Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vegetable Fried Rice

Are you looking for the perfect complement for "Asian Night"? If yes, then this dish is the perfect addition. This fried rice serves 4.

4 tablespoons peanut oil 
1/2 white onion, diced
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 green onions, chopped 
1 cup corn, peas, and carrot frozen medley 
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups white, long-grain rice
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When hot add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic, ginger, and green onions and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the frozen vegetables. Cook until just defrosted. Transfer contents of the skillet to a large bowl.
Return the pan to the heat and add 1 more tablespoon of oil. Add the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Stir the eggs constantly and cook until almost set but still moist, then transfer eggs to the bowl. Stir mixture together, breaking up the eggs. 

Return the pan to the heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the rice to the pan and use a spoon to break up any clumps. Season with salt and pepper and cook the rice to coat evenly with oil. Stop stirring, and then let the rice cook undisturbed until it gets slightly crispy, 2 minutes. Stir the rice again, breaking up any new clumps. Transfer to the bowl. Stir all the ingredients together with the rice, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Drizzle with soy sauce. Enjoy!

Recipe derived in part from the Food Network. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

French Toast Muffins

1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg 
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined. Scoop batter into greased muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins just start to turn a bit golden at the edges. For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place melted butter in another small bowl. Dip the warm muffins in melted butter, then in cinnamon sugar. Enjoy!

Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Salad

I found this glorious salad on pinterest, my new favorite website for discovering new and interesting 
recipes. And let me tell you, it was fantastic. The best part about it was the simplicity.

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs plus 1 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp Dijon mustard
Blue Cheese
1 pear

                        Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the first 4 ingredients to make the maple vinaigrette. Roast the walnuts for around 8 minutes or until cooked to perfection.  Peel the pear and cut into slices. Arrange salad plates with arugula, blue cheese, walnuts, and pear slices. Drizzle with vinaigrette and enjoy!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blackberry & Lime Meringue Pie

I recently made this pie for a dinner party and it was a success. Although I must admit it is time consuming but is well worth it!! This pie would be a great addition to Thanksgiving Dinner. 

Special Cooking Items
Pie Weights (Can use dry beans as a replacement)
Pie Pan ( I like the ones that have removable bottoms)

Pie Crust
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into slices
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Lime Curd
1 cup fresh lime juice
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
Blackberry Compote
1 cup fruity red wine, such as Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups blackberries
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup blackberries 

Pie Crust- Process flour, butter, vegetable shortening, sugar, and salt in a food processor until butter resembles tiny pebbles, about 25 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Gradually add 3/4 cup ice water, using a fork to stir until dough is a mixture of clumpy wet pieces and sandier pieces, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if dry. Press plastic wrap over surface of dough. Chill in the bowl at least 1 hour or over night.

Divide dough in half. Flatten each half into a disk. On a lightly  floured surface, roll out 1 disk into a 13"-14" round. Roll over rolling pin and transfer to the pie dish. Pick up the edges and
allow dough to slump inside the dish. Fold overhang under and crimp edges. Chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375°. Prick chilled crust in pie dish all over with a fork. Line crust with parchment paper. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven; lift out paper and weights. Reduce temperature to 350°. Return to oven and bake, using fork to prick any bubbles that have formed and pressing down on them with back of fork, until crust is light golden brown, 20-25 minutes longer. Let crust cool completely.

Lime Curd- Set a strainer over a medium bowl; set aside. Stir lime juice, eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together in another medium bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk until mixture has thickened, the whisk leaves a path when lifted from curd, and an instant-read thermometer registers 175°, about 15 minutes. Add butter to curd, one Tbsp. at a time, whisking to blend between additions. Strain curd into prepared bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Refrigerate curd.
Sprinkle gelatin over 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl; let stand until gelatin is soft, about 10 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add gelatin mixture; continue beating cream until just before firm peaks form. Fold whipped cream into lime curd. Cover; chill.

Blackberry Compote- Bring red wine, sugar, and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, 20-25 minutes. Let cool. Add 3 cups berries; fold gently to coat.

Spread compote in an even layer over baked crust. Spoon lime curd over berries, smooth top, and chill for 1 hour.

Meringue- Preheat oven to 450°. Place egg whites in the bowl and mix whites with a mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside. Stir sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high and boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, until thermometer registers 238°, 6-8 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

Meanwhile, beat whites with mixer until soft peaks form. Mix in salt.

Slowly pour hot sugar syrup down side of bowl into whites and beat until meringue is firm and glossy. Continue mixing until cool, about 4 minutes. Spoon meringue over lime curd, leaving a 1" plain border, and sculpt decoratively. Tuck 1 cup berries in and around meringue.

Bake pie until meringue is toasted in spots, 3-5 minutes. Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Do Ahead: Pie can be made 3 hours ahead. Keep chilled. Enjoy!

 Recipe was derived from Bon Appetit.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

    6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs
    1/2 cup orange juice 
    1/2 cup orange marmalade 
    1/4 cup soy sauce 
    1 clove garlic, minced 
    2 Tablespoons ketchup 

    Remove any fat from chicken thighs and roll each in flour until well coated. Set chicken thighs in the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine orange juice, marmalade, soy sauce, garlic and ketchup in a small bowl. Stir until well blended. Pour sauce over chicken thighs. Cook  on low setting for 4 hours. Remove the thighs from the slow cooker. Serve dish alongside fried rice. Enjoy!
    Recipe was found on Pinterest.

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting


    For the cookies:

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature 
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup 
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • Pinch of cloves
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • Pinch of salt

    For the frosting:

    • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese 
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/8 cup whole milk
    • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract 
    • Zest of 1/2 lemon
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar and butter and mix with a mixer. Mix in the maple syrup and eggs. Mix in the pumpkin. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Add the dry ingredients into the cookie mix. Drop rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake cookies for 12 minutes. To make the frosting, mix the cream cheese with a mixer. Mix in the powdered sugar. Mix in the milk and vanilla.  Fold in the lemon zest.   Once the cookies are cool, ice with frosting and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon. Enjoy!
    Recipe was derived in part from the Food Network. 

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Slow Cooker Potato Soup

    When the leaves start to turn colors and fall is in the air my thoughts turn to slow cooker recipes. What a great way to make a delicious meal while you are away at work. This potato soup is a super easy, tasty fall dish that will sure to be a favorite. 


    Salt and Pepper
    32 oz frozen diced potatoes, thawed
    1/2 cup frozen chopped onion, thawed
    1/2 cup diced celery
    32 oz chicken broth
    1 cup water
    3 1/2 tablespoons flour
    1 cup whole milk
    2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    real bacon pieces
    4 green onions, chopped 
    In slow cooker stir in potatoes, onion, celery, broth and water. Cover slow cooker and cook on low heat setting for 6 hours. Whisk together flour and milk into a bowl and mix into slow cooker. Increase the heat setting to high. Cover slow cooker and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Stir in the cheese and continue stirring until melted. (If you would like the soup to be thicker, mix together a bit of water and flour and pour into slow cooker until the desired consistency is achieved). Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with bacon pieces and chives. Enjoy.