Posts Tagged ‘ginger’

Molasses Cookies

February 3, 2013

IMG_9560I don’t know about you, but I have two types of stores that I could literally live in (while handing over my full paycheck in exchange for goods!). Kitchen stores (ie: Sur La Table) and spice stores (ie: Penzey’s). And the funny thing about spice stores is that I don’t even really need to be on the lookout for a spice to spend a good half hour in this olfactory heaven. I just glance at the spices available, and the recipes that they generally display to get your creative juices flowing.

So last time I was at Penzey’s, I spotted a recipe for Molasses Cookies. At first glance I thought to myself, not sure I have ever made those and it has probably been since childhood last time I tasted them. But, I started thinking that a spiced cookie would be delicious in the winter – might even warm me up!

This recipe is originally from Linda Aukerman and to my surprise, has no butter. Apparently, when baking with just shortening (vs butter) it really affects the texture of the cookie. And I have to admit, the crunchy outside and super chewy inside is worth the ingredient switch. And, combined with the warming spice mixture, make this cookie amazing.

These cookies were a clear winner the minute we tasted them – or quite possibly the moment they came out of the oven and we could smell them. They also disappeared at work quite quickly.

Thanks to Penzey’s and Linda Aukerman for sharing a recipe that does warm me up on a cold winter night!

MOLASSES COOKIES
1 1/2 cups shortening, melted and cooled (do NOT substitute butter)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp powdered ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup extra sugar or vanilla sugar for rolling (if you have a Penzey’s or spice shop nearby and can get the vanilla sugar, I highly recommend it!)

To the melted, cooled shortening add: the sugar, molasses and eggs. Beat well with hand mixer. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing to incorporate. Chill for at least an hour (can make the dough ahead and make the cookies the next day if desired). Preheat oven to 375. Using about a tablespoon of dough, form into balls. Roll in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets (although I would recommend a silicone mat or parchment paper), about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Check at 8 minutes. You want them to flatten but still be soft. Let the cookies cool for at least 2 minutes before removing them from the pan, as they can break if you try to pick them up when they are very hot. Cool on a cooling rack.

Momofuku Bo Ssam

June 24, 2012

I am always up for something different, a challenge if you will, on a Sunday. I have more time than any weekday prior, and I am a rejuvenated version of myself from the Saturday off. I have time to search out unique ingredients, slow roast meat, patiently babysit the evening’s dinner, and do something a little extraordinary. We always open a bottle of wine, watch a movie or the HBO series de jour and enjoy a celebration of the wonderful weekend.

I love Korean food so when my husband and I saw this recipe in the New York Times from Momofuku in NYC, I was intrigued. Essentially, Bo Ssam is a slow roasted pig that is then served with many accompaniments and sauces to be wrapped with rice in a lettuce leaf. A version that serves 6-10 people (like the recipe below) goes for $200 at Momofuku. And for good reason with all of the ingredients, time and love that goes into it. It looked like quite a production – the perfect meal for a Sunday night.

The ingredients are easier to find than you would think, with the exception of kimchi which resulted in a trip to our Asian market to purchase. Could you do without one item? One sauce? One accompaniment? Sure. But do you want to go through all of this effort and be one element short? I don’t think so.

The Bo Ssam was worth every effort I put into it. And, it is quite an impressive feast when spread out on a table. The pork is so tender it falls apart, and has such a deep flavor, despite not having excessive seasoning. And every sauce, every element goes perfectly together in the lettuce. With leftovers the next day, I shredded the pork, mixed in some of the sauces, and we made sliders. Also delicious.

So if you have a Sunday when you are feeling up for something special, I highly recommend this recipe. Because of this size, it also is perfect for entertaining. Although much cheaper than a flight to NYC and $200 to eat this at Momfuku, I officially put that experience on my to do list. I am sure it is worth every penny.

BO SSAM (from Momofuku)
Serves 6-8
Pork Butt:
1 whole bone-in pork butt or picnic ham (8 to 10 pounds)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons brown sugar

Ginger-Scallion Sauce:
2½ cups thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
½ cup peeled, minced fresh ginger
¼ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)
1½ teaspoons light soy sauce
1 scant teaspoon sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Ssam Sauce:
2 tablespoons fermented bean-and- chili paste (ssamjang, available in many Asian markets, and online)
1 tablespoon chili paste (kochujang, available in many Asian markets, and online)
½ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)

Accompaniments:
2 cups plain white rice, cooked
3 heads bibb lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
1 dozen or more fresh oysters (optional – I did not include))
Kimchi (available in many Asian markets, and online).

1. Place the pork in a large, shallow bowl. Mix the white sugar and 1 cup of the salt together in another bowl, then rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

2. When you’re ready to cook, heat oven to 300. Remove pork from refrigerator and discard any juices. Place the pork in a roasting pan and set in the oven and cook for approximately 6 hours, or until it collapses, yielding easily to the tines of a fork. (After the first hour, baste hourly with pan juices.) At this point, you may remove the meat from the oven and allow it to rest for up to an hour.

3. Meanwhile, make the ginger-scallion sauce. In a large bowl, combine the scallions with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and taste, adding salt if needed.

4. Make the ssam sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the chili pastes with the vinegar and oil, and mix well.

5. Prepare rice, wash lettuce and, if using, shuck the oysters. Put kimchi and sauces into serving bowls.

6. When your accompaniments are prepared and you are ready to serve the food, turn oven to 500. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoon of salt with the brown sugar. Rub this mixture all over the cooked pork. Place in oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until a dark caramel crust has developed on the meat. Serve hot, with the accompaniments.

Lamb Tagine with Dates, Almonds and Pistachios

February 4, 2011

I first discovered tagines last year when I was on the search for rich, winter comfort food. I found a lamb tagine that warmed your whole body, and paired perfectly with a glass of full-bodied red wine. I knew Moroccans were on to something…

A tagine is a spicy, rich stew from northern Africa. The name tagine is also given to the vessel it is cooked in – a shallow, round pot with a unique conical lid designed to lock in moisture and flavors, cooking the food gently in a small amount of liquid. My first few tangines I used my go to – my dutch oven. But as my love for the rich dish grew, I realized I needed to do it right. So, I bought a tagine at Sur la Table. And, of course, I couldn’t buy the tagine without a Tagine cookbook as well.

Although the tagine is big, bulky, and really doesn’t have a convenient storage location, it is well worth the purchase. The meat, when cooked in this vessel, is so tender and moist – despite being on a stove for so long (a testament to the cone-shaped lid). This particular tagine was my first in the authentic cookware and has a wonderful sweetness from the dates.

So, if you have a few hours to cook on a Sunday night (keep in mind about 2 hours is completely inactive cooking time), I would give this tagine a try. Cook it in any pot you use for long cooking, but if you get hooked on tagines like me, it is well worth the investment of an actual tagine. Plus, it is just plain cool to look at!

Thanks to Tagine: Spicy Stews from Morocco by Ghillie Basan for this fantastic recipe!

LAMB TAGINE WITH DATES ALMONDS AND PISTACHIOS
Serves 4

2-3 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil plus a pat of butter)
2 onions, finely chopped (I just used one)
1-2 teaspoons ground tumeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 1/4 lb lean lamb, from the shoulder, neck or leg, cut into bite-size pieces
8 oz moist, ready to eat, pitted dates
1 tablespoon honey
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
a pat of butter
2-3 tablespoons blanched almonds
2 tablespoons shelled pistachios
a small bunch of flatleaf parsley, finely chopped

Heat the ghee in a tagine or heavy-based casserole dish. Stir in the onions and saute until golden brown. Stir in the tumeric, ginger and cinnamon. Toss in the meat, making sure it is coated in the spice mixture. Pour in enough water to almost cover the meat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for roughly 1.5 hours.

Add the dates and stir in the honey. Cover with the lid again and simmer for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and lots of black pepper.

Heat the olive oil with the butter in a small pan. Stir in the almonds and pistachios and cook until they begin to turn golden brown. Scatter the nuts over the lamb and dates and sprinkle with the flatleaf parsley. Service with buttery couscous.

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhanwala)

January 22, 2011

One of the first dates I had with my husband, I surprised him with preparing Indian food (one of his favorites). At the time, I was in a tiny apartment and really hadn’t developed the love for cooking that I have know. Reflective of that yet to be discovered passion was my sadly barren spice rack. I had the basics – cinnamon, oregano, etc. – but no garam masala or anything that sounded remotely exotic.

I remember going to Whole Foods and buying little baggies of the “rare” ingredients, as I saw them back then. I spent all day cooking, figuring out how to put together a sauce reminiscent of our nights of Indian takeout.

At the time, I was quite proud of my newly learned skills. And Rob was too, since I had clearly hooked him into yet another date with me. But, he didn’t marry me for my Indian cooking skills, since I have rarely attempted the feat since.

But, when I saw this recipe for butter chicken (our favorite dish at the old Indian restaurant around the corner), I knew I had to give it a go – if nothing but for old time’s sake.

