Tag Archives: recipe

Potato Salad

This one is for Sarah. And I have Nathan to thank for it. Now he makes beer. Mmmm…. beer.

Mustard-Roasted Potato Salad

Preheat your oven as high as it will go. If you use sheet pans to roast, line them with oiled foil or parchment. I like my nonstick roasting pan. I am also the world’s laziest dishwasher.

Scrub and rough chop 5 pounds of potatoes. I prefer a waxier potato like a yukon gold or white potato. Though, in the spirit of the friends above, a Maine potato will do nicely. Now slice the white parts of a bunch of scallions. Reserve the greens for later.

Add the cut potatoes and scallions to some olive oil–a few good glugs–and about a cup of mustard. I use a blend of spicy brown and dijon, but grainy works, yellow works. This recipe is all about easy. Toss in some salt, cracked black pepper, and a handful of fresh thyme sprigs. Mix it all up, coating the potatoes well. Arrange it on sheet pans or a raosting pan in a single layer–this is for even caramelization, which is key.

Roast this mess for about 45 minutes, turning the potatoes once during cooking. When they’re browned and roasted, and have begun to dry out just a touch, pull them out and cool to room temperature.

Ready? You’re basically done.

When they’re cool, pick out the thyme sprigs, which will probably have shed their leaves into the potatoes during cooking. Mix the potatoes with about 2 cups of plain, fat-free Greek style yogurt. Slice the scallion greens and toss them with the potato mixture.

Let the mixture hang out in the fridge for a while to marry the deliciousness.

Enjoy. It’s so good!

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Bragging Rights

You’re invited to a Purim party/Hamantaschen bake-off.

While you have eaten your weight in Hamantaschen over the years, you’ve never actually madeĀ  the delicious little tri-cornered darlings yourself.

You go to Smitten Kitchen. You are, as always, rewarded.

You eschew traditional poppy seed filling in favor of lemon curd and Boysenberry jam.

You realize four hours before judging that you have neither the called-for lemon nor the ambition to go get one.

You swap in a clementine.

You bake up delicious Hamantaschen.

You win the bake-off!!!

You feel slightly like a fraud, since your ‘taschen are, like yourself, all Gentile.

But you still won.

You feel compelled to share the recipe you tweaked.

Brag Worthy Hamantaschen

Bragworthy Tiny ‘taschen
adapted from the Smitten Kitchen recipe

1 c. confectioners sugar
2 c. flour
1/4 c. white whole wheat flour
1/2 t. kosher salt
zest of 1 clementine
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp., diced
2 eggs, separated
a splash of milk
lemon curd (I used Dickinson’s that I bought at Stop & Shop)
boysenberry jam (I used Trappist*, cause the monastary is near where I grew up.)

Bust out your food processor, plunk sugar through zest in and pulse it to blend. Your Small Sous Chef can help with the pulse button. Buttons, as we all know, are awesome. Now, get your button pusher to switch to On.

With the machine running, pour in your yolks and cubed butter and let it go until the dough comes together in a mass. Have your child stop the machine, then disappoint him by not allowing him to play with the wicked sharp blade remove the dough.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for an hour at least.

Roll the dough out less that 1/4″ thin. Have your Small Sous Chef help you cut 2 1/2″ rounds with the rim of a wineglass a cutter. Transfer your rounds to two parchment lined trays.

We yielded 4 dozen plus a small ball of raw dough for Mark to sample.

Now, fill half of them with approximately a teaspoon of lemon curd and half with approximately a teaspoon of jam. Mix your reserved eggwhite with a spash of milk. Brush the edges of the ‘taschen with this egg wash. Pinch the sides into three corners. Brush the tops and sides lightly with more egg wash.

Chill for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I baked mine for 15 minutes per tray, one tray at a time.

When they’ve cooled a little, transfer to a cooling rack.

Bring them to a bake-off and bring home your bragging rights!

*the irony is not lost on me

Better Than Sex?

Friday night was my dear friend N’s birthday party, a beer and cheese themed birthday party! I thought well, play to your strengths, woman! bring a cheesecake!

What cheesecake to bring, though? So I flipped open my go to cake book, The Whimsical Bakehouse. I read this on page 46:

A customer once said our Mocha Chocolate Chip Cheesecake was better than sex.

Friends, that it is mighty claim, indeed. Gauntlet? Thrown.

Here’s what I ended up doing, screw ups included. The results? Quite a few people who read here ate some. Your comments will be appreciated. I dunno about better than sex, myself, but it was pretty damn good.

Thanks, Fibby, for both of the photos!

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cheesecake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

1 Package Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
1/4 c. + 2 T. sugar
4.5 oz. melted unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 10″ x 2″ springform pan. (If you’re me, your springform is 9″ x 2″ and you just plunged merrily ahead.) Wrap the bottom and outside of the pan in foil and set it in a large, deep roasting pan.

Put the cookies in a ziplock bag, seal it, and smash the bejeezus out of it with a rolling pin or saucepan or frying pan or meat tenderizer (not the pointy kind, the flat kind!).

Combine the cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl and blend until moist. Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of and about an inch up the springform pan. Set this aside while the oven preheats and you make the filling.

1/2 c. heavy cream
2 T. instant espresso powder
2 pounds cream cheese
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
6 large eggs
1 1/4 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips

Heat the cream in a small saucepan to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the powdered espresso. Let the mixture cool a little while you whip the cream cheese.

In the bowl of an electric mixture, beat the cream cheese and mascarpone on medium speed until it’s smooth and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl thoroughly and often. Reduce the speed to low, and add in the warm cream, beating to incorporate, scraping often. One at a time, beat in the eggs, beating only until they are incorporated into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. (If, like me, you flagrantly ignored the pan size recommendations, you will have about an 8 oz. take out container’s worth of extra batter. Your spouse may or may not eat this raw.) Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the batter, and swirl them into the batter with a butter knife. Fill the roasting pan about 1″ full of hot water, and pop the whole thing into the oven. Bake for 70 minutes, or until the top of the cake looks just set and doesn’t wiggle too much if you gently nudge the pan.

Take it out and let it cool for at least 2 hours. Chill it overnight for the cool, dense texture that makes cheesecake so very divine.

About twenty minutes before serving, make the ganache.

4 oz. dark chocolate, rough chopped
4 oz. heavy cream

Heat the cream to a simmer in a small pan. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let the hot cream melt the chocolate. Whisk the mixture until thick and combined. Let the ganache stand for a few minutes until it’s body temperature or cooler.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan, then release the springform sides. Pour the ganache onto the center of the cake, and gently smooth it across the top, allowing just a little to drip over the sides.

Dish it up with a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday!” and two dozen craft brews to taste!