September 25, 2010

Key Lime Cheesecake

Sunshine Contest – Round 2, 8 Aug 10

My Key Lime Cheesecake is an unbaked cheesecake, so it’s not for anyone who’s leery of uncooked eggs. I’ve been making this for the past 9 years and no one has ever gotten sick from it, so …

I’ve adapted this from several cheesecake recipes that I found online.

Use a 9-inch pie pan.

Crust – I use a standard graham cracker crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
1 c graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbs white granulated sugar
1/4 c butter, melted

Mix the cracker crumbs and sugar in the pie pan, pour in the melted butter and mix thoroughly, then pat into the pan; it’ll be a fairly thin crust, the idea is to have just enough to hold in the cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes and let it cool.

Cheesecake:
1 envelope (or 2 1/2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup key lime juice
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup white granulated sugar
8 oz tub-style cream cheese
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp key lime zest
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups whipped cream

1. In a medium saucepan, dissolve the gelatin in the key lime juice for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar, the zest, and the 2 beaten eggs.

2. Heat on stove at medium heat, while stirring, and cook for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Slowly add the lime mixture and beat on low until smooth. Refrigerate the mixture until it’s thoroughly cooled, stirring it every 10 minutes.

4. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy or until soft peaks form. Slowly add the 3/4 cup sugar until incorporated.

5. Fold the egg white mixture into the chilled lime-cream cheese mix, and pour into the prepared crust.

6. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

7. Spread whipped cream over the cheese cake before serving.

If you can’t find fresh key limes, use the bottled key lime juice and grate the zest of a regular lime.

Pecan Sandy Bars

Librarykat, 15 Dec 2009, Recipe Thread

I was too rushed for time to do regular pecan sandies this afternoon, so I fooled around with the two recipes I have to make what I call Pecan Sandy Bars

2 1/4 flour (I use unbleached)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, set aside.

Cream the sugar into the butter until fluffy, add vanilla and mix, then add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly, then stir in the chopped pecans.

Spread the dough onto a greased cookie sheet, bake in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Lower temperature to 325 degrees F, bake for 9 minutes, or until the cookie is light golden brown. Remove from oven, let the cookie sheet cool completely. Cut into bars – I got 4 dozen.

I didn’t chill the cookie dough before baking – didn’t have time. I don’t know if that would have made any difference in baking. I just didn’t have the time to mess around with forming small balls of dough and all that – I had to work at the school today, and I had less than an hour before I had to leave the house.

This time I just used unbleached flour; usually, for my family, I’ll use 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup unbleached. These cookie bars are all going to other people as Christmas gifts.

I also processed the pecans so much they were more like ground pecans than chopped.

Gingered Sauce Asparagus

LibraryKat: Thanksgiving Eve: December 1, 2008

Very simple recipe, really. 1 tablespoon each of rice vinegar, soy sauce, peanut oil, water, tahini (sesame paste), and sugar; 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Combine everything in a food processor or blender (I have a “baby” processor that’s perfect for this small amount). Take 48 medium asparagus spears, cleaned and trimmed, and cut them on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces and put into a pot. Boil water, pour over the asparagus and let it sit for about 2-3 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the asparagus to be. Drain, put into a bowl, and pour the sauce over the warm asparagus and toss. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

People who normally don’t like to eat asparagus will eat this. My younger son doesn’t like asparagus, but he decided the sauce improves the taste “about 95%.”

Quick cook broccoli and friends

librarykat, 6th May 2008,comment to “Eat your veg”

I take the fresh broccoli, cut it up into small pieces (a couple of bites size), pour boiling water over them in the pan and let them sit for no more than 1 minute. Basically just enough to turn them a beautiful vibrant green, then pour it all into a colander and shock the vegs with cold, cold water. This is wonderful eaten alone or in a salad with other vegs.

My other favorite veg is spinach. I buy organic baby spinach. Wash it out very carefully. Pour boiling water, stir for no more than one minute, drain and shock with cold water. I pick up handfuls, squeeze out the water, cut it up. Then I splash it with a little good sesame oil and a little bit of soy sauce. Totally wonderful.

I eat lots of greens. Usually stir-fried with just the minimal amount of canola oil, lots of garlic and ginger, a little bit of beef, chicken, or pork (depending on the veg). We much prefer our vegs to have that satisfying crunch when we eat it.

We eat lots of Chinese greens – gai lan, sim choy, choy sum, pak choy, ung choy. Oh, and chive buds are to die for stir fried with garlic and a little bit of fish sauce.