Monday, February 29, 2016

Ginger Carrot Salad Dressing ~ Heidi Swanson

An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

Sometimes Heidi uses 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne in place of the Serrano. Also, you can freeze any dressing you don't use in a few days.

1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, or more to taste
5 tablespoons peeled ginger, chopped to measure
3 medium farmers' market carrots, scrubbed
1/2 of a serrano pepper, stemmed, or to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon miso (optional)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup / 60 ml brown rice vinegar
4 medium shallots, peeled

Puree the coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, carrots, pepper, olive oil, salt, toasted sesame oil, miso, maple syrup, brown rice vinegar, and shallots in a blender until very smooth. Taste, and adjust, if needed, with more salt or vinegar, or any other ingredient you think might need a little boost.
Makes about 2 cups.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Easy Salsa

Easy Salsa
6 tomatoes
3 jalapenos (warning: hot)
1 medium white onion
1/2 a medium red onion
1 cup cilantro (I’m a friend- or a little less.)
5 cloves garlic
3 limes juice  I even threw in some of the pulp
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt or more if needed
1 tsp chili powder
Chop Tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, cilantro and garlic. mix together, add the spices and the lime juice...if it is too chunky for you, give it a few chops in the food processor.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Shrimp And Corn Chowder With Bacon And Fresh Herbs

Shrimp And Corn Chowder 
With Bacon And Fresh Herbs

Serves 4
2 T. unsalted butter 
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onions
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes 

1 bay leaf
2 T. flour
1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn, thawed
1/2 lb. raw shrimp, cleaned
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 T. chopped green onions

1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Add onions, potato and bay leaf. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring often.

2. Stir in flour, then stir in wine and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add half and half and corn and return to a simmer and cook 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cut shrimp down the back lengthwise into two pieces. Stir the shrimp into the chowder for simmer until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes. Remove bay leaf; stir in parsley and green onions and serve. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Pot Stickers Dim Sum

Pot Stickers   Dim Sum  
¾ pound ground pork or other meat
1 cup minced cabbage
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoons minced garlic
6 scallions, the white and green parts separated, both minced
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons good soy sauce
48 dumpling wrappers
1 egg, lightly beaten in a bowl
4 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, more or less
¼ cup rice vinegar or white vinegar

Combine meat, cabbage, ginger, garlic, scallion whites and 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a bowl with 1/4 cup water. Lay a wrapper on a clean, dry surface, and using your finger or a brush, spread a bit of egg along half of its circumference. Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in center, fold over and seal by pinching edges together. (Do not overfill.) Place dumplings on a plate; if you want to wait a few hours before cooking, cover plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Or freeze, for up to two weeks.

To cook, put about 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet and turn heat to medium-high. A minute later, add dumplings, one at a time; they can touch one another, but should still sit flat in one layer. Cook about 2 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned and most of the oil has been absorbed. Add 1/4 cup water per dozen dumplings to pan, and cover. Lower heat to medium, and let simmer about 3 minutes.

To make the dipping sauce, combine remaining soy sauce, green parts of scallions and vinegar.
Uncover dumplings, return heat to medium-high and cook another minute or two, until bottoms are dark brown and crisp and water evaporates. (Use more oil if necessary.) Serve hot, with sauce.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pina Colada Cake

Pina Colada Cake

2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, divided
1/3 Cup Pineapple Juice
3 (20 oz) Cans Pineapple Chunks in Pineapple Juice, 
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
2 Cups Sweetened Coconut Flakes

Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.
Melt 1 stick of butter in a 13×9 inch baking pan in the oven for about 5 minutes.
When butter has melted, remove pan from the oven.
Stir pineapple juice then pineapple chunks into the pan.
Spoon cake mix over all pineapple chunks covering completely.
Sprinkle coconut on top of cake mix until completely covered.
Cut remaining stick of butter into small cubes and top over coconut.
Bake for 45-60 minutes rotating cake 90° every 15 minutes for even browning of coconut.

It’s ok to substitute frozen pineapple or fresh pineapple for the canned pineapple.
It’s ok to substitute rum for the pineapple juice.
If coconut starts to look too dark then cover with aluminum foil and continue baking.
The dessert may look a little soft when removed from the oven but it will firm up as it cools.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Panna Cotta

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Panna Cotta
Panna Cotta is a silky smooth pudding
thickened by gelatin rather than egg yolks.
1 ⅛ teaspoon powdered gelatin
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup Nutella
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts, for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk gelatin with 3 tablespoons cold water. Place chopped chocolate in another medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine Nutella and salt.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a boil. Pour half the cream over gelatin mixture and whisk gently to combine; stir in vanilla. Pour remaining cream over chopped chocolate; whisk until smooth. Combine two mixtures; whisk well.

