Sunday, November 16, 2014

Goat Cheese Cheesecake.


The very second I read about the idea of using goat cheese in cheesecake I decided I HAD to try it.

That was this week.

But I knew better than to have a whole cheesecake in my house so I had Micah take most of it to work on Friday.

I kindof regret it.

I stole the recipe from Anne Burrell but as long as I giver her credit I feel okay posting her recipe here.

For this trial run I used a graham cracker crust but I bet the spiced wafer crust is delicious.



Ingredients
Crust:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs, such as Nilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 grates of fresh nutmeg
Pinch kosher salt


Filling:
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
One 12-ounce log goat cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream sour cream
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


For the crust: Butter a 9-inch springform pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, wafer crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Stir together until well combined and homogenous. Use your fingers to press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Reserve.

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and goat cheese together until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and continue beating until combined. Add the sugar and vanilla and begin to beat. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in each until thoroughly mixed before adding the next one.

To assemble: Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and bake until the filling is set, another 25 to 30 minutes. If the filling starts to color, tent the pan with aluminum foil. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely before the serving (it continues to set as it cools).

The cake will continue to set as it cools, but it's best served after it has been refrigerated overnight and has really firmed up.

Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell


Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/goat-cheese-cheesecake-with-spiced-wafer-crust-recipe.html#lightbox-recipe-video?oc=linkback

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

BROWN BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES


Growing up I was never really into chocolate chip cookies, even though for most American kids it's an essential food group. Perhaps it was Chips Ahoy, or the lack of consistency in texture from different recipes (Soft! Crunchy! Chewy! Doughy! Cakey!) or just that I loved the cookie itself WITHOUT the chocolate chips (Sin!). I just didn't see it. 

The trend I am noticing is that once people have a recipe they like, they guard it with their lives as the ONE AND ONLY RECIPE THEY WILL EVER USE. Which is fine, I guess, but I am always up for experimenting. 

Which brings us to these. Do chocolate chip cookies always use browned butter? Because if they don't, THEY SHOULD. Oh whoops, I just joined the herd. I guess this is the ONE recipe for me. Well I guess that makes life easier. Good job people! Way to streamline your life!

These cookies made me understand the hype. 



Source: Cook's Illustrated (Of course.)

MAKES 16 COOKIES

Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned. Use fresh, moist brown sugar instead of hardened brown sugar, which will make the cookies dry. This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored. For our winning brand of chocolate chips, see related tasting.

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (we used regular)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (we used Guittard)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.

3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)

5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Khao Soi 1.0


Khao Soi (ข้าวซอย) is a delicious Northern Thai Noodle dish. It was actually difficult to find in Thailand when I was there, except for in the Northern Provinces. I have found a few Thai places that offer the dish, and fewer that make it well (My favorite Thai Restaruant, Pok Pok in Portland is one of them!) I have made a few attempts at making Khao Soi, hopefully getting closer to the real thing every time.

In honor of my good friend Daniel’s birthday, I am sharing my current recipe. Happy Birthday, Dan!


Kao Soi 1.0
1 knob of ginger, chopped
2-3 shallots, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp of vegetable oil
1 Tbsp Yellow curry Paste
1 Tbsp Red curry paste
1 can of coconut milk
1 cup of chicken broth
1 lb. of chicken (traditionally uses thigh quarters), sliced
1 Tbsp of sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce

Noodles
2 1/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1-2 Tbsp Water
Oil for Frying


I have a pasta maker, but if you would like, you certainly can buy Asian egg noodles and use those instead. I have not tried frying those to make the crispy noodles, but it might work!

Garnish
Pickled Mustard Greens
Shallots
Lime

1. Place chopped ginger and shallots in blender (or food processor) with ~2 Tbsp of water. Blend to make a paste

2. Heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in large sauce pan
3. Add ginger/shallot paste and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant


4. Add the yellow and red curry pastes (1 Tbsp of each) and cook for 1-2 miinutes


5. Add 1/2 can of coconut milk (~6-7 oz)

6. Add chicken and cook until cooked through
7. Add 1 cup of chicken broth (can add more if desire thinner soup)
8. Add 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp soy sauce

9. Before serving, add the remaining 1/2 can of coconut milk


For the noodles:
1. Mix the flour, eggs, salt and baking soda. 

2. Add water, 1/2 Tbsp at a time until dough comes together.
3. Knead dough for ~30 seconds

4. Cover and let sit for ~30 mintues

5. Make noodles


6. Boil for around 3 minutes

For crispy noodles, I take around 1/6 of the dough, make spaghetti noodles and deep fry them in about 4-5 batches.






Putting it all together:
1. Place noodles in a bowl
2. Cover with soup
3. Add chopped pickled mustard greens, shallots, and lime



4. Top with crispy noodles

5. Enjoy! 
 

A Summer Project





I don't post about every art project that I work on, but this one was significant enough that I thought I should document it here.

On May 27th of 2014 my sister gave birth to her son Henry Steven at 34 weeks. He passed away on that same day. In memory of this beautiful child I decided to paint a familiar mountain scene that would act as a reminder of how the scenery looked in my sister's city of Provo. I chose to depict Squaw Peak due to it's proximity to the Provo Temple and it's familiarity. I asked several friends and family living in Provo at the time of Henry's birth to photograph the mountains, sky and clouds to help me capture the conditions of Provo in springtime. The frame is oriented vertically so as to draw the eye heavenward.

This project was an important challenge for me since I am not a landscape artist and am not well practiced in acrylic painting, but was a necessary expression of sympathy for a loss that touched many people close to me. I was happy to give this as a gift to my sister and hope it will be a gateway toward healing for those who view it.

Homemade Nutella!




Today I felt compelled to post about one of our favorite new recipes, homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread. The recipe we use is actually stolen (you shouldn't be surprised by the source by now) from America's Test kitchen. We have been cooking our way through their "D.I.Y Cookbook" and have been thrilled with how much better some kitchen staples (like cheese, sauces and jams) taste when cooked at home! This Nutella not only tastes better than the original but it's probably healthier because it uses a lot less oil and more nuts.


CHOCOLATE-HAZELNUT SPREAD
makes 1 1/2 cups
Make today, enjoy immediately
from
 The America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook
• 2 cups (8 ounces) hazelnuts
• 1 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1/3 cup cocoa powder
• 2 tablespoons hazelnut, walnut, or vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• teaspoon salt
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Place hazelnuts in single layer on rimmed baking sheet and roast until fragrant and dark brown, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through roasting. Transfer hazelnuts to medium bowl. When hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, place second medium bowl on top shake vigorously to remove skins.
Process peeled hazelnuts in food processor until their oil is released and they form a smooth, loose paste, about 5 minutes, scraping down bowl often.
Add sugar, cocoa powder, oil, vanilla, and salt and process until fully incorporated and mixture begins to lossen slightly and becomes glossy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Transfer spread to jar with tight-fitting lid. Chocolate-hazelnut spread can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 1 month.

We don't have a food processor but have found that using our Vitamix gets the job done just as well. We also tend not to use as much oil (usually about 1 tablespoon added gradually). Vegetable oil tastes just fine but someday we will try it with hazelnut oil. 

This post is dedicated to our friend Maria who, once upon a time, graciously sent us a jar of Nutella to replace the one that was confiscated by the airport security! Hope you enjoy this recipe!