Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Desserts & a winner

Anyone else still planning out their Thanksgiving meal or is it just me?  In case you're still trying to decide on whether you want apples, pumpkin or cranberries to be featured in your post-turkey course, here are some recipes for you...

(from top L, clockwise) Autumn Cheesecake, Cranberry Upside-Down Cake,
Apple Crisp w/Rosemary & Honey, Gingersnap Apple Pie w/Bacon Crisp)

Apple Pie w/Rosemary Crust & Gruyere Crumble
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Apple Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie
Autumn Cheesecake
Apple Pear Crisp
Gingersnap Apple Pie w/Bacon Crisp
Apple Crisp w/Rosemary & Honey
Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

I think I'm leaning towards and apple pie (with rosemary rye crust and gruyere crumble), but there's still a few days left for me to change my mind!

And before I go, I wanted to announce the winner of my giveaway-- congrats Ranjani!  Shoot me an email and I'll get you The Science of Good Cooking :)

What's on your Thanksgiving menu??

Friday, November 9, 2012

Saffron Rice & An Edible Mosaic

Today I'm mixing it up around here to celebrate the release of my friend's cookbook!  I first met Faith Gorsky of An Edible Mosaic through a 5 Star Makeover event and instantly fell in love with her photography and creativity.  I'm excited to be a part of the virtual launch party for An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern  Fare with Extraordinary Flair.

The book has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, with a focus mainly of the Levant, but also a few recipes from other areas of the Middle East.  In her cookbook, Faith tells the tale of authentic, streamlined recipes taught to her mostly by her mother-in-law Sahar.

I had the chance to try out one of the recipes from her cookbook this week, Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts.  I made some substitutions for what I had on hand (brown basmati and pistachios instead of pine nuts) and cooked it a bit little longer to make sure the brown rice was cooked through.  Served alongside some sauteed kale and pork chops, it was clear that I need to get this book ASAP to expand my repertoire of Middle Eastern cooking :)  The rice was delicious- a little sweet from the raisins and subtly spiced with saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.  If this is dish is any indication, this is one tasty book!

Saffron Rice w/Golden Raisins and Pistachios

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic:  Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.
Serves 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes to let the rice sit after cooking

1½ cups (325 g) basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)
1¾ cups (425 ml) boiling water
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon saffron threads (or ½ teaspoon turmeric)

Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.

Add the oil to a medium, thick-bottomed lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside.

Add the onion to the saucepan you cooked the pine nuts in, and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the sultanas, boiling water, salt, and saffron (or turmeric), turn the heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil.

Give the rice a stir, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not open the lid during this time). Turn the heat off and let the rice sit (covered) 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top; serve.

OPTIONAL Add two pods of cardamom, two whole cloves, and one 2-inch (5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick at the same time that you add the rice. 

After you order your book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, head on over to Faith's virtual launch party to check out the other bloggers participating and check out the giveaways on her blog!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fall Chicken Enchiladas

Y'all were right about that apple barbecue sauce, it made a terrific pizza!  Take your favorite dough, top with apple BBQ sauce, pulled chicken or pork, sliced red onion, thinly sliced apples and a nice sharp cheddar.  Done!

Another great use for the sauce?  Enchiladas.  I recently tried out a fall-themed variation of the mexican dish with stellar results.  I'd fully recommend making a double batch (what I actually did) and freezing some for a hurricane rainy day.

Butternut Apple Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4-6

4c poached chicken, shredded or cubed
1c cooked chickpeas
2c roasted squash cubes (I used cheese squash, but choose your favorite varietal)*
2c shredded kale (or more)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 batch apple BBQ sauce
6-8oz sharp cheddar, shredded
8 whole wheat tortillas

Preheat the oven to 375deg.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, chickpeas, squash, kale, onion, 1c shredded cheese and ~3/4c barbecue sauce.  If the mixture looks a little dry, add a bit more sauce.  Set mixture aside while you prepare the baking dish.  Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray, or spread a little bit of sauce along the bottom.

Add a heaping 1/2c filling mixture to each tortilla and roll up.  Transfer to the baking dish.  Once all the tortillas have been filled, top evenly with the remaining sauce and top with the rest of the cheddar.  Bake for 20-25min, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.

*To roast the squash, I cubed the mixture and roasted at 400deg until the edges had browned and started to caramelize.

Which would you make first, the pizza or enchiladas?

If you haven't done so already, don't forget there's still time to enter my giveaway!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Giveaway Time!

Well hello there, November.  Not sure how we got here, but I realized the other week that it has been over 4 years since I started this blog--crazy!  To celebrate, I'm giving away The Science of Good Cooking, the newest addition to the Cook's Illustrated family :)

The scientist in me loves learning reading about how things like salad dressings work (emulsifiers!), why russets make the best mashed potatoes (starchy and absorb more water!), what grinding your own beef does for burgers (more tender!) and how to make killer brownies (don't overmix!).

For your chance to win, enter with the low price of a comment below telling me about something you recently learned in the kitchen.  Contest ends 11/11/12 at midnight.

[Disclosure: This giveaway is not sponsored by America's Test Kitchen.  The book was purchased by me and will be shipped by me.]
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