I've been doing a lot of cooking lately, and for some reason it occurred to me to put some calvados into a dessert (caramelized pears). It was wonderful--smooth, flavorful, not sweet like some apertifs that are suggested for dessert making, like grand marnier, but not popping out of the texture like cognac. Since then I've used calvados in granitas, sorbets, cake, etc. I even used it in chicken a la king this evening and it worked perfectly. Anyone else have experience cooking with calvados? I've never seen it mentioned in a recipe.
I love fluffy scrambled eggs, but I have a problem making them. I can make a perfect Hollandaise sauce every time, but I can't scramble an egg. Here's what I did this morning, and it worked great:
Break two eggs into a bowl; add salt, pepper, minced fresh parsley, and one tablespoon of fat free Greek yogurt (plain). Beat until smooth. Melt a pat of butter in a frying pan until it froths, then scramble the eggs as quickly as possible--just a few swishes around the pan. The Greek yogurt makes the eggs really fluffy. If you don't like the slight sourness of the yogurt on eggs (I don't), just serve with grated parmesan cheese to balance the flavors.
Looking for a yummy hot drink? Boil some water and dissolve about three Nabisco Ginger Snaps in it. They totally dissolve--you don't have to drink around floating crumbs--and it tastes great. If you want a stronger taste, just put another ginger snap in.
Adapted from Mott's Applesauce A Better Way to Bake
3 c unbleached flour 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
2 tsps ginger 2 tbsps butter, softened
2 tsps allspice 1/2 c sweetened applesauce
1 tsp baking soda 1/4 c molasses
1/2 tsp salt
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, ginger, allspice, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In another mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter until blended. Fold in applesauce and molasses. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Mix well. Chill dough for several hours or until firm. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare two baking sheets with cooking spray. Place one ounce balls one inch apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
Note: I use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and Fat Free Half-n-Half in place of the real things. Works out great and is heart healthy. They are perfect!!11!
* 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
* 5 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for topping
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 2/3 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) half-and-half
* 1/2 cup halved cranberries, drained on paper towels
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 2/3 cup half-and-half until just moistened. Gently fold in cranberries.
2. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently, 5 to 10 times. Pat into a 1-inch-thick round. Cut into 8 wedges; place on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Brush tops with remaining tablespoon half-and-half; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
This is a real mood-elevator. Laura says it's Thai-Indian fusion soup, which describes it pretty well, maybe with a touch of Japanese or Korean:
2 thin “Thai” eggplants, salted, drained and cubed
1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, mashed
1 ½ inch thick slice of fresh ginger, mashed (comes to about a tablespoon)
1 ½ quarts of chicken stock (more if needed)
10 cooked fish balls, disks should work fine as well -- you can find these at any asian food store with a freezer section. Squid rings would work too.
salt to taste
handful of chopped cilantro
½ tsp coriander
2 ground cloves
T ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
Sauté garlic and onion until translucent
Add spices, sauté until covered uniformly
Add chicken stock, simmer for ½ hour
Add eggplant, cooked fish balls, and cilantro
Cook until hot, about 15 minutes
Serve over rice noodles
This is heavenly the next day, but don't try to save it with the noodles -- they'll dissolve.