Pour one-third of the gelatin-chocolate mixture over Nutella; beat using an electric mixer on low speed until a smooth paste forms. Pour in remaining mixture and milk; beat until fully combined.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into six ramekins. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until set, about six hours or overnight. Serve sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts, if desired.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pan Baked Lemon-Almond Tart

Pan Baked Lemon-Almond Tart
4 eggs
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
½ cup ground almonds
½ cup cream
½ cup sliced almonds, more for garnish
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoons butter
Powdered sugar, for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, salt, ground almonds, cream, sliced almonds, lemon zest and juice.

Melt butter in an 8-inch ovenproof skillet over low heat; when foam has subsided, add almond mixture to pan, tilting pan to distribute batter evenly. Continue to cook tart on stovetop until edges just begin to set, then put pan in oven and finish cooking, about 10 to 15 minutes more.

When tart is done, put it in broiler for about a minute or until just golden on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and sliced almonds. Serve.

Monday, February 22, 2016

10-Spice Vegetable Soup

10-Spice Vegetable Soup

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

This is the ultimate bowl of comfort food, made with a decadent creamy broth and loaded with an array of health-boosting spices and vegetables. Be sure to soak the cashews in water the night before (or see my 1 hour quick soak method) so they are ready when you plan to make the soup. Recipe lightly adapted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon. Avery Publishing, an imprint of Penguin Books © 2014.



3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked
6 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet or yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (1 heaping cup)
1 red bell pepper or 1 cup jarred roasted red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato, regular potato, or butternut squash
2 stalks celery, chopped (1 heaping cup)
1 (28-ounce/796-mL) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
1 to 2 tablespoons Homemade 10-Spice Blend, to taste
Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 cups baby spinach or destemmed torn kale leaves
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or other beans, drained and rinsed.
Homemade Spice Blend (makes 1/2 cup):
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Place cashews in a bowl and add enough water to cover. Soak the cashews overnight, or for at least 2 hours. Drain and rinse the cashews.

In a blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews with 1 cup of vegetable broth and blend on the highest speed until smooth. Set aside.
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Season generously with Herbamare or sea salt.

Add the carrots, bell pepper, potato, celery, and diced tomatoes with their juices, the remaining 5 cups broth, and 10-spice blend. Stir well to combine.  

Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Season with salt and black pepper and add the bay leaves.

Simmer the soup, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and black pepper. 

To freeze, ladle the soup into containers (leaving 1-inch for expansion), cool completely, secure lid and place in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.


1) If you don’t wish to make the 10-Spice Blend, feel free to use your favorite store-bought Cajun or Creole seasoning mix and add to taste. 2) You will have leftover spice blend. Store it in a container and keep it handy anytime you want to spice up a dish! It's great for pasta, soup, tofu seasoning, stir-fry, and more. 3) When thawed, this soup's broth looks a bit grainy, but rest assured when it's heated up again it will return to its former smoothness.

Read more:

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Homemade Nutella Hot Chocolate

Homemade Nutella Hot Chocolate


This recipe is a twist on traditional hot cocoa. This recipe features my homemade Nutella nut butter which makes this drink so creamy and decadent! I also love adding 55-60% dark chocolate into the mix for even more chocolate flavour. For a luxurious twist, try stirring in a bit of full-fat coconut cream into the hot cocoa, or serve it topped with some vegan marshmallows.


2 cups unsweetened almond milk (homemade or store-bought)
50 grams 55-60% non-dairy dark chocolate
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, to taste
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup Homemade Mocha Nutella (recipe linked below)
Dash fine grain sea salt, to taste
Prepare the Homemade Mocha Nutella.
Break up the chocolate into chunks. In a medium pot, add the almond milk and chocolate pieces. Increase heat to medium-low. Whisk occasionally until all of the chocolate is melted.

Whisk in the maple syrup, cocoa powder, nutella, and salt until super smooth. Heat over medium-low and remove from heat just before it simmers. If you can't get the hot cocoa smooth enough by whisking (this will depend in large part by how smooth your homemade nutella is) you can transfer it into a blender (with lid ajar) and blend until smooth.

