Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add next 6 ingredients and sauté until vegetables are soft and kielbasa is brown, about 12 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Stir in kale and cannellini. Reduce heat to low and simmer until kale is wilted, about 4 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly; cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Add tortellini to soup. Simmer until pasta is just tender but still firm to bite, about 5 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve, passing cheese separately. * Available at Italian markets, specialty foods stores and some supermarkets. Serves 6.
"The only thing I've ever successfully made in the kitchen is a mess. And several small fires." - Carrie
MEXICAN MEATBALL SOUP WITH RICE AND CILANTRO
Be sure to put out hot sauce for those who like extra heat.
2 tablespoons olive oil 2 3/4 cups chopped onions 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 small bay leaves 5 14 1/2-ounce cans beef broth 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice 1/2 cup chunky tomato salsa (medium-hot) 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 pound lean ground beef 1/4 pound bulk pork sausage 6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal 1/4 cup whole milk 1 large egg 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 3/4 cups onions, 2 garlic cloves and bay leaves; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes with juices, salsa and 1/4 cup cilantro; bring to boil. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine ground beef, pork sausage, cornmeal, whole milk, egg, salt, pepper, cumin, then remaining 1 cup onions, 2 garlic cloves and 1/4 cup cilantro in medium bowl. Mix well. Shape meat mixture by generous tablespoonfuls into 1- to 1 1/4-inch balls. Add rice and meatballs to soup and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice and meatballs are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and serve. Makes 6 to 8 (main-course) servings
Mr. Big. The name says it all….
Chinese Tomato Soup with Shrimp
1 tablespoon chili oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 10 ounce can Campbell’s tomato soup
¼ pound frozen, peeled, and deveined shrimp
¼ cup water chestnuts, drained
1 scallion, minced
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ cup frozen peas
Salt, if needed
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
1. Heat a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the chili oil and onions, and sauté, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until the garlic begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
2. Pour the soup plus 1 can of water over the onion mixture. Add the shrimp, water chestnuts, scallion, sesame oil, and pepper, and boil gently just until the shrimp turn pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the frozen peas and heat through. Season to taste with the salt, if needed. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with the cilantro, and serve.
"Do any of you have a completely unremarkable friend or maybe a houseplant I could go to dinner with on Saturday night?" - Miranda
THAI COCONUT MILK SOUP WITH CHICKEN, LEMONGRASS, AND CILANTRO
1 large scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced (include green tops)
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1. Divide rice into four portions and place in soup bowls and keep in a warm spot.
2. Heat sesame oil and butter in large non-reactive saucepan over high heat 1 minute. Add onion, lemongrass, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until onion is limp, about 3 minutes.
3. Add chicken and vegetable broths, bring to a boiling, then boil uncovered 10 minutes.
4. Add chicken, reduce heat to moderate, and simmer gently until chicken cooks through, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and strain broth, discarding solids. Cut chicken into thin, short slices.
5. Returned strained broth to pan; add coconut milk, fish sauce, and mushrooms ad simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.
6. Return chicken to broth, add tomato, scallion, and cilantro, then ladle at once into heated soup bowls on top of rice and serve.
CURRIED CARROT SOUP WITH SHRIMP
Makes 4 to 6 servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One 1-pound package peeled baby-cut fresh carrots
4 medium-size leeks, trimmed, washed well, and thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves
One 3-inch sprig fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
Two 3-inch sprigs fresh lemon thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
One 2-inch strip orange zest
2 to 4 teaspoons curry powder (depending on how hot you like things)
1 tablespoon minced mango chutney
One 14 ½ ounce can each chicken broth and beef broth
One 12 ounce can evaporated skim milk
¾ pound shelled and deveined small raw shrimp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup coarsely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place oil, carrots, leeks, garlic rosemary, thyme, and orange zest in medium-size Dutch oven, turning vegetables to coat. Set uncovered in oven and roast 20 minutes, stirring twice.
2. Transfer to stovetop, set over moderate heat, and mix in curry powder. Add chutney, then chicken and beef broths; bring to a boil, then cover and boil gently until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove orange zest and rosemary and thyme sprigs; add milk, then puree soup in batches in food processor or electric blender.
4. Return sup to Dutch oven, add shrimp, bring to serving temperature, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Ladle into heated soup bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve with crusty chunks of bread. Or chill and serve cold.
