10th November 2008

    Chocolate and Cacao Nib Cookies

    Lisa got some finishing salts from Cathy for her birthday, and we’ve been waiting to find the best use for some cacao nibs from Theo Chocolate — this recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini fit the bill perfectly, and was a delicious finish to our soup from earlier in the evening. Lisa made the cookies slightly bigger than the original recipe, and finished them with a few extra grains of salt. We sat down to eat them while we played a new card game.

    Abbie says:

    Do we actually get to eat these or are you saving them?

    Lisa says:

    Are you kidding? Eat these!

    Chris says:

    Does anything go better with zombies than these cookies?

    Abbie says:

    Yeah: Braaaaiiins.

    Chris says:

    Well, clearly… but probably not much else.

    Lisa says:

    All I know is that while you two were chatting a couple more cookies seemed to have disappeared.

    Chris says:

    Gimme!

    Lisa says:

    This rules, I never realized I could combine dessert with my favorite condiment.

    Chris says:

    It’s like your birthday all over again!

    Abbie says:

    Uuuuuuuungh… Braaaaiiiiinnnns…. and cookies.

    Chocolate and Cacao Nib Cookies
    2 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate
    1/2 stick unsalted butter
    1 1/2 eggs, lightly beaten
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    3/4 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp fleur de sel
    4 tbsp cacao nibs

    Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    Melt together 1 1/2 oz of the chocolate and the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool for ten minutes. Meanwhile , combine the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in another mixing bowl and set aside. Finely chop the remaining chocolate, and set aside.
    Whisk the eggs into the cooled melted chocolate. Add in the brown sugar and mix again. Sift in the flour mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. The batter will be thick. Fold in the chopped chocolate, cacao nibs and fleur de sel.
    Scoop out rounded tablespoons of batter, shape them into balls with the tips of your fingers, and line them up on the cookie sheet, leaving a one-inch space between them. Sprinkle a few grains additional salt over the top of the cookies. Put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for ten minutes (if the sheet and batter are cold, the cookies are less likely to spread). Put the cookie sheet into the oven to bake for eight to ten minutes, until the tops feel just dry to the touch.

    Makes about 15 two-bite-size cookies.

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    posted in Main Dishes | 7 Comments

    9th November 2008

    Sopa de Fideo

    We still have noodles left over from the Fideos a la Catalana, and it’s definitely been soup weather lately, so we thought this would be a perfect dish to share with company: a “Mexican Minestrone” with noodles and plenty of vegetables. The recipe is adapted from one found in an old favorite, Great Bowls of Fire.

    Lisa says:

    You should put our CSA avocados in it!

    Chris says:

    I thought the same thing — slicing them up now.

    Abbie says:

    Yum! Hey, there’s a little spice in there!

    Lisa says:

    I’m glad we like it, it looks like the recipe made a LOT.

    Chris says:

    I like the way the cheese melts, it adds a nice creaminess to the broth.

    Abbie says:

    Oooh! Look at this cute top!

    Chris says:

    Huh?

    Abbie says:

    Oh, sorry. I’m reading this catalog while we eat.

    Chris says:

    I’m freaking hot from standing over the dang pot.

    Lisa says:

    I just assumed you were sweating because it’s spicy.

    Chris says:

    It’s not that spicy…

    Sopa de Fideos
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 small yellow onion, diced
    2 small shallots, diced
    1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
    8 cups vegetable broth
    1 large potato, diced
    2 carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
    1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
    1 tbsp oregano
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    4 oz capellini
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    1 avocado, peeled and sliced

    In a large pot, heat the oil, then add the onion, shallots, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and jalapeño and cook over medium heat until the vegetables softened and the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the broth, potato, carrots, chopped tomatoes, and spices and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Break the pasta in half and add to the soup. Cook over medium until the pasta is al dente, about 3 minutes, or according to the package directions. Stir in the parsley and let sit for a few minutes.
    Ladle into bowls and top with the shredded cheese, additional chopped parsley, and the avocado slices.