The total preparation takes a little over an hour (and overnight marinade), so it might be ambitious for a weeknight, but it was perfect for a Sunday night. The sauce tasted exactly like the butter chicken we knew – and the leftovers the next day were even better. The only alteration I would make is to maybe shred the chicken before putting in back in the sauce, so eating it isn’t so much work.

Cooking Indian this time around was a bit different, though. I had no need to buy special ingredients because I had them all in my well-stocked spice closet (with the exception of curry leaves which I didn’t seem to miss). I had more confidence in my cooking abilities than years before. And, I had the ambition to make more than one dish by making the accompanying raita (which I recommend to help cool the heat). But, one thing did remain the same – I enjoyed it with the man I will spend the rest of my life with.

Thanks, Saveur, for this great Indian recipe that will be made frequently in our home.

MURGH MAKHANWALA (BUTTER CHICKEN)
Serves 4

FOR THE CHICKEN:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. crushed red chile
flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 3″ piece ginger, peeled and thinly
sliced crosswise
Kosher salt, to taste
1 3–4-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces,
skin removed

FOR THE RAITA:
1/2 English cucumber (about 6 oz.),
seeded and grated
1/2 medium tomato, seeded and finely
chopped
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh
mint leaves
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 medium carrot, finely grated

FOR THE SAUCE:
1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 green cardamom pods, cracked
3 whole cloves, crushed
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes,
undrained
1 3″ piece ginger, washed and grated
(skin on)
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″
cubes
1 tsp. garam masala
4 fresh or frozen curry leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black
pepper, to taste

Marinate the chicken: Combine all marinade ingredients except for chicken in a food processor; purée. Transfer marinade to a large bowl and add chicken, tossing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 500°. Transfer chicken to an aluminum foil—lined baking sheet and spoon any marinade from bowl over chicken. Bake chicken until light brown but not cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack; set aside. Meanwhile, make raita: Toss cucumbers, tomatoes, and salt in a colander and let sit for 10 minutes. Press cucumbers and tomatoes to drain well and then transfer to a medium bowl along with yogurt, mint, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, and carrots; toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Make the sauce: In a 6-qt. pot over medium-high heat, combine chile flakes, garlic, cardamom, cloves, tomatoes, ginger, bay leaf, and 2/3 cup water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring often and crushing tomatoes with a spoon, for 25 minutes. Discard bay leaf and transfer sauce to a food processor; purée. Return sauce to pot and continue cooking over medium-low heat until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Add reserved chicken pieces and any marinade from pan, along with 1/3 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream, butter, garam masala, and curry leaves. Reduce heat to low and cook until flavors meld, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm.

To serve, transfer chicken and sauce to a serving platter and serve with the raita and basmati rice.

Pork and Pineapple Fried Rice

January 17, 2011

For those who read my blog, you might be wondering where the heck I have been. Did the holidays swallow me hole? Did I bake so much I never want to see a chocolate chip again?

The true reason from my c absence is ironic really. I have been eating take out and going to restaurants the past 2 weeks BECAUSE I love to cook so much. Because I spend more time in my teeny, tiny kitchen than any other room in the house, we finally decided to redo it! Truly my dream come true.

I always try to be positive. There are those without a kitchen, or kitchens smaller than mine (although I have yet to see them). But, the terrible, outdated countertops and dirty linoleum floor had annoyed me to the point of insanity. And although I will still have a small space for my hours of cooking, it will be a pretty space. Which, truly, is all I can ask for!

My dear brother-in-law (thank you, John!) and husband (thank you, Rob!) put in new, gorgeous ceramic tile while I was on a work trip,  then my husband and I put in new trim and threshholds, put in new hardware, painted the walls a beautiful neutral color, and now the kitchen is plugged back in and back in business (no more appliances in the dining room, thank goodness!). The final step is in the beginning of February – new granite countertops.

Instead of boring you with fragments of photos, I will wait until the renovation is complete so I can give full before and afters.

Before the demo of 2011 began, I got one last recipe in – leading the way for many nights of Chinese takeout.

I am actually embarrassed to admit that since I couldn’t find Chinese sausage (does anyone know where I can find it? Findley market perhaps?), I substituted lil’ smokies. Sad, I know, but I figured it would have the same smokiness that the Chinese sausage supposedly has.

Despite my desperate substitution, the dish was amazing! Make sure to use a wok and let the rice sit for a minute to get the crusty edges that will soon become your favorite part of the dish. This one is a quickie, and can be easily done on a weeknight. Thanks to Food & Wine for this home version of take out – much better than any takeout I have had (and now I am officially a connoisseur!).