CREAMY EGGPLANT, CANNELLINI BEAN AND RICOTTA SOUP
10 oz. cannellini beans, soaked overnight
4 large eggplants
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1-2 small dried red chilies, crushed or chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
9 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
Rinse the soaked cannellini beans, put in a large pot. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 1 hour or until tender.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Prick the eggplants with a knife, lay them on a baking tray, and bake them whole for about 40 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a deep pan and cook the garlic, chilies, basil and parsley until the garlic is softened but not colored. Cut the baked eggplant in half and scrape all the sweet-smelling insides into the pan. Add the cooked beans and the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove half the soup, puree it and return it to the pot. Stir it and season well. It should be creamy, gutsy and reasonable thick. Season the ricotta with salt and pepper, break it up and stir it into the sup.
Drizzle each bowl with some really good peppery extra-virgin olive oil as you serve it, and eat with some warm fresh crusty bread.
SWEET POTATO SOUP
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, coarsely cut
2 garlic cloves
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 cups chicken stock
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
½ cup crème fraiche, or heavy cream
2 tablespoons pureed canned chipotles
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Two 6” blue corn tortillas, cut into ½ inch squares
Two 6” yellow corn tortillas, cut into ½ inch squares
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sweat the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Raise the heat to high, add the sweet potatoes and stock, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and add the honey, crème fraiche, pureed chipotles, and salt and pepper to taste. Puree in a food processor and set aside. May be made up to 2 days ahead to this point and refrigerated. Reheat before serving.
3. Fry or bake tortillas until crispy.
Divide the soup among 8 bowls. Sprinkle each with a handful of tortilla squares and garnish the center of each with sour cream, to taste.
"Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies." - Carrie
SOUP NAZI’S INDIAN MULLIGATAWNY SOUP
12 cups water (approx.)
6 cups chicken stock 2 potatoes, peeled & sliced 2 carrots, peeled & sliced 2 stalks celery, with tops 2 cups peeled & diced eggplant (about 1/2 of an eggplant) 1 medium onion, chopped 1 cup frozen yellow corn 2/3 cup canned roasted red pepper, diced 1/2 cup tomato sauce 1/2 cup shelled pistachios 1/2 cup roasted cashews 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup butter 3 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon curry powder 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/4 teaspoon thyme 1 bay leaf dash marjoram dash nutmeg 1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot over high heat. 2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 hours or until soup has reduced by more than half, and is thick and brownish in color. It should have the consistency of chili. Stir occasionally for the first few hours, but stir often in the last hour. The edges of the potatoes should become more rounded, and the nuts will soften. Serve hot. Makes 4-6 servings.
"We were having one of those great first dates you can only have when it's not an actual date." - Carrie
CARROT AND SPINACH LASAGNA WITH LEMON SAUCE
1 hour to assemble, 45 mins. To bake Lemon Sauce
½ cup dried apricots 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lb. Spinach, washed and stemmed 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
8 carrots, peeled and sliced v. thin 2 c. low-fat or nonfat milk
½ c. fresh OJ 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 bay leaf Pinch ground nutmeg
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 ½ c. grated imported Parmesan or Gruyère
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ lb.fresh lasagna noodles
Put apricots in a saucepan and add enough water to cover by several inches. Simmer, cover, and continue to simmer, over medium-low heat, until apricots are v. soft, about 40 mins.
Meanwhile, chop the spinach coarsely and place in a large saucepan with about 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and steam over low heat until it’s turned bright green, about 4 mins.
In large saucepan combine carrots, OJ, and bay leaf. Add water to cover and bring to boil over high heat. Turn head down to medium and simmer until carrots are cooked through and v. soft, 15 to 20 mins. Drain off remaining liquid, discard bay leaf, and puree carrots in a food processor or blender.
In large mixing bowl, stir together carrot purée, half ricotta, half Parmesan or Gruyère, and pinch of nutmeg.
Drain apricots and puree them in a food processor or blender. Stir them into carrot mixture and set aside
Heat olive oil in a small skillet. Sauté the onion over medium heat until it’s soft and translucent, about 7 mins.
Transfer onion to another large mixing bowl. Add spinach, egg, and remaining ricotta and Parmesan or Gruyère.
Heat oven to 400°F. Cook lasagna noodles according to package. Place 1 layer of noodles on bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Spread carrot mixture on top.
Top carrot layer with another layer of pasta, and spread spinach mixture over that. Top with another layer of pasta. Cover with foil and bake for 45 mins.
Meanwhile, make Lemon Sauce by melting butter in a saucepan over low heat and stirring in flour. Keep stirring until butter and flour turn light gold in color, about 3 mins.
Stirring steadily, pour in milk. Bring sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, lower heat to medium, and stir until it thickens, about 10 mins. Add lemon zest and stir well to blend.
Let lasagna sit for 10 mins. Before slicing. Serve pieces topped with a generous spoonful of hot Lemon Sauce.
(You can easily increase this recipe by a forth or a half or more)
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup flour
5 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 cup chopped pecans
(Topping has already been doubled for full coverage of casserole dish)
Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and milk; mix well. Spoon into 13”x9” casserole dish. Cover with topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. To make topping, combine all ingredients, mixing well. Sprinkle on top of sweet potatoes.
"That's another reason I love New York. Just like that, it can go from bad to cute." -Carrie
MALAY RICE SALAD
4 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 cups uncooked jasmine, basmati, or other long-grain white rice
12 cilantro stems
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 to 2 small hot red chile peppers, niced
2 dried or fresh kaffir lime leaves, ground in a mortar or spice mill, or ½ teaspoon grated lime rind
2 tablespoons canola or corn oil
2 to 3 tablespoons fish sauce, or 1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shredded coconut (fresh or dried, but not sweetened)
1/3 cup dry-roasted, unsalted cashews or peanuts
2 carrots, peeled and minced
1 ½ cups chopped fresh pineapple
1. In a large saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the rice, and stir. Cover the pan, and bring the rice to a boil. Then turn the heat to the lowest setting, and cook the rice for 20 minutes. Uncover the pan, and set it aside until you’re ready to mix the salad.
2. While the rice is cooking, prepare the dressing: Soak the cilantro stems in lukewarm water for 5 minutes, then drain and mince. In a bowl, combine the chopped cilantro, garlic, ginger, chiles, kaffir lime leaves or lime rind, oil, lemon juice, and the fish sauce or salt. Mix well.
Transfer the warm rice to a large bowl. Add the shredded coconut, the nuts, the carrots, and the pineapple. Toss well, add the dressing and season with salt and pepper, if you like. Serves 6.
You can make the salad ahead and refrigerate it, but let it sit at room temperature 15-20 minutes before serving.
"Okay, so you're not Heidi Klum, but you're the 'modeliest' of the real people." - Stanford
MEXICAN-STYLE CHICK-PEA SALAD
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo* 3 fresh jalapeño chiles 1 medium onion 2 garlic cloves 3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes 4 cups drained canned chick-peas (two 19-ounce cans) 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup fresh lime juice plus additional to taste 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves freshly ground black pepper to taste *available at some specialty foods shops. Rinse chipotles.
Wearing rubber gloves, separately seed and mince chipotles and jalapeños. Mince onion and garlic. Peel, seed, and chop tomatoes. Rinse and drain chick-peas and in a large bowl stir together all ingredients except additional lime juice. Chill salad, covered, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Season salad with salt and add additional lime juice. Serve salad at cool room temperature. Serves 6 as a side dish
CORN MUFFINS WITH CHILE SPREAD
1 (6.5 to 8.5 oz.) package corn muffin mix (I like Jiffy best)
Egg, if required by mix
Butter, if required by mix
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons finely chopped
red bell pepper
1 can diced green chilies
I make this by feel
1 can diced green chilies
1 tablespoon Pampered Chef southwestern seasoning (you could use a dash of dried red pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion flakes and salt instead)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
Prepare corn muffin mix as directed on the package using milk, and if required, egg and margarine. Stir in cheddar cheese, bell pepper and chilies. Divide batter evenly into sprayed muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until tops are light golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan.
Meanwhile, combine all chile spread ingredients, blend until well mixed. Serve chile spread with warm muffins.
"You exchanged keys, that's big!" - Charlotte "No, that's the opposite of Big." - Carrie
HOT AND SASSY CORN BREAD
1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup canned cream-style corn
½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed if frozen
½ cup sour cream
½ cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 to 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, minced
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
2. Toss the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
3. In another bowl, stir the cream-style corn and all the remaining ingredients together until smooth. Add half the liquid mixture to the dry mixture, stirring just until blended. Add the remaining liquid and again stir until just blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
4. Bake until the top is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 minutes. Cool slightly in the pan before cutting into squares.
