The Sensitive Kitchen

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Halloween Chili

This smoky black bean and sweet potato chili is a gorgeous black and orange in the bowl, hence its name. Omit the chipotle chile powder if cooking for young palates.

1 1/2 c dried black beans
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder (for more heat)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 tsp lime juice
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c chopped scallions

Soak and cook black beans until soft.

In a large soup pot, cook onion in oil over medium-high heat until softened and beginning to brown. Add garlic; stir until fragrant. Add spices; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted. Add sweet potato, stirring to coat with spices. Add cooked black beans with their liquid and canned tomatoes. Simmer 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are cooked and flavors are blended. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lime juice. Serve in bowls topped with cilantro and scallions.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Sharon's Mandelbrot

This recipe comes from my neighbor's husband's grandmother. I think that's got to be the best kind of recipe. Directions are vague, as only grandmothers can manage.

1 stick + 1-2 Tbsp butter
1 c sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp almond extract
4 Tbsp sour cream
"enough flour to make a stiff dough"
2 Tbsp (yes, Tbsp) baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 c chopped toasted almonds

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and almond extract. Add sour cream, then add dry ingredients. Ballpark for flour is 3-4c, or as little as necessary until you can handle the dough with your hands to roll a small log. Divide into 4 small, equal logs. Bake logs at 300-325 degrees for 20-25 minutes, leaving lots of room in between, as logs will more than double in volume. Let cool at least 5 minutes. Slice logs with a serrated knife. Turn slices on their sides; bake until golden, turning as needed.

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Browned Butter Spritz Cookies

My grandmother made these delicate little cookies every year for Christmas, although she didn't use browned butter in them. She did, however, make brown butter for dumplings and vegetables. Combining the two yields a tender, extremely flavorful cookie that melts in the mouth. It also seems the perfect way to remember her at this time of year.

3 sticks butter
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp milk
2 3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Colored decorating sugar (optional)

Heat butter in medium large saucepan over medium heat until completely melted. Continue to cook over medium heat; butter will sizzle as water cooks out. Stir occasionally. When butter stops sizzling, watch it closely. When color becomes golden brown and milk solids on bottom of saucepan are deep brown (do not let them burn), remove from heat. Strain into mixing bowl. Refrigerate 2 hours or until set. Remove butter from refrigerator; let stand 15 minutes to soften before proceeding with recipe.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat browned butter and sugars until light and creamy. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Add milk; beat to incorporate. Add dry ingredients; mix until well blended.

Press dough through a spritz press fitted with decorative plate of your choice onto parchment-lined baking sheets about 1" apart. Sprinkle with red or green decorating sugar if desired. Bake 8 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Skinny blue corn cheese enchiladas

My girls' favorite thing about this dish was the unexpected chemical reaction between the sauce and the tortillas — the blue corn turned fuschia.

1/2 c fat-free ricotta cheese
1/2 c fat-free cottage cheese
1 small can diced green chiles
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 c shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese blend
salt and pepper to taste
12-oz jar mild salsa verde
1/4 c nonfat Greek yogurt
8 blue corn tortillas, steamed until soft
1/4 c cotija cheese
1/4 c shredded cilantro

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray or coat with oil.

Combine ricotta, cottage cheese, green chiles, scallions and cumin. Mix well. Stir in shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix salsa verde and Greek yogurt. Spread about 1/2 c sauce on bottom of prepared pan. Roll 1/4 c filing up in a hot tortilla; place seam side down in pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Pour remaining sauce atop, spreading to cover tortillas. Cover; bake 30 minutes or until steaming.

Uncover, sprinkle with cotija cheese and bake 10 minutes or until edges are beginning to brown. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

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