Chocolate Double Espresso Pots de Creme

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To my friends that are worried about my sleep habits because of my work on this blog, don’t fret. I don’t actually work on my blog at 4am.

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At 4am I am usually on the couch watching an Adam Levine Pro-Activ commercial. Damn, his skin looks dewy.

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I better get a healing mask. Quick.

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Maybe 2 of them since if I order right now, I will get a second one free.

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May as well get a Slap-Chop while I am at it. Carpe diem.

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So, no, I don’t need another reason to stay awake but if I did, this is a really good one.DSC_2173

I meant the Chocolate Pots De Crème, of course.  Not Adam Levine.

Mostly.

Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme
 
Author:

 
Ingredients
  • •6 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
  • •1⅓ cups heavy cream
  • •2/3 cup whole milk
  • •5 teaspoons instant-espresso powder*
  • •6 large egg yolks
  • •2 tablespoons sugar
  • Special equipment: 8 (4- to 5-oz) ramekins or pot de crème cups
  • •Garnish: edible flowers because why not.
Instructions
  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream, milk, espresso powder (to taste), and a pinch of salt just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until espresso powder is dissolved, then pour over chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in another bowl, then add warm chocolate mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart glass measure and cool completely, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  4. Line bottom of a baking pan (large enough to hold ramekins) with a folded kitchen towel and arrange ramekins on towel. Poke several holes in a large sheet of foil with a skewer. Divide custard among ramekins, then bake custards in a hot water bath , pan covered tightly with foil, until custards are set around edges but still slightly wobbly in centers, 30 to 35 minutes.
  5. Transfer ramekins to a rack to cool completely, uncovered, about 1 hour. (Custards will set as they cool.) Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.

 

 

 

Carrot Pancakes with Salted Yogurt (gluten free)

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I am not sure that this was what Joe was expecting when I asked him if he wanted pancakes for breakfast.

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Especially when I broke out the carrots.

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And the cilantro.

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And the chickpea flour.

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No whipped cream or chocolate chips arranged in an awkward smile.  I don’t know about you but I don’t ever want my breakfast smiling at me.

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Instead….carrot pancakes with a salted yogurt topping.

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And just to make it really offensive, I added sprouts.

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To my surprise he liked the carrot pancakes more than I thought.

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You can use the sprouts to eat or to like, you know, stuff a pillow.

Carrot Pancakes with Salted Yogurt
 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 1poundcarrots (about 8 medium), peeled, coarsely grated
  • ⅓ cupchopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cupchickpea flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3tablespoons(or more) olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup plain whole yogurt
  • 1 cup spicy greens or sprouts
  • 1 tablespoonfresh lemon juice
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Instructions
  1. Mix eggs, carrots, cilantro, and chickpea flour in a large bowl (mixture will be loose); season with kosher salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Scoop two ½-cupfuls of carrot mixture into skillet, pressing each to ½” thickness. Cook, rotating skillet occasionally for even browning, until pancakes are golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat to make 2 more pancakes, adding more oil to skillet if needed.
  3. Meanwhile, season yogurt with kosher salt and pepper. Toss greens with lemon juice and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil; season with kosher salt and pepper.
  4. Serve carrot pancakes with salad and salted yogurt, seasoned with sea salt and more pepper.

 

Black Sesame Carrot Cake

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I love carrot cake.

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Despite all those healthy carrots.

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To my surprise I made this one without globs of cream cheese frosting.

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I used toasted black sesame seeds instead as a topping.

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Did I mention this cake is also totally vegan?

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Which means you can eat unlimited portions without gaining any weight.

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Doesnt it?

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DOESN’T IT?????

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I am in trouble.

Black Sesame Carrot Cake
 
Author:

 
Ingredients
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk or cow’s milk
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium carrots (about 8 oz.), peeled, coarsely grated
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 8×4” loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, applesauce, almond milk, ginger, and vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in dry ingredients, then fold in carrots (be careful not to overmix). Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  3. Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 75–85 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool completely in pan before turning out.
  4. DO AHEAD: Cake can be made 3 days ahead. Store wrapped tightly at room temperature.

