Friday, March 26, 2010

American Pancakes

 

Depending where you are from you either call these pancakes or American pancakes.  Either way they are delicious.  We have these for breakfast with fresh berries or really anything you want.  You can make these plain or add berries, bananas, apples, etc.  I have some examples at the bottom of the recipe.  But my favorite is blueberries.  A few weeks back I also did Swedish Pancakes.  Which version is your favorite?

American Pancakes

Ingredients

Makes: about 12 medium pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tbsp melted butter

Filling:
2 cups of berries

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whip in eggs and milk. Mix in melted butter. Allow batter to rest at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook pancakes on a hot greased griddle or a large non-stick frying pan using butter. Sprinkle berries over the batter immediately after pouring it on the griddle or pan. It is time to flip pancake when the batter surface is covered with little breaking bubbles. Serve with real warm maple syrup.

Other possible fillings:
Other fruit can be added to batter immediately after it poured on the griddle: strawberries, raspberries, sliced bananas, toasted nuts, granola, apples or pears.

Sautéed pears or apples:
Peel, core and thinly slice 2pears or 2 apples. Melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add fruit, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Sauté until fruit is soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. If using apples, sprinkle with cinnamon. The fruit may be mixed in the pancake batter or serve warm as topping.

Other toppings:
Cranberries: Place 1 cup whole cranberries and 1 cup maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes to allow cranberries to pop. Serve warm.

Honey and Spice: Warm 1 cup honey, 4 star anise, and 4 cinnamon sticks in small saucepan over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Use warm over pancakes. The mixture keeps up to a week in an airtight container.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Picture from The Best Thing i Ever Ate website

 

I like the food network but I don’t watch it very often due to many reasons but the main reason is that I do not have time.  However, I have a TIVO, can’t live without that and the ONLY thing that I record from the Food Network is The Best Thing I Ever Ate.  Have you see it?  If not do!  Ever episode has a theme for example Salty, Crispy, Pizza, chocolate etc. Celebrity chefs and others present each of their favorite item based on the theme and then they describe how it is prepared and then they show you them eating it.  There aren’t many TV shows that make me drool, but this TV show makes me drool.  Watch it and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guacamole

I don’t know about you but I love Guacamole and it is very easy to make too.  Most of the time when people serve guacamole it is store brought and it never taste the same as fresh made.  Next time make it from scratch and it is healthy too.  It is very easy and takes about 10 minutes.

Guacamole

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove finely chopped (optional)
1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper
1 plum tomatoes finely chopped
1 Serrano chilies seeded and minced (optional for spiciness)

Cut the avocado in half and remove pits. Set one pit aside. Chop one half of one of the avocados into small chunks and set aside.  With a spoon, scoop the soft flesh from peel of the remaining 3 halves into a bowl.  Add remaining ingredients except for tomatoes and avocado chunks and mash with a fork.

Stir in tomato and fold in avocado chunks, making sure not to mash them.  Remove to a serving dish and place the pit in the center. This decoration actually keeps the dip from turning brown.  Refrigerate if needed for a few hours.  Serve with chips.

If you want the dip spicy add the chilies.

Serves about 6 people.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Swedish Pizza Salad “Pizzasallad”

In Sweden this traditional salad is served in most pizza restaurants, because of its popularity it got the name pizza salad.  You can do this salad with only cabbage or with shallots, peppers and carrots.  Everyone includes either one of them or neither, it is really up to your taste.

I love this salad and it is so easy to make, on top of it, you can eat it the day after as well.

Read more…

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cauliflower

When I was a kid I used to hate Cauliflower, then my mother made this dish and ever since I always serve Cauliflower this way and everyone loves it.  Even my friends that say they do not like Cauliflower like it.

Cauliflower can easily be a  substitute for starchier foods such as potatoes and rice or as a side vegetable.

On top of that Cauliflower is a very good source of fiber. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C, a very good source of Vitamin K and folate, and a good source of Vitamin B6 and potassium.

In addition, cauliflower is one of the cruciferous vegetables, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. It also has a fairly high level of antioxidant phytonutrients on a per-calorie basis.

This is a very easy recipe.  Try this out and let me know what you think?

Cauliflower

½ cauliflowers
2 tsp butter
¼ cup plain bread crumbs

I usually boil the cauliflower first to make it a little softer.  I boil the cauliflower for 3 minutes in boiling water; you can also steam it if you wish.   Once the Cauliflower is steamed or cooked let it dry off.

