Brigadeiros (Brazilian Fudge Balls)

Share

brigadeiros

I have had my eye on this recipe for a while now and I decided to make it when I found real chocolate sprinkles (or jimmies as I used to call them when I lived in Boston). Most of the chocolate sprinkles you find in places like supermarkets are made of wax and food coloring. I’m not sure they have any real chocolate in them. If you want real chocolate in your sprinkles, look for chocolate vermicelli. I found mine on Amazon.

These fudge balls are currently one of my favorite desserts. I’m a sucker for chocolate sprinkles (the real ones) and these little balls remind me more of a chocolate caramel than traditional fudge. They are incredibly delicious, but a little dangerous too because it’s hard to eat just one.

When you make these, plan to stay right next to the stove for at least 20 minutes. This is a very hands-on recipe. Once you start to cook the ingredients, you need to stir the fudgy mixture for at least sixteen minutes, until it gets quite thick. If you leave the stove, the chocolate at the bottom of the pan will burn.

Store these fudge balls in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve them. They’re best chilled. Did the boys like these?  You bet.

 

Brigadeiros (Brazilian Fudge Balls)
Recipe from Saveur.com

4 Tablespoons salted butter
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup chocolate sprinkles

Bring butter, cream, and milk to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add chocolate and sifted cocoa powder, and reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is the consistency of a dense, fudgy batter, about 16 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let cool. Chill until set, at least 4 hours.

Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, portion out fudge and roll into balls. Roll each ball in chocolate sprinkles until evenly coated. Chill until ready to serve.

Yield: About 24, but this depends upon what size you make them

One year ago: Braised Coconut Spinach with Chickpeas and Lemon
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
Three years ago: Caramels
Four years ago: Yucatan Pork Tenderloin
Five years ago: Carole’s Country Style Spareribs
Six years ago: Buttermilk Bran Muffins

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Share

Spinach and Chickpea Curry

Share

spinach chickpea

This side-dish is easy to throw together and it’s packed with flavor. Using canned chickpeas and canned (or boxed) diced-tomatoes really speeds up the process. We ate this one night as a side dish, and another night on brown rice as a vegetarian main course. This dish has an Indian flair, and it makes your kitchen (or your whole apartment in my case) smell great while it’s cooking. If you live in a house with an exhaust fan that vents to the outside, you’ll be in good shape because you’ll smell the curry while it’s cooking, but the smell will soon dissipate. In the case of NYC apartments, you might smell the curry for a couple of days. This is not one of my favorite features of NY apartments. We burn a lot of candles here.

If you like Indian food, it’s worth investing in some garam masala, which is a standard ingredient in many Indian dishes. If you invest in some (it’s actually not that expensive), you can use it in these recipes: Shrimp with Spiced Masala and Coconut Milk, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Caramelized Spiced Nuts.

This recipe calls for 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. If you like dishes with a little kick, you can up this to 1/4 teaspoon, or even 1/2 teaspoon, depending upon how spicy you like things.

The boys wouldn’t go near this with a 10-foot pole.

 

Spinach and Chickpea Curry
Recipe from FineCooking.com

3 Tbs. canola oil
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbs. curry powder
1 tsp. garam masala
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
Kosher salt
7 oz. (7 packed cups) baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Heat the oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, and cayenne, and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas, tomatoes, and 1-1/4 tsp. salt. Add the spinach by the handful, stirring to wilt it as you go. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the spinach is completely wilted and the flavors have melded, 4 to 5 minutes more. Season to taste with more salt. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro.

Spoon onto a platter, and serve with yogurt as an optional topping.

Yield: 4 servings

Two years ago: Curried Lentil Stew with Potatoes
Three years ago: Pink Grapefruit Sorbet
Four years ago: Tortillitas with Shrimp
Five years ago: Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas
Six years ago: Basil Parmesan Chicken Salad

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Share

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Share

chocolate banana bread

I always have a couple of overripe bananas in my freezer. I keep them for times when I want to make a banana bread or a smoothie. It’s tough to buy a banana that’s perfect for cooking. I find it takes a couple of days of sitting on a kitchen counter to get to the stage where it’s perfect for a recipe.

I used three of my overripe frozen bananas for this decadent chocolate banana bread. If you love chocolate, this recipe is for you. My boys don’t like bananas, but they all loved this bread because it tastes a lot more like chocolate than it does bananas.   One of my sons actually thought it could have been a little less chocolatey, but he still liked it.  All you need is a small piece of this bread to satisfy any chocolate craving you might have. A slice is perfect with a milk chaser.

