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TND Extra – Oscars 2014 (recipes)

March 11, 2014

prep2

Cold Spiced Cider
1 gallon apple cider
1 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground cloves
¼ cup brown sugar (or to taste)

Mix all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10-12 minutes.  Strain and allow to cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate overnight.

Serve in a pitcher with thin slices of orange and apple.

spiced cider

White Queso Dip
Vegetable Oil
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (more to taste)
½ onion, peeled and minced
1 (4-oz) can fire-roasted green chiles
8 oz evaporated milk
1 tsp cornstarch
12 oz white American cheese, torn into pieces
4 oz sharp white cheddar, grated
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp cumin powder
Kosher salt, white pepper, and cayenne, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
Chicken stock or water, for thinning

Heat a little vegetable oil in a pot.  Add the jalapeño and onion, and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the green chiles and evaporated milk and continue cooking until warmed through.

Combine the cornstarch with 1 Tbsp cold water and whisk into the milk mixture, followed by the cheeses, garlic, onion, and cumin powders. Continue whisking until the cheese is completely melted. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Thin as needed with stock or water. (The queso sauce can be prepared up to an hour ahead of time – thin with extra water or stock as needed when you rewarm it.)

Serve with tortilla chips, and mixed vegetables (if you’re feeling a little guilty about all the cheese).

Cornhusker Casserole
1 (14 ½ oz) can white hominy, drained and patted dry
10 oz package whole kernel corn, thawed and patted dry
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp flour (or cornstarch if you’re trying to make this gluten free)
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground red pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine hominy and corn in a greased 8×8 pan. Top with cheese.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, flour, garlic, salt and ground red pepper together until combined. Pour milk mixture over the cheese.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted off-center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

cornhusker casserole

Digaag Duban
2 lb chicken drumsticks (or drummettes, or chicken wings)
½ tsp. ground black pepper
Juice of one lemon
½ tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp.chilli powder (optional)
A few strands of saffron
Salt to taste
3 Tbsp olive oil

Dry the chicken well, trim any excess fat, and then prick all over with a fork.

Mix the remaining ingredients together, and then rub all over the chicken.  Marinate over night in the refrigerator.

Preheat your oven to 375 and bake the chicken on a foil lined baking sheet for 35-40 minutes, or until done.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Salad
Baby Spinach
Candied Pepitas (same theory as candied nuts, but with pepitas in place of the nuts)
Strawberries
Crumbled Cheese (I used a blue cheese, but feta, goat, or really anything you happen to like would work)

Raspberry Vinaigrette
½ cup frozen raspberries, thawed
2-4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Honey, to taste
Grainy mustard, to taste
Salt/pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  You can strain the dressing if you like to remove any seeds.

spinach salad

Guinness Gingerbread w/ Cream Cheese Frosting
The original recipe calls for it to be baked in a bundt pan, but I wanted to frost it so I baked it in a 9×13 pan and the edges overcooked before the middle was done.  I ended up cutting off the edges (also because that made it neatly fit onto the plate I wanted to serve it on) and poking holes in the top and bottom and drizzling it generously with a ginger syrup and letting the syrup soak into the cake for a few hours before I frosted it.  This turned the cake sticky and moist, and redolent with spicy ginger flavor and I may make this a standard addition to the recipe.

I buy ginger syrup at Whole Foods, but if you lack a Whole Foods or want to make your own there are a variety of easy recipes out there – epicurious has one and so does David Lebovitz.  You’ll only need a couple of tablespoons to drizzle on the cake, but the syrup will keep in the fridge for a fairly long time and it’s good drizzled on yogurt, on top of fruit salad, as an additional kick for any recipe that calls for ginger anyway (curries, carrot-ginger soup, gingery salad dressing, etc.).

gingerbread

Guinness Gingerbread
1 cup Guinness
1 cup molasses
½ tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Generously butter a 9×13 pan and line with a parchment sling – butter the parchment too.  (If you had nerves of steel you could attempt this in a bundt pan, my nerves are more fragile than that.)

Bring Guinness and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes.

Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Once the cake has cooled completely poke holes all over the top with a toothpick and drizzle generously with ginger syrup.  Allow to soak in.  Turn the cake over, and repeat the procedure.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap & foil and allow to sit overnight (you could serve it the same day, but it gets better if it has time to sit for 1-2 days)

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese, softened
6 Tbsp butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
(optional – 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger)
(optional – ½ tsp vanilla)
Finely chopped crystallized ginger for garnish

In a mixer beat together the cream cheese and butter until combined.  Gradually add in the sifted powdered sugar.  Add in grated ginger or vanilla, if using.  Beat until well combined.

Spread over cooled cake and garnish with chopped crystallized ginger.

