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I originally created this recipe as a freelance project for a yogurt company. I first tested the cookie without yogurt to make sure the rest of the ingredients were sound. The result (below) was a chewy, sweet, heavily spiced cookie that is perfect for the holidays (I know, I know–I’m way late! Make them next year…).

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar, plus more for rolling
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375* F.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves; set aside.

With a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Add the flour mixture in batches and mix until just combined.

Using a tablespoon, form cookies and roll each cookie in sugar. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and press each cookie with your fingers to flatten slightly.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or longer for a crispier cookie.

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This is mostly a vegetable broth, since the chicken is cooked and then removed, to be used in the next recipe.

2 chicken breasts (with rib meat, skin-on, bone-in)
1 onion, halved, then each half cut into 3 wedges (root end intact)
2 carrots
4 stalks celery
3 large cloves garlic
1 3-inch knob ginger
1 small bunch fresh cilantro
Zest of 1 lime (large strips)
2 bay leaves
8 whole peppercorns

1. Combine all ingredients in a stock pot and cover with cold water.
2. Bring to just under a boil, reduce to a low simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken breasts are cooked through.
3. Remove the chicken breasts and discard the skin. Remove the bones and add back to the pot.
4. Continue to cook for another 2 hours, skimming often.
5. Strain and refrigerate. Skim off any fat that coagulates on the surface before use.

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Notes: add lemongrass. More ginger, more garlic, maybe more cilantro, maybe more lime. MORE. Fairly mild but yummy flavor.

This is attempt #2 at testing this recipe. I think this newer version is better than this previous attempt.

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 stalks celery, medium dice
1 medium onion, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch knob fresh ginger, minced
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 avocados, sliced or diced, for garnish (optional, but highly recommended)
Lime juice, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Toss the carrots with 1 Tbsp olive oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast for 25 minutes, or until dark brown and tender.
3. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the carrots to the pot and cover by 1 inch with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
5. Puree the soup using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and stir in coconut milk.
6. Garnish soup with avocado and freshly squeezed lime juice (optional). Fresh chopped cilantro would also be a great garnish.

Serves 4 (entree)-6 (appetizer)

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With this first recipe since my hiatus, I will take baby steps to actual recipe testing. In Phase One–to last as long as I allow it–recipes will not include exact measurements, but will be significantly more structured than all previous recipes. Here we go:

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1 pound carrots, peeled
1.5 tablespoons curry powder
0.5 teaspoons salt
0.25 teaspoons pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, medium dice
1.5 tablespoons butter
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1-inch segment of ginger, peeled and minced
Lime zest (I dunno, like, 2 big strips?)
Avocado
Cilantro, rough chop
Scallion, whites/greens/whatever, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roughly chop the carrots into uniform size pieces. Toss with curry powder, salt, pepper, and 0.5 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast on a baking sheet for 25-30 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.

While the carrots are roasting, sweat onions in butter and the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Once the onions start to soften, add garlic and ginger and continue cooking over low heat. When the carrots are finished roasting, add them to the pot with the aromatics, toss in lime zest, and cover with water.

Cook the soup for 30 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with avocado (slices, chunks, or scoops) and scallions.