that cold out or remotely autumnal, but I wanted pumpkin and I wanted it for lunch. So I made up a recipe! It's not part of my curry/sweet potato series, which will be coming in the next week, but it's still a recipe I made up, and I made it up as I went. Here it is:

Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Soup
Serves 2-4

1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 baby carrots, chopped
1 T olive oil
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
2 t pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 t sea salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
3/4 t dried rosemary

In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion until it is soft and translucent. Add pepper, garlic, and carrots, and saute until softened. Add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, chipotle peppers, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Bring back to a simmer. Puree soup with an immersion blender, and adjust seasonings to taste.
About the recipe: I used Sara Foster's chipotle butternut soup as inspiration for the flavors, but I went with what I had for the ingredients and measurements and made it vegan (her recipe includes butter and I think chicken broth). The 6 baby carrots were totally arbitrary-- I just happened to have 6 baby carrots in the fridge. You can adjust the spiciness of the soup, but I'm not sure how many peppers are in 2 teaspoons of pureed chipotles. I've mentioned before that when I need a chipotle pepper for a recipe, I use it and then puree the rest of the can, along with the adobo sauce, and keep it in the fridge for a really hot salsa. I didn't use 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth-- I had 1 1/4 cup in the fridge, so I started there and added water until it looked like it was the right amount, which ended up being another cup. 2 1/4 cups liquid made a thick, creamy soup. If you use all broth, you may need less salt.
When I first tasted the soup, I wasn't sure it was hot enough for me. As I kept eating, though, the heat slowly crept up on me and I loved it. I'm not even going to encourage EDW to try it-- I know it'll be too hot for him. All the more for me!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

pasta with cauliflower (and nooch!)

I had some cauliflower to use up on Tuesday so I decided to make pasta with cauliflower.* I halved the recipe, because I only had a little cauliflower and not very much pasta in the pantry. Mark Bittman mentions that you can make any vegetable into a pasta sauce, and I'm in love with the idea:

"To take a couple of not-so-obvious vegetables as examples: Saute parcooked broccoli or cauliflower with garlic and oil, adding a little more water so you can cook it until it becomes really soft. Mash it slightly, then toss it with pasta and a bit more oil. Add cheese or toasted bread crumbs if you like; maybe a pinch of hot red pepper flakes. Voila."*

I boiled my cauliflower and then removed the florets with a slotted spoon. Then I cooked it with some olive oil and garlic, and I mashed. At first, I wasn't sure it was going to do anything good, but after a few minutes, it really did start to come together.
I used the same boiling water to cook the pasta, and tossed that in with the mashed cauliflower, along with some of the cooking water, spinach, salt, and red pepper flakes.
I also wanted to try some nutritional yeast, or nooch as it's being abreved all along the internet. (You know how I like an abreve, and I think calling it nooch is genius). I've been reading about nutritional yeast and I was intrigued, so I picked some up at the Earth Fare the other day. It's cheap, and in the bulk section, and it looks a little like fish food. I sprinkled it on the pasta and stirred before serving.

Okay nooch? Tastes like cheese. The pasta seriously had a delicious cheesy flavor, and I totally see what the big vegan deal is about it. We loved loved loved the pasta with nooch.

We had the pasta with a whole mess of kale, which I sauteed this time in garlic. All in all, it was a fantastic meal. The only downside? Since I was using up ingredes, there weren't any leftovers. Bittman, Mark. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. "Pasta with Cauliflower." p.452

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

sweet potato quinoa cakes

I'm on a baked burger/cake roll this week-- Monday night I made sweet potato quinoa cakes.

These require a bit of prep, so I cooked my quinoa and wild rice on Sunday afternoon and just chilled it until after work Monday. Then all I had to do was steam my sweet potatoes and get these in the oven. With the cooked grains, it only took me about 40 minutes total.

Remember how I couldn't stop eating the falafel burger batter? Yeah, that happened here too.
I made 16 cakes, and served them alongside cooked kale. (I just heated a bit of olive oil and added the kale, about 1/2 cup water, some lemon juice, salt, and red pepper flakes. Then I cooked it until tender).
EDW had two cakes, but I only wanted one. While they were cooking, I couldn't resist having a falafel burger as a little appetizer. Because the falafel burgers are so packed with fiber and protein, I wasn't exactly famished 10 minutes later.

Edwin said this is one of the most interesting looking things I've cooked, and I agree. There's something about the dark wild rice and red quinoa in a cake-- you just don't see that every day.
We were big fans of these. I think there's a little too much sage for my taste, so I'll probably reduce it to 2 teaspoons next time. EDW wondered if decreasing the rice would be a good thing too, since it does kindof overpower the cakes themselves. I bet you could use this recipe as a template, and try it with pumpkin or butternut squash in the fall. All in all, I'm pleased to have the leftovers.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

falafel burgers

I first saw these falafel burgers on Savvy Eats. I thought they looked great then, but when Angela at Oh She Glows modified them a few days later, I knew I had to have them.

