Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Twist Hamantaschen

Here is a my new Hamantaschen recipe which I put together and baked today:

3/4 stick of butter, softened or melted

3 spoonfuls of cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar; 1 egg; 1 t vanilla; splash of OJ

1 t baking powder; 1 1/4 c flour; 1/3-1/2 c almonds, toasted and ground as fine as possible; pinch salt

Cream butter and cream cheese together, then add the rest of the wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients, and mix or blend in cuisinart. Taste for sweetness. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour or sugar, and knead gently into a smoother hunk 'o dough. Make a few balls out of the dough and chill in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.

Roll out dough- thin circles tended to be crispier when baked. Form into cutesy Hamantaschen and bake at 350° for 10-20 minutes, checking often to avoid burnt bottoms.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chana Masala

This is a hearty and easy Indian-spiced chickpea dish. Adapted from

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small + tomato paste to thicken (about half a small can)
2/3 cup water or vegetable broth
4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon (juiced)

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spiced for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. If you want a deeper tomato flavor and a slightly thicker sauce, add some tomato paste. Add the water or broth and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice.

Eat up or put a lid on it and reheat it when needed. Curries such as this reheat very well, later or or in the days that follow, should it last that long.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Linzer Torte (from Cooking Class Cookbook)

½ c. whole almonds, toasted
1 ½ c white flour
1 t cinnamon
¼ t salt
¾ c sugar
½ c. butter or margarine
½ t. grated lemon peel
1 egg
¾ c raspberry or apricot jam
Powdered sugar

1. Process almonds in food processor til ground (but not pasty).

2. Combine flour, almonds, cinnamon and salt

3. Beat sugar, butter and lemon peel using electric mixer or food processor for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy

4. Beat in egg until well blended

5. Beat in flour mixture until well blended

6. Spoon 2/3 of dough onto bottom of 10” tart pan with removable bottom pat dough evenly over bottom and up side of pan

7. Spread jam over bottom of dough

8. Roll remaining dough on lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin into 10” X 6” square. Cut dough into 10 X ½” strips, using a pizza wheel or sharp knife.

9. Arrange 4-5 strips of dough lengthwise across jam. Arrange another 4-5 strips crosswise across top. Press ends of dough strips into edge of crust and cut extra.

10. Bake 25-35 minutes at 375 degrees or until crust is golden brown

11. Cool completely in pan on wire wrack and then remove torte from pan. S

12. Sprinkle with powdered sugar