Sunday, June 13, 2010

Millet Salad w/ Cranberries

Another gluten-free side dish. Based on this one.
  • 1 c millet
  • 2 c water, boiling
  • 1 c frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/4 c walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 c green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 T olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  1. Toast millet over medium heat until it starts popping and smells fragrant.
  2. Add water and cover. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed and millet is cooked through.
  3. Fluff with fork.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine cooked millet, dried cranberries, green beans, walnuts, and green onions until well mixed. 
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic until well blended. 
  6. Pour over the millet mixture. Toss until well blended.
  7. Chill until ready to serve.
Variations
Use green beans instead of peas.
Use quinoa instead of millet.

Mango Cake/Cupcakes with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

Made 12 muffins and had enough batter leftover for 2 ramekins to make a small cake for D's birthday.

Cake ***
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 t soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 c butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c milk+lemon juice
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 c mango, mashed
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well.
  2. Mix flour, soda and salt. Blend into creamed mixture.
  3. Fold in remaining 4 ingredients.
  4. Pour into muffin cups.
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes at 190C.
  6. Pour remaining into ramekins and bake 40-50 minutes.
Variations
Add coconut and/or lemon zest. Use buttermilk instead of milk+lemon juice combo.
    Lime Cream Cheese Frosting *****
    • 5 oz cream cheese
    • 1/2 c confectioner's sugar
    • 2 T lime juice
    1. Mix ingredients together.
    2. Spread on cupcakes or leveled mini cakes (from ramekins).

    Cheese Apple Dip

    A good party dip, though as host you'll have to get it started as no one can really tell what it is just from looking, except that it looks like an apple, and no one wants to be the first to ruin its image. Once people realize it's a cheese ball, it goes quickly (at least in Taipei).
    • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
    • 8 oz sharp cheddar, grated
    • 1 t garlic powder
    • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
    • paprika
    • one leaf (basil)
    1. Mix cheeses with garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
    2. Shape into ball and refrigerate at least 30 min.
    3. Smooth into apple shape. 
    4. Roll in paprika.
    5. Decorate with basil leaf.
    6. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Banana Coconut Cream Pie

    G gave me this gluten-free recipe for pie and this one for pie crust last November and I'm finally getting around to making it. I used two variety of bananas. I don't own a pie plate so I improvised and used an 8x8 dish. The nerd in me wants to call this Banana Coconut Cream π². Hahahaha...

    Crust
    • 1/2 c pecans
    • 1 t vanilla
    • 1.5 c coconut (shredded or powdered)
    1. Food process ingredients together. 
    2. Press into baking pan.
    3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    Coconut Filling
    • 1 c sugar
    • 5 T cornstarch
    • 1/2 t salt
    • scant 3 c coconut milk
    • 4 egg yolks, beaten
    • 2 t almond extract
    Banana Base
    • 3 T butter, divided
    • 3-4 bananas
    • 1/2 c brown sugar
    • 3 T dark rum
    1. In a saucepan, mix together sugar, cornstarch and salt. 
    2. Over medium heat, gradually pour in coconut milk. Continue stirring.
    3. After the mixture boils, continue to heat for 2 minutes or until it becomes as thick as pudding.
    4. Remove from heat.
    5. Add 1/4 c of the mixture to the egg yolks, stirring constantly.
    6. Pour egg yolk mixture back into pan. 
    7. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.
    8. Remove from heat.
    9. Stir in extract.
    10. Set aside to cool.
    11. In a saucepan, melt 1 T butter. Add half the bananas and saute for a few moments. 
    12. Add the brown sugar. Flip and saute the bananas until the sugar starts to caramelize.
    13. Add the rum. Continue stirring. When it looks caramelized and reduced, add the remaining 2 T butter and bananas. Stir.
    14. When the butter is incorporated with the rum, remove from heat.
    15. Pour into base of pie crust.
    16. Top with coconut filling.
    17. Refrigerate overnight.
    Variations
    • Use coconut instead of pecans in the crust.
    • Use coconut extract instead of almond extract. 
    • Use Kahlua instead of rum
    • Garnish with toasted coconut.
    Notes
    • M, A, and JM were big fans.
    • 7/3/10 Made this Saturday night. G+K came over the next day and we ate the whole thing. Turned out better than the first time - had a firmer texture. Made in a square ceramic dish with glass cover. Eyeballed the cornstarch, used shredded sweetened coconut, scant amounts of sugar, and light rum.
    • 6/8/13 Made this in a pie plate with 3.5 bananas, light rum, 1 can of gold label coconut milk (extra thick) and 1 partial can of regular coconut milk. Used leftover 4 egg whites to make crepes.

