blisteringlydrunk

food amongst family and friends

Korean Style Lettuce Wraps July 24, 2013

Filed under: Beef,Mains,Make Ahead,Quick and easy — blisteringlydrunk @ 9:57 am
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IMG_8172This is another great recipe from Fine Cooking’s Grilling magazine. I have made this a couple of times now, both for company and just for us. It’s a hit with adults and kids alike and a great icebreaker in the tradition of messy foods (tacos, spaghetti, meatballs subs, you know what I mean) only more warm weather appropriate, in that its nice and light. Plus, it comes together in no time; you can marinate it for 1/2 an hour if you need to get dinner on the table, or 8 hours if you are trying to get your prep done ahead. Either way is tasty, then the meat cooks in the time it takes the rice to cook. My biggest problem with this recipe is not eating too much; I always think I should have just one more!

1/2 medium Asian pear or 1 whole ripe pear

6 Tbsp soy sauce

1/4 cup sake (I use 2 Tbsp each, rice vinegar and sherry, due to lack of sake in my house)

3 1/2 Tbsp sugar

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper

1 flank steak (mine was about 1 1/2 lbs)

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp sesame seeds

2 cups cooked rice (I made coconut jasmine rice; just replace the water with light coconut milk when you cook it, the flavour is soooo worth it!)

1 head of leaf lettuce, red or green, washed and separated into leaves

1. Core the pear and roughly chop. Put it into a blender along with soy sauce, sake, sugar, garlic, a pinch of salt and 3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper. Process until smooth, then transfer to a bowl and stir in green onions, sesame oil and sesame seeds.

2. Place the flank steak in a wide shallow dish, then poke all over with the tip of a paring knife. Reserve half a cup of marinade for serving then pour the rest over the meat. Let sit for 1/2 an hour at room temperature, or up to 8 hours in the fridge.

3. Preheat grill to medium high heat and start your rice. Grill the meat for about 5 minutes a side for medium rare (will vary with the thickness of your steak, so use your discretion). Let rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice across the grain.

4. To serve, place a lettuce leaf on your plate, top with about 1/4 cup of rice, meat and then spoon or pour over sauce. Fold up the bottom of the leaf and then fold the sides in (like a tortilla). I find it easiest to put everything on the table and let everyone make their own.

Enjoy! And make sure you have napkins ready!

Ky

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Chocolate Silk Pie July 5, 2013

Filed under: Baking,Desserts,Make Ahead,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 9:58 am
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Pie and coffeeLooking for a rich, chocolate dessert that somehow feels light, cold and summery? This is it. It’s easy, quick to prepare (although it needs a 6 hour rest in the fridge) and amazing with a good cup of coffee. Oh, and it comes from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. Are you shocked? Go make it immediately.

Katie

serves 8-10

Crust:
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
2 T sugar
Pinch of salt
5 T butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350.  In a 9 inch pie pan, stir together cookie crumbs, sugar, and salt.  Stir in melted butter.
2. Press crumbs evenly across the bottom and up the sides of your pie dish.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then cool completely.

Filling:
12 T butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract

1. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
2. While mixer is running, drizzle in melted chocolate.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating mixture at medium speed for 5 minutes after each addition, scraping down bowl (so this will whip for 15 minutes total).
4. Add vanilla and blend well.
5. Spread chocolate filling in prepared crust, and smooth top.  Refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 6 hours, or overnight.

Garnish:

1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 T sugar
Chocolate curls shaved from a bar of good quality, dark chocolate (optional)

1. Just before serving, beat cream with sugar until it just holds soft peaks.
2. Smooth evenly over pie and garnish with chocolate shavings.

 

Dark Chocolate and Brandy Pots de Creme April 7, 2013

pot de creme This is your fast track to a rich, silky dessert tonight. It took me all of about 5 minutes to whip these up.

Pots de creme are a custard of sorts, traditionally composed of eggs and cream, then baked in a water bath.  This recipe ditches the cream and opts for hot coffee, which you blend with the chocolate and eggs. The heat from the coffee thickens the eggs, giving you the same result you would get whisking the eggs and cream over heat. Did that make any sense? What I’m trying to say is that this is even less work than a traditional pot de creme and the result is still silky smooth deliciousness.

I grabbed the recipe from Pioneer Woman, where you can find step by step photos of the process. I adapted the recipe to suit my preferences – more booze, brandy instead of Grand Marnier, a little more salt and a smaller batch (because it’s dangerous for me to have 12 of these sitting in the fridge). I hope you love them!

Katie

makes 6 reasonable sized servings or 4 indulgent ones

6 oz good dark chocolate (I used Lindt), chopped
2 whole eggs
1 T Brandy (or Grand Marnier or whatever you feel like), possibly more to taste
generous pinch salt
1/2 cup HOT strong coffee
unsweetened whipped cream, for serving
optional: candied orange peel or thinly sliced fresh orange peel, for serving

Place the chocolate in your blender. Crack in the eggs, then pour in the Brandy and salt. Blend for a few seconds until the chocolate is busted up and everything is thoroughly mixed.

With the blender running, slowly pour your super hot coffee in a thin stream through the blender lid until it’s all added. Blend another few seconds until smooth. Taste and add more Brandy or salt if desired.

Pour mixture into small cups or jars. Throw them in the fridge until set – it will take about 2 hours. You can easily make these ahead and keep them in the fridge for a day or two.

Top with a big dollop of whipped cream and garnish with sliced orange peel. Dig in!

Tip: I like making these in jars so that I can easily screw on a lid and store them for a few days. Even the whipping cream will stay fresh stored like this for 2 days.

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Mulligatawny: The All Season Soup April 2, 2013

Filed under: Chicken,Mains,Make Ahead,Quick and easy,Soups — blisteringlydrunk @ 10:03 am
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MulligatawnyThis has quickly become one of my favourite soups to make. It comes together quickly, it easily adapts to make use of ingredients you have on hand and it makes for a thoroughly satisfying meal every time you make it. I don’t think I have made this the same way twice – I adjust the recipe to accommodate my cravings and my pantry. I have used chicken-apple sausage in place of the rotisserie chicken, potatoes in place of the chickpeas, light coconut milk in place of regular…this time around I was craving a big bowl of veggies, so I packed it full of carrots and kale along with a small handful of leftover tandoori chicken pieces. As usual, the flavour was rich, tart, spicy, nutty and exactly what I was craving.

The recipe comes from Spilling the Beans, but I pulled it from Dinner with Julie. The recipe below is the original, but I have noted possible substitutions. I think the key elements to keep intact are the chicken broth, coconut milk, tart apples and peanuts. You can easily use different cuts of chicken, add extra vegetables and substituted beans for the meat. I don’t know how well this would work as a vegetarian soup – it works well to leave out the chicken, but I don’t know if a vegetable broth would hold up well to the richness of the coconut milk and the spices. It’s worth a shot, but the recipe is definitely meant to be chicken-centric.

I hope you love it as much as I do.
Katie

serves 6

1 small roasted or rotisserie chicken (sub: chicken sausage removed from casing OR nearly any type of chicken (cooked or raw) + 4-6 cups chicken broth)
1 onion
coconut or olive oil, for cooking
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 T curry paste (I use Patak’s Madras paste)
1 t cumin (I like to use whole cumin, but ground will work)
1-2 cups cooked chickpeas (up to a full can, rinsed and drained) (sub: 1 potato, chopped)
1 t salt
1 14 oz can coconut milk (light or regular will both work)
1 tart apple (such as granny Smith or pink lady), finely chopped

steamed rice, for serving
chopped cilantro and chopped salted peanuts, for garnish

1. Pull the meat off the roasted chicken and put the carcass and bones into a saucepan. Set the meat aside and just barely cover the carcass with water. Peel the onion and add the outer layers of skin to the pan (at this point, you can throw in any veggie scraps you need to use up. Carrot ends, celery trimmings and fresh herbs all work well). Bring to a simmer and cook for at least half an hour. Strain into a bowl or pot and set aside. You should have 4-6 cups of stock.

2. Put your rice on, cook and let sit covered until the soup is done.

3. Meanwhile, chop the onion and sauté it in a drizzle of oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, jalapeño, garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Add the curry paste, cumin and chickpeas and cook for another minute or two. If you are using raw chicken, add it now and saute until nearly cooked through. For chicken sausage, you should break it up as it cooks. For raw chicken pieces, you should have them cut into bite sized chunks before adding them.

4. Add the chicken stock, salt and cooked chicken (if you are using cooked pieces rather than raw); bring to a simmer. Cook for about ten minutes, then add the coconut milk and apple and heat through.

To serve, put a scoop of rice into each bowl and ladle the soup overtop. Sprinkle with cilantro and chopped peanuts.