 

Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

3 medium-to-large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan or coat it with cooking spray.

Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl. (You should have slightly over a cup of mashed bananas.) Whisk in melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Place baking soda, salt, flour and cocoa powder in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and sift over wet ingredients. Stir dry and wet ingredients with a spoon until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 1 loaf

One year ago: Salted Chocolate Caramels
Two years ago: Monkey Bread Muffins
Three years ago: Baja-Style Fish Hand Pies
Four years ago:  Chicken, Ham and Swiss Roulades
Five years ago: Sweet-n-Sour Pork Chops
Six years ago: Sweet Corn Muffins

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Share

Avocado Toast

Share

avocado toast

This is my new favorite breakfast! There’s not much to putting it together, but the combination of olive oil, hearty whole grain bread, half an avocado, salt and pepper makes an incredible treat. The first time I made it, I had lemon olive oil on hand, which made an amazing avocado toast. Regular olive oil is good too, but the lemon olive oil was incredible. Now that I’m out of lemon olive oil, I have to figure out how to make a batch myself. Until I make the lemon olive oil, I may resort to giving my avocado toast a good squeeze of lemon or lime.

Next time I make this, I might try some Aleppo pepper or some red pepper flakes to give it a little kick.  I have been using Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread.    My husband calls it virtuous, which to him means it tastes very healthy.   I think it’s delicious when topped with creamy avocado.

This may sound like something you’d serve at lunch, but trust me, it’s great for breakfast!

 

Avocado Toast

slice of bread
half a ripe avocado
olive oil
salt and pepper

Toast the bread to your liking. Drizzle it with a little olive oil. Mash the avocado on top of the toast and season with salt and pepper.

Yield: 1 serving

One year ago: Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts
Two years ago: Mexican Lasagna
Three years ago: Chocolate Dutch Baby
Four years ago: Meyer Lemon Sorbet
Five years ago: Sweet Potato Muffins
Six years ago: Candied Carrots

 

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Share

Polish Cabbage, Potato and Bacon Casserole

Share

cabbage casserole

This isn’t the best photo, but I love this casserole so much that I had to post the recipe. For me, this is comfort food at its best. I have made this several times in the last couple of weeks and I’d be really happy to eat a serving of this any day. This is not exactly a seasonal dish, as I should have posted it a month or two ago when we were still in the midst of cold days and nights in NYC, but I’d eat this any time of year. This will definitely become part of our regular fall/winter dinner rotation. So glad I found the recipe.


Polish Cabbage, Potato and Bacon Casserole

Recipe from Serious Eats

3 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 slices (about 4 ounces) thick-cut bacon, diced
1 small but heavy head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), quartered, cored, and sliced into ribbons
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup grated gouda cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F. Add potatoes to a medium pot, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and cover with water. Set pot over high heat and bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer. Cook potatoes until they are firm-tender, about 7 minutes. Drain potatoes and set aside.

Add bacon to a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until bacon has rendered most of its fat, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

If bacon has rendered more than 3 tablespoons of fat, drain fat, reserving 3 tablespoons. Return Dutch oven to medium-high heat and add cabbage, onions, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until vegetables have wilted and begun to brown, about 15 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar and deglaze pan, stirring rapidly and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Add potatoes to cabbage mixture and stir to combine. Season thoroughly with salt and pepper, then add reserved bacon, parsley, half-and-half and breadcrumbs. Stir to combine.

Lightly coat the bottom of a large casserole dish with cooking spray. Add cabbage mixture and press firmly and evenly into pan. Top casserole with an even layer of grated cheese, then cover pan with a sheet of tin foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake until casserole is bubbling and cheese has browned, about 20 minutes more. Remove from oven, let rest for 10 minutes and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

 

One year ago: Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl
Two years ago: Sugar Cookies with Nutella and Sea Salt
Three years ago: Chocolate and Meringue Angel Pie
Four years ago: Pad Thai with Chicken and Shrimp
Five years ago: Herbed Basmati Rice
Six years ago: Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Share

Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup

Share

cauliflowercoconutsoup

I love cauliflower and I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to cook it. One of my favorites is this recipe for Hot, Buttered Cauliflower Puree. Another favorite is Oven-Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Olive Oil and Lemon Juice. Add this soup to the list of things that I love to do with cauliflower. This soup is great for a cold and/or rainy day.