In a frying pan add the butter and let is soften, once the butter is softened pour the bread crumbs all over the butter and let it brown a little about 2 minutes.  Once your butter and bread crumbs are brown pour in the cauliflower and mix it all together, about another 2 minutes. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cod with Miso

 

I try to have fish at least once a week and I usually end up buying Cod in the store, especially if it is fresh.  Today I wanted to try something different.  I always like Black Cod and Miso sauce when I am out at a restaurant and they have it on the menu, it is light and tasty.  And if it is prepared right it melts in your mouth.  So I went out on the Internet to try to find something similar to prepare with my fresh cod file I had at home.  I came across a great little blog called Rasa Malaysia and in her blog she had this recipe called Black Cod with MisoI adjusted it for my tasting and it turned out great.  With this cod I served Udon noodles and Brussel Sprouts with Black bean Sauce.

Please let me know your cod recipes, I am always looking for new ones to try.

Cod with Miso

Adapted from: Rasa Malaysia

Ingredients

1 fresh cod fillet about 1 lb cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin
4 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons sugar

Mix the marinate ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and set aside while you prepare your side dishes.  
Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
Preheat a frying pan.
Place the fish on the frying pan and lightly grill on both sides until the surface turns brown.
Transfer the fish fillets to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Heat the remainder of the marinade in the frying pan and use as extra sauce.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Quiche

This is a perfect brunch.  If you are having people over or if you are doing a shower this is a perfect dish you can prepare the night before and just cook it in the morning.  One of the hardest things with brunch is to keep the eggs warm or get up early enough to cook and prep in the morning and that is why I love things I can prepare the night before.  Not only that; Quiche makes an excellent left over the day after.  You can put almost anything you want in a Quiche, but the below recipe is my favorite.  They key to this Quiche is to cook the pie crust with Dijon mustard, that is what I think makes the delicious flavor of the whole thing.  Here is a link to my pie crust recipe.

Let me know what you like to put in your Quiche.

Print Recipe

Quiche

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 50 Minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 Pie Crust

4 ounces spinach

¼ cup mushrooms

¼ lb meat bacon or ham

1 cup grated Swiss cheese

½ cup cottage cheese

½ cup other cheese

Nutmeg

Basil

Pepper

3 eggs

1 cup cream

Dijon mustard


Directions:

Prepare pie crust at 450 F for 10 minutes with some Dijon mustard on it. Then let cool.


Prepare mushroom, spinach & meat with nutmeg, basil, butter and salt and pepper.


Reduce heat to 350 degrees.


Sprinkle half of the cheese on the bottom of pie shell, then meat, spinach, mushroom combo, and then rest of cheese.


In a medium bowl, beat eggs and light cream, nutmeg and pepper until well mixed but not frothy.

Pour into pie shell. Sprinkle top with nutmeg.


Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden and center is firm when gently shaken. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.


If the top of the quiche gets brown before the middle is done. Lower the temperature and let it cool slowly.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Pie Crust

This pie crust was one of the first things I learned to make.  I put it in my first handmade cookbook and I still use this recipe today.  The key to a great pie crust is to use butter not shortening (I don’t even know what it is) I like the natural stuff.  And ice cold water! Yes, you have to use ice cold water.  I usually make a few of these and then freeze them to have it handy.  I use this pie crust for pies and also for my Quiches

Print Recipe

Pie Crust

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

6 tbs butter

1/2 tsp Salt

2 tbs Cold water

1 cup All-purpose flour


Directions:

This is for one 9” pie crust.


Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter using pastry blender until all the flour is just blended into form pea sized chunks. Sprinkle water one tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with fork until dough will form a ball. Flour rolling surface and pin lightly. Roll dough into circle and trim one inch larger than upside down pie plate. Loosen dough carefully. Fold into quarters. Unfold and press into pie plate. Trim edge even with pie plate. Flip into pie plate. Moisten pastry edge with water.


Bake at 425 F until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.


Enjoy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Potato Gratin

I love potatoes, baked potatoes are probably my favorite but whether baked or fried, roasted, or boiled I still love potatoes. I don’t know why maybe the Scandinavian in me or the way I grew up; we had potatoes with almost every meal.

This time I am making potato gratin.  Gratin is from the French language in which the word “gratter” meaning to “to scrape” as of the “scrapings” of bread or cheese, and gratiné, from the transitive verb form of the word for crust. Cooking au gratin is a technique rather than exclusively a preparation of potatoes, such as a gratin dauphinois, and many other foods may be prepared in this way, including various meat and pasta dishes. Usually when you cook au gratin you use breadcrumbs, however I do not like that technique, also when you make gratin dauphiniois you do not use cheese, again not my technique.  I like my potatoes prepared with cream, onions, garlic and cream.

