Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Mexican Chocolate Cake
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (would go up to 1 teaspoon next time)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla
Put all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Mix together the wet ingredients.
Combine wet with dry. Place in two, greased 9-inch cake pans fitted with parchment paper on the bottom.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn them out to let them cool completely.
Creamy Milk Chocolate Frosting
New Best Recipe
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
10 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) confectioners' sugar
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
Heat the cream, salt and corn syrup in a microwave-safe measuring cup on high until simmering, about 1 minute.
Place the chocolate in a food processor. With the machine running, gradually add the hot cream mixture through the feed tube; process 1 minute after the cream has been added. Stop the machine; add the confectioners' sugar and process to combine, about 30 seconds. With the machine running, add the butter through the feed tube, one piece at a time; process until incorporated and smooth, about 20 seconds longer.
Transfer the frosting to a medium bowl and cool, stirring frequently, until thick and spreadable, about 1 hour. I ended up sticking it in the refrigerator to harden up a bit.
*doesn't make much frosting. Ended up making a second chocolate frosting recipe for the filling and the top decorations.

Lentil Salad with Grapes and Feta

Lentil Salad with Grapes and Feta
Everyday Food, September 2011

2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup French or brown lentils
 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 ounces feta, crumbled (1/2 cup)
salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, bring 21/2 cups water to a boil. Add lentils, reduce to a simmer, and cover; cook until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, fresh lemon juice, and honey. Whisk in olive oil.

Stir in lentils, walnuts, grapes, celery stalk and thyme. Add feta and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Root Vegetable Farro Salad

Root Vegetable Farro Salad

For the Salad
4 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
3 large golden beets, peeled and cubed (reserve greens)- I used red beets, because I couldn't find golden
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1.5 cups farro (or other grain)
3 cups waterbeet greens (reserved from beets)- my beets didn't come with green, so I used spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
kosher salt, to taste

For the Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
pinch of salt

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Add 1.5 cups of dry farro (or other grain of your choice, but I highly recommend farro!) to a saucepan or rice cooker, and combine with 3 cups water to cook.

While the farro cooks, peel and chop the carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces. I chose these three root vegetables because they are all earthy, but slightly sweet. I find golden beets to be a little bit sweeter and softer than red beets, but you can use red if that is your preference (just be prepared for your salad to turn purple!).

Rinse and reserve the beet greens, and tear the leaves into bite sited pieces (discard the stems).

Toss the veggies on a sheet pan with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, and roast for 40 minutes, stirring halfway. They should be soft and browning when ready.

In a small bowl, combine orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, and salt – whisk to combine into a dressing.

Once the farro is fluffy and the vegetables are cooked, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, then add the beet greens and cook for a few minutes until wilted.

When the greens have wilted, add the farro, vegetables, and dressing, and combine all components until well mixed.

Season to taste with any additional salt, if needed.
Green Beans with Tomatoes, Olives and Eggs
Everyday Food

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook 1 pound green beans, trimmed, until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water. Halve beans and place in a bowl; add 1/2 cup each grape tomatoes, halved, and Kalamata olives, pitted and halved, 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, and 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper; serve with lemon wedges.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Veggie Enchiladas

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Veggie Enchiladas
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, packed
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 12 oz. package (or can) green enchilada sauce
6 whole grain or corn tortillas
1 jar salsa (will not use all of it)
1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Hot sauce to taste (optional)

1) Boil the chopped sweet potato until tender (~10 minutes), then mash. While the sweet potato is cooking, prepare the rest of your ingredients!

2) Preheat oven to 350. In a large pan over medium heat, sauté the olive oil, garlic, black beans, jalapeño, bell pepper, mushrooms, fresh spinach, cumin, and chili powder for about 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

3) In a deep baking dish, spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce. One by one, fill the tortillas with the mashed sweet potato and the black bean mixture, add a spoonful of salsa, and roll them up, seam down, so they are side by side.

4) Cover the tortillas with the rest of the enchilada sauce, the cheese, and the fresh cilantro. Bake 20 minutes, or until enchiladas are hot and the top is bubbling. Serve immediately with extra hot sauce or salsa on top, if desired.