Archive for November, 2012

by Caitlin Saniga

This stew is hearty and smells warm and wonderful. It’s food that will make you feel cozy.

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced, peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cups green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 to 14 1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 1 bag (9 ounces) fresh spinach
Prepare basmati rice as label directs.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Stir in the ginger, curry, cinnamon and garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add water, lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, broth and  salt. Heat to boiling.
Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 25 minutes or until the lentils and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach; heat through. Serve the stew over rice.
Recipe adapted from: The Daily Green

Read Full Post »

by Sarah Steimer

This was the first time I ever made a pecan pie, and I had planned to head over to Martha Stewart’s website for the recipe. After talking with my mom, she mentioned my Uncle Steve makes great pecan pie (even though I don’t think she’s ever tried it). I asked him for the recipe and here we have it: The great Stephen Jameson pecan pie. And now I can officially vouch for how good it is.

For the crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water

Combine the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, mixing until coarse crumbles appear.

Whisk together the vinegar, egg and cold water in a small bowl. Add the liquids to the dry mix and combine with your hands. Form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

For the filling

  • 1 1/4 cup Grade A maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans (plus a few halves for garnish, optional)

Whisk all filling ingredients together in a medium bowl.

I plan to freeze this pie (just wrap tightly with plastic wrap and aluminium foil) and take it home for Thanksgiving.

Roll the pie crust dough into about an 11-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, allowing about 1/2-inch or so to overhang the edges of the dish — the crust WILL shrink a bit. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust and bake for about five minutes at 375 degrees. Remove the crust from the oven and carefully arrange the edges in your preferred design. I took a cue from Caitlin and made an easy criss-cross pattern with the back of a knife.

Carefully add the filling so as not to overflow the crust. Return to the oven (still on 375 degrees). Let bake for about 1 hour, checking it about halfway through. If the crust is beginning to brown too quickly, cover it with aluminium foil or a crust shield (cheap and totally worth it). The pie is ready when the center is still slightly jiggly and has puffed up.

Allow the pie to cool completely before serving. The center will mostly level out once cooled.

Recipe adapted from my Uncle Steve.

*This month we’re featuring classic pies that would be a great dessert at any Thanksgiving table. For the full list of pies, click here.

Read Full Post »

by Caitlin Saniga

Let’s be real for a minute. The crispy onion things on top of the green bean casserole are all anyone ever really cares about. Especially the fact that there better be TONS.

  • canola oil for frying
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 large shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Unsalted butter for baking dish, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 pounds cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed, chopped into 2-inch lengths and blanched

Green bean casserole has always been my favorite Thanksgiving dish. Grandma makes the classic recipe every year: canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, those crispy little onions that come in a resealable can. I love it so much that if it’s sitting around for too long before dinner, I’ll pick at the onions on top until the poor casserole is noticeably bare. What I dig about this recipe is that it uses all fresh ingredients from the beans, to the mushrooms in the homemade creamy soup, to the shallots that go into the frying oil. And the best part? You can double the crispy shallot part of the recipe if you anticipate needing more. 😉

Using a mesh strainer makes it easier to sift away the excess flour when coating the shallot rings.

If possible, make the crispy shallots ahead of time. Start by pouring oil about 1/2 inch deep in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Let it sit until it’s hot, about 5 minutes. In the meantime, prepare a cooling rack by covering it with paper towels.

Put 1/2 cup of the flour in a small bowl and season with salt and black pepper. Add the sliced shallots and toss to coat evenly.

To check whether the oil is hot enough, you can carefully flick a few drops of water at the oil. If they sizzle and pop immediately, the oil’s ready.

Working in batches, fry the shallots until golden brown and lightly crisped, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and lightly season with salt. Set aside.

When it’s done, it looks like a work of art!

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the chopped shallots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. While stirring constantly, slowly add the stock and then the cream. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the green beans and season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Transfer to the oven and bake until the edges are bubbling, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with fried shallots, return to the oven and cook for 5 more minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8.

Recipe adapted from: Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

Read Full Post »

by Sarah Steimer

Now that it’s getting colder out, I’m not as willing to venture out at a moment’s notice for dinner ingredients. On those sorts of evenings, I go to my favorite recipe websites and search for dishes that use ingredients I already have in the apartment. We hope you use our site the same way!

  • 1/2 pound pasta — I used whole-wheat spirals
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 pound sausage, casings removed
  • 2 medium/large parsnips, peeled and cubed
  • 5-6 Swiss chard leaves, stems removed and chopped with the leaves (no reason to discard the stems!)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan, plus more to top

Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain the pasta and return to the pot, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage, breaking the meat up into smaller pieces, about 3 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer the sausage to the pasta.

