Monday, January 30, 2017

Hibiscus Glazed Heart Shaped Buttermilk Doughnuts

I'd like to formally introduce my first Valentine's post for 2017. Drumroll, please. Because these Valentine's inspired doughnuts are drumroll worthy. 

A rep for The Wild Hibiscus Flower Company was generous enough to send me an assortment of their cool, creative products made with exotic ingredients. At Christmas time I created Hazelnut Hibiscus Advent Linzer Cookies with the hibiscus flowers in syrup.  There were so many other gorgeous teas, extracts and salt to choose from, I decided to save them for this year's Valentine's posts.

These doughnuts use high concentration hibiscus flower extract, made from fresh cold-pressed hibiscus flowers, dried hibiscus and cane sugar and 100% pure dried flower Heart-Tee -Hibiscus Tea from the company. I added the extract to the dough and the glaze. I sprinkled the tea over the wet glaze as an added decorative and flavor boost. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Chicken Breast with Ginger Orange Parsnips

I ripped this recipe out of a German cooking magazine a long time ago and recently discovered it in a pile. I wish I could say there was any evidence on the page of where it came from so I could give proper credit but there wasn't any on the page.

If anyone has a clue of where the credit should go, please let me know and I will immediately thank the source.

I left out some ingredients and tweaked the recipe a bit. The result was a perfect winter dish using seasonal parsnips, fresh ginger root and bright orange fillets.  Originally, I was going to change up the chicken for boneless pork. Although I am happy I stuck with chicken, I will definitely try the pork next time. 

The chicken has a marinade time of 3 hours but it's well worth it for the resulting flavor. The recipe takes a bit of work as the parsnips and the chicken are cooked separately, then combined. I hate that having to clean two pans instead of one but as soon as I tasted this dish, I forgot all about cleanup. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mustard Potato Soup

Most times, unless I have people coming over for dinner, my blog recipes are only tasted. I rarely eat full portions and give most of it away to friends or to the needy. However, I've learned when I find the perfect cold weather soup, just sit down and eat it.  

This soup was a combination of spotting a mustard fish soup in a German cooking magazine and the fact I'm still using up bits and bobs left over in my fridge and pantry from the holidays. What started as a quest to use up leftover potatoes and cream became my version of that original soup recipe. It's now officially one of my favorite soups. I love when that happens.

I had a bit of sweet onion in the fridge so I threw that in as well. The soup is creamy, the potatoes add the heft and the mustards add tangy spicy flavor. The bonus aspect is, from peeling the potatoes to pouring the soup into bowls, it only takes a little over a half hour. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Vanilla Bean Madeleines with Kumquat Glaze

Lately, there were too many times I opened the fridge and found a lonely container of kumquats staring back at me. I would eat a few and shut the door.

I refrained from eating them all thinking I would make something with them. My chance came yesterday when I was struggling with a madeleine recipe idea. Nothing was working in the decorating department but the cookies themselves were turning out great. 

Then I spied the kumquats again and had the idea to make a glaze out of them. I pureed them and made a sugar glaze which proved to be the perfect pairing for the vanilla bean madeleines. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Roasted Smoked Garlic Lemon Hummus

When I find a new ingredient I like, I ride it until the wheels fall off.  My new favorite is smoked garlic. I was only able to but a ginormous amount of if on a stalk at Whole Foods. The first recipe I made with is were these savory Whole Wheat Red Pepper Smoked Garlic Scones.

Although the scones were delicious, I regretted I did not roast the garlic before adding them to the recipe's batter. 

This time I roasted them which turned the flavor slightly sweet. Sweet smoked garlic made for hummus heaven. Adding a sting of citrus with lemon juice and zest rounded out the overall flavor nicely.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pizza Rolls - King Arthur Flour's Bakalong for January 2017

You all know by now how much I love my bakealongs.  January's King Arthur Flour's Bakealong recipe was simple with impressive results. A twist on homemade pizza, these bun versions delivered the same flavor in pretty individual spirals. 

Mix up a simple dough by hand or with the dough hook of your mixer. 

After letting the dough rise, roll it out into a rectangle, slather with tomato sauce, sprinkle with grated cheese and chopped pepperoni.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Red Beet Walnut Chocolate Cake

Never been a beet fan. I've tried many times to convert but I have no love for the strong earthy taste. However, the color has lured me back over and over again. Over my years of trying to like beets, there have been ways I've found to enjoy them if I can change their texture or dilute the flavor. Once I created caramelized beet chips for a Thanksgiving salad and found them surprisingly delicious. This motivated me to experiment on.