Adjust the sweetness to taste, if necessary. Serve and enjoy! Leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 2 days or longer.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake


1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch-process cocoa preferred

1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease an 8" round cake pan; cut a piece of parchment or waxed paper to fit, grease it, and lay it in the bottom of the pan. 

To make the cake: 
Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until the butter is melted and the chips are soft. Stir until the chips melt, reheating briefly if necessary. You can also do this over a burner set at very low heat. Transfer the melted chocolate/butter to a mixing bowl. 

Stir in the sugar, salt, espresso powder, and vanilla. Espresso enhances chocolate's flavor much as vanilla does; using 1 teaspoon will simply enhance the flavor, while 2 teaspoons will lend a hint of mocha to the cake. 

Add the eggs, beating briefly until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, and mix just to combine. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for 25 minutes; the top will have formed a thin crust, and it should register at least 200°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into its center.
Remove it from the oven, and cool it in the pan for 5 minutes.
Loosen the edges of the pan with a table knife or nylon spreader, and turn it out onto a serving plate. The top will now be on the bottom; that's fine. Also, the edges will crumble a bit, which is also fine. Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing. 

To make the glaze: 
Combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until the cream is very hot, but not simmering. Remove from the microwave, and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is completely smooth. 

Spoon the glaze over the cake, spreading it to drip over the sides a bit. Allow the glaze to set for several hours before serving the cake. 

Yield: 8" cake, 8 to 12 servings.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Mustard And Dill Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Triple Mustard Brandy Sauce

Mustard And Dill Roasted Pork Tenderloin
With Triple Mustard Brandy Sauce
Serves 4 to 6.
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb. each) 2 T. olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 T. minced fresh dill

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup dry Sherry
3/4 cup brandy
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 T. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 T. whole grain Dijon mustard 1 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. minced Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim all fat and silverskin from pork. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Brown the pork well on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer pork to a parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool 10 minutes. Stir together the mustard, dill and pepper. Smear all over the pork. Roast pork for 15 to 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Let pork rest 8 to 10 minutes before slicing across diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices.

2. Meanwhile for sauce, place the sherry, brandy, garlic and shallots in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil to reduce until only 1/3 cup of the liquid is remaining. Add the cream and cook until about 1 1/2 cups of liquid is remaining and the sauce has thickened. Whisk in the Dijon, whole grain Dijon and dry mustards. Add the parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Keep sauce warm until ready to serve or reheat, stirring often, just before serving. Serve sauce spooned over pork slices. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016


1 oz. kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon Insta Cure #2 or DC curing salt
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
5 juniper berries, crushed with the side of a knife
One 3 pound beef eye of round roast, no more than 
    3" in diameter, trimmed of all fat, sinew, and 

1.) Combine all the spice in a spice or coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder. 

2.) Rub half of the spice cure ingredients all over the meat rubbing it in well.  Place in a 2 gallon zip lock bag or a non-reactive container and refrigerate for 7 days turning it every couple of days.

3.) Remove the beef from the liquid (discard liquid) and rub the remaining spice cure.  Return to the refrigerator for 7 more days.

4.) Rinse the beef thoroughly under cold water to remove any spices and pat dry with paper towels.  Set on a rack on a baking sheet uncovered at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.

5.) ) or substitute Morton's tender quick (use 1 TablespooTie the beef with butchers twine.   Hang the meat (ideally at 60 F with 60 to 70% humidity) for about three weeks.  The meat should feel firm on the outside and silky smooth when sliced.

Yield:  Approximately 2 pounds of bresaola; about 30 appetizer servings.

Kim Olson's alterations to the process:

1.) I used pink salt (1/4 teaspoon per pound or 1 teaspoon for 5 pounds) for the cure #2 because I knew I was going to smoke it.  I made sure I put in the right amount based on the weight of my roast.  If you don't smoke it, you have to use Cure #2 (1/4 teaspoon per pound or 1 teaspoon for 5 pounds.)  or substitute Mortons Tender Quick (use tablespoon per pound and eliminate the kosher salt in the recipe).

2.) Kim put the herb mixture on the roast and vacuum sealed it.  She cured it there diameter X 2 days because the cure will penetrate 1/4" on all sides per day.  I turned it over and massaged it once per day.  I turned it over and massaged it once a day. Her piece of meat was 4 1/2" in diameter, so I cured for 10 days.  Kim added 1 day as a safety factor.

