Best of the Blogs: Stir It Up!
By Kendra Nordin, Kitchen Report and Stir It Up! editor
Stir It Up! features daily recipes, cookbook reviews, and culinary trends written by 17 contributing food bloggers. From easy-to-make dinner recipes to delicious desserts; from party spreads to Meatless Monday ideas, there is something here to inspire every type of cook.
Here are three sample recipes.
Korean Oven-Braised Short Ribs (top)
By Terry Boyd, Blue Kitchen
2-1/2 pounds Korean style short ribs
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Asian or Bosc pear, peeled and grated on box grater
3/4-cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine (may substitute cooking wine)
2 cups water
4 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
freshly ground black pepper
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into a large dice
1/2 pound piece of daikon (Japanese radish), peeled and cut into large dice
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
cooked white rice
special equipment: parchment paper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Score ribs on the meaty side with 1/2-inch slices across the grain; this will allow the meat to absorb more flavor from the braising liquid. Put short ribs in a large pot and cover with lots of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. You can spoon off the scum that forms or not – you’re going to discard this water anyway. Remove the ribs with tongs and rinse under cold running water. This step gets rid of some of the blood and excess fat.
While the meat is simmering, combine ginger, garlic, pear, soy sauce, wine, water, sesame oil and sugar in a large bowl. Season with a generous grind of black pepper.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium flame and sweat the onion until translucent and softening, three to five minutes. Add the braising liquid mixture to the Dutch oven and nestle the ribs, meaty side down, into the sauce. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Press a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside the Dutch oven down on top of the ribs. Cover the Dutch oven with lid and transfer to oven.
Braise ribs for 60 minutes. Remove from oven and add carrots, daikon and scallions, pressing down into the braising liquid. Replace the parchment paper and lid and return to oven. Braise for another 30 minutes.
Using tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer ribs and vegetables to a large bowl and tent with foil. Bring braising liquid to a boil over medium high flame and reduce slightly to a sauce, about five minutes.
Plate cooked rice in individual shallow bowls or rimmed plates. Top with ribs and vegetables and spoon sauce over. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve.
Roasted Squash and Quinoa Salad
By France Morissette and Joshua Sprague, Beyond The Peel
2 cups roasted squash
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups baby kale and baby chard (or greens of choice)
1/2 cup dried cranberries ( or raisins)
1/2 crushed pistachios (or nuts of choice)
crumbled feta to garnish (optional)
Cumin Dressing (below) or dressing of choice
In a large bowl, add the cooked squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add the quinoa, greens, cranberries and pistachios. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve immediately.
Note: This salad will hold up nicely to the dressing, minus the greens. You can always add the salad greens at a later time if you’d like to add the dressing now and allow the flavors to marry. Also a good idea if you’re bringing this to someone’s house for dinner.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon honey (vegans use agave or sweetener of choice)
In a small frying pan over high heat, add the cumin seeds and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the cumin seeds. Combine the lemon juice, oil, cumin and honey. Whisk until well combined.
Note: If the salad won’t be eaten all at once, add the dressing to each serving individually to preserve the freshness of the greens.
Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting
By Kendra Nordin, Kitchen Report
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 sticks butter
1-1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9- x 13-inch pan or two 9-inch round cake pans. If you are using round pans, it is recommend that you cut out a piece of parchment paper and line each pan, since this cake tends to stick.
Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add boiling water and stir until the butter and sugar are dissolved.
Sift the dry ingredients into the batter and combine. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.
Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake about 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Note: Homecooks who have used this recipe find that the cake rises higher in the middle.
Vanilla Buttercream Icing
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream butter until fluffy, gradually add powdered sugar. Stir in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you achieve the consistency you want. Add vanilla. This is a thick, rich icing.
Sift the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, soda, salt) into the batter. Mix well. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.
Chocolate Buttercream Icing
1-1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 egg yolks, unbeaten
6 1-ounce squares unsweetened baker’s chocolate
In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate completely. Remove from heat, allow to cool.
Cream butter until fluffy, gradually add powdered sugar. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Add in chocolate, beat until desired consistency.
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