Friday, February 27, 2009

African Pineapple Peanut Stew

Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home Even though I own this cookbook, I didn't notice the recipe until I saw it on Food alla Puttanesca!

  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch kale or Swiss chard (4 cups sliced)
  • 2 cups undrained canned crushed pineapple (20-ounce can)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (we used Sriracha), plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • crushed skinless peanuts, to garnish
  • chopped cilantro, to garnish
  • hot brown or white rice, couscous, or quinoa
  1. In a covered saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly browned. While the onions sauté, wash the kale or Swiss chard. Remove and discard the large stems. Slice the leaves crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices.
  2. Add the pineapple and its juice to the onions and bring to a simmer. Stir in the kale or chard, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until just tender. Mix in the peanut butter, hot sauce, and cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste, and serve over rice, garnishing with peanuts and additional cilantro.

Nutritional Information per 8 ounce serving: 225 calories, 7.4g protein, 12g fat, 25.7g carbohydrate, 169mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol.

My Notes: A great vegan recipe. I loved the contrast of textures with the crunchy peanuts and the stew and rice.

Tim's Rating: 9/10 "Weird but good" (Yes, this is Tim's second "weird" comment in a row.)
Liz's Rating: 9/10

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Umbrian Lentil Stew with Olive-Oil Fried Eggs

Food & Wine

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small celery rib, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 pound Umbrian lentils or green lentils (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 12 arugula leaves
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and aged balsamic vinegar, for serving

  1. In a saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil; add the prosciutto and cook over low heat until the fat has rendered.
  2. In a food processor, finely chop the carrot and celery. Add the vegetables to the saucepan along with the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir over moderately high heat until shiny, 1 minute. Add the lentils and 2 1/2 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the broth has been absorbed, 25 minutes. Add 1 more cup of the broth and continue simmering until absorbed, 10 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth and simmer until the lentils are tender and suspended in a creamy sauce, 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat a thin film of olive oil. Crack the eggs into the skillet, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, the whites are just set and the yolks are still runny. Spoon the lentils into shallow bowls and top with the eggs and arugula. Grate the cheese over the eggs and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve right away.

My notes: I substituted spinach for the arugula since I already had some. Don't forget the balsamic or the parmesan-- they add a lot of flavor. I didn't think that the lentils tasted any creamier than the usual preparation, but I did really enjoy this dish.

Vegetarian Option: Omit the prosciutto and sauté vegetables in olive oil instead.

Tim's Rating: 8.5/10 "Weird. I like the egg. I love the egg. The egg makes this."
Liz's Rating: 8.5/10

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Split-Pea Supper with Rye Bread Croutons

A Cuisine at Home recipe I ripped out of my Mom's magazine

  • 2 strips thick-sliced bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup diced onion (about 1 half of a medium onion)
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (1 large stalk)
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dried split peas, rinsed and picked through
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire or Pickapeppa Sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 slices rye bread, cubed
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T minced fresh parsley

  1. Sauté bacon in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once bacon is crisp, remove it to drain on paper-towel lined plate. Reserve 1 Tbsp drippings in pan.
  2. Add onion, carrot, celery, and caraway seeds; sauté until onion is softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in water, broth, and split peas. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until peas begin to soften and break down, about 40 minutes. Stir in frozen peas and Worcestershire or Pickapeppa sauce. Return soup to a boil. Season soup with salt and pepper.
  4. Toast bread cubes in a nonstick pan over medium-low head, tossing often. When cubes are crisp and slightly golden, add butter and cook until cubes are golden brown. Top each serving of soup with reserved bacon, parsley, and croutons.

Nutritional Information for one-half of the recipe:
687 calories; 21g total fat (7g saturated); 26mg cholesterol; 89g carbohydrates; 656mg sodium; 33g fiber; 41g protein

Recipe Notes:
Split peas continue to absorb moisture after cooking. If this soup has to sit awhile or be reheated, stir in a bit more water or broth to thin it out again.

