Tag Archives: walnuts

Thanksgiving 2014

29 Nov

I hope your holiday was delicious and special. My friend Natasha and I co-hosted and cooked most of the food together. Our friends brought extra sides (sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green bean casserole), desserts (mascarpone tart with berries), and drinks (wine, beers, cider), all of which were amazing!

The menu:

Castelvetrano olives

Kale salad with apples and walnuts

Extra-buttery mashed potatoes

Mashed sweet potatoes

Kale stuffing with dates

Brussels sprouts with bacon

Green bean casserole

Spatchcocked turkey with gravy

Roasted garlic

Cranberry sauce (homemade and jellied)

Dessert:

Upside-down cranberry cake

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping

Peanut Butter Pie

Mascarpone tart with berry sauce

Hand-whipped cream

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Clockwise from left: stuffing a la Samin (and Charlie!), with dates instead of prunes and no sausage; spatchcocked and carved turkey from the Serious Eats recipe and video; cranberry sauce (can be made one week before TG) Continue reading

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Steel Cut Oats

5 Jan

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After a recent visit to California, I got hooked on steel cut oats.

Steel cut oats take longer to cook than old fashioned rolled oats (about 25 minutes versus 5 minutes), but they offer a nice alternative texture and are a healthy way to enjoy breakfast on the weekends. This morning, I got the oats started on the stove, and by the time I brewed my coffee and washed my face, breakfast was basically ready.

You could also make a bigger batch of the oats and save the leftovers in the refrigerator, reheating them when ready to eat again in the next day or two.

I like to eat my oats with a LOT of toppings. Before I take them off the stove, I will add a little banana, some ground flaxseeds, and a lot of cinnamon. Once I transfer it to my bowl, I top with a drizzle of maple syrup, some milk, and walnuts (I often use nut butters like peanut/almond/sunbutter to mix things up).

When I’m really feeling topping crazy, I add in some jam. In California, I made a stop at Kozlowski farms in Forestville to taste some jams. Their pumpkin butter was irresistible. I’ve been putting it on anything and everything since I’ve been home, including this morning’s steel cut oats.

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Steel Cut Oats

makes 2 servings

2 cups water

1/2 cup steel cut oats

1 banana, sliced

1/2 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

2 teaspoons cinnamon

maple syrup, to taste

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted

pumpkin butter

milk

Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add the oats and stir constantly for about 5 minutes over medium heat, they will begin to thicken. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and let the oats cook for about 20 to 30 minutes more, uncovered. Stir occasionally.

Once at desired consistency, add in the sliced banana, ground flaxseeds, and cinnamon. Divide into 2 bowls. Top with a small drizzle of maple syrup, walnuts, pumpkin butter, and a little milk.

Black Bean Brownies

30 Aug

I am always amazed when a brownie or cookie recipe calls for anything less than a stick of butter. Usually you see a shocking 2 sticks of butter!

As a pastry professional, I’ve learned to get over my fear of using generous amounts of butter. That’s just how the cookie crumbles in that world. But at home, I try to only use butter when I can really make it count. Less is more. I want to treat myself, but still look good, ya dig my flow?

Black beans are the new applesauce when it comes to baking. Their dark color blends in perfectly with the chocolate, and they’ve got protein and fiber that are not only good for you, but help retain the whole rich-dense brownie thing.

I live with 3 dudes who dove head first into these fudgy squares. Dudes are into black bean brownies. It especially helps to put walnut studs, extra chocolate chips, and some coarse salt on top.

I don’t have a food processor. I hope you have one because it makes life easier. If you have one, just give the beans a whir. If you are like me and do not have one, you can smash your beans with a fork or your fingers, or pour your beans into the melted chocolate/butter mixture and then use an immersion blender and get it as smooth as you can. It’s ok if there’s a little texture. It all gets baked up and masked by the chocolate anyway.

Note that I first tried to blend my beans in my blender, but the blender was too large for the small amount of beans and nothing was happening. Moral of the story, buy a food processor. I just like to take the hard way, mostly because I have no room for another kitchen gadget in my apartment.

Black Bean Brownies

makes 9-12 brownies

adapted from Joy the Baker

1/4 cup (half a stick/2 oz) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan

3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 oz of the darkest dark chocolate you can find (think 72% and up), chopped

2 large eggs + 1 egg white

1/4 cup black beans, rinsed, drained, and pureed in the food processor

1 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup (155 g) all purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

walnut chunks, chocolate chips, and coarse salt for sprinkling on top (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch (9-inch is ok, too) square baking pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Butter and flour the parchment paper as well.

In a small bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a simmer. Place the butter and chocolates in a heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl over the simmering water and stir until the chocolates and butter are melted and combined. Carefully remove the bowl from the saucepan and let it cool for a minute or two.

Whisk the eggs and white into the chocolate/butter mixture, one at a time. Next whisk in the pureed beans, sugar, and vanilla extract.

Dump the sifted dry ingredients into the mix all at once and fold and incorporate everything together with a spatula. Once thoroughly combined, pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with walnuts, chocolate chips, and coarse salt, if using.

Bake the brownies for about 25-28 minutes. Note that brownies are better slightly underdone than overdone. Right? Right. Let the brownies cool on a wire rack for 10-20 minutes, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment overhang. Slice and enjoy.