 

 

Key Lime Panna Cotta with Salted Pretzel Topping

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Not everyone is a fan of panna cotta.

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It’s a dessert that wiggles more than a Kardashian sister.

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But I am a fan of key lime pie.

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This dessert combines the best elements of traditional key lime pie but in a lighter way.

It’s low fat.

So you can wiggle out of any tight outfit you want.

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Like a Kardashian sister.

Key Lime Panna Cotta with Salted Pretzel Topping
 
Author:

 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • ½ cup low-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated Key lime rind
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
  • 1¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 4 tablespoons Key lime juice, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 package crushed salted pretzels
Instructions
  1. Preparation
  2. Combine first 3 ingredients and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat; cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Place ¼ cup 2% milk in a medium bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over milk; let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Return pan to medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Add hot milk mixture to gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin dissolves. Add remaining ¾ cup 2% milk. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a medium bowl; discard solids. Stir in 1 tablespoon Key lime juice. Divide mixture evenly among 4 (4-ounce) ramekins or custard cups lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice and honey.
  6. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add pretzel crumbs and remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt. Cook 1 minute or until lightly toasted, stirring constantly. Cool completely. To serve, loosen edges of panna cotta with a knife or rubber spatula. Invert ramekins onto dessert plates. Drizzle each with about 2 teaspoons honey mixture, and top with about 2 teaspoons salted pretzel crumbs.

 

 

Stuffed Tomatoes with Mozzarella

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Nothing says summer like fresh tomatoes.

 

Actually a bikini and a margarita says summer just fine.

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But that’s not the point.

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Focus.

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The key to enjoying this dish is….liking tomatoes.

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Which I don’t.

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But bread and melted mozzarella I can get behind.

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This is the epitome of “clean” eating.

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Though you still have to do the dishes.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Mozzarella
 
Author:

 
Ingredients
  • 2½-inch slices rustic bread, torn into small pieces (3/4 cup)
  • 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes, halved
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup corn kernels (from 1 ear)
  • 3 cups packed chopped greens, such as beet, Swiss chard, or spinach
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced (1/2 cup)
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler with rack 8 inches from heat source. Toast bread on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring once, until crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.
  2. Scoop out seeds and flesh from each tomato into a bowl; reserve. Arrange tomato halves in a broiler-safe baking dish; season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add pepper flakes and shallot; cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to high; add reserved tomato flesh and juice. Cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add corn and greens; cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, about 2 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. Fill tomato halves with vegetable mixture, dividing evenly, then sprinkle with toasted bread, drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and top with cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden in spots, about 2 minutes. Serve warm.

 

 

 

Coconut Corn on the Cob

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I hate to admit it but I absolutely love corn.

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We have the same hair.

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Who cares if its also used for gasoline, batteries, matches, explosives, crayons and glue?

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Here are another two uses for it.

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That have nothing to do with your carborator.

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Chile lime coconut corn.

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And coconut palm sugar corn.

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They are both out of this world.

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My favorite?

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The chile lime coconut.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a-mazing. 🙂

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Coconut Corn on the Cob
 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 husked ears of corn
  • Chile Lime Corn (makes 4 ears)
  • one lime
  • 5 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper (more if you like it spicy)
  • one package sweetened coconut
  • salt
  • Coconut Palm Sugar Corn (makes 4 ears)
  • one small can unsweetened coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
Instructions
  1. For the chile lime corn, mix mayo, chipolte pepper and the juice of a small lime together. Add a pinch of salt.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Toast coconut on a baking sheet – watch carefully that it doesnt burn. Usually takes 8-10 minutes. Cool.
  3. Grill corn on a grill or grill pan- about 3-4 minutes each side. I used a grill pan and coated it first with coconut ghee (or you can use butter). Slather on the chile mixture until the corn is completely covered. Roll completely in toasted coconut.
  4. For the coconut sugar corn:
  5. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut cream and coconut palm sugar until it boils. Turn down heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Let cool and stir in desiccated coconut.
  6. Grill corn on a grill or grill pan- about 3-4 minutes each side. Brush sugar mixture on corn.

