Saturday, February 27, 2010

100% Homemade Tiramisu

100% Homemade Tiramisu by Ng @ Whats for Dinner? The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.

Making 100% Homemade Tiramisu was a big challenge and took a few weeks for me to complete. We had to make all of the ingredients from scratch: Mascarpone Cheese, Zabaglione, Pastry Cream and the Savoiardi or Ladyfingers. Did I say WOW!


Mascarpone Cheese – Vera’s Recipe (Baking Obsession) for Homemade Mascarpone Cheese.
Savoiardi/ Ladyfinger Biscuits – Recipe from Cordon Bleu At Home
Tiramisu – Carminantonio's Tiramisu from The Washington Post, July 11 2007

100% Homemade Tiramisu by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?The results were very tasty. Saeid couldn't believe that I made this myself. Every bit was an explosion of flavor. But was it worth the work, NO WAY!!!! I would make Tiramisu, but I will be buying the ladyfingers but I will still be making my own zabaglione and pastry cream. Or maybe I'll forget about the tiramisu and just eat the zabaglione right out of the bowl!!!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Stuffed Pizza

Stuffed Pizza by Ng @ What's for Dinner?Love pizza toppings? Stuffed pizza is packed with way more toppings than a normal slice could dream of holding. This pizza needs a knife and fork!
Stuffed Pizza by Ng @ What's for Dinner?Make one batch of my Homemade Pizza Dough and split the dough into one large (about 2/3 of the dough) and one small ball (1/3). The large ball will be the bottom and small the top.
Stuffed Pizza by Ng @ What's for Dinner?Oil and line a deep dish pizza pan or spring formed pan. Push the large dough ball into the pan and using your fingers press up the sides. No need to roll the dough, just get your fingers dirty. Then roll out the smaller ball the the size of the pan. Fill the pizza. If using cheese lay that down first. Then any cooked toppings finishing out with a tiny bit of crushed tomatoes or sauce. Place the rolled top on the stuffed pizza and pinch the sides to seal. Cut a steam whole in the top if you like and bake at 220c (430f) for 25-30 min or until the crust in brown.
Stuffed Pizza by Ng @ What's for Dinner? Let the pizza sit for a few min after you take it out, it will be hot inside!
I filled this one with ground beef, onions, red pepper and fennel and used 1/3 whole wheat flour in the dough.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stuffed Cabbage or Dolmeh Kalam or Galumpkis

Stuffed Cabbage or Dolmeh Kalam or Galumpkis by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?This is an Iranian recipe for Dolmeh Kalam (stuffed cabbage or galumpkis). Stuffing cabbage is not a new idea in the west and it is a great replacement for vine leaves. I have been able to find vine leaves in Ireland but would rather use Irish cabbage than imported vine leaves. If you have a dolmeh-yeh Barg-e Mow (stuffed vine leaf) recipe you like try it out with cabbage and let me know how it works.
Stuffed Cabbage or Dolmeh Kalam or Galumpkis by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Stuffing for 24 leaves
2 chopped onions
1/2 pound ground beef or lamb
1/2 cup of long grain rice
4 tsp tomato paste
2 cups of stock
1/3 cup dried herbs (I used partsly, mint and ghormeh sabzi)
2 tsp sugar
1/2 of a jucie of a lime
salt, pepper and hot pepper

Cook the onions and ground meat over med heat until the meat is brown. Add the rice and tomato paste and mix well. Add the stock, herbs, sugar and lime juice. Cook for 15 min or until the rice is starts to soft (but not cooked all the way) and the stock is gone. Check for salt, pepper and spice.

Stuffed Cabbage or Dolmeh Kalam or Galumpkis by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?To Roll the Cabbage

1 white or green cabbage (I used savoy)
1 tsp oil
1 Tbs tomato paste or 1/2 cup of tomato juice

Pull the leaves off the cabbage one by one. Cut out the thick vane. Wash well. Cook in the microwave 2-3 min or boil for 1 min. The cabbage should be soft and foldy, but will not be as easy to work with as vine leaves.

In an oiled pot or rice maker place the biggest leave down to keep the rolls from burning.

To roll the leaves pull together the 2 sides from where the vain was. Cross them over to make a pocket. Fill with 1 or 1 1/2 Tbs of rice and roll. Place in the pot. The roll may try to unroll so fit the rolls in tight. When all the cabbage is rolled mix tomato paste with 1/2 water and pour over the rolls. Cover the pot and cook for 30-45 in a rice maker or on med low heat. The cabbage should be soft and the rice cooked. Add more water if its not.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Polenta with Lamb Kidney

Polenta with Lamb Kidney by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?My mom sent me a Italian travel cook book. Avventura: Journeys in Italian Cuisine with David Rocco which has lots of nice photos both of Italy and food. I wanted to post a fava bean recipe from Vieste, but I just don't like it! So I'm posting about Polenta con Tapulone Di Manzo (Polenta with Seasoned Beef) from Stresa. I changed the recipe up a bit, replacing ground beef with lamb kidney, cutting out the most of the butter and all the lard and using express polenta. Kidney cooks way faster than ground beef so the cooking time was shorted from 40 min to 15. Feel free to use ground beef if you like, but I would still skip the lard!

Polenta with Lamb Kidney
Serves Four

For the Kidney
1 tsp oil
1 large chopped onion
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup chopped cabbage
3 Kidneys cleaned washed and chopped (or 1/2 kg of ground beef)
3 whole cloves
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
1/2 cup wine (dry red for beef)
(1 or 2 cups of stock if using beef)

Saute the onions, garlic, and cabbage in oil with the spices over med heat. Once the cabbege softens (about 10 min) add the wine and kidneys. Cook for 5 more min or until the the kidney are brown and have no more red juice. Check the for salt and peper and add what is needed.

If using beef I would add the wine and stock after the meat is brown and then cook slow and low for 30 min.

For the Express Polenta
1/2 litter of boiling water
1 stock cube
250 gm of express polenta (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp butter or olive oil

In a pot on med heat mix the boiling water with the stock cube. Slowly add the polenta and stir stir stir until all the water is gone. Add the butter or oil and stir stir stir. Check the salt and add more if needed. Plate before the polenta hardens. Make sure to shape the leftover polenta into a brick shape right away if you would like to grill it the next day.

Polenta with Lamb Kidney by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Top the polenta with the kidney. Fast and Fancy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Peanut Butter and Sesame Seed Cookies

Peanut Butter and Sesame Seed Cookies by Ng @ What's for Dinner?The only thing that can improve peanut butter cookies is Hershey Kiss, sadly there are no chocolate kisses in Ireland. I wanted to try something new so I replaced some of the PB with tahini and rolled the cookies in sesame seeds.
Peanut Butter and Sesame Seed Cookies by Ng @ What's for Dinner?I started out with the Betty Crocker's classic Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe but 1/4 cup of trans-fat had to go!!! I replaced shorting with coconut oil, but I think just butter would work as well.

Peanut Butter Sesame Seed Cookies
Makes 24 yummy cookies (plus a few bits of raw dough if you dare)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup - 1 Tbs peanut butter
1 Tbs tahini
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt (leave out if using salted butter)

Cream the sugar with the butter and coconut oil. Mix in the PB and tahini. Add in the egg. Mix. Then add the flour baking soda and powder.

The Betty Crocker recipe calls for the dough to rest for 2 hours, but its really cold here and my dough never got very warm. So really its up to you. (My mom would never ever let cookies dough rest, maybe because we would eat the dough if she did.)

Shape the dough into balls. I split the dough in 1/2 and then 1/2 agian so I only had to 3 cookies at a time that way they were all the same size. Roll the balls in semame seed, place on a cookie sheet and push down with a fork.

Cook for 10 min in a pre-heated oven at 190c or 375f.

Peanut Butter and Sesame Seed Cookies by Ng @ What's for Dinner?Homemade cookies! Yummy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mezze with Falafels

Mezze with Falafels by NG @ What's for Dinner? The 2010 February Daring COOKs challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.

For this challenge we had to make pitta and hummus using given recipe. You can find them on the Daring Kitchen website. I was not happy with the pitta recipe and felt the hummus called for too much lemon. I did love this Falafel recipe. I used soaked dried beans and Saeid fried them for me. Yummy!

Optional Recipe: Falafels - Recipe from Joan Nathan and
Prep Time: Overnight for dry beans and 1 hour to make Falafels

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight OR use well canned drained chickpeas (7 ounces/100 grams)
1/2 large onion (roughly chopped, about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped OR use a couple pinches of dried parsley (.2 ounces/5 grams)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped OR use a couple pinches of dried cilantro (.2 ounces/5 grams)
1 teaspoon table salt (.1 ounce/5 grams)
1 teaspoon dried hot red peppers (cayenne) (.1 ounce/2 grams)
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon cumin (.1 ounce/2 grams)
1 teaspoon baking powder (.13 ounces/4 grams)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (1 ounce/24 grams) (you may need a bit extra)
tasteless oil for frying (vegetable, canola, peanut, soybean, etc.), you will need enough so that the oil is three inches deep in whatever pan you are using for frying

1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, and then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed. If you don’t have a food processor, then feel free to mash this up as smooth as possible by hand.
3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.
5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees (190C) in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
6. Drain on paper towels.

Note: I sometimes prefer to bake these so I can avoid the deep frying. I bake them on a nonstick pad (silpat or the like) at 325F (160C), just until they’re firm, about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pulgogi (Korean Broiled Beef)

Pulgogi (Korean Broiled Beef) by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I think lots of people may have tried Korean BBQ in a restaurants, but Pulgogi is great for a mid-week meal at home.
Pulgogi (Korean Broiled Beef) by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Pulgogi Sauce
(adapted Korean Mother's Cooking Notes by Chang Sun-Young)
3 TBS of soup soy sauce (Saeid doesn't like soy sauce so I use this as it is much lighter)
2 TBS sugar
1 TBS honey
2 TBS white vinegar
1 TBS sesame oil
3 TBS chopped green onions or chives
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tps pepper
1/2 tps tahini (or 1 TBS of ground sesame seed, but I think its smother to use tahini)

Pulgogi (Korean Broiled Beef) by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?The best way to cut thin slices of beef is to frezze it first. Marinate the meat for an hour+.
Pulgogi (Korean Broiled Beef) by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?At this point place the meat on a cookie sheet and cook under the broiler or if you are my mom then just cook in a frying pan for 3 min with all the yummy sauce. Even after my time in Korea I still like to cook Pulgogi this way.
Pulgogi (Korean Broiled Beef) by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I also made Polow with Korean Wild Rice and enjoyed my Pulgogi with a few kinds of kimshi.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Herb Chicken

Herb Chicken by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I haven't been feeling well lately, so meals have been simple (and mostly soup). The other night we had this yummy herb chicken. I used fresh basil, parsley, coriander and tarragon but mint would have been nice as well.
Herb Chicken by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Herb Chicken
1 large Irish free range chicken
2 big handfuls of fresh herbs
1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp hot pepper
Herb Chicken by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Slice the lemon and place under the skin. Blend herbs and spices together. Stuff inside and outside of the chicken with the herb (don't forget under the skin). Bake for 2 hours under foil at 200c about 400f or until the juice runs clear. Add potatoes for the last hour.
Herb Chicken by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?This a great meal to make if you have a frig (or garden) full of fresh herbs that need to be eaten.
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