Monday, October 10, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookies, America's Test Kitchen recipe

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, (8 3/4 ounces)
½ teaspoon baking soda (mix it with the flour)
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, (1 3/4 sticks)
½ cup granulated sugar, (3 1/2 ounces)
¾ cups packed dark brown sugar, (5 1/4 ounces) (see note)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips, or chunks (see note)
¾ cup chopped pecans, or walnuts, toasted (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Brown 10 tbsp butter about 2 minutes after melting until dark golden brown and nutty smelling. Add the other 4 tbsp butter and melt.
Whisk the sugars, salt, and vanilla together. Add the egg and yolk and mix. Let it sit 3 min, then whisk for 30 seconds again, then wait 3 min and whisk 30 seconds again. Maybe one more time. Should be thick, smooth, and shiny.
Stir in flour and baking soda mixture.
Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Divide into 16 cookies, bake one tray at a time, 10-14 min.

Dan's note: I'd make them smaller, these are huge. Maybe 32 cookies? They say the bigger cookies have a good mix of chewy and crispy. But man, they're too big.

Source: America's Test Kitchen,

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pumpkin Kootu

1/4 cup kala vatana (dried black peas)
salt to taste
2 1/2 cups chopped red pumpkin
1 tbsp coconut oil (or any other refined oil)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp urad dal (split black lentils)
5 curry leaves

To Be Ground Into A Smooth Paste:
3/4 cup freshly grated coconut
8 whole dry kashmiri red chillies, broken into pieces
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup water

Soak the kala vatana overnight. Drain well. Cook them: if you have a pressure cooker, combine the drained kala vatana and 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 4 whistles. Otherwise just cook them for a while.

Grind the paste ingredients together, set aside.

Add the pumpkin, 1 cup of water and salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 8 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Add the prepared paste, mix gently and cook on a medium flame for 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Keep aside.

For the tempering, heat the oil in small pan and add the mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds
Pour this tempering over the curry and mix well.


Chettinad Curry

Chettinad Masala:
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 whole dry red chillies, broken into pieces
3 cardamoms
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 cloves
1" cinnamon
1 tbsp oil

2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp broken cashewnuts
1" piece ginger
6 garlic clove
3 tbsp oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 tomatoes, blanched and grated
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
4 to 5 curry leaves
3 cups boiled mixed vegetables (cauliflower, peas, french beans)
1/2 cup coconut

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the chettttinad masala ingredients till you get a roasted aroma. Keep aside.

Soak the poppy seeds and cashew nuts in hot water for 5 minutes.
Drain, add the ginger and garlic and grind with the roasted chettinad masala and ¼ cup water to make a fine paste. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in a kadhai, add the onions and saute till the onions turn translucent.
Add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder and cook till the tomatoes are well blended with the masala and the oil separates from the sides.
Add the ground paste and curry leaves and saute for 2 minutes.
Add 1 cup of water and vegetables,cover and cook till the gravy thickens.
Add the coconut milk, mix well and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot.


Rachel's Bitters

3 allspice berries
1 star anise
¼ teaspoon each pink peppercorn, gentian root, wild cherry bark, lemon peel, sarsaparilla
150 mL vodka

Combine it all. Let it sit for 3 weeks. Strain.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Roasted vegetables with balsamic glaze

2 large sweet onions, peeled and cut into quarters
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
8 ounces carrots, peeled and cut on the bias into 1-inch slices
8 ounces fingerling potatoes, halved
1 head garlic, cloves separated and left unpeeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons country Dijon mustard (milder/creamier than Dijon; or use 1 tsp Dijon + 1 tsp mayonnaise)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix all vegetables, oil, salt and pepper, roast until tender, 40-45 minutes.

For the glaze: combine it all, cook over low heat until the glaze is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Serve over the vegetables or as a dipping sauce.

Source: Trisha Yearwood,