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Friday, February 25, 2011

Vanilla Biscotti

Love Biscotti! A twice baked cookie just meant for dunking in ice cold milk, coffee, cocoa and teas. Since I've never made this before I thought it would be best to start with a basic vanilla no frills version before trying out other more exotic flavors and also because it's 1am and I have to do with what I got in my pantry.
I used this recipe as a guide. I didn't have all the ingredients and I cut the original recipe in half. It took me much longer to dry them out but they turned out great. Can't wait to mess around with more flavors!

How I did it

Flour 1 1/4 cup
Baking powder 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 cup
Butter 1/2 cup (soft at room temp)
Eggs 2 large (room temp)
Vanilla 1 tsp

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Lightly grease a cookie tray.
Whisk together butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add the egg one at a time and continue to whisk until foamy.
Add vanilla and slowly fold in the flour (combined with the baking powder) 2 tablespoon at a time.
You will have a thick sticky dough.
Shape the dough in the form of a flat loaf.
Place the loaf on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool for 15 min on a wire rack and then cut into slices. I cut my slices 1" thick and the in original recipe it's 1/2" that's why it took me longer to dry them out.
Lower temperature of  oven to 300, place the slices sideways on the cookie sheet and bake for another 25 mins. Turn sides and bake for another 25 mins.

Ta da!
Allow to cool and store in air tight jars.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wiener Schnitzel

I had the most amazing lunch just now!
Very basic ingredients, so surprisingly easy to make... and out of this world delicious!
"Wiener Schnitzel" originally comes from Austria and has many variants around the world. It's basically very thin slices of veal drenched in flour, egg, crumbs and fried. I had this with deli bought Sauerkraut, potatoes and some infused butter!

(serves 2)
(cook time for the veal 4 mins - potatoes are 20 mins extra)

I used veal for this but I read on several sites that pork chops, beef or chicken breast meat can also be used. Whatever sort of protein you use, its important that the slices be 1/4" thick. You can ask your butcher to prepare the meat for you or you can place the meat between 2 sheets of wax paper and use a mallet to pound the meat until desired thickness is reached.

Veal slices 1/2 lbs about 6 slices (I got "veal scallopini" so it was already very thin)
Salt 1/3 tsp
Coarse black pepper 1/3 tsp
Flour 1 cup
Eggs 2 large (beaten lightly)
Bread crumbs 1 cup
Fresh lemon slices
Fresh dill
Oil for frying

Make sure you have everything set before starting.
Use a wide frying pan filled 1/3 with oil.
You should have 3 dipping trays for the flour, egg and bread crumbs.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the veal slices. Use very little, you want to taste the veal!
Press each slice in flour and then shake off the extra.
Dip it in egg and then gently roll it around in bread crumbs.
One important thing that I read on several sites was not to press the bread crumbs too hard into the meat. The crust should form a loose shell around the veal once cooked.
Slide this into hot oil and cook for 1 1/2 min per side on medium high heat. That's all it takes!
Squeeze some lemon juice on top before eating.

Side Potatoes

Small potatoes 4
Garlic 1/2 tsp (minced)
Coarse sea salt 1/4 tsp
Pepper 1/4 tsp
Butter 1 Tbs
Oil 1 Tbs

I don't peel the potatoes, cut them in quarters and boil them in salted water.
Allow to cool down a bit.
Heat some butter and oil in a pan and sear the potatoes on all sides until brown and crispy.
Add the garlic in the last 10 seconds of cooking.
Toss with salt and pepper.

Compound Butter

Unsalted butter 2 Tbs (soft at room temp)
Lemon zest 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice few drops
Fresh dill 1 tsp
Pepper pinch
Salt pinch

Combine the above ingredients together.
Place the butter back in the fridge until set. I used a candy liner as a mold.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Egg Ravioli

This was something fun and interesting I made for my guy this morning.
The picture is not the best quality A. It's gray outside B. My camera ran out of batteries before I could take more shots.

(serves 1-2)
(cook time 10 mins)
What and how

Eggs 3 large
Chili powder 1/4 tsp

Whisk the above together in a large bowl and set aside.
Now we'll make the cheese stuffing.
I used:
Goat cheese 3 Tbs (you can use ricotta or cream cheese if you wanted)
Yellow pepper 1 Tbs (thin slices)
Sun Dried tomatoes 1 Tbs (minced fine)
Beef sausage 3 Tbs (cooked)
Potatoes 3 Tbs (diced really small and cooked on a skillet with some salt, pepper and butter)
Pepper 1/4 tsp
Salt just a pinch (1/8 tsp)

Heat a frying pan and add a few drops of cooking oil (I used canola)
Spread about 2 Tbs of the egg mixture in a small circular disk, use the back of your spoon, about 3 inches in diameter.
Drop a spoonful of the mixture length wise in the center and while the egg is still soft, flip one side over so the edges can seal.

Continue until the egg  and the mixture runs out. I could make about 9 little raviolis, that's 3 per egg.
I think It would be great if you spread some shredded fontina cheese over the top and put these under the broiler for a few seconds just to melt the cheese! I'll do that next time.


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