3.)  After drying in the refrigerator, Kim smoked.  She put it on the smoke setting and kept the temp as low as she could.  Her Treager was running around 160-170.   She thought about cold smoking first, but because bresaola isn't normally smoked, I didn't want to increased the smokey taste.  I smoked it until the internal temperature was 150 degrees. 

4.)  I put it in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight after smoking to dry it out a little more.  It also made it easier to slice.  Slicing was the most difficult part-it's supposed to be paper thin. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cauliflower "Potato" Salad

Cauliflower "Potato" Salad
1 head of cauliflower steamed or boiled until tender in bite size pieces
6 boiled eggs (when done peel eggs, rinse and separate yokes into a bowl. Then mash the yolk and cut the whites into small bite size pieces then blend
1/3 cup (appx) miracle whip or mayonnaise (dont use light it has more carbs)
3 tbs of mustard
3 tbs of pickle relish
1/8 cup of chopped onion (uncooked) can use more if you prefer
salt/pepper to taste

Mix all together and you can garnish with egg slices and parsley
chill over night ( 1 cup of cauliflower is only 3 carbs vs 1 cup of potato is 37!!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cheesecake Crescent Rolls Also Known As Sopapilla Cheesecake

Cheesecake Crescent Rolls 
also known as 
Sopapilla Cheesecake
2 cans of Pillsbury Crescent rolls
2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup Sugar
Unroll and spread 1 of the cans of crescent rolls on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish (or 8 x 8 if you want to cut the recipe in half). Combine softened cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla. Spread over crescent roll layer. Unroll and layer remaining crescent rolls over cream cheese layer. Melt your butter and spread over top of crescent rolls. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes in 350F oven until bubbly and slightly browned. Drizzle with a little honey if you like. Let cool a bit, slice and eat.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cheddar Duchess Potatoes

Cheddar Duchess Potatoes

8 medium potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1/4 – 1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup melted butter
sprinkle paprika

Peel, cut in half or quarters, and boil potatoes until fork tender. Don’t overcook! Drain the potatoes and put back into the pot over low heat to cook off some of the excess moisture.

Mash the potatoes with the butter, cream, and seasonings until smooth.

Stir in the cheddar cheese until well combined, and then stir in the beaten egg and egg yolk.

Place potatoes into a piping bag or a large baggie with the corner snipped off. Using a large star tip if you have it, pipe into a circle stacking upwards as you go onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or non-stick tin-foil.

Brush lightly with melted butter, and sprinkle lightly with paprika.

Bake at 375 for 25-30, or until the edges are starting to turn golden brown.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Coconut Shrimp


1/2 C (110 g) mayonnaise
2 tsp (10 ml) tomato paste
2 tsp (10 ml) fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tsp (10 ml) honey
1/2 tsp (2.5 g) jerk seasoning, more or less to taste
1/4 tsp (2.5 g) salt

Coconut Shrimp:
Canola oil for frying
1 1/2 C (110 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 C (33 g) flour
1/3 C (80 ml) ginger ale
1 1/2tsp (6 g) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2.5 g) salt
1/4-1/2 tsp (2 g) cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 lg egg, lightly beaten
1 lb (454 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined


To make the sauce, place all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine, letting stand at least 15 minutes to blend flavors before serving.
Heat oil to 350°F (177°C) in a deep saucepan over medium high heat. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the coconut in a shallow bowl.
In another bowl make batter by combining flour, ginger ale, baking soda, salt, cayenne pepper and egg, stirring until smooth. Dip shrimp in batter, then press in the coconut.
Place on prepared baking sheet. Working in batches, carefully place shrimp in hot oil and cook until golden brown, 3-5 minutes.
Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately or keep warm in a low oven.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Roasted Tiny Potatoes And 
Mushrooms With Rosemary

Serves 4. 
1 1/2 lbs. small potatoes (all red or a variety), unpeeled, quartered 1 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T. unsalted butter

1-10 oz. bags sliced crimini mushrooms
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 T. chopped fresh chives or Italian parsley

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine potatoes and olive oil in large bowl; toss to coat. Transfer potatoes to prepared sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add crimini mushrooms and rosemary; sprinkle lightly with salt and sauté until brown and tender and most liquid has evaporated, about 12 minutes.

