Showing posts with label #RandomRecipeChallenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #RandomRecipeChallenge. Show all posts

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chocolate-filled Chocolate Cookies

These great chewy chocolate-filled chocolate cookies have a surprise in the center of each one. Pour yourself a cold glass of milk and get stuck in!

This recipe comes from a cookbook I haven’t picked up in ages, Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef. Of course, Jamie called them Chocolate Biscuits with Soft Chocolate Centres. I’m sharing these for Belleau Kitchen’s Random Recipe Challenge merged this month with the Chocolate Log Blog’s We Should Cocoa challenge, cohosted this month by both Dom and Choclette.

The rules are the same as normal Random Recipe Challenges. Choose a cookbook at random, make the first recipe you open to, except this month, it is make the first chocolate recipe you open to. I like to make my life simple, so I used Eat Your Books to choose both. Click on the graphic for full details.

2/3 cup or 145g butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup or 145g sugar
1 whole egg
2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/3 cup or about 26g cocoa powder
3 1/2 oz or 100g chocolate bar (milk, white or dark) I used chocolate mint.

Grease a large baking sheet or line it with baking parchment. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

Whisk your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in another mixing bowl.

Beat the egg into the butter/sugar mixture.

Add in the cocoa powder and the flour to make a soft dough. Beat until completely combined.

Wrap it in cling film and put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

When the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Roll the dough into small balls about 1 inch or 2 centimeters across and break your chocolate bar into small squares.

Press them out into circles on your prepared cookie sheet, making sure to leave a good space between them for rising while baking.

Top each circle with a piece of chocolate.

Add another dough ball on top and press out to cover the chocolate.

Bake for 10 minutes in your preheated oven. These cookies are delicious as is but would also be great for ice cream sandwiches!


***This post has an affiliate link, which means I earn some small change if you click on the Amazon link and buy.**

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pumpkin and Apples Roasted with Brown Sugar #RandomRecipe Challenge

This wonderful recipe comes very slightly adapted from the gorgeous cookbook Bountiful – Recipes Inspired by our Garden, by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, the pair otherwise known as White on Rice Couple.  If you don’t have this one already, buy it now.  No kidding.  While it’s not a completely vegetarian cookbook, it does showcase garden vegetables enhanced by fragrant fresh herbs and warm, wonderful spices, making them the rightful main attraction on any dinner table. 

Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden
This month’s Random Recipe Challenge from Dom at Belleau Kitchen is to choose a new cookbook, perhaps one you got for Christmas and open it randomly to a recipe, then make that.  As it happens, I got three cookbooks for Christmas, all from my mother, generous woman that she is.  In addition to Bountiful, she gave me the latest Ottolenghi book, Jerusalem and Clotilde Dusoulier’s new vegetarian cookbook, The French Market Cookbook.   I have spent the last few weeks reading and bookmarking and it’s going to take me ages to make all the dishes I want to make from all three fabulous books.  I’ve already said, “Buy Bountiful.”  But you’ll want the other two as well.

Ingredients - side dish for four or main course for two
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons, tightly packed, dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 medium apples (Mine together weighed a little more than 12 oz or 350g, whole.)
1 small pumpkin or winter squash (Mine weighed about 1 lb 13 oz or 840g, whole.) 
1/2 cup or 60 grams chopped pecans
Sea salt 
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°F or 190°C.

Peel your pumpkin and remove the seeds.  

Slice into half moons about 1/2 in or 1cm wide.  Set aside.  If you want to toast the seeds later, these instructions are simple and easy to follow.  

Peel, halve and core your apples.  Slice them into thick wedges. 

Choose an ovenproof saucepan and you will save the washing up.  Otherwise, the first steps of cooking will be on the stove and then you will need to transfer the ingredients to a baking pan.   

Melt the butter in your pan over a medium heat.  It will start to pop and sizzle as the milk liquids evaporate.  When it stops sizzling, add in your brown sugar and your cinnamon and stir well until the sugar has melted into the butter. 

Add in the apples and stir well to coat them with the sugary butter.  

Sauté gently until the apples have softened slightly then add in the pumpkin.  

Stir well to coat the pumpkin with the butter and the apple juice that has cooked out the apples. 

Give the whole thing a good sprinkle of sea salt and a few good grinds of fresh black pepper.  And then top with the chopped pecans. 

Pop your saucepan in your preheated oven (or transfer everything to an ovenproof baking pan) and roast until you can pierce the pumpkin easily with a fork.  Mine took about 30-35 minutes.  


***This post includes affiliate links that will earn me some small change, for which I am much obliged, if you make a purchase after following the links.***  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Buttermilk Roast Chicken Breasts for #RandomRecipeChallenge

Chicken marinated in buttermilk becomes tender and juicy, even whole chicken breasts, which are notorious for becoming dry during roasting.  These were succulently, fragrantly delicious! 

The Random Recipe Challenge has gone back to its theme-less origins this month, with Dom proclaiming that we should choose a random cookbook off the shelf and open it to a new random recipe.  And make it.

random recipes #34
Read all about it by clicking here.

I got lucky.  Not in the sense that I had the ingredients, because that did require a trip to the supermarket but I was hoping for something savory after completing Cookie Week last Saturday and the Creative Cookie Challenge on Tuesday.  I enjoyed baking the cookies.  I really did.  But my fervent prayer was still, “Please don’t let it be another cookie!”  My random book was Nigella Lawson’s Express, a book I really haven’t used very much so the chances of my opening to a familiar recipe were practically nil.  It fell open to Buttermilk Roast Chicken and I thought it was going to be like Jamie Oliver’s chicken baked in milk, which I have made.  And enjoyed.  But, nope.  The buttermilk is just part of the marinade, with seasonings added.  I have to say, “Thanks, Dom!”  Because I think we’ve found a new family favorite!