My Notes:
Very good-- possibly the best split pea soup I've had. I loved the addition of the caraway seeds, the frozen peas, and the rye croutons. I ate half of the recipe and saved the remaining bacon and croutons in an airtight container. When Tim reheats the soup, he can add the reserved toppings along with a little broth or water.

Vegetarian Option: Omit bacon. Sauté vegetables in olive oil instead of bacon drippings, and use vegetarian or vegan broth and Worcestershire sauce.

Tim's Rating: 8.5/10
Liz's Rating: 9/10

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TWD: Caramel Crunch Bars

Whitney from What's Left on The Table chose this recipe and will be posting it. I was excited to make it, as Tim loves toffee. It was pretty easy to prepare, especially since I have a stand mixer. I have no complaints-- easy and tasty! I did use an 8*11 pan instead of a 9*13, and I was glad I did.

Tim's Rating: 9.5/10
Liz's Rating: 8.5/10

Next week on TWD: Chocolate Armagnac Cake

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lunch Ideas

Are you in a lunch rut?

Tim takes his lunch to work everyday, as he doesn't have time to leave the pharmacy to purchase lunch. I try to take my lunch every day unless I have plans with my friends or colleagues.

Tim loves sandwiches! Here are a few sandwich ideas to mix things up:

Vegetarian Sandwiches:

Meat Sandwiches:

  • roast beef, cheddar, dill mustard
  • chicken or turkey, mayonnaise mixed with dill and onion/garlic powder
  • salami, pickles, cream cheese or mustard
  • Cuban (roast pork, ham, mustard, pickles)
  • leftover steak with caramelized onions, blue cheese, and arugula

I cannot deal with daily sandwiches; I get sick of them.

I love pasta salad, however. It's easy to make a large pasta salad on the weekend or a weeknight, and you'll usually get 4-6 portions out of one big batch.

Pasta Salads:

Rice/Grain/Bread Salads:

Other Salads:

  • homemade hummus (including varieties like Taco Hummus or Black Bean Hummus) with veggies and/or pita
  • hardboiled eggs
  • roasted unsalted almonds
  • cucumber with cream cheese
  • celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins
  • string cheese
  • wasabi peas

If you have a microwave at work, you may want to check out some soup recipes, too!

What are your favorite bring-your-own lunches and snacks? I am always looking for new ideas!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Liptauer Cheese

The Amazing Race's pit stop in Austria, and a recipe from Nigella Lawson.

I think this recipe, seen on Sherry's blog, was one of the first five recipes I "starred" when I started reading food blogs. (Sadly, Sherry passed away in July, 2008.)

I was thinking I'd make it for book club, but I never got around to it. When researching Austrian recipes, I saw Liptauer cheese referenced and knew it was finally time.

  • 18 ounces cream cheese
  • 2-1/4 cups cottage cheese
  • 4-5 tablespoons capers
  • 8 cornichons, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • Pinch of salt
  • Good grating of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons French mustard
  • 1-quart mold or bowl

For drizzling over:

  • 1-2 tablespoons flavorless vegetable oil
  • Fat pinch of paprika

  1. Beat the two cheeses together until they are smooth, and then add all the other ingredients. Mix everything together well, and then turn into a small bowl with a capacity of approximately 1 quart, lined with plastic wrap for easier unmolding later. Smooth the top with a spatula and cover with the overhanging plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator to set.

  2. When it has become cold enough to turn out—a few hours should do it—unwrap the folded-over plastic wrap on top, place a plate over the now uncovered bowl, turn it the other way out and unmold. Pull the plastic wrap off and drizzle over a rust-red ooze, made by mixing the oil with a pinch of paprika.

  3. Serve this with bread or poppy-seed-sprinkled bagels, gherkins, and, if you like, some chopped red onions.

Notes: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this recipe, and Tim enjoyed the leftovers! I used Penzey's Hungarian Half-Sharp Paprika, and it gave the spread a little kick.

Tim's Rating: 9.5/10
Liz's Rating: 9/10

Sunday, February 15, 2009


The Amazing Race 14's first pit stop: Switzerland!

