Sunday, November 11, 2007

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

I got this recipe from my former co-worker, Kelly. These cookies have a very cake-like texture and are not particular sweet. Think pumpkin pie flavored scone-cookie hybrid.

1 stick room temperature butter
1 C granulated sugar
1 egg
1 C packed canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 C powdered sugar
1 TBS packed pumpkin

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Cream butter and sugar
3. Add egg, pumpkin, and vanilla to butter and sugar
4. In a separate bowl, wisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon
5. Mix flour mixture with wet ingredients adding a little bit at a time.
6. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.
7. Bake 10-15 minutes (until tips get a little brown)
8. While cookies cool, mix together icing ingredients.
9. Ice cooled cookies.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Vegetabe Stew

I don't always love Rachel Ray, but I really like this recipe. I like the potato pancakes that are in the original recipe, but they sort of push it beyond the quick category. So, I usually make this and serve on a bed of plain couscous.

3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 pound, 16 to 20, crimini mushrooms, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can chick peas, garbanzo beans, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in puree
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

In a medium pot over moderate heat saute garlic and mushrooms in extra-virgin olive oil for 2 or 3 minutes. Add zucchini and onion to the pot and season vegetables with salt and pepper. Saute another 5 minutes. Add beans, cumin, tomato and chopped rosemary. Bring stew to a bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.

The BEST Apple Pie

I originally got this recipe from my college roommate Robin. She is an incredible baker. This is the best apple pie you'll ever eat, and the crust is much easier than a normal pie crust. Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

This is from the September '96 issue of Bon Appetit (Apple Pie Hubbub with Cinnamon Streusel Topping)

6 oz (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
1.5 oz (6 tbs) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
7 1/4 oz (1.5 c) flour

2 lbs baking apples, peeled, cored, cut into .5" slices
1/4 c sugar
3 tbs butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon

5.5 oz (1 1/4 c) flour
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
5 oz (1 1/4 sticks) chilled butter, cut into small pieces

For crust: Preheat oven to 350F. Combine first four ingredients in large bowl, beat until fluffy. Add flour, beat just until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Press dough over bottom and up sides of 9" pie pan. Freeze until firm, about 10 min.

Bake crust 10 min. Using rubber spatula, press up sides of crust if beginning to fall. Bake until crust is pale golden, about 20 min. longer. Cool completely on a rack.

For filling: Toss apples with remaining ingredients. Transfer filling to crust, mounding in center.

For topping: Mix all but butter in medium bowl. Using fingertips, rub in butter until moist clumps form. Sprinkle topping over filling, pressing gently to compact.

Bake until topping is golden and apples are tender, covering crust edges with foil if browning too quickly, about one hour. Cool to room temperature.

Tortilla Soup

A Mexican Recipe from a German you ask. Yes, this soup is delicious. Be sure to add all of the garnishes. You can make this vegetarian by replacing the chicken stock with a good vegetable stock and omitting the chicken breast. I blend the soup using an immersion blender.

2 ears fresh corn, husks removed
4 or 5 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 small onion (about 3 ounces), peeled, trimmed, and quartered
1 small jalapeno pepper, trimmed and seeded
2 tablespoons corn oil
2 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch squares
2 large ripe tomatoes (1 pound), peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 quarts chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 corn tortillas
1 ripe avocado
1 large chicken breast, cooked, boned, and skinned
1/2 cup grated Cheddar
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Using a large knife, carefully scrape the kernels off the corncobs and set aside, reserving the cobs.

Using a food processor fitted with the steel blade, or a large knife, coarsely chop the garlic, onion, jalapeno pepper, and corn kernels. Reserve.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil. Add the squares of tortillas and cook over low heat until they are slightly crisp. Stir in the chopped vegetables and simmer just until the vegetables are coated with the oil. Do not brown.

Add the tomatoes, the tomato paste, and 2 teaspoons of the cumin and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes to maximize the flavor. Slowly pour in the stock, add the corncobs, and cook over low heat until the soup is reduced by one third.

Discard the corn cobs and puree the soup, in batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth. At this point, the soup can be passed through the fine strainer, if desired. Return to a clean pot and season with salt, pepper, and additional cumin to taste.

Prepare the garnish: Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the tortillas into thin strips and arrange on a small baking tray. Bake until the strips are crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Peel and dice the avocado. Cut the chicken into thin strips.

To serve, add the chicken and avocado to the soup and reheat over low heat. Ladle the soup into 6 to 8 warm soup bowls and garnish with the baked tortilla strips, Cheddar cheese, and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.