For the marinade:
2 cups or 480ml buttermilk
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil plus more for during roasting
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt flakes or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon maple syrup (You know what I substituted.)

For roasting:
6 chicken breasts with wings still attached (or chicken pieces of your choice, approximately 3lbs or 1.4kg total weight)
2 tablespoons of olive oil or duck fat for the baking pan
Sprinkle cayenne pepper and extra black pepper

In a Ziploc bag large enough to hold all your chicken breasts, add the peeled garlic, salt, cumin, black pepper and olive oil.

Close the bag and use the heel of your hand to crush the garlic cloves, being careful not to pierce the bag.

Add in the buttermilk and then the chicken.  Seal the bag and mash everything around to make sure that all parts of the chicken are covered with seasoned liquid.

Leave the chicken marinating in the refrigerator overnight or at the very least out of the fridge for 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.  I put it in a deep plate, just in case the bag leaked a little.  Fortunately, it didn’t, but you never know with those Ziplocs.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F or 190°C.

Prepare a baking pan large enough for the chicken breasts to sit apart and in a single layer by lining it with foil and coating it with olive oil or duck fat, if you prefer.  If you are using duck fat, you can melt it in the pan in the preheating oven.

You KNOW I chose the duck fat option! 

Take the chicken out of the bag and drain it well in a colander.

Arrange the breasts in your prepared baking pan, skin side DOWN to coat with olive oil or duck fat.

Now turn the breasts over, sprinkle with a little more black pepper and some cayenne.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and drizzle a little more olive oil on the breasts and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Remove the chicken to a serving plate and use a spoon to gently scrape up the lovely brown bits from the foil, adding a little hot water if necessary to remove them.  Serve this lovely pan juice alongside your chicken.   It is fabulous on mashed potatoes or rice.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Indian Corn Pudding with Date Honey for #RandomRecipeChallenge

This simple cornmeal pudding is flavored with date honey but you could easily substitute any syrup you love.  Cooked in a crockpot or slow cooker, it makes an easy, belly-warming sweet finish to any meal.

I’m now in my second go-round of living in the Middle East, but the fact of the matter is that I fear I have barely touched the surface of the ingredients available here. Take date honey, for instance.  I first noticed date honey, or date syrup as it sometimes called, when we moved to Dubai back in November last year but I’d never bought it because I had no idea what to do with it.  Then, last May, on a holiday with my mother in the region, our hotel had a bowl of it out at breakfast.  I put it in my plain yogurt and everyone else was spreading it on buttered toast.  But I still never bought any of my own.  So I was delighted when Dom from Belleau Kitchen set using a local ingredient as our Random Recipe Challenge for this month.  I love Dom’s challenges because they are the impetus I need to try something new, even when sometimes it’s just a recipe in a book I’ve had for years so I bought a big bottle of date honey and prepared to use it in a recipe.

Unfortunately, an EatYourBooks search of date syrup and/or honey showed up zero recipes in my own cookbook collection.  It tastes more like molasses rather than honey or syrup, so I changed the search parameter to molasses and my chosen number lead me a recipe in a book I have never, ever cooked from, Lora Brody’s Slow Cooker Cooking.  I bought it online several years ago meaning for it to be a gift for my elder daughter, along with a crockpot, but she declined the gift idea, saying, quite rightly, that she didn’t need a heavy appliance to lug around.  So I was left with the book and I popped it on my shelf and forgot about it.  It’s actually quite a nice cookbook and I regret neglecting it.  That said, I halved the recipe because I wasn’t sure about a slow cooker sweet dish.  I shouldn’t have worried.  It was delicious, especially with a big slurp of pouring cream.  My husband declared it very good, in fact.  So go ahead and double everything and cook for nine hours.  Live large!  And try something local that is made or grown in YOUR neighborhood.

random recipes #33
Click on the badge to see the Random Recipe Challenge rules.

1/4 cup or about 70g yellow cornmeal
2 cups or 275ml whole milk
1/4 cup or 60ml date honey or syrup (or sub molasses/treacle as in the original recipe)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon butter, cut into two pieces, plus extra for greasing slow cooker
1 egg, lightly beaten

In a small mixing bowl, whisk your egg, a half cup of the milk and the date honey. Set aside.

Check out how dark this stuff is! 

Butter the inside of your slow cooker.  Do not turn it on yet.

Place the cornmeal in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Pour in a half cup of the milk; whisk constantly as you pour, so that the cornmeal does not form lumps.

Add your sugar, salt and baking soda to the egg/milk/molasses bowl and whisk again.  Add this mixture to the saucepan along with the butter and whisk well.

Set the saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the mixture, whisking constantly and making sure to reach into the corners of the pan, until small bubbles start to form on the surface and the mixture starts to thicken.  This takes just a few minutes.

Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining cup of milk, whisking vigorously to dissolve any lumps.

Pour the mixture into the buttered insert of the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW for about four and a half or five hours, or until the outer edges and top have darkened and the middle just jiggles a little.  Turn off the slow cooker and let the pudding cool slightly, uncovered.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or a good helping of thick pouring cream.

It rather makes its own sauce as well.