      Coconut Cardamom Banana Cake

      I wasn't paying attention to my notes and didn't add the flour mixture in with the wet until after I'd mixed in the bananas and started dumping in the apples, raisins and nuts. Seems to have come out ok just the same. The banana flavor is very strong. Based on the recipe from Food Blogga. Made for E's birthday (she was a big fan).
      • 2 2/3 c flour
      • 1 1/4 t soda
      • 1/2 t salt
      • 1 t cardamom
      • 1/2 t cinnamon
      • 1/2 t nutmeg
      • 1/4 t ginger
      • scant 1.5 sticks butter
      • scant 1 c br sugar
      • scant 1/2 c sugar
      • 2 eggs
      • 3 T maple syrup
      • 1.5 t vanilla
      • 3/4 c coconut milk
      • 2 bananas, mashed
      • 1 apple, chopped (about 1 c)
      • 1/2 c raisins
      • 1 c powdered coconut, toasted
      • 3/4 c pecans, chopped
      1. Combine flour, soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl.
      2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars.
      3. Add the eggs.
      4. Add the maple syrup, vanilla and coconut milk.
      5. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet.
      6. Stir in the bananas.
      7. Mix in the apple, raisins, coconut and pecans.
      8. Pour into 2 greased 9" round cake pans.
      9. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
      10. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
      Cardamom Icing
      • 1/2 c confectioners' sugar
      • 1/4 t cardamom
      • several droplets of milk
      1.  In a small bowl whisk together sifted sugar and cardamom. 
      2. Add a few droplets of milk and continue whisking until the icing is smooth and thin yet clings to the back of a spoon. 
      3. [When it's ready, pour it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any tiny clumps of confectioners' sugar.]
      4. Using a spoon, drizzle the icing over the top of the cake, and spread it with a thin, metal spatula. 
      5. Sprinkle each cake with 1/4 cup of toasted coconut, and 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios. Allow to set for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

        Thursday, June 10, 2010

        Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad

        Just put this together and it's chilling now for tomorrow's consumption. I detest celery so this salad uses apple in place to get a similar crunch.
        • 6 chicken breasts
        • 1 t salt
        • 3 T white part of scallions
        • ~1/3 c mayo
        • ~1/3 c yogurt
        • 2 t italian seasoning
        • 1 c walnuts, toasted
        • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
        • 1.5 c craisins
        • 4 T lemon juice
        • salt & pepper
        1. In a large bowl, combine 1 quart of water with 1 t salt. Place chicken breasts in bowl and let sit in brine for 10 minutes.
        2. In a shallow pan, heat water to a simmer. Add chicken breasts and cook for 12 minutes or until done.
        3. Remove the chicken and cool on plate.
        4. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
        5. Chop chicken into 1/2" cubes. Add to bowl and toss. 
        6. Refrigerate.
        7. Serve on lettuce, in tomato cups, or with sliced bread.
        Variations
        • Use shallots instead of scallions.
        • Add curry powder.
        • Use fresh tarragon.
        • Use white or red wine vinegar, orange juice or champagne instead of lemon juice.
        • Add diced red onion.
        • Top with freshly chopped herbs (tarragon, chives, green onions, etc).
        • Instead of the apple, use celery, carrot, chopped green beans, water chestnut, or cucumber for similar texture.
        Take #2
        This turned out a lot better - in texture, color and taste.
        • 6 chicken breasts
        • coarse salt + chicken broth
        • 2 small carrots
        • 1 tiny cucumber
        • ~1/2 c chopped walnuts, toasted
        • 1 apple, diced and covered with lemon juice to prevent browning
        • 2 green onions, chopped
        • chives, chopped
        • ~1/2 c yogurt
        • ~1/2 c sour cream
        • seasoning: oregano, basil, tarragon, parsley
        • lemon juice
        • 1/2 c craisins

        Take #3

        6/21/15 Made a giant batch. The chicken breasts were the ginormous kind so used just the 4 in the package. Had to boil them for closer to 20 minutes because they were so thick in parts.

        4 giant chicken breasts
        1 T salt + water = brine
        2 carrots
        3 mini cucumbers
        1 apple
        ~1/3 c yogurt
        ~1/3 c mayo
        1/2 c chopped walnuts
        lime juice
        1/2 c craisins
        oregano, parsley, tarragon

        Grilled/Baked Salmon

        The Idea: Triangular wedges of salmon fillet ...marinaded in maple syrup and soy sauce...Placed on a skewer the broad wider side dipped in black pepper and then cooked quickly over a very hot grill.

        The Recipe
        3/4 c maple syrup
        1/4 c soy sauce
        4 salmon fillets - (abt 6 oz ea) -- skin removed
        1/4 c freshly-cracked black pepper
        Vegetable oil spray -- as needed

        To prepare the marinade: In a small bowl whisk together the syrup and soy sauce. Pour the marinade into a large plastic resealable bag, and add the fillets. Press out the air and seal the bag tightly, then turn the bag several times to distribute the marinade. Set in a large bowl and refrigerate for as long as possible (a minimum of 4 hours, but ideally 24 hours to do it justice). Turn salmon every few hours.

        Place pepper on a small plate. Remove salmon from marinade and generously spray both sides of each fillet with oil. Pat top side only into cracked pepper to coat.

        Grill fillets, pepper-side up, over Direct High heat for about 6 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Avoid overcooking the fillets. Salmon is best when the color has turned to a pale pink, but the fish is still moist throughout. Serve immediately on warmed plates.

        This recipe yields 4 servings.





        Variation: Cut the salmon into bite-size pieces and use freshly ground (coarse) black pepper on half the pieces (one side only), and untoasted white sesame seeds on the rest (again, one side only). Put on a foil-lined and lightly greased cookie sheet in a 500F oven for 4 or 5 minutes.

        Coconut Sorbet

        This was easy to make but I prefer mango and strawberry.
        • 1 can coconut milk, chilled
        • 1 lime
        • 1/4 c maple syrup
        • dash of almond extract
        1. Pour the coconut milk into a bowl.
        2. Zest the lime into the bowl.
        3. Juice the lime and add to bowl.
        4. Pour in maple syrup and extract.
        5. Whisk.
        6. Pour into ice cream maker.

        Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

        Made these a couple days ago with E&E. They turned out a little too sweet and flat. I added more flour to subsequent batches and chilled the dough, which helped thicken and soften them up. Made another batch today and they came out nice and thick and soft.
        • 1 3/4 sticks butter (scant 1 cup), softened
        • 7/8 c brown sugar (scant 1 cup)
        • scant 1/2 c sugar
        • 2 eggs
        • 1 t vanilla
        • 1.5 c flour
        • 1 t soda
        • 1 t cinnamon
        • 1/2 t cloves
        • 1/2 t nutmeg
        • 1/4 t ginger
        • 1/2 t salt
        • 3 c rolled oats
        • 1 c raisins
        1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and spices.
        2. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugars.
        3. Add eggs and vanilla.
        4. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients.
        5. Fold in oats, followed by raisins.
        6. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes at 180C (mini oven middle rack). 
        Notes
        If cookie comes out too crisp, add flour or oats, lower the cooking rack, lower the temperature, or refrigerate the dough.