The Cookbook

A collection of favorite recipes

Archive for the 'Vegetarian' Category

Border Brownies

Posted by Sylvia on 16th January 2009

When I left California, one of the things I really missed was Ibarra chocolate, dark Mexican chocolate tinged with vanilla and cinnamon that added a unique flavor to all my chocolate dishes.

I never really found a substitute for hot chocolate but these Border Brownies, based on a recipe in the El Paso Chile Company’s Texas Border Cookbook, comes close to the same deep spicy flavor that I remember.

  • 5 ounces dark chocolate
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 5 ounces sugar
  • 1 teaspoon triple sec or cointreau
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces coarsely chopped pecans or 1 ounce ground almonds (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and butter a metal baking tin/pan.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add chocolate (broken into pieces), melt and mix well over low heat.
  3. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon into a small bowl.
  4. Whisk the egg and add the sugar, whisk until pale and fluffy (you should be able to leave a trail in the mixture). Whisk in orange liqueur and vanilla.
  5. Now you need to be careful not to overmix. Carefully stir/fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the nuts if using. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth it flat.
  6. Bake at 350F/180C for 20-25 minutes (a toothpick near the edges should come out almost clean). Leave the brownies in the tin until cooled.

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Lime and Ginger Salad Dressing

Posted by Sylvia on 25th November 2008

This dressing comes from Pioneer Woman’s recipe with the enchanting name of “My Most Favourite Salad Ever. Ever, Ever, Ever!

It’s a pretty basic mix, linguine noodles mixed with lots of good veg: cabbage, spinach, peppers, bean sprouts, carrots etc. The real winner in this recipe is the dressing. I think what makes it interesting is the large amount of raw ginger, which gives the dressing an unexpected bite.

Pioneer Woman’s Lime and Ginger Salad Dressing

Juice of 1 lime
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 hot peppers or jalapenos, chopped
More chopped cilantro-LOTS

I mix the whole thing in my mini-food processor and then it’s easy to add to any salad going or even as a coleslaw dressing – although Connor seems to love the idea of cold noodles as a salad. I guess because his mom never really did the American style pasta salads.

Posted in Asia, Salads, Side Dishes, Small Meals, Unclean, Vegetarian | Comments Off on Lime and Ginger Salad Dressing

Focaccia with Olives and Rosemary

Posted by Sylvia on 5th November 2008

I got this from Epicurious, it’s originally from Bon Appétit, May 1995. It’s probably one of the first breads I ever baked and it remains one of my favorites. The fresh olives (I use a mixture of green and black) and rosemary really distinguishes it from bought bread. I sprinkle chunks of salt on top of the bread before baking but that’s probably not very healthy. :P

2 cups warm water (105°F; to 115°F;)
2 tsp dry yeast
4 1/2 cups (about) all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
3 Tbs olive oil
48 black or green brine-cured olives
pitted, halved
2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary

1 Place 2 cups warm water in large bowl. Sprinkle dry yeast over; stir with fork. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 10 minutes.
2 Add 4 1/4 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture and stir to blend well (dough will be sticky). Knead dough on floured surface until smooth and elastic, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is sticky, about 10 minutes. Add half the olives and the rosemary. Form dough into ball. Oil large bowl; add dough, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm area until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough; knead into ball and return to same bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm area until doubled, about 45 minutes or less
3 Coat 15×10-inch baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Punch down dough. Transfer to prepared sheet. Using fingertips, press out dough to 13×10-inch rectangle. Let dough rest 10 minutes. Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil over dough. Sprinkle olives and chopped rosemary evenly over. Let dough rise uncovered in warm area until puffy, about 25 minutes.
4 Preheat oven to 475°F. Press fingertips all over dough, forming indentations. Bake bread until brown and crusty, about 20 minutes. Serve bread warm or at room temperature.

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Plum-Buttermilk Ice Cream

Posted by Sylvia on 2nd September 2008

  • 3-5-+ chopped purple plums
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 stick cinammon
  • custard sauce
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 200 ml cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250 ml buttermilk
  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and cook 8 minutes or until tender. Mash plums. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  2. Make the custard sauce: in a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar. In a medium saucepan bring the cream to a simmer. Slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook it, stirring constantly, over a low heat until the mixture thickens (about five minutes). Transfer back to the bowl and stir in the vanilla. Cool to room temperature, cover bowl with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or up to 3 days ahead).
  3. Combine chilled plum mixture, chilled custard, and buttermilk. Pour mixture into a metal container and put into the freezer, stirring every half hour until set.

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Quick Crepes

Posted by Sylvia on 10th August 2008

If you are making crepes for dessert then add a bit of sugar to this – or even a touch of sweet liqueur like Cointreau.

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • oil
  1. Beat eggs thoroughly. Blend in melted margarine and milk. Stir in flour only until smooth.
  2. Lightly brush a pan with oil. Heat over medium heat.
  3. Pour in 2 tablespoons of batter and tilt pan carefully so batter covers entire bottom of pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

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Double Corn Spoon Bread with Chiles and Cheese

Posted by Sylvia on 3rd August 2008

I’ve never been very fond of corn bread. It’s not something I disliked, not on a par with broccoli, certainly! I just didn’t see any real point to it: dry and boring. I was astounded to find out that rich and creamy polenta was the same thing: what a much better use of corn meal.

But then when making American-style dinners for people, it seemed like I should offer corn bread: it’s so quintessentially American and the ingredients are readily available in Europe (unlike corn tortillas!)

The El Paso Chile Company’s Texas Border Cookbook has a couple of different cornbread recipes which I remember working my way through when we lived in Dorking, so Connor was probably too little to even try a bite!

That’s when I discovered their double corn spoon bread with chiles and cheese and fell in love. I’ve been making it for dinner parties ever since.

This makes a very large batch but I’ve found the leftovers are great for lunch the next day: quickly grilled and served with lots of butter. They don’t do cream-style corn in Spain but I just used tinned corn and a bit of cream and it turns out just fine. Maybe even nicer.

6 long green chiles
8 eggs, well beaten
2 16-ounce cans cream-style corn
2 cups (8 ounces) grated medium-sharp cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese or a combination of both
1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground.
2 4-ounce jars chopped roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained.
⅔ cup cultured buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
5 pickled jalapeño chiles, stemmed and minced (about ⅓ cup)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

In the open flame of a gas burner or under a preheated broiler, roast the long green chiles, turning them, until they are lightly but evenly charred. Steam the chiles in a paper bag, or in a bowl, covered with a plate, until cool. Rub away the burned peel. Stem and seed the chiles and coarsely chop them. There should be about 1 cup.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375&#176 F.

Butter a 10- to 12-cup shallow casserole dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream-style corn, and cheese. Stir in the cornmeal, green chiles, red peppers, and buttermilk. Add the sugar, jalapeños, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and mix well. Transfer the batter to the baking dish.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until puffed and just barely set in the center. Serve hot or warm.

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Soba Noodle Salad

Posted by Sylvia on 19th July 2008

This is one of my favourite summer dishes and especially delicious if you can find good soba noodles! I’ve made it with coloured spaghetti in a pinch. If you are using soba noodles be SURE to wash them after you cook them. A Japanese friend of mine complains that Westerners make the most horrendous soba because we treat the noodles like spaghetti and barely give them a quick rinse. You should actually wash them in cold water to get the starch off, using your hands to move the noodles around the colander.

You can add the vegetables of your choice – spinach leaves, corn, chopped green peppers and even (cooked) peas – anything like that fits in just fine.

If you want to get exciting, add finely chopped garlic and ginger to the dressing.

75 g soba noodles
3 Tbs wakame (reconstituted)
5 tsp vegetable oil
1 large dash of soy sauce
1 carrot, julienned
75 g beansprouts or chopped cabbage or veg of your choice
1 green onion, chopped
1 part lemon juice
1 part soy sauce
1/2 part sesame oil

Cook the soba noodles in boiling water as per the packaging, usually around 5 minutes. Tip the noodles into a sieve and wash under cold running water, agitating the noodles to get rid of the starch. Allow to drain.

Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl and pour just enough dressing on top to coat the salad without leaving puddles. Serve immediately.

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