Roasted fennel and shallot salad with grapefruit

April 27, 2011 § 3 Comments

This salad was first made out of desperation, because I had purchased some fennel but didn’t really know what to do with it, and I didn’t want to waste it. Fortunately, salads can handle mysterious, intimidating vegetables really well, and I even had the forethought to write down what I did. I’m really pleased too, because not only is it really delicious, but it also has the benefit of being easy to assemble from seasonal, nutritious ingredients: roasted fennel and shallots, juicy grapefruit, and crisp lettuces, tossed together with zingy mustard-grapefruit vinaigrette.

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April 21, 2011 § 6 Comments

At long last…a Gugelhupf recipe! Or, more specifically, the Marmorgugelhupf (Marmor means marbled in German, so marbled Gugelhupf) recipe that I treasure not only for its heavenly taste but also because it was probably the first cake I ever baked entirely from scratch.

I first encountered this wonderful cake back when I did study abroad as a German major in Austria. I stayed with some family friends in a little town outside Vienna, and I had a wonderful time, trying all the delicious Austrian foods (Schnitzel! Wienerwurst! Sachertorte!) as well as seeing the fabulous museums, churches, and other sites such as the famous Tiergarten. (Oh, and I went to class too.)

While I was there my host mom, who is an excellent cook, gave me this recipe for Gugelhupf that she got from the cookbook of a famous Austrian chef, Johanna Maier. They first enjoyed it at Johanna Maier’s restaurant in the Tyrol and ever since then this has been their favorite Gugelhupf recipe, and once I learned to make it, mine too.

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Ginger-scallion noodles with quick pickles

April 12, 2011 § 4 Comments

Ginger-scallion noodles and quick pickles are some of the easiest dishes I know, and more importantly, they’re tasty and crowd-pleasing. Mostly, though, I adore them because they bring alive the flavors of my childhood. Ginger and scallions are, of course, two cornerstones of Chinese cooking, along with soy sauce and garlic, and the pickles are kind of a cousin to my mom’s classic cucumber salad, and one of my very first posted recipes.

I am inordinately fond of the pickles because for a long time I never thought I’d be able to eat them again, the restaurant where I first enjoyed them having closed right after I graduated from college. While all the meals were spectacular (and I’m still trying to replicate a few other dishes), the taste of the pickles in particular fascinated me. They are subtly sweet with a slight sour kick and perfect with any sort of Asian-type meal, though I generally tend to make them to accompany these ginger-scallion noodles, as their fresh, crisp taste contrasts nicely with the ginger-scallion sauce. « Read the rest of this entry »

Chocolate mini bundt cakes

April 5, 2011 § 4 Comments

Impulsiveness is usually characterized as a negative trait, but lately I’ve been thinking that much of my careful planning, such as it was, has been irritatingly less than successful, while my spontaneity (there’s the positive spin!) has somehow been working for me.

For instance, I present this seriously decadent and rich chocolate cake that can be made at a moment’s notice from pantry ingredients. I first made a batch of these mini bundts on a whim after deciding that what I really needed at that moment was a treat, and my trusty copy of Flour came to the rescue.

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