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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Impromptu Sunday Supper

Smoked Trout Toasts
Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Artichoke Hearts

Kelly came over for an impromptu dinner and I had left over ingredients that needed to be used up! So here are some excellent dishes that came from necessity.

Smoked Trout Toasts

4 slices Italian Bread, sliced and toasted
1 can smoked trout in oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
salt and pepper to taste
tomato slices for garnish

Combine the sour cream, garlic, dill and salt and pepper together. Spread over the toasts, top with plenty of trout and garnish with tomatoes.

Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Feta and Artichoke Hearts

for two

1/2 package frozen artichoke hearts
2 cups penne pasta
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more if you prefer more spice
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup feta
salt and pepper

Take two tablespoons of the oil from the tomatoes and heat in a large sauce pan. Add the garlic and cook until soft. Add the tomatoes, basil, red pepper and artichokes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute until the artichokes are soft. Add the stock and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta al dente.

Add the pasta to the bowl and let simmer for about 5-8 minutes until it has absorbed the sauce. Crumble the feta over and mix well. Serve and garnish with more fresh basil.

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Whiskey Butter cream

Chocolate Guiness Cupcakes with Whiskey Buttercream

Being invited to a potluck is an excuse to bake which I would never squander. So for last nights festival of deliciousness complete with bacon infused vodka, I contributed dessert!

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Whiskey Buttercream

makes 24 cupcakes
2 cups flour
1 cup of butter (2 sticks) room temperature
2 large eggs room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 12oz bottle of Guinness
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and whisk together.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add in the sugars and whip until well combined. Add one egg and beat until fully mixed and the batter gets fluffy again. Add the second egg and the vanilla, repeat. Add the sour cream and beat well.

Add about 1/3 of the flour and beat well. Then add 1/3 of the Guinness and beat well. Repeat in thirds until the batters is free of streaks and well mixed.

Fill the cupcake liners with about 1/4 of the batter. bake for 17-20 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean Rotate half way through if your oven bakes unevenly or if it's like mine is on an actual incline.

for the frosting
2 sticks butter room temperature
5-7 cups of powdered sugar
6-8 tablespoons of whiskey or bourbon

Whip the butter until fluffy. Sift in the powdered sugar cup by cup, whipping thoroughly in between each addition. Add the whiskey near the end for flavor. Frost the cooled cupcakes!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This Thursday Indecisive Dinner

MCQ Dinner

I couldn't decide if I wanted to cook or not tonight. I ended up cooking. Good thing too. I am sure it was better than any take out we considered!

Tonight's Menu

Pistachio Crusted Monkfish
Pan Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemay
Herbed Salad

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sticky Fingers Indeed


Every time I come down here, I insist on going to the relatively local BBQ joint, Sticky Fingers. It's great, they smoke the meat and the sauces are pretty amazing. This time we got take out and it went fast!

Dad's Classic Pancake Breakfast

Dads specialty - Panacake Breakfast
Table set, match and point. FTW Dad!

My Dad makes pancakes every Sunday. EVERY Sunday. Today though he moved it because tomorrow is Easter Sunday and we are having a huge midday meal. I love my Dad's pancakes.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

C is for Cookie

What on earth do you want me to do with this?
Cream that sugar, bitch!
These area few of my favorite things...
Oatmeal Rum Raisin Cookies

Once again and to the delight of the hostess, 312 Square Feet is haunted by the hungryghoast. It's helpful to have things levitate to you in the kitchen, but not helpful when you turn your back only to find all of the chairs stacked in a precarious yet artful pile.

Tonight, we got to performing the Oatmeal Rum Raisin Cookie experiment. It was relatively successful but the results are still coming in. There should be more rum and the raisins should soak in the rum over night to really plump them and get the taste.

Oatmeal Rum Raisin Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup raisins
6 tablespoons dark rum

Mix the vanilla with the rum and the raisins, cover and soak over night, ideally. If not over night, at least two hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the eggs and add to the raisin mixture. Let rest and come to room temperature.

