Friday, January 1, 2010

My favorite recipes of 2009

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that 2010 is just as exciting and delicious for all of you as 2009 was for me!

Throughout the year I cooked a lot of recipes from a lot of different sources.  Some were great, some were total flops, but all of them were interesting to make.  Below are my favorite recipes of 2009 - some of which I discovered in 2009 (even if they were published long before 2009), some of which I have been making for years, but are still fan faves.

My top 10 recipes of 2009 (in no particular order):
  1. Red Cat's Quick Saute of Zucchini
  2. Raspberry Buttermilk Cake (pictured above)
  3. Bucatini All'Amatriciana with Spicy Meatballs
  4. Six-Spice Hanger Steak
  5. Skirt Steak Tacos with Roasted Tomato Salsa
  6. Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan Spices
  7. Kalbi (Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs)
  8. Winter Caprese Salad
  9. Quinoa Caprese
  10. Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Spicy Hoisin Garlic Dipping Sauce
Recipes for all of these dishes after the jump!

Quick Saute of Zucchini
The Red Cat Cookbook
By Jimmy Bradley & Andrew Friedman

3 tbsp evoo
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
2 large zucchini or 3-4 small, cut into matchsticks
4 oz Pecorino Romano, shaved into thin peels with vegetable peeler

Pour oil into large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat.  When oil is hot, but not smoking, add almonds.  Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds, or until almonds are golden and fragrant.  Add zucchini to pan.  Toss or stir zucchini with the hot oil for 10 seconds.  Season with s&p to taste and toss to distribute.  

Transfer zucchini to plate, drizzle with additional evoo if desired, and top with Pecorino.  Serve immediately.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
June 2009

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup, plus 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, divided
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh raspberries (or other berries - this recipe also works well with black berries)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with rack in middle.  Butter and flour a 9 inch round cake pan.  Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt).  Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with electric mixer at medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla.  Add egg and beat well.  At low speed, mix in dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk and beginning and ending with flour.  Mix until just combined.  Spoon batter into cake pan, tapping pan on counter to smooth batter.  Scatter berries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tbsp sugar.  Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, approximately 25-30 minutes.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out on cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.

Bucatini All'Amatriciana with Spicy Meatballs
Giada De Laurentiis

For sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
6 oz. pancetta, diced
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
For meatballs
1 small onion, grated
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus 1/4 cup
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus 1/4 cup
1/3 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 tbsp ketchup
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb mixed ground meat (turkey, chicken, beef, or veal)
1 lb bucatini (you can substitute spaghetti if you can't find bucatini)

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta and reserve.  Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes, s&p, and pancetta.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens.  Stir in cheese and season to taste with s&p.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and position oven rack in the lower 1/3 of oven.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the onion, parsley, 2/3 cup Parm-Reg, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup, garlic, red pepper flakes, and s&p.  Add the meat.  Using your hands, combine all ingredients gently.  Do not overmix.  Shape the meat into roughly 16 meatballs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Place all meatballs on the baking sheet.  Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

For the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.  Drain and place in a large serving bowl.  Add the meatballs and sauce, toss gently and season with s&p to taste.  Sprinkle with remaining parsley and Parm-Reg.

Six-Spice Hanger Steak
October 2008

For steak
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
10 black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp anise seeds
1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick
4 cloves
3 tsp packed dark brown sugar
1 hanger steak or skirt steak (approximately 2lbs and 1 1/2 inches thick)
For sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp water
t tbsp minced peeled ginger
2 tsp packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Turn grill on to medium-high.  Finely grind spices with brown sugar and 1 1/2 tsp salt in grinder.  Pat steak dry, then sprinkle evenly with spice mixture and rub into meat.  Grill meat 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, then allow to rest on a plate for at least 10 minutes so juices can redistribute.  Then slice into small slices against the grain.  While steaks rest, heat soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, ginger, brown sugar, shallot and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until warm.  If there are any meat juices on the plate, add those to the sauce.  Stir in cilantro before serving.

Drizzle sauce over thinly sliced steak and serve immediately.

Skirt Steak Tacos with Roasted Tomato Salsa
Bobby Flay

For steak
8 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 lbs skirt steak
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 head romaine lettuce, thinly shredded
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, pelled, pitted, halved and diced
8 oz sour cream
For salsa
2 tbsp canola oil
2 serrano chiles
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
6 plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
salt & papper
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Heat a large grill pan over high heat.  Brush steak with oil and season with s&p on both sides.  Grill on one side until golden brown and slightly charred, about 3-4 minutes.  Turn the steak over and cook about 3-4 minutes more to medium-rare.  Let rest 5 minutes, then slice against the grain into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and heat on grill while steak rests.

While the steak is cooking, heat the oil for salsa in a small saute pan and saute the chiles, onion and garlic until soft.  Brush tomatoes with oil and season with s&p.  Grill on both sides until slightly charred and soft.  Transfer tomatoes and serrano mixture to a food processor; add the lime juice and s&p and process until smooth.  Add the cilantro and pulse a few times.  Transfer to a bowl.

Serve tacos with lettuce, onion, sour cream, avocado and salsa.

Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan Spices
February 2002

1 (3 1/2-4 lb) spaghetti squash
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Pierce squash all over with a small sharp knife.  Cook in an 800-watt microwave on high power for 6-7 minutes.  Turn squash over and microwave until squash feels slightly soft when pressed, about 8-10 minutes.  Cool squash for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute.  Stir in spices and salt and remove from heat.  Halve squash lengthwise, remove and discard seeds.  Scrape flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands.  Toss with spiced butter and cilantro.

Kalbi (Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs)
Grill it with Bobby Flay
Judiaann Woo

5 lbs Korean style beef short ribs (flanken)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup mirin
1 small onion, peeled and finely grated
1 small Asian pear, peeled and finely grated
4 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp Asian sesame oil
1/4 tsp pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Sprinkle brown sugar over beef and rub it in to coat evenly.  Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes while preparing marinade.  In a bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.  Transfer beef into a large freezer bag.  Add marinade, press out excess air from bags and seal.  Turn bag over several times to ensure beef is evenly coated.  Refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours).  Heat grill to medium-high.  Drain excess marinade from beef.  Grill short ribs, turning once, to desired doneness, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Garnish with scallions.

Serve with rice and kimchi.

Winter Caprese Salad
Molto Italiano
By Mario Batali

6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
3/4 cup evoo
salt & pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
3 cups fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 lb buffalo mozzarella, cut into quarters

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of evoo and s&p.  Place cut side down on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 2 hours, or until the tomatoes soften.  Remove tomatoes from oven and cool.  Transfer tomatoes to colander and set aside to drain while you make pesto.

Combine garlic and Parm-Reg in a blender or food processor and pulse until garlic is roughly chopped.  Then add basil and pulse until the leaves are shredded.  Slowly add remaining 1/2 cup evoo while blender is running, blending until smooth.  Toast pine nuts in a small saute pan over medium heat, until toasted, approximately 3-4 minutes.  Transfer to a plate to cool.

To serve, arrange tomato halves cut side down on plate.  Place mozzarella in the center and spoon pesto onto the mozzarella.  Top with pine nuts and garnish with remaining basil leaves.  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt if desired.

Quinoa Caprese
Special Issue

1 cup quinoa
14 oz low sodium chicken broth
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
10 bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls), halved
1 cup torn basil leaves
2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp evoo (garlic or basil oil if you have it)
salt & pepper

Rinse quinoa thoroughly.  Bring broth to boil in medium saucepan.  Add quinoa, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 12-15 minutes until tender and liquid has been absorbed.  Fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to cool for 15 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.  Combine lemon juice and oil, stir to blend.  Pour over quinoa mix and toss well.  Season to taste with s&p.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls (Goi Cuon) with Spicy-Hoisin-Garlic Sauce 
Into the Vietnamese Kitchen:  Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors
By Andrea Nguyen

1 tsp salt
24 small shrimp, peeled
1 boneless thick pork chop, trimmed of excess fat (optional)
1/3 lb round rice noodles, cooked in boiling water 3-5 minutes, drained and rinsed in cold water
1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
12-16 sprigs cilantro
12-16 sprigs mint
12-16 sprigs Thai basil
1 small bunch Chinese chives (garlic chives), optional
16 rice paper rounds, 8 1/2 inches in diameter 
Sauce (heavily modified from cookbook) 
2 tbsp creamy salted peanut butter
2 tbsp, plus 1 cup water
1 tbsp neutral oil (canola or grapeseed) 
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1 tsp tomato paste
6 - 8 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts, finely chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 scallion, sliced thinly on the diagonal (optional)

Fill a small saucepan half full with water, add salt and bring to rolling boil over high heat.  Add shrimp, remove saucepan from heat, and let stand for 3-5 minutes, or until shrimp have curled and are opaque.  Remove shrimp from water with slotted spoon and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking.  Lay each shrimp flat on a cutting board and cut in half horizontally.  Devein the shrimp as necessary.  Set shrimp aside.  Return poaching water to rolling boil.  Add pork.  When water starts bubbling at the edges, remove pan from heat and cover tightly.  Let stand for 20 minutes.  Remove pork from pan and let cool.  Thinly slice pork across the grain into strips about 1/8 inch thick, 1/2 inch wide and 4 inches long.

On a flat work surface,  set up a bowl of warm water for dipping rice paper and place shrimp, pork, noodles, lettuce and herbs nearby.  Drip a rice paper into water until it softens, approximately 5-10 seconds, and then place on work surface.  Place lettuce on the lower third of the rice paper round, then place about 1/4 cup of noodles on top of the lettuce and then  arrange herbs on top.  Bring up the lower edge of the rice paper to cover up the herbs.  Roll up both sides of the rice paper so that it forms a tight package.  Add 3 shrimp halves, cut side up, to each roll. Roll it over to cover the filling, then tuck the chives in, allowing them to extend out one end.  Continue to roll until you have a snug package.  Place platters on a roll, making sure that the rolls do not touch.

For sauce, combine peanut butter with 2 tbsp water and mix until smooth.  In a small saucepan, combine oil, garlic, and chile flakes over medium-low.  When the oil is sizzling, add tomato paste and whisk.  When the oil is bright yellow-orange, pour in 1 cup water to stop cooking.  Increase cooking time to medium and whisk in peanut butter mixture.  When the sauce begins to boil, whisk in 6 tbsp hoisin sauce.  Let the sauce cook for 1 minute and taste, adding more hoisin if necessary.  Add fish sauce.  Bring sauce to simmer and then cook for 30 seconds, or until sauce thickens.  Remove from heat and allow to cool, uncovered.  Transfer sauce to a bowl and sprinkle  peanuts, sesame seeds and scallion on top.  

Serve summer rolls with dipping sauce.

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