Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gourmet Weeknight Meal

6:00 Wednesday, I was once again searching through my refrigerator looking for the ingredients to create a quick and simple dinner for my mom and I. I found some frozen ahi tuna, frozen peas, and some delicious brown rice spaghetti. I got an idea, pea pasta with grilled ahi tuna. I got to work and it came out magnificently.

Here's the recipe...

2 ahi tuna steaks (fresh or frozen)
1 lemon for juicing
1 bag brown rice spaghetti
1 bag frozen peas
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
1 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Begin by heating up a stove top grill and defrosting the tuna steaks if frozen and boil salted water.
2. Salt and pepper both sides of the tuna steaks and squeeze on lemon juice evenly.
3. Brush the grill with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let it get hot.
4. Cook the tuna steaks on the grill for 5 minutes on each side until almost cooked through.
5. While that cooks put the spaghetti into the boiling water.
6. Get a pan and heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil then add in the garlic and let it cook very lightly.
7. Put the peas and rosemary in the olive oil and garlic and stir every few minutes until the peas are no longer frozen.
8. Take the spaghetti out of the water and stir into the pea mixture with the parmigiano-reggiano until everything is evenly distributed.
9. Slice the ahi tuna, put the spaghetti into bowls and top with sliced ahi tuna. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bake Sale

Last weekend I got my friends together and we had a garage/bake sale to raise money for the devastation in Haiti. When I first heard about the tragedy, I knew i had to do something. But on a teenage budget with twenty dollars to my name, I as an individual was unable to donate. So I thought that the best thing I could do would to make a fundraiser. I set up my garage and my friends and I went through our closets to find the fashions that we could part with. We sold tons of clothes and also sold bake goods. I knew that I had to make something classic that customers would love and were not intimidated to try. So I decided on red velvet cupcakes and the most chocolatey brownies ever created.

For the red velvet cupcakes I indulged in Paula Dean's traditional southern recipe. They turned out delicious!

Here's the recipe...

Ingredients Red Velvet Cupcake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (I make my own buttermilk by taking 1 cup milk and adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons and it was PLENTY)
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 (12 cup) muffin tins with cupcake papers
2. In a medium bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. In a large bowl beat the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla together.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix it until both mixtures become one.
5. Divide the batter among the cupcake tins so that each tin is 3/4 full
6. Bake for 20-22 minutes
7. Cool completely and then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar

1. Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth.
2. Add the sugar at a low speed and beat until it is incorporated.
3. Increase the speed to high so that the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
4. Ice the cupcakes (makes a lot of icying, so you will have extra)

I also felt obligated to make Ina Garten's delicious "Outrageous Brownies," and they were just that, outrageous! For the recipe I omitted the nuts and put in extra chocolate chips.

Here's the recipe...

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 16 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (i used whole wheat)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a baking sheet
2. Melt the butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler, and allow mixture to cool.
3. In a large bowl stir the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar together.
4. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
5. In a medium bowl mix 1 cup flour, the baking powder, and salt together.
6. Add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture.
7. Toss the remaining chocolate chips in 1/4 cup flour and add to the chocolate mixture.
8. Pour into baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
9. Let cool and Enjoy!

After the bake sale my friends and I were exhausted and starving. So I made my favorite dish right now, I call it burrata pizza, it's ridiculously delicious. All the ingredients are super simple but the flavor of each element of the dish jump out at you. I really can't explain how good it is, you must try it.

Here's the recipe...

1 ball whole wheat pizza dough*
3 tablespoons whole wheat flours (for rolling out pizza dough)
20 cherry tomatoes halved
6 large basil leaves julienned
2 balls burrata (a type of mozzarella cheese)
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
* Pizza dough can be purchased at most grocery stores, but if it is not available at your grocery store, as a local pizzeria for some of their dough. The dough doesn't have to be whole wheat, personally i just think it has more flavor.

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Flour a flat surface with the flour and begin to roll out dough. Make the dough as thin as possible without making holes.
3. Once the dough is rolled out, brush the dough with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
4. Cook the dough in the oven for 15 minutes or until crispy.
5. While the crust is still hot, tear the burrata on top of it and then scatter the garlic, basil, and tomato over the crust.
6. Sprinkle the pizza with remaining olive oil and salt to taste. Enjoy!