All posts by janedomestic

Whole Wheat Mini Banana Bread

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Whole Wheat Mini Banana Breads

I’ve adapted this Banana Bread recipe from The Best Recipe by Cooks Illustrated.  The original one calls for 2 cups flour which I cut in half with whole wheat flour.  I finely chop the walnuts so my kids don’t notice them and I use a brownie pan instead of a loaf pan because it cuts the baking time in half and they’re prettier than a big ‘ol loaf.  I always sift my dry ingredients because they seem to mix better than simply whisking them like the original recipe suggests.  One of the best things about this recipe is that you don’t have to remember to put out the butter to soften — you melt it and let it cool instead!  Brillant.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups toasted walnuts, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 very ripe, large bananas, mashed well  (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a brownie pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and walnuts together in a large bowl, set aside.

Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape batter into prepared pan: bake until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 22 minutes.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Bolonese

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This is pure comfort food!  Seriously.

1⁄4 lb pancetta

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 stalk  celery finely chopped

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 tablespoon  butter

2 tablespoons  olive oil

2 pounds meat (I buy a combination of pork sausage with fennel, mild pork sausage, chicken sage sausage and a lamb sausage)

1 12 ounce can italian style roasted crushed tomatoes

1  12 ounce can italian style tomato sauce

1 small can tomato paste

1 teaspoon salt

A few grinds of black pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

parmesan finely grated

1 teaspoon dried parsley

Handful fresh basil

1lb pasta

Start by browning your sausage meat on medium high heat.  Once it’s nicely browned put it in the food processor and pulse it until its ground slightly.  Heat butter and olive oil in the pan and add the pancetta, onions and celery.  Brown nicely and set aside.  In the same pan brown the ground meat a little more. This is an extra step but makes all the difference.  Add the pepper, oregano, parsley and garlic salt. Next add the pancetta, onions and celery. Add the crushed tomatoes, the tomato sauce and the tomato paste and combine.  Let simmer, check seasonings, and add fresh basil and parmesan just before serving.

Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts by Ina Garten

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chipotle_nutsChipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts by Ina Garten

When I throw a dinner party in the winter months, I love serving roasted nuts  with drinks before dinner.  Here’s my new favorite recipe.

Ingredients

Vegetable oil

3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 ounces)
2 cups whole walnut halves (7 ounces)
2 cups whole pecan halves (7 ounces)
½ cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
¹/³ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder on the sheet pan. Toss to coat the nuts evenly. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.

Spread the nuts in one layer. Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary.

Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Almond Butter Raisin Bran Breakfast Cookies

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Almond Butter Raisin Bran Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp ground flax seed

6 tbsp warm water

1 cup almond butter

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

5 cups whole wheat raisin bran

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine flax seeds and warm water and let sit for at least 5 minutes until an egg-like mixture forms.  Combine coconut oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla thoroughly. Next, add raisin bran and sunflower seeds and thoroughly fold into batter.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto waxed or parchment papered baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are browned.  Let rest for at least 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread by the Joy of Cooking

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Pumpkin Bread by the Joy of Cooking

You can make this with any cooked mashed squash, yams, or sweet potatoes.

Have all ingredients room temperature, 68 to 70 degrees. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 5-inch (8cup) loaf pan.  

Whisk together thoroughly:

1 1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Combine in a small bowl

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, beat until creamy

6 tablespoons butter

Gradually add and beat on high speed until lightened in color and texture, 3 to 4 minutes:

1 cup sugar plus 1/3 cup lightly packed light or dark brown sugar

Beat in eggs one at a time. 2 large eggs.

Add and beat at low speed until just blended:

1 cup pumpkin puree

Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture, beating on low speed or stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Top with 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

 

Cantucci (Italian Almond Cookies)

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Cantucci (Italian Almond Cookies) from www.aseasyaspie.com
Ingredients
2 cups+1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (or lemon zest)
1 teaspoon amaretto or ½ teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
4.4 ounces raw, unpeeled almonds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the eggs, honey, orange zest, amaretto and mix all the ingredients.
  4. Once you have a crumbly, soft mixture, add the almonds.
  5. Transfer the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into 2 logs that are approximately 30 cm (12 inch) long, and 5 cm (2 inch) wide.
  6. Place the logs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or with a silicone mat.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Remove the logs from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.
  9. Place a log on a cutting board and using a sharp, serrated knife, cut it diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.
  10. Put the cookies back on the baking sheet and bake them for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Remove the cantucci from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
  12. Store them in a sealed container for several weeks.