I made them on Sunday night. I briefly thought about halving the recipe, but thought better of it. Thank goodness I did. I wish I had a bigger food processor and had tripled this. I used Angela's recipe, but I only used 3/4 cup sunflower seeds and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour.

I processed my carrots, onion, and garlic, and then I added in the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and spices. I stirred in the whole wheat flour and sunflower seeds and made my patties.
I got 12 good sized patties, but I bet the batter made more like 14. I may have eaten quite a bit of the mixture, raw, right out of the bowl. I just couldn't help myself-- it was like super chunky and crunchy hummus, and it was love at first bite.
After the first batch came out of the oven, I served the falafel burgers over a spinach salad. Edwin and I had seconds on the burgers, and then I had thirds while I was putting them away. These babies are addicting and so so good.
We had them cold as snacks at work yesterday, and they're great that way. We like them best cold and plain or hot with a little Maurice's on top. Yes, golden barbecue sauce. It's amazing. Please make these today. You'll love me forever.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

mixed vegetable korma

I'm in the market for a vegetarian Indian cookbook. Blogfriends, if you know of a great one, please let me know. In the meantime, I've checked one out from the library: Indian Vegetarian Cooking from an American Kitchen. I've only made one recipe from it, but so far so good. I mean SO good.

Last night I made mixed vegetable korma (navarathna korma).* I made some changes and felt confident as I did it, which is a relatively new experience for me. I used to follow recipes exactly, but I am learning to tweak to my own tastes. It makes me excited. The recipe calls for 3 cups of mixed vegetables (cooked to my liking) but I'm pretty sure I doubled that.

I roasted half a head of cauliflower, an orange bell pepper, and the last of some baby carrots I had in the vegetable drawer with a tablespoon of oil and a sprinkling of chili powder and salt.
I sauteed 2 onions in grapeseed oil, and then added garlic and ginger. The recipe calls for 3 chopped tomatoes, but since tomatoes are gross and expensive these days, I just used a 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes, juice and all. I added the tomatoes, roasted vegetables, and a little less than 2 cups of cooked chickpeas to the skillet, along with chili powder, garam masala and salt. That mixture looked a little dry to me, so I poured in 1/2 cup vegetable broth, and then I let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
At the end, I stirred in some thawed peas and fresh sugar snap peas. Then I added milk and a little half and half, and let the sauce thicken a bit.
I served this with rice, and it was amazing. I would prefer it much spicier, but it's really a lovely mild and creamy dish. EDW said he could handle a bit more heat, so if I make it again I may try adding some hot peppers or something. Even without the spiciness, Edwin said this is one of the best Indian dishes I have ever made.
I've been looking forward to the leftovers all morning. I thought about having them for breakfast, but I stuck with my bowl of oats. Thanks for the recipe, Vasantha Prasad, preesh.
Prasad, Vasantha. Indian Vegetarian Cooking from an American Kitchen. "Mixed Vegetable Korma (Navarathna Korma)." p. 120-121.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

nutella cookies

When I saw these nutella cookies on the Tasty Kitchen blog the other day, I knew I had to make them. How could you not want to make cookies that only have 4 ingredients, especially when one of those ingredients is nutella? I whipped them up on Thursday, after my power yoga class and breakfast oatmeal.

I used my mixer to combine the dough, but it was really crumbly so I ended up kneading it together a bit. I got 30 cookies out of the dough, with a generous handful of leftover dough to eat out of the bowl. I really don't know what an inch sized ball looks like, so I was going for golf ball sized cookies. I used the back of my hand to smoosh the cookies and baked them for 8 minutes.
I know I'm always waxing poetic on how good baking muffins smell, but nothing can compare to how good these cookies made my house smell. Nutella, I love you.
I enjoyed a cookie for my breakfast dessert, and it was lovely-- very warm and slightly gooey. Here's what I wrote while they were cooling:

"These cookies are good, but I'm not giving them a favorite status. They were just a little too sweet for my taste. I think if they were made into peanut butter sandwiches, that might help. Or something salty to offset the sweetness? Ideas?

Edwin was a big fan, and said they weren't too sweet for him. Nothing is too sweet for him, though, so that might not be the most objective review."

Then when I finished my blogging and went to clean up the kitchen, I tried a cooled cookie. Like magic, the cookie was no longer too sweet! The hazelnut flavor really came through once the cookie was room temperature, and I loved it all the more. I no longer think they are too sweet.
I am definitely going to recommend making these cookies if you need a quick and easy dessert, because if you're like me, you'll always have all the ingredients in your kitchen. If you're not like me and you don't keep Nutella in the pantry, I'm not sure we can be friends.