Posts from the ‘epicurious’ Category

black garlic hummus !!!


we have an awesome outdoor market called green city market that i LOVE to hang out & shop at first thing in the morning-7am-before the massive crowds show up. i can only hit a few stalls per visit because it’s SO overwhelming. yesterday i saw little virgin bloody marys that had a piece of black stuff on a pick. i pulled one out & quietly sipped. i was being watched by the vendors. i sniffed the black thing, so interesting, & chomped down. i heard a chorus of angels in my head. it was my first taste of black garlic ! and i HAD to have more. it’s not cheap-around $3/bulb, but i bought 2 & a jar of the puree, which sells out fast. i have never tasted anything like it. it completely blew my head off.

i couldn’t wait to run home & make the most obvious dish with it-hummus. i used a basic recipe & increased the garlic from 2 cloves to an entire bulb of the black garlic. i wanted tons of that incredible flavor which is nothing like regular garlic. i can’t even describe what it reminds me of because it’s totally in a league of it’s own.

the hawks playoff game against the kings would be on in the evening & black garlic hummus was the PERFECT game nosh. it turned out totally amazing! seriously the very best hummus i have ever had! i used plentils-little lentil chips instead of pita. it worked perfectly.

i will never be the same again.


choco-strawberry pazzo cake


i had a few items to use up-mainly creme fraiche & strawberry jam i made when i bought 8 lbs of strawberries for $1.

as usual, i stuck those words into epicurious & found strawberry pazzo cake w/herbed creme fraiche.

i had to substitute several ingredients. there was no brown sugar so i used cocoa powder. i had no milk, so i used pineapple coconut juice. i combined the creme fraiche with cinnamon & threw it into the batter instead of on top. and i did the balsamic glaze with my jam-about 3/4 cup, a couple tablespoons condensed milk, cooked it a while, & set in fridge to chill & thicken.

to my surprise, it turned out really good! it’s like a cake that wants to be fudge, so it was kind of a light fudge & not too sweet at all!

strawberry jam


i went shopping at a local produce store stanleys-over the weekend. a worker shoved an entire box-8 lbs-of strawberries in my arms & said, “you take. 98 cents.” i guess they needed to get rid of the ripe berries that day. what do i do with 8 lbs of ripe berries besides freeze them for smoothies? then i remembered someone at the store said, “jam.” so i looked up some recipes & went for it.

SO easy!

take 1 lb strawberries quartered. put in sauce pan with 2/3 cup sugar & 1 peeled & grated granny smith apple. simmer till strawberries fall apart-around 30 minutes. add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. let sit in fridge at least 2 hours.

delish! i plan on making buttermilk biscuits this weekend. there’s plenty to give away as i made 2 lbs of this stuff! you can probably use this in a dessert-such as a crepe or donut.

jam out!

creamy thai-chili pesto shrimp pasta


i cooked for a friend on friday for his birthday. it’s more fun than taking him out. and the dogs can hang out. i decided on creamy thai-chili pesto shrimp pasta because i already had made it & it turned out fantastic. this time i went with high-end shrimp, which makes a huge difference.

i traded a few bags of my home made blissbites dog treats for enough fresh basil to make a quart of pesto.


what a luxury! i used this recipe loosly-changing a few things. of course twice as much garlic & only 2 kinds basil, more cheese & 1/4 cup walnuts, which adds a nice texture.

creamy thai chili pesto shrimp pasta

-1 lb. large raw shrimp
-1 cup pesto sauce
2 T. olive oil
2 leeks
-1 cup home made tomato sauce (i roasted fresh tomatoes, removed skins & sauced)
handful thai chili peppers
-1/2 stick butter
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup assorted cheese-asiago/romano/parm/sharp cheddar/swiss/guyre…
-fresh pasta
salt & pepper to taste

prepare the pesto, set aside. steam shrimp 5 minutes. remove shell, de-vein & cut. set aside. heat olive oil. sautee chopped leeks 10 minutes. add tomato sauce, chopped chilis. cook 10 minutes. add butter, cream & stock. cook 10 minutes. add shrimp & cheese. cook 5 more minutes. cook pasta al dente. finish in sauce. season to taste.