 

Breakfast at my house, every Saturday February 26, 2013

ImageI thought for years that I had scones all wrapped up. I kept reading about cream scones and I thought they were crazy, that clearly you would need an egg in there to get that lightness that you want in a good scone (who knew whipping cream would be the solution to that?). But finally, I caved, and tried this recipe, and our Saturday mornings haven’t been the same since. These are perfect; light, soft, and delicate, creamy with a hint of sweetness, just what I want with my lazy weekend coffees. This picture is of my family’s favourite flavour, raspberry, but I have also tried lemon ginger (zest of one lemon, a third of a cup chopped candied ginger, lemon egg wash and crystallized sugar at the end), cherry orange (orange zest instead of the lemon and frozen cherries) and roasted pear and dark chocolate (just like it sounds). All flavours have been well received. The best part of these scones (besides eating them): they freeze beautifully. Once they are mixed and shaped, just pop them on a cookie sheet and freeze them solid, then transfer to an airtight container and: TA DA! you have the ability to put freshly baked scones on your table in about 20 minutes, including the time it takes your oven to preheat. Add about three minutes to your regular baking time and nothing else. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does!

 

1 cup unbleached flour

1 cup spelt flour

1 Tbsp Baking powder

3 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

5 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cubed

a few big handfuls of frozen raspberries

1 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone (unless you are going to freeze all of them, in which case you can skip the preheat)

2. Combine flour thru salt in a large mixing bowl (or in a food processor, I just find this so simple it’s not worth having to wash my food processor).

3. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or by pulsing in the food processor, until mixture resembles oatmeal. Stir in raspberries and cream until it all starts to come together. Turn out onto counter and knead a couple of times, just to get everything to stay together. Pat into a 6-8″ disc, then cut into 8 wedges.

4. Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. I always check by pressing the tops; the scones shouldn’t feel liquidy inside, they should be firm all the way through.

5. Let cool a little on a rack, then eat ’em up! Scones are best fresh baked and are great for a few hours, just don’t seal then inside anything; they will lose there crispness.

 

Enjoy!

Ky

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Homemade chili powder and my ultimate chili February 8, 2013

Filed under: Beef,Make Ahead,Pork,Sausage,Soups,Uncategorized — blisteringlydrunk @ 1:57 pm
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IMG_7150This post has been waaaaay too long coming. I keep promising the recipe to people, but I didn’t want to post it until I had a picture, and I couldn’t take a picture until I made more, and I couldn’t make more until I had time/the season was right/the kids forgot that they don’t like chili so were willing to try it again, and I wouldn’t have time until my children (??? not sure when I will actually have more time)/the season’s almost over (again)/the kids finally forgot. That’s a lot of excuses, huh? I eventually ran out of them and just buckled down one night and made this, at which point I remembered that it takes all of 15 minutes to do and I really should have done it ages ago whether my kids liked it or not. I think I was confused because the last time I made this, I made enough to give a jar each to my 15 favourite people as Christmas gifts, which did take a long time because my coffee/spice grinder just isn’t that big. But it was a hit, hence the recipe requests, so without further ado, here is the recipe (originally found here, but adjusted a lot) along with MY (read: adjust to suit your palate) ultimate chili recipe.

Chili Powder

5 dried Guajillo chilies

2 dried Chipotle chilies (if you are a big Chipotle fan, you could add one more of these and one less Arbol)

3 dried Arbol chilies (if you like really spicy chili, I would add another of these)

1 Tbsp good quality smoked paprika

1 Tbsp coriander seed

2 Tbsp cumin seed

1 big cinnamon stick

2 tsp whole cloves

4 tsp oregano

1 tsp onion powder (your could also add garlic powder here; I like to add fresh garlic to the chili, but if you want to keep the chili prep minimal, that’s one way to cut down)

1 tsp whole black peppercorns

1. Wipe dust off the dried chilies and toast them whole on a cookie sheet in a 200 oven, until the chilies are crisp and fragrant, anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on the chilies.

2. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat and toast coriander and cinnamon for one minute, then add the cumin seed. Toast until fragrant, 5 minutes at the most, being careful not to burn them.

3. Remove the seeds and stems from the guajillo and chipotle chilies, then add, along with remaining ingredients to a spice/coffee grinder. If using your regular coffee grinder, tap out any loose grounds, but don’t worry about it being perfectly clean; the coffee with be a good flavour kick in the chill. Afterwards just run a piece of fresh bread through it to clean up the remaining spices. I usually have to do mine in two batches to start with and then do one big batch once everything is ground down to size.

4. Pat yourself on the back, you’re done.

My Ultimate Chili

OK, this is the way I like chill; it’s rich and flavourful, with a slight kick (in deference to my children. As it is I still have to add a big spoonful of yogurt to theirs to mild it out a little) and a subtle sweetness. I have my favourite chili veggies in here and all my favourite beans. Make sure when you make it, you do the same; if you prefer green peppers to red, switch it; if you don’t like mushrooms, or don’t like them from a can, switch it; if you want to burn your mouth with heat, add more chilies or hot sauce; make it your own, but trust me and try the chocolate, vinegar and brown sugar, they make this recipe!

