Sunday, May 22, 2011
Posted by Level VI Kitchen Wizard at 5/22/2011
It's been awhile since I posted a dessert, and I couldn't think of a better dessert to break that trend with. Kirschstreuselkuchen is a very traditional German dessert, made with sour cream and tart, sour cherries. The sweetness of the dough and streusel contrasts so beautifully with the tart cherries. You also get a hint of sourness with the sour cream.
I got this recipe off of a German website, which I had to translate to make. Some of the measurements were very different, for example: it called for 1 glass of tart cherries. What is a glass? I don't really know, so I just used 2 cans of cherries and called them "a glass". It worked, whatever.
After baking this, I realized that I had forgotten the baking powder, but I test-tasted it, and they turned out great anyways, maybe just a bit denser than if the cook had not been absent-minded.
Which reminds me, this cake is very dense, almost like pound cake. If you want it lighter and airy-er, um, sorry, go find some other recipe. :D This kuchen is baked in a cookie sheet with high sides which is lined with parchment paper. Spreading the batter into the cookie sheet can be rather frustrating, simply because the batter is really sticky. Have fun :D
*sigh* This stuff makes me so nostalgic...
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups sour cream (16 oz)
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 glass sour cherries (I used 2 cans)
For the streusel
6 Tbs. butter, softened
6 Tbs. sugar
12 Tbs. flour
Drain the cherries well.
Mix the egg yolks, sour cream, sugar, flour and baking powder until smooth. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff, then fold into the batter. Spread batter onto a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the cherries over the batter, but do not press them into the dough.
Mix the sugar and flour. Cut in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture forms medium crumbs. Spread over the cherries. Put in a cold oven and bake @ 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Haha, I just realized that I preheated my oven and didn't start baking with it cold. I guess I really need to wake up! But, like I said, it's still delicious, and hubby is still raving about it :D
Next time I make it, I'll actually get the directions right and see if it tastes even better.
**Update** This blog entry of mine got an invite to be linked up to Lisa's Sweet as Sugar Cookies sweets for Saturdays link-up! I was so excited I sent my link right away. There are a ton of amazing looking sweet things in the link up party so far, I highly encourage you to go take a look!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Posted by Level VI Kitchen Wizard at 5/10/2011
This really isn't so much a post for a stir-fry as it is for the marinade I used for the meat. The planning for this meal was a little weird, as I just went to the store and grabbed whatever I thought would be good in a stir fry. I came up with: Napa cabbage, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, red, yellow and orange bell peppers, green beans, snow peas, carrots and Udon noodles.
I couldn't decide what kind of meat I wanted to use, so I just browsed around trying to find something that wasn't astronomically expensive. I spied some pork boneless country style ribs and figured surely I could do something with them.
So I got home and thought that maybe I should marinate the meat for awhile with some Asian flavors, just to be fancy...or something. I made a simple mix of:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
I wasn't able to marinate the meat as long as I wanted, and it still was amazing, so I can't imagine how good it would be if left soaking for a couple hours.
I was able to get exactly 1/4 cup of juice out of one orange, but if you don't want to completely annihilate the orange, you should use 2.
I made the ribs by heating up just the tiniest little amount of sesame oil in a skillet over medium high heat. I seared the pork on one side, then turned the heat down to medium, and seared the other side a little slower. Cook the pork all the way through, but barely. This will guarantee the pork stays juicy and tender. The brown sugar in the marinade made for a delicious caramelized coating on the ribs.
Stir-fries are pretty easy and customizable. Heat up your wok or large skillet over fairly high heat and get a mix of vegetable or olive and sesame oil very hot. Then add your vegetables in order by how long they take to cook. I added my green beans first and let them start to blister before I added the rest of the veggies.
For the noodles, I just boiled and drained them beforehand. When the veggies were done cooking, I removed them from the wok, then added the noodles to the wok for a few seconds, then returned the veggies to the wok. I also used some of the leftover marinade when I was cooking the veggies to add some nice flavor, as well as a little stir-fry sauce.
This was one of the yummiest Asian foods I've made in a while, and it's definitely staying on my 'eat more often' list!
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Posted by Level VI Kitchen Wizard at 5/08/2011
I'm not a huge fan of hot and spicy food. Actually, I'm pretty much a complete and total wimp when it comes to hot food. If I'm going to eat wings, I prefer them to be of the honey bbq variety.
My husband is the complete opposite. He likes his wings to be practically on fire. So when I make wings, I usually have to find some middle ground. This recipe is pretty much perfect. Not so hot that your going to cry, but not exactly sweet either.
The only thing I really changed in this recipe was that I baked the wings at 450 degree F for about 10-12 minutes...I didn't really set a timer or anything. Then I turned on the broiler and broiled the wings until they were crispy. You can also fry them, but baking/broiling is healthier and just as crispy if you do it right. I also omitted the Tabasco sauce.
This recipe also calls 1/2 stick of margarine, specifically saying to not using butter....
I used 5 Tbs. of full fat, delicious, unsalted butter. Just a tip for y'all: if you want to be at least a half-decent cook, don't ever, ever, ever use margarine. Ever. Don't even buy that crap.
Now, I've never been to the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, birthplace of the hot wings, but I have to say that these were pretty darn yummy. DH voted them the best wings he'd ever had. I declare this one a winner.
Original Anchor Bar Buffalo Wings
26-30 chicken wingettes (it is usually cheaper to buy whole wings and just cut them up yourself)
6 Tbsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
5 Tbs. butter, NOT that fake stuff called margarine
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1/8 tsp. celery seed
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
pepper to taste
1 to 2 tsp tabasco (optional)
Blue cheese dressing
Mix all ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat until the butter is melted.
Fry the wings in 375 degree F oil until crispy and golden brown, OR bake at 450degrees F for about 10ish minutes, then broil till crispy.
Place the wings and the sauce in a large bowl and toss to coat.
Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Posted by Level VI Kitchen Wizard at 5/03/2011
What on earth are Arancini? They are amazing little bundles of rice and mozzarella cheese, coated in bread crumbs and fried. Yeah, that's right, maybe one of the best things ever.
Now, if you don't have any leftover rice in the fridge, these can take kind of a long time to make, but it's so worth it. Pretty simply to make, a little messy, and magnificently delicious. I served them with a simple caesar salad, and they complimented each other nicely.
I was also very excited because I was able to use my brand new wok to fry these babies up in. That's about as fusion as I get, frying Italian food in a Chinese wok. I'm just making leaps and bounds in my trendy-ness factor...
I liked using the wok, simply because they way they are shaped, you can use less oil to fry food in. And using my new spider skimmer I was able to drain a lot more oil of the arancini when they were done frying. Less oil means better for you, and these arancini need all the help they can get.
But we all know, really good cooks don't count the calories in their food. :D
2 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/3 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup grated parmesan or romano
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (I used about 1 Tbsp dried)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2-4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 3/8 inch cubes
1 cup dry bread crumbs
oil for frying
In a bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs. Stir in rice, butter, parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Roll into 1 1/2 in balls. Press a mozzarella cube into each and reshape. In a small bowl, beat remaining egg. Dip each ball into egg, then roll in bread crumbs. In a deep fat fryer or electric skillet (or wok!), heat oil to 375 degrees F. Fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.