3 lbs. bone-in, skinned chicken pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 large red onion(s), peeled and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
2 tsp. ground ginger
1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
1.5 cups carrot juice
3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/2 lb. (10 to 12) Medjool dates, pitted and halved lengthwise
fresh lemon juice and chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a straight-sided sauté pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Arrange the chicken pieces in the pan, cover with a splatter screen, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook until the other sides are deeply browned, 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Discard all but 1 Tbs. of the fat in the pan.
2. Put the pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it’s soft and begins to color, 8 minutes. Add the spices and stir into the onions for about 1 minute. Pour in the carrot juice and broth and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
3. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, along with any accumulated juices. Cover and braise on the stovetop for 15 minutes. Add the dates and continue to cook until the chicken is tender and the meat starts to come away from the bone, 35 minutes more.
4. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and dried fruit to a serving dish and keep warm by covering loosely with foil. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, and serve with a side of couscous.
A soufflé is one of those buzzword-y type of dishes. It's French (fancy!), complicated (folding beaten egg whites!), and most of all dramatic (it could collapse once out of the oven!). While all those facts are true, this recipe is something else: easy. Following the order of steps is of course important but I've paid less-than close attention some days without any noticeable repercussions. It's as beautiful and impressive as it is delicious–golden, airy, and slightly sweet from minced onions.
2 16-oz bags frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons very finely chopped onion
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Thaw spinach; squeeze well, discarding water. Preheat oven to 350°. Oil a 2-quart soufflé or casserole dish.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; stir until smooth and bubbling. Add salt and pepper. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. When mixture is thick and boiling, remove from heat. Stir in finely chopped onion and nutmeg.
3. In a mixing bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks have formed. In a separate bowl, beat yolks until frothy and lemon colored.
4. Stir egg yolks into the sauce mixture; stir in the spinach. Stir about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the spinach mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture.
5. Pour into the prepared dish. Set dish in a large pan then add water to a depth of about 1 inch. Bake for 60 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Serve immediately.
It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be to track down rhubarb. But after a few phone calls and confused produce department managers, I had a heavy bunch of the technically-a-vegetable in hand. I had never had the opportunity to taste a piece raw (it has been baked up in pies all the way for me), and was surprised to find that though it resembled celery, it had the firm texture and tartness of some types of apples. This is why it pairs so well with strawberries–their juicy, sweetness offsets the rhubarb, making for a dessert that is deliciously well-balanced–of course that is after it's topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. For best results, eat outside and under the stars.
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound trimmed rhubarb, sliced 1/4" thick (about 4 cups)
3/4 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered if large or halved if small (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 egg, beaten well
6 tablespoons olive oil
2-4 tablespoons coarse sugar, for sprinkling
1. Position a rack in the center of your oven, and preheat to 375°F. Place an ungreased 10" tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and set aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the rhubarb and strawberries, and gently toss to coat. Spread the fruit in the pan and set aside.
3. In another bowl, sift together the granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the oats. Add the egg and using your hands toss and pinch the mixture to produce moist crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit.
4. Drizzle the oil over the topping, and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
5. Place the crumble in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, until the top is deeply golden and the fruit is bubbling and thick. Cool slightly. Serve the crumble warm (reheated in 300º oven) or at room temperature, preferably with ice cream and a sprinkling of minced candied ginger.
Last week I shared a list of entrees and side-dishes that would be perfect for a Fourth of July party (check out the post with links to my recipes here). Today it is all about desserts. The common, summery theme here is fruit as the star ingredient–strawberries, blueberries, cherries, lemons, lime, bananas, pineapple, and peaches. Be sure to check back tomorrow when I add one more to the list–rubarb!
Sometimes you just want a cookie–or at least sometimes I do. But there are plenty of times I crave something a little less sweet with more chew and a better chance of filling me up. Enter muffins and fruit breads. They are perfect for a quick breakfast or midmorning snack (or later in the day too, of course). Loading them up with sugars and fats undoes a lot of their selling points, which is why this recipe is great: the sugar can be substituted for maple syrup or ommitted entirely, the white flour can be replaced with whole wheat, and the applesauce can be doubled instead of using oil. Why all that flexibilty? The small amount of banana goes a long way for moisture and sweetness, as do the raisins.
1/3 to 1/2 a cup mashed, very ripe banana (from about 1 large)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar (or 3 tablespoons maple syrup for a less sweet bread)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini (from about one medium), squeezed and drained of soe of its liquid
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup raisins
I love choosing pastries from bakeries because of all the variety–seriously, I could stand in front of all the pretty choices for a long time consuming them visually. I have to be honest, baba never really caught my eye (they were always a favorite of my dad, which made them a perfect treat for Father's Day this year). I now realize I was missing out. The cake itself (which was invented in the seventeenth century) is what is so unique here: it is done with yeast, resulting in a texture that is perfect for soaking up a subltely aromatic rum surup and light pastry cream.
½ cup milk
3 tsp yeast
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
cherries, for garnish
rum syrup, recipe follows
Italian pastry cream, recipe follows
1. Oil and flour a muffin tin or mini bundt pan and set aside. Warm milk in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a bowl, combine yeast and ½ cup of flour. Stir in the warm milk and let mixture rest to rise, about 15 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time. Add remaining flour, sugar, and salt followed by the oil and zests. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Dive dough into six pieces and place in the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes (the dough should reach the top of the molds).
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the babas are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
6. To make the syrup: add 1.5 cups of water, 3/4 cups of sugar, the zest of one lemon, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool for about 20 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup rum.
7. Set a wire rack over a sheet pan. Using a toothpick, poke holes all over the tops of babas. Pour the syrup over the cakes in batches and let sit until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
8. To make the]cream: in a small saucepan, heat one cup of milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk six egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar. Add 1/4 cup flour, a pinch of salt, and 2 cups milk. Whisk until there are no lumps. Pour the warm milk into the eggs, whisking continuously. Return mixture back to saucepan and place over a medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring continuously until custardstarts to thicken. Refrigerate and allow to cool completely.
9. Using a spoon, hollow out the centers of each baba. Fill with the chilled cream and top with a cherry. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
One of the first times I tried falafel, it was through take-out. The whole thing was a greasy mess, soggy and reeking of used oil. Still buried somewhere in there was a flavor and texture that I knew had potential. I tired the dish again at few sit-down restaurants and was soon hooked–the fritters were seriously addictive. Since I always find even well-made fried foods a little too indulgent, I love lightening a recipe by switching to baking if I can. Enter these little appetizers–crunchy and tasty but light.
2 cups chickpeas
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons all-purpose, whole wheat, or chickpea flour
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to grease the baking sheet
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
tahini sauce, for serving
1. Add garlic to the bowl of a food processor, run to chop. Then, add onion, and run to chop again.
2. Rinse chickpeas, drain well, and place in the food processor with the flour, olive oil, salt, and spices. Process in pulses, stirring regularly, until you get an even consistency
3. Fold in the parsley with a spatula. Cover and refrigerate mixture for at least 1 hour, or until the next day.
4. Preheat the oven to 375°F and oil a rimmed baking sheet. Shape the falafel mixture into balls the size of a large walnut (about 40), and place them on the sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden.
5. For sauce, combine 1/4 cup sesame paste, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Serve with tahini sauce, crudités, and pita bread, making sandwiches if desired.