Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dining al fresco and two recipes

Today we FINALLY had a quasi-nice day. The past three nights, it has been VERY COLD but we have resisted turning the heat on. IT IS JUNE PEOPLE! One should not have to turn on the heat! Grrr...

To celebrate the nice day, we decided to dine outside. While doing so, we commented, "Why have we never done this before?!" It was quite lovely. (picture me saying this with a British accent, b/c I just got done watching SYTYC...DANCE).

I made Cold Sesame Noodles for din din and it was delish. I also am posting the chocolate chip biscotti recipe I mentioned over a month ago. Both recipes are from the very best cookbook out there: The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. For shiz- I have made a lot of stuff out of here and every single thing has been great.

Cold Sesame Noodles
Feeds 4-6, unless you are a Schlotty when this feeds 2 with some leftover for lunch tomorrow

Note from the cookbook: We prefer the flavor and texture of the chunky peanut butter, however creamy can be used. If you cannot find fresh Chinese egg noodles, substitute 12 oz dried spaghetti or linguine. You can easily add cold shredded chicken to this as well.

5 TB sesame seeds
5 TB soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 TB rice vinegar
2 TB light brown sugar
1 TB grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Tabasco
1/2 cup hot water
1 TB salt
1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 medium carrrot, peeled & grated
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded & sliced thin

Toast sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 TB sesame seeds. Puree the remaining 4 TB seeds wtih soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic and Tabasco in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. With machine running, add hot water 1 TB at a time until sauce has the consistency of heavy cream (you may not need all the water).

Cook noodles in boling water until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Add scallions, noodels, carrot, red pepper, and sauce to a large bowl and mix. Sprinkle with reserved sesame seeds.

Chocolate Chip Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 TB unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
2 TB grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time then vanilla. Slowly mix in the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds.

Split the dough in half and use floured hands to press each into a 2 x 13 inch loaf, spaced about 3 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until the loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.

Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lower oven temp to 325 degrees.

Transfer loaves to a cutting board. Slice each loaf on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices using a serrated knife. Lay the slices about 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheet.

Bake until the slices are crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes, flipping the slices over halfway through. Transfer biscotti to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

1 comment:

caroldes7 said...

yum! do you know how long the biscotti stay fresh for? was thinking of using for christmas gifts.