The Sensitive Kitchen

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Salmon with a Sweet and Smoky Spice Rub

This is my go-to salmon recipe and one my family greatly enjoys.
4 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander1 tsp salt1/2 tsp oregano, crushed between fingers1/2 tsp cayenne 
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all spice ingredients together in a small glass jar with lid. This mixture will coat 4-6 sides of salmon. Use the rub in equal parts with Sucanat or dark brown sugar. Use 2 Tbsp of rub and 2 Tbsp of sugar for a 1-lb filet. Spread mix over filet. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until salmon just flakes with a fork.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Energy Laddoos

My 8-year-old has been coming home from school "hangry." She insists that she is NOT hungry, in the grumpiest manner possible. It would be cute if it weren't so annoying. I decided to give her something with dessert appeal so she'd eat despite "not being hungry," but nourishing enough to not cause a blood sugar crash later. She loves these. I'm working on a more Indian version so it will be worthy of the name "laddoo"; perhaps cashew and coconut with some cardamom.

1/2 c unsweetened peanut butter
1/3 c honey
3/4 c rolled oats
1/2 c unsweetened dessicated coconut, toasted until golden brown
1/2 c wheat germ
1/2 c mini chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together in order listed. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into 1" balls, buttering hands if necessary. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Balls will firm up and become easier to handle in fridge. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

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Simple One-Bowl Chocolate Bundt Cake

This weekend I needed to make a cake for a function, but I was out of butter, and being a holiday, all the stores were closed. I made an oil-based recipe instead, which turned out to be easy and very tasty.

2 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
2 c sugar
2/3 c cocoa, sifted (can use up to 2 Tbsp black cocoa)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp instant espresso powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 c water
3/4 c orange juice (I used more water)
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c sunflower or other neutral-flavored oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Set rack to second-lowest position. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until very well combined.

Pour batter into pan. Tap twice on counter to remove bubbles. Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with just a few crumbs. Cool in pan on rack 20 minutes. Unmold onto rack, let cool, and dust with powdered sugar just before serving. 

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Smoky Mexican Black Beans

I make these all the time, in a variety of ways, as you will see when you read the directions. This recipe makes 4 to 5 cups of cooked beans.

2 c dried black beans
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 c chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt, or to taste

Soak the black beans in triple their volume of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans; discard soaking water and set beans aside. (If you are in a hurry, you can bring them to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand covered for 1 hour, then proceed as written. If you don't soak them, just cook them longer, up to double the indicated time, and prepare to feel a bit gassy.)

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a skillet (if using crock-pot) or a pressure cooker or large pot (if using stovetop). Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown. Add spices. Cook and stir for a couple of minutes, until fragrant.

If making on stovetop, add soaked beans and bay leaf. Add water just to cover, stirring well. Cook for 90 minutes, covered, or 18 minutes at high pressure in a pressure cooker (natural release).

If making in crock-pot, scrape onion-garlic-spice mixture into bottom of crock-pot. Rinse/scrape skillet well and add this water with all its flavorful bits to crock-pot, then add black beans and bay leaf. Pour water in at least 1" over top of beans and cook 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

Salt beans to taste. Remove beans to a heat-tolerant storage container (I use a large slotted spoon) and cook liquid down until slightly thickened. Pour over beans, stirring well to coat beans with liquid. Refrigerate everything overnight, then reheat and serve... because beans are always better the next day.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vegetarian Udon Soup

This traditional Japanese dish is enriched by the addition of an egg boiled until the yolk is mostly solid. When cut in half, most of the yolk stays with the egg, but a tiny bit stays behind to flavor the broth. If you are not vegetarian, you may include shreds or cubes of cooked chicken, another traditional addition.

4 eggs
1 Tbsp rice bran or other high-heat oil
1 c yellow onion, sliced, slices cut in thirds
12 ozs mushrooms (I used a mixture of cremini and shiitake)
10 c water
2-3 Tbsp broth concentrate (I used Better than Bouillon No Chicken Base), to taste
1 Tbsp grated ginger, more to taste
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce, to taste
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 c Napa cabbage, shredded
2 c carrots, sliced on bias
8 ozs prepared frozen potstickers or dumplings
1/2 c pre-roasted asparagus, cut in 1" pieces (optional)
12 ozs fresh udon noodles
3 scallions, sliced

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cook eggs 6 minutes at a simmer. Remove from heat with slotted spoon; run under cold water until just cool enough to handle. Peel; place 1 egg in each of 4 soup bowls.

While eggs cook, heat large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add oil and onion; cook until onions are softened with brown edges. Push onions to side; add as many mushrooms as will fit in a single layer. Cook without stirring until mushrooms begin to give up their liquid, then stir and push to side of pot. Repeat until all mushrooms are cooked.

Add a bit of water to pot. Stir vigorously to bring up browned bits. Add remaining water, broth concentrate, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. When mixture comes to a boil, add cabbage, carrots, dumplings and udon noodles, according to the time it takes them to cook until just tender-crisp. Refer to dumpling and noodle packages for timings. (My soup was done in less than 5 minutes from this point.)

When soup is done, use slotted spoon and tongs to transfer dumplings and noodles to bowls with eggs. Ladle broth atop this. Sprinkle soup with scallions. Serve with chopsticks and a spoon; pass sesame oil, black pepper grinder, and Sriracha at the table.

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