Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tomato Salad with Crushed Croutons

This is from the excellent Smitten Kitchen website. I made it for Family Lunch on Sunday and we all devoured it. Simple and really delicious.

Crushed croutons
4 slices hearty white bread
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press
1/4 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Tomato salad
1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, mixed colors if you can find them
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon mellow red wine vinegar (yours isn’t mellow? use less)
1/8 teaspoon table salt
Pinch of sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Handful basil leaves, slivered.

Prepare the crushed croutons: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear bread into chunks and pule them in a food processor until coarsely ground (largest chunks can be lima bean sized). No food processor? Keep tearing the bread up until it is in ragged, mixed sized crumbs. Spread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and parmesan until croutons are evenly coated with oil. Bake until golden brown and dry, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. (Warm is fine, hot might wilt your tomatoes, boo.)

Assemble salad: Halve each tomato lengthwise and arrange cut side up on a platter. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, salt, sugar and a few grinds of pepper in a small dish. Drizzle over tomatoes. Sprinkle tomatoes with crushed croutons. Garnish with slivers of basil.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mango Slaw

From Moosewood Restaurant Cooking For Health. A delicious alternative to typical cole slaw and a great use for the cabbage we've been getting from our CSA.

1 firm slightly underripe mango
1.5 cups shredded red or green cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar, maple syrup or other sweetener
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 small fresh chile, minced
1 Tbsp grated peeled ginger root

1. Peel the mango and cut in lengthwise into halves, cutting as close to the pit as possible. Slice off any flesh that remains attached to the pit. Cut the mango flesh into thin strips and place it in a serving bowl. Add the cabbage, carrot and mint.

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together lime juice, sweetener and salt.

3. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil and cook the garlic, chiles and ginger until sizzling and fragrant -- about a minute. Whisk it into the lime juice mixture.

4. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss until well-coasted. Let sit for about 20 minutes

Sunday, August 7, 2011

OMFG Chocolate Cake

The acronym comes courtesy of my friend Derek and his 8-year-old daughter, whose eyes bugged out when she tasted this. It is adapted from a recipe in the Hershey's Homemade cookbook, which I got in college after sending in a bunch of proofs of purchase from Hershey's cocoa containers. The adaptations are to make it dairy-free, and while they may sound weird, I assure you, "normal" eaters can't taste the difference.

2 cups organic sugar
1.75 cups all-purpose flour
0.75 cups cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong coffee
1 Tbsp white vinegar in 1 cup Silk Chocolate Almond Milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350.
2. Prepare 2 9-inch round cake pans: cut rounds of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of each pan, then spray with canola and dust thoroughly with flour.
3. In a large mixer bowl, blend sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
4. Add eggs, coffee, vinegar/milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes (batter will be thin).
5. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
6. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire racks.

2/3 cups Earth Balance margarine
1 1/3 cups cocoa powder
5 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cups Silk Chocolate Almond Milk
2 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the margarine. Stir in the cocoa, stirring constantly, and being careful not to scorch it. Remove from heat, spoon into a large mixer bowl and cool completely. Add powdered sugar alternately with almond milk, beating to spreading consistency. Blend in vanilla. You may have to chill it a bit before frosting the cake (if you're cooking in a warm kitchen).