3. Add hot potatoes to skillet with mushrooms. Sauté over medium-high heat until mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with parsley. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread
Crusty Bread (simply so good)

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon Instant or Rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours. Overnight works great. Heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Almond Biscotti

Almond Biscotti
1 ¼ cups (6 ¼ ounces) whole almonds, lightly 
1 ¾cups (8 ¾ ounces) All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, plus 1 large white beaten with pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons Almond Extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vegetable oil spray

The almonds will continue to toast while the biscotti bake, so toast the nuts only until they are just fragrant.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.  Using ruler and pencil, draw two 8 X 3 rectangles, spaced four inches apart, on piece of parchment paper.  Grease baking sheet and place parchment on it, ink side down.

Pulse 1 cup of almonds in food processor until coarsely chopped, 8 to 10 pulses.  Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Process remaining 1/4 cup almonds in food processor until finely ground, about 45 seconds.  Add flour, baking powder, and salt; process to combine, about 15 seconds.  Transfer flour mixture to second bowl.  

Process 2 eggs in now empty food processor until lightened in color and almost double in volume, about 3 minutes.With processor running, slowly add sugar until thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Add melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla and process until combined, about 10 seconds. 

Transfer egg mixture to medium bowl. Sprinkle half of flour mixture over egg mixture and, using spatula, gently fold until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture and chopped almonds and gently fold until just combined.

Divide the batter  in half.  Using floured hands, form each half into 8 X 3 inch rectangle, using lines on the parchment as a guide.  Spray each loaf lightly with oil spray.  Using a rubber spatula lightly coated with oil spray, smooth tops and sides of rectangles.  Gently brush tops of loaves with egg white wash.  

Bake until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.   

Let loaves cool on baking sheet for 30 minutes.  Transfer loaves cutting board.  Using a serrated knife, slice each loaf on slight bias into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Lay slices, cut side down, 1/4 inch apart on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet.  Bake until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 35 minutes, flipping slices halfway through baking.  

Let cool completely before serving.Biscotti can be stored in airtight container for up to 1 month.
Yield: 30 cookies

Recipe Testing:
Why Nuts Take Some Bite out of Biscotti
We wanted our biscotti to pack just as much crunch as the traditional Italian kind but also to break apart easily when you take a bite. Adding extra butter to the dough helped, but our ultimate solution was cutting the flour with finely ground nuts. While butter merely made the cookie more tender, ground nuts actually weakened its structure.

Both ingredients influence the texture because of their effect on gluten, the web of flour proteins that gives baked goods structure. The fat in butter “shortens” the gluten strands by surrounding individual strands and preventing them from linking up into larger networks. Ground nuts interfere with gluten formation in a slightly different way, getting in between pockets of gluten to create microscopic “fault lines” in the biscotti, which allow the hard cookie to break apart easily under the tooth.

Anise Biscotti: Add 1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds which have been pulsed to coarsely chopped to flour mixture and substitute anise flavored liqueur for almond extract.

Hazelnut-Orange Biscotti Substitute lightly toasted and skinned hazelnuts for almonds. Add 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary to flour mixture. Substitute orange flavored liqueur for almond extract and add 1 tablespoon grated orange zest to egg mixture with butter.

Pistachio-Spice Biscotti:
Substitute shelled pistachios for almonds.  Add 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon  ground ginger to flour mixture.  Substitute 1 teaspoon water for almond extract and increase vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Brie Sauté With Green Onions

Brie Sauté With Green Onions

1 (8 ounce) round Brie
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use 

1/2 cup chopped green onion tops
1 small bread baguette, sliced

1. Dip the cheese in egg and then coat with breadcrumbs. Repeat on second side. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat in a small skillet. Add the green onion and toss briefly.

2. Add remaining butter to skillet. When foamy, add the breaded cheese. Brown well on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is warm.

3. Place cheese on a serving platter. Pour butter and green onions over top of cheese and serve immediately with bread slices. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Brussels Sprout Leaf Salad

Brussels Sprout Leaf Salad
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 cups baby arugula
1 head Belgian endive, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted* see Cook's Note
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Salad: Using a small paring knife, remove the outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Reserve the cores for another use. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprout leaves and cook for 1 minute. Drain and put in a bowl of iced water, then transfer to a colander to drain. Put the Brussels sprout leaves, arugula, endive, and almonds into a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss together. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.

*To toast the almonds, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before using.

The unused core of the Brussels sprouts can be used in soups and stir-fries.

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis