Archive for March, 2011

Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the water and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.
cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely
bring syrup to a low boil and cook until it begins to turn golden, stirring with a whisk or wooden spoon (do not walk away, it goes from tawny to burned very quickly)
carefully and slowly, add the cream
simmer and stir until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes
stir in vanilla off heat

Delicious over ice cream or fruit, but my favorite is a heaping teaspoon in my morning coffee.


March 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

Matzo Brei for One

This is a staple in most Jewish households during Passover; and surely enjoyed throughout the year.

1 sheet matzo
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
butter for sautéing

Heat butter in pan

In a bowl break up matzo into small pieces
add beaten egg
salt and pepper
pour into heated pan and cook for approximately 1 minute, then flip and serve

March 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

Chicken Sambal – A small batch

As defined by Wikipedia
is a chili based sauce which is normally used as a condiment. Sambals are popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the southern Philippines and Sri Lanka, as well as in the Netherlands and in Suriname through Indonesian influence. It is typically made from a variety of peppers, although chili peppers are the most common. It is sometimes a substitute for fresh chilies. It can be extremely spicy for the uninitiated. Some ready-made sambals are available at exotic food markets or gourmet departments in supermarkets in many countries.

After my friend Karen expressed her dissatisfaction over her results in making Shrimp Sambal, I took it as a challenge to create a Western-style, home cook friendly recipe for this exotic dish. I decided to make a chicken version, since that’s what I had in the freezer. Though the result was flavorful, I now understand Karen’s complaints. Something was definitely missing and this recipe will most certainly be altered and updated the next time I attempt it. I’m thinking it’s the prepared Sambal paste that is falling short.

1 chicken breast, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 small onion, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Sambal paste (more or less depending on your taste for spicy)
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp*
2 lime leaves, julienned*
1/2 stalk lemon grass; bruised and sliced in half
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
oil for sautéing

* Substitution options for hard to find ingredients: two prunes with 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice, pureed for tamarind paste; lime zest for lime leaves.

Heat oil in pan
sauté onions until translucent
add the garlic, ginger, and lemongrass; sauté briefly
add sugar and spices and sauté until fragrant
add the chicken slices and sauté 4-5 minutes
add Sambal and tamarind pulp
continue to sauté for a few minutes ensuring all ingredients are mixed well
add tomato and combine well
mix well and simmer until chicken is done
don’t forget to remove the lemon grass before serving

March 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm Leave a comment

Crème Fraiche

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt

Shake well in a covered glass jar and let rest unrefrigerated for 12-24 hours

Many recipes call for heavy cream that is not ‘ultra’ pasteurized, a product that is nearly impossible to find. I guess you would get a better product, but I find the supermarket variety works well enough

March 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

Sour Milk

1 cup of milk
1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice

Combine well

March 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm Leave a comment

Powdered Milk

A table of measurements for reconstituting instant non-fat dry milk powder.

Amount of liquid milk wanted
Amount of water Amount of instant non-fat dry milk powder
1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1  1/2 tablespoons
1/3 cup 1/3 cup 2 tablespoons
+ 1 teaspoon
1/2 cup 1/2 cup 3 tablespoons
1 cup 1 cup 1/3 cup
2 cups 1  3/4 cups 2/3 cup
1 quart 3  3/4 cup 1  1/3 cups
2 quarts 7  2/3 cups 2  2 /3 cups
1 gallon 15  1/2 cups 5  1/3 cups

March 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

Frozen Burritos – A small batch


I usually find homemade is better than store bought, and these are no exception. So much better than the ones you get in your grocers freezer. This recipe was inspired by one found on the blog The Fine Things in Life, once again reduced in size for a small batch version.

1/2 pound ground beef
1 can refried beans (or make your own)
1/2 cup whole cooked beans (optional)
1  8-ounce can tomato sauce*
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 ounces cheese, shredded (cheddar, jack, a mix)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon sugar
oil, for sautéing
8 tortillas (burrito size)

Brown ground beef
add onion, garlic, spices, oregano, and sugar, cook until somewhat browned
add tomato sauce, refried beans, and cheese (and a splash of water if necessary)
stir to combine
bring to a boil and reduce heat
simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
chill mixture well for ease of filling

Scoop approximately three 1/4 cups full of beef mixture down one side of each tortilla
fold the sides in and roll up
wrap individually in first a paper towel and then foil
place in a zip-top bag and freeze

Reheat in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on Jigh

* If you choose to use a half can of prepared enchilada sauce instead of making your own, just skip the tomato sauce, cumin, coriander, and sugar. Throw everything but the tortillas in the pan, after browning the meat and continue.

[Edit] Variation: Recently I made these with approximately 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken and a 4 ounce can of pickled jalapeno peppers instead of ground beef, and they were very tasty. And now I’m considering throwing in some leftover rice…

March 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

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