A good potato Gratin should be crispy on the top and bottom and have a rich, cheesy taste. If you look closely at your gratin upon taking it out of the oven, you will notice the cream has turned into a curdled, cheese-like substance. This is a most desirable trait in a gratin, as the potatoes absorb water from the liquid, you get a concentration of fat and protein, just as you would with fresh cheese curds.

Then other folks add all kinds of things into their gratin, anything from adding yams, broccoli, cauliflower, scallops and many more.  I like mine simple.  But if you have a good gratin recipe with other ingredients please share, I am curious to try it out.

Potato Gratin

Ingredients

½ lbs Potatoes
2 tbs butter
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup Emmental cheese
¼ cup Gruyère cheese
½ onion
1 Garlic clove
Salt
White pepper
Optional ¼ cup of chicken stock

Peel potatoes (if you wish) and slice them into thin slices.  I usually boil them for 5 minutes to make sure they are evenly cooked. 

Then butter your pan and lay first layer of potatoes down.  Then put the onion and garlic on top of that.  Then salt and pepper and then half the cheese. Then put another layer of potatoes down and then some more salt and pepper. Pour a little chicken stock as well if you wish for taste otherwise just pour the cream over the potatoes and then the rest of the cheese on top, I like it both ways without or without the chicken stock.

Put it in the oven 400F for about 30 minutes

Thursday, March 11, 2010

If you only had a weekend in Seattle where would you go and eat?

Picture from Roger Reyes Photostream

Recently I got an email from someone that was coming to Seattle just for the weekend and wanted restaurant recommendations. This is very difficult because the restaurants I think should all be in the Seattle downtown and not only should they be in good locations, but the food should be memorable.  That is so hard to narrow down.  Especially since one of my favorite restaurants is located outside of Seattle, Café Juanita which is in Kirkland. So if you are staying downtown, want walking distance to your places, and you only have a few days in Seattle I would recommend going to some of the following places:

Serious Pie – Excellent Pizza, does not take reservations so go early but it is also open for lunch.  Best pizza in Seattle.
316 Virginia St. (bet. 3rd & 4th Aves.)
Seattle, WA
206-838-7388
Serious Pie on Urbanspoon

Matt’s in the Market– Local food great atmosphere.  Highly recommend for a fist time visitor.
94 Pike St. (1st Ave.)
Seattle, WA
206-467-7909
Matt's in the Market on Urbanspoon

Canlis – Excellent Food but very expensive. Also need a taxi for a few minutes.  Or you can take the SLUT
2576 Aurora Ave. N. (Halladay St., south of Aurora Bridge)
Seattle, WA
206-283-3313
Canlis on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Zoe – Excellent food, also the same owner as Quinn’s.  
2137 Second Ave. (Blanchard St.)
Seattle, WA
206-256-2060
Restaurant Zoe on Urbanspoon

Shiro’s Sushi – Favorite Sushi Place in Seattle.
2401 Second Ave. (Battery St.)
Seattle, WA
206-443-9844
Shiro's on Urbanspoon

Campagne or Café Campagne – Excellent French Food great place for brunch or lunch.
86 Pine St. (1st Ave.)
Seattle, WA
206-728-2800
Cafe Campagne on Urbanspoon

Dahlia Lounge – Local place good solid food and order the donuts for dessert.
2001 Fourth Ave. (Virginia St.)
Seattle, WA
206-682-4142
Dahlia Lounge on Urbanspoon

Le Pichet – French little bistro great for breakfast or lunch.
1933 First Ave. (Virginia St.)
Seattle, WA
206-256-1499
Le Pichet on Urbanspoon

Tamarind Tree – Excellent Vietnamese Food.  Probably need a taxi from downtown but should only take a few minutes.
1036 S. Jackson St. (12th Ave.)
Seattle, WA
206-860-1404
Tamarind Tree on Urbanspoon

Wildginger – If you can’t go to Tamarind tree then go here.  It is a large place and always very crowded but the food is really good. This is Asian Fusion type of food and not Vietnamese
1401 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101-2105
(206) 623-4450
Wild Ginger on Urbanspoon

If you are scrolling through Pike Place market and you just want to grab a sandwich go to DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine in Economy Market Building and then go to Daily Dozen Doughnuts right outside for some fresh warm donuts.

Hope you enjoy your time in Seattle.  Let us know where you went and what you thought.

For Seattleites, what would your list be if you only had a weekend in Seattle?

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