Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chili, Coffee, and Steak; oh my!

This steak was a huge hit. It had a little too much of a kick for me, but I also fail at eating spicy food. It was however, delicious, and for the second time of using coffee I once again did not taste it. This is also a blog I haven’t tried anything from before and it got raves. I used it on steak, but originally it was used on pork. I think serving it with sweet potatoes would be great, because with the cauliflower it was a little much.
Coffee-Chili Steak
Adapted from Tasty Eats at Home

1 T canola oil
1 1/2 T finely ground espresso powder
1 1/2 T ground chile powder, such as ancho or cascabel
1/2 T dark brown sugar
1/4 T dry mustard
1/4 T ground coriander
½ T garlic salt
1/4 T freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ lb steak

Combine all spices and oil in a small bowl. This will create a coarse mixture, which you then spread on the steak. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Heat up the grill, it should take about 8 minutes to cook, but because the rub is so dark is a little hard to tell. Serve and enjoy.

As you can tell this is a fast and easy rub, and you an even skip the marination process.

Fall Cauliflower

It’s fall. And in Seattle this means two things, one being that the rain is coming down in droves, and the second that it is unbelievably beautiful out. This recipe just seemed so fall like that I had to try it, and it was good. I’ve never had cauliflower not with cheese, but this topping was delightful. The one thing I wasn’t in love with was the texture of the cauliflower, I don’t like it baked so much.

Cauliflower with Raisins
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 3 servings

1 head cauliflower, trimmed of leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons fresh soft bread crumbs
1 tablespoon plus
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons whole almonds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon finely sliced chives.

Sauté bread crumbs in 1 tablespoon butter for three minutes until toasted and golden brown. Set aside, and put in almonds and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss until lightly browned and then remove from pan. Roughly chopped (we pulled out the wooden bowl and chopped used to make charoses), and then also set outside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wipe out pan and add remaining olive oil, cut cauliflower into slices (which I was less successful at) and sauté until lightly browned on each side. Since I don’t have an oven proof skillet, I transferred everything onto a pan and baked that for 12 minutes which worked well.

So I busted the pan back out, poured the vinegar and remaining butter and raisins, and cooked until plump, about five minutes. Then add the drained raisins, almonds, capers, and spices together. Once the cauliflower is cooked pour this on top, and then spread over the bread crumbs. Serve immediately!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Milk made from butter

My Dad recently had his birthday (although out of town without me) and I can never turn down an excuse for cake making, so I decided to embark on this recipe. I was nervous about the amount of coffee considering what a bad Seattlelite I am (hot chocolate any day), but this cake was so good and so moist and so did not taste like coffee that it was clearly worth it. So instead of doing the mountains of homework I have, I adapted this cake recipe. It originally called for a ganche frosting, but I decided to go head over heels with chocolate and pair it with fresh whipped cream instead.

Fun anecdote of the day: When I was shopping for buttermilk (which I did not find as the recipe below reveals) I asked for the help of a friendly Safeway employee. His reply, verbatim: Is that milk made from butter?
Also, it turns out that I suck at cake decorating. This is so structurally unsound and the first cake came out of the pan more in crumbs than a cake form. And by the time the cake had been frosted for half an hour three serious cracks had appeared. So I would follow Smitten’s advice on the parchment/wax paper because she clearly had a point.

Double Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Cake Layers
3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Brew coffee and cover chocolate chips with it, stirring until all melted and smooth. This takes a little while. In the meantime, beat the three eggs into a consistent mixture. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add in all other ingredients. Grease three round pans (I had enough batter to fill two eight inch and one ten inch which was the best I could with available cookware) and line with wax/parchment paper then fill with batter. Bake at 300 for 50 minutes to an hour and ten minutes.

Raspberry Filling
12 oz frozen raspberries
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Thaw the raspberries and then blend (I had to add about a fourth cup of hot water to get a more liquidy mixture), push through a sieve (or whatever mesh you can improvise) into a pot to get rid of seeds. I found the back of a spoon pretty helpful. Add in the sugar and cornstarch and bring to a boil, letting thicken. Wait to completely cool to spread between layers.

1 carton heavy whipping cream
Sugar to taste

Combine and mix until fluffy. Use to frost outside of the cake (I used as filling for the second layer to mix things up and put more raspberry on top).

This is really good. Like, maybe the chocolate cake I've ever had even if it is super ugly. Seriously, go make this, right now.