Archive for Misc

Deep, Dark, Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Maybe it was the rain last week. Maybe it was PMS. But I really needed chocolate. Intense, deep, dark, satisfying chocolate.

Now, I should say up front that I’m really picky about my cookies. There are lots of people out there that like a flat, crispy cookie, but I am not one of them. I like them a bit crisp on the outside, but soft and chewy and oozing with chocolatey goodness on the inside. These fit the bill very, very nicely.

Whip up a bunch with and for your favorite small people. Or anyone who likes chocolate, really. They rock.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have I got your attention? I thought so.

Deep, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces dark (at least 70%) chocolate (I use President’s Choice Dark Chocolate Bars)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark, dutch-process cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

Method:

  • Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. You may want to run the cocoa powder through a sieve if it’s lumpy.
  • Meanwhile, in a double-boiler over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together until they are smooth and melted. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  • In another bowl, break the eggs and add the sugar. Beat with a hand blender for about 5 minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Next, add in the melted chocolate, and then, a bit at a time, the dry ingredients. Finally, fold in by hand, the chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto a well-greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, and bake for 11-13 minutes.
  • Remove to a wire rack and let cool, but not too much, because they are really delicious when they are still warm.

Eggplant and Gorgonzola Stuffed Portobellos

Sometimes in life, special occasions call for special food. A birthday, an anniversary, a holiday… all times when you might want to not cook the thing that you cook all the time (unless you are my son, then the answer to every special occasion is pizza). A special occasion is a great time to buy ingredients you wouldn’t normally use, special ingredients, the search for which can sometimes be a part of the fun.

Eggplant and gorgonzola stuffed portobellos

Witness the Eggplant and Gorgonzola Stuffed Portobello. Originally destined to be a Valentine’s Day treat for y’all, things in my life went south on V-day, and they never happened. They were next supposed to be made for an Oscar-viewing dinner, but I got sidelined by something buggy, and again, they didn’t happen. But that’s okay. You can save them for your next special occasion…

This recipe comes from Chef Michael Zmigrodski from Wildflowers Restaurant in Upstate, New York. I would serve this as an appetizer, before moving on to a main course, of say, puttanesca, followed by a basil olive oil ice cream with a strawberry balsamic reduction (working on those). The original recipe called for full-sized portobellos, but I found these adorbs li’l portobellinis at the store, and had to try them. This is much more of an appetizer portion. This recipe is crazy rich: meaty mushrooms, succulent eggplant, rich sun-dried tomatoes, creamy gorgonzola (I’m a huge sucker for blue cheese), finished with some lovely, fresh basil. This recipe is, by the way, vegetarian, and gluten-free, if you leave off the panko, which I added as an afterthought for a little texture and crunch.

Just a quick note: you may want to prepare the stuffing the day before, as it’s easier to work with when cooled.

Make these for someone you love (like yourself!) sometime soon.

Eggplant and Gorgonzola Stuffed Portobellos

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned with stems removed
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Gingerly brush mushroom caps with oil and place rounded side down, on a greased baking sheet.
  • Pour approximately 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Combine chopped eggplant, onion, and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook until eggplant is becomes tender and browned.  Then add garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes.

 

  • Remove skillet from heat; stir in Gorgonzola cheese and 1 tablespoon of the chopped basil. Salt and pepper to taste. Once mixture cooled, stuff the mushroom caps with the mixture.
  • Cover the mushrooms with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking until stuffing turns a golden brown.  Check tenderness of mushroom with fork.  The fork should pierce the skin easily.   For presentation, sprinkle mushrooms with the remaining chopped basil.  Serve warm.

 

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