Thursday, July 25, 2013

Baba Ghanoush with Roasted Red Peppers


The eggplants at the farmers market are huge these days!  I couldn't resist buying one just so I can make this Baba Ghanoush with Roasted Red Peppers.  I love this dip with pita chips and I have even used it as a spread for sandwiches.  I recently used it in a chicken wrap sandwich and it is great as a substitute for mayo.  The Baba Ghanoush with Roasted Red Peppers is creamy and has a great smokey flavor due to the roasted eggplant and red peppers.    This is a very versatile dip recipe because you can add as much or as little of an ingredient as you want; so if you love garlic, add extra cloves.   Enjoy!


Baba Ghanoush with Roasted Red Peppers

Ingredients
1 large eggplant
½ cup roasted red peppers, jarred
1 tablespoon tahini
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt 
¼ teaspoon black pepper


Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut off top of eggplant.  Prick eggplant all over with a fork and place on a foil lined sheet pan.  



Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  The eggplant will turn black and shrivel.  The inside of the eggplant will be soft and tender.  


Allow eggplant to cool.  Cut eggplant in half and scrape out eggplant off the skin.  


In a food processor, add eggplant, roasted red peppers, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Pulse until mixed well. 


Serve warm or at room temperature with pita chips, flatbread, chips, vegetables etc.    


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mango Clafoutis


It was Bastille Day last Sunday so I made a French dessert - a clafoutis!  You can eat clafoutis for dessert or even breakfast.  I decided on a Mango Clafoutis since I had mangoes on hand.  A clafoutis is a baked French dessert that is custard and flan-like.  I love all custard based desserts by the way!  A traditional clafoutis is made with black cherries but you can use almost any fruit.  So while I was researching clafoutis, I found out that a clafoutis made with other fruit should be called a "Flaugnarde."  Hmm...well I think clafoutis sounds better and is more well known so I'll stick with that for now.   Also be sure to let the clafoutis rest for about 10 minutes after removing from the oven, you will notice that it puffs up while baking and then deflates as it cools.  This Mango Clafoutis turned out beautiful and was delicious for breakfast during the week.  Enjoy!




Mango Clafoutis

Ingredients
2 mangoes, peeled and sliced thinly
3 eggs
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup flour (all purpose)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla


Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Arrange sliced mangos in a buttered pie dish.  

In a bowl, beat eggs and sugar with a whisk.  Slowly add in melted butter.  

Next, add the flour and whisk to combine.

Next, whisk in vanilla and milk.


Batter should be smooth and shiny, similar to pancake batter.

Pour batter over mangos.


Bake for 45 minutes or until slightly browned and almost completely set in the middle.

Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.

Optional:  top with powdered sugar or serve with fresh whipped cream.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies


It was my boss' birthday last week and I am such a good employee that I made her favorite - chocolate chip cookies!  Everyone at work who tried them love them.  I think this recipe has to be one of the best chocolate chip cookies I've made.  The cookies are not too thin.  They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.   Somehow this recipe has been the best and the cookies are absolutely delicious!  

 
Here are two of my previous chocolate chip cookies recipes (among several other cookies recipes):

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies - These cookies are thinner, chewy in the middle and crisp on the outside.

Chocolate Chip Cookies - These cookies are soft and chewy.
 
Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ¾ cup flour
¾ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½  teaspoon baking powder
2 ¼ cup chocolate chips


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.


Slowly beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add in vanilla.


In a bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder to mix.


Slowly add in flour mixture to mixer until combined.


Stir in chocolate chips.


Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased baking pans.


Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.


Cool on wire cooling racks.


Makes about 3 dozen cookies.





Sunday, July 14, 2013

Turkey Chili


Sorry I have been so busy lately and have not had enough time to blog my recipes.   I started a review class a couple nights a week that is work-related to obtain a certification, which is great, but it only reminds me I am not a young college student anymore.  Working all day and then having to take an evening class for another 3 hours is exhausting!  Also the class material is not easy, mostly math and sciences - another reminder that I'm rusty on the material.  The passing statistics on the certification exam is not great, less than 50% pass and in 2010 it was 39% passing of those who took it!  How crazy is that?  Anyway I'm sidetracking...back to this turkey chili, which is awesome.  It took me less than an hour to prep and cook, so not only is this an easy recipe - it is delicious!  I love that I will have plenty of leftovers for work lunches and you can also freeze any leftovers.  I served this turkey chili with cheddar cheese, that I grated myself, sliced avocados, plain greek yogurt and sliced scallions.   I also had jalapeno cheddar bread from the farmers market this week and it went really well with the turkey chili.  


