Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Decadent Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I feel apologetic about these cookies. They seem to need justification, in the form of a "decadent" before their name. Like many people, my favorite cookies are the large, chewy, thick, bakery-style cookies. But...these were...incredible.


The flavor of a super caramelized, shatteringly crisp (Mary Barry would be proud...just imagine her saying "crisp" in her perfectly articulated British accent) cookie laced with lots of chocolate chips, in a just right batch size of 15 cookies.


I was so excited to try a recipe from Alice Medrich's cookie book. Cookies are my favorite, and she is the queen of chocolate. My cookbooks were lost in the mail (well, the post office hasn't found them 2 months later), so I bought myself this cookbook at my neighborhood used bookstore. I'm so glad I did: the first week, I put approximately 50 post-it flags in the book on recipes I want to try!


So, these cookies. They are unapologetically crisp, despite my apology at the top of this post. They have no egg, contributing to their crispness, and start with melted butter (thank goodness for not having to soften the butter).


The batter is rested overnight in the fridge, or for however long you can spare, which is recommended for lots of cookie recipes. It's a bit fussy, but if you think ahead it breaks up the work nicely over two days. I wanted to try the recipe exactly as written, but on tasting, I think a sprinkle of nice sea salt would not go amiss.


A radically different cookie than both Chips Ahoy and the typical chewy chocolate chip cookie, they are delicious with a glass of cold milk or just snuck in shards from the cookie jar.

Decadent Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 15 large, flat, and delicious cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups (6 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (1.5 ounces) rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) brown sugar (dark brown is best) 
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (2 ounces) light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces or 1 generous cup chocolate chips or chopped bitter/semisweet chocolate

Method:

  1. Combine flour and baking soda in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, oats, sugar (granulated and brown), corn syrup, milk, and salt. Whisk to combine, then gently mix in the flour mixture. If the mixture is still warm from the butter, let it cool down a bit before mixing in the chocolate.
  3. Let batter rest in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, up to probably 3 days would be fine!
  4. When ready to bake, heat oven to 325 degrees F. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with foil, dull side up, and put an extra foil liner on a spare part of countertop. Divide dough equally into 15 pieces, roll each into a ball, and place 5 on each baking sheet/liner. Smoosh each ball down until the dough balls are about 3.5" in diameter.
  6. Bake sheets 20-25 minutes, rotating and flipping sheets halfway through baking, until the cookies are thin and quite brown. This makes the caramelization and makes them completely dry (that is, amazingly easy to store). Slide the extra liner onto one of the baking sheets and bake the third sheet like the others. 
  7. Let cool to room temperature on wire racks, then store in an airtight container as long as they stick around.
Recipe from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Ginger Veggie Udon Soup

It's a warm fall in SF, but a little veggie soup never went amiss. This one is gingery/miso-y, with yummy soft udon noodles. It would be great for fending off a cold, with all the vitamin-filled veggies, lime juice, miso, and ginger. Knock on wood...


I bought a pack of udon noodles from the Japanese supermarket, and couldn't even read the numbers to tell how long to cook it for...Google Translate to the rescue! Their app allows you to take a picture of text and it will translate!


In a nutshell: You simmer the broth for about 15 minutes, and while that's happening boil the noodles. Chop up a whole lot of veggies in small strips, then cook some with the broth and leave some raw to be softened by the residual heat of the broth. It takes less than half an hour and is immensely satisfying.





Get your bowl, plop in a bunch of noodles, add raw carrots, then pour the broth over the whole thing. The result is a fresh, bright, light soup. Finish it all off with a squeeze of lime, green onions, and some sort of spicy situation if you want (I used a serrano chile, seeds removed and chopped fine).

To make it heartier, you could always add a soft boiled egg or some tofu. I'll probably do this with my leftovers!

Ginger Veggie Udon Soup
Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients:

  • Broth:
    • 3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled (use a spoon to scrape off the skin) and chopped into 1/4 inch thick rounds
    • 1/2 large carrot, chopped into 1/2 inch rounds
    • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    • 5 cups vegetable stock or water
    • 10 sprigs cilantro
  • Other ingredients:
    • 7 ounces udon (find in a Japanese supermarket/specialty store or online)--rice noodles or soba would also be good!
    • 1/2 head of broccoli (mind was leftover from roasting a head)
    • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
    • 1/2 large carrot (the other half), cut into matchsticks
    • 1 rounded teaspoon red miso paste
    • 5-6 green onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
    • *Note: use whatever veggies you have leftover! Thug Kitchen suggests thinly sliced snowpeas in place of the red pepper, but I bought red peppers at Costco so....
  • For serving:
    • lime
    • serrano chile or sriracha
    • sesame oil (I didn't do this but it sounds good!)
Method
  1. In a medium/large pot, heat over medium heat and then add the carrot and ginger chunks. Cook without oil, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, until the carrots start to brown. Add garlic and stir again for about a minute to take the edge off. Add the stock or water and cilantro and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While you're waiting, cook the noodles according to the package. Mine went for 5 minutes into boiling water and were rinsed after cooking. Set the noodles aside (it's okay if they don't stay hot).
  3. Chop up the rest of the veggies! Once the stock is done with its 15 minutes, remove the ginger, garlic, cilantro, and carrot as best you can. 
  4. Add anything that you want to cook a bit to the stock now: broccoli if it's raw, red peppers, etc. I left the carrots raw, but you do you. Cook for just long enough for the veggies to lose their rawness--a couple of minutes. 
  5. Stir the miso paste and a ladle or two of stock together in an extra bowl, then dump back in the soup. and stir to combine.
  6. Put some noodles and carrots in a bowl, and ladle the soup over everything. Serve with garnishes or an egg as desired! (if you let this sit for a minute the carrots and noodles can warm up a bit).
  7. Enjoy!
Recipe slightly adapted from Thug Kitchen.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Saag Paneer [mini-post]

So, this kind of blew my mind. Once you get the ingredients for Indian food, you can make Indian food!


Aarti's party on Food Network gave me the glory of this recipe, so I'm not going to wax on too much. Just know that the paneer is marinated and fried. As in, fried cheese!! Find the recipe here.

P.S. I didn't make my own paneer and it was still amazing. We got ours at Costco, and apparently you can freeze it so...looking forward to many more paneer filled meals.

P.P.S. Don't overeat on this. It's easy to because it is dense and delicious, but you will regret it.

P.P.P.S. I bought naan from safeway to eat with this. There are only so many new things one can try at once. Don't let anything limit you from trying new food!