Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Two Beans and Pea Salad

Two Beans and a Pea Salad
adapted from a Gourmet recipe

Serves 6 side dishes

1 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped celery
3 tbls fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the edamame in boiling salted water for about 4 minutes or until heated through. Drain them in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.

Heat the oil in a small pan and cook the cumin stirring until fragrant about 1 min. Pour into a large bowl. Add the edamame and remaining ingredients toss with the oil and season with salt and pepper.

I could not decide which picture I liked better so you get both...

I just had to post this as soon as I took my first bite. I didn't even finish my lunch before taking a few shots and getting it up here. This was really what I needed today. A fresh easy filling salad.
It is very gray and wet here in Baltimore today and Robby (the husband and product tester) has his last law school exam of the semester tomorrow. So needless to say I will not be seeing him until tomorrow night.
I plan on making a big roast beef with mashed potatoes and salad for dinner which will be waiting for him to heat up at about 1:00 in the morning if he gets home by then. So the salad is just perfect for lunch.

Oh, and I pulled out some speck that I got at Balducci's last night.
Speck dell'Alto Adige is similar to prosciutto but is cured with garlic, bay leaves, juniper berries, and nutmeg. I don't usually like smoked meats but I am in love with this one. I have a really hard time not eating it in the car on the way home from the store. Try it sometime as an alternative to prosciutto which where I shop is more expensive than speck.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Grand Marnier Crepe Cake

I have collected a stack of magazine pages with recipes that I want to make. This recipe has been calling to me since I first saw it in Gourmet last March. Tonight is the night, it is in the fridge waiting for the guests we have tonight to dig in. I am also working on a Beef Bourguignon from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I have a few DVDs of Julia Childs' old cooking shows, which are great, one of which is the Beef Bourguignon. Like she suggested I am making it ahead so all the flavors have time to blend. That is also the case for this Crepe Cake. So dinner should be easy and I will have plenty of time to be with my guests.
Grand Marnier Crepe Cake
Gourmet March 2008

serves 8 to 12

6 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
3 cups chilled heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup confectioners sugar, divided
2 tablespoons grated orange zest, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon grand Marnier of Cointreau

Blend eggs, milk, 1/2 cup cream, and 1/2 tsp vanilla with flour, salt, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, and 1 teaspoon zest in a blender until just smooth.

Brush a crepe pan or 10-inch nonstick skillet lightly with some melted butter, then heat over medium-high heat until hot. Pour in a scant 1/4 cup batter, immediately tilting and rotating skillet to coat bottom. Cook until underside is golden and top is just set, 15 to 45 seconds. Loosen edge of crepe with heatproof rubber spatula, then flip crepe over with your fingertips and cook 15 seconds more. Transfer to a plate. Continue making crepes, brushing skillet with butter each time and stacking on plate.

Beat remaining 2 1/2 cups cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 3/4 cups confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon zest, and Grand Marnier in a large deep bowl with an electric mixer until cream holds stiff peaks.

Center a crepe on a serving plate and spread with 1/4 cup cream. Continue stacking cremes and spreading with cream, ending with a crepe. Chill, covered, at least 4 hours and up to 24.