Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cabbage Tots

After visiting local restaurant Bocado recently, I have a new found love of brussel sprouts. I filled up on sprouts and red wine alone - and I could have kept eating them. Anyway, I've been on a search ever since to find a recipe to make them at home. I think the secret is all in the roasting technique.

1-1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut through the core into quarters
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. minced shallot
1-1/2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice; more to taste
1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. lightly packed finely grated lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. In a medium bowl, toss the sprouts with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread the sprouts out evenly on the two baking sheets.
2. Roast until the sprouts are tender 20 to 22 minutes, stirring the sprouts once or twice during roasting. (Note that any loose leaves will be browning deeply; if they seem to be actually burning, turn down the heat a bit or just pick out the burned leaves.)
3. While the sprouts cook, combine the butter and shallot in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until the butter is melted and the shallots are soft, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high and continue cooking, swirling the pan, until the milk solids in the butter turn golden brown and the butter smells very nutty (take care that none of the shallots burn), about 2 minutes. Whisk in the lemon juice, thyme, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to dress the sprouts.
4. Slide the sprouts into a medium bowl, add the vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt, pepper, or lemon, and serve immediately.

*Adapted from a recipe here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Breakfast

I couldn't think of a more special way to thank my Valentine for being so great than to present him with a plate full of pork and cheese eggs! And yes, the toast is shaped like a heart - really went out of the box on that one. Nothing says, "I love you" like CHEESE EGGS!

What special foods did you enjoy today?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Orange Vanilla Pound Cake

In an effort to contribute something valuable to last weekend's superbowl party, I wanted to make some sort of cake. This turned out pretty good - but it was a little smaller than I expected. I'll definitely tweak to add more orange flavor next time, but the tanginess of the yogurt was surprisingly (and deliciously) notable.

1 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. vanilla yogurt
Powdered sugar icing (powdered sugar, vanilla, and orange juice)

1. Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
2. Combine flour, soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir lemon rind, vanilla and yogurt into batter.
3. Pour batter into a greased 10-inch Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour (or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean). Cool in pan 15 minutes; remove and cool completely on rack. Sprinkle with icing as desired.