Friday, October 23, 2009

Art Smith's Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits

My friend Carli recently treated me to dinner at Art Smith's Chicago restaurant Table 52. We were able to secure seats at the 5-seat bar which overlooks the wood-fired oven. One of the many highlights of our meal were the goat cheese biscuits served to all guests in lieu of the traditional bread basket. We observed the line cook make a number of cast iron pans full of biscuits as we raved about how delicious they were. Upon returning home from Chicago, I immediately searched for a recipe, and thankfully, it wasn't hard to find. You must make these.

  • 2 cups King Arthur self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp cold butter (2 oz)
  • 4 tbsp goat cheese (2 oz)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • butter to grease pan and top biscuits

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Place one 10 inch cast iron pan into the oven while it is preheating. Place flour and salt into a medium sized bowl. Cut in the butter and goat cheese. Make a well in the middle of the ingredients and pour in the milk. Stir until the mix is moistened, adding an extra tablespoon of milk if needed.
  2. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and place a tablespoon of butter into it. When the butter has melted, drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter into the pan, (use a muffin scoop to drop the batter if you have one). Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter. Bake from 14-16 minutes until browned on the top and bottom. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Enjoy warm!

Tim's Rating: 9.5/10 "They don't even taste goat-y." (He thinks he doesn't like goat cheese.)
Liz's Rating: 10/10

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Taco Cornbread Bake

Adventures in my Freezer

adapted due to ingredients I had available

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup pureed salsa
  • 1 batch corn bread batter (see below)
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, sliced thinly
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
Cornbread Batter:
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Brown meat; drain. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Pour into 8x12 baking dish.
  3. Prepare corn bread batter:
    Mix dry ingredients, add milk egg and oil, mix just enough to moisten dry ingredients.
  4. Spread over meat. Top with jalapeños if desired. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Top corn bread with cheese. Bake 5-7 minutes.

Notes: This is a great meal for a weeknight. It's easy, filling, and good.

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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Baba Ghanoush

The Amazing Race's stop in Dubai

  • 1 large eggplant
  • garlic powder or fresh garlic
  • salt
  • pepper or hot sauce
  • fresh lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 scallion, chopped (optional)
  • Pita wedges, for serving

  1. First wash eggplant. Pierce in a few places with a fork or knife. Bake eggplant in 205 ºC (400 ºC) oven until skin has almost collapsed and the eggplant is very soft. Let cool.
  2. Scoop out and mash all of the flesh. Throw away the skin. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste. Refrigerate and then serve.

Recipe Notes: It is a popular Levantine dish of eggplant mashed and combined with diverse seasonings. Usually the eggplant is baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky savor. Baba Ganoush is served as a dip with pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes. It is typically of an earthy light brown color.

My Notes: I have had Baba Ganoush in restaurants but never made it at home. While I thought it was ok, and I am glad I made it, I think I prefer hummus. :) I thought it is likely authentic enough as it comes from a Dubai website, but really almost all other recipes found online contained tahini and not mayonnaise!

Liz's Rating: 7.5/10
Tim's Rating: 8/10

Next on The Amazing Race: Dubai again. What are your favorite Middle-Eastern recipes?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Banh Chuoi Nuong (Vietnamese Banana Cake)

The Amazing Race's pit stop in Vietnam
this recipe

  • 1.25 lbs ripe bananas
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 7 slices of sandwich bread

  1. Slice the banana diagonally and sprinnkle with half the sugar. Cook the remaining sugar in coconut milk until dissolved, then add the vanilla. Remove crusts from the bread. Soak the bread in the sweetened coconut milk.
  2. Butter a 12-inch non stick pan. Arrange a layer of banana on the bottom of the pan. Cover with a layer of bread, then another layer of bananas, another bread layer, and then finish with a layer of bananas, another bread layer, and then finish with a layer of bananas. Drizzle the remaining butter over the top, then cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 1 hour.
  3. Rest for 12 hours before cutting.

Notes: This bread pudding-like dessert was really easy and quick! I assembled this dish in a pie pan, and I only had one layer of bread and two layers of bananas. It tastes much better than it looks.

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash

Arugulove's adaptation of the Martha Stewart recipe
a pantry full of odds and ends

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound) , peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Olive-oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine squash, stock, and milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Mash contents of saucepan; stir in nutmeg, cayenne, and salt, and season with black pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles; cook until al dente according to package instructions, about 8 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl; stir in squash mixture, cheddar, ricotta, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
  3. Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking dish (4 inches deep) with cooking spray. Transfer noodle mixture to dish. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle evenly over noodle mixture.
  4. Cover with foil, and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, 30 to 40 minutes more. Serve immediately.

My Notes:
Arugulove suggested this recipe on her comment on my last macaroni and cheese attempt. I had almost all the ingredients... a pound of pasta (although not all the same shape), an acorn squash from the farmers' market (close enough to butternut?), panko (better than breadcrumbs?), and cottage cheese to sub for ricotta. This recipe was a great way to use up some odds and ends, and it was tasty, too!

It was a little bit of work to make, but that's fine. I have a TV in my kitchen so I can watch college football and cook at the same time. The modern woman multitasker. :)

I would say I somewhat prefer my last macaroni and cheese attempt because you don't have to cook the noodles first. It also had a cheesier flavor. However, I promise you that you CANNOT taste the squash in this recipe!

Liz's Rating: 8/10
Tim's Rating: 9/10

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chard Salad with Bacon, Beets, and Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

Beets and chard from our garden
as well as
a recipe shared by Beth Jones, Executive Chef of the University of Minnesota Campus Club

  • 8 small, or 4 large beets, boiled or roasted, peeled, and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 large bunch rainbow chard, well washed, leaves torn and stems finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T good-quality maple syrup
  • 2 T cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped and cooked until crispy

  1. Toss the chard leaves, stems, and diced beets in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, Dijon, maple syrup, vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Drizzle over the salad and sprinkle with the bacon. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes:
By mid July you are sure to find the bacon, beets, chard and garlic for this salad at a local famers market. When you buy chard and beets, look for a variety of colors. If you buy beets with the tops still attached, wash the leaves and stems and add them to the salad.

My Notes:
This was the perfect recipe to bring to my Community Garden's pot luck. Both the beets and the chard were grown in my garden! I served bacon on the side as many of my friends either are vegetarian, vegan, or avoid pork. You could also add blue cheese, which would really complement the flavors.

Liz's Rating: 9/10
Tim's Rating: 8/10