I know that this soup is called “curried” cauliflower soup. You may be wondering why my photo doesn’t look like any curry powder was using during the preparation. I actually used all of the spices in the ingredient list but the turmeric, which gives dishes a traditional “curry” color, because I didn’t have any in the house. Next time, I’ll toss it in.   It can only make the soup better, and it was very good without it.   If you don’t have vegetable broth on hand, you can substitute chicken broth, but if you do, the soup will no longer be vegetarian.

 

Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup
Recipe adapted every so slightly from The Kitchn

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium white or yellow onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cloves minced garlic
1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and cut into florets
4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 cup coconut milk
Freshly-ground black pepper, to season
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Cook the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt until onions are soft and translucent, 8-9 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes. Add cauliflower, vegetable broth, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 15-17 minutes

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth, and then return the soup to the soup pot. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to purée the soup right in the pot.) Stir in the coconut milk and warm the soup. Taste and add more salt, pepper or spices to taste.

Yield: 6 – 8 servings

One year ago: Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Two years ago: Chipotle Quinoa with Corn and Black Beans
Three years ago: Oatmeal, Cranberry and Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Four years ago: Crisp Roasted Potatoes
Five years ago: Dinner Spanakopita
Six years ago: Grandma Sachs’ Crumb Cake

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Share

Cinnamon Streusel Baked French Toast Sticks

Share

Baked Streusal French Toast

I made these French Toast sticks recently on a lazy Saturday morning. The boys LOVED them (well, actually, three out of four did). I found them a little too sweet for my liking. They don’t take too long to make because you bake them on a large rimmed cookie sheet, so you’re able to make the entire batch of French toast at once, rather than a couple of slices at a time.  This is definitely not your everyday breakfast recipe.  Save it for when you have company.

I found my Texas Toast at Trader Joe’s. Texas Toast is just a nice thick piece of bread that’s twice the width of a typical slice. I typically make French toast using stale bread. My Texas Toast was nice and fresh, so I decided to toast each piece lightly before cutting it into sticks. Toasting the bread dried it out a little bit, which gave it more structural integrity when I dipped it into the egg mixture. Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt to the egg mixture. In my opinion, the French toast is slightly too sweet without it.


Cinnamon Streusel Baked French Toast Sticks

Recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod

For the French Toast Sticks:
4 slices Texas Toast (or French bread)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt


For the Cinnamon Streusel:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Cut the bread slices into 3 sticks. In a large shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Dunk bread sticks into batter, let excess drip off, then place onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes.

While the French Toast Sticks are baking, make the cinnamon streusel. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix together with a fork, or in a small food processor, until you have a crumbly mixture.

Remove French Toast Sticks from the oven after the 9 minutes. Flip the sticks over and evenly sprinkle the cinnamon streusel over them. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for another 9-10 minutes, or until sticks are golden and streusel is set. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago: Coconut Bread
Two years ago: Salted Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars
Three years ago: Spanakopita Lasagna
Four years ago: Chocolate Chip Waffles
Five years ago: Chive Risotto Cakes
Six years ago: Cheddar Corn Chowder

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Share

Orange-Glazed Shrimp

Share

shrimp

This is a perfect weeknight meal. It’s easy to make, it’s delicious, and you can get it on the table in about 30 minutes. Serve it with rice and steamed broccoli and you have a nice dinner.

A couple of tips: Don’t overcook the shrimp. It’s easy to do, but if you overcook them they’ll be rubbery and tough. A perfectly cooked shrimp looks like it’s in the shape of a “C”. An overcooked shrimp will be in a tight “O” shape. Typically shrimp don’t take more than 3-4 minutes in total to cook.

For the fresh juice, I used 4 tangelos (I had them on hand) and 2 mandarins. They produced exactly the right amount of juice, and fresh juice is always much better than the orange juice that you buy in the supermarket.

This will definitely be added to our regular dinner rotation.

Orange-Glazed Shrimp
Recipe from Food and Wine

1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Steamed rice, for serving

In a saucepan, bring the orange juice, sugar and soy sauce to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Stir in the zest.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Cook half of the shrimp over moderate heat, turning once, until white throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and shrimp. Return all of the shrimp to the skillet, add the orange glaze, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer the shrimp to a platter, garnish with parsley and serve with rice.

