Recipes from February 20, 2013

From Herald news servicesFebruary 20, 2013 

Weekly recipes for February 20, 2013

Stovetop Popcorn

Start to finish: 10 minutes. Servings: 1/2 cup corn kernels will produce about 12 cups popcorn.

2-3 tablespoons olive oil (depending on the size of the pot)
1/3-1/2 cup popcorn kernels (depending on the size of the pot)
Fine-grain sea salt or other seasoned toppings

Heat an empty cast-iron Dutch oven over low heat for 2 minutes.

Add enough olive oil to the pot to thinly coat the entire bottom. Add a single layer of popcorn kernels.

You want them to be touching but not more than one layer thick. Increase the heat to medium and place the lid on the pot.

Wait until popping begins, then turn the heat down slightly.

Shake the pot every 30 seconds or so.

Start shaking a bit more when the popping starts to subside.

When the kernels stop popping in unison and you only hear one pop every couple of seconds, it is done.

Pour the popcorn into a large bowl.

Season generously with whatever toppings you want.


Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Rub

Start to finish: 5 minutes. Makes about 1 cup.

1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons dried chipotle chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.


Wild Meadow

Start to finish: 10 minutes. Servings: 1.

2 ounces mead (honey wine)
1 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1 ounce brandy
Fresh berries

In a cocktail shaker with just 1 ice cube (you should serve the cocktail just cool, not cold), combine the mead, elderflower liqueur and brandy. Strain into a cocktail glass, then garnish with fresh berries.


Citrus Bubbly

Start to finish: 10 minutes. Servings: 1.

1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau or other orange liqueur
Sparkling wine, chilled
Lemon twist, to garnish

In a Champagne flute, gently stir together the lime juice, lemon juice and orange liqueur. Top with sparkling wine, then garnish with a lemon twist.


Spiced Rose-Pomegranate Spritzer

Start to finish: 10 minutes. Servings: 1.

Pinch of cardamom
Pinch of ground star anise
1/2 teaspoon rose water
1 ounce pomegranate liqueur
1/2 ounce Galliano (an Italian liqueur)
Seltzer water

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the cardamom, star anise, rose water, pomegranate liqueur and Galliano. Shake well, then strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with seltzer water.


Poached Eggs Over Ricotta

Start to finish: 20 minutes. Servings: 4.

4 cups arugula
2 cups ricotta cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
4 large eggs
Truffle oil
Minced fresh chives
4 thick slices multigrain bread, toasted and buttered
Divide the arugula between 4 serving bowls.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta and lemon zest. Season with salt and black pepper. Divide between the serving bowls, spooning it over the arugula. Set aside.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a simmer. Add the vinegar.

Crack each egg into a small glass. One at a time, gently and slowly pour each egg into the simmering water, bringing the lip of the glass right down to the water so that the egg slides in. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook them in 2 batches.

Cook for 4 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to lift each egg out (letting excess water drip away). Nestle one egg into the ricotta in each serving bowl.

Season the eggs with salt and pepper, then drizzle with truffle oil and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately with the toast.

Nutrition information: 550 calories; 290 calories from fat (53 percent of total calories); 32 grams fat (15 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 260 milligrams cholesterol; 37 grams carbohydrate; 7 grams fiber; 6 grams sugar; 29 grams protein; 730 milligram sodium.


Tuscan Beans with Olive Oil and Aromatics

Yield: 6-8 servings.

1 1/2 cups dried white beans, such as cannellini, soaked overnight and drained
Any or all of the following aromatics: 1 small onion, quartered; 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed; 4 or 5 sage leaves; 2 bay leaves; 2 bay leaves; 12 black peppercorns; 1 small dried hot red chili
1/4 cup best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black or white pepper
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley

Set beans in a saucepan and add 3 1/2 cups water and any or all of the aromatics. Do not add salt. Bring water to a boil, turn the heat down, cover the beans and simmer gently for 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, adding boiling water from time to time if necessary to keep the beans from scorching. Be attentive; if the water gets low, the beans will scorch very quickly. Cooking time depends on the size and age of the beans, which is hard to assess. At the end of 30 minutes, start testing the beans to judge how tender they are and continue testing periodically until the beans are done. They should be very tender but not falling apart.

Remove beans from the heat and drain them, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the aromatics used in cooking the beans. At this point, if you wish, remove about 1/2 to 3/4 cup cooked beans and crush them gently, using a fork, in about 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Then stir in the crushed beans with the whole cooked beans. Add more cooking liquid if you wish to reach the desired consistency. Or leave all the beans whole and add 1/2 cup or more of the reserved cooking liquid.

Add olive oil to the beans while hot and stir to coat the beans well. Dress them with one of the combinations or devise your own:

1 garlic clove, minced, and 6 scallions, both white and green parts, sliced on the diagonal.

A little chopped raw onion and finely slivered fresh green chilies.

The juice of 1/2 lemon along with 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and chopped fresh hot red chilies or a pinch of hot red pepper flakes.

Finely minced fresh green herbs -- basil, dill, fennel tops, chervil, sage, lovage, borage or others.

Taste and add salt and freshly ground black or white pepper after dressing the beans. Whatever the flavors or garnishes, however, the beans should be sprinkled with minced parsley before serving. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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