Monthly Archives: February 2009

sweet ricotta pastries

after one bite of these cheesey pastries, you’ll understand why i persevered to make candied orange peel.
ricotta pastry

i overheard my daughter asking her dad, on his way out to the grocery, to please buy something new for breakfast, right after our February week off.

i said to myself, absolutely! i felt exactly the same way. i thought of something coffee cake-y, sort of cheese-Danish pastry like, and i made these.
candied peel in the ricotta custard filling, orange zest in the pastry lined cupcakes, with decorative strips of even more pastry–it’s very hard to resist gobbling these tangy little tarts all up in one big bite.
sweet ricotta pastries from Gourmet, January 2009.
ricotta pastries
serves 12, for dessert after a big Italian meal perhaps?, or 1 hormonal mama, lusting for carbs.
Continue reading

candied orange peel

i’ve been stumbling upon recipes that call for candied citron, candied orange peel, candied zest. and i balked at the thought of buying any, since i’ve had the good luck of being gifted with so many oranges
from Chinese New Year, and from my discovery of a cheap source of blood oranges *wink*wink*….

so i gyoogled and i searched and finally i settled upon my old Mario Batali cookbook:
oranges, stripped
boiled orange strips
candied orange peel
Continue reading

fisherman’s pie

i’m trying to get the carnivores to eat more fish. :stirthepot
fisherman's pie
this is from the Boston Globe Food section, February 4, 2009. fisherman’s pie, as in shepherd’s pie, geddit?, with mashed potato on top?
my kids loved it, although one kid fished out the shrimp from his portions, another fished out the peas….*sigh*
this food i imagine even a toddler might eat; just make sure it’s entirely tinik-free –pinbones all gone–from whatever fish you’re using.
i’ve seen this recipe made with smoked fish, salmon, and i thought maybe rehydrated bacalao (salt cod, soaked and refreshed for 3 days) would be great too.

fisherman’s pie… Continue reading

bye bye Tweety

bye bye Tweety
hello again
hello gorgeous!

sometimes it pays to be whiny. sort of.
i was truly enjoying cup after cup of cappuccino with my stovetop Bialetti Mukka Express, the one with the beguiling Tweety bird painted on…until the paint started peeling off in huge flakes. that made me worry until i reluctantly put it away. i mentioned it to an old friend and she suggested contacting the company…actually she suggested something a little bit more along the lines of “blackmail,” almost (replace it or i’ll blog about it!NOW!).
i just sent them a short and sweet email and described the problem, and inquired if it was safe to keep using Tweety.
turns out my item was still under warranty and so they offered a replacement with the latest polished aluminum model. yippeeee! such exceptional customer service–it’s so rare nowadays that i really have to point it out. Bialetti, backs up their product. and what a product it is! they have improved the design, which was already quite a marvel of cappuccino engineering, and now it is much easier to use and even easier to clean (though it is still not dishwasher safe).
my new Mukka

i heard the news today oh boy….
coffee is good for you! after reading all the conflicting studies on coffee use, i’ve decided on only two cups per day (good for preventing strokes), using 1% lowfat milk, and none after 2:30 pm (so i can sleep better at night, and therefore have better willpower, and consequently, maybe, even lose weight!) :fryingpan it’s all good.

run don’t walk: the blood orange pudding cake

i mean run to the grocery store and get some blood oranges! they’re the ephemeral winter treat, and they won’t be around much longer.
i did run, and i’ve been slurping up the juice and chewing on the “supremes” and grating up the zest and squeezing the halves…
3 little hearts made of blood orange
quite unremarkable, plain, why did they just plop down the fruits on top of this cake?patience, patience…

i first heard about this type of cake from my Ma, who sent me her favorite recipe for “lemon flan cake”, and it had been sitting on my pile since.
it’s that kind of recipe that makes me appreciate the alchemy of baking. the batter separates as it bakes, so that a pudding is on the bottom, with a soft-crumbed cake layer on top.
i found a recipe that called for buttermilk. hmm, i thought, that’s gotta be good. the original recipe calls for Meyer lemons, which are very difficult to find around here. but since blood oranges are a-plenty, i just had to bake this and see how it’d turn out.
blood orange pudding cake w/strawberries
incredibly, i think the kids and i have had a bit of chocolate overdose. we’ll pass up the chocolate for Valentine’s this year. so this dessert is refreshing yet since it’s pudding-y, it’s a nicely comforting wintry dessert.
:melodramatic: yes, the temperatures are plunging again…
happy Valentine’s day, with all my blood oranges. :glasses-slip:
i made a pumpkin flan version last year, the one that flips up magically.
i’ve also done this in chocolate.
recipe follows. Continue reading

chicken meatballs with green curry

chicken meatballs with green currydipping test
clockwise from bottom left:
plum sauce, Frank’s extra red hot sauce, fine chili garlic sauce, Jalapeno pepper sauce, pineapple chili sauce(the big splash)
i looked high and low, and i just couldn’t find the clipping from the Boston Globe that husband had cut out for this chicken meat ball recipe. i think he threw it out in disgust.
he was very unhappy with the result–after all, it takes quite a bit of doing to shop for and prepare all the ingredients for this appetizer.
honestly, i liked it! he’s just not into green curry paste. i put away quite a few, it was very good with rice, and i had fun with testing out the (bottled) dipping sauces that would go well with it.
luckily the recipe is still online.
the only thing i would leave out of this is the water chestnut, somehow it was just too jarring to my palate and the crunch didn’t seem to “belong”…maybe some grated carrots would have been better.

result of my dipping game: it was a tie between pineapple chili sauce and plum sauce. in other words, sweet and mildly spicy won over hot and peppery.
PICT0023PICT0022

just in case the recipe goes offline…just please don’t tell husband i plan on making this again… Continue reading

parmesan wings

it sure feels like it’s been a long long week. with temperatures stuck in the negative numbers (way way way below freezing) it hurts to go outside–man it even hurts to do laundry in the basement!
thank GOODNESS it’s Friday then. i’ve started assembling the ingredients for a winter dish that i’ve been craving since… last summer! a hint: i’m attempting to make my own duck confit as a first step. i hope all goes well and i can serve it this weekend.

meanwhile here’s a different take on deep fried chicken wings which my children, all three, devoured really quickly. like within minutes.
parmesan wings
“Crispy Italian Fliers” from the “Wings” collection of Debra Moose.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup finely ground white cornmeal (i used the mini food processor)
1 & 1/2 tbsps. grated Parmesan (i used more, because we like Parmesan)
2 tsps. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
12 wings, cut in half at joints, wing tips removed
vegetable oil
warm marinara sauce

in a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, Parmesan, oregano, basil,thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. coat the wings in the mixture and shake off any excess.
pour about 1 inch of vegetable oil into a frying pan and heat to 350F. fry the wings for 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden brown. you may need to turn frequently near the end for even browning.
drain the wings on a rack set over a platter.
serve the wings with warm marinara sauce for dipping, if desired.
(i drizzled some Frank’s Red Hot sauce into my dip.)