gastronome
March 12, 2005
garlicky spinach dip with hearts of palm

I decided that tonight's gathering to view Kung Fu Hustle needed a crazy dip to go with it. Hence this recipe from the March 2005 Cooking Light. The baked corn chips were sturdy enough to stand up to the thick dip...perhaps they were even a bit too sturdy. But no matter, everything was still damn tasty. Next time I might put the dip together ahead of time and stick it in the fridge until I'm ready to bake it. Golly, 5 kinds of dairy in one dip. It's enough to make my Dutch heart sing.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To prepare chips, arrange 22 (6-inch) corn tortillas, each cut into 8 wedges, in a single layer on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat wedges with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon salt. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until wedges are crisp and lightly browned.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

To prepare dip, combine 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese, 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream, 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic, 1 (14-ounce) can hearts of palm, drained and chopped, 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry, 1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened, and 1 (6.5-ounce) tub light garlic-and-herbs spreadable cheese (such as Alouette Light), stirring until well blended. Spoon spinach mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated Asiago. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Serve warm with chips. Yield: 22 servings.

Posted by astraea on March 12, 2005
March 09, 2005
Tuna Chopped Salad

chopped salad with Italian tuna and lemon-oregano viniagrette

Sometimes, inspiration strikes in odd places. A couple of weeks ago, as I sat in the waiting room at my doctors office and flipped through an old issue of Bon Apetit, a recipe for a tuna chopped salad caught my eye. We were expecting a heavy snowfall that day, and though the weather outside was blustery and cold, that recipe stuck in my head, making me think thoughts of spring.

Last night, as New York was hit with yet another wintry blast of snow and ice, I did my best to reconstruct that tuna chopped salad recipe, my way of telling Old Man Winter that he won’t break me. Spring’s just around the corner…

Chopped Salad with Italian Tuna

Viniagrette:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. dried oregano
salt and cracked black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Salad:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 carton grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 tbsp. nonpareil capers
1 jar Italian tuna in oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, carrot and zucchini. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice, and toss well. Remove tuna from jar, leaving most of the oil behind, and add to veggie mixture. Toss to combine, breaking up the tuna into chunks (be sure not to flake it!). Add parsley and vinaigrette, and toss again until the mixture is coated.

I served this atop a bed of baby arugula, with wedges of toasted whole wheat pita on the side.

Posted by jenblossom on March 09, 2005
March 08, 2005
julie/julia project: book!

It looks like there's a publishing date out for the Julie/Julia project book. (September!)

Julie/Julia Project: the blog.
Our comments, long ago.
Props to Tom at Butterpig for the heads up.

Posted by shock on March 08, 2005
March 04, 2005
deep chocolate brownies w/nibs

As promised to various folks here is the recipe for the brownie recipe i came up with for COPIA. This is the recipe that went to the semi finals. and honestly i think it should have won, but you know how it goes. back to the drawing board next year a new recipe will be had.

This brownie is not for the faint of heart or the person who would prefer a light or milk chocolate brownie. This recipe is a marriage of many years baking, my love of chocolate and the search for the elusive “perfect” brownie. It is a dark chocolate brownie that is not overly sweet, and yet not bitter either, leaving room to appreciate the quality of the chocolate. It goes well with ice cream and could easily be topped with powdered sugar or cinnamon to add a different twist. It is cakey and yet not too dry, the nibs add a twist that should make everyone happy. These brownies are even better after having sat for a day, give it a try if you can wait.

A note on Cacao Nibs:
Cacao Nibs are perfectly roasted cocoa beans separated from their husks and broken into small bits. They are the essence of chocolate. Nibs add crunchiness and subtle chocolate flavor to baked goods and savory dishes. They are a great substitute for roasted nuts or chocolate chips, without added sweetness.

Ingredients:

6 ounces quality unsweetened chocolate
4 ounces quality bittersweet chocolate
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup cacao nibs
4 extra large eggs
½ teaspoon Salt
1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 baking pan.

Melt chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler. When chocolate and butter mixture is melted, remove from heat, stir in the nibs and let cool.

Beat eggs and salt until fluffy, add the brown sugar and vanilla and beat until frothy and well mixed.

Gently fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the flour and gently fold until just blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 20-30 minutes let cool completely before cutting.
Makes approximately 24 brownies.

Posted by karine on March 04, 2005