Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Black Bean Soup with Andouille Sausage and Honey Corn Bread Muffins

More soup. You know, it's cold and stuff. But I thought some muffins would go well on the side. Yum.

This is such a delicious soup. A bit spicy. Definitely hearty. You're supposed to garnish it with crab, but the only time I did that, it just didn't taste right. So I stick with the crabless version now.

And the muffins taste almost exact like the corn bread from Boston Market. And since there are so few of them around here, I'm glad to have an easy alternative.

Yum. And again I say, "Yum".

Black Bean Soup with Andouille Sausage
A variation on this recipe by Robin Miller

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 pound diced andouille sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
Salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

In a slow cooker, combine beans, broth, tomatoes, sausage, onion, celery, carrots, cumin, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Mix well. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.

Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro.


Honey Cornbread Muffins
Courtesy of The Neelys


1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup and Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese

I don't know what's gotten into me, but I can't get enough comfort food right now. I went in search of another chicken noodle soup since I wanted something a little simpler than the last one I made. And I definitely found a good one. We had it for lunch, fresh from the pot, and it was very tasty. Especially accompanied with toasted sliced bread topped with some extra virgin olive oil and garlic salt. Yum.

The recipe includes a homemade stock option, but since I didn't really have enough time for that, I just used store-bought chicken broth. I varied the amount of broth a bit too since the noodles got huge, and by the time we were ready to eat the soup, it looked a bit like a pasta dish with a very watery sauce (maybe I used too many noodles?).

I will be making comfort food dish #2 for tonight's dinner -- a mac and cheese recipe that I saw Rachael Ray make when I caught the very end of her talk show last week. It just looked too good not to try. I'll be back to note any changes and let you know what we thought...

Edited to add: Okay, the mac and cheese was absolutely delicious. Make it. Now.

Chicken Noodle Soup
A variation on this recipe by Tyler Florence

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 3/4 quarts chicken broth
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles (maybe less?)
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.


Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese
A variation on this recipe by Rachael Ray

1 pound regular or whole wheat penne
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
2 cups milk
A few grates fresh nutmeg
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry
9 ounces frozen chopped artichokes, defrosted and wrung dry
Ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups shredded Italian cheese blend, plus additional for sprinkling on top
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Place a large pot of water over high heat to cook the pasta. When the water is boiling, salt it well and drop the pasta in. Cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta and reserve.

While the pasta is cooking, place a medium pot over medium-low heat with 2 turns of the pan of oil, about 2 tablespoons, and the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook the veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute then whisk the wine into the pan, cooking for another minute to burn off the alcohol. Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble. Add the nutmeg, veggies, some salt and pepper to the sauce, and simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add the cheeses to the sauce and stir until melted.

Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more cheese over the top and bake until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Homemade Chocolate Sauce

So I'm trying really hard to stay away from high fructose corn syrup. Yeah, yeah, it's supposed to be nearly identical to table sugar and is okay in moderation... At least that's what they want you to keep telling yourself... But since I was already a little wary of it and after the recent discovery of mercury in some of the foods containing high fructose corn syrup, I've decided to see what I can do about making my favorite things that usually contain high fructose corn syrup. Near the top of the list? Chocolate sauce. I love chocolate milk and putting chocolate sauce on my homemade vanilla ice cream (another high one on my no-more-high-fructose-corn-syrup list). So I've found a very yummy chocolate sauce recipe. I haven't licked a spoon mid-cooking that much in a long time.

Edited to add: I've added a picture of both this chocolate sauce and a very delicious caramel sauce. They go fantastically together.

Chocolate Sauce
Courtesy of Recipezaar.com


1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sifted unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla

In heavy-bottomed 2 quart pot, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Gradually stir in the water. Stir until well combined.

Set over medium heat; stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil Boil three minutes, stirring frequently with whisk and reducing heat if syrup threatens to boil over. Remove from heat; pour into heatproof 4 cup measure or pitcher. Cool briefly.

Cool on counter (uncovered) until room temperature, strain through fine strainer into container of 2-1/2 cup capacity. Stir in vanilla.

Store, covered, in refrigerator.

Baked Pasta with Peas

We ran out of time for any sort of complicated cooking this week, so, in order to not spend more money on food last night at dinnertime, I improvised a bit. Here's my pasta creation. It wasn't bad.

Baked Pasta with Peas

1 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 large handful of parsley, divided
1 jar pasta sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta.

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Sauté celery and carrots until vegetables start to soften. Add peas and cook for another minute. Add pasta sauce and 3/4 of the parsley. Simmer until pasta is done.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Drain pasta and add to pot of sauce. Stir to mix. Put mixture into 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Add cheese and remaining parsley. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Vanilla Ice Cream

This is the best vanilla ice cream. Ever.

Vanilla Ice Cream
Courtesy of Cuisinart

2 1/3 cups whole milk
2 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 whole vanilla bean (about 6 inches in length)
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 1/8 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan. Use a sharp knife to split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Use the blunt edge to scrape out the "seeds." Stir the seeds and bean pod into the milk/cream mixture. Bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in a medium bowl. Use a hand mixer on medium speed to beat until the mixture is thick, smooth, and pale yellow in color (similar to mayonnaise), about 2 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk/cream mixture and discard.

Measure out 1 cup of the hot liquid. With the mixer on low speed, add the cup of hot milk/cream to the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream. When thoroughly combined, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk/cream mixture and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Pass mixture through a fine sieve. Stir in vanilla, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap placed directly on the custard, and chill completely.

Pour the chilled custard into the freezer bowl, turn the machine on and let mix until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

I love me a cookie cake. And this is definitely a good one.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
A variation on this recipe by Emeril Lagasse

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a 14-inch, light colored, round pizza pan with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, beating well after the addition of each.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix with a whisk. Add to the butter mixture, mixing to incorporate, and add the vanilla extract. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread across the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until the edges are golden and the cookie is set but the center is still slightly soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

The twice-baked potatoes I grew up eating. Thank you, Mom!

Twice-Baked Potatoes
Courtesy of Hallie Vasell

Potatoes (1 per person)
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Wash potatoes and bake for 1 hour.

Remove from oven and let cool long enough to handle. Cut them lengthwise and scoop out insides, leaving skins intact. Mash the insides with butter, salt, pepper, and enough milk to make smooth.

Scoop the mashed potatoes back into the skins, drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with Parmesan and paprika. Put under broiler until butter bubbles.

Dijon Baked Salmon

This is a lovely and simple salmon dish that my mom passed along to me.

Dijon Baked Salmon
Courtesy of Hallie Vasell (my mom)

4-6 salmon fillets
2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Wash fillets and pat dry. Line pan with foil and place fish skin side down. Spread mustard on front and sides. Top with crumbs and sprinkle with lemon pepper and salt to taste. Drizzle with butter. Bake for 20 minutes or until salmon is flaky inside.

All ingredients are estimations. You can put on as much or as little as you want, to taste.

Espresso Ice Cream

This is a delicious ice cream with a very intense coffee flavor. Definitely not meant to be eaten as a midnight snack. I will be making a double batch next time. There was not nearly enough to share properly.

Edited to add: After chilling the mixture and before putting it in the ice cream maker, I've found that it's good to put the mixture through the fine-mesh sieve again. It helps to cut down on the amount of ground coffee beans in the actual ice cream. The original recipe made the ice cream a little too crunchy for our liking, so this extra step helped with that a lot.

I've also started omitting the Kahlua since I felt like it was a little too intense of a flavor. I don't miss it at all.

Espresso Ice Cream
Courtesy of Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa)


3 cups half-and-half
6 extra-large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch salt
2 1/2 tablespoons ground espresso coffee beans, decaffeinated or regular
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (recommended: Kahlua)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces (1/2 cup) chocolate-covered espresso beans, chopped

Heat the half-and-half until it forms bubbles around the edge of the pan and steam starts to rise. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until mixed. Slowly add the hot half-and-half until combined. Wipe out the pan and pour the mixture back into the clean pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 10 minutes, until it's thickened and the cream coats the back of the spoon.

Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Add the ground espresso beans, coffee liqueur, and vanilla and refrigerate until completely chilled.

Pour the espresso cream into an ice-cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Mix in the chopped espresso beans, spoon into a container, and allow to freeze for a few hours. Soften slightly before serving.

Hunter's Minestrone

A delicious tomato-based minestrone. Especially good for a cold evening.

I used a little less beans than the original recipe, and I'm glad I did. It's already a pretty thick soup, almost a stew. But I added an extra 1/4 pound of sausage since I didn't want to waste the remaining sausage from the 1-pound packages that are available in the grocery store... Though now I'm wondering if it would be cheaper to just get it in bulk from the butcher section... Hmmm...

Edited to add (2/27/12): I used orzo pasta instead of rigatoni this time, and I think it actually made me like this soup even better!

Hunter's Minestrone
A variation on this recipe by Tyler Florence

2 quarts chicken stock
1 head garlic, halved
1/2 pound small pasta
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 fresh sage leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 pound loose sweet Italian pork sausage
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can crushed plum tomatoes
1 bay leaf
3 (14.5-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 bunch fresh parsley leaves, finely minced
Coarsely ground black pepper
12 slices baguette
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Combine the stock and halved garlic head in a big saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes to give the stock a nice, garlicky taste; strain out the garlic. Keep warm.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the rigatoni.

Pour 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the sage, rosemary and thyme and warm the oil over medium heat to infuse it with the flavor of the herbs, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage with the side of a big spoon until well browned. Add carrots, celery, and onion to the saucepan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.