Cream the butter and the sugars together with a beater. Sift the flour, spices, salt and baking soda together, make sure they are well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar and butter and mix well.

Add the raisin and egg mixture, beat well. Lastly add the oats.

Roll into balls and place on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes depending on the size of your cookies.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


It was the capers in the eggs.

Slow Sunday Brunch

Maple Soda Bread
Eggs with capers

I tried out an adaptation of my friend Shawn's soda bread recipe. We couldn't easily get buttermilk, I do live in Chinatown. So I subbed in some yogurt, melted butter and milk. The dough ended up too wet so I added in an extra cup of flour and it worked out pretty well. Still needs some work though, but here's the recipe in progress:

Maple Soda Bread
5 cups flour
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup milk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter plus 2 tablespoons for brushing
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift the dry ingredients together. Add in the melted butter and syrup. Beat the egg with the milk and add. Add in the yogurt and blend well. Knead lightly on a floured surface and place on a baking sheet. Brush the the butter. Put in the oven for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 375 and bake until the bread passes the knife test, about 40 minutes.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Inspired to mine the archives

“Because cooks love the social aspect of food, cooking for one is intrinsically interesting. A good meal is like a present, and it can feel goofy, at best, to give yourself a present. On the other hand, there is something life affirming in taking the trouble to feed yourself well, or even decently. Cooking for yourself allows you to be strange or decadent or both. The chances of liking what you make are high, but if it winds up being disgusting, you can always throw it away and order a pizza; no one else will know. In the end, the experimentation, the impulsiveness, and the invention that such conditions allow for will probably make you a better cook.”

— Jenni Ferrari-Adler (Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant)

via hungryghoast via bunkercomplex

The above has inspired me to mine through the archives to find dinners I made solo:
Parmesan and Basil Scones
Autumn Curry
Zucchini Bread
Boneless T-bone Steak
Zucchini Fitters with Dill Yogurt Sauce and Star Anise Apple Cherry Chutney
Spice Marinated Lamb with Cherry Shallot Compote

Feeding the Ghoast

Pork tenderloin with Lentils, Smokey Bacon and Merlot Viniagrette
Pork Tenderloin with Lentils, Smokey Bacon and Merlot Vinaigrette

Feeding the Ghoast
Feeding the ghoast

Spring flowers
Spring Flowers

Life of an Archivist

Savoring pork
Your Hostess

New York is still in the process of shaking off its winter chill. Soon it will be a wealth of smells (both good and abhorrent), colors and people (also both nice and naughty). To celebrate and comfort, I made an adaptation from on of may favorites, the Wildwood Cookbook.

St. Andre triple cream brie with flat bread
Pork Tenderloin with Lentils, Smokey Bacon, and Merlot Vinaigrette
Chocolates from Teuscher
Lush 2002 Sonoma County Cabernet

Recipe for four adapted from the Wildwood Cookbook:
1 yellow onion
1 stalk celery
1 small fennel bulb
1 carrot
(all of the above finely chopped, I demolished them with my Cuisinart!)
1 cup French Lentils
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
4 strips smoked bacon, in 1/4 inch slices

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups Merlot
salt and pepper

2 one pound pieces of pork tenderloin or the equivalent

In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sautee the vegetables until the onions are just browning, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and toss to coat with oil. Add the water, salt and pepper (about 1 1/2 teaspoons of each or more). Bring to a simmer, partially cover and let cook until the lentils are tender (40 minutes or so).

In a skillet, cook the bacon until brown, drain on paper towels and set to the side. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a sauce pan, heat the Merlot and let reduce until there is about 1/4 cup. Whisk in the 6 tablespoons of olive oil and the salt and pepper to taste.

In a cast iron skillet or other oven proof pan, heat up a few more tablespoons of olive oil, thoroughly brown the pieces of pork. Put in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes.

Toss the bacon in with the lentils and pour the vinaigrette over it, tossing well. Serve with the pork sliced over it!