Monthly Archives: October 2012

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Rosemary Potato Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Fontina

This pizza is layered with roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, bacon, and topped with Fontina cheese. The potatoes are tossed with fresh rosemary and olive oil, then roasted in the oven until brown and just crispy.  My technique for making pizza is to pre-bake the pizza dough and broil for several minutes to melt the cheese.  This recipe lends itself well to this technique since all of the toppings are cooked prior to baking.  The rosemary potatoes with the caramelized onions and bacon were an extra delicious trio.  The result was really tasty and ended up being a great Fall recipe.

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Golden Delicious Apple Crisp

 

October has gone by so fast it’s hard to believe.  Just a few weeks ago I spent some time in a local apple orchard and picked up 8 pounds of Golden Delicious apples.  Golden Delicious are suitable for both baking and eating, which makes them special as most apple varieties are good for just one or the other.  I was excited to try these out using my mom’s classic rhubarb crisp recipe and just reducing the sugar to compensate for the apples’ sweetness. These apples had a honey-like sweetness with just the right amount of crunch and tartness to keep things interesting.

The crisp is a simple combination of oats, flour, sugar and spices, baked in the oven, and topped with whipped cream or ice cream.  It was really good with the golden delicious apples.  It will be hard to go back to store bought apples when the season ends!

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Black Bean and Sweet Dumpling Squash Chili

I had never tried making a chili with squash so I was excited to see how this recipe would turn out. But first, let me back up and say that this chili has an interesting back story. Last year, my mom threw some squash seeds in a compost bin. The seeds did not break down as they should have but rather grew to be enormous squash plants over the summer (the vines were 20 ft. long and growing all over the lawn). Letting the vines run wild paid off because they produced gorgeous sweet dumpling squash and I was sent 6 of them in the mail (I’m sure there’s more where that came from). I was so excited to get started since I had never tried sweet dumpling before.

I read up on the squash and it turns out that most recipes just season and roast the squash whole because of their smaller size. They are milder than other squash and taste a bit like sweet corn. I thought preparing it in a chili with beans and corn would work nicely. I started with traditional chili spices like Chipotle in adobo and cumin as well as spices that would compliment the squash like allspice and cinnamon. The chili was so tasty and I was really happy with how it turned out.

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Spiced Molasses Pumpkin Bread

Fall is in full effect and since it is my favorite season I like to celebrate by making seasonal recipes. Pumpkin bread is a Fall classic and I wanted to take it up a notch by adding molasses and spices. In previous years, I made Pumpkin Banana Bread and Nutella Pumpkin Bread so I was excited to try out a new recipe. I was really happy with how it turned out. I really liked the consistency of the bread as it was moist, light, and fluffy. The molasses was mild but gave the bread a more distinct flavor that worked really well with the pumpkin and spices. I chose a simple spice blend of nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cinnamon to season the bread. The recipe yields two loaves so reduce by half in order to make one. I would suggest making one loaf and saving the rest of the dough in the refrigerator for 1-2 days when you’re ready for a second loaf.

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Roti Canai (Malaysian Flat Bread)

Roti is a flat bread that is similar to naan but uses a different technique of shaping and stretching the dough.  For my Malaysian Rendang I chose to serve this bread along side it to soak up the delicious flavors of the Beef Rendang!  I am a big fan of all flat breads so I was looking forward to trying a new one out. The method is pretty easy to follow though I wish my dough turned out a little stretchier.  The bread is flaky, tender and breaks apart easily.  Like naan, the oil traditionally used is ghee, or clarified butter, which gives the bread its tasty flakiness.  The dough is rested for several hours which means there’s some amount of prep and wait time involved–but it was way worth it! It was a perfect accompaniment for the Beef Rendang.

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Malaysian Beef Rendang

Malaysian Rendang is a delicious slow cooked beef dish simmered in coconut milk and spices.   The cut of beef used is usually a cheap cut that is good for slow cooking.  Eventually the tough part of the meat breaks down over time and becomes tender.  The dish starts off with a lot of liquid and slowly evaporates as it’s cooking.  Eventually the liquid cooks almost completely off, coating the beef with tasty coconut flavor, tamarind, and spices.  This is a great weekend project to try as the results are really satisfying but it’s also a labor intensive dish that requires a lot of time and effort.  If you have trouble finding the ingredients at grocery stores, I would recommend going to a local asian or Thai market which might carry the more obscure ingredients.  The dish is popular in Southeast Asia and once I made it I could see why!  The beef was tender and bursting with flavor.  I served it with a side of Malaysian flat bread called ‘Roti’ which was a perfect accompaniment to scoop up the last bits of sauce.

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