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

One year ago: Macaroni and Cheese with Black Beans and Chipotle
Two years ago: Oreo Rice Krispie Treats
Three years ago: Homemade Cheez-It Crackers
Four years ago: Breakfast Tart with Pancetta and Green Onions
Five years ago: Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Six years ago: Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Share

Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole

Share

DSC_0125

This winter we’re having in New York is seemingly endless. We’re approaching the end of March, and we’re expecting snow tonight. It’s crazy.

There are many nice things about cold weather, but one of my favorites is a nice, hearty, warm casserole. I made this a couple of days ago when it was quite cold outside. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was delicious! Since the boys won’t go near it with a 10-foot pole, my husband and I have eaten it as leftovers for a couple of days now. It makes a great lunch. It’s as good the next day as it is when you first make it.

This recipe calls for a bunch of broccoli. When using stems from a whole head of broccoli, you have to peel the stems. Instead of peeling and chopping the stems, I bought a couple of bags of fresh broccoli florets, which cut down the recipe’s prep time a bit.

My husband LOVED this recipe. This is now one of his favorite side-dishes. This is comfort food at its best – perfect for a cold winter’s night.

 

Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
Recipe from SmittenKitchen.com

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 large onion, diced
Salt
2/3 cup uncooked wild rice blend, rinsed
1 pound broccoli
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard powder or 1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
8 ounces cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice to onion and cook for 1 minute, then add 1 1/3 cups water and a few pinches of salt. Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to lowest temperature and cook with the lid on for about 50 minutes (or whatever amount of time is suggested on your package of rice). Watch the rice. You may need to add a little more water, like I did.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel broccoli stems and dice them into large chunks. Cut florets into 1-inch pieces. Cook in boiling, well-salted water for 2 to 3 minutes, then drain.

You can use this same pan to make the cheese sauce. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the mustard powder (if using), a pinch of cayenne and garlic and let sizzle for 1 minute. Add flour and whisk until combined, cooking the butter-flour mixture for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly drizzle in milk, whisking constantly, then broth. Bring to a simmer and cook mixture at a simmer, stirring the whole time, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in smooth Dijon mustard if you didn’t use mustard powder.

Remove pan from heat and stir in 1/3 of grated cheese until melted. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Combine cooked wild rice blend and broccoli in a 2-quart baking dish or a 9-inch oven-safe skillet. Pour cheese sauce over and gently nudge to ensure all pieces get some sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake casserole for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly, then run mixture under the broiler until cheese is lightly browned on top.

Yield: ~6 servings

One year ago: Meyer Lemon Gelato
Two years ago: Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
Three years ago: Alfajores
Four years ago: Pineapple and Meyer Lemon Sorbet
Five years ago: Peanut Butter Cookies
Six years ago: Smashed Sweet Potatoes

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Share

Chocolate Nudges

Share

DSC_0051

Every couple of years I am tempted by a dessert recipe that contains ground pistachio nuts. I LOVE pistachios and I love desserts. The combination is always surprising to me. It’s never quite what I expect. These cookies remind me of chocolate cookies sold at Italian bakeries. I served them to a couple of my husband’s band mates and they loved them.

These cookies are definitely different from most other cookies I make.  If you’re looking for something different for a cookie swap or for a dessert tray, give these a try if you’re a fan of Italian bakery cookies.

 

Chocolate Nudge Cookies
Recipe from Lottie + Doof who adapted it slightly from Saltie: A Cookbook

1/2 cup shelled, toasted pistachios
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus 3/4 cup
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened dark (dutch-processed) cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 cups semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using the pulse setting, grind the pistachios and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a food processor until they have the consistency of coarse meal.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Cream the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and rum.

Add the dry ingredients and the pistachios to the butter mixture, beating until well-combined and scraping the bowl as needed. Stir in the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. Form the dough into 1-inch balls. Put the 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a bowl and toss the balls of dough in the sugar until evenly coated. Place the cookies on the prepared sheet about 2 inches apart and bake until they begin to crackle all over the top and are just firm to the touch, 12-17 minutes. Let cookies cool on pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: ~24 cookies

One year ago: Sugar Saucers
Two years ago:Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Three years ago: Jerk Shrimp Pies
Four years ago: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
Five years ago: Black and White Cookies
Six years ago: Lasagna with Pink Sauce, Leeks and Sausage

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Share