What’s Next on my Plate:

Hawaiian Mahi Mahi rolls stuffed with mango and macadamia nut stuffing

Æbelskiver (Danish Filled Pancakes)

Chicken Canzanese with Polenta Cakes

Lillet Poached Pears with Thyme & Pepper

Triple Lemon Baked Doughnuts

(German Braised Rabbit Stew)

Pesto Goat Cheese Chicken Cordon Bleu

Zucchini Bread with Pistachios and Chocolate Chunks

Jul 22nd, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of an orange
1 1/4 cups grated zucchini (about 1 medium sized zucchini)
1 large egg
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 packed cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf with parchment paper and generously spray with cooking spray.

Place the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, salt and orange zest in a medium mixing bowl. Using a balloon whisk, vigorously stir the dry ingredients together until they are mixed and uniform in color. Add the zucchini to the dry ingredients and toss to coat.

Place the egg, yogurt, melted butter, orange juice, sugar, vanilla and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a fork (or whisk) until smooth, with all the ingredients incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and fold together, until just combined – don’t over mix. Add the chopped chocolate chips and pistachios to the batter and fold to incorporate. You should have the chocolate and pistachios evenly distributed and there should be no more pockets of dry ingredients, but again do not over mix. Fold until just incorporated.

Fill the prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaves comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and cooling completely on wire rack.

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Baked Parmesean Zucchini Fries

Jul 22nd, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

2 medium zucchini
1 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and black pepper
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on the sheet.

Slice zucchini in half crosswise, then slice each half lengthwise into 3/4 inch sticks. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir to combine. Crack the eggs into another bowl and beat lightly. In a third bowl, combine panko, parmesan, and melted butter and mix to coat. Add garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Dredge each zucchini stick through the flour mixture, and then the beaten egg. Coat thoroughly with the panko mixture, and place on the wire rack. Spray lightly with cooking spray.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until panko is lightly browned. Cool for about ten minutes and serve with dipping sauce of choice.

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Chimichurri Sauce (Version 2)

Jul 21st, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
4-5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño, finely chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
3/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
3/4 -1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, shallot, and jalapeño in a medium bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, parsley, and oregano. Using a fork, whisk in oil to desired consistency.

Can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Let come to room temperature before using (the olive oil may solidify).

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Red Currant Jam

Jul 20th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1 quart red currants
1/2 cup water
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
a few tablespoons of cassis or vodka
(because red currants naturally have such a high pectin level, no additional pectin is needed)

This is a small batch recipe because currants can be both difficult to find and expensive unless you grow your own. But if you have an abundance of them, by all means double the recipe.

Wash the currants and remove them from their stems. In the meantime, sterilize your canning jars, per your usual method. While the jars are sterilizing, put the red currants, water and lemon juice in a large, non-reactive pot. Gently crush the currants with a potato masher. Add the sugar. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.

Once the sugar is completely dissolved, raise the heat to high and boil, stirring often, until the jam reaches the gel point (about 8-10 minutes). Remove the red currant jam from the heat and skim off any foam that has formed on the surface. Ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars leaving 1/4 to 1/2-inch head space. Let cool with the lids off (cover with a clean dish towel). Once completely cooled, pour on a small amount (1/2 teaspoon per glass) of cassis or vodka and swirl to have the alcohol cover the jam (this will help sterilize a bit as well). Screw on canning lids. You can simply allow the jars to cool and then store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. For longer term storage at room temperature, process the jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes per your usual method.

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Raspberry Gin Sling

Jul 18th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

for the simple syrup
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
4 teaspoons lime zest

for the cocktail
2 parts gin
1 part Chambord
1 part raspberry simple syrup
a few dashed orange bitters
Sparkling water
fresh lime wedge and additional fresh raspberries, to garnish (optional)
mint, to garnish (optional)

To make the syrup: Add the raspberries, sugar and water to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until the raspberries start to release their juices, then mash them to break them down and stir in the lime zest and lime juice. Stir to combine then simmer until the mixture thickens slightly – it’ll take about 5 minutes for that to happen.

Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof measuring cup (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Press on the solids to get as much syrup as possible, then discard them. Let the syrup cool slightly, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (to allow it to cool completely). Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

In a rocks glass over ice, combine gin, Chambord, raspberry simple syrup and a few dashes of bitters. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge and fresh raspberries (optional).

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