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Recipe: Garlic Aioli

3 Jul

One of my favorite cookbooks is called Fanny at Chez Panisse, by Alice Waters. It is actually the only Alice Waters cookbook that I own, and it was my introduction to her as a chef/food activist. The book was originally given to my little sister Jesslyn for Christmas a few years ago, but I ended up using it more than she did. The first roast chicken recipe I ever made was from this cookbook. I made it with roast potatoes and this aioli.

Last week I was at my mother’s house and I went through her bookshelves and grabbed back my childhood cookbooks. Fanny at Chez Panisse was one of them, and I thought I would share this recipe with you because it has so many good memories for me. Aside from that, it is totally delicious. I use it to dip roast potatoes and chicken into, but it would also make an awesome sandwich spread. In fact, tonight I made roast chicken and potatoes with this aioli on the side, and I plan on making sandwiches with the leftovers tommorrow. Mmmm.

Ingredients:

1 egg, yolk and white separated.

1 C olive oil

1 clove of garlic, or more if you prefer. I used around 3.

Salt and pepper

1/2 tsp lemon

First, smush up the garlic with the flat of a knife and chop it very finely. Add it to a bowl with just the egg yolk.

Get your cup of olive oil, and make sure you have it in a container with a spout.

Slowly whisk the olive oil into the yolk, about 1 TB at a time, making sure to fully incorporate the oil into the yolk each time.

Once you have added about half of the oil, add a splash of water, whisk to combine, and continue adding the oil. At this point you can add a little bit more oil each time because the mix will be generally cohesive.

Once you have added all of the oil, add the lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with whatever you feel like! It is best eaten the same day, but it will keep in the fridge for a few days, too.

❤ Stef

Recipe: Clafouti Cutie!

26 Jun

A clafouti is a French custard/cake-y dessert baked with fresh fruit. According Wikipedia (which is my handbook for life) the traditional fruit is cherries, though I decided to use plums because my mom has a tree and I am inundated with them. Santa rosa plums are taking over my LIFE!

This recipe is a bit like the ricotta cake I posted last week. It is certainly just as easy, but it has a different texture. It isn’t as cheesecake-y, more cake-y, plus it has all of that awesome fresh fruit. If you thought I was crazy calling ricotta cake breakfast material, you must accept that this clafouti definitely qualifies. It has fruit! FRUIT!

Oh, and as a side note, I’m visiting Boston for a few day this coming Monday and I would love food/sight/must see suggestions, if anyone’s got em!

Recipe adapted from Almost Vegetarian by Diana Shaw.

Ingredients:

1/2 C milk

1/2 C ricotta cheese

2 eggs

1/2 C sugar

1/2 C flour

1 tsp vanilla

2 C fresh fruit, your choice. Cherries, blueberries and plums are all great options!

Set oven to 425 degrees.

Mix together the milk, ricotta, eggs, sugar, flour, and vanilla using a blender, food processor or handy-dandy immersion blender. (Have a mentioned how much I love my new immersion blender? Because I LOVE IT!)

Chop up your chosen fruits.

Spread the fruit onto the bottom of a pie plate or vaguely pie plate-shaped baking tin.

Pour the custard-y batter on the top of the fruit.

Bake until puffy and delicious looking, 30 to 35 minutes.

You can eat the clafouti warm, but it is much, much easier to cut when it is completely cold.

Eat for dessert, breakfast, or snacktime. Especially snacktime.

❤ Stef

Recipe: Blue Cheese Stuffed Steak and Caprese Salad

13 Jun

My boyfriend hates steak. He eats meat. He eats ground beef, pork chops, sausage and pretty much any other type of meat known to man, but will not touch steak. I’m not sure why. He probably doesn’t even know why.  In any case, I think he’s nuts and anytime I want a steak I have to concoct new and exciting ways to eat it. That’s why I decided to take a sirloin steak my mother gave me and fillet it and stuff it with onions and blue cheese. The salad was thrown in as an afterthought for two reasons. One, you can’t have a meal with just meat. It’s just not right. Two, I have a bunch of basil and tomatoes that need eating.

