Cooking Hussy

Tasty

Farinata September 30, 2008

Filed under: Main Dish,Vegetarian — cookinghussy @ 8:22 am

Alright, after two posts about desserts, it’s time to get back to what we normally eat. I made farinata, which is made with chickpea flour, water and oil and is an Italian snack or street food. But I made mine a little differently. Instead of looking like the picture in the recipe I used, it looks much thinner and softer. My excuse is that my cast iron skillet is not seasoned well and is definitely not non-stick, so I instead used a big ol’ cookie sheet and got very thin and soft farinata. But it was delicious anyway.

  • 1 1/4 C. chick pea flour (I found this in Whole Foods)
  • 1 1/2 C. water (maybe a bit more to get the consistency somewhere between whole milk and lite cream)
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 C. extra version olive oil
  • plenty of freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sage leaves – thinly sliced

In a bowl mix together the chickpea flour, sage, salt and pepper. Slowly add the water while whisking the mixture. Let the batter rest for at least one hour. In order to cook in the cookie sheet, I looked around at other recipes for farinata and saw that I could then just mix in the olive oil, which I did. I sprayed a cookie sheet and pour the batter in after that. Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes. Slice into pieces and eat warm.

Notes: I served the farinata with chopped up fresh heirloom tomatoes mixed with some gratted parmesan cheese, salt/pepper and a little oil as well as sauted arugula with garlic. It was a filling and very flavorful meal! I would like to try it in the cast iron skillet the next time to get the thicker, crispy farinata.

Servings: 2 large dinner servings plus some extra

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Tropical Icebox Cake – 1 Year Anniversary! September 28, 2008

Filed under: Dessert — cookinghussy @ 8:08 pm

Wheee! Ice cream cake for the Cooking Hussy’s One Year Anniversary!

This cake was so much fun to make. Ice cream and fruit and real whipped cream, with rum!

And do you see the gingersnap cookie layers? Oh, those are the best. I got this recipe from 101cookbooks. Clearly, I needed the ice cream layer to be thicker. Oh well, next time. But THIS time, the cake was made and eaten and enjoyed.

In celebration of, uh, me following through with this blog for a whole year, I’d like to ask you, reader, to comment. It’s scary, I know. But I’ll make it easy. Just say “Hi Cooking Hussy!” and tell me what your favorite ingredient is. Yes, favorite ingredient. My favorite ingredient, that makes any recipe better, is nuts. This tropical icebox cake has macadamia nuts. BAM. Instantly better. So, I’m serious about this. Just say hi in the comments section! Grandma? Pretty pregnant Karla? Ben?! Christopher? Jennifer in Turkey? Random Grinnellians? HI!

I am literally copying and pasting from Heidi’s recipe on 101cookbooks.com since I followed it exactly.

“Gingersnap Crust: Place 2 1/2 cups loosely crumbled gingersnaps, 5T melted butter, and 3T sugar into a food processor and blend until mixture is the texture of coarse sand.

Ice-cream Layer: Soften 2 1/2 cups high-quality vanilla ice-cream or frozen yogurt and stir in 1 cup chopped pineapple and 2/3 cup loosely crushed macadamia nuts.

Whipped Cream Layer: Whip 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream sweetened with a few tablespoons of sugar and a splash or two of rum. Whip until billowy but not too stiff.

Toasted Coconut: I pan toasted the coconut over medium low heat, roughly a cup or so.

Assemble the cake: Pack a thin layer of ginger snap crust into the base of a 6-inch spring form pan. Slather on a generous layer of ice cream, let it freeze until hard.

Pack another layer of ginger snap crust on top of the ice cream (because I love the buttery sweet gingersnap crumbs), then fill pan to the rim with a thin layer of rum + sugar sweetened whipped cream.

Freeze until hardened, preferably overnight.

Release cake from the pan (don’t cut around edges w/ a knife) and frost the entire cake with a layer of the sweetened whipped cream.

Top with toasted coconut. Put back in the freezer until outside layer of whipped cream is set.”

Notes: Delicious. We had this cake after a little pot roast dinner tonight with Jarrod and Marti. We’ll be eating it all week.

Servings: Um. 5 so far. Then I sent two big pieces home with Jarrod and we still have half of the cake left. So. 14 servings.

 

Zucchini and Pistachio Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting September 26, 2008

Filed under: Bread/Muffins,Dessert — cookinghussy @ 9:41 am

I made these several weeks ago and just haven’t gotten around to posting them. Then I realized that fall is here! If you still have zucchini’s and are looking for a little different way to use them up, these zucchini and pistachio cupcakes are tasty and really not that unhealthy. I was turned off of zucchini bread due to all the oil and sugar needed. THAT’s why zucchini bread tastes so good. I started with this recipe but made a lot of changes. Cut down on oil, added more zucchini, used some whole wheat flour and added baking soda. I also made some cream cheese frosting.

Mmmm. Pistachios make everything taste good. And look how pretty the green zucchini looks on the inside!

  • 1/2 C. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 1/2 C. splenda
  • 2 eggs – lightly beaten
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C. pistachios – chopped
  • 2 C. zucchini – shredded
  • 1 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C. white flour
  • 1/2 C. amaranth flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon

Mix oil, sugar, splenda, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Mix in nuts, zucchini and dry ingredients until well combined. Pour into 16 muffin holders. Bake at 350 for 25ish minutes. While baking, mix together the cream cheese frosting.

Frosting:

  • 4 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1/4 stick of unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 to 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, butter, 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer. Taste. I like my frosting to be sweet, but not overly sweet. I started with one cup and added just a little bit more, to taste.

Once the cupcakes cool, spread with frosting and if you want, top with a few pistachios. EAT.

Notes: These did not taste like cupcakes. That didn’t bother me at all since the frosting wasn’t too sweet either. I ate one for breakfast! I really liked the zucchini and pistachio mix.

Servings: 16 cupcakemuffins

 

Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms September 24, 2008

Filed under: Main Dish — cookinghussy @ 7:59 am

Let me start by saying I rarely cook with chicken. Maybe 2 or 3 times a month, actually. It is because I’ve been so freaked out by the monster chicken breasts found at Harvestime. SO BIG. Not natural. So in order to cook with chicken I have to go out of my way to Whole Foods and then spend a lot of money on the organic, hormone free chicken. And this dish made it worth it. I saw the beautiful pictures and recipe on Smitten Kitchen. Her picture is dark and lush, but I swear that my dish TASTED that way, so it’s all good. Emily and Pete came over for a mid-week dinner and also brought Cafe Selmarie dessert…

  • 2 whole boneless chicken breasts with skin – halved
  • 1 1/2 T. olive oil
  • 2 1/2 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 onion – sliced thin
  • 1 large package of mushrooms – sliced thin
  • 3/4 C. Marsala
  • 1 C. chicken broth
  • handful of parsley – chopped

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet heat oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat until hot and brown chicken in 2 batches, transferring with tongs to a large plate as browned.

Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and saute onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. I used so many mushrooms that this took a while. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until Marsala is almost evaporated. Add broth and chicken with any juices that have accumulated on plate and simmer, turning chicken once, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter.

Simmer mushroom sauce until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup. Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 1 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper to taste, stirring until butter is just incorporated. Spoon mushroom sauce around chicken and sprinkle with parsley.

Notes: This was a great meal to make for guests. It was so flavorful and pretty. I served it with roasted potatoes and roasted balsamic asparagus. We had some mushroom sauce left over, which was mostly mushrooms, and I had them over a salad the next day.

Servings: 4 entrees

 

Bok Choy with Cashews September 22, 2008

Filed under: Salad/Side,Vegetarian — cookinghussy @ 11:01 am

This was such a simple recipe. I was looking for something to do with bok choy. I didn’t want a lot of hassle because I also made the tomato and zucchini gratin on the same night. When I cook on the week nights I want fast and easy. This recipe from Simple Recipes was just that. And I’m not going to lie, it was really really good. Cashews are so freaking good.

  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 bok choy – chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 package tofu – cut into pieces
  • 1 t. sesame oil (I used more than the original recipe b/c I used more bok choy than it called for.)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup cashews – chopped a little bit

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and toss in the garlic and tofu. Cook the tofu a bit and then add the bok choy. Cook on medium high heat for a few minutes then mix in the sesame oil and cover, letting the bok choy cook through a bit. Turn the heat down after a few minutes. Mix well and continue cooking until the white parts of the bok choy are cooked. Toss in the cashews and season with salt. Serve!

Notes: I added the tofu for a bit of extra protein. I will definitely make this dish again when I get some more bok choy.

Servings: 2 big dinner servings, left overs for lunch

 

Kefta and Zucchini with Yogurt Sauce September 21, 2008

Filed under: Main Dish — cookinghussy @ 1:31 pm

Smitten Kitchen featured this recipe for grilled kefta and zucchini kebabs in August and it looked amazing. I modified the recipe to use grilled turkey instead of lamb and didn’t grill the meatballs but baked them. I didn’t have kabab sticks! This made for a delicious meal and made lots of leftovers as well.

KEFTA (meatballs)

  • 2 slices firm whole wheat sandwich bread – torn into small pieces
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c. fresh cilantro
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. cayenne
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 1/3 c. walnuts – toasted and finely chopped

ZUCCHINI

  • 3 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 1/4 c. olive oil (I used less, just a few splashes)
  • 2 medium zucchini – cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices

YOGURT SAUCE

  • 1 c. plain yogurt (I use 2% Fage)
  • 2 T. chopped fresh mint
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • pinch of salt

Cover bread with water in a bowl and soak 10 minutes. Squeeze handfuls of bread to remove as much excess water as possible, then transfer to a bowl.

Pulse onion and herbs in a food processor until finely chopped, then add to bread along with lamb, salt, spices, and walnuts nuts.Form into small meatballs, about 40. Place them on cookie sheets to bake. Bake at 350 until mostly cooked and then brown under the broiler and to finish cooking. About 15 minutes total.

Marinate zucchini in the mixture in a plastic bag while you make the meatballs. Grill on a grill pan, crisping up each side.

Mix together the yogurt and sauce ingredients. Serve meatballs and zuccchini with the yogurt sauce.

Notes: These turned out very well. Next time I’ll try to have some kebab sticks on hand so I can actually grill them. They were great as left overs for lunch the next day too.

Servings: 2 dinner servings and 3 lunches (with the meatballs)

 

Tomato and Zucchini Gratin September 19, 2008

Filed under: Salad/Side,Vegetarian — cookinghussy @ 12:01 pm

Are you ready for another tomato and zucchini recipe? It is the season, you know. Or it was last week when I made this dish. I didn’t really follow a recipe, just kind of threw it together. I know gratins like this normally have a topping of bread crumbs and other things, but I just made this with a Parmesan crust topping, which was good.

MMmmmm. Tomatoes and Zucchini.

  • 1 1/2 zucchini
  • Tomatoes (no idea how many I ended up using, enough for two layers!)
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • sage
  • salt/pepper
  • Parmesan cheese – grated

Begin by slicing up a bunch of zucchini and fresh tomatoes. Spray a square baking dish with a little oil and make one layer of zucchini topped with 1 layer of tomatoes. Dice up 2-3 cloves of garlic and toss those on top of the tomatoes. Top with another layer of zucchini and then tomatoes. Drizzle some olive oil on top of the whole thing. Season with salt and pepper. Slice up some fresh sage and toss that on. Then grate a bunch of parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350 for around 30 minutes or until everything is all cooked through.

Notes: This was great fresh out of the oven. Very simple but wonderful since everything was fresh. The next morning I cut up the left overs, tossed them into a saute pan and heated them up and mixed them up with some scrambled eggs. Delicious.

Servings: 6-8 side servings