When looking for a Swiss recipe, I considered fondue, Älplermagronen, and Rösti. Since we recently had a fondue party (using this recipe), I decided to skip fondue. When my mother decided to grill steaks for dinner, I decided to go with the Rösti as it would be a good side dish.

My recipe was adapted from one found on The Food Network's website. My friend Lindsay, who lived in Switzerland last summer, told me that my ingredient list seemed authentic.

  • 6 large baking potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 1/2 ounces smoked bacon, thinly sliced vertically
  • 3 1/2 ounces onion, diced
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 1/2 ounces mushrooms, diced
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 6 slices Gruyere

  1. Boil the potatoes in their skins for 20 minutes, drain and leave to cool. Peel them. Using a cheese grater, grate them into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt.

  2. In a frying pan saute the bacon and onions. Strip the leaves off the sprigs of thyme into the pan. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Combine with the potatoes and mix gently, taking care not to mash them too much.

  3. Heat oil in a frying pan and add 3 or 4 spoonfuls of the mixture, See cook's note*. Using a spatula, pat the mixture into a round flat cake. Brown it over a high heat. When the bottom side is cooked flip it over. Repeat with remaining potatoes to make 6 cakes.

  4. Put 1/2 tablespoon of butter and a slice of Gruyere on each cake and melt under a hot grill or broiler. Turn the Rosti onto a plate and serve with a green salad, if desired.

Recipe Note: We find that it's better to cook the Rosti individually. 3 or 4 spoonfuls will serve 1 person.

My Notes: I would first like to note that I am not happy with this photo. However I realize this is a food blog, not a photography blog, and while I would prefer to give you appetizing photos, the point is to share recipes. :)

As I am on vacation visiting family, I didn't want to boil and shred potatoes. I skipped the first step by substituting a package of Simply Potatoes. I purchased sliced smoked Gruyere as that is what was available at the local grocery. I had some problems frying the potatoes as my mother has a flat top stove, and I am used to gas. I think they would have turned out a little better if I prepared them in my own kitchen. However, they were still good. (Of course they were, there is bacon involved!)

Vegetarian Option: These would be almost as tasty without the bacon.

Liz's Rating: 8.5/10
Tim's Rating: 8.5/10

Next week on The Amazing Race: I don't want to spoil the locations for those who would like to be surprised, but if you want to see the season 14 map, click here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Amazing Race Starts Tomorrow!

Tomorrow night Season 14 of The Amazing Race begins!

Readers may remember that I attempted to prepare a recipe for each of the countries visited in Season 13 of The Amazing Race. I will do the same for Season 14.

Tomorrow, the racers depart California for Switzerland.

I aimed to prepare recipes from California and Switzerland this week.

I narrowed my California recipes down to fish tacos, Santa Maria tri-tip, and an "Animal Burger" from In-n-Out (thanks for the idea, Erin!).

However, I am on vacation, and I am not cooking that much. I decided to forgo the California recipe and focus on the Switzerland recipe.

I did enjoy some fish tacos at a local restaurant on Thursday night. That counts, right?

If you'd like to make your own fish tacos, consider Erin's version!

Tomorrow on The Amazing Race: Switzerland!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Katie's Bagel Dip

My friend Katie makes great dips, and she knows Tim LOVES them. When we recently met up for a weekend, she brought along some of her bagel dip. She serves it at breakfast, but it would be a fine appetizer or afternoon snack with a group.

  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 16 oz mayonnaise
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
    (Katie's note: do not use the dip mix)
  • 6-7 oz of chopped corned beef or regular beef
  • bagels

  1. Mix all together and serve with bagels or pita chips.

Tim's Rating: 10/10
Liz's Rating: 9/10

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quinoa Fritters

Food & Wine

  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Cotija cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 scallions, white and light green parts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • lemon wedges for garnish
  • Red Salsa for serving

  1. Wash the quinoa and drain well. Place a small dry saucepan over high heat. Add the quinoa and toast, shaking and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, flour, cheese, salt and pepper. Add the scallions, parsley, egg and egg yolk. Blend thoroughly with a mixing spoon until the mixture has the consistency of a soft dough.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Using two soup spoons, press the batter into egg-shaped ovals and gently slide into the hot oil. Fry until the bottoms are golden and brown, less than a minute. Turn and fry the second side until golden, less than 1 minute. Drain on paper towels and serve warm with lemon wedges and red salsa.
I didn't have red salsa on hand so I used a spicy taco sauce instead. It looks like ketchup in the photo, but it isn't!
I didn't think that the cheese flavor was evident. You could easily omit it if you can't find Cotija.
While I prefer Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro, this was good as well. You could serve this as a first course (serves 6) or a main (serves 2-3).