In addition, for a separate meal, you can make a pasta with the turkey chili and add the same toppings.  Enjoy!


Turkey Chili
Ingredients
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced (yellow or red)
2 large bell peppers, diced (or 8 to 12 baby peppers)
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
4 or 6 ounce can diced fire-roasted green chiles
15 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (or kidney beans/black beans)
11 ounce can mexicorn, drained (or whole kernel corn)
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
salt and pepper
Optional Toppings
shredded cheddar cheese
plain greek yogurt or sour cream
avocado, sliced or diced
scallions, sliced
cilantro, chopped
tortilla or corn chips



Directions

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium–high heat.  Add diced onions, bell peppers and garlic.  Sauté for about 5 minutes.

Add in turkey and break up with wooden spoon.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook turkey until no longer pink, about 3 to 5 minutes. (Note: I added in a little cumin and chili powder to season the turkey.)


Stir in green chiles, pinto beans and corn.  



Pour in diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes.  Stir in tomato paste.


Stir in cumin and chili powder.


Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Continue to stir occasionally.

Serve in bowls with your favorite toppings.  (Serves 6 to 8)



Saturday, July 6, 2013

Caprese Grilled Chicken


This Caprese Grilled Chicken is a perfect summertime recipe.  It is quick, easy, and healthy.  You can make this in 30 minutes or less for a weeknight dinner.  I love caprese salads in the summer and the corn goes well with the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.  The tomatoes and basil were from my local farmer's market;  I love being able to get fresh ingredients.  This Caprese Grilled Chicken is absolutely delicious.  Enjoy!


Caprese Grilled Chicken 

Ingredients
1 pound chicken breasts
1 teaspoon garlic, granulated
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon 21 Seasoning Salute (or use your favorite seasoning mix)
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup corn kernels (defrost if using frozen)
½ cup fresh bocconcini mozzarella, halved
4 or 5 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade


Directions

Drizzle olive oil over chicken breasts.

Season chicken breasts with garlic, salt, black pepper and seasoning mix.


Cook chicken in a grill pan over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Flip and cook additional 3 to 4 minutes.  Chicken should be lightly browned and cooked all the way through.  


In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, corn, mozzarella and basil.  Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.  (Optional:  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar also.)


Top chicken with caprese salad.


Serves 4.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Earl Grey Ice Cream


I loved the Earl Grey gelato I tried at Wagshal's last month and when I went to Wagshal's a week ago, they didn't have the flavor any more.  So here is my own version of Earl Grey ice cream and it is delicious!  I'm excited that I can make my own now.  My next flavor to try to make is a green tea ice cream.  Also I did notice that adding eggs in the ice cream for the custard gave it a creamy consistency and it was easier to scoop after storing in the freezer.  I suggest storing in the freezer for at least a few hours before serving, otherwise it will be more of a soft serve consistency.  Hope you make some ice cream for 4th of July this week.  Enjoy!

P.S.  If you were using google reader to follow me, you can now follow me on bloglovin.  

Earl Grey Ice Cream 

Ingredients
1 cup whole milk
1 cup half and half
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
5 earl grey tea bags
5 egg yolks


Directions

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm milk, half and half, heavy cream and sugar.

Remove from heat and place 5 tea bags in the saucepan.  Cover and allow to seep at room temperature for an hour.

Remove tea bags and rewarm the tea-infused milk. 

Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl.  Slowly add 1 cup warm milk to the egg yolks and continue whisking.

Pour egg mixture to the rest of the milk in the saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens to a custard and coats the back of a wooden spoon or spatula.

Cool the mixture in the fridge.

Pour the mixture into the freezer bowl of an ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Makes about 1 quart of ice cream.