Tuesday, March 30, 2010
After we ate our Special Chicken, Adam asked what the funny red silicone pan sitting on the counter was for. I told him it's my madeleine pan and that I want to make some in the near future. Well since he put the idea in my head which caused and instant sweet tooth, I found a recipe and got to it right then.
I know I say a lot of the recipes I try are easy but this one is truly so easy! I guess the most difficult part to overcome is having a madeleine pan. I was out shopping one day and saw the silicone one I have on big-time sale and just bought it on a whim. I'm very happy I did! I need another one now...
While studying in Paris, I remember buying these little cake-cookies in large packages in the grocery store and by the piece at corner bakeries.
There are several madeleine recipes out there. The basic recipe I use is from Cookies Unlimited by Nick Malgieri.
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
finely grated zest of a medium orange
1 cup flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick butter), melted
confectioners sugar for finishing
two madeleine pans, buttered and floured
Set rack in the middle level of the oven and reheat to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, by hand, whisk together the eggs and salt until frothy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the sugar in a stream, then the orange zest. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour, then the melted butter. Use a large soup spoon to fill the cavities in the molds about 2/3 full.
Bake the madelines for about 20 minutes, until they are well risen, firm and a golden color.
Remove the pans from the oven and unmold the madeleines immediately onto racks to cool. If you reuse the pan like I did, wash it and butter and flour it again.
Dust the madeleines with powdered sugar before serving.
Next time I want to make chocolate madeleines: Substitute 2/3 cup flour and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted after measuring, for the flour. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
It wasn't any old chicken. It was an Empire kosher chicken from Wegman's. My little 3.22 pound chicken passed strict Jewish dietary laws, he was free ranging and he ate corn, soy grains, natural vitamins, minerals and fat - not hormones. This little guy went through a salting process, which is required for the kosher process, so he hardly needed any more salt.
But the main reason why this chicken was special is because I prepared it according to the Engagement Chicken standards. This recipe is supposed to make a chicken so moist and delicious that when you prepare it for your boyfriend, he'll realize he can't bear the thought of living his life without a woman who can cook such an amazing chicken. And it turns out Adam agrees! He loved the chicken (except for the fact that it took too long to cook when we were both very hungry). Of course, I'll keep you post on when I get that sparkly!
Such a simple recipe from Glamour magazine (I adapted it a bit). I will be making it again for sure.
1 whole chicken (approx. 3 lbs)
2 medium lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice
Kosher or sea salt (I used sea salt)
Ground black pepper
Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Wash chicken inside and out with cold water, remove the giblets, then let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander until it reaches room temperature (about 15 minutes). Pat dry with paper towels. Pour lemon juice all over the chicken (inside and out). Season with salt and pepper. Prick the whole lemons all over with a fork and stuff them deep inside the cavity of the chicken (I used 1 1/2 lemons because my lemons were big). Place the bird breast side down on a rack in a roasting pan and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn chicken breast side up; return to oven and bake for 70 more minutes. Test for doneness - a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh should read 180 degrees - juices should run clear.
More info from the Empire website about what kosher means:
"It has been said that keeping kosher is as much a diet for the soul as for the body. Because every Jew has a soul which is eternal and holy, if forbidden foods are eaten, that holiness is affected. This in turn lessens the ability to absorb all the spiritual rewards of Torah. This is why Jews have followed strict dietary laws throughout the generations, passing this way of life on to their children".
Note: I am not Jewish but simply interested in lifestyles other than my own.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Baxter wanted me to tell you about a delicious dessert that he desperately wishes he could try. But sadly, I have to say no to his begging (which I very rarely do)!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13"x9" pan.
Bake until toothpick inserted 2 inches from edge comes out almost clean, 25-30 minutes ** I baked then for 20 minutes because I like them chewy - you can see in the pictures. Cool in pan on wire rack.
I stored my brownies in the fridge.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
3/4 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 head broccoli, florets and stalks cut into 1/4-inch pieces
5 cups cooked long-grain white rice
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Place a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil and bacon and stir-fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar over the bacon and toss. Add 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce (watch out-the oil will bubble up) and continue to stir-fry until the bacon is glazed, about 30 seconds. Transfer the bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to the drippings in the pan and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and cook until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice, the remaining 2 teaspoons soy sauce, the broth and glazed bacon. Toss to heat through.
Push the fried rice to one side of the pan, crack the eggs into the other side and scramble until set, about 1 minute. *** I wasn't able to scramble the eggs in the same pan. I used another pan and once the eggs were done, I mixed them with the rice.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
What a beautiful weekend! Here, Adam and me in Central Park on Saturday:
Friday when we arrived in the city and got situated in our hotel, we headed towards Times Square. On our way, we stopped at Maxie's (7th Ave & 48th St) for lunch. Adam and I shared this beauty:
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I found this recipe on the Wegman's website and since there was cauliflower and spinach in the fridge, I thought we'd make it. It was soooo good! I altered the recipe a bit - you'll see my notes. Everyone loved it and it was gone in a flash between 4 people!
I didn't have a camera while making it so I added a pic from the Wegman's website.
I highly recommend this dish!
1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets (or 2 lbs cauliflower florets)
1 pkg (10 oz) Fresh Spinach, stemmed (large stems only), rinsed - 10 oz is a lot. I didn't use that much. Use your judgement.
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Bread Crumbs, divided - I used panko
1 jar (13 or 15 oz) Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
You'll Need: 13x9x2-inch baking dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add cauliflower and spinach to large mixing bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup bread crumbs, alfredo sauce, and mozzarella; mix well. Set aside.
Make topping: Combine remaining 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and 1 T oil in small bowl. Set aside.
Grease baking dish with olive oil; add vegetable-cheese mixture to dish.
Bake 40 min, uncovered, stirring halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven; sprinkle with topping. Return to oven; bake 15 min, until topping is light golden brown.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I would even make this butter/almond/caper mix to put over the green beans as a side dish for other meals.
This will serve 4:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 pounds skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons capers
Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Cook until opaque throughout, 3-5 minutes per side (depending on thickness of salmon); transfer to plate.
Fill a second skillet with 1/2 inch water, bring to a boil and add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the beans, cover and steam until just tender, 4-5 minutes; drain. NOTE - I used frozen green beans and cooked them according to the package directions.
Wipe out the green bean skillet and heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring frequently, until the almonds and butter are golden brown (be careful - will burn easily), 2-3 minutes. Stir in the capers.
Plate the salmon and green beans on dinner plates and spoon butter over all.