this turned out more like a shrimp pesto mac & cheese. if you dust it with breadcrumbs & bake, it would be even better. this is RICH & NOT for dieters.


hand-crafted pierogi


pierogi. i’ve made them a few times before but it’s been years. 4 dozen took over 5 hours from start to finish. you have to love these to work this hard. and it is hard. i respect bakers. dough can be back-breaking work if you do it right. you have to knead it for about 10 minutes, give it the proper time to sit, keep it from drying out, roll perfectly-this has to be very thin. and it’s so hard! practice practice practice. there’s nothing more to say.

i researched a few dough recipes & settled on one that i’m pretty sure will be my stand-by. pierogi & vareniki dough is perfect. & if you don’t have cake flour on hand, just put 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a one cup measure, add regular flour to the rest. i did this & it worked perfectly. and 10 minutes is a long time to knead, but you have to get that gluten going. when you start to roll, cut the dough in fours. and roll it until you can’t get it any thinner. it takes awhile. i used a 3 inch diameter serrated edged cutter.

filling is tricky. you have to stretch the dough in the air all around the dollop of potato mixture & seal well. it took me a couple of hours to do 48 of these. you can use any kind of filling out there. my favorite pierogi is potato cheese onion, so i started with a standard recipe but instead of using onion powder & garlic salt, i used real onion & garlic. the farmer cheese is important for the flavor so don’t skimp if you decide to make this flavor. here’s the recipe for potato and cheese pan-fried pierogi. it’s excellent & you can easily cut it in half. i was left with tons. however, it tastes so damn good it’s not a bad thing to have it to eat on the side.


you finally boil until they float-5 minutes


they did turn out pretty good. i’m a little intrigued to work with dough again. i enjoy the challenge. & i enjoyed the backbreaking work involved in making this beloved polish comfort food.


figgy swirlys


i’ve been curious about figs & had some on hand. i always liked fig newtons. so i decided to make fig swirls, mainly because they are pretty.

prettier than how they taste i’m afraid. that is, unless you like cookies that aren’t very sweet. there is no sugar in the cookie. only honey in the filling. perfect with a cup of tea & laborous/fun to make.

good luck 🙂

beer gingerbundt & choco-orange shortbread

IMG_0552 i spent many hours in the kitchen. unfortunately i got the baking bug. why is this bad? because i had given up bread & sugar & lost weight. the urge to bake was far stronger. i just HAD to make gingerbread beer bundt cake with chocolate glaze. why? just look at the ingredients!


20 things are in this cake. including oatmeal stout beer, mustard powder, & fresh ground nutmeg/cardamom/clove/ginger. it was like baking an indian meal. i had to line up the ingredients just so i would be sure not to forget anything.

this is worth the effort. really different from anything i have ever had before. and the blog is great too. a friend from facebook posted it. one of the best things about FB is getting recipe ideas. they can come from all corners of the world if you have friends everywhere. i do.

i don’t own a full sized bundt pan but i had a nice mini bundt pan. i measured it & needed 4. i made 2 minis & 2 dozen mini cupcakes because they are difficult to transport as a bundt. then i made xtra glaze & added butter to it, chilled it & whipped, which turns it into frosting. i used french butter for everything-including greasing the tins. works! SO dense, flavorful, moist, delish, different! best recipe of the season! well done!

i’m still on that shortbread kick. this time i did one that combines orange with chocolate-a favorite childhood combo. i remember my grandma eating dark chocolate covered orange rinds. they were the most delicious treat! it’s my strongest memory of her.


triple chocolate orange shortbread cookies are easy & SO good! i took it a step further & used 3 kinds of chips-white, semi-sweet & milk. it’s yummy, but next time i will use only semi-sweet. goes with the orange the best.

i had to give away much of this amazing stock of sweets. the rest is sleeping in the freezer. the other mini-bundt will be eaten by my band for our mardi gras show on the 12th. it’s nice to have a stash of baked goods to share with friends.