Tim's Rating: 9/10
Liz's Rating: 8.5/10

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Spicy Kale Chowder with Andouille Sausage

Another "staff favorite" recipe from Food & Wine and some local andouille sausage.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 pound andouille sausages, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • One 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
  • 3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 pound kale, large stems and ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped (8 cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic and onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 12 minutes. Add the ginger and andouille and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and their juices; bring to a boil. Add the stock and kale; return to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer the soup until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve, or let cool and freeze.

Recipe Notes: This soup can be frozen for up to 1 month.

My Notes: This was an easy soup to make, aside from lots of onion chopping. I am learning I am not a huge fan of andouille, so I would personally omit it or use kielbasa next time.

If you like andouille, check out French Quarter Potatoes with Andouille-- one of Tim's favorites.

Tim's Rating: 8/10
Liz's Rating: 8/10

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quick Coconut-Saffron Ice Cream

My new ice cream attachment for my Kitchenaid Mixer (thanks, Mom!)
David Lebovitz, who adapted the recipe from Delicious Days.

I am sure that most people who get an ice cream maker start with something like vanilla or chocolate. However, I have been dreaming of saffron ice cream ever since my colleague and his wife took us to a local Persian restaurant. Our dessert of saffron ice cream was so different, so delicious, and definitely not available in Minnesotan grocery stores. So, I made it myself!

  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
  • 2 ounces (60 gr) palm sugar, or 1/4 cup white or unrefined cane sugar
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and chill the mixture thoroughly.
  3. Once chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Once churned, be sure to scrape any saffron threads clinging to the dasher back in to the ice cream.

Notes: This isn't super sweet, but it's super delicious. It would be the perfect end to a Middle-Eastern, Indian or Southeast Asian meal. I can testify it's delicious as a mid-afternoon snack. :)

Liz's Rating: 9.5/10
Tim's Rating: 8.5/10

Monday, February 9, 2009


NY Times Magazine

  • 2 pounds fresh spinach (weighed after trimming) or 2 packages frozen

  • 6 ounces crusty Italian bread (about half a loaf)

  • Hot water

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 to 1 cup dry, coarse bread crumbs

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

  • Flour

  • 3 cups hot tomato sauce, preferably homemade

  1. Cook the fresh spinach in the water clinging to the leaves after washing, or cook the frozen according to package instructions. Drain over a bowl, squeezing out as much water as possible — do this in small handfuls so you can press out the most water — and chop. Reserve the water.
  2. Briefly soak the bread in the reserved spinach water plus enough hot water to cover and squeeze dry.
  3. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Mix the spinach, bread, sautéed onion and garlic and put through the finest blade of a meat grinder or pulse in a food processor until chopped, then scrape into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of the dry bread crumbs, the cup of Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper and basil. Stir in the eggs. With lightly floured hands, gently shape the mixture into sausagelike links, 1 inch round by 3 inches long. If they do not hold together, add more bread crumbs. Lay on a baking sheet.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the links, one at a time, into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to let the water barely simmer and cook until the malfatti float to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and place in a greased baking dish, large enough to fit the malfatti in a single layer.
  6. Spoon the tomato sauce over the links, sprinkle with lots of cheese and broil to reheat.

Recipe Notes:
My Notes: This was time-consuming, but fun to make on a Saturday afternoon that Tim had to work. I clearly didn't broil as directed in step 6, because I knew I couldn't put pyrex in my broiler and I didn't feel like digging around for the right pan. These were surprisingly light, and really delicious. Other recipes for malfatti include ricotta cheese, which I may try next time.