3 c. unbleached white flour, plus a bit more for kneading
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ¼ c. minced scallions
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Dissolve yeast in the warm water and let mixture sit for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour and the salt.
Add olive oil to the yeast water. Pour the yeast water over the flour, and stir well with a sturdy spoon. Once the dough comes together, spoon it out onto a floured surface.
Knead the dough for 5 to 8 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. But be careful not to add to much flour; the dough should remain quite soft and slightly tacky. Once the dough is smooth and supple, place it in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it is doubled in bulk, which usually takes a little over an hour.
Punch the dough down, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Put the scallions on top, and knead the dough to incorporate them well. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball, and let the balls of dough rest for 20 mins.
Place a baking stone or 2 baking sheets in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500°. Sprinkle the cumin seeds onto your work surface, and roll each ball of dough into the seeds so that they are transferred to the dough. With a rolling pin, flatten the balls into 9-inch rounds with the seeds all on one side. Place the rounds on well-floured baking sheets, seed side up. Let them rest for 10 minutes.
Slide the dough onto the baking stone or heated baking sheets. Bake the rounds in the oven for 8 to 10 mins, rotating them in the oven, if necessary, for even cooking. Eat the bread warm with olive oil, if you like.
PESTO TWISTER BREAD
Follow your favorite bread recipe, but do not bake it. Divide your dough into 2 equal parts. Roll or push out each piece of the dough into a squarish sheet ½ inch high and 12 inches long. Smear pesto generously over the dough and roll up like a jelly roll. Then with a really sharp knife cut across into 1 ½ inch slices. Place the slices close together on a greased baking tray, cut side upward. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool 30 minutes before eating.
GARLIC PARMESAN POPOVERS 2 large eggs 3/4 cup milk 1/4 cup water 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 large garlic clove 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)
Preheat oven to 375°.F. Generously grease six 2/3-cup popover tins or nine 1/2-cup muffin tins. In a bowl whisk together eggs, milk, and water. Add flour and whisk mixture until combined well but still slightly lumpy. Mince garlic and mash with salt. Whisk garlic paste into batter and divide half of batter among tins. Sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan over batter in tins and divide remaining batter among tins. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over popovers and bake in lower third of oven 45 minutes. Cut a slit about 1/2 inch long on top of each popover with a small sharp knife and bake 10 minutes more. (Popovers will not rise much because of Parmesan). Makes 6 large or 9 medium popovers .
SOUR CREAM CAKE WITH CARDAMOM AND PISTACHIOS
Perfect with a cup of tea, especially a nicely spiced Indian chai.
2 cups all purpose flour 1 1/8 teaspoons ground cardamom 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 4 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted unsalted pistachios (about 3 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Sift 2 cups flour, ground cardamom, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar and 6 tablespoons butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in vanilla extract. Fold in dry ingredients alternately with sour cream in 3 additions each. Transfer batter to prepared cake pan. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios, then remaining 2 teaspoons sugar.
Bake cake until top begins to crack and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.) Cut cake into wedges and serve.
JENN’S WINE BISCUITS
1 cup sugar
4 ½ cups flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup oil
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 egg white, beaten
Mix dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients and mix well. Using about 1 tablespoon of dough, roll into a thin tube and then make into a pinwheel. Repeat with remaining dough. Place biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush with egg wash. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
DATE NUT BARS (from Gretchen’s Mom )
½ cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped, pitted dates (Dole makes them this way)
¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Beat egg. Add vegetable oil. Add dates and nuts. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Spread in greased 8x8x2 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. 310 for glass. Cool about 10 minutes or so and cut into bars. Roll in powdered sugar.
IMPERIAL PEACH SUNDAES
China is the original home of the peach (a favorite fruit of its emperors), and pine nuts are grown in China and are used to garnish sweet fruit soups. The ginger-spiced peach sauce for this dessert can be prepared one day before serving.
1 cup chopped dried pitted peaches 1 cup amaretto liqueur 1/2 cup water 1/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger 2 whole star anise*
2 pints vanilla ice cream 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Combine first 6 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and simmer gently until peaches are tender, about 15 minutes. Cool completely in saucepan. Discard star anise. (Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.) Scoop ice cream into dessert goblets. Spoon peach sauce over; sprinkle with pine nuts and serve immediately. *Brown star-shaped seedpods available at Asian markets and specialty foods stores and in the spice section of some supermarkets. Makes 6 servings .
GREEN APPLE QUESADILLAS
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup sugar, divided
Vegetable cooking spray
1 8 ounce package light cream cheese, softened
1 14 ounce can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 8” flour tortillas
2 ½ tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Toss together apple, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons sugar.
2. Cook apple mixture in a large nonstick skillet coated with vegetable cooking spray over medium-high heart, stirring often, 5 minutes until tender and golden brown. Remove apple mixture from skillet, and set aside. Wipe skillet clean.
3. Beat cream cheese, condensed milk, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
4. Place 1 tortilla in skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat; spread with about ¼ cup cream cheese mixture. Cook 1 minute or until filling bubbles. Spoon ¼ cup apple mixture on half of filling; sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon pecans. Fold tortilla in half; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, fillings, and pecans.
5. Remove filed quesadilla from skillet and drizzle additional cream cheese filling on top. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over quesadilla.
CHILLED BANANA AND PISTACHIO RICE PUDDING
1 cup long-grain basmati rice (preferably sweet)* 1/2 cup shelled natural pistachios 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 3/4 cup sugar 3 cups whole milk 2 cups heavy cream 2 bananas, cut into 1/4-inch dice
Garnish: about 1/4 cup shelled natural pistachios
Accompaniment: melon compote
*available at East Indian markets
In a bowl soak rice in cold water to cover 30 minutes and drain in a sieve. Rinse rice under cold water and drain.
In a small saucepan blanch pistachios in boiling water 3 minutes and drain in a sieve. Rinse pistachios under cold water and pat dry. Rub off pistachio skins and chop pistachios coarse.
In a heavy 1-quart saucepan melt butter over low heat and cook cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar, stirring, 1 minute. Add rice, milk, and cream and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Cool pudding and transfer to a serving dish. Stir in pistachios and bananas. Chill pudding, covered, at least until cold, about 4 hours, and up to 2 days.
Garnish pudding with pistachios and serve with compote.
1. Process almonds, cookies, and ¼ cup sugar in a food processor until ground; stir in 1 cup melted butter. Press into a 10-inch tart pan. (I actually skipped this step and used Oreo crust mix)
2. Bake crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
3. Cook remaining ¾ cup sugar, ½ cup butter, coffee granules, and chocolate in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture constantly until smooth.
4. Beat egg yolks until thick and pale. Gradually stir about 1/4th hot chocolate mixture into yolks; add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove from heat. Mixture will be very thick.
5. Spread two-thirds chocolate mixture into crust.
6. Cool remaining chocolate mixture 30 minutes
7. Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir 1/3 of whipped cream into remaining chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Spread over chocolate layer. Cover and chill 2 hours or until firm. Garnish if desired.
PUMPKIN BREAD PUDDING
About ½ baguette, cut into 2” thick slices
3 extra-large eggs
3 ½ cups whole or low-fat milk
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, or 2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup white sugar
1 cup baked pumpkin flesh or canned pumpkin puree
¾ cup brown sugar.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the bottom of a 10x13” baking dish with a single layer of the sliced bread. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, white sugar, and pumpkin. Pour this mixture over the bread slices. Push down on the bread slices so they soak up the liquid. Let them soak for 10 minutes.
2. Bake the pudding in the lower third of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the pudding comes out clean. Let the pudding cool for 10 minutes.
3. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the pudding. Place the pudding under the broiler, keeping the oven door slightly open. Keeping close watch, broil the sugar until it begins to bubble. Remove the pudding and let it cool slightly, unless you want to serve it at room temperature.
"I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes." - Carrie
9 fluid ounces (255 milliliters) plain yogurt 4 1/2 fluid ounces (130 milliliters) milk 4 1/2 fluid ounces (130 milliliters) canned mango pulp or 7 ounces (200 grams) from 3 fresh mango, stoned and sliced 4 teaspoons sugar, to taste, or feel free to try salt and cardamom seeds
Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, then pour into individual glasses, and serve. Feel free to try salt and cardamom seeds. The lassi can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours
1 cup mango pulp
3 cups plain yogurt (can be lowfat)
1 cup milk (can be lowfat)
½ cup water
½ cup sugar + sugar to taste
4-8 ice cubes
Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse. Makes 3 servings.