Monthly Archives: August 2011

Put an egg on it!

Matthew:  Recently, my friends at work have been obsessed with putting eggs on top of dishes that one wouldn’t always think of putting an egg on top of.  I think the appeal of this is if the yolk is runny, you can then break it open and it will become a sauce for whatever food items it is perched upon.  These eggs also add more sustenance and can turn snack-like foods into meals.  For my “put an egg on it” dinner, I tried making a sandwich with CSA veggies and Madison Sourdough bread.  I toasted the bread, then topped it with grilled patty pan squash, heirloom tomatoes, basil, feta, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  For the egg, I followed the overly complicated directions for poached eggs in The Joy of Cooking which involved putting the egg in boiling water with vinegar until set and then transferring it to 150 degree water.  I had a hard time getting water to be 150 degrees, so my eggs ended up slightly over-done.  They weren’t bad, but after they alighted on my sandwich, the yolk failed to run.  I’d like to try my hand at poached eggs again, perhaps following a different recipe.  I do have to say that after trying it, I like the idea of putting eggs on things.  I will definitely be doing more of this.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Katie:  Whether proofreading applications, helping me outfit my not-yet-existent apartment, serving as my personal interview coach, or searching for the perfect used car, my dad has been a big help lately!  I decided I needed to do something to show my appreciation.  I usually try to choose healthy recipes, but this time I tried to find a yummy, indulgent cookie recipe.  When I spotted this recipe for Puffy Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips via Food Gawker, I knew I wanted to try it.  I had never heard of melting peanut butter before, but maybe that’s what helped these cookies be so soft and chewy.  They turned out really well!  I sprinkled a few with sea salt, but they seemed to mysteriously disappear before I could try them…  If you make these, make sure that the butter and peanut butter cool before adding them, and don’t overbake the cookies!  Judging from the positive responses, I would definitely make these again.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips (from How Sweet It Is)

makes about 18 cookies (I made more, about 30)

  • 8 tablespoons of salted butter
  • 6 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • sea salt (optional)

Add butter and peanut butter to a microwave safe bowl, and heat in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until melted. Let cool completely.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Whisk the flour and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the cooled butter/peanut butter and sugars until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Shape the dough into heaping tablespoon-sized balls. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper two inches apart.  Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired, and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies begin to firm up. The centers should be soft and puffy. Do not overbake. Let cool completely and then enjoy!

Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup

Katie:  After trying a tasty black bean burger at the Hilltop a few weeks ago, I was inspired to try making them myself.  So when I spotted a recipe in the Mayo Clinic Cookbook for Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup, I knew I had to try them!  I followed the directions as written, but I decided to save some time by using canned black beans instead of dried beans.  The burgers consisted of other additions to the black beans, including cooked brown rice, sauteed peppers and onions, bread crumbs, pecans, green onions, an egg, and spices.  I made sure to remove the seeds from the chipotle chili for the sauce, so it was spicy, but not too hot.  The burgers took some time to prepare, but I think the results were worth the effort.  They were very flavorful and tasted great in buns with tomatoes, the chipoltle sauce, and spinach leaves.  These were a good summer meal!

Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup (slightly adapted from the Mayo Clinic)

Serves 6  (I made them smaller, about 8 )
  • 2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, peeled and seeded then diced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped and separated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and separated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, seeds removed, minced
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin, separated
  • 1 teaspoon salt, separated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, separated
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 3/4 cups canned black beans, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 green (spring) onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup fresh whole-grain bread crumbs
  • whole-grain hamburger buns
  • sliced tomatoes
  • spinach leaves

Combine the tomatoes, half of the yellow onion, half of the garlic, the tomato paste, vinegar, chipotle chili, 3/4 teaspoon of the cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a bit of water as needed, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and the mixture is a thick sauce, about 10 minutes. Set the chipotle ketchup aside to cool.

In a large frying pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium heat. Add the remaining yellow onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the bell pepper and the remaining garlic and saute until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool. Set the pan aside.

In a food processor, combine the beans, onion mixture, brown rice, pecans, green onion, the remaining 1 teaspoon cumin and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse several times until the mixture is coarsely pureed. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the beaten egg and bread crumbs. Form the mixture into 6-8 patties, each about 3/4-inch thick.

In the same pan used for the onion mixture, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides and heated through, 7 to 9 minutes total.

Serve each burger on a bun.  Top with tomatoes, spinach leaves, and chipotle ketchup.  Enjoy!

Baba Ganoush

Matthew:  I recently discovered that I love eggplant.  Now that it’s in season, I want to take advantage of all the local eggplant I can get ahold of.  I first tried grilling it and now I blackened, roasted, and pureed it into baba ganoush.  I found this recipe from food writer David Lebovitz.  He recommends serving it as an appetizer with toasted bread or pitas.  You could also pair it with grilled meats and vegetables for a more substantial dish.  To prepare the eggplant, you have to put it under the broiler (or grill it) and then bake it in the oven until it is soft.  Then, you just scoop out the inside and puree it with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.  It’s actually really easy to make and you can adjust the flavors at the end based on your preferences.  My first batch that used two eggplants is almost gone, so I’ll have to go get some more while they are still around at farmer’s markets!

Ice Cream Pie

Matthew: Well, I finally got around to using the hot fudge sauce in a delicious ice cream pie.  The whole thing was pretty quick to put together and was really tasty.  And, I made a video to go along!  Here’s the recipe and video:

Butter-Pecan Pie

Corn and Red Potato Chowder

Katie:  Fresh sweet corn is something that is only available for a limited time every summer and tastes so much better than frozen or canned corn.  When I saw it being sold by local farmers on the side of the road, I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity before it was too late!  I had checked out the book The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook from the library and had already bookmarked a recipe for Corn Chowder with Roasted Poblanos.  Since I couldn’t find poblano chiles at the store, I substituted jalapeno peppers.  I also used smaller potatoes, left their skin on, and doubled the recipe to make more leftovers.  This soup turned out really great!  The fresh corn, red potatoes, peppers, and fresh herbs were a great combination of flavors.  Shrimp would probably also make a good addition.

Corn and Red Potato Chowder (adapted from the New Mayo Clinic Cookbook)

8 servings

  • 2 lb small red potatoes, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks (unpeeled)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 – 3 jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • fresh corn kernels from 8 ears of corn
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 cups of fat-free milk
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 tsp. chopped fresh oregano

Put the potatoes in a saucepan, add water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a small bowl. With a potato masher, partially mash the potatoes and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, jalapeno pepper, and bell pepper and saute until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Stir in the roasted chilies and the partially mashed potatoes. Add the corn, vegetable stock, milk, pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer uncovered until the soup thickens, for about 25 minutes.

Ladle into warmed bowls and sprinkle with the cilantro and oregano. Enjoy!