Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Coconut Milk Caramel

Some of you may recall my history with candy-making is...not great.

You may recall the "fudge fiasco" of 2011, or the apple cider caramels I made for mishloach manos one Purim a couple years back that took all day and came out so awful I didn't even post about them.

Well, ever since those awful experiences, I've pretty much avoided any kind of candy recipes.  Cooking sugar on the stove has just been a major no-no for me.  I've made a few simple syrups, but I did so begrudgingly and with great trepidation.

I've even seen these seemingly simple microwave caramel recipes floating around, but I've been too scared to attempt them.

But then a few days ago, I saw something new.  It was a recipe for caramel sauce made with coconut milk, honey, and sea salt.  Nothing else.  I had all the ingredients on hand and a free day coming up.

I went for it.

And I'm not sorry, either.

I had intended to cook this longer so that it would become a candy, as the recipe implies you can do, but after a little over 20 minutes, I took it off the stove and poured it into my prepared pan, lined with wax paper (should have buttered it first) thinking I'd hit the soft-ball stage.  I guess I should have left it a few minutes longer, because the result is more like a thick sauce.

Don't get me wrong, it's delicious, and I'll still probably just devour it right off the spoon.  This recipe comes out with an almost buttery taste, which is amazing, since there's no butter.

3 ingredients.  No dairy.  No added fats.  Delicious results.

Now tell me you aren't tempted to go buy some coconut milk and try this for yourself.  Me?  I'll definitely be trying again.

The recipe can be found at Comfy Belly.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Apple Meringue Pie

The family and I were invited out for Shabbos lunch this week and I offered to bring dessert just as I was perusing Tastespotting.com and "spotted" a recipe for Apple Meringue Pie.  What a perfect opportunity to try my hand at meringue!

And why didn't I try sooner?

It's so incredibly easy!

This recipe is delicious and PERFECT JUST AS IT IS! (adapted from Dine & Dash)

Note the stiff peak. :)

Apple Meringue Pie

  • ~4 apples, 3 diced and 1 sliced thin
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • juice of 1 lemon (or just eyeball some lemon juice.  Don't gotta be too scientific)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  1. Bring water and 1/2 C sugar to a boil in a small pan over medium-high heat.  Add in diced apples, lemon juice, and cinnamon.  Let cook for about 10 minutes.
  2. Beat egg whites and 4 Tbsp sugar on high with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Add in vanilla and beat until vanilla is incorporated.
  3. line the bottom of the pie crust with the sliced apple, top with the diced apple filling, then spread meringue on top.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 18 mins.
  5. Cool before serving.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sesame Tofu

I'm trying to get in a habit of posting here more regularly, which is probably a bad idea with the end of the semester rapidly approaching.  I really don't cook much these days, and when I do it's fairly boring.  I did make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving that came out pretty delicious, but it's not post-worthy and I didn't get any pictures. (Recipe here.)

We've been living off of a lot of Shabbos leftovers, basic pasta dinners, tuna, and eggs lately.  It's not that I don't enjoy those dinners from time to time.  It's good to have a break.  But after a bit, it just leaves me feeling kinda "meh" about life.  So every now and then, I get these flashes of inspiration and wreck my kitchen to create a dinner that brings a little spirit back to the table.

Which brings us to Tuesday.  On Tuesday, I stood around wondering what we'd eat for dinner when I remembered two things:

  1. I had a package of tofu in the fridge
  2. I had stir-fry veggies in the freezer
  3. I had a recipe for "fake-out take-out" sesame chicken
  4. I can't count.
So I got to work (not on the math part).  Here's the result:

Note: In the following recipe, there are a few optional ingredients at the end.  This is because I added them all willy-nilly.  The sauce did come out very tasty this way, but you may choose to stick to the original recipe from Iowa Girl Eats.  If you look at her recipe, you'll also notice several technical differences.  That was because I only looked at the ingredients and didn't pay attention to her instructions.  I do think the result was pretty awesome, though.

Sesame Tofu

  • 1 package of extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • Steamed veggies/broccoli/green beans/whatever you want with it.
  • Rice, cooked according to package directions
  • cornstarch
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp oil for frying
  • 1/2 Cup honey
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp apricot jam (optional)
  • 1 tsp red wine (optional)
  1. Mix cornstarch with salt and pepper to taste
  2. Dip tofu in beaten egg, then roll in cornstarch
  3. Fry in oil until crunchy, then dispose of oil.
  4. Mix honey, soy sauce, sesame seeds, garlic(, jam, vinegar, ginger and red wine)
  5. Pour sauce into pan with tofu and simmer, mixing occasionally, until the sauce is reduced by half
  6. Put rice and veggies on a plate and top with tofu and sauce.
  7. Om-nom!