Monday, September 26, 2011

Carrot Cake

2.5 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla

3 cups lightly packed shredded carrots (about 6 medium)
3/4 cup dark seedless raisins (or blueberry infused craisins)
1 8-8.5 oz can crushed pineapple, in juice

cream cheese frosting (see below)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9"x13" metal baking pan.

2. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

3. In large bowl, with mixer at medium-high speed, beat eggs until blended. Gradually add granulated sugar, then brown sugar; beat two minutes, frequently scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in oil and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture, and beat about one minute, until smooth, frequently scraping bowl.

4. Fold in carrots, raisins, and pineapple with its juice.

5. Pour batter into pan. Bake 55-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool cake in pan on wire rack, 10 minutes or more, before frosting.


In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat 3 cups confectioners' sugar, 6-8 oz. cream cheese (softened), and 1.5 tsp vanilla extract, just until blended. Increase speed to medium. Beat one minute, or until smooth and fluffy, frequently scraping bowl.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Salt and Vinegar Potato Bites

3 cups cubed potatoes
2 T. vegetable oil
1 cup malt vinegar (we used a mix of apple cider and balsamic)
3 T. sugar

1. Soak potatoes in large bowl of cold water 30 minutes. Drain, and pat dry.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss potatoes with oil on baking sheet, and spread in single layer. Roast 45 minutes, or until golden and crisp, turning 2 or 3 times. Season with salt, and pepper, if desired.

3. Meanwhile, bring vinegar and sugar to a simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Cook 15 - 20 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half (helpful hint: don't inhale the steam), stirring occasionally. Serve sauce on side for dipping, or drizzle over potatoes.

Farmer's Market Chowder

This soup was a little more work than I wanted it to be. But, it was also way more delicious than I wanted it to be. Unfortunately, that means we are definitely going to have to make it again. I've tried to simplify it a little here.

4 ears of corn
2.5 cups milk
2 cloves of garlic, crushed (more later)

2 T. butter
1.5 T. olive oil (more later)
3 cups leeks, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. paprika
4 cups water

1 T. olive oil
1 med-large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1-2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 can green beans, drained (the recipe called for fresh, chopped, but we just used canned, and it made the recipe easier. if you use fresh, they may need to just cook a little longer in the soup)

1.5 T fresh, chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut kernels off corn cobs into a large saucepan with the milk and garlic. Run the back of the knife down the cobs to squeeze extra corn-milk and pulp off cobs. Don't throw away the cobs, yet. Bring milk/corn to a slight boil and remove from heat. Add cobs, cover, and let steep for a while.

2. Heat butter and oil in another large saucepan or dutch oven (you could probably use the same one, if you want to move the corn to steep in a different container). Add leeks and onions, cover, and cook 15 minutes over medium or medium-low heat. Add garlic and paprika and cook 30 seconds. Add 4 cups of water. Remove from heat.

3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes and saute 8 minutes, or until browned. Add this to the leek/onion mixture.

4. Add remaining oil to the skillet and saute mushrooms and green beans. (If using fresh green beans, add at the same time. If using canned, saute the mushrooms alone for a bit, first) Remove from heat.

5. Bring onion/leek/sweet potato mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add mushroom/green bean mixture (cook a few minutes more here, if using fresh beans).

6. Remove the cobs from the milk/corn pot (getting as much milk and pulp off them as you can). Combine the milk/corn with the vegetable mixture. Add basil, and salt and pepper.

7. Enjoy. Seriously.

Ok, now- this recipe, while complicated, is fairly versatile. I added mushrooms and onions, just because I felt like it, and it was delicious. It also suggests that you could use carrots, potatoes (although I do not advocate giving up sweet potatoes for this), wax beans, etc.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Salsa Verde Secrets Revealed!

Ingredients: Tomatillos, serrano peppers, garlic, cilantro, salt.  Ignore the lime there, it was for the pico de gallo.
I usually use about 1 pepper per 2 tomatillos for a medium-hot salsa, you can adjust accordingly.
Take off the outer shell off the tomatillos and cut the top off the serranos. Put them in a pot like this.
Boil them until the tomatillos are soft. Maybe about 5 minutes. Drain out the water.
Put the tomatillos and peppers in a blender. Then add a hand full of cilantro, 1 clove of garlic, and about 1 tsp of salt (maybe add more later).
Blend. At this stage, do NOT open the lid and smell the salsa. The hot pepper steam will get you. Also keep in mind that the hot temperature of the salsa will make it taste more spicy. It will be less spicy as it cools down.