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Archive for March, 2008

Banana Bread

Sorry, no picture but I have made this banana bread many many times and it always turns out great.

Banana Bread (allrecipes.com)

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

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Split Pea Soup

I haven’t been baking or cooking much because one of my dogs (Kaylee) had double patella surgery on March 4th. She requires constant monitoring for the next 8 weeks (til April 30th), so anything I make in the kitchen has to be done pretty fast. I did manage to make this soup a couple weeks ago while I got a break from watching her.

Split Pea Soup (From smellslikehome blog and Barefoot Contessa)

Ingredients:
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (3 small)
1 pound dried split green peas
8 cups chicken stock or water

Directions:
In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of split peas, and chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

I found this to be extremely thick especially after refrigerating it. I ended up thinning it out with water when I would reheat it. Otherwise it tasted very good and was pretty simple to make.

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I’ve always been leery or making risotto. It sounded difficult and time consuming. However, it was actually pretty easy and so very good. I will be making more of this in the future.

Shrimp and Goat Cheese Risotto (Food and Wine)

Ingredients:
1 quart chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
3/4 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice (8 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup soft fresh goat cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Add the shrimp, cover and simmer over moderate heat until just cooked, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a plate to cool. Cover the stock and keep it at barely a simmer.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until it is coated with oil, about 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1 scant cup of the simmering stock and cook, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed. Continue to add the stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it is absorbed. The risotto is done when the rice is tender but still slightly firm and creamy, about 25 minutes total. Stir in the shrimp. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the basil, goat cheese, Parmesan, ginger and lemon zest. Season the risotto with salt and pepper and serve.

This served about 3 people.

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Lemon Souffle

My lemon tree has a ton of lemons this year and I love getting to make different lemon desserts.

Our lemon tree:

One of my most favorite deserts is souffle and this lemon souffle does not disappoint. Souffles may seem hard to make, but they really aren’t too bad. The hardest part is tempering the eggs with the hot milk, but just go slow and you should be fine. The other trick is to remove the custard (yolk/milk mixture) from the heat just as it starts to get thick. If you wait to long it will get too thick.

Lemon Souffle (Epicurious)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk (I used skim)
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
5 large egg whites

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes with butter and sugar. Bring milk to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, and yolks in bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Return mixture to saucepan; bring to simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Whisk in lemon juice and peel. Cool.
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Continue beating until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into lemon mixture. Fold in remaining whites. Spoon mixture into prepared dishes, dividing equally. Bake until puffed and brown on top, about 18 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note: I used 4 larger ramekins. I baked 2 and then froze the other two. They cook up pretty well straight from the freezer.

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Tiki Masala

While at Costco, I spotted a Tiki Masala sauce.

It was quite good for a pre-packaged sauce. I just added chicken, veggies, and served over brown rice.

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Mee Goreng

Many days of the week I end up cooking a “semi-homemade” kind of meal. I have some pre-made sauce or curry and then I just add veggie and meat and serve with rice or noodles. This time, I found this delicious Mee Goreng sauce at Ranch 99. Me Goreng is an Indian dish that you can find at many Malaysian restaurants. Its usually a wok-fried noodle dish with shrimp, tofu, and veggies. I made mine with rice noodles but egg noodles are more traditional. I also used shrimp, veggies, and egg.

Mee Goreng

Ingredients:
1 jar Mee Goreng Sauce
1/2 lb rice or egg noodles
1 package mixed stir fry veggies (as many as you want)
2 eggs
1 lb shrimp
olive oil

Directions:
– Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok and heat at medium heat. Once hot, add shrimp and cook until just pink. Remove from pan.
– Add 1/2 tablesoon oil to wok and heat. Beat eggs and cook in wok. Remove when cooked.
– Cook rice noodles according to package.
– Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok and heat. Cook veggies until just tender. Remove and set aside.
– Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok and heat. Add rice noodles and Me Goreng sauce. Stir fry for 10 minutes.
– Add shrimp, eggs, and veggies to noodles and cook until warm (1-2 minutes).
– Serve!

Note: I used a stir fry veggie mixture with carrots, broccoli, and snow peas.

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