Archive for ‘Real Simple’

January 1, 2012

Double-chocolate brownies + Snickers blondies

Real Simple, Woman’s Day

Make: 16

Double-chocolate brownies:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350° F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line with 2 crisscrossed pieces of parchment, buttering in between and leaving an overhang on all sides; butter the parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Let cool slightly. Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined (do not overmix).
Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Holding the paper overhang, lift the brownies out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares (4 rows by 4 rows).

Snickers blondies:

  • 1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup(s) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
  • 12  fun-size Snickers candies, quartered

Heat oven to 350. Line an 8-in. square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated; fold in the Snickers.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the blondie cool completely in the pan. Using the overhangs, transfer the blondie to a cutting board and cut into 16 bars.

*Chef’s note: Sorry for cramming these recipes into one long post; this was the only photo that turned out. BOTH of these brownies–so different– are super super tasty. The Real Simple double-chocolates are dark and very decadent, and the Woman’s Day blondies (which has much closer to a dough than a batter) are nice and moist with that brown-sugar taste I LOVE. I used Snickers, Rolos and Hershey bell candies to use up some Christmas leftovers. Sub whatever candy you’d like! For both, I used only a floured baking spray and nonstick pans (no parchment) and they slipped out very easily. This is how I spent my New Year’s Eve! ;)

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January 1, 2012

Pan-fried cod with mustard-caper sauce

Real Simple
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 6-ounce pieces skinless cod, halibut or striped bass fillet
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 large head Bibb lettuce, torn (about 6 cups)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, capers, tarragon (if using), 2 tablespoons of the oil, and 2 tablespoons water. (If necessary, adjust the consistency with more water until the sauce is spoonable.)
Heat 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the cod with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 7 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the lettuce, cucumber, and onion with the lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Drizzle the cod with the mustard-caper sauce and serve with the salad.
*Chef’s note: The fish/sauce were OK (I didn’t make the salad). It tastes pretty much liked you’d expect it to. I used cod and left out the tarragon (blegh!), adding the equivalent of parsley. But I do love me some capers!
January 1, 2012

Brown sugar-glazed carrots with rosemary and pecans

Real Simple

Serves: 8

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 3 pounds carrots—peeled, cut into 2-inch lengths, and halved lengthwise if large
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Heat oven to 375° F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing once, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the carrots, brown sugar, butter, rosemary, cayenne, ½ cup water, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the carrots begin to soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover the saucepan and cook, stirring often, until the carrots are tender and the liquid has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Discard the rosemary and toss the carrots with the lemon juice and pecans.

*Chef’s note: This dish was a bit to sweet and a tad too mushy for me. I like all the ingredients going into it, but next time would probably put in about half the sugar!

September 1, 2011

Chicken with goat cheese vinaigrette

Real Simple 

Serves: 4

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4  6-ounce boneless chicken breasts
  • orzo
Combine olive oil, parsley, red pepper and goat cheese. Split the chicken breasts horizontally; season with salt and pepper. In batches, cook in a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with orzo and the goat cheese vinaigrette.
*Chef’s note: Very simple, very goat cheesy. I didn’t love it, but my family did.