Monday, March 15, 2010

Apple Crisp with Gingersnap and Black Pepper Streusel

Oh, the days of spring. The weather is warmer and the days are getting longer and I think I'm in love with it. And yet, it's cold and rainy days like today that make me think of filling, warm, and delicious comfort food.

Although fall is traditionally the season for apples, I was able to get my hands on some super tasty ones at my local Wegmans. I haven't made an apple crisp in years, but for some reason, that's all I wanted. But not just any apple crisp - it needed some sort of flair. So I kicked it up with some gingersnaps and at the last minute, threw in some freshly cracked black pepper for some extra punch, which was fantastic.
This recipe is super easy to make and incredibly delicious!

Apple Crisp with Black Pepper and Gingersnap Streusel

Apple Crisp with Black Pepper Gingersnap Streusel

1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
½ cup flour
¾ cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup butter

5 cups apples, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375. Combine cookie crumbs, flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cut in butter, using a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
In another bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place into well-oiled baking dish, and top with streusel. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, until apples are bubbly and top is golden brown.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chinese Takeout Night - Stirfry in Curry Sauce

I was on my way home from work tonight and was on the phone with my father. I passed a Chinese buffet and an intense craving for some takeout gripped me. But just as quickly and intense was the conversation I had just had 3 minutes before about the dip in pay I'd be taking after starting my new job on Monday and how I needed to refine my budget. I sadly continued on my way home, visions of takeout eggrolls and fried rice fading in my rear view mirror.

When I got home, I was sadly perusing my kitchen, when the inspiration to just make my own "takeout" struck me. I was thinking some sort of stirfry or lo mein, until the sad realization that out of the plentiful supply of Asian condiments that were stocked in my pantry, I was unbelievably out of soy sauce. I googled "stir fry no soy sauce" a few times, but nothing really caught my eye.

Just as I had decided to give up and eat some pretzels, memories of my second favorite Chinese takeout meal popped into my head - stirfried vegetables in curry sauce! I couldn't find anything like I wanted after a brief internet search, so just decided to see what I could come up with.

And boy, am I glad I did. This is almost exactly like the dish I've enjoyed so many times. The best part about it - it was literally ready to eat after 20 minutes. This recipe can easily be modified to include any vegetables or protein you have on hand, and with the quick ease of making this sauce, you can have your own Chinese takeout night any day of the week.

Stirfried Vegetables in Curry Sauce

Stirfry in Curry Sauce
Serves 4

5 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 red onion, cut into slivers
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tbsp flour
2 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups warm water
1-2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
3-4 cups broccoli, cut into pieces
1 (8oz) pkg sliced baby bella mushrooms

In a large wok, heat 2 tbsp sesame oil over medium high heat. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and saute for another minute or so. In a small bowl, whisk flour and curry powder together. Add to wok and saute for 30-45 seconds, stirring continuously. Add chili powder and salt, and saute for another 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in water until well combined and thickened. Stir in chili garlic sauce. Pour sauce into a bowl and set aside.
After cleaning out wok, place back on medium high heat and add remaining sesame oil. Add broccoli and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute an additional 2-3 minutes. Pour sauce over vegetables and continue to saute for another minute or so, until well combined and heated through. Serve over rice or noodles.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Hot Sauce Glazed Tempeh

I'm a huge fan of tempeh, although I don't use it enough. I probably make the Tempeh Buffalo Wings the most, but the "Thai Curry Tempeh Salad" is definitely a close second. I had given those recipes to a few friends of mine, who used tempeh for the first time and really loved it. They asked for more recipes using up tempeh, and since i'm always up for a culinary challenge, I agreed to find and post more.

When I'm looking for ideas for vegan recipes, Veganomicon is usually the first book I grab. It's got some really solid vegan recipes, and even non-vegans can find something delicious in the book to make. Although there are quite a few tempeh recipes within its pages, the Hot-Sauce Glazed Tempeh caught my eye.

It's tasty and easy to make, and definitely a great little tempeh recipe to add into your rotation. Instead of making it in triangle slabs like the recipe calls for, I instead just cut it into cubes, which were very easy to broil and get nice and crispy. So if you're looking for another tempeh recipe, I'd suggest giving this one a try!


Hot-Sauce Glazed Tempeh
a slight variation of Veganomicon's recipe
Serves 4

8 oz tempeh
1/2 c wine (i used a Chardonnay)
1/4 c Louisianna-style hot sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp cayenne

Bring 4 cups of water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, remove tempeh from package. Cut into 1" cubes. Once water is boiling, lower heat to medium high, add tempeh, and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.
In the meantime, whisk remaining ingredients together and pour in a large ziploc bag. Add tempeh cubes and place in refrigerator for as little as an hour or up to 2 days.
Preheat broiler in oven. Place drained tempeh cubes in oiled baking dish and place under broiler. Broil for 15-20 minutes, turning every few minutes and basting with remaining marinade, until cubes are crispy and heated through.
Serve and enjoy!