Friday, February 24, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Paul and I made a glorious dinner on saturday night. For his birthday, Paul received a big pack of strip steaks from my parents. It is a running joke in my family that Paul does not get the chance to eat enough meat since I make our dinners meatless most of the time. Needless to say, Paul enjoys basking in the outpouring of pity surrounding his condition, especially when it results in a couple extra pounds of steak nestled away in our freezer. We finally broke into our bounty of red meat by making Pan-Seared Steaks with a Port Wine Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and Syracuse Salt Potatoes.
With so many delicious elements on our plates, the surprising star of the show turned out to be the Syracuse Salt Potatoes.
They might not look like much, but they pack a lot of flavor.
The recipe is simple. Baby potatoes (or fingerlings) are boiled in an extremely salty water bath until tender. Once removed and allowed to dry over a wire rack for a minute or two, they develop a pale, salty crust which lends a delightful crunch once bitten. The insides are moist, creamy, and perfectly seasoned. When dipped in a chive butter, their flavor is ethereal. Paul and I could not get enough of them.
Matthew, on the other hand, thought the mini-potato was cute enough to hold and call "baby," but was unimpressed with the overall flavor, politely regurgitating his bite and handing it over to me for removal from his sight.
These potatoes make a quick and easy option for any meal and would even be a nice substitute for fries. They are my new favorite way to prepare potatoes.
Syracuse Salt Potatoes
from Entertaining Magazine
For the potatoes:
8 cups water
14 ounces table salt (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
3 pounds small white or red potatoes (or fingerlings)
For the chive butter sauce:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon black pepper
Bring water to boil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in salt and potatoes and cook until potatoes are just tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Cool until salty crust forms, about 1 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the chive butter sauce. Microwave the butter, chives and pepper in a medium bowl until melted, about 1 minutes. Transfer potatoes to large bowl and serve, passing melted butter at table.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
In large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium-high speed for 30 seconds, until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With mixer at medium speed, add egg and beat until thoroughly combined, then beat in vanilla. Add about one-third of flour mixture followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl and add about 1 tablespoon food coloring along with remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Add additional food coloring if necessary to achieve the desired shade of red. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.
Pipe batter in 1-inch diameter rounds about ½-inch high on prepared baking sheets, allowing 1 inch between each round. I just put the batter into a gallon freezer bag and then cut a little slit in the corner to use to portion out the batter. It worked like a charm!
Bake 7-9 minutes, or until tops are set. Cool the cookies on cookie sheets.
While the cookies bake, make the filling: Add cream cheese and butter to mixer bowl and beat until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, then the vanilla. Beat until smooth.
To fill, pipe cream cheese filling on flat sides of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down. Push gently so cream cheese filling flutes to the edges.
To store, refrigerate in airtight container up to 4 days. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
I made these bars for Matthew's birthday party last weekend and they were a major hit. Lemon bars are a classic dessert favorite but I wanted to try a variation that was a little different. I had come across a recipe for lemon bars with raspberry juice infused into the curd, resulting in a noticeable color makeover as well as an additional layer of tartness. With a generous dusting of powdered sugar, these made a delicious alternative to all the chocolate offerings on our dessert table. They made me very impatient for the return of warm, humid summer afternoons where I can slowly sip an ice cold glass of lemonade. In the meantime, I think I'll go have another one of these babies.