October 10, 2010

Coconut Curry Fudge

SusieBirds in the Recipe Thread, October 9, 2010

Coconut Curry Fudge
(This was inspired partly by a post about fudge on the Passionate Homemaking blog, and partly by Theo Chocolate’s coconut curry chocolate bar.)

Suggested Cooking Instruments: Cuisinart or blender, muffin tin & papers or silicone muffin cups, double boiler set-up, whisk, measuring utensils, rubber spatula.

Ingredients:

* 12T (1.5 sticks) butter at room temp
* 3/4C unsweetened cocoa powder
* 3/4C honey
* 1/2tsp vanilla
* 1/2tsp each curry powder, allspice, nutmeg
* 3/4C shredded coconut

1. Set up a double boiler (a pot with boiling water, on med and a bowl that fits on top of it) and melt 1 stick of butter in the top bowl. When the butter has melted, add in the cocoa, spices and vanilla, and whisk until completely combined and fluid

2. In the bowl of your food processor or blender, put the remaining butter (in cubes) and the honey, then add the melted chocolate mixture. Blend until fully combined, then add the shredded coconut. Process for a few moments until fully mixed and the coconut has been chopped into little bits.

3. Spoon the mixture into the baking cups, filling each about half full, and top them with a few shreds of coconut. I used silicone muffin cups, which are great since you can keep reusing them.

4. Place them in the freezer until they are solid enough to be removed from the cups (2-3 hours). The texture will be stretchy and flexible, not crumbly like many fudges. If you’re using paper liners, just peel them away. The silicone cups you can gently flip inside-out until the fudge pops out. The fudge rounds need to be kept slightly cooler than room temp (I kept them in the fridge until about 10 mins before serving), or they’ll get softer than ideal.

These are large (and rich) enough to be cut into smaller bits to serve more people. I think they’d be excellent rolled into balls and dipped into chocolate to make truffles or something, but that will have to wait for next time.

Stuffed Peppers of Triumph

SusieBirds, 14 Feb 09, Recipe Thread

4 medium sized red bell peppers (get squat ones, not tall ones)
1/2 dry couscous (cooked in 1c water, no idea final volume, 1C, maybe?)
Some olive oil for sauteeing stuff (2-3T?)
1 large onion, finely diced (use a walla wall sweet or a red)
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 large rib of celery, finely diced
1/4 cup finely chopped purple cabbage
2-3 large kale leaves, ripped to little shreds, no stems (you could use spinach or chard for this as well)
1/4 raisins
4 big cloves garlic
1/2 package of cream cheese (or goat cheese if you like)
cumin
dried savory
smoked paprika
red pepper flakes
uh, some other herbs I don’t remember

Wash the peppers and neatly cut the tops off, empty and de-seed and de-rib them. Rub *very* lightly with olive oil (a fingerip in some oil will go a long way) and, if possible, fire-roast lightly. If you have a gas stovetop, this is easy – just set the burner on high, and set the pepper down on top of the grate-thingy that holds up the pots (can you tell my voacabulary is gone today?). Rotate every minute or so until the outer skin get blackened in spots and it smells like roasted peppers.

For the stuffing:
Cook the couscous, set aside. You could also use rice, barley, whatever. It was probably 1C cooked total volume.

Sautee onions in olive oil until clear, then add and sautee mushrooms until soft, then add/sautee celery, then cabbage. When it’s all cooked down, add a dash of cumin, some dried savory (1tsp maybe?), salt, whatever other herbs you like (I cook by taste with herbs and spices).

When herbed to your satisfaction, mix together with couscous in a big bowl, then press two large cloves of garlic into it. Mix in the raisins and kale while it’s still hot, so they get moist/melty/wilty. Set aside.

For cheese mix:
Blend cream cheese with a bit of salt, press two cloves of garlic into it, add dash of red pepper flakes, and I put in a tiny tiny pinch of smoked paprika (that stuff is *very* strong), and add another dash of savory on top. Mix until everything is well blended. You can season this with whatever strikes your fancy – if you were in a hurry, you could even just use a pre-prepped boursin or herbed goat cheese.

To stuff:
Fill each pepper halfway with the stuffing mixture, put in a generous dollop of the cheese mix, then fill the rest of the way with stuffing. Put top back on the pepper.

Put in oven-proof baking dish with a bit of water (1T) in the bottom and bake at 350 for around 20 minutes.

Makes 4. Serve warm, chop open, mix melty cheese into stuffing, consume. Paired with a good salad, it makes an excellent light dinner. Paired with wine and chocolate cake afterwards, even better.

Morning Glory Muffins

SusieBirds, May 20, 2008, comment in “Playing With Your Food”

Speaking of apricots…

I’ve been meaning to post this for awhile – my favorite Morning Glory Muffin recipe. It’s been adapted from several various recipes culled from cookbooks and internets and tweaked until I don’t remember the original portions. The nice thing about these is that they are pretty flexible in terms of what you put in them, so they are really great to customize.

Morning Glory Muffins

1C unbleached white flour
1C whole wheat flour
2tsp baking powder

2/3C honey or more to taste (pick something flavorful – I like fireweed honey)
2C carrots, shredded
1 apple, peeled and shredded (pick something firm rather than something soft or mealy. Granny Smiths are good).

1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries (not the Ocean Spray “Craisins” – too much sugar)
1/4 cup chopped apricots
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)

3 eggs
1C vege oil (can sub applesauce in same amount, but may need more flour)
2 tsp vanilla
lemon zest to taste ~ 2tsp (just enough to give it some zip)
Spices to taste (I use cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, about 1/2tsp each)

Mix together dry ingredients, set aside. Beat eggs, add carrots and apple, honey, oil/applesauce, vanilla. Combine with with dry ingredients, then mix in fruit bits and lemon zest. Taste and add more spices or honey if needed.

Grease muffin tins and preheat oven to 350. Fill cups about 2/3rds way full, and bake for about 30 mins or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes about 18 muffins, depending on how far you fill the cups. They also make decent mini-loafs.

Notes:
I’m a no-refined-sugar person, and it can be hard to find shredded coconut (or dried cranberries, for that matter) that’s not slathered in sugar or corn syrupy whatever, but it’s worth it. If you use sweetened coconut, cut the honey a bit (unless you like your muffins sweet).

You can also adjust the carrot/apple-to-flour ratio until you get it to your liking. I like my muffins squidgy and moist, honestly, so it tends towards the heavier carrot/apple side.

I’ve also always thought these would be fabulous with cream cheese filling, but I have yet to try it. They’re such a healthy little muffin if you do them right that it seems a shame to add the unhealthy cream cheese bit. And by shame I mean delicious.