Monday, December 10, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

from Spilling the Beans: Cooking and Baking with Beans and Grains Every Day by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan

I have no idea if the black beans do anything or just make you think what you're eating is healthy, but in any case, these are the best brownies I've ever had.

Also, I suggest sifting the flour. I learned this from Beareen and it makes such a difference.

1 cup cooked black beans (dry them off if wet)
1 1/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup chocolate chips OR 100 g of bittersweet or semi-sweet dark chocolate

Preheat to 350F. Toast nuts until fragrant and very lightly browned, about 6 minutes.

In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate, taking care not to let the mixture scorch. Whisk to combine, then remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt.

Place beans and the butter/chocolate mixture in bowl and process until very smooth. Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla; process until combined. Scrape the mixture into the flour mixture and fold gently, leaving streaks of flour still visible. Add the nuts and chocolate chips and fold until just combined.

Pour the batter into a lightly buttered 8'' square pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the batter doesn't jiggle but any toothpick inserted would still be chocolatey.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

the best thing i've made in awhile?

oh, hello you. i'd like to share an excellent winter invention. a delightful treat. comfort food at its very best. it's bit haphazard and wild, but the good news is that there is tons of flexibility in terms of what you have on hand. i hope that everyone makes this because really, since i finished up all the leftovers, i've been dreaming of having more of it.

buttercup squash mac & cheese

you need:
1 bag (regular size?) of any kind of pasta that you like (i mixed farro spirals and regular old elbow mac)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 medium sized buttercup squash
3 cups grated cheese (i used smoked cheddar, gouda, and regular cheddar)
milk of choice
spoon of butter

1. slice the squash in half and remove the seeds. roast it in the oven on an oiled pan, face down, at 375 until quite soft (30 minutes, ish). OR you could roast this (as i did) in cubes (peeled, etc) with some sea salt and either sage or thyme. YUM.

2. while the squash is roasting, grate up all of your cheese and boil whatever pasta you've selected. cook til nearly your desired softness, but NOT QUITE! since you will be putting it back in the oven in a little bit. when the pasta is cooked enough, strain and run cold water so that the cooking process is paused.

3. when the squash is done, scoop out the gooey insides into a pot (maybe even the pasta pot that you were using but strained the pasta out of). with an immersion blender, turn the squash into a silky sauce by also adding some of the vegetable broth (saving about a cup for later) and the butter. when this gets a bit silky, add the cooked pasta, and the grated cheese (saving about half a cup of the cheese). add the rest of the broth, and milk. add as much as you need to loosen up the sauce a little, as it will be quite thick because of the squash. i probably added about a cup.

4. when all is combined, scoop out your delicious mixture into a large pyrex. top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

5. bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. then stick your broiler on so that the top gets browned, but watch closely so that it doesn't burn.

Enjoy this with a side of sauteed collards with garlic, and a bit of hot sauce.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gourmet Dabblings during Retirement

Dear Friends,

While I have been profoundly absent from cisforkitchen, it is not for lack of cooking.

Here are four delicious, time consuming, and at times decadent recipes I've made in the past few months that I think you would all be the happier for (cooking and) eating.

Wintery Spring Rolls (from 101 Cookbooks) take far longer than 30 minutes allotted in the recipe but well worth it nonetheless.  Mostly I've made them to bring for flights or lunches on roadtrips, and they've been great for that. These are not that decadent, but they make up for that in tastiness. (Also this is vegan and gluten free)

Summer Lasagna was probably the most delicious way I've ever eaten fresh tomatoes and basil. For something so decadent and delicious it's also quite light and not too expensive, unless you splurge on buffalo mozarella. This recipe tells you to make the lasagna noodles by using a pasta machine (which I did) but if you don't have one you could probably just as successfully roll it out by hand.

Sweetcorn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce is a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi that was blogged about on Food 52. Basically you make polenta out of fresh corn (which is sweet and savoury and perfect in an unreal way) and top it with an eggplant sauce made with tomatoes, oregano, and more. I found the eggplant sauce was tastier with a bit of lemon juice which isn't in the recipe. Also, this meal goes well with a simple salad to balance the ecstasies of butter and oil that go into the other parts of the meal.  (And Gluten Free!)

Lemon Curd Tart with Olive Oil was a relatively straightforward recipe with the interesting twist of olive oil instead of butter which made it more savoury, which I liked. The dough is a bit hard to work with because it gets soft really easily, but if you read the reviews there are tips that are useful - like putting the tart pan in the freezer before putting the dough in, and treating the dough as a paste you spread out rather than like a traditional dough that is firmer.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Beet Bread Spread

Hier in Deutschland, we do not settle for merely cream cheese or jam on our breakfast toasts. Nein, nein. Here, all things that could possibly be slathered on bread are grouped together under the one important term Brotaufstrich, meaning that which can be spread on bread. All of a sudden, honey, nutella, sardine paste, and minced meat can hang out together as one slightly gross family.

I know Brotaufstrich mostly from the vaguely hippie, organic vibe that is still trickling down through the leftist scene here, and which causes my roommates and others to buy such jars of Aufstrich as curry, horseradish, and rucola. Which of course just scream, eat me in the morning with your coffee!

Nonetheless, after long hard years of trying to integrate, I have to admit that I'm now totally converted, and yearn for my Aufstrich like I do for my long lost spoon sessions as the middle spoon with Justin Bieber and Drake.

Thus without further ado, DIY Aufstrich, beet style.

Liebe, Prof. TT

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings
  • 2 large beets (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 2 large lemons, juiced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, mashed in a mortar with a dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup of   tahini (or more, to taste)
  • 1 tbsp of pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of pomegranate arils to garnish (optional)

Roast the beets in a 350F oven for 45 minutes or until tender. Peel and cut into chunks; mash in a processor with the juice of a lemon, garlic and tahini; taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lemon or tahini or garlic. Garnish and serve at room temperature with pita bread or chips.

With thanks to Taste of Beirut

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mexican Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm up north (Toronto-speak for 2 hours outside the city in any direction) on Georgina Island in a beautiful sunlight- and art-filled home with an incredible view of Lake Simcoe. My host just made these cookies from "Bake Fest" magazine. They have cayenne! Just like the spicy hot chocolate from Au Festin de Babette.

350 g semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar (I would probably use a bit less)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne (use more if you can handle it!!)

Preheat oven to 350F. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in a baño maría (double boiler). Beat butter and sugars until fluffly. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir coffee with vanilla and beat into butter mixture. Blend in melted chocolate. In a separate bowl mix flour, cinammon, baking soda, salt and cayenne pepper. Add to butter mixture, mix on low until combined. Stir in remaining chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 1 inch. Bake for 10 minutes or until set but still soft.

The magazine claims they freeze well but this might be because it's sponsored by a freezable tupperware company. Freeze at your own risk!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

...and raise you an asparagus

Here is my second summer salad recipe. I have made it four times in two weeks because asparagus is finally here, and it is SO GOOD. Obviously the proportions of this salad are flexible! I start with about the same volume of potatoes and asparagus, and then make sure there are plenty of red elements. Oh, and also you can substitute string beans for asparagus if you want.. just blanch or steam them instead of roasting.

Asparagus Salad

250 g. Asparagus, approximately chopped into thirds
3 Large potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces
Olive oil
Garlic (2 cloves? 3 cloves? pressed)
Large handful cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 Roasted red pepper, sliced into strips (I buy these in a jar, obviously you could roast your own)
Goat's cheese, as much or little as you want, in chunks / half-moons / whatever
Toasted pine nuts
Plenty of fresh basil leaves, whole or torn in two

Balsamic vinaigrette, or use whatever proportions you like:
1 t. Honey
1 t. Mustard
3 T. Balsamic vinaigre
2 T. Olive oil

1. Toss the asparagus and potatoes in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, and roast them in a 200˚C oven until they are through. Broiler is optional. Since they might take different amounts of time, it is easiest to roast them on two separate pans. Potatoes maybe 18 minutes, asparagus should be done in about 12.. but just check on them often. Careful not to over-roast!

2. Let the potatoes and asparagus cool a bit so that the goat's cheese does not melt away when it gets tossed into the salad.

3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (scrape in any stray garlic bits from the pan, they are delicious), mix with dressing, and EAT!

I'll see your quinoa...

Hey guys,

So this is my first post, but after spending a fabulous and exhausting day with Jess making ca$h at the Neukölln flea market I realized that I will lose her soon to Canada, so I'd better start strengthening those digital bonds. And also, I cannot count the number of times that I have enjoyed said SUPER INCA recipe, so I owe the blog one (in this case, two). Here is the first.

Quinoa Salad à la Moa (Swedish friend, genius)

1 c. Quinoa
2 - 2.5 c. Water / vegetable broth to boil the quinoa
Salt for the water
125g Arugula, washed (in Germany this is one normal package)
Large handful of cherry tomatoes
Large handful of almonds
1/2 Block of hallumi (or more if you feel like it)

Balsamic vinaigrette (these are the proportions I use):
1 t. Honey
1 t. Mustard
3 T. Balsamic vinaigre
2 T. Olive oil

1. Boil quinoa in water / vegetable broth until it is cooked and dry (should not be soupy). When it is finished, remove from heat and spread out the quinoa on a large plate so that it can cool. This is important!

2. While the quinoa is cooking / cooling, do the following things:
- Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters.
- Toast the almonds in a pan with a tiny bit of oil over high heat until brown. Chop coarsely.
- Slice the hallumi (1/4 inch or so) and brown the slices in a non-stick pan until they are golden on both sides. No oil necessary. Afterwards cut them in halves or thirds.
- Prepare vinaigrette.

3. When quinoa has cooled down and the grains are a bit less sticky, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and enjoy! Yum!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Simple Summer Quinoa Salad

Not that you would know it's almost summer since it's fucking 0 degrees in Toronto. And not that I would know what the weather is like anyways since I haven't left my house all fucking day. And not that I have time to cook this since I'm writing this fucking paper FOREVER. So more of an aspirational recipe than a reflective one. Kisses and polar bears.

c/o the back of the Casbah quinoa box

225g dry quinoa
2 1/2 cups water or broth
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1 sweet yellow pepper, diced
1 cup cucumber, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Add quinoa to boiling water/broth, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. In the mean time, chop your veggies. Combine salad ingredients. Combine dressing ingredients. Combine combinations. Sprinkle with Canadian feta if you're feeling nostalgic for Supa Inca. Serve cold.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Goat cheese rounds


Made these for my roommate's bday a few weeks ago and they are delish.

Goat cheese rounds
6 oz soft goat cheese, 3-4 inches in diameter
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
1 tsp cracked black pepper
10 black olives, pitted, coarsely chopped (kalamata)

Slice the cheese in half horizontally so that it is about 3/4 inches thick. Place in rounds in a shallow dish.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, pepper, and olives until well blended. Pout over goat cheese and marinate. Refrigerate for 2 hours to 1 week. Before serving, let warm to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Serve with crostini, crackers or sliced baguette.

Add on:
-green onion, chopped finely
-crushed basil and fennel seeds
-finely chopped sundried tomatoes

And for FAR, some good old interspecies goat love:

Prof. Tata

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Beet and apple slaw, bugs on the side

Slaw -- the most poetic, but needlessly slaughtered, of all vegetables.