Tuesday, June 29, 2010

GD cooking class - dicing a mango

Time for another cooking class! 
Have you ever tried to get the flesh out of a mango? 
Tough, right?

Well, here's a simple technique to make it a lot easier!

Dicing A Mango
1 mango
1 sharp paring knife
1 sharp chef's knife

Start by peeling the mango carefully.

Stand the mango up on it's end and carefully cut through it, about a centimeter off the center.
You are trying to cut around the weird shaped seed in the middle.

Next, cut the other side off.

Finally, cut all the small bits around the seed off.
(You can gnaw off the excess flesh for snacking....but have some floss handy!)

Discard seed.
Take the prepared flesh and lay it flat.
Slice very thin slices out of the fruit.

Turn the slices 90* and dice.

Use in anything!
Munching, desserts, breakfast, or in a tasty savory salad!  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

bok choy

Need a side dish for that Asian pork roast we did a few weeks back?
Give bok choy a try!
Super easy, tasty and healthy, you'll have this dish whipped up in about 10 minutes!

Bok Choy
Serves 4.
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 head of bok choy, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
Raise heat to medium-high and add the chopped bok choy, first the white stalks for a few minutes and then the greens.
Add the red pepper flakes.
Saute until tender and slightly wilted, but still al dente, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

deb's granola bars

Oh, my.

Have I told you how much I love Deb from Smitten Kitchen?  She is my inspiration, both in photography and in the culinary world.  She was (mostly) the inspiration for this blog. 

And she has some amazing granola bars.

Not my energy bars....sweeter and much more like what you'd get at the grocery store.
But, please, don't let deter you. 
I always love to find those recipes that duplicate what you taste out in the "real world" (i.e. not your kitchen) but are way healthier, easier, and cheaper.
These are exactly that.

Thanks, Deb :)

Deb's Granola Bars
Definitely adapted from Deb, but with my own touches

Makes about 12ish.
1 2/3 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts, any combo (I use pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, cranberries, and cherries)
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350*.
Line an 8 x 8" pan with parchment paper or foil. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a cooking spray.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, maple and corn syrups, and water.

Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly.

Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. If you need help, get your hands a little wet and press down with your fingers.

Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges and golden and bubbly on top.  They will still be mushy in the middle.

Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack.
Once cool, a serrated knife to cut into bars. This works really well when they have been cooling for about an hour, but are still warm.


Alternatives: Dried apricots, cashews, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, pepitas, dried apples or even chocolate chips.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

rosemary grilled fries

These are quick and easy and full of flavor! I always have a ton of rosemary and it goes great with grilled foods. As long as you are grilling a burger, why not throw these on the grill alongside? I like mine extra-charred but grill them according to how you like them.

Rosemary Grilled Fries
Serves 4.
4 Russet potatoes
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup canola oil

Slice potatoes – slice in half lengthwise and then again into 3 slices, lengthwise.
Remove rosemary by pinching the end and pulling off the leaves backwards. Chop.

Add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

Add canola oil and mix with your hands.

Cover bowl and microwave for 7 minutes on high. Stir and continue microwaving for another 7-8 minutes.
Turn potatoes onto medium grill and grill on both sides until nice and charred.

Serve alongside a burger or just eat for a snack!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

easy peasy coffee cake

This will be the easiest coffee cake you've ever made.
Uses a box cake mix, for goodness' sakes!
And oh-so-good!
So, get out there and get started!!

Easy Peasy Coffee Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Serves 12.
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnut
1 box yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla Jell-O pudding
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup hot water
4 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350*.
Grease and lightly flour a 9 by 13-inch pan. Set aside.
To make the cake, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts in a small bowl. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream and hot water. Mix well. Beat in the eggs, vegetable oil and extracts until very few lumps remain.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle all of the brown sugar mixture over the cake batter. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Carefully spread the remaining batter over the brown-sugar and chocolate chip mixture. With a butter knife, spread and swirl the cake batter and brown sugar mixture.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake form the oven and cool slightly.
To make the icing, combine the sugar and the flour in a bowl. Set the bowl aside. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk the flour and sugar mixture into the melted butter until the mixture becomes moistened. The mixture will appear to separate from the butter. Decrease the heat to low and keep stirring, it will come together after about 2 minutes.
Stir in the milk. Raise the heat to medium and cook until the mixture becomes thick and smooth, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add the vanilla. Let cool to lukewarm and drizzle over warm coffee cake.

This cake stays moist for days. Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

chipotle corn on the cob

Okay, summer is really kicking it into gear and hopefully, you are all making summer-time classics in the kitchen! 
Or, more likely, the kitchen is too hot so you are grilling it up outside in the shade!

This is a perfect summer-time meal!
Serve with some BBQ or alone, it's great!

Chipotle Corn on the Cob
Serves ?  However many you need!
3 ears of corn
4 chipotles in adobo (or how ever many you can stand....I like heat.)
1 stick butter, softened at room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by husking your corn:  hold the cob with your left hand and pull down the husks with your right.  Remove all husks and silks and snap off the end.  Set aside.

Put the chipotles into a small food processor and process until smooth.  Add cubes of the butter and process until smooth.

Take a sheet of foil and lay the corn on it.  Smear the chipotle butter all over the ear and season with salt and pepper.  Wrap up tightly and repeat with remaining ears.

Grill over medium heat for about 15 minutes.  Or you can throw them on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 20 minutes, on 425*.

Unwrap and enjoy!

See how the chipotle saturated the corn all the way down to the core?  Yum :)

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