Salade Niçoise by Julia Child

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Salade niçoise by Julia Child

Dressing the tomatoes, beans and potatoes as described below is
totally worth the extra effort!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of Boston Lettuce, large, washed and dried
  • 2 to 3 Tbs virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed, blanched, refreshed in cold water, and dried
  • 2/3 to 1 cup salad dressing, such as the Oil and Lemon Dressing (recipe HERE)
  • 3 or 4 fine rip red tomatoes, peeled, if you wish, and cored, quartered and seasoned before serving
  • 8 to 10 ounces oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 quart of French Potato salad (recipe HERE)
  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
  • 1 can flat anchovy filets packed in oil, opened and drained just before serving
  • 1/2 cup black Nicoise-type olives
  • 3 or 4 Tbs. capers
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

Directions:

Shortly before serving, line a handsome, large and wide salad bowl or a roomy platter with lettuce leaves, drizzle a little olive oil on them, and dust with a sprinkling of salt.

Toss the beans in a mixing bowl with a little of the dressing, and correct seasoning.

Drizzle a spoonful or two of the dressing over the tomatoes.

Season the tuna lightly with a spoonful or two of dressing.

Place the potatoes in the center of the bowl or platter; mound beans at strategic intervals, interspersing them with tomatoes and mounds of tuna.

Ring the salad with the eggs and curl an anchovy filet on top of each.

Spoon a little more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley. Serve as soon as possible.

Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken by Ina Garten

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Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken by Ina Garten

This recipe is easy enough for a quick weeknight dinner (put it in first and make the sides while it’s cooking).  It’s makes great leftovers for lunch too!

Ingredients:

1 whole organic chicken cut in pieces

2 large lemons

A handful of thyme

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Rinse and dry your chicken pieces and arrange in heavy roasting pan.  Season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.  Grate the zest of two lemons and distribute evenly among both sides of each piece of chicken.  Cut your lemons in quarters and place in the roasting pan.  Finish by sprinkling with a glug of olive oil and the thyme.  You can pick the thyme from the leaves or just throw the leaves on top.  Either works just fine in my opinion.  Bake for an hour and check with your meat thermometer.  Adjust cooking time accordingly.  Your thermometer should read 170 degrees.

Haricots verts and snow peas with hazelnut and orange

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Haricots verts and snow peas with hazelnut and orange by Ottolenghi

Ingredients:

14oz haricots verts

14oz snow peas

1/2 cup unskinned hazelnuts

1 orange

3/4 oz chives, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp hazelnut oil

coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Using a small, sharp knife, trim the stock ends of the beans and snow peas keeping the two separate.  Bring plenty of water to a boil in a large saucepan.  You need lots of space for the beans, as this is crucial for preserving their color.  Blanch the beans in the water for 4 minutes, then drain into a colander and run them under plenty of tap water until cold.  Leave to drain and dry.  Repeat with the snow peas, but blanch only for 1 minute.

While the beans are cooking, scatter the hazelnuts over  a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.  Leave until cool enough to handle, then rub them in a clean kitchen towel to get rid of the skin.  Chop the nuts.  They should be rough; some can even stay whole.

Zest an orange.

To assemble the dish, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, toss gently, then taste and adjust the seasoning.  Serve at room temperature.

Fusilli with Spinach and Walnut Pesto

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Fusilli with Spinach and Walnut Pesto by Martha Stewart

The ridges in the spiral-cut fusilli are ideal for catching the pesto.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of spinach (about a pound) trimmed and washed

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

coarse salt and ground pepper

1 pound fusilli

1/4 cup shaved pecorino cheese

Add spinach and 1 tablespoon water to a large skillet set over medium-high.  Cook, stirring constantly, until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.  In a food processor, combine spinach, walnuts, oil, and lemon zest.  Process until mixture forms a smooth paste, scraping down bowl as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta.  Reserve 2 cups pasta water; drain pasta.  Return pasta to pot and add pesto, tossing to combine and adding enough pasta water to create a sauce that coats the pasta.  Transfer to a serving plate, top with pecorino, and serve immediately.