 

Roasted Peach Jalapeno and Raspberry Basil Paletas

020 A paleta is……just an ice pop with fruit.

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There was a great place in Cartagena that Holly, Ami and I visited that sold paletas, called La Paletteria.

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I can’t remember what flavor I chose but I do remember I liked theirs better.

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Paleta envy.

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Which is why I made 2 flavors.

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Roasted peach-with a jalapeno infused simple syrup…

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And raspberry basil- which will make your neighbors think you’re living in a drug den because of the overwhelming way that basil infused simple syrup smells like marijuana.

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Get an air freshener but enjoy the paletas- they are amazing.

Roasted Peach Jalapeno and Rasberry Basil Paletas
 
 
Ingredients
  • Roasted Peach & Jalapeno Paletas
  • 3 ripe peaches
  • 2 tablepoons brown or coconut sugar
  • 2 jalapenos chopped, with seeds
  • granulated sugar
  • water
  • Raspberry and Basil Paletas
  • 2 handfuls of basil leaves
  • 6 cups of raspberries
  • granulated sugar
  • water
Instructions
  1. For the Roasted Peach and Jalapeno paletas
  2. Cut peaches into thin slices, remove pit. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes. Let peaches cool and place in blender. Puree until fully processed, skin and all.
  3. Add one cup water to one cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Stir. Add jalapenos. Bring to a boil and make sure sugar is fully dissolved. Turn off heat, let jalapenos steep in the simple syrup for at least 25 minutes. Drain to remove jalapeno. Mix simple syrup with peach puree and pour into mold. They will be ready to serve in 6-8 hours.
  4. For the raspberry paletas:
  5. Wash raspberries and puree in blender. Strain through a mesh sieve to remove all seeds.
  6. Add one cup water to one cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Stir. Add basil. Bring to a boil and make sure sugar is fully dissolved. Turn off heat, let basil steep in the simple syrup for at least 25 minutes. Drain to remove basil. Mix simple syrup with raspberry puree and pour into mold. They will be ready to serve in 6-8 hours.

 

Shakshuka with Bacon

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I told Joe we were having Shakshuka for brunch.

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He said “Great, Shake Shack.”

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Ummmm, no. Shakshuka is a classic North African egg dish.

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When you type it in your IPhone, it auto-corrects to “Sharks Hula”

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Also incorrect.

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Ok, it’s a funny name that could be a medieval weapon, a Yoga pose or something you say when someone sneezes.   It could even be one of Brad and Angie’s kids.

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But it’s not.

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Not yet….

 

Shakshuka with Bacon
 
Author:

 
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 2 handfuls of raw spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1¼ cups)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 slices of bacon, crumbled
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped scallions
  • Chopped cilantro, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapenos. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute.
  3. Pour in tomatoes and season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta and spinach.
  4. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, scallions and bacon. Serve with hot sauce.

 

Blackberry Pisco Sours

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Drinking Pisco reminds me of some fun times I had in Peru.

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Macchu Picchu and Salkantay Trek. ry=400 (20)

And some times that were not as fun.  Like, trying to kill the bugs that are circling you 24 hours a day with dry shampoo.

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And then having them seek their revenge.

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Camping. Just camping.

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Finding a monkey in your hair.

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Generally losing your shit.

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Falling down. Yup that’s a tear.

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Breaking your knee.

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Trying to find a good place for a nap.ry=400 (21)

A Jets t-shirt.

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We had to drink alot of coca tea to get by.  But that’s another story. A highly, highly energetic story.

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We drank lots of water….

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And lots of Inca Kola.