I have to warn you that the recipes that follow don’t have any specific measurements. You really don’t need them for this, it’s more of a “stuff steak with as much blue cheese as you like” type of deal.

Stuffed Steak with Blue Cheese and Red Onion

1 sirloin steak, about 1/2 lb. You can use more if you like. You could also use a meat other than sirloin if you wish. Flank would work well.

Blue cheese. I used a few slices, less than 3 oz

Red onion, sliced thin. About 1/2 of a small onion, or to taste.

Steak seasoning

Salt and pepper

Tools:

Pan that can be used both on the  stove top and in the oven.

Butcher’s twine.

Grab your steak.

Using a super sharp knife, butterfly the steak by slicing it in half width wise and opening it up.

Slice your red onion into very thin slices.

Saute the onion with a bit of olive oil for about a minute or two. This will make them sweeter.

Slice the blue cheese.

Layer the blue cheese on the steak.

Put the sauteed onions on top.

Season with salt and pepper.

Now roll the steak up, and secure every inch or so with butcher’s twine. Season on all sides with steak seasoning. I always use Old Bay.

A note about butcher’s twine-I didn’t have any, so I used sewing thread instead. It worked just fine, but you should probably buy yourself some butcher’s twine anyway. I keep meaning to pick some up, but I always forget. Plus, you really have no idea if your sewing thread with hold in the high heat you will be cooking the steak in.

Using the pan that you sauteed the onions in (make sure it is oven-safe!) sear the steak roll on all sides so that it has a nice crust.

Once it has been seared, put the whole pan in a 400˚ oven for 15 minutes. I like my steak rare to medium rare, so 15 minutes was perfect. Leave it in 5-10 minutes longer if you prefer yours medium to well done.

Remove from the oven, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute. Plus, keep in mind that the steak will continue to cook during this period, raising in temperature up to 10˚.

While you wait for the steak, make the salad.

Caprese Salad

1 medium-large tomato

Fresh mozzarella

Handful of fresh basil

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Dried oregano

Garlic powder

Salt and pepper

Cut the tomato and the mozzarella into large cubes.

Grab a handful of basil and cut into strips.

Put all three ingredients into a bowl together.

Add the salt and pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano, and a splash of olive oil and a smaller splash of balsamic. Eyeball it. Use less than you think you need at first. You can always add, but removing ingredients is difficult. Just like mascara, or eyeliner. (I apologize to my male audience members, who may or may not have any idea of what I’m talking about!) Mix together.

Once the salad is done (and 10 minutes have elapsed) cut the steak into slices.

Serve with the salad.

Ok, now, when you eat the steak, but a piece of steak in your mouth, followed immediately by a piece of tomato.

Mmmmmmmmmm.

❤ Stef

Recipe: Olive Oil Pound Cake with Lemon and Rosemary

22 May

A few weeks ago I started carrying a notebook on me, so I could write down ideas when they came to me. I don’t remember where I was when I thought of making a pound cake with olive oil, but the idea popped into my head fully-formed–“olive oil pound cake”! Brilliant, I thought.

I think the idea really came from a little place in Berkeley called Sketch Ice Cream. Sketch was the first ice cream place I ever saw to use unconventional toppings, such as olive oil and sea salt. I’ve only ever been there once, because I live in San Francisco without a car and Sketch is located in a part of Berkeley that is inaccessible by BART. If you are ever in the area, or if you live in the area, I highly recommend you stop by. So although Sketch didn’t directly inspire me to make the olive oil pound cake, it opened me to the idea that savory things can be sweet. Like salt on caramel.

When I decided to make olive oil pound cake, I googled it and saw that it is not an original idea. Sad! Instead of using an available recipe, I decided to go ahead and make a regular pound cake and substitute olive oil for the butter. I found this nifty article about baking with olive oil, and it told me that 3 TB of olive oil can be substituted for 1/4 C of butter. So, I used 3/4 C of olive oil in place of the 1 C of butter the recipe originally called for. I also added the zest of 1 lemon, and the rosemary.

