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Carrot Muffins

June 25, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Dessert, Course:Breakfast, Skill Level: Moderate


For The Batter

1 1/4 cups plus 2 teaspoons (180 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon (3.11 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (1 grams) baking powder
3/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon (2.3 grams) ground cinnamon
1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons (207 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (142 grams) canola oil
1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/3 cup (80 grams) eggs
1 3/4 cups (212 grams) shredded carrots
Generous 1 1/4 cups (180 grams) Oat Streusel Topping
(recipe follows)

You’ll need a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan and muffin papers.
This is a good basic carrot muffin, and we sprinkle it with a great oat streusel for even more flavor and texture.
Carrots — and other vegetables, such as zucchini — add moisture to muffin and cake batters. Carrots are so plentiful that we often take them for granted, but all carrots are not alike. I hope you’ll pay a little extra for bunch carrots, carrots still with their tops, rather than the ones in plastic bags. The quality makes a big difference when they’re a major part of the recipe.
This recipe uses vegetable oil, not butter, and if you omit the streusel, it is dairy free.
Place the flour in a medium bowl. Sift in the baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Add the salt and whisk together.
Combine the sugar and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on low speed for about 1 minute. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, add them to the sugar mixture, and mix for 30 seconds to distribute the seeds evenly. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on low speed for about 1 minute, until just incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 seconds after each, or until just combined.
Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that may have settled there. Stir in the carrots. Transfer the batter to a covered container and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 36 hours.
To bake the muffins: Preheat the oven to 425 F (standard). Line the muffin pan with the muffin papers and spray the papers with nonstick spray.
Spoon the batter evenly into the papers, stopping 3/8 inch from the top (135 grams each). Sprinkle 30 grams/3 tablespoons of the streusel on top of each muffin and press gently into the batter. Place the pan in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 325 F, and bake for 40 to 43 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely.
The muffins are best the day they are baked, but they can be wrapped individually in a few layers of plastic wrap or stored in a single layer in a covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 week.

For The Oat Streusel Topping

1 cup (142 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon (107 grams) old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons (106 grams) toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 teaspoons (lightly packed) (50 grams) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/4 teaspoons (29 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon (1.2 grams) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (0.5 gram) freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon (0.4 gram) kosher salt
1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 ounces (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 -inch pieces

Combine all of the ingredients except the vanilla bean and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on low speed to combine. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, add them to the dry mixture, and mix until evenly distributed. Toss in the butter and mix for about 1 minute, or until the butter is incorporated, with no large chunks remaining.
Transfer to a covered container or a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. Use the streusel while it is cold.

Note on mixing muffin batter: When mixing a muffin batter, it is important not to overwhip the eggs, as that could cause the muffins to expand too much during baking and then deflate. The mixture may look broken after you whip in the eggs, but that is fine.


Chicken and pea pasta bake

June 17, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Main, Cuisine: Pasta, Skill Level: Moderate

1 tablespoon butter
350 g pasta
olive oil
2 leeks, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
100 ml chicken stock
100 ml white wine
150 g frozen peas
200 g cooked chicken, diced
225 ml milk
250 g ricotta
60 g Parmesan, grated
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Grease a 30 x 25cm baking dish. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water, for slightly less time than given on the packet so it’s just undercooked and coat with a drizzle of olive oil.
Meanwhile, place the butter in a frying pan and gently fry the leeks for 10 minutes or until they’re soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and wine, then cook for 8–10 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the peas, stir and cook for 30 seconds.
To the drained pasta, add the leek mixture, chicken, milk and two-thirds of the ricotta. Mix gently to combine and season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Top with the Parmesan, remaining ricotta and drizzle with olive oil, if you like. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until piping hot and starting to crisp up on top.
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by Zoey

Banana Pudding

May 23, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Dessert, Skill Level: Moderate

1 (12-oz.) package vanilla wafers
5 ripe bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks 
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites 
1/4 cup sugar 
Print a 3 Coupon for Probiotic Pearls
1. Prepare Pudding: Preheat oven to 325°. Arrange one-third of vanilla wafers in a medium-size ovenproof bowl (about 2 qt.); cover with one-third of banana slices. Repeat layers twice with remaining vanilla wafers and bananas.
2. Whisk together milk and next 4 ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, 15 minutes or until pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Pour over vanilla wafers and bananas in bowl.
3. Prepare Meringue: Beat egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until sugar dissolves and stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pudding, sealing to edge of bowl.
4. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately, or let cool completely (about 30 minutes), and cover and chill 1 hour before serving.
1/2 cup no-calorie sweetener may be substituted. We tested with Splenda No-calorie Granulated Sweetener. (Do not substitute sweetener in meringue.)

Egg Casserole

May 20, 2015 in Course:Breakfast, Skill Level: Moderate

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
6 eggs, whisked
6 slices bacon, diced
2 slices bread, cubed
1/3 red bell pepper, diced
2 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste (optional)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Stir Cheddar cheese, eggs, bacon, bread, red bell pepper, green onion, milk, garlic, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until well-combined; pour into prepared baking dish.
Bake in the preheated oven until eggs are set, 20 to 25 minutes


April 14, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Appetiser, Skill Level: Moderate

Olive oil
400 g Poached Potatoes
125 g frozen peas
2 onion, Chopped and fried
1 cloves of garlic
1 fresh green chilli
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Sea salt
Black pepper
From the dough:
550 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
to make the dough, in a large and shallow bowl combine the flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt. Use your fingers to rub in 120ml of oil until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir n 150ml of cold water, then bring it toghether with your hands into a rough dough, adding a splash more water, if needed. place in a flour- dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, mashed potatos finely and add garlic and garlic and cook about 15 minutes toghether. then add peas, chilli and parsley and cook about 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. lightly grease a large baking tray with oil.
On a flour- dusted surface, halve the dough and roll out each portion to about 3 cm thick. Using a 7cm pastry cutter, stamp out as many circles as you can, then roll into rounds, roughly 1/2 cm thick and 18 cm in diameter. Cut each round in half, then brush the straight edges together and pressing lightly to seal. Spoon in the filling, brush the exposed dough with a little water, then fold over and press to seal.
Place onto the prepared baking tray, then repeat with the remaining ingredients, keeping the samosas covered with a damp tea towel as you go. Brush with a little oil and place in the hot oven for around 45 minutes, or until golden and piping hot through. Serve straightaway with mango chutney.

Delicious Potato Soup

March 17, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Soup, Skill Level: Moderate



3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup onion, finley chopped
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken stock
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
Salt and papper
Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Stir in the chicken stock, salt and pepper.
In a other saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Pie

March 16, 2015 in Course: Dessert, Skill Level: Moderate

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (150 grams)
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably a high-fat, European style, cold and cut into cubes
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water, as needed
1 ¾ cups squash or pumpkin purée (see note)
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup dark brown sugar (153 grams)
2 tablespoons brandy
2 teaspoons ground ginger (4 grams)
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon (3 grams)
½ teaspoon kosher salt (3 grams)
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pinch ground clove
Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms chickpea-size pieces. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, but not wet. On a lightly floured surface, gather the dough into a ball. Flatten into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch circle. Transfer crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over with a fork, then chill crust for 30 minutes.
While the dough chills, heat oven to 375 degrees. Line chilled crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake until pale golden, 5 to 7 minutes more. Cool on rack until needed.
Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, eggs, cream, dark brown sugar, brandy, ginger, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the nutmeg and clove. Pour mixture into the cooled pie shell. Transfer pie to a large baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden and center jiggles just slightly when shaken, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
To make butternut squash purée, peel, halve and seed a 2 1/2 to 3-pound squash and cut flesh into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Coat with melted butter or oil and roast at 400 degrees, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Let cool, then purée in a food processor.
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by Aaron

The Best Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce

March 9, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Appetiser, Skill Level: Moderate

4 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, preferably imported D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes (see note above)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing.
4 tablespoons butter
8 cloves garlic, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 medium carrot, cut into large chunks
1 medium onion, split in half
1 large stem fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or basil leaves (or a mix of the two)
Adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 300°F. Place tomatoes in a large bowl. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes by squeezing them in your fingers until pieces no larger than 1/2-inch remain. Transfer 3 cups of crushed tomatoes to a sealed container and reserve in the refrigerator until step 4.
Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven until butter is melted. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add pepper flakes and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, carrot, onion, and basil, and stir to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat.
Cover Dutch oven with lid slightly ajar and transfer to oven. Cook, stirring once every 1 to 2 hours, until reduced by about half and darkened to a deep red, 5 to 6 hours (reduce oven temperature if the sauce is bubbling too rapidly or the browned bits begin to turn too dark).
Remove from oven. Using tongs, discard onion halves, carrots, and basil stems. Add reserved tomatoes to sauce and stir to combine. Add fish sauce, if using. Season generously with salt and pepper and stir in minced herbs along with additional olive oil as desired. Serve immediately, or allow to cool at room temperature, transfer to airtight containers, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Sauce can also be frozen in sealed containers for up to 6 months. To reheat, warm very gently in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water, stirring until it all melts and heats through.

Easy Lamb Casserole

March 4, 2015 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Moderate

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 big onion, finely chopped
3 medium carrots
500g diced leg of lamb
2 garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon saffron strands
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 vegetable stock cube
steam couscous or rice, to serve
Chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts, to serve (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a pan. add onion and carrots. cook for about 10 minutes until soften.
Add the lamb and cook until brown all over. add garlic and season with salt and pepper, cumin, ginger, saffron and cinnamon.Cook for about 15 minutes.
Add vegetebla stock aand about 500ml water. let it booil. put the lid and let cook for about 1 hour.Serve it. 
Design with parsley and eat with rice or couscous. 
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by Sophia

Black Bean Burgers

March 4, 2015 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Fruits & Vegetables, Skill Level: Moderate

2 cans black beans
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 big onions, finley chopped
3 garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili sauce
1/2 cup feta or cotija cheese, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg
3/4 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper
6 to 8 hearty hamburger buns, toasted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread black beans in a single layer on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and roast until beans are mostly split open and outer skins are beginning to get crunchy, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
While beans roast, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly about 2 minutes. Add chili sauce and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
When beans are slightly cooled, transfer to food processor. Add cheese and Pulse until beans are roughly chopped (the largest pieces should be about 1/3 of a full bean in size). Transfer to bowl with onion and pepper mixture. Add mayonnaise, egg, and bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Fold together gently but thoroughly with hands. Patty mixture can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days at this stage.
To cook on the grill: 
Light 2/3 chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the medium-high setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Form bean mixture into 6 to 8 patties as wide as your burger buns and brush top sides with oil. Place on hot side of grill oiled-side down and cook without moving until first side is well browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Brush tops of burgers with oil. Carefully flip and continue cooking until second side is browned, 3 to 5 minutes longer, topping with cheese if desired.
To cook indoors: Form bean mixture into 6 to 8 patties as wide as your burger buns. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 4 patties and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until well browned and crisp on first side, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until second side is browned, about 5 minutes longer, adding cheese if desired. If cooking more than 4 burgers, cook in batches, keeping cooked burgers on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet in a 200°F oven while second batch cooks.
Spread top and bottom buns with chipotle mayonnaise or other condiments as desired. Add toppings to top or bottom bun as desired. Place patties on bottom buns, close burgers, and serve immediately.