Category Archives: Recipes

City Bakery’s Hot Chocolate

This hot chocolate recipe is no, sugary Swiss-Miss like drink. No, this is the kind of rich, dark hot chocolate the texture of pure melted chocolate, so rich you could bathe in it. Behold: City Bakery’s (Very) Decadent Hot Chocolate

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VERY DECADENT HOT CHOCOLATE
Serves 2

Ingredients:
4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups whole milk
2 tsp corn starch
about 2 Tbsp sugar
generous pinch sea salt
splash vanilla extract

Directions:
In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the dark chocolate with a splash of milk over medium-low heat. Stir. Whisk corn starch with rest of milk (vigorously or else you’ll end up with clumps of corn starch in your drink) and slowly add it to the melted chocolate. Add sugar to taste. Keep stirring until it reaches a low simmer and becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in salt and vanilla.

Divide between two cups. Top with giant marshmallows.

Recipe from: www.thetarttart.com.

Muffins, Anyone?

unnamed-2Food and Wine’s recipe for blueberry muffins is the kind of baking recipe that you can whip up in the morning. No active yeast, rising, or tricky techniques are needed. Yes, the “crumb topping” may sound difficult, but all that’s involved is mixing melted butter in with flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. The crumbs look very fancy and are tasty too, but were a little on the sweet side for me. Don’t cover the entire top of the muffin with crumbs unless you want something very sweet. After making the recipe once, I think that throwing in some add-ins would be interesting. Swap out the crumb topping for some oats or granola. True some AP flour for bran flour. Throw in some other berries or even apples with the blueberries. Or just follow the recipe, throw ’em in the oven, and let the scent of fresh baked muffins waft over your house.

Wintertime Calls for Chili

The holidays may have passed, but the cold weather is here to stay. You’ll want some nice bowls of soup, large plates of pasta, and steamy cups of hot chocolate to keep you warm. Another great winter-y dish? Vegetarian chili. This recipe comes from Real Simple, a source that I might not usually be jumping to use. But throwing everything into a slow cooker/big pot and letting it simmer away all day is just about as good as it gets. For accompaniments, radishes, scallions, sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole pair well. If you want to lean more Southern, add a chunk of cornbread on the side. If you want to continue with the Mexican vibe, tortilla chips (pictured) are great. Either way, jacked up with toppings or simply spooned into a bowl, this chili is sure to warm you up.unnamed-1

How to (Scientifically) Make the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

As you transition your calendar to November, turn your clocks back an hour, and crank up your heat as you prepare for the winter, it can only be the brisk autumnal months. And all you really want is a glass of milk and a chocolate chip cookie, right? Well, that’s what I want and after faithfully following Serious Eats‘ blog award-winning test kitchen column, The Food Lab, I may have found the ultimate cookie. You can read their scientific journey here.

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If you’ve never heard of Serious Eats, you should definitely check it out. It, and The Food Lab in particular, dives into popular recipes ranging from kale salad to cassoulet, grilled pizza to hardboiled eggs. So of course, it’s only natural that the classic chocolate chip cookie should be tested to death. If you think there’s not much to the most classic of cookies you can think again. After testing the amounts and ratios of eggs, butter, brown and white sugar, cake and bread flour, baking soda and powder, temperature, chilling the dough, and salt, J. Kenji López-Alt settled on what he considers the ultimate recipe for chocolate chip cookies. His recipe has a few surprises including browning the butter, adding an entire 2 teaspoons of kosher salt plus more sea salt after baking, using only baking soda (no powder), and a 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar. It also involves chilling the dough overnight, making this recipe a bit more of a project than the average cookie eater may want to take on.

After faithfully following the recipe, I certainly think the cookies are great, wonderful even. But the best ever? Let me make them again…

Fresh Summer Salad

An incredibly simple, seasonal salad is really all you need after a scorching hot summer day and this salad is so simple, yet so tasty it’s sure to please everyone. The most important rule to remember when using few ingredients is that they are as fresh as you can find, but the rest really couldn’t be more straightforward.

Summer Corn Salad

Directions: Slice some heirloom tomatoes, put some cooked corn on top and finish with arugula.

If that’s too simple, you can turn it up a few notches as I did. I cooked the corn with butter on very high heat in a pan for 5-10 minutes. I added some grilled San Marzano tomatoes for a contrast to the heirlooms, texture and temperature-wise. I also drizzled the arugula with a few dribbles of good-quality olive oil, for a little heftiness. The flavors are on their own so strong, that there’s not really anything more you have to do.

Although the summer is winding down, the farmers markets are still booming with fresh vegetables and this salad does them justice without being too simple, too complex, or just plain not tasty.

Chicken Wings: Grilled, not Fried

BoygrillswingsMaking chicken wings at home may seem like a hassle, in fact you may not even think it’s possible. As you wander in to your local chicken wing restaurant, you will probably notice the deep-friers sizzling the wings away. But replicating crispy, crunchy wings at home doesn’t require submerging your wings in oil. Many recipes suggest baking them (broiling would work, too). But I went for a different method: I fired up the grill (for the first time). With a sauce inspired by the Toronto Momofuku Noodle Bar,  I started by oiling the grill (my dad  not far away) with toasted sesame oil before laying down the wings. After about fifteen minutes, and they were relatively evenly cooked. I tossed them into my sauce and threw them back on the grill for about five minutes more. The result? A sweet and sticky exterior that packed crunch and crisp and a soft and tender interior with a slow moving spice. While I didn’t get the sauce recipe from this article, it was a source of inspiration, full of  helpful tips: Mark Bittman gives inside tips and tricks on how to make a “truly great” chicken wing here.

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Unami Sauce Recipe

Note: I completely estimated this entire sauce and while it was inspired by Momofuku and I got a hint from another recipe, I mostly threw in what I thought would add some punch. Reading the recipe, this may sound a little kitchen sink-y to you, but trust me, the final result is great, all of the flavors nicely balancing out.

Ingredients:

  • honey
  • Sriracha
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • toasted sesame seed oil (DO NOT go for another oil you have on hand, i.e. olive, grape seed, canola, or some other variety. The sesame seed oil is incredibly flavorful and while it’s slightly more expensive, the final result is far ahead of someother oil. Also, cooking the garlic alone first, immerses it in the oil’s flavor.)
  • bonito flakes (dried fish flakes)
  • nori (dried seaweed)
  • Morton coarse kosher salt

Steps:

Cover a small saucepan’s bottom with the sesame seed oil and set on low-medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, throw in the garlic and cover the pan. Shake the pan every now and then for about two minutes. Next, add the Sriracha and honey. (The key to the sauce’s success is tasting it as you go. Without doing so you will either a) end up with a mouth-wateringly spicy sauce or a b) incredibly sweet sauce. You don’t want either of these results: something just in the middle is what you’re going for. Once the oil, Sriracha, and honey have mixed well together, toss the bonito and nori in too and take off of heat.

The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated and then basted onto the wings after they have cooked for about fifteen minutes. Then throw the wings back on the grill for about another five minutes. Seconds after the wings were off the grill and still steaming hot, I sprinkled some chive flower, toasted sesame seeds, and torn nori on top for some nice contrast in a bowl. Enjoy while hot.

Photo credit: Douglas Itkin

Making Shoyu Ramen

Tackling the challenge of making ramen involved trips to two Asian markets, multiple strolls down grocery store aisles, cooking real  stock with multiple parts chicken and pork, medium boiling eggs, and a whole lot more. And yes, it sounds ridiculously complex. But, other than hunting down some rare Asian ingredients and giving the broth time to cook, it doesn’t require any far out cooking skills that only experienced noodle fanatics can achieve. If you want to do it yourself, you can either scour the Internet for many varieties of ramen recipes or follow the recipe I used from Bon Appetit. Below, are some pictures of how my ramen turned out.photo 2

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Skillet-Baked Eggs with Spinach, Yogurt, and Chili Oil – Bon Appétit

Skillet-Baked Eggs with Spinach, Yogurt, and Chili Oil – Bon Appétit.

Ottolenghi eggsINGREDIENTS
2/3 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 garlic clove, halved
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped leek (white and pale-green parts only)
2 tablespoons chopped scallion (white and pale-green parts only)
10 cups fresh spinach (10 ounces)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon kirmizi biber (Turkish chili powder), or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of paprika
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

PREPARATION

  • Mix yogurt, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 300°. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add leek and scallion; reduce heat to low. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add spinach and lemon juice; season with salt. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, turning frequently, until wilted, 4–5 minutes.
  • Transfer spinach mixture to 10″ skillet, leaving any excess liquid behind. If using 2 smaller skillets, divide spinach mixture equally between skillets. Make 4 deep indentations in center of spinach in larger skillet or 2 indentations in each small skillet. Carefully break 1 egg into each hollow, taking care to keep yolks intact. Bake until egg whites are set, 10–15 minutes.
  • Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add kirmizi biber and a pinch of salt and cook until butter starts to foam and browned bits form at bottom of pan, 1–2 minutes. Add oregano and cook for 30 seconds longer. Remove garlic halves from yogurt; discard. Spoon yogurt over spinach and eggs. Drizzle with spiced butter.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
4 servings; 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 223.0 %Calories from Fat 64.1 Fat (g) 15.9 Saturated Fat (g) 4.9 Cholesterol (mg) 196.5 Carbohydrates (g) 10.3 Dietary Fiber (g) 3.4 Total Sugars (g) 2.4 Net Carbs (g) 6.9 Protein (g) 11.1 Sodium (mg) 172.7

Photography: Bro D