Monthly Archives: February 2011

Cranberry Oat Delights


During my quest to use a 5-pound of whole wheat flour, I made these cranberry oat delights. I have to say, this is the only recipe I made that used entirely whole wheat flour rather than a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour that I liked.

The recipe calls for dried cranberries, and I used craisins although I’m not sure I was supposed to. Also, I used some slivered almonds that I had in the fridge rather than walnuts or pecans. All in all, I liked these a lot. It just made a TON of cookies, and after two weeks I just couldn’t eat any more and had to get rid of the last few. The cinnamon was also a little strong; I’m not sure it needed two whole teaspoons.

Cranberry Oat Delights
(recipe from King Arthur Flour)

3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups (4 5/8 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups dried fruit: cranberries, diced apples, chopped dates, raisins, chopped apricots, or the dried fruits of your choice
1 cup (3 3/4 ounces) diced pecans or walnuts

Cream together the butter, sugar, spices, leaveners, salt, and vanilla. Beat in the egg. Add the oats, flour, fruit, and nuts, and stir to combine.

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies in a preheated 350°F oven for 7 minutes; reverse the pans on the racks, and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, until cookies are beginning to brown around the edges, but are still soft in the center. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack. Yield: about 4 dozen cookies.

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Amazing Salad Dressing

If you have never tried making your own salad dressing, I definitely recommend it. It’s about 18 times easier than you think it’s going to be and so delicious. Just look at those instructions! It’s two lines!

This is a sesame vinaigrette I made recently, I’ve been eating a ton of salad lately just to get to use it. I couldn’t find chili garlic paste and didn’t have time to venture over to the Asian grocery, so I used chili garlic sauce instead.

Sweet Sesame Soy Vinaigrette
from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine

Ingredients:

1/3 Cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 Teaspoons Asian chili garlic paste
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
2 Teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Instructions:

Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and chili paste in medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk in oils, whisk in sesame seeds. can be refrigerated up to 3 weeks.

Cooking Romanesco


Romanesco is a variety of cauliflower that is just gorgeous. It is actually a natural fractal, which is “a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole” (thanks wikipedia!) In this case, it is a logarithmic spiral, and each bud consists of a series of smaller buds that are also logarithmic spirals. As soon as I saw it at the farmers market, I of course thought: Awesome. But what does it taste like?

I took it home and considered what to do with it. Here’s another view, of me contemplating this strange vegetable:


Ultimately, I decided on cooking it the same way I do cauliflower. So I chopped it up. At this point, it looks like a tiny felled evergreen forest!


I roasted it on 450, tossed with olive oil and salt. I used a grey sea salt that I had instead of regular kosher salt. Then, when it came out, I grated fresh parmesan over it. I understand that it looks a bit burned. That is called caramelization, and it tastes delicious.


Sidebar: ignore that fish. It tasted like the void, as Travis says. It’s as if the fish had negative flavor, so that it not only was bland, but it pulled the flavor out of the bacon and sent it off into some abyss. I ate a lot of romanesco.