    6 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes | 2 Comments

    4th November 2008

    Fideos a la Catalana, and GO OBAMA!

    In tonight’s dish, adapted from Fresh Spanish, chicken sausage is cooked with garlic, onions, and tomatoes, and mixed with a short pasta for a hearty main course. Use fideo if you can find it, but if not, vermicelli or thin spaghetti broken into short lengths will work.

    Chris says:

    Well I’m going to complain about this one, but I know how I’d change it.

    Lisa says:

    What are you complaining about? I really like the taste.

    Chris says:

    Oh I really like the taste, too. I just think the pasta is way overcooked, so it’s a little mushy.

    Lisa says:

    Hmmmm, well, I still like it. So why do you think it came out this way?

    Chris says:

    Two reasons: we didn’t have vermicelli, so I used cappellini, which is even thinner, and there was a bit too much liquid. Also, I’ve seen in other recipes that the pasta is often toasted/sauteed before adding the broth.

    Lisa says:

    So you’re saying we’ll have this again, but better?

    Chris says:

    Indeed! And I’m listing the recipe with the changes I’d make. The Change We Need.

    Lisa says:

    Wait — what does Obama have to do with this recipe?

    Chris says:

    Not a damn thing. But HOLY CRAP, we just witnessed history.

    Lisa says:

    Wahoo!

    Fideos a la Catalana
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 1/4 lb large fresh chicken sausages
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
    1 tsp mild paprika
    8 oz vermicelli, cut into short lengths
    3-4 cups chicken broth
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    chopped parsley, to garnish

    Heat half the oil in a 12-inch shallow casserole or skillet with a lid. Add the sausages and cook over a medium-high heat, turning frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until soft. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until very lightly toasted. Add the tomatoes and paprika, stirring, for 3-4 minutes further. Return the sausages to the pan, add 3 cups of the chicken broth. Season to taste, stir to mix, and bring to a boil. Continue to cook until the pasta is cooked and the water absorbed, adding broth if necessary. Stir and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Fresh Spanish, Main Dishes, Spanish | 7 Comments

    4th November 2008

    Caribbean Vegetable Stew

    Another great way to use our CSA veggies tonight: a very colorful, unusual stew with strong flavors of lime and cilantro along side sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and okra. This recipe comes from the vegetarian recipe book The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.

    Lisa says:

    Wow, that’s really limey… 

    Chris says:

    See? And we get criticism that we like everything we make. (That’s for you, CB). 

    Lisa says:

    No, I meant that I really liked the lime. 

    Chris says:

    Oh! Well, there goes the I-don’t-love-it example… I like the slight heat from the jalapeno. 

    Lisa says:

    I don’t really taste it. 

    Chris says:

    Really? Hmm, well, next time I won’t remove the seeds. I was worried that it would be too spicy for you. 

    Lisa says:

    Well, you could have left them in this time. I really, really like this soup. 

    Chris says:

    I do too, but I’m going to say it’s not the best in history, just to even things out a bit. 

    Caribbean Vegetable Stew
    2 cups chopped onions
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    3 cups chopped cabbage
    1 jalapeno, minced
    1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
    2 cups water
    3 cups diced sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes
    salt to taste
    2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes
    2 cups frozen sliced okra
    3 tbsp fresh lime juice
    2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
    chopped peanuts
    sprigs of cilantro

    In a large pot, saute the onions in the oil on medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes.
    Add the cabbage and the jalapeno and continue to saute, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.
    Add the grated ginger and the water, cover the pot, and bring to a boil.
    Stir in the sweet potatoes, sprinkle with salt, and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender.
    Add the tomatoes, okra, and lime juice.
    Simmer until all of the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
    Stir in the cilantro and add more salt to taste.
    Sprinkle the stew with chopped peanuts.
    Top with a few sprigs of cilantro.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Caribbean, Main Dishes, Moosewood Cooks at Home | 2 Comments


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