So, hears to my kitchen being open once again, and a newer kitchen on the way!

PORK AND PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE
4-6 servings

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil
4 ounces ground pork
3 small Chinese sausages (5 ounces), thinly sliced
3 scallions, white parts minced and green parts sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 hot red chile, seeded and minced
4 cups cold cooked jasmine rice or other long-grain white rice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup finely diced fresh pineapple

1. In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the hoisin and vinegar. Heat a wok or large skillet. Add the oil and heat until smoking. Add the pork and Chinese sausages and cook over high heat, stirring, until the pork is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the minced scallion whites, ginger, garlic and chile and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice, breaking up any lumps with your hands as you add it to the wok, and stir-fry until heated through and lightly browned in spots. Stir the hoisin-soy sauce, add it to the wok and stir-fry until nearly absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in the scallion greens, cilantro and pineapple. Transfer the fried rice to bowls and serve.

Grilled Vietnamese-Style Chicken Wings

September 11, 2010

I have a go-to wings recipe perfect for football games – my Maple Chipotle Chicken Wings (on this blog). They are sweet, spicy and a little messy, which is exactly how I always envision wings.

So, when I saw this recipe from Emeril, it intrigued me. I will admit, if you are drinking beers, not worrying about calories yet worrying about your fantasy running back, I would still go for the messier version. But, if you want a light, flavorful and more refined plate of wings for a summer grilling meal, then these are perfect.

I didn’t read this recipe in advance, so they only marinated for 4 hours and were still fantastic, so I recommend trying the 24 hours to see how mind blowing the wings can be.

GRILLED VIETNAMESE-STYLE CHICKEN WINGS
6 Servings

3 pounds chicken wings, split at the joint, tips removed
2 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
3 tablespoons chopped scallion whites
1/2 cup roughly chopped lemongrass bottoms
1/3 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons peanut oil
Kosher salt
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Rinse the wings under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside in a large bowl while you prepare the marinade. Combine the garlic, shallots, ginger, scallions, lemongrass, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and peanut oil in a food processor and process until smooth.

Pour the marinade over the wings and place in a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat a grill to medium. Remove the wings from the marinade; reserve the marinade to brush the wings while they cook. Place the wings on the grill, season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook, turning every few minutes and basting with the marinade for the first 18 or so minutes. Continue to grill the wings until cooked through, 8 to 10 more minutes.

Place the wings on a serving platter and garnish with the peanuts and cilantro.

Thai Turkey Burgers

July 27, 2010

I love Thai food. I love burgers. So, I thought this recipe could be a good one when I came across it. As you know, I am a stickler for adding moisture to turkey burgers so they do not dry out, and this recipe has a great paste of shallot, cilantro, ginger, jalapeno and fish sauce. The fish sauce really gives it great moisture – then the spicy mayo gives another great element.

Instead of Sriracha I used a sweet spicy sauce (called sweet chili sauce) so I would recommend using whatever Asian sauce you have, really!

I made this with an Asian slaw I came up with on a whim. I just took a bag of pre-cut slaw and added a dose of the sweet/hot Asian mayo to it along with some cilantro and ground peanuts. Tasted great!

We will be making this one again. It is a great twist on burgers (and is healthier than beef!). Thanks to Food & Wine for this great recipe!

THAI TURKEY BURGERS
4 Servings

1 small shallot, quartered
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Two 1/4-inch-thick slices of peeled fresh ginger
1 jalapeño, stemmed and seeded
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
Vegetable oil, for brushing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Sriracha or other Asian hot sauce
4 brioche or kaiser rolls, split and toasted
Bread-and-butter pickles, lettuce, mint leaves and chopped peanuts, for serving

In a mini food processor, pulse the shallot, cilantro, ginger and jalapeño with the fish sauce until chopped. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and knead in the turkey. Using slightly moistened hands, form the meat into four 4-inch patties, about 3/4 inch thick.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the burgers with oil and grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crusty and just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the Sriracha. Spread the mixture on the rolls. Top with the burgers, pickles, lettuce, mint and peanuts, close and serve.

Marinated Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato

June 24, 2010

My husband isn’t too big on chicken thighs – every once in a while he is in the mood, but always feels like they are a bit greasy (which is, of course why I love them!). But, I had never tried grilling them, and wondered if the outcome would be different than an oven or a pan.

The skin gets crispier on the grill (with less grease, since it drips into the grill) and the meat is incredibly moist. My husband loved them.

