Archive for February 2008

Spinach and Grits Souffle

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I based this dish roughly off a recipe for a mushroom and grits souffle from Stalking the Green Fairy, by James Villas.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add a dash of salt, and add 1 cup stone-ground white grits, stirring them in with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to keep the grits from sticking.

Grease a 2-quart Pyrex casserole dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Turn off the heat on the grits, and stir in:

  • 1/2 stick butter,
  • a couple of teaspoons soy sauce,
  • a splash of dark sesame oil,
  • ground nutmeg,
  • freshly ground black pepper,
  • dried red pepper flakes,
  • 1/2 package of frozen spinach (more, if you can get it–we ran out)
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • optional (I didn’t use this but I think it would be good): grated sharp cheddar cheese

Pour into the greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with something pleasant–I used a few french-fried onions, the original recipe calls for buttered breadcrumbs, or I bet some Parmesan cheese would go nicely.

Bake for about 45 mins to an hour at 350 degrees, until puffed and golden.

It’s not really a souffle, as far as I know–I think real souffles have the whites beaten to stiff peaks and then folded into a bechamel-type sauce thickened with the yolks–but it’s a pleasant, tasty dish, somewhat healthy as is, and would be positively wholesome with a larger proportion of greens.


Written by orata

February 19, 2008 at 6:51 pm

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Chocolate crackle cookies

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I seriously want to try these cookies from the Chronicle! I’m hoping they’re the kind that’s crackly on the outside, rich, chewy, and brownie-like on the inside.


The Baker: A handy cookie recipe

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

sfgate_get_fprefs(); You can’t think about cookies without thinking about hands. Whether it’s the loving hands that shaped and baked them or the eager hands that pick them up and eat them – especially at a time like Valentine’s Day – cookies, fingers and palms go, fittingly, hand in hand.

Cookie recipes also go from hand to hand as bakers swap their favorites. I got today’s recipe from a casual conversation.

The cookies are easy to prepare, making them a slam dunk for when you want to make something from scratch that’s just a little bit out of the ordinary.

They are also flavored with on-hand ingredients, but sport a unique texture, changing as they bake into rich, crackly rounds.

Try your hand at making them for an easy Valentine’s treat. After a taste, the hands around you are sure to erupt into applause.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Makes 3-3 1/2 dozen

The Baker columnist Flo Braker credits Laura Feldman, whom she met while standing in line at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, for this superb recipe. (Feldman received the recipe when she took a class from Christine Ilich at L’Academie de Cuisine in Washington, D.C.)

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar + more for rolling cookies
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-processed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • — Pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature and slightly beaten

Instructions: Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl (or the bowl of an upright mixer) with a rubber spatula. Rub in butter with your hands until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the chocolate chips. Gradually pour in the eggs, and using a handheld mixer (or the paddle attachment if using the stand mixer) beat on lowest speed just until the eggs are blended into the ingredients.

Roll dough (it is sticky) into 1- to 2-inch balls (I used 2 level measuring teaspoons for each cookie). Roll in granulated sugar until coated on all sides and place on prepared sheets about 2 inches apart (no need to flatten the balls). Bake 11-12 minutes or until crackly on top and still a bit soft (cookies firm as they cool).

Per cookie: 65 calories, 1 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat (2 g saturated), 13 mg cholesterol, 9 mg sodium, 0 fiber.

Flo Braker of Palo Alto is the author of “The Simple Art of Perfect Baking” and “Sweet Miniatures.” E-mail her at food@sfchronicle.com.

Written by orata

February 6, 2008 at 5:41 pm

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Nutmeg scones

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I made these Nutmeg-Scented scones on Sunday–ate a few with clotted cream, and brought some to a Super Bowl party we went to at Andre’s house.  This was Rahul’s idea–I thought it was weird to bring scones to a Super Bowl party, but they were, surprisingly, a hit. Someone said they were “perfect” and someone else wanted the recipe.

I subbed cottage cheese and a splash of plain soy milk for the sour cream, because that’s what I had on hand.

Written by orata

February 6, 2008 at 12:41 pm

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