I’ve mentioned before my undying love of Top Chef, but to be honest I rarely try the recipes on the show. Most of them are too meat rich that I’m not sure where to even start the process of converting to vegetarian, while others feature ingredients that are well out of my price range. However occasionally there is a challenge that gets my attention, something that sparks an idea for a recipe. A few seasons ago such a challenge happened. The cheftestants had to pick a knife to determine their sauce and then figure out a protein to go with it. A number of the non-CIA trained cheftestants were upset about this, but while they were complaining I was taking notes. While I recognized most of the sauces, a few of them threw me for a loop. One of them was the mornay sauce, something I had never come across before. Thanks to one of the ladies on the show I quickly learned it pairs well with seafood and that it is essentially a fancy cheese sauce. I was sold! After much screwing around in the kitchen I finally came up with this version which is quick and easy and delicious!
Ingredients:1 lb pasta of your choice (I used leftover macaroni and angel hair)1 tbsp olive oil1 onion, chopped3 cloves garlic, crushed1 tbsp flour1 cup milk1/2 cup sour cream2 oz fresh grated Parm Cheese14 can salmon, RINSED
Directions1. Cook pasta according to box until al dente. Drain and return to pan.2. Meanwhile heat the olive over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring, for three minutes. Add the flour and stir for another minute before slowly adding the milk and sour cream. Bring mixture to a slow bowl and then add the cheese. Once the cheese has melted add the salmon and season to taste.3. Pour the mixture over the pasta and mix well. Serve!
Did I mention this was an easy recipe? For those that desire capers also work well in this recipe, however I was unable to find any fresh at my grocery store…guess that’s what happens when one shops late at night. So thank you Top Chef for teaching me something new!
Triple Chocolate Chip CookiesI promise that I am going to stop being such a lazy girl and get back on top of my posts. I probably have close to a dozen pictures currently sitting on Joey’s camera that need to be blogged about. Including my submission for this month’s International Incident Blog Party: Salt! In the meantime this amazing cookie recipe will have to hold you over until I can get to the rest of my pictures. These cookies are amazingly not that bad for you. By using whole wheat flour along with the all-purpose some nutritional value was added, leaving out the egg leaves out some cholesterol, and cutting down on the sugar cuts out some empty calories. I find that the best cookies come from a dough that is not quite sweet, at least compared to your standard chocolate chip cookie dough. Not only does this partially eliminate the desire to eat the dough (which is ok, no egg so no risk) but it also allows whatever is being added to the cookie to really shine. The only exception to this being the sugar cookie but then again it is a SUGAR cookie so going crazy with the sugar is not only allowed, it’s a necessity!
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalter Kosher Margarine (Earth Balance or similar brand)
1/3 cup raw brown sugar (Sugar in the Raw or similar brand)
1/3 cup no-sugar added applesauce
1 1/2 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp chocolate powder
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate/semi-sweet chips
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a small bowl blend the flours with the baking soda. Set Aside.
3. In a large bowl cream the margarine with the sugar. Add the applesauce and mix well. Slowly add about half of the flour mixture, mix, and then add the water and chocolate powder before adding the remaining flour. Gently fold in the chips.
4. Spoon the dough onto cookie sheets with spacing. Bake for 11-13minutes. Recipe makes 40 2in cookies!
I promise that there are some savory recipes coming, including one for an amazing Seitan dish and another easy risotto. The good news is that I’m not really going out of town next week for the holiday, so that shouldn’t mess me up. Plus with the International Incident Party this week, 52week being due Thursday (yummy sweet potato dish!), and Redux next week I have TONS of motivation to stay on top of things and blog, blog, blog!
Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Wow…November has been insane so far. I have been to a wedding, a play, and an opening ceremony at my favorite museum. Now it’s time to get back on track, and why not do that with some deliciously amazing cookies. Last week I ran into a food-block when it came time to pick a recipe, so I went to facebook for suggestions. It came down to Cranberry Oatmeal or Pumpkin, and just had no desire to roast a pumpkin to do the cookies. So Oatmeal Cranberry it was! I didn’t have a recipe for it so I decided to just start adding things to the bowl and see what happened. I knew I didn’t want hardcore oatmeal cookies, like a preacher cookie, but rather something more cake like. I then realized I was running drastically low on baking flour, but still had a brand new bag of whole wheat flour. Which resulted in some yummy “multi-grain” cookies, with cranberries added to them for good measure!
Ingredients:2/3 cup old fashioned oats1/2 cup whole wheat flour2/3 cup all-purpose flour1 tbsp baking powder1 stick unsalted margarine1/4 cup brown sugar1/4 cup white sugar1/4 cup cranberry juice (100% juice, no sugar added…the kind that makes your lips pucker)2/3 cup applesauce 1 cup dried cranberries
Directions:1. Preheat the oven to 3752. Cream the butter with the two types of sugar. Add the applesauce and baking powder and mix well. Slowly add the oats and flours and gently mix before adding the cranberry juice. Fold in the cranberries and place in fridge for 15minutes.3. Spoon the mixture onto cookie sheets with spacing in between. Bake for 11minutes.
I know adding juice sounds a little strange but it works. I picked the trick up from a cookie book I found in college, 1 dough 100 cookies. The original recipe was for an orange recipe, which is not such a good idea for me. However this works well for recipes that call for larger amounts of dry ingredients, such as oatmeal cookies. Keeps things nice and moist and delicious and cakey…which is exactly what I was looking for!
I heard something scary the other day…there are people out there that don’t like eggplant. I can understand not liking broccoli or brussel sprouts (both of which I love) but eggplant? Eggplant is one of the most versatile vegetables out there, you can do pretty much everything with them. Fry them for some eggplant parmesan, bake them for rolletinis, saute them…cream them (hello baba ganoush)…the options are limitless. So I have to wonder if these people have been the unfortunate victims of bitter plant, which I have been guilty of doing. In fact the first thing I ever cooked for Joe included a few bites of this not so wonderful version eggplant. When eggplant is not properly prepped, or if it’s kept too long, it becomes a bitter cousin of its true self, and you can’t tell from looking at it. The trick: salt and press! Take the eggplant, cut it as desired, lightly coat in salt and then press it between two plates/cutting boards with paper towels to collect the liquid. After pressing for about 30minutes, rinse the eggplant and dry with paper towels. I would say this method works 98.9% of the time, because if the eggplant is old this won’t fix it. The downside of this is that one needs to know somewhat in advance if eggplant is on the menu. However taking out the risk of the bitter plant is well worth the extra time! This recipe is one that really showcases how amazing the eggplant is, taking center stage where it belongs.
2 tbsp EVOO
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb eggplant, cubed
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
2 cups mushrooms (shitake if available)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup marsala
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.
1. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and peppers. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
2. Add the eggplant and mushrooms, turn heat to medium high, and cook an additional 10 minutes until eggplant is tender. Stir in flour.
3. Add the water, marsala, and vinegar. Bring to boil. and then turn heat to low and simmer for 20minutes. Season to taste and serve over brown rice.
Did I mention this is a really simple recipe? Gotta love anything that was easy to prepare after classes. Typically I let this simmer while I did some minor cleaning/worked on homework. Now I let it simmer while I do some minor cleaning/take care of the furry children. This is also a very simple vegan recipe, which gives it bonus points in my book!