To the pan with the sausage stir in the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, cannelloni beans, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Cook the rigatoni in the boiling water for 6 minutes; it should be slightly underdone. Drain and stir into the simmering soup. Add the parsley, and salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste. Discard the bay leaf and herb sprigs.

To serve, preheat the broiler. Put the baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and float a couple of the baguette slices on top.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuna-and-Tomato Pasta

I had the stomach flu from Saturday evening into yesterday afternoon. I basically couldn't get off the couch or out of the bed all day on Sunday. And last night was my first attempt at real food. So far, nothing's come back to visit me after eating it, but food is a little less than appealing.

However, this dish sounded strangely appealing. And I didn't have a chance to make it last week, so I thought I'd give it a shot for tonight's dinner. We'll see how my stomach likes it.

I know it's delicious. We've had it before. And it claims that it only costs $1.46 per person to make. Though I think the claim that it only serves 4 is a bit generous. So it's even less expensive to make! Woo!

Tuna-and-Tomato Pasta
Courtesy of Every Day with Rachael Ray


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 can (6 ounces) white tuna, drained
1 box (1 pound) pasta shells

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons parsley and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Whisk in the butter, then stir in the tuna.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain. Add the pasta to the tuna sauce and stir in 3/4 of the remaining parsley; season with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining parsley.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

These are Jonathan's favorite cookies. I love to make them during the holiday season when I'm looking for a non-chocolate option to add to my edible gift giving.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Make the cookies: In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Make the glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This is easily the tastiest and lightest spinach and artichoke dip I've ever had. It is a giant hit, and my friends often ask for it when we have a get-together.

Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Courtesy of Kraft Foods


1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained, finely chopped
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients; spoon into 9-inch quiche dish or pie plate.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with crackers and assorted cut-up fresh vegetables.

Peanut Butter-Hazelnut Brownies

I hung out with an old friend and brought these, what turned out to be, delicious brownies. I left the majority of them over at her house because I knew that Jonathan and I would spend the next several evenings gorging ourselves on them... Though I suspect since my friend's husband seemed to like them so much, that's what they ended up doing instead.

Peanut Butter-Hazelnut Brownies
Courtesy of Bethany Burchick from Pittsburgh, PA

1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder (non-alkalized)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Dash salt
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup hazelnut-chocolate spread

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x13-inch glass baking dish.

Melt the butter over low heat. When melted remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt, and mix well.

Mix the peanut butter and chocolate spread in a small microwave-proof bowl, and heat in the microwave until it reaches a runny consistency. Stir the mixture into the batter; then pour it into the baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Chicken Enchiladas and Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

It was Super Bowl Sunday a little over a week ago, and what was I cooking? I think kind of unusual things for that particular day, and we didn't actually eat any of it before or during game time. I just thought I should cook since it was a Sunday (my usual cooking day) and Super Bowl Sunday. I feel like if I'm not going to really care about the game (once the Eagles were out, I lost interest altogether), I should at least make the house smell good. And I did.

Chicken Enchiladas
A variation on this recipe by Tyler Florence

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast, each breast cut in half
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon Cajun spice
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped (I used these but think fresh jalapeños could have worked well too)
1-2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder (or more, depending on your spice preference)
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
16 corn tortillas (I used these but think I may have liked flour tortillas better. Or maybe I just needed better-quality corn ones?)
3 cups enchilada sauce, canned
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream

Coat large sauté pan with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7-8 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Cajun spice before turning. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.

Sauté onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. Add corn, chiles, and chipotle chili powder. Stir well to combine. Add canned tomatoes, sauté 1 minute.

Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to sauté pan, combine with vegetables. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350ºF oven until cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro, scallion, and sour cream before serving.


Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)
A variation on this recipe from 365crockpot.blogspot.com

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 teaspoons curry
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 can coconut milk
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup frozen peas

Use a 5 quart or larger crockpot. Put chicken in crockpot, and add onion, garlic, and all of the dry spices. Plop in the butter and tomato paste. Add lemon juice and coconut milk. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. The chicken should shred easily with 2 forks when fully cooked.

Stir in plain yogurt and peas 15 minutes before serving. Salt to taste, serve with white or brown basmati rice.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins

These are fabulous. Moist and delicious. If you want to cut down on the fat, using plain yogurt instead of sour cream works wonderfully.

Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins
Courtesy of Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa)


12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 half-pints fresh blueberries, washed and picked through for stems (I'm sure frozen blueberries would work just as well)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line muffin pan with paper muffin cups.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk. In a separate bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until just mixed.

Toss blueberries with a tablespoon or so of flour. Fold in the blueberries with a spatula and be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Use an ice cream scoop to fill the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup just over the top, and bake for 25-30 minutes (12-15 minutes for mini muffins), until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean.