Archive | February, 2010

ginger syrup

28 Feb

1/2 pound ginger, chopped in food processor (no need to peel)
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
Thick lemon slices to serve with
sparkling water to serve with OR it makes a delightful tea – just add to taste to hot water

Boil ginger with water vigorously for about 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly in a sieve, squeezing out all water with the back of a spoon. Return to pot and add sugar. Bring to boil and simmer until mixture is maple-syrup consistency, stirring occasionally (about 45 minutes). Should keep indefinitely in a jar in the fridge. Serve with about a 1:3-4 ratio syrup:sparkling water (or to taste) with thick lemon slices between ice.


black beans with nopalitos

22 Feb

These were so good. And easy. The directions seem longish and complicated, but there’s really very little hands-on time.

x2 for dinnershare

1# dried black beans, sorted, soaked overnight & rinsed*
1 onion, thinly sliced*
4 cloves garlic, chopped*
2 tsp salt*
2 Tbsp oil*
5 cups water*
8-10 tomatillos, paper skins removed and cut into eighths
1-14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1-30 oz jar nopalitos**, drained and rinsed

Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile, bring the beans, onion, garlic, salt, oil & water to pressure in a pressure cooker. Cook at pressure for four minutes, then let pressure drop at its own accord. (You could boil these in a pot, but I can never go back to ‘the old way’ since getting a pressure cooker. Alternatively, you could sub the ingredients in this step with 4 cans of black beans with their juice).

While beans are cooking, put the tomatillos in a greased baking pan (not cookie sheet). Roast for one hour, turning every fifteen minutes, until nice and shrively and the juices have been released.

In a big pot, add the tomatillos and their juices, tomatoes and drained nopalitos. Add in beans and all of their cooking liquid. Bring to boil for one minute and then serve.

*can sub 4 cans of black beans. but cooked dried beans are so much better!
**I used Dona Maria brand, which also has some spices.

oven baked yuca & chayote hash browns

22 Feb

The flavor of these was excellent, although they were dry in spots. I have altered the recipe slightly to correct that. They looked pretty. It was spectacular mixed up with the black beans and nopalitos!

Total baking time – 1 hr 15 min

Yuca root (about 2 med, 1# each)
Chayote squash (about 1 small, 1/2-3/4#)
1 Tbsp salt, divided
1 onion, very thinly sliced
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
6 Tbsp margarine, divided
lime wedges for garnish

-Grate the yuca and chayote in a box grater or food processor (the total yuca + chayote should equal about 6 cups grated).
-Toss the vegetables with 2 teaspoons salt, and let sit for at least an hour.
-Preheat oven to 425.
-Melt 2 Tbsp of margarine.
-Squeeze out all excess water from the vegetables with a thin towel or cheesecloth.
-Toss veggies with onion, remaining 1 tsp salt, spices, and 2 Tbsp melted margarine.
-Press into a greased 8×8 baking pan.
-Roast 15 minutes, then mix in the pan with a spatula, top with 2 Tbsp margarine in pates, and press down to flatten again.
-Turn heat down to 350 and bake for 45 minutes.
-Top with pats of remaining 2 Tbsp margarine and bake an additional 15 minutes.
-Serve garnished with lime wedges.

xocolatl agave fudge brownies

22 Feb

A recipe for my ‘desert plants’ themed dinnershare meal… I’ve wanted to try black beans in a brownie for a while now, but without caring if they are gluten-free or low carb- and I thought they would go great with a Mexican chocolate brownie. I baked them a little too long so they were a bit dry, but all in all very flavorful and a nicely textured, pretty brownie without even a hint of black bean weirdness.

1 can black beans, drained & rinsed well
1/3 cup flour
1 cup cold water (OR 1 1/2 cups if using sugar)
1 bag vegan chocloate chips
1 1/2 cups agave nectar (OR 2 cups sugar for cheaper)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp chili powder

Preheat your oven to 350.

Thoroughly rinse and drain the black beans. In a blender or food processor, puree the black beans, flour and water until smooth. Pour it into a medium-large sauce pan, and whisk constantly over low heat until it thickens. This takes about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the chocolate chips, salt, vanilla and agave nectar, until the chocolate chips are melted. Fold in the oil, then baking soda and spices, then remaining flour.

Spread evenly in a greased 13×9 baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

king cake // cinnamon rolls

14 Feb

(Updated, verifies 12/2018)

So, I’ve never had an “official” king cake, but as far as I can tell from reading stuff online it’s basically cinnamon roll dough shaped in a ring, a plastic baby inside and some colored sugar on top.

Makes 4 small king cakes or 16 good-sized cinnamon rolls

2 packets (4 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup wrist-temperature water
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1 1/2 cups soymilk or almond milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
6 cups all purpose flour

2/3 cup brown sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened to room temp
plastic baby or dried bean for king cake

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Earth Balance
1/2 8 oz pkg Better Than Cream Cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Sugar crystals (optional, for king cake):
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided into 3 jars (about 3 Tbsp in each jar, no need to be exact)
Green, Yellow & Purple food coloring (10ish drops, until desired color)

Whisk together the yeast, sugar & water in the stand mixer mixing bowl. While the yeast is activating, melt the Earth Balance. Add the milk to the EB. Add the EB/milk, sugar & salt to the yeast mixture and whisk until combined. With the dough hook on speed 2, add in the flour, 1 cup at a time. When all the flour is incorporated, let the dough hook do it’s magic for another 3-5 minutes or so, until it’s a nice springy, uniform, ball-like mass. Cover and let sit for an hour or so, until about doubled.

Meanwhile, take the Earth Balance for the filling out and leave it on the counter to soften. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon together until uniform.

When the dough has risen, divide into two balls.

If making cinnamon rolls
Roll the first ball into a long rectangle (I roll each out to the size of my large cutting board). Spread with 1/2 the softened Earth Balance and then top it with the 1/2 the cinnamon mixture, leaving a 1/2″ margin on one long side. Roll up the dough like a jelly roll (the side with the margin will be the outside). Pinch it shut, roll it over so the pinched side is in the middle on the bottom, and slice it with a sharp knife into 8 rolls. Repeat with the second dough ball. Put the rolls in a well-buttered pan so that they are close together but not touching. Proceed below.

If making king cakes
Divide again for a total of four balls of dough. Roll the first ball into a long rectangle. Spread with 1/4 the softened Earth Balance and then top it with the 1/4 the cinnamon mixture, leaving 1/2″ margins on both the short sides and one of the long sides. Put the bean/baby somewhere on the rectangle. Roll the dough from the long side like a jelly roll (the long side with the margin will be the outside). Pinch it to form a long log. Form the log into a ring in a well-buttered round pan or on a cookie sheet, pinching the ends together. Repeat with the other dough balls (you could connect them to make one big ring). Proceed below.

Either let the buns/cakes rise 30 minutes longer or rise overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350. If dough is straight from the refrigerator, put pans in oven while preheating. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Meanwhile, prepare frosting and sugar sprinkles, if using.

For frosting – cream together margarine, btcc vanilla and powdered sugar.
For sugar sprinkles – add food coloring into sugar, close jar, and shake until sugar is uniformly colored.

When rolls/cake have cooled some, spread with frosting. If making a king cake, decorate in stripes of gold, purple and green with the sugar crystals.

**you could use equal amounts jelly, coconut or white sugar instead of brown sugar and Better Than Cream Cheeze instead of Earth Balance for a different kind of King Cake filling. Omit the cinnamon if that is the case.

lemon cupcakes

10 Feb

**haven’t tried this recipe out yet, I’m merely speculating here**
Makes 24 cupcakes

6 Tbsp lemon juice
2-4 Tbsp lemon zest
1 2/3 cups water
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 24 muffin tins.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (I like to put my stand mixer on low and let it mix for a few minutes- lazy sifting).

In a large measuring cup or bowl, mix together the liquids and lemon zest and pour into the dry ingredients. Beat until the lumps are gone but no longer. Distribute evenly among the cupcake tins and bake for 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

black-eyed peas

9 Feb

I’m not usually a fan of black-eyed peas, but I made these and they were delicious. I didn’t keep track meticulously, but this is pretty close to exactly what I did.

1# dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced thin
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
6 cups water
dash of kitchen boquet gravy browner
dash of liquid smoke
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp Goya Adobo, or to taste
1/2 tsp Italian seasonings, or to taste
Generous squirt Sriracha

Soak the peas overnight, if you haven’t done so already, and drain and rinse them. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker (no lid yet!) over medium heat. Add the onion, salt & sugar and reduce heat to low. let the onion cook, stirring occasionally, until dark brown and mushy (about 10-20 minutes??). Add the peas, water, gravy browner, liquid smoke, garlic & bay leaves. Put the lid on and turn heat to high. Bring to high pressure for 4 minutes, turn off heat and let pressure drop on it’s own accord. Add Adobo, Italian seasonings and Sriracha to taste.