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by Sarah Steimer

I’ll admit I didn’t grill this. I took the easy way out (because I didn’t feel like powering up the grill for lunch) and just popped the kale under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Do keep an eye on it, though. It crisps up quickly. Also – this dish has some of the best textures in all the land.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 medium plum, halved, pitted, thinly sliced
  • 6 medium curly kale leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh ricotta

Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme and honey. Season with the salt and pepper. Toss the plums in the oil and vinegar mixture to coat and set aside.

Brush the kale leaves with olive oil and season with salt. Grill the kale over medium-high heat OR take my short cut and put the kale on a metal pan and pop in the broiler. If grilling, be sure to turn after a few minutes. Either method only takes a few minutes to darken and crisp the kale, to keep a careful eye on the leaves.

Once the kale has a moment to cool, remove the large stems if you did not do so before. Toss the kale in the oil-vinegar dressing.

Place the ricotta on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Top with the kale, plums and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Makes one serving.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

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by Sarah Steimer

I got this idea from a kit I saw at World Market, which actually used little skulls instead of cupcake wrappers.

Use this recipe for both the cake and the icing. Add four drops of red food coloring and two drops of yellow food coloring to the icing. Use cupcake liners in your pan and fill about two-thirds of the way full.

FOR THE SAUCE:

I didn't make the plum sauce very sweet so its natural tartness cut through the sweet cake and icing.

  • 15 red plums
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons water

Cut the plums into small pieces and heat in a saucepan with the honey and water. Cook on medium-to-low heat until well softened and bubbly – about 10 minutes. Let cool. Puree in a blender until smooth.

When the cupcakes have cooled, use a pastry injector or long icing tip to inject the cakes with the plum sauce through the top of the

Lil' brains.

cake (pictured). Refrigerate for about an hour so the cupcakes and sauce can settle.

Using a regular round icing tip, draw on your brains as you see in the picture (self explanatory, really). Add a few red sprinkles because when you chop off people’s brains there’s a lot of blood that gets sprayed, according to movies.

Keep refrigerated.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

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by Sarah Steimer

The ginger and other spices in these bars make them very seriously pop. Very, very dangerous and serious like James Bond - in a speedo!

For the crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces

For the filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups plum puree (go here for that)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Line a 7 X 11 inch brownie pan/baking dish with a parchment paper – I used an 8 x 8 inch pan, which was perfectly fine. Line the paper so it covers the sides & bottom and is little extra on all sides so it can lift out easily.

Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt and ginger with your hands (or a food processor) until it resembles loose crumbs. Press the mix into the baking dish to cover all sides and form a smooth/even layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Bake the refrigerated crust for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the crust barely starts to brown on sides. Remove the baked crust from oven and let cool – but do not turn off the oven.

Sift flour and salt together. In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. Add the lime juice then add the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, fold the puree into the mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Do no beat but make sure that everything is combined well.

Pour the filling on top of the cooled crust and tap the dish once to remove any air bubbles. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until just set and the edges start to turn brown.
Allow the dessert to completely cool before cutting. Refrigerate (or else it will be too sticky).
Recipe adapted from: Sinfully Spicy
Photo: Sarah Steimer

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