Strawberry Brown Bettys
I made my brown bettys in mini-muffin cups, but the recipe below is for regular sized muffin cups.  To fill 24 mini-muffin cup size Bettys I made 1 ½ of the recipe below and had filling leftover.  You could probably make a generous 1 ¼ times the recipe and have just about the exact amount of filling you need.

brown betties
Brown Bettys
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp granulated sugar
6 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar (will depend a little on how sweet your strawberries are)
½ tsp lemon zest, finely grated
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup panko (see notes below on how to make your own)
1 ½ to 2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced (I forgot to jot down the weight, but it was less than a half pound of whole berries)

In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, reduce heat to medium-low. The butter will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is less than a minute. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Lightly butter muffin cups with some of brown butter, then sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Roll bread slices with a rolling pin to flatten. Brush both sides with additional brown butter, then gently fit into muffin cups.

Stir together brown sugar, zest, salt and panko, then add strawberries and toss to coat. Stir in remaining brown butter. Heap strawberry mixture into cups, pressing gently.

Cover pan with foil and bake 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until strawberries are very tender, about 10 minutes more. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make your own panko (not exactly the same – but if you’re trying for gluten free . . . )
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Tear one to two slices of soft, crustless white bread into 1-inch pieces and pulse them in the food processor until coarsely ground. This will make a generous half cup.

Transfer crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Use.

Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Yogurt Sauce
1 ½ cups whole milk plain yogurt (not Greek-style yogurt)
1-2 Tbsp light brown sugar (to taste)
Splash of vanilla
Cinnamon (to taste)

Line a sieve with a double layer of paper towels and place over a bowl.  Scoop the yogurt into the sieve and allow to drain for 3-4 hours (or longer if you want a thicker sauce).

Peel/spoon the drained yogurt off the paper towels into a small bowl and whisk in the remaining ingredients.

Fruit Sushi
Sushi
1 ½ cups sushi rice
1 cup coconut milk
1 ¼ cups water
2 Tbsp honey
Pinch of salt

Combine the all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed – about 20-30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, and then transfer to a large bowl to cool completely.

Use the rice to create the fruit sushi of your dreams – my roommate used thinly sliced mango, plums, whole berries, some mandarin orange wedges, and strawberries to make a variety of sushi.

Serve with the mango sauce.

Mango Dipping Sauce
10 oz package frozen mangos, defrosted (or 2 ripe mangos, chopped)
¼ cup powdered sugar
Juice of two limes

Puree all together in a food processor.

(If you have leftover sauce you can freeze it in ice cube trays and use it in smoothies.)

fruit sushi

Slutty Brownies
There were minor baking logistical issues with making these.  I baked them in a 9×13 pan, and the edges of the brownie definitely overcooked before the middle was remotely set.  I ended up slicing off the outer edges of the brownies, and the ones from the middle of the pan were definitely fudgier and moister than the ones from the outer edges.  Also, even putting my pan on a baking sheet to bake the chocolate cookie dough layer overbaked slightly before the brownie layer set up.

We theorize that perhaps making the layers thinner would help – so if you made a half of the recipe and baked it in an 11×7 pan (as opposed to an 8×8 pan) that might solve the problem – but this is an untested theory.

We also theorize that if you substituted Reese’s peanut butter cups for the Oreos (or used peanut butter Oreos), that would be even more amazing.  This is also untested, but I’m going to go out on a limb and advocate for this combination sight unseen, and brownie untasted.

slutty brownies

Cookie Dough Layer (courtesy of the Joy of Cooking)
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
12 oz chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, and mix until well incorporated.  Add the vanilla.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Mix the sifted flour into the butter & eggs mixture, mixing until well combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Brownie Layer
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
1 lb bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 ½ oz all purpose flour
5 eggs
14 oz light brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. If the heat from the butter does not fully melt the chocolate, put the pan back over the heat for 10 seconds and stir until melted. Set aside to cool.

Sift the flour into a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until the mixture thickens and becomes pale in color and falls from the beater in a wide ribbon that folds back on itself and slowly dissolves on the surface, 4 to 5 minutes. Alternatively, use a mixing bowl and a whisk to beat the ingredients until the mixture falls from the whisk in a wide ribbon.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture. Add the flour and fold it in quickly but gently with the rubber spatula so that you don’t deflate the air that’s been incorporated into the eggs.

Assembly
Butter a 9×13” pan and line with a parchment sling – butter that too.

Press the cookie dough into an even layer in the bottom of the pan.

Arrange a single layer of oreo cookies over the cookie dough (I got 30 into my pan).

Pour the brownie batter over the oreo cookies, smoothing to an even layer.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the top is slightly cracked and feels soft to the touch.

Cool completely and then slice.  Attempt not to think about how much butter and chocolate you are ingesting, just enjoy the decadence.

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