Add the parsnips to the saute pan and cook until browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chard, seasoning with salt and pepper, and cook until wilted. Transfer this parsnip-chard mixture and the cheese to the pasta and toss, adding enough water to create a light sauce. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the pasta with the extra cheese, if you choose. Makes 2-3 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

Read Full Post »

by Caitlin Saniga

Hahahaha. Live and learn. The centerpiece of this photo, the slice of pie, was supposed to look *AWESOME*. I mean, check out that adorable little cinnamon bun topper and those irresistibly cute marshmallows. Now go ahead and let your jaw drop and your eyes roll as you’re overwhelmed by that cream cheese mess on the plate. Alas, I thought the cream cheese drizzle would be more drizzly, so I blasted the slice with icing. Might I suggest doing more of a dollop instead of a drizzle? See the photo at the bottom for an idea.

For the crust:

  • pate brisee (recipe here)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the filling:

  • 2 cups peeled, 1/2-inch-thick chopped sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup milk

For the cream cheese drizzle:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • mini marshmallows (I use the extra-tiny version.)

To make the crust:

To cut time, I suppose you could buy a premade pie crust. But what’s the fun in that? P.S. This is about how much cinnamon you want on your crust before you roll it into a log.

Prepare the pate brisee, mold into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. On a floured surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 11-inch circle. Brush the melted butter onto the crust and sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the crust. Starting at one end of the circle, roll the crust into a log. Slice 1.4-inch-thick rounds from the log and place them side to side in a 9-inch pie pan.

If you have leftover pinwheels, bake them on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Use as pie slice toppers.

Once you have covered the bottom and walls of the pie pan, use a flat-bottom glass dusted in flour to press the cinnamon pinwheels flat and into each other. Use your fingers to shape the pinwheels along the walls of the pan. Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes.

To make the filling:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I poured the filling straight into the unbaked crust, but if you want a crispier crust, I advise baking it about 8 on its own first.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes. Cook about 15 minutes, or until a the sweet potatoes can be mashed with the back of a spoon. Drain.

Add the potatoes, 1 cup of the sugar, the butter, eggs, vanilla, salt and spices to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for about 30 seconds or until no chunks of sweet potato remain.

This is what the baked crust looks like.

Add the milk and pulse for another 10 seconds. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pie on a rack and cool to room temperature.

To make the cream cheese drizzle:

You be the judge: Drizzle or dollop the icing as you please.

Use a mixer to cream together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt. In a slow, steady stream add the milk and continue mixing until incorporated.

Drizzle/dollop the cream cheese icing over slices of pie. Add leftover baked cinnamon pinwheels and sprinkle marshmallows and cinnamon over top.

Makes about 8 servings.

Pie filling recipe adapted from: Paula Deen

Cream cheese drizzle recipe: Rachel Ray

*This month we’re featuring classic pies that would be a great dessert at any Thanksgiving table. For the full list of pies, click here.

Read Full Post »

by Sarah Steimer

I like having greens in my soup, it’s a really great blast of vitamins. Greens such as spinach or chard are fairly mild and won’t change the flavor of most soups by much or at all.

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced peeled ginger
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 russet potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed well
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups (packed) spinach leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • nonfat Greek-style yogurt (optional)

Heat a few drops of olive oil in a dutch oven or a heavy (large) pot over medium heat. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly golden. Add the garlic and ginger, stirring constantly for about one minute.

Add the broth, potatoes, carrots and lentils. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until the lentils and vegetables are tender; about 15-20 minutes.

Stir in the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Serve with a dollop of yogurt.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

Read Full Post »

by Caitlin Saniga

Oops! Got a little excited digging into the pie and cracked the crust of my first slice at the base. Top each slice of cocoa pudding pie with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, a square of chocolate and maybe even a dusting of chocolate powder.

  • pate brisee (recipe here)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • sweetened whipped cream (recipe here)
  • chocolate squares for garnish

If you decide to embellish the edges of your pie crust, dig around in your cupboards and drawers to find some unconventional decorating tools. Here, I used a citrus zester with tiny circular holes in a repetitive pattern around the edge. You can also use the tongs of a fork, the spikes of a meat tenderizer, a mesh strainer or the decorative handle of any utensil.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

On a clean, flat surface, roll the pate brisee into an 11-inch circle. Gently lift and place the crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Softly press the crust into the pan, then quickly flip the pan upside down and rest on a flat surface. Using a sharp knife, cut around the pan to remove any extra crust. Flip over again, and use a fork to prick holes in the crust. Refrigerate the pan for 10 minutes (Cooling it will help prevent the crust from shrinking down into the pan when it’s baked.).

Remove the pan from the fridge and cover the crust with foil and place pie weights or dried beans on top to keep the foil in place. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven and take out the pie weights and the aluminum foil liner.

Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Return the pie to the oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely before using.

Combine the cocoa, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually add the milk to the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly , until mixture comes to a boil; boil for 1 minute.

Remove the pan from heat; stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour the mixture into the crust. Carefully press plastic wrap directly onto the pie filling. Refrigerate for 6 hours.

When serving, wipe the blade of your knife clean after each slice. Top each piece with whipped cream and a chocolate square. Refrigerate leftover pie.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Hershey’s

*This month we’re featuring classic pies that would be a great dessert at any Thanksgiving table. For the full list of pies, click here.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »