Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tuna & Chickpea Salad

This is hardly an earthshaking recipe...but it sure is tasty! And simple. And a nice alternative to mayo-based tuna salad (though I like that as well).

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can tuna, packed in olive oil, drained

Mix the parsley, shallots, capers and garlic in a small bowl. Place the chickpeas in a bowl and lightly mash with the back of a spoon. Break the tuna into chunks and add to chickpeas. Stir in the parsley-caper mixture and combine. Stir in the oil until you reach the consistency you like, season to taste and set aside. Let sit for at least one hour before serving.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thin-and-Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few years ago Amanda Hesser published three different chocolate chip cookie recipes in the NY Times Magazine food section: Thin & Crispy, Flat & Chewy, and Thick & Gooey. I have never made it past Thin & Crispy! So I'm not going to make the claim that these are the best chocolate chip cookies ever (like many people do), but I will say they seem to be the only kind I make these days. Because they have so much butter, they start to take on toffee-like qualities. The key is to cook them long enough so that they get quite brittle, but not so long that they burn. (I don't have any words of wisdom on exactly how to determine this however. I just bake them on the longish side of the estimated time.)

1+3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon kosher salt
14 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
1 - 1+1/2 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate (that's a lot of chocolate to chop! I usually use part semisweet mini-chips)
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)

Cream the butter, sugars, corn syrup until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, then milk. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; mix into butter & sugar just until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate and walnuts. Chill the dough.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with tin foil. Roll a two-tablespoon lump of dough into a ball, place on baking sheet and flatten to a 1/4 inch disk. Place cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake until the edges are dark golden brown, 14-17 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes about 20-24 cookies.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Carrot Dill Soup

This is one of my favorite soup recipes, and has been for about 15 years. It's adapted from The New Basics Cookbook--a book with several great soup recipes in my opinion. I've added the lemon juice, which seems a nice way to accentuate the flavor of almost any savory recipe, and also the grated Parmesan.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
2+1/2 pounds carrots, peeled & sliced
2 ribs celery, with leaves, diced
8 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped dill
salt, freshly ground pepper
generous pinch of cayenne
fresh lemon juice
grated Parmesan

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, stock, 1/4 cup dill and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Let cool slightly. Puree the soup, in batches, in a blender. Return to the pot, stir in remaining dill and season with salt, pepper and a couple squeezes of lemon. Heat through and serve. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan, if desired.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Marinated Broccoli

As you may know, I like garlic. But last year I actually went a little overboard and made this recipe so many times--and with so much garlic--that I was done for the year. It's a new year, however, and I'm ready to jump on the marinated broccoli horse again. Adapted from the NY Times.

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 lbs. broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1/2 cup olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
large pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Stir together the vinegar and salt; toss with broccoli. In a large skillet, heat olive oil until hot. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sesame oil and red pepper flakes; toss mixture with broccoli. Let sit at least 1 hour at room temperature, up to 48 hours (chill if you want to keep it more than 2 hours). Add salt if necessary.