Since then, using them as an ingredient in baked goods, like this Whole Wheat Red Beet Bread I made last year pleased my palate. This Roasted Beet Tarragon Hummus was also delicious. 

And that gorgeous color. It just makes me happy. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Dark Beer Horseradish Beef Stew

The temperatures here in NYC have gone from frigid to spring-like. Crazy pants weather has got my kitchen confounded. I made this stew when a warm bowl of hearty flavorful spice was needed to take the edge off a brutal winter chill.

Today I'm walking around without a coat in January and it just feels wrong to post it. Whatever. I am sure that winter biatch will be back soon so now we're all well prepared. 

The dark beer and horseradish flavors take this stew from ordinary to extraordinary in flavor. The basic ingredients are simple, potatoes, carrots, leek and onions. Switch these up any way you like. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Warm Sour Potatoes with Bacon

Bacon is a hog. Its name and sexy flavor elbows all other ingredients out of the way overshadowing them. I will admit bacon adds great flavor to this recipe but the sour tang is really the star of this dish. 

I have a secret weapon in my kitchen. It's a German product called Essig Essenz, a concentrated white vinegar. You can find it on Amazon and some specialty stores in the USA.  Unfortunately, at those places,  it costs ten time more than in Germany which is usually between 1 and 2 euro. I make sure to tuck one in my suitcase on my return trip. 

Essig Essenz has 25% acidity in comparison to the 5% contained in most household white vinegar. This is vinegar on sour steroids so you would use less to create the sour flavor. 

If you are lucky enough to have it, I recommend starting with one tablespoon, tasting the result and adding more 1/2 teaspoon at a time to the sauce until it has the perfect sour flavor for you. For those of you who are Essig Essenz-less, substitute apple cider vinegar as instructed in the recipe below. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Rutabaga Apple Rösti with Hazelnuts & Emmenthaler

So yeah I ditched the potatoes for this rösti. But I packed it so many flavorful ingredients, you won't notice. Promise.

Roasted hazelnuts, a grated green apple, sweet onion and Emmenthaler cheese are all mixed with grated rutabaga to form the rösti.

I made smaller pancake sized portions but feel free to make 4 extra large ones with this recipe. I find the smaller ones easy to handle. I'm not the greatest food flipper and am a bit intimidated by having to turn over a giant sized anything. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Chicken Mushroom Prune Tart

I love making a winter tart. A warm one dish meal gives you everything you need while looking fancy but not with a huge amount of fuss. Throw down a side salad to accompany the tart and you have an easy meal to make for guests. 

One of my favorites is this Pear Camembert Sage Tart.

Many times I do what I call "kitchen sink it". Meaning, I see what's leftover in my vegetable crisper and pantry and throw together ingredients I think might work well in a tart. 

This chicken prune version is a version of a quiche I once saw in a German cooking magazine. I was intrigued with the idea of sauteed chicken and prunes together in a winter tart. I tweaked the recipe a bit and encased it in a sour cream crust. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Red Pepper Smoked Garlic Whole Wheat Scones

For those of you who have sworn off carbs for the new year, it's time to get back on the carb train. Really. enough already.

I have a super flavorful suggestion here for your binge. Savory scones packed with spicy smoky flavor. Who could resist them? Not. me.

Whole Foods has the nerve to be selling these sexy stalks of smoked garlic. I stared longingly at them right before Thanksgiving but I pinched myself into focusing on my shopping list for the big meal and moved on.

These fragrant stalks turned up again during a recent Whole Foods visit. I had no choice but to break down and throw one in my shopping basket. The reason? I have been pondering a new scone recipe studded with red peppers. This smoky garlic was the perfect match for them.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Schnitzel Casserole in Thyme Mushroom Cream Sauce

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year's celebration with family and friends. My first post of the new year is a chicken schnitzel and vegetable comfort casserole to help get you through the next winter months.

I grow two abundant herb gardens, one on our NYC terrace and one in Pennsylvania. I hate buying supermarket herbs outside of the growing season. In late autumn I try to pick and freeze whatever I can before the frost gets them.

However, if I don't have any fresh frozen on hand I will break down and buy fresh. It makes a big flavor difference. over using the dried version.