Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Goat Cheese Pizzettes

So this is a recipe I concocted based on the amount of peppers and goat cheese in my fridge that could go to waste...

You need:

Baby spinach
Goat cheese, crumbled
Onion, sliced fine, can use green onions too
Bell pepper, I used red, you can use any, sliced fine
Olive oil
Garlic cloves

Preheat toaster oven to 400F.

Crush two or three cloves of garlic into the olive oil. I used three cloves for 1/3 cup of oil.

Brush the bread with garlic oil. I used about 2 tsps for one slice. Put a handful of baby spinach leaves on the bread. Add sliced onions and peppers. Drizzle another spoonful of garlic oil on the veggies. Pile on as much goat cheese as you would like. Sprinkle salt to taste.

Bake in toaster oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how crispy you'd like the "crust".

Eat up! Preferably with nice red wine.

This is really easy, you can go wild with this. Add mushrooms, whatever. The only thing is that veggies have to be sliced fine otherwise they won't cook in time. You can also use pizza dough to make pizzas, in that case I woudl pre-bake the crust for about five minutes otherwise the spinach will die. I like the bread version because it uses up leftover bread and I don't risk contaminating my cultures the next day with any lurking yeast from the pizza dough (Yes, it happens, despite gloves!).

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Patatas Bravas (Strong Potatoes)

Oh sweet jesus. I was watching this movie, L'Auberge Espagnole, sert in barcelona and i was reminded of this delightful thing, one of many many many, that the Spaniards do to potatoes. A regular tapas, its the first Spanish food I ate. And I sit here with a plateful.

For the Patatas:
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced to about 1cm cubes

For the salsa brava:
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 small onion, minced
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp white vinegar
6 tsp mayonnaise
salt to taste
cayenne pepper to taste

Shallow or deep fry the potatoes till golden brown. I recommend a low flame to start and then turn the heat up. Fry the garlic and onions in 2 tsp olive oil, add the tomato paste and the spices and salt. Cook for about 10 min on a low flame. Allow it to cool. When the potatoes are done, spread on paper to soak up the extra oil. Add mayonnaise to tomato salsa and mix well. Spread potatoes in plate. Drizzle salsa over potatoes. Serve. Drizzle just before you serve so that they stay crisp.

Recommended: serve with Spanish red wine [Rioja I like best] and tortilla de patatas cut into squares, and croquetas. Recipes will follow. Enjoy!

Supernatural Brownies

This is a recipe from the New York Times! Yes really.

They have a fantastic texture, not chocolatey enough for me, though as Minkie will testify I like my cake really really chocolatey.
I used Ghirardelli's semisweet baking chocolate. Definitely microwave melted the butter and chocolate, very convenient! I would start with the chocolate and add in the butter later cos it melts faster. I used wax paper instead of parchment and regular supermarket-issue dark brown sugar. And yes, they do taste better the next day.

Enjoy! Lemon cake recipe will follow.
Recipe: Supernatural Brownies
Adapted from “Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers,” by Nick Malgieri (Morrow
Cookbooks, 1998)
Time: About 1 hour
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, more for pan and parchment paper
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, such as muscovado
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or 3/4 cup whole walnuts, optional.
1. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and line with buttered parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In top
of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate
together. Cool slightly. In a large bowl or mixer, whisk eggs. Whisk in salt, sugars and vanilla.
2. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Fold in flour just until combined. If using chopped walnuts, stir them in. Pour
batter into prepared pan. If using whole walnuts, arrange on top of batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until shiny
and beginning to crack on top. Cool in pan on rack.
Yield: 15 large or 24 small brownies.
Note: For best flavor, bake 1 day before serving, let cool and store, tightly wrapped.