So while chicken thighs cooked in the house will remain limited, I will certainly be learning more chicken thigh recipes on the grill.

This recipe is from Cooking Light and is considered an “Australian Beach Recipe.” The five-spice (a Chinese spice) gives its unique flavor and the mirin and ginger continue to emphasize the Asian flavors. However, the chicken itself has a unique flavor, unlike most Asian chicken I have made. Don’t miss out on the side dish either – it goes perfectly with the chicken. It is the perfect summer meal.

MARINATED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH SWEET POTATO
6 Servings

3 tablespoons less-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon mirin
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
12 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
3 small sweet potatoes (about 7 ounces each)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1 medium yellow onion, vertically sliced
1 cup red bell pepper strips
1 cup yellow bell pepper strips
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and chicken; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; cut each potato piece in half crosswise. Add potato wedges to a large pot of boiling water; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Drain. Combine potatoes, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Arrange on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from grill; keep warm. (Discard skin before serving.) Arrange potato on grill rack; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add yellow onion; stir-fry 1 minute. Add bell peppers; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce and vinegar; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve bell pepper mixture with chicken and potatoes. Top with green onions.

Sweet Potato Casserole

April 5, 2010

Although I normally make this dish for Thanksgiving, I made it for Easter this year to take to a friend’s house for a big family Easter Dinner (thanks Tim and Julie!). It travels well, is easy to make, and is always a crowd favorite. And – it transforms people’s views of sweet potato casserole if they are used to the super sweet versions with marshmallow topping.

I first tried this one a while ago to bring up to Michigan for Thanksgiving, and have been making it ever since. The recipe originally came from Food Network, but was adapted from reviews from others and my own additions. The result is a tried and true favorite that is made frequently in our house.

And, a testament to how easy it was – I made the dish during a 5-day stint of watching my adorable nephews (18 month old and 6 year old). I actually cooked and mashed the potatoes the night before during a break in the action, then put the rest together during the little one’s nap the next day. The whole dish takes time (an hour or so to cook the potatoes then another hour to put it together and bake) but not much hands-on time, which I love.

And, to those at Easter Dinner who asked for the recipe – here it is! Sorry for the sad looking picture, but it conveys how people were digging into it before I had gotten my camera out! My 18-month old nephew/godson even ate a few monster helpings (although a photo of him with orange mush all over his face and hands wouldn’t have been as appealing).

Bon Appetit!

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
Serves 6 (easily doubled for a crowd using a 9×12)
Casserole:
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large), scrubbed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus more for the preparing the pan
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper

Pecan Topping:
1 stick melted butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup pecans
1 cup brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pierce each one 2 or 3 times with a fork. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool. (you can also peel and boil if you prefer)

Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. Scoop the sweet potato out of their skins and into a medium bowl. Discard the skins. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Add the eggs, butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Whisk the mixture until smooth.

Butter an 8 by 8-inch casserole. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan and sprinkle the top with the pecan topping mixture. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a bit puffy. Serve immediately.

Pork Tenderloin Stir-Fry with Tangerines and Chili Sauce

November 29, 2009

As you may know, I generally don’t make Asian food since it tends to be common restaurant food for my husband and I. But lately, I have realized that you can make some pretty great Asian food at home – not the same ambiance as our favorite little Thai restaurant, but great for a unique weeknight meal.

This recipe is from my favorite, Bon Appetit. There is something about the citrus and spicy chili sauce that gives it the perfect spicy-sweet combination. Make sure to get the red sweet chili sauce (often in your International food aisle) not the chili-garlic sauce that is a brown color. I almost made the mistake of thinking “it is about the same thing, right?” since I had chili-garlic on hand. But, when I ended up buying the sweet chili sauce and tasted it – wow, totally different sauce! Not saying it wouldn’t be potentially good with the chili-garlic, but it is out of this world with the sweet garlic!

PORK TENDERLOIN STIR-FRY WITH TANGERINES AND CHILI SAUCE
4 Servings

1 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, then cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
4 small unpeeled tangerines or clementines, cut (with peel) into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
6 baby bok choy, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick ribbons, tough bases discarded
5 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal, divided

Place pork tenderloin strips in medium bowl; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss with cornstarch to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger; stir 30 seconds. Add pork tenderloin strips; stir-fry until pork is beginning to brown and is almost cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add tangerine pieces; toss 30 seconds. Add sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, and Chinese five-spice powder; boil until sauce in skillet thickens slightly, tossing to blend, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil, bok choy, and half of sliced green onions. Stir-fry just until bok choy is wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with remaining sliced green onions and serve.


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