Liz's Rating: 9.5/10
Tim's Rating: 10/10 ("I feel like I am in Italy again.")

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tim Cooks: Pasta with Sausage, Basil and Mustard

Whenever I have something in my freezer or pantry that I would like to use, but I don't have a recipe in mind, I head to the Food & Wine website. They have a search function where you can find recipes that utilize any ingredient. I always check the boxes for "staff favorite" and "fast" first. I have never made a bad "staff favorite" recipe-- they are always awesome!

Adapted from this recipe by Nigel Slater.

I had a work presentation the next morning, so Tim took over the cooking duties. He says it was really simple to make.

  • 12 ounces short tubular pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 pounds bulk Italian sausage
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (use stock if you do not consume alcohol)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced basil
  • Parmesan for garnish, if desired

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the sausage meat and brown over moderately high heat, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, mustard and crushed red pepper and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the pasta and basil and toss to coat. Serve at once.

This tastes vastly better than it looks. We had spicy bulk sausage, and this dish was SPICY. In a good way. I loved the combination of the spicy sausage, the strong mustard flavor, and the different textures. Do not use dried basil. I would not substitute turkey or chicken sausage in this dish; I think the rich pork flavor makes it special. I do not usually like leftovers, but I happily ate these leftovers 3 times. Loved it.

Liz's Rating: 10/10
Tim's Rating: 9/10

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Balsamic Lentils with Chicken Sausage

Cara's Cravings

  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3 links fully cooked chicken sausage, sliced
  • 2T balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • pinch of dried basil
  • freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped

  1. Heat about 1T olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5-8 minutes, until softened.
  2. Add 1T balsamic vinegar, garlic, chicken sausage, crushed red pepper, basil, salt and pepper and sauté 1-2 minutes more.
  3. Add the lentils, canned tomatoes, and water, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Add spinach and cook 10 minutes more, until spinach is wilted and lentils are tender.
  5. Stir in remaining 1T of balsamic vinegar, and serve.

Notes: Cara recommends Member's Mark Asiago & Spinach Chicken Sausage from Sam's Club; I found local chicken sausage at the co-op that was delicious! Vegetarians could easily substitute veggie sausage.

Tim's Rating: 8.75/10
Liz's Rating: 9.5/10

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Taco Hummus

Mark Bittman's hummus recipe
This taco seasoning recipe

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
  • 1/4-1/2 cup tahini, optional, with some of its oil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Mix together first nine ingredients (through black pepper).
  2. Put all ingredients in a food processor and begin to process; add the chickpea liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice.

Notes: We like to take hummus and vegetables as part of our work lunches; as Tim likes everything taco-flavored, I thought I'd mix it up a bit. It's tasty.

Tim's Rating: 8.5/10
Liz's Rating: 8.5/10

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TWD: World Peace Cookies

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Jessica of cookbookhabit. She will be posting the recipe, which is also found on pp. 138-139 of Dorie's cookbook.

LOVE. Love. Love. I love these cookies. Chocolatey. Salty. Delicious. You must make them.

Only one slight issue with the execution: I froze the dough--when I went to slice it to bake, it crumbled a bit. I waited 5 minutes and then it sliced beautifully. I will be making these again-- SOON!

Liz's Rating: 10/10
Tim's Rating: 9/10

I will be skipping the next two weeks of TWD due to vacations and a busy schedule. I look forward to seeing other members' results with the Floating Islands and Devils Food Whiteout Cake! I will be back on Feb 24th with the Caramel Crunch Bars.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ham and Gouda Strata

Food & Wine

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups Italian bread cubes (1 inch)
  • 6 ounces Virginia ham, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 ounces Gouda cheese, cut into 3/4-inch dice (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, salt and pepper. Stir in the bread until evenly moistened, then stir in the ham, Gouda cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and 1/4 cup of the chives.

  2. Butter a 9-by-12-inch baking dish and pour in the strata mixture. Sprinkle the Cheddar cheese on top. Bake for about 20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Let cool slightly, sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve.

Notes: Easy to make ahead for when you have guests!

Tim's Rating: 8.5/10
Liz's Rating: 9/10