2-4 cloves garlic (to taste), finely diced

2 medium onions, diced

1 lb extra lean ground beef (I love bison or ostrich here as well)

1 lb good quality chorizo sausage, casings removed (I use a chicken one I love, but pork is also fantastic, just make sure you have eaten the sausage on it’s own and like the flavour of it, as that’s what will come out in the chill, more than the type of meat)

2, 28 oz cans diced tomatoes

1 24 oz jar passata (strained tomatoes)

50 grams dark (the darker the better; 70-85%) chocolate

3 Tbsp dark brown sugar

2 Tbsp vinegar (I just use white, but white wine would work too)

2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp Chili powder (this is assuming the homemade stuff above; if using store bought, you will need a lot more, I would say double to start)

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

2 10 oz cans whole mushrooms, halved

2 sweet red bell peppers, diced

4 19 oz cans beans (I usually use 2 kidney beans, one chick pea, and one either black bean or black eyed peas, depending on what’s in my cupboard)

1. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add beef, sausage, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring and breaking up large chunks of meat, until beef and sausage are just cooked.

2. Add tomatoes, passata, chocolate, sugar, vinegar, salt, chili powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until thickened to stew like consistency.

3. Add beans, red peppers, and mushrooms. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes, or until peppers are cooked to your liking. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, keeping in mind that the flavours will enhance over time. I prefer to make my chili a day or two before I plan to eat it, to give the flavours time to bloom.

Enjoy!

Ky

PS A friend told me to try giving my kids taco chips to scoop up the chili with; worked like a charm, now everyone loves chili!

 

Austrian Shortbread December 30, 2012

Filed under: Bars,Make Ahead — blisteringlydrunk @ 11:53 am
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ShortbreadThis was my breakfast this morning: coffee with homemade eggnog and a slice of Austrian shortbread. Christmas leftovers make me happy.

I have to start this post by confessing that every single square, cookie and appetizer I made for Christmas this year came from Smitten Kitchen. I ordered her new cookbook in the Fall, it arrived in late October, and I’ve been staring at it every day since it arrived. I’ve already made the squash and caramelized onion galette 4 times. Heaven!

This shortbread comes from Epicurious via the Smitten Kitchen blog. What sets this recipe apart from other shortbreads is not the ingredients, but an interesting tweak to the process. Once the dough has come together, you freeze it, then grate half of it into the bottom of the pan, add a layer of raspberry jam, then grate the remaining dough on top. The result is a lighter, airier shortbread. I took Deb’s advice and added a good dose of lemon zest – I wouldn’t make it any other way.

Aside from being super tasty, this is a convenient recipe to make when you have lots on the go. You can make the dough well in advance, freeze it, then grate and bake it the day that you need it. Once baked, it will stay moist and soft and delicious for at least a week if you keep it at room temperature in an airtight container.

Note – the Epicurious recipe says that you can substitute 1 cup of flour for 1 cup of cocoa, producing a chocolate raspberry shortbread. If you go that route, leave out the lemon zest.

yields a 9×13 pan of deep squares

1 pound unsalted butter, slightly softened
4 egg yolks
2 C sugar
4 C flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1-2 t lemon zest
1 C raspberry jam, at room temperature
1/4 C powdered sugar

Cream the butter until soft and fluffy. Add the yolks and mix well.

Whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to the butter and egg yolk mixture. Mix just until the dough starts to come together, then turn out onto a floured surface and form into two balls. Wrap each ball in plastic and freeze at least 2 hours. You can make this ahead and freeze it for up to a month.

When you’re ready to bake, get the oven heating to 350 F.

Take one ball of dough from the freezer and coarsely grate it – you can do this by hand on a box grater, but a food processor is much easier if you have one. Shake the shortbread flakes into the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan, making sure to evenly distribute the flakes.

Spoon the jam into a piping bag with a wide tip or a zip-lock bag with a corner cut off. Squeeze the jam over the surface as evenly as possible, leaving a 1/2 inch border. I squeezed out the jam in a tight zigzag pattern, then used a butter knife to lightly spread it and fill in the gaps. Remove the remaining dough from the freezer, coarsely grate it and shake evenly over the entire surface.

Bake until lightly golden and the center no longer wiggles. This took just shy of 50 minutes for me, though the original recipe said it could take up to 60 minutes. I suggest checking it at 45 minutes, check the edges for browning and decide how close you are. As soon as you take it out of the oven, dust with the powdered sugar and let cool.

Note – leave this whole until you’re ready to serve. The shortbread will last longer as one solid piece than it will cut into little squares.

Enjoy!
Katie