Friday, February 1, 2013

Deep Fried Apple Pies

Deep Fried Apple Pies
I had a startling realization the other day. I had never deep fried anything. It seemed logical to find a Paula Deen recipe to remedy this situation. Now, unlike Paula Deen, I don't have a built-in deep fryer. But using a very deep pot I was able achieve the same results. I was really, truly impressed by the finished product. These deep fried apple pies were freaking delicious. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup
Soup season is in full swing here in New York and this chipotle pumpkin soup was hearty enough for a full meal. Slightly spicy with the addition of chipotle peppers but the sweetness of the pumpkin definitely comes through with creamy avocado being the perfect garnish.

1 14.5 oz can pumpkin puree
1/2t cumin
1/2t salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
3c vegetable broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 14.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can corn, drained
2c fresh baby spinach

This recipe is so easy you could probably memorize it without too much effort and requires very little measuring. Honestly, just pop all of the ingredients into a big pot and bring to a simmer. Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
The difference in taste between homemade hummus and store-bought hummus is astronomical. Homemade hummus is is so much more delicious and you can cater it exactly to your tastes (I like a little extra lemon juice and salt and a little less tahini). Plus, most people don't realize how ridiculously easy it is to make homemade hummus, and lots of it! Below is my recipe for roasted red pepper hummus but feel free to leave out the roasted red peppers or add in anything else that you prefer - olives, spices etc.

1 15 oz. can of chick peas
2 roasted red peppers
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 gloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Peel garlic cloves and allow to cook in the oil until fragrant, about five minutes. Put the rest of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until you reach the desired consistency then add the oil and garlic and process again. Refrigerate for thirty minutes and use as a dip, dressing or spread. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Edamame Walnut Dumplings with Soy Glazed Mushrooms

Edamame Walnut Dumplings
with Soy Glazed Mushrooms
My college roommate and I have always been very enthusiastic about dining out. However, one fundamental difference always existed in our preferences. She always craved Thai food and I just never wanted to go to a Thai restaurant. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy Thai food, because I always enjoyed it whenever I ate it, I just never had cravings for asian cuisine (unless its the occasional spicy tuna roll). Well, lately I have had a change of heart and am on a definitive asian cooking kick. Plus, filling wonton wrappers didn't sound like a bad time at all.

25-30 wonton wrappers
1 cup shelled edamame
1/4 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth, divided
3 cloves garlic
8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
salt and pepper

Let me preface these directions by saying you WILL have dumplings left over. Just store them in the fridge in an airtight container and enjoy a gourmet lunch the next day!

In a food processor, combine edamame, walnuts, chives, 1/4 cup vegetable broth and 2 cloves garlic and process until the mixture is homogenous. Taste, season with salt and pepper and process again. On a baking sheet, lay out the wonton wrappers. Fill a small bowl with warm water, dip your finger in it and trace the outline of each wonton wrapper. Using a teaspoon, place a small dollop of the edamame mixture in the center of each wonton wrapper. Fold over the wonton into a triangle shape and press down the edges so they are sealed very tightly. Next, dab some water on the center of the wonton and fold over each of the corners so the dumpling is in the shape of a pentagon.

Place the dumplings in a steamer basket coated with cooking spray over boiling water and steam covered for five minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a small skillet heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Put the sliced mushrooms in the pan and do not stir for a few minutes so that they can brown and won't get spongy. Mince the garlic and add to the pan. Then add the soy sauce, some salt and pepper and toss in any extra loose edamame beans for color. Stir lightly until edamame beans are heated through.

Heat up the remaining vegetable broth in the microwave. Distribute the heated broth equally into four bowls. There should not be too much broth just a small amount to place the dumplings so they don't stick. Fill each bowl with dumplings, top with the mushroom mixture and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Caramelized Fig and Goat Cheese Crostata

Caramelized Fig and Goat Cheese Crostata

I love being able to whip something up without any advanced preparation for a recipe. I had not planned on lifting a finger to cook at all today. However, when my dad came home with a delicious carton of huge fresh figs from the farm stand the recipe wheels in my brain started turning. I popped a few into my mouth post dinner and resigned to the couch to read my book...

The figs kept calling my name. I headed back into the kitchen to see what I could come up with. Luckily, there was another frozen pie crust from when I made the Heirloom Tomato Tart, and I knew I could count on the refrigerator to house some creamy goat cheese. Voila! I had the makings of a delicious dessert.

1 9 inch frozen rolled pie crust
5-6 fresh figs, sliced
3 ounces goat cheese
2 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 egg

Preheat the oven the 375 degrees fahrenheit. Once the pie crust has defrosted, unroll onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Place the goat cheese and cream cheese in a small microwave safe bowl and microwave on medium high power for thirty seconds. Mix in the chopped dried cranberries and cinnamon and stir to combine. Using a spoon or small spatula spread the goat cheese mixture onto the pie crust leaving about a 3/4 inch crust on the outside. Top with and even layer of sliced figs. Next, gently fold over the pie crust so that it makes a free-form crust around the filling. If the crust cracks at all make sure to press it together with your fingers. Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork. Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg along the crust. This will make the crust brown nicely. Finally sprinkle the dark brown sugar evenly over the figs.

Bake for 15 minutes then turn the oven on broil and allow to bake for another three minutes. This will allow the brown sugar to caramelize on top of the figs and form a delicious brulĂ©e-like topping. I love the sweet and tart flavor combination of this crostata. Figs are some of the sweetest fruit and the goat cheese adds a nice tangy contrast. The creaminess of the goat cheese also plays will with the crunch of the brown sugar on top. Slice into six pieces and enjoy!