Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated [white] sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE in preheated 375-degree [Fahrenheit] oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

1 2/3 cups pecan halves (6 ounces)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Toast pecans in oven, then cool. Leave oven on.

Pick out about 36 of the best-looking pecan halves for topping cookies and finely chop remainder.

Blend together butter, sugars, vanilla, and salt in a bowl with a fork until combined well. Stir in flour and chopped pecans until a soft dough forms (dough will be sticky).

Form 1-inch balls of dough and arrange 2 inches apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Flatten balls to 1/3 inch thick using bottom of a glass (flour it if necessary), then push a pecan half onto center of each cookie.

Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Cool cookies on sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.

Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

Monday, May 24th, 2010

adapted from a recipe by Barbara Kafka

This is the primary reason I grow chard, it is one of my favourite soups.

Yield: Makes about 5 cups (1.25 liters); 4 first-course servings

Ingredients

1/2 pound (225 g) Swiss chard or kale
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus additional to taste
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 tin cannellini beans, drained
4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (60 g) small shell macaroni
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preparation

Remove the stems from the chard and chop them.

In a medium saucepan, cook the chard with 1/2 cup (125 ml) water and the salt over medium heat until tender. Drain the chard, reserving any liquid that remains. Coarsely chop the chard.

Very finely chop the capers together with the rosemary.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is pale gold, about 10 minutes. Stir in the capers and rosemary. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Discard the garlic. Stir in the chard and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to thoroughly coat it with the oil. Stir in the beans. Cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in the reserved cooking liquid and the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir in the macaroni. Boil for 6 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Pass Parmesan cheese at the table.

Chestnut and Kale Soup

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

This is one of my favourite soups. I made it today using Cavolo Nero from my garden.

FROM: Gourmet | December 2003

Zuppa di Castagne e Cavolo Nero

Cavolo nero is a member of the kale family. Between farm stands, specialty produce markets, and natural foods stores it is available year-round. To find it, be aware of its many aliases: Tuscan kale, black cabbage, lacinato, and dinosaur kale. Its rich, sweet, almost meaty flavor will have you hooked from the first bite.

Yield: Makes 6 first-course servings

ingredients

1/2 pound dried white beans such as cannellini, Great Northern, or navy (about 1 1/4 cups), picked over and rinsed (I use two cans of cannellini beans)
1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (28 fluid ounces)
2 cups water
1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (roughly 3 by 2 by 1/2 inch)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups bottled peeled cooked whole chestnuts (8 ounces), halved (I use 1 box 1 box)
1/2 pound cavolo nero or regular green kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Accompaniment: grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Garnish: Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings; extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling; black pepper; fresh thyme sprigs; whole chestnuts

Preparation

Soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches in a bowl at room temperature at least 8 hours, or quick-soak (see cooks’ note, below). Drain well in a colander.

Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic in oil in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, beans, broth, water, cheese rind, salt, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, until beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Discard cheese rind and stir in chestnuts.

Transfer 2 cups soup to a blender and purée until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), then return to pot. Stir in kale and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until leaves are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in thyme.

Cooks’ notes:
·Soup can be made 3 days ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat, thinning with water as necessary.
·Beans can be soaked at room temperature up to 12 hours.
·To quick-soak beans: Cover beans with cold water by 2 inches in a 4- to 5-quart pot and bring to a boil, uncovered. Boil beans 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour.