Cooking Hussy

Tasty

Black Bean and Feta Tacos August 25, 2009

Filed under: Misc. — cookinghussy @ 4:32 pm

Black Bean and Feta Tacos

I made this (from Smitten Kitchen)! It was good and fast and vegetarian. The side of green beans, sauted with a little olive oil and red pepper flakes, was a perfect match. The meal was a bit spicy, but in a good way! I followed the recipe exactly, except for the homemade tortillas. Enjoy!

 

Blueberry French Toast August 11, 2009

Filed under: Main Dish,Vegetarian — cookinghussy @ 3:45 pm

Blueberry Frenchtoast 1

This is the perfect brunch entree! I can make it the night before, toss it in the fridge and just bake for 30-40 minutes the next morning. The blue berries are perfectly in season and fresh from Michigan. Add a little mascarpone cheese to the mix and it’s filling, decadent and perfect for guests.

Blueberry Frenchtoast 2

  • 1 large loaf of Italian bread (better if it’s a couple days old, more stale and soaks up the eggs better)
  • 14 large eggs
  • 1/2  or so milk
  • splash of vanilla and pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • pint of blueberries
  • 1/2 container of mascarpone cheese

Butter a rectangle baking dish first. Slice the bread into medium thick slices (you need enough for one layer on the bottom of the pan and another for the top). In a large bowl, mix all the eggs with the milk and seasonings.

Layer the bread onto the bottom of the pan. Spread a layer of mascarpone cheese onto the bread and toss the blueberries on top. For the next layer of bread, spread a little bit more mascaropne cheese onto the bottom sides first. Finally, pour the egg mixture slowly and evenly over the bread, trying to cover all the bread. Use a fork or spatula to smoosh the bread down a little bit. Cover and put into the fridge over night to bake in the morning! Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Notes: This is decadent! Server with a little syrup on top.

Servings: 6 + big brunch servings

 

Marshmallows! August 6, 2009

Filed under: Dessert — cookinghussy @ 7:53 pm

Let me start this by saying I saw this post from Smitten Kitchen and couldn’t get these things out of my head. I talked to people about them. “Hey, did you know you can make marshmallows!?” They were like this mystery puff that could never be made at home, but lo! Smitten Kitchen did it and they looked beautiful. So, I gave it a try…

Marshmallows sugar cooking

First you start by boiling sugar, water and corn syrup. Mmm! Please note the lack of candy thermometer… (This was my first try.)

Marshmallows mixer

Then you mix that boiled sugar with gelatin and water and mix. This is our new mixer. It’s pretty. Please note the dark brown color on the side of the bowl.

Marshmallows Pan

Pour it in a pan and it should look light and fluffy and, um, white! This does not look like any of those things.

Marshmallows

After a couple hours in the fridge, they get cut into pieces and tossed in powdered sugar. At this point, they should be pillows of sweet fluffy goodness! But these were flat, with chunks of hard candy in the middle. Gross. So! I tried again!

marhsmallows bowl 2

This is after I used a CANDY THERMOMETER while heating the sugar so I didn’t end up over cooking and burning it. Then it mixed up lovely! This shows the whipped sugar/gelatin and the egg white and vanilla.

Marshmallow pan 2

Oooo! Pretty! Light and white and fluffy!

Marshmallow 2

TA DA!

  • About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (cane sugar worked just fine)
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (alternately: 1/2 of a scraped vanilla bean, 2 teaspoons almond or mint extract or maybe even some food coloring for tinting)

Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.

In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. (Some reviewers felt this took even longer with a hand mixer, but still eventually whipped up nicely.)

In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t fret if you don’t get it all out (learning from my mess of a first round). Sift 1/4 cup confectioners sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.

Do ahead: Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.

Notes: As long as you use a thermometer, these are hard to screw up! We will be enjoying them on some smores up at our friend’s cabin in Wisconsin. Smores with homemade marshmallows.

 

Grilled Flank Steak August 5, 2009

Filed under: Main Dish — cookinghussy @ 1:34 pm

Flank Steak 1

My parents came to visit a couple weekends ago and we thought it would be nice to grill out and enjoy our little backyard. But of course, it ended up being chilly and rained, so we stayed inside and I cooked this flank steak on my grill pan and a cast iron pan instead. I’ve never cooked flank steak before, but I’d seen it done many times at the Chopping Block when I worked there. Let me tell you, this is a recipe I will definitely make again, especially for company as it’s certain to please (as long as everyone enjoys meat). This is the recipe I used. I followed very closely!

Flank Steak 2

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Other ingredients

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

1. Combine the marinade ingredients. Place steak and marinade ingredients in a large freezer bag. Coat the steak well with the marinade. Seal the bag and place in a bowl. Chill and marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

2 Using olive oil soaked onto a paper towel, coat the grill rack of your grill with olive oil. Preheat the grill with high, direct heat. The grill is hot enough when you hold your hand about an inch over it and you can only hold it there for about a second.

3 Take the steak out of the marinade bag and sprinkle generously on all sides with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. The salt and pepper will help form a savory crust on the steak. Place steak on the hot grill. If you are using a gas grill, cover the grill. Grill for 4-6 minutes on each side. Half way through grilling on each side, turn the steak 90° so that you get more grill marks. (This can all be done on a grill pan or cast iron skillet indoors too!)

4 Flank steak is best eaten medium rare; well done will make it too tough. When the steak has cooked to your preferred level of doneness, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to hold in the heat and to keep the steak from drying out, and let rest for 10 minutes.

5 Make very thin slices, against the grain, and at a slight diagonal so that the slices are wide.

If you want, you can take the excess marinade and bring it to a boil, simmer for several minutes, and serve with the flank steak.

Notes: We enjoyed the steak on quinoa with arugula and halved cherry tomatoes mixed in, pour a little of that heated up marinade on top and BAM. Yum. Also had some roasted (would have been grilled!) sliced portobello mushrooms tossed with oil and balsamic.

Servings: 6 servings