Feature

The Year in Food 2012: Recipes

 

20 Second Chocolate Cake

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Making a cake has never been so simple, so there is no reason not to indulge. Food blogger Marc Matsumoto shares how he discovered the idea for this recipe in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • 1 egg - beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp oil

Directions

  1. Split the oil between two tall mugs with vertical walls, and then use your finger to spread it evenly up the sides, drain any excess oil. The mugs must be very well oiled or the cake will stick when you try and unmold it.
  2. Add the sugar to a small bowl, and then sift in the coco powder (a tea strainer works great for this). Add the heavy cream, egg and optional vanilla and whisk until there are no lumps. Sprinkle the baking powder on top and quickly mix together.
  3. Split the batter between the mugs and firmly tap the mugs on a towel-lined countertop to release any large air bubbles. Microwave one cake at a time.
  4. Since you don’t want to start and stop the microwave a bunch of times, set it for about 30 seconds, and closely watch the cake. It’s done when the cake rises about half-way up to sides of the mug (about 18 seconds in a 1000 watt microwave). The difference between a tender fluffy cake draped in velvety chocolate sauce and a chewy hockey puck is a few seconds, so you'll need to experiment to see what works best for your microwave.
  5. Because the mug retains heat, it will continue cooking until you unmold it, so have a plate ready and unmold the cake as soon as it comes out of the microwave.

Watermelon Feta Salad

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This watermelon feta salad recipe is a combination of juicy watermelon and fragrant cheese - great for a cookout or side dish. Alice Currah of SavorySweetLife.com shares a fresh and flavorful from her first cookbook. Jenna Weber explains why this recipe works so well in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • 6 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Combine watermelon, feta cheese, red onion, and mint in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the lime juice and olive oil over the watermelon mixture and toss gently to coat.
  3. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6-8 servings

No-Mayo Coleslaw

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Try a healthier alternative with this no-mayo coleslaw recipe with lemon juice and honey for extra flavor. Food blogger Marc Matsumoto explains why he prefers his coleslaw without mayo in a full blog post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 small red cabbage
  • 1/2 small green cabbage
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Remove any tough outer leaves from the cabbage.
  2. Trim the core and any tough stems from the cabbage and thinly slice.
  3. Add to a bowl with the shredded carrot, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and black pepper. Toss to combine.
  4. Serve this right away for more of a salad, or store it in the fridge overnight for a slaw that’s more pickled.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Grilled Goat Cheese and Pesto Pizza

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Get the perfect pizza crust with Jenna Weber's's recipe for grilled goat cheese and pesto pizza in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • For Pesto
  • 3 cups lightly packed basil leaves
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts (toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium/high until toasty)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • For Pizza
  • Pizza dough for one pizza (make your own or grab some prepared dough from your favorite pizza place!)
  • 5 oz fresh goat cheese
  • Toppings of choice: I used sliced tomato and sautéed cremini mushrooms

Directions

  1. First, make your pesto. Combine basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and two tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor and process until just slightly chunky. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil in a steady stream. Add lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, sea salt and pepper and continue processing until smooth.
  2. To prepare your pizza, heat up your grill (either gas or charcoal is fine) and spray the grates well with non-stick spray. Also, spray the BACK of a cookie sheet well with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface to roughly about 12” in diameter. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Carefully transfer the pizza dough to the back of the greased cookie sheet and carry outside to the grill.
  4. Gently, lift the dough off the back of the cookie sheet and onto the grill. Close the grill and cook for about 5 minutes, checking occasionally. The dough should be starting to bubble up and if you check the bottom, it should be looking a little charred.
  5. Slide the dough off the grill and back onto the back of the cookie sheet. Flip pizza so the charred side is on top then spread pesto all over the top. Add toppings of your choice (I used sautéed mushrooms and thin tomato slices and it was great) followed by soft mounds of goat cheese.
  6. Carefully slide dough back onto the grill, close top and cook for another 5-6 minutes, checking often. When done, the crust should be puffy, the bottom slightly charred and the cheese melted.
  7. Slide your finished pizza back onto your cookie sheet, let cool and slice up!

Yield: one 12” pizza

Poached Eggs

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Silky, smooth egg whites and a runny yolk are all you need to achieve when poaching an egg. This recipe helps you perfect those textures using four special tips. Marc Matsumoto of NoRecipes shares this recipe in a full post at the Fresh Tastes Blog.

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Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (cheap stuff will do)

Directions

  1. Add 2” of water to a large pot of water, then add the vinegar. Cover with a lid and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Meanwhile crack the eggs into 4 small bowls or ramekins.
  2. When the water is at a rolling boil, remove the lid, and turn down the heat so there are still bubbles forming at the bottom of the pot, but the surface of the water is still. Carefully lower the ramekins into the water and tip the eggs out into the hot water one at a time.
  3. Leave the eggs to cook undisturbed until they are cooked to your liking. You can test for this by lifting the egg out of the water and gently poking it with your finger. The white should be firm, and if you want a soft yolk, prod the yolk to see if it’s soft or firm.
  4. When the eggs are done, remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon one egg at a time and onto a double layer of paper towels to drain off the excess water. Serve the eggs with buttered toast.

Yield: 4 servings

Baked Apples with Cinnamon

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This baked apples recipe with cinnamon makes a great side dish or dessert for a delicious Fall meal. Food blogger Jenna Weber shares tips for picking out the perfect apples for baking in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs apples (either Cortland or Gala for best results), cored and chopped
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Toss the chopped apples with the cinnamon, lemon juice and brown sugar and place in a baking or casserole dish.
  2. Cook apples, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until soft and juicy. Serve for dessert with ice cream or with roast meat for dinner.

Yield: 4 servings

Ginger Chicken

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Sweet honey and powerful, belly-warming ginger combine to make this Japanese favorite that is bursting with flavor. Unlike chicken teriyaki, this dish adds a kick that is anything but ordinary, but absolutely delicious. Marc Matsumoto of NoRecipes shares this Japanese chicken recipe in a full post at the Fresh Tastes Blog.

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Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • chopped scallions and sesame seeds for garnish

Directions

  1. Cut the chicken up into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, whisk the soy sauce, sake, honey, and ginger together, then add the chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add the oil then swirl to coat. Fry the chicken in batches. You want to get a nice brown crust, so it’s important that the chicken is in a single layer and has some space between each piece. Because there is sugar in the marinade if your pan is too hot it will burn. If the pan is too cool, water will leach out of the chicken and it won’t brown. Adjust the heat accordingly.
  3. When the chicken is browned on one side, flip it over and brown the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Once all your chicken is browned, use a paper towel to wipe out any extra oil, then add the remaining marinade to the pan along with 2 tablespoons of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, and then return all the chicken to the pan. Stir, until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the chicken has a nice shiny coating of sauce.
  4. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds and serve over rice.

Yield: 4 servings

Beef Bourguignon with Roasted Potatoes

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Food blogger Jenna Weber channels Julia Child with her take on beef bourguignon. Jenna shares her inspiration for the dish in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fresh minced thyme
  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb small yellow potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt + pepper

Directions

  1. Combine the flour, 1 tsp salt and pepper in a large Ziploc bag and then add the beef and shake well so all the beef has been covered by the flour.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil and butter in a large cast iron (or heavy bottomed) pan over medium high heat. Once the butter has melted and is sizzling, add the beef and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until just browned. Remove beef and place on a plate.
  3. In a large pot, heat the other tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, carrots and celery. Sprinkle vegetables with a pinch of salt and sauté for ten minutes (adding the minced garlic after five minutes) until onion is translucent and carrots have started to become tender. Add the minced thyme and stir to combine.
  4. Then, add the beef to the vegetables along with the wine and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer (put heat setting on low) and partially cover pot, leaving about a half inch open.
  5. Slowly simmer beef for three hours. After three hours, the wine should have reduced to a thick, velvety sauce and the beef should be very, very tender. Season with the additional teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
  6. Near the end of the simmering process, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and sauté for ten minutes until tender. Stir cooked mushrooms into beef at the very end.
  7. To make the roasted potatoes, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash potatoes and chop into fourths. Lay potatoes on a foil lined sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes, tossing occasionally, until crisp and golden.
  8. To serve, remove bay leaf from beef and serve beef alongside roasted potatoes with an additional sprig of thyme and a hefty glass of red wine.

Yield: 6 servings

Strawberry Margaritas

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Try this strawberry margarita recipe for a colorful drink bursting with strawberry flavor. Food blogger Jenna Weber shares her inspiration for this unique tasting drink in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 oz tequila
  • 3 oz triple sec
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • ice
  • salt
  • fresh strawberries

Directions

  1. Combine the frozen strawberries, sugar and water in a small pot over low/medium heat. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook on low for about 30 minutes until strawberries have broken down and mixture is thick. Remove from the stove, pour into a Tupperware container or glass jar and refrigerate until chilled.
  2. To make the margaritas, add about a third cup of the strawberry syrup to a cocktail shaker (you be the judge according to how sweet you like your margaritas). Follow with the tequila, triple sec, lime juice and ice.
  3. Shake margaritas well then pour into two glasses, rimmed with salt if you like.
  4. Garnish cocktails with fresh strawberries and serve.

Yield: 2 servings

Japchae

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Colorful vegetables and succulent beef make this Korean favorite a must-try for anyone who loves Asian cuisine. Made simple through stir-fry, this Japchae recipe traditionally cooks its ingredients separately, but this method is much less time-consuming. Marc Matsumoto of NoRecipes shares this recipe in a full post at the Fresh Tastes Blog.

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Ingredients

  • 6 ounces dangmyeon (clear sweet potato noodles)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 5 ounces beef, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 4 ounces fresh pyogo (shiitake) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 ounces spinach, cut into 1” lengths.
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Soak the dangmyeon in hot tap water until it’s fully rehydrated (20-30 minutes).
  2. Mix the soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine in a bowl to combine, then take 2 tablespoons of this sauce and add it to the beef, letting it marinate while the noodles rehydrate and you prepare the rest of the vegetables. Add 1/4 cup of water to the remaining sauce.
  3. When the noodles are rehydrated, drain them, and then use scissors to cut the noodles into 6” lengths.
  4. In a large frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the marinated beef and stir-fry until the meat is fully cooked, and then transfer the beef to a bowl.
  5. Add another tablespoon of sesame oil to the pan, and then add the onions and carrots. Stir-fry until the carrots are almost cooked, then add the pyogo and bell peppers. Continue stir-frying until the carrots are fully cooked.
  6. Add the dangmyeon and spinach, and then pour the sauce over everything. Stir-fry until the noodles are tender and all the liquid has been absorbed. Return the beef to the pan, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and then toss everything together. Serve immediately.

Yield: 3-5 servings