Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Christmas Pudding

Dating further back than the Spinach-Orange Muffins for Thanksgiving is the tradition of the Burton Christmas Pudding. Similarly, you usually don't tell people the main ingredients until after they have taken a bite and fallen in love. My mother found this recipe in Redbook in 1984 and has made it every year since.

The Recipe

The main ingredients? Potatoes and carrots. The key? Overcook the crap out of it. Otherwise it will fall apart when you take it out of the pan. Even if it is the driest thing ever, the caramel sauce brings it back to life. It is kind of like a carrot cake covered in caramely goodness, so how can you really go wrong?


By the way, taking a picture of all the ingredients measured out is really handy, as it can serve as visual confirmation that you forgot to put in the nutmeg. But fear not, my mistake was realized in time.

Christmas Pudding with Caramel Sauce
(Adapted from a 1984 issue of Redbook)

1 tsp baking soda
1 cup raw, finely grated carrots
1 cup raw, finely grated potatoes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup raisins, rinsed in hot water and drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix baking soda, carrots, and potatoes in a bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Then beat in eggs one at a time until smooth. Sift in flour, spices, and salt over wet mixture. Add the raisins and the carrots and potatoes.

Place batter in 5 cup buttered and floured mold. Place mold in a larger baking pan that is filled with about 1-2 inches of water. Bake for 50-60 minutes (BUT PROBABLY LONGER...OVERCOOK IT DAMNIT) until pudding is moist, but set and starting to separate from the sides of the mold. Set on rack to cool and remove onto serving plate while still warm.

Christmas Pudding

Caramel Sauce

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt sugar and butter on top of double boiler over low heat. Add cream slowly, stirring well. Remove pan from heat. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm, poured over slices of pudding.

Caramel Sauce

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tempeh Curry

Tempeh Curry

I had never had tempeh before making this recipe a couple weeks ago, but now I'm hooked. I've made this dish again since then. It's fast, easy, and delicious and makes great leftovers. I used fingerling potatoes, they are my favorite. I was also excited to use tumeric, which may or may not be the best thing for you ever.

Tempeh Curry
(adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

1 1/2 cups fingerling potatoes (you can use any small, waxy potatoes)
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tumeric (I doubled the amount)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
3/4 cup water
8oz tempeh

Fingerling Potatoes

Cut the potatoes in half, sprinkle with half the salt, and steam for about 20 minutes or until done.

In a skillet, melt the butter into the olive oil, then add the onion and cook on low for about 5 minutes. Add the spices, then the water, tomatoes, and the rest of the salt. Remove from heat, stir in a bit of cream, then blend in a food processor. Return to the heat and add the tempeh, sliced. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in potatoes and serve in a large bowl.

Tempeh Curry

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Miso Yellow Onion Salad Dressing

I invented a recipe!

And by that, I mean that I became obsessed with the onion miso salad dressing at the salad bar at the Seward Coop & Deli, so I assembled all the ingredients listed on their little bottle and put them in made up quantities in my food processor.

I did not write down what I put in so only the powers that be really know, but I will urge you to be adventurous and do the same. I usually find it difficult to stray from a recipe, so this was exciting, in a nerdy food-and-recipe-loving way. Luckily it turned out well, miso ain't cheap.

Miso Yellow Onion Salad Dressing
(Inspired by the Seward Coop & Deli)

1 medium yellow onion
Canola Oil
Red Wine Vinegar

Peel the onion and chop in half. Use about 1/4 cup miso. A smidge of oil and vinegar, and 1/4 to 1/3 cup water. Blend. 

Put onto salad. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eat Your Vegetables Damnit!

Last week Cafe Brenda in downtown Minneapolis closed, so Alex (my partner-in-crime for all things food-related) decided we needed to go while we had a chance. It was started by Brenda Langton, who is very involved in the local food movement and started the Mill City Farmers Market, and has been around for 23 years. I had a wonderful sweet potato soup followed by mock duck tacos and Alex had sesame crusted fish and gobbled up the fresh bread. It was a lovely dinner, but perhaps my favorite part was when we got our checks:

Cafe Brenda


That is it for now. I do have another recipe-centered entry on its way, but not enough time before work to share it with you now. Although, I did just eat lunch and highly recommend quinoa drizzled with walnut oil and mixed with parmesan cheese. Super easy and delicious. And in case you were wondering, the persimmons are still not ripe. Persimmon pudding will be mine someday...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

My plan for my second post has been foiled by persimmons that have yet to become ripe, so that recipe will have to wait. Oh well, it will give me more time to decide between persimmon pudding and persimmon tea cake. So instead, I directed my baking urge last night to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies care of Orangette. They came out perfectly and keeping the percentage of recipes I've tried from Molly's blog and book at 100%. The only change I made was using dark chocolate chips.

Hopefully I will grace you with something delicious and persimmon related soon, that is, if the three persimmons sitting on my kitchen decide to cooperate.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 and 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 and 1/2 cups quick oats

1. Sift together dry ingredients.

2. Cream together butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Add dry ingredients.

3. Stir in chocolate chips and oatmeal. Preheat oven to 325 F. Refrigerate dough 30-60 minutes.

4. Bake cookies for 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies