Thursday, October 25, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl; set aside. Beat sugar (white and brown) and butter together in a bowl with a hand mixer until pale and fluffy; about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each, until smooth. Add peanut butter and vanilla; beat until smooth. Add flour mixture, beat until combined.
  • Using a tablespoon, portion out dough and roll into balls. Place 2" apart on parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Using a fork, press tines over balls in a crosshatch pattern to flatten. Bake, rotating baking sheet halfway through cooking, until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.
Recipe is taken from Saveur magazine, 101 classic recipes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tandoori Chicken

  • 8 pieces of chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon annatto powder for coloring (if you can't find it, use 2-3 drops of red food coloring)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt 
  • Cilantro and lime wedges for garnish

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, lime juice, garlic, ginger, and the rest of the spices until well blended. Season with salt. 
  • Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry. Prick the chicken with fork, then add to the marinate. Toss to coat. Transfer the chicken and all of the marinade to a gallon plastic bag. Push out any excess air from the bag, seal the bag and keep in refrigerator for a few hours to overnight.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the chicken from the bag. Using grill pan, brown both sides of the chicken. Transfer chicken to lined baking sheet and cook in the oven until the meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken registers 160 degrees F. Remove baking sheet from the oven and cover completely with the foil for about 10 minutes more. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Squid Ink Tagliatelle alla Primavera

  • 2 cups broccoli florets, blanched
  • 1 can button mushrooms, quartered
  • Kernels from 1 cooked sweet corn
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 16 ounces freshly cooked black ink tagliatelle (or any kind of pasta)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan/Pecorino cheese

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and chili flakes into the hot oil, sauté until the garlic is soft and golden in color, about 2-3 minutes. Add white wine and continue cooking until all the wine evaporated. Stir in broccoli florets, mushrooms and corn, cook for another 3 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. 
  • Add cooked pasta into the skillet along with tomatoes, basil and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Transfer pasta and vegetables onto individual plates, top with grated Parmesan/Pecorino.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Sometimes one doesn't need to spend a whole day in the kitchen to come up with great dessert. Clafoutis is simple in every way imaginable. Simple ingredients, quick preparation, then come the aroma and flavor that make you come back for more and more. This is one cake that deserves a standing ovation.

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups black cherries, preferably un-pitted, but pitted ones are ok
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9" cast iron skillet or baking dish with butter; set aside. Combine sugar, milk, kirsch, vanilla, eggs and salt in a blender. Blend for a few seconds to mix ingredients, then add flour and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Pour batter into greased skillet, then distribute cherries evenly over the top. Bake until skewer inserted into the center comes out clean and a golden brown crust has formed on top and bottom of Clafoutis, about 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Serve warm.

Recipe is taken from Saveur magazine; 101 classic recipes

Homemade Raviolis

Over the time, I learned a thing or two about cooking;
I learned that simple food with fresh ingredients can have big flavors.
I learned that it's ok if my food doesn't look as good as the store bought ones.
I learned that I like to hear about who's and what's in my children's (school) lives, when we're doing a cooking project together.
These raviolis, are the perfect representation of those things I mentioned above.

Basic pasta dough:
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Water, if needed
Cheese filling:
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon minced basil
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Place the flour and semolina on a clean countertop. Make a well in the flour. Add eggs and olive oil into the well. Start to knead the dough with your hands. Add a little bit of water if needed until you reach the desired consistency. Roll dough into one big ball, put in a plastic bag and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to relax the gluten.
  • Meanwhile, place all of the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and mix well. Take the chilled dough out of the refrigerator. Grab a handful of dough and run it through the pasta roller. Adjust the roller and run the dough a few times until you have long thin pasta with no holes. 
  • Lay the pasta sheet on a floured surface. Spoon about a teaspoon each of cheese filling onto the pasta, spacing them about an 1 1/2 inch apart. Brush the area around the filling with some water, then lay another piece of pasta on top. Press out any air bubbles around the filling, then cut out the raviolis with cookie cutter (or ravioli cutter if you have one). Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling.
  • When you're ready to cook, simply cook the raviolis in a salted boiling water for about 7-8 minutes, or until tender. Drain and serve with any sauce of your choice.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chocolate Swirl Cake Pops

No recipe for now. Just a couple of pictures of chocolate (and white chocolate) swirl cake pops I made this past weekend. Aren't they cute?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dragon Fruit and Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup Dragon Fruit puree (from 1 medium fruit)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread coconut flakes on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the oven and toast coconut until they turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool down completely.
  • In a large bowl, mix together cream, dragon fruit puree, lemon juice and vanilla. Heat the milk on the stove until near boiling. 
  • Mix egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, pour hot milk slowly into the bowl while whisking. Return the custard to saucepan, cook over low heat for about 2-3 minutes, stirring with wooden spatula. Remove saucepan from the heat, add fruit mixture and stir to combine. Cool custard to room temperature, add toasted coconut flakes into the mixture and combine. Cover and chill custard in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  • Freeze custard in an ice cream maker, transfer to airtight container and put in the freezer a few hours before serving.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mexican Style Chicken Corn Soup

Chicken corn soup with a kick! Leftover roasted chicken turns sexy!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans sweet corn, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 2/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 medium red tomatoes, seeds removed and cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ancho Chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic, sauté until translucent and tender. Transfer onion and garlic into a blender. Add 1 can of corn and chicken stock, blend until smooth. 
  • Transfer corn puree into a large soup pot. Cook over medium heat. Add milk, the rest of the corn, cooked chicken, chile powder, cumin and oregano. Bring to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Turn off the heat, stir in tomato cubes. Transfer soup into individual bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings as main dish.