Olive Oil Pound Cake, adapted from the joy of baking.com

1 3/4 C flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 C olive oil

1 C sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

zest of 1 lemon

2 TB fresh rosemary, 1 TB if using dried.

Set the over to 350˚. Grease a 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper (I used waxed paper, and it worked wonderfully) and grease it.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. I didn’t sift. I never sift. It’s the lazy in me. Maybe something fully amazing would happen to this cake if you sifted, but I didn’t, and it was still delicious.

Beat together the sugar and the olive oil.

I thought this looked cool.

I thought this looked cool.

Add the eggs to the mix one at a time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and rosemary.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just incorporoated. Pour into pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Let cool for approximately 10 minutes, then overturn and cut. It should come out of the pan without a fuss. Serve warm either alone, or with honey or jam. If you’re feeling adventurous, slather that pound cake with butter. It’s ok; it’s made with olive oil!

Or, if you made some, serve with maple cream.

It is also really good cut into thick slices and toasted in the morning for breakfast. Or you could use it as the base for french toast! I haven’t tried that one, yet.

❤ Stef

Recipe: Chicken and Zucchini Layered Enchilada

7 May

Today is the day! Enchiladas made, Mexican feast delivered, Rubik’s cube solved. Perfection. Ok, I didn’t solve the Rubik’s cube. But everything else is true. Scout’s honor!

Enchiladas are crazy easy to make, especially when you make them casserole-style (as I do). You can use nearly anything for a filling, just add some enchilada sauce, cheese, and tortillas and BAM! Enchilada madness. These are made with leftover chicken and zucchini. Leftover chicken because I had it, and it needed to be used. Zucchini because I received some in my CSA box and it’s extremely important to me to use fresh, local produce. I’m lucky because I live in California, which means that some kind of produce is available year-round. In August I’m moving to Boston for grad school, and I’m already wondering what kind of CSA boxes are available, or if anything even grows in Boston in the winter! I’ve never lived on the east coast, so I have no idea what to expect. Anyway, back to the food!

You can make these vegetarian really easily by leaving out the chicken and the chicken broth, and doubling the amount of zucchini (or squash of your choice) and substituting veggie broth. If you’re looking to turn your enchiladas into a full-blown fiesta, add some pico de gallo and a margarita or two!

Sauce:
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 C chicken broth
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp flour
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes (optional)

artful spices.

artful spices.

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan.

dlove_enchiladas2

Allow to simmer 10-15 minutes, until sauce has reduced by about 1/2 C. While you are waiting for the sauce to reduce, start on the enchiladas.

1 medium zucchini
1/2 lb of chicken quarter of an onion, diced, about 1/3 C
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 TB olive oil
4 turns black pepper mill
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 C jack cheese
corn tortillas

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and the onion, saute until fragrant. Add the zucchini, the pepper, and the salt.

dlove_enchiladas3

Cook until browned on the edges. This is total zucchini porn. This is when you know it’s getting good-when the zucchini is brown and slightly caramelized. Delicious!

hello, delicious.

hello, delicious.

Add the chicken. If you’re using leftover chicken, cook a few minutes just until the chicken is heated through. If you’re using raw chicken, cook until the chicken is cooked through.Turn off the heat, and assemble the casserole.

dlove_enchiladas5

First spoon a very light layer of sauce on the bottom of a pan 8×8″ W and approximately 2.5″ D. Then add a layer of tortilla, followed by chicken and zucchini mixture, sauce, and cheese. Repeat. Then add a final layer of tortilla, sauce and cheese.

dlove_enchiladas6

Your casserole should be:

Little bit of sauce
tortilla
chicken and zucchini
sauce
cheese

tortilla
chicken and zucchini
sauce
cheese

tortilla
sauce
cheese

dlove_enchiladas7

At this point, you can either cook it or store it to cook at a later date. It will keep for about two days in the fridge, or if frozen it will keep for at least 4 months, possibly longer. If you cook it immediately, put it in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. After refrigerating, cook at 350 for about 30-45 minutes. After freezing cook it at 350 for 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered.

melty.

melty.

dlove_enchiladas9So. Good.

❤ Stef