Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Time For A Green Bean Salad.

It's summer time and the salads are easy.
Today, it's a green bean and yellow squash salad with a fresh herb vinaigrette.

For the salad fixin's:
2 cup green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow squash, peeled and diced
2 TB toasted sliced almonds
1 TB chopped red onion
2 TB crumbled feta

I use 1 TB kosher salt
to 1 quart water.

Heavily salted.
Here's why:

 Boil away.

Then ice water bath
to stop cooking.

To prepare vegetables:  Drop green beans into salted boiling water.  Cook 5-6 minutes.  Drain and plunge into ice water to stop cooking and set bright green color.
Blanch squash.  Drop into boiling water, cook 1 minute, drain, and ice water bath.
Combine all ingredients.
For the vinaigrette: 
2 TB balsamic vinegar
1 tsp coarse grain mustard
1/3 cup Bertolli light olive oil
pinch kosher salt 
1 tsp chopped basil
1 tsp chopped mint
Stir vinegar and mustard together.  Slowly drizzle olive oil into mixture, whisking constantly, until you have a nice emulsion.  Season to taste with a pinch of kosher salt.  Stir in basil and mint.
Pour over vegetable mixture and toss to coat.


Now, this is your basic salad.  If you want to go off on a tangent, feel free.
You could use fresh mozzarella balls instead of the feta.
You could use a different nut, say walnuts instead of the almonds.
You could give it a zesting of lemon or orange.
You could go with dill or tarragon or parsley.
You could add cherry tomatoes.
It's up to you.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Ohhhhh... Brownies!

Every now and then, I must make something chocolate.
Usually, fudgy, dense brownies with chocolate icing will hit the spot.  Today is no exception.
When it comes to brownies, there are lots of recipes out there.  And I've tried a bunch of 'em.
Some are actually complicated, requiring numerous mixing bowls and lots of clean up.  Today's brownies are super simple and require only one pan for mixing the ingredients and one dish for baking.  And the end result is a delicious, fudgy, dense brownie.  To top it off, I made a chocolate buttercream icing.  There's no such thing as too much chocolate.

Here's the recipe:
Rosie's Espresso Fudgy Brownies 
 Heat oven to 350°.
Butter an 8-inch square baking dish and line it with buttered parchment paper so the paper extends out over the sides.  This makes it easy to lift the brownies out when baked.
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 heaping TB espresso powder 
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 large eggs, beaten
1 TB vanilla extract 
1 cup flour
heapin' 1/2 cup pecans

In a large saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and add espresso powder, stirring until combined. Stir in sugar and salt. Let cool slightly.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add flour and stir until blended.  Fold in nuts.  Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350° about 35 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. A toothpick inserted in center should come out with a few crumbs still attached.  Let cool completely in pan.  Lift brownies out using overhanging parchment paper.  Frost with chocolate buttercream icing, then cut into squares.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2-3 TB cream
Whip butter until fluffy.  Beat in cocoa powder until smooth.  Beat in vanilla and sugar, scraping down sides. Slowly beat in cream until frosting reaches desired, spreadable consistency.  Whip until light, smooth, and fluffy.

Now for the step-by-steps:

Have all ingredients measured and assembled ready to go.
This is your mise en place.  Everything in its place.

Melt butter and chocolate 
over low heat.

Add in espresso powder.

 Mix until smooth.

Add  in sugar.

Whisk away.

Keep a-whiskin'
until snooth.

Have three eggs ready to beat.

Beat away!
Add eggs to chocolate mixture.

Add in vanilla.
Beat until well-combined.

Whisk in flour.




Add pecans.

Fold in nuts.

Pour battered into prepared pan.

Ready for oven.


Prepare the frosting:

Softened butter
Cocoa powder
Powdered sugar

Whip butter.
Beat in cocoa powder.

Whip in powdered sugar
until well-mixed.


Add in vanilla.

Add in enough cream,
beating, until you get
spreading consistency.
Scrape down sides and beat.

Peel parchment off.
Flip over onto
serving plate.

And frost.
And frost some more.
Give it little pats
with your offset spatula
to make those little peaky peaks.

And slice.


Monday, August 9, 2021

Rosie Makes A Peach Pie.


I have a plethora of peaches.
I've made peach ice cream.
I've made peach galettes.
I've made peach pockets (stuffed wontons).
And I'm not running out of ideas.
Today, I'm making a peach custard pie.

Peach Pie
3-4 cups pealed and sliced peaches (5-6 peaches)
2/3 cup sugar
2 TB flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla
 grated nutmeg
turbinado sugar
1 pie crust

Bake pie crust at 450° for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and  reduce heat to 350°.
In medium bowl, mix sugar, flour, and salt.
Whisk eggs, sour cream, cream, and vanilla into the dry ingredients, 
mixing until well-blended.
Places peaches in bottom of partially baked crust.
Pour custard mixture over peaches.
Grate fresh nutmeg over top
and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake pie at 350° for about 55 minutes,
until custard is just set, but still a little jiggly.
Rotate pie halfway through baking,
tenting edges if crust is getting too brown.

Have your ingredients measured and ready to go.
I have sugar, flour, and salt mixed.
Eggs ready.
Sour cream, cream, and vanilla measured.

Peaches sliced and measured.

Pie crust edges crimped.
Bake it at 450° for 5 minutes.

Whup the eggs.
Beat in the cream, sour cream, and vanilla.

Whisk wet ingredients into dry mixture.

Layer peaches in partially baked pie crust.

Pour custard mixture over peaches.

Grate fresh nutmeg 
and sprinkle turbinado sugar over top.
I always place filled pies on a baking sheet,
just in case my pan runneth over.

Bake until perfect.

Let cool a bit.
Pie needs to sit a while to set.

Slice and serve (slightly warm)
 with deliciously whipped cream
(or ice cream),
And with a sprinkling of cinnamon and turbinado sugar.