Cooking to Combat Cancer…

May 13th, 2010

Blog events are not exactly what they used to be… with the increase of facebook/twitter participation bloggers do not need to use events as much to get involved in the foodie world. Also with the Daring Bakers and Tuesdays with Dorie, how do people find the time to bake/cook so many different things?

However, I really enjoy them because 1. I’m always up for a new challenge. 2. I like discovering new blogs that I wouldn’t have found in another way.  3. I like it when the events have a purpose.

Chris of Mele Cotte invented this event that encourages healthy eating to fight cancer.  After looking over a couple lists of healthy cancer fighting foods…I realized that a recent dish I made fit perfectly with this event… Spiced Chicken on Melting Onions… it has garlic, onions and tumeric… I paired it with some whole wheat orzo (another food on the list)… it was delicious!

The recipe came from Crazy Water Pickled Lemons that I have had for years.  It was one of those cookbooks that I bought on a whim because it sounded cool.  It is a gorgeous cookbook of Middle Eastern, North African and Mediterranean food.  I love just looking through it and was happy to finally make something from it… next perhaps those chocolate dipped figs…

piced Chicken on Melting Onions
(adapted from Crazy Water Pickled Lemons)

4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, halved and sliced into half-moons
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 cup chicken stock or water (I used water and it was great!)
1/2 tsp. saffron threads
3 oz. green olives

6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

1. For the marinade, mix together all the ingredients. Rub it all over the chicken and cover with the rest of the marinade. Marinate for a least 3 hours or overnight, turning the chicken occasionally.

2. heat the olive oil in the bottom of a shallow, ovenproof pan. Add the chicken and quickly cook the outside until nice and golden. Put the chicken aside.

3. In the same pan, start to cook the onions. When they are softening and beginning to turn translucent, add the turmeric and continue to cook, stirring, for another minute. bring the stock or water to a boil and dissolve the saffron in it. Add this to the pan, along with the chicken pieces and any juices that have come out of them.

4. Cook in an oven, preheated to 350F, for 30 minutes. Add the olives to the pan about 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Scatter with parsley or cilantro to serve.

Sugar Rush…

May 11th, 2010

A Sachertorte has been on the list of things to make for a long long time. A few years ago, I was having Champagne and dessert one lovely afternoon at Afterwords with my old roommate (yes, she was fun to live with- enjoyed food immensely!). I had the Sachertorte and since that moment, I’ve wanted to make my own.

But as any baker knows, you often have a list a mile long of what to bake… A recent Saveur even had a recipe for the Sachertorte as part of its piece on the original bakery in Vienna but still it went unmade…

Until I started realizing I needed to clean out the fridge in preparation for my summer internship in DC.  I had some apricot jam leftover from my Apricot-Brie Souffles and thus a Sachertorte was finally born…

I used this Sachertorte and could not find the one from Saveur in my pile of magazine clippings. It was delicious! I had a little trouble getting the egg whites to be stiff for some reason but I did not want to waste six more eggs so I just used them as is. The cake was a little more dense but still tasted great. I just opted not to cut it in half. Also, the glaze is more like a fudge and sets up very quickly so pour it soon after taking it off the stove.  Is there anything better than chocolate?

I should be sleeping…

May 1st, 2010

…I’m a night owl… For as long as I can remember, I liked staying up late… I have so many things to do… However, my schedule has changed and rarely will I make it past 11pm…

except for tonight… can’t sleep… I’ve had a lot of cooking ideas lately and I just wanted to cook!  So much!  So I made some Apple-Bacon Calzones

I made pizza today and still had half of my mom’s pizza dough left (Note on the dough:  I added 1/2 cup cornmeal.  It added some great texture.  Thanks Aaron for the suggestion!).

On Monday, I attended an event at the Roof with the lovely ladies of Chicago Bites.  They served a delicious Bacon-Apple Pizza that I was thinking about tonight, realized I had the ingredients and these were born…

Apple-Bacon Calzones
(inspired by this and this)

1 apple, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
2 slices bacon, crumbed (or more if you want)
1/2 cup mozzarella (I used a 4 Italian cheese mix)
1 teaspoon rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Mom’s Pizza Dough

1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Divide the pizza dough into seven equal balls, about 1/4 cup of dough.
3. Roll them out into 6 inch circles.
4. Using the process for Empanadas put about a tablespoon of the filling and fold over.
5. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 until golden.