Friday, November 29, 2013

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apple, Almond, and Parmesan

This is the first post on this blog with the tag "vegetable."

It's a good one, though! My lack of experience does not in any way correlate to a lack of interest or ability. Well, maybe a little.


I did forget to wash the sprouts after peeling off the outside crinkly leaves. But all was well, we washed everything, if a bit out of order and chaotically.

This salad is super easy and flavorful. Thinly sliced sprouts hang out in a lemon dijon vinaigrette until nice and melded, then get spruced up with apple, Parmesan cheese, and almonds. I shaved the sprouts in the food processor, but you could also thinly slice very carefully with a knife or use a mandoline.

Our spread on the big day
It was a hit! There have been several similar recipes floating around on the internet, but I first tasted this salad in our dining hall. It was so delicious my friend and I got up for seconds, and I think I may have had more salad instead of dessert. So addictive. I don't think they had apples, but it's a great addition! So sweet and crunchy.

Make this today, make it next week for lunch, make it to have a large amount of easy to serve, pre-made, keeps-well salad in your fridge all week. It's like a no-mayo slaw, chopped salad, and crunch town all mashed together.


Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apple, Almond, and Parmesan
Makes a TON. We had 7 people and ate less than half of it with Thanksgiving dinner.

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced very thin
  • About 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (grate on large holes of a box grater)
  • 1 sweet apple (I used fuji), diced and tossed in a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup almonds, slivered or thinly sliced (I forgot to toast them, but they would be better toasted)
Method:
  1. Whisk lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt together in large bowl. Add brussels sprouts and toss to coat, using your hands for maximum leverage. Let sit for at least half an hour in the fridge.
  2. Prepare the cheese, apple, and almonds in small bowls.
  3. When you're close to serving time, add in the cheese, apple, and almonds and toss again to combine.
  4. Salad keeps with little degradation for several days in the fridge.
Recipe adapted from Cook's Country and Yale Dining.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cinnamon Caramel Pinwheels

Mmmmmm. I'm home for Thanksgiving! With everyone home and an amazingly well stocked kitchen and a post-college wind-down cold Ugh. I've basically lost my voice, but I can still bake as long as I wash my hands all the time. And no coughing or sneezing.


But listen up, y'all, 'cause these pinwheels are poppin'. A thick, buttery, brown sugar caramel sauce envelops the bottom (and later becomes the top) of a pan of light, fluffy, quick-baking, biscuit-dough cinnamon rolls. No separate glaze to make, just melt it together in the microwave and dump in the pan before the rolls go in.

This is the only picture of the finished rolls that I could, with a good conscience, show you. The others look like a pile of brains.
There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe that you might not keep in stock. Buttermilk, sour cream, and cake flour. Luckily, these are easily substituted for and the results were great. I used greek yogurt for the sour cream (not for health--there's so much butter in these it wouldn't make much of a difference--but because it's what we had). One Fage is a cup, which is exactly what this recipe calls for!
I also used some milk and a squeeze of lemon juice for the buttermilk, and flour with a teaspoon of corn starch for the cake flour.


Soft soft dough with warm, chewy caramel soaked in. Sweet sticky rolls for a decadent breakfast!

Cinnamon Caramel Pinwheels
yield: 9 rolls

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups minus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (or just shy of a 1/4 cup milk plus a squeeze of lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (you could probably use more, they weren't that strong with this amount)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Method:
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degress and put a rack in the middle. Make a parchment paper round to fit in the bottom of a circular cake pan, then grease the whole thing with spray. 
  2.  Put honey, butter, and brown sugar in a microwaveable bowl or measuring cup and microwave until melted and easy to stir. Stir to combine, pour this glaze in bottom of prepared pan. Rinse this bowl (we'll use it soon).
  3.  Sift together flour, cornstarch, 1 tbsp sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (Note: kosher salt is much less dense than table salt, so use less than the recommended 1/2 tsp if using normal table salt!). In the same bowl in which you stirred together the glaze, mix 6 tbsp melted butter, the sour cream or yogurt, and the buttermilk or substitution. 
  4.  Put half of the flour mixture aside in an extra bowl, then add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently to combine. Then, add in the remaining flour mixture, and mix (hands help here) to form a shaggy dough. Dump out on a clean counter and knead a few times until it comes together.
  5.  In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Press the dough out approximately into a 12x9" rectangle and brush with the 1 tbsp melted butter, leaving 1 inch on one of the long edges for sealing the dough. Sprinkle the butter completely with cinnamon sugar and roll up the dough, starting at the edge that doesn't have the 1 inch margin. Roll as tight as possible, and seal by pinching the dough together at the end. 
  6.  Cut dough into 9 pieces (about equal) and lay in pan with two rolls in the middle and seven rolls around the perimeter. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and firm to the touch. Let rest 5 minutes, then flip onto a serving plate and remove the parchment. Serve warm!
Recipe from Fast Breads, via Serious Eats.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dining Hall Hacks

Get ready. Thanksgiving is coming!

I'm sure your feeds are packed with stuffing, pies, brussels sprouts, turkey tips, tablescapes, and more. This is not that.

This is a collection of my dining hall creations, ways to make meals special and your own with just the microwave and toaster available. Obviously I'm doing this from the perspective of my dining hall, so you probably have different food and equipment available, but if you live in a house and have a kitchen and stuff, these are still great hacks!

I've spared you the experiments that didn't work, like olive oil on vanilla ice cream...just, don't do that.

On to the list...

Microwave:

  • Warm (cold) cereal: Heat up milk before putting it on your cereal. Great for mornings when it's chilly but you still want the taste of your favorite cold cereal. Be warned, the cereal gets soggy faster this way! (Granola this way is like the sweetest, crunchiest, yummiest oatmeal you ever had).
  • Apple dip: peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon heated in the microwave, dip sliced apples in this!
  • Makeshift apple pie: "dice" up an apple as well as you can with the knives available. Mix with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and microwave for 3 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add granola on top for crust if you want! (Thanks to Emma for showing me the beauty of this!)
  • Custard sauce: (I haven't actually tried this one, but I imagine it would be wonderful) Heat up a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, then add a slice of cake on top. Boom, instant custard sauce.
Toaster:
  • Toast: This is important. Toast it to your liking, even if that means putting it through the toaster twice. It is worth it
  • Butter and Jam. I forget how dang good this is. Or just butter and salt!
  • Tartine: Cut a big hunk of any bread that isn't presliced, and cut it in half lengthwise as if to make a sub sandwich if it's baguette style. Toast, add whatever toppings you like
Other:
  • Yogurt dip: Mix the plain yogurt with the fruity/vanilla yogurt for a less sweet flavor, use as a dip for fruit (melon is great)
  • Tropical Oatmeal: Oatmeal with brown sugar, pineapple, and coconut shreds
  • Coffee S'mores Dessert: Coffee ice cream with chocolate syrup drizzle and golden grahams. Best dessert ever!
  • Soup as a sauce: ladle it on rice/potatoes/pasta, meat, or veggies as a sauce
  • Soup with your own extras: Add in rice/potatoes/pasta, meat, or veggies. I want to try wilting spinach from the salad bar into soup at some point...  (the only difference between these last two is proportions)
  • Vinaigrette: combine about 1 tablespoon oil, about 1 teaspoon vinegar, and a squeeze of mustard with a fork in a to-go cup. Make twice as much and share with a friend!
  • No-Mayo Coleslaw: cabbage, shredded carrots, and any other veggies you like, with vinaigrette (or homemade vinaigrette, see above!)
  • Carrot Raisin Salad: shredded carrots, raisins, pineapple, yogurt, and cinnamon. My dad makes this so it tastes like home...a sweet way to get some veggies and pretty healthy, all things considered! Make in a mug or cup, this is pretty dang dense.
  • Chopped Salad: Get two bowls, make a salad in one of them. Go at it with fork and knife, then put the extra bowl over the first one to make a spherical shaking vessel. Shake shake shake!
  • Cream cheese on any sandwich instead of mayo
  • Egg sandwich: toast, eggs, and cream cheese. Toast can be a bagel. This is a really great brunch to get from 11am to 5pm studying on a Sunday.
  • Trashy waffle: Peanut butter, jam, and/or nutella on a waffle.
  • Mocha: Half coffee, half hot chocolate
  • Virgin Mimosa: Soda water and OJ

Yes, I have dedicated a whole section to the toaster. I feel strongly that waiting for your favorite done-ness of toast is always worth it. It's one of the ways, as a college student, that you can have control over your food.

Happy Thanksgiving! More recipes to come as I am home and baking again next week!