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Until we discovered….The Pisco Sour, the National Drink of Peru. And we were happy again.

ry=400 (17)This blackberry version brings me right back to that trip.

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Not sure if that’s a good thing though.

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Cheers to good traveling friends and new adventures.

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Blackberry Pisco Sours
 
Author:

 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup pisco, chilled
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 large pasteurized egg whites
  • 5 tablespoons simple syrup
  • Angostura bitters (optional)
  • Garnishes: fresh basil leaves, fresh blackberries
Instructions
  1. Process blackberries in a blender until smooth. Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a 1-qt. jar with a tight-fitting lid, discarding solids.
  2. Add pisco and next 3 ingredients to jar. Cover with lid, and shake vigorously 30 seconds or until foamy. Pour mixture into 4 (10-oz.) glasses filled with ice. Add bitters (optional).

 

Corn Masa Boats with Tilapia in a Yucatecan Pumpkin Sauce (what else would it be??)

There is a very special time of year on TV that I look forward to all year long.  No, its not the Emmy’s or the Grammy’s or the Superbowl.

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Ewwwwwww..the Superbowl.

DSC_0538-(2) It’s Shark Week. This year, brought to you by Rob Lowe. Wait, what???DSC_0544-(2)This dish is like human chum. Actually that sounds horrible. Its way better than that.

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These boats are made from masa corn and filled with an amazing pumpkin seed sauce.

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One bite and you’ll agree. You’re gonna need a bigger boat.

 

Corn Masa Boats with tilapia in a Yucatecan Pumpkin Sauce (what else would it be??)
 
Author:

 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and membranes removed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • ½ bunch cilantro, thick stems discarded
  • 2 cups chicken stock, fish stock or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound tilapia or mahimahi
  • 12 Chalupas
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • Corn Masa Boats
  • 1 heaping cup masa harina
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • corn oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. In a dry cast iron pan, spread the pepitas in a single layer and toast over medium heat, stirring to prevent scorching, for about 3 minutes or until aromatic and the seeds begin to pop. Remove from heat and reserve 2 tablespoons of the toasted seeds for garnish.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the remaining pepitas chiles, onions, garlic and ½ bunch of cilantro. With the motor running, slowly add the broth (if you add too quickly, the seeds wont grind up completely) to form a smooth paste with the consistency of heavy cream.
  3. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Transfer the pumpkin paste to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the onion is cooked.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the cream, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until the cream is heated through and the sauce is a uniform pale green and the consistency of heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
  5. In a nonstick skillet heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the fish and sear for about 3 minutes on each side or until it is cooked through and flakes easily when prodded with a fork. Remove the fish from the pan and flake into 1 inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Arrange masa boats on a platter. Spoon a tablespoon of the pumpkin seed sauce into the center of each boat. Top evenly with the fish and more sauce. (You will have sauce left over; keeps well for 5 days). Sprinkle the boats with reserved pumpkin seeds and the chopped cilantro. Serve right away.
  7. To make the boats:
  8. In a large bowl, stir together the masa harina and salt. Slowly add water, working it into the flour with your hands to form a dough. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes or until moist and smooth but not sticky. If the dough seems too dry, moisten your hands with water and knead in the dampness. If it seems too wet, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and knead until smooth.
  9. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls. Form each ball into a disk about ½ inch thick.
  10. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, place the disks on the hot pan and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side or until a golden crust forms on all sides. As you remove the disks from the pan, pinch the edges of each one to create a rim about ⅓ inch high. Pinch the center to lift and thin the middle of each boat.
  11. Set the boats on a plate to cool and then cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
  12. In a skillet, pour the oil to a depth of about ½ inch and heat over medium-high heat until a small piece of the dough dropped in the oil sizzles on contact. Gently fry the boats turning once, for about 2 minutes on each side or until crisp and lightly golden. Do not brown them or they will toughen. Carefully lift them from the oil, drain on paper towels and fill immediately.
  13. These boats can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Before serving, reheat in a dry skillet or griddle over medium heat.