Monday, October 21, 2013

Thai Mango with Coconut Sticky Rice

One of my favorite desserts is mango sticky rice. I lean toward the fruit side of the dessert world and this one is perfect for those cravings. It's so much easier than you think and the results are so perfect.

Thai Mango with Coconut Sticky Rice via The Kitchn:

Makes 2-4 servings

1 c. Thai sweet or sticky rice
1 can coconut milk, unshaken
3 Tb. raw or white sugar, divided
1 tsp. salt, divided
½ tsp. cornstarch (or tapioca flour, available in Asian groceries or in gluten-free section)
2 ripe mangos
Toasted sesame seeds and mint, to garnish

Soak 1 cup of dry sticky rice in water for about 1 hour. Drain the rice and rinse it thoroughly. Then pour about 1 cup of water into a saucepan, and place the rice in a steamer insert inside the saucepan. Cover tightly and steam over low to medium heat for 20 minutes.

While the rice is steaming, make the first sauce. You will make two coconut sauces to go on the rice: One thin one to mix into the rice itself, and then a thicker sauce to spoon over top. Start by opening the can of coconut milk and spooning out the thick cream on top.

Place the thicker coconut cream in a small bowl. You should have approximately 1/2 cup, give or take a bit. Pour the thinner, lighter coconut milk left in the can into a small saucepan. It will be a little over 1 cup. Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Do not let the sauce boil.
By now the rice is probably done. The grains should be tender and shiny. Spoon the rice out into a bowl. It will be clumpy. Slowly pour the warm coconut milk over the rice in the bowl, stirring frequently. You want the milk to coat the rice but not leave puddles. Keep stirring, and stop pouring in coconut milk when it looks like the rice is saturated. You may not use all of the milk. Set the rice aside to finish absorbing the coconut milk; after 15 minutes or so it should have soaked up any milk that is still liquid.

While the rice is standing, make the coconut topping sauce. Rinse out the coconut milk saucepan, and pour in the coconut cream that you took off the top of the can. Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together a few teaspoons of water and the cornstarch. Whisk this cornstarch slurry into the coconut cream and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens considerably. Set aside.

To cut up the mango, first cut off the bottom so it can stand upright. Slice away the skin in thin strips, until the mango is completely peeled. Cut off the flesh in slices, starting with the broad cheeks on each side, then the thinner strips that will come off either side. Try not to eat all of the mango when you're doing this. It's hard, I know, but the end result is worth it.
To serve, place about 1/3 cup cooked sticky rice on each plate, and arrange mango slices around it. Drizzle with the coconut topping sauce, and sprinkle with a few toasted sesame seeds. Garnish with a mint sprig, and eat while still warm.

So good. So so good.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Summer might be over, but Portland keeps hanging on to the sun. The leaves are falling off of the trees though and it is definitely fall. Maybe you stashed some tomatoes away in your freezer. Make this and pretend it's still August.

Heirloom Tomato Tart via Joy the Baker:

Makes 1 9 by 9 tart

For the sun dried tomato pesto sauce -
1 8 oz. jar sun dried tomatoes, some of the oil reserved
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small red chili, seeds remove and coarsely chopped
Big pinch of granulated sugar
1 scant tsp. salt
3-4 Tb. olive oil from the sun dried tomato jar
For the Tart-
1 9×9-inch sheet all-butter puff pastry, thawed but still cold
Small handful fresh basil leaves
4 oz. goat cheese
3 small heirloom tomatoes, sliced about ¼-inch thick and drained on paper towels
Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half and seeds removed
1 Tb. fresh thyme leaves
Olive oil
To make the sun dried tomato pesto sauce, combine sun dried tomatoes, garlic cloves, chopped
chili, sugar, salt, and oil in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until combined, but still slightly
coarse. The mixture does not need to be completely smooth. Taste and season as needed. You'll get some extra. It's fantastic on other things, like toasted bread.

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking
sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Unfold a chilled sheet of puff pastry. Roll lightly with a rolling pin just to flatten completely. Place on the prepared baking sheet and spread about half of the pesto sauce over the puff
pastry, leaving about a ½-inch border around the edges. Coarsely tear basil leaves over the
sauce. Crumble goat cheese over the sauce. Arrange heirloom tomatoes in a single layer over
the goat cheese and press down slightly. Try to cover as much of the sauce as possible as it can
burn in the oven if exposed. Add a few cherry tomato halves. Sprinkle generously with fresh
thyme and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest
for at lease 10 minutes before serving.

It's kind of like pizza, but so much fancier. Close your eyes and dream of summer.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cardamom Moscow Mule

Sometimes you just need a cocktail – one that is crisp, refreshing, and a little different. Try this one on for size. It's really easy and you may already have everything you need at home except for the copper mug. A regular glass will do.

Cardamom Moscow Mule via Honestly Yum:

Makes 2-ish

For the mule-
2 oz vodka
½ oz lime juice
4 oz. cardamom ginger ale
Lime wheel and pinch of ground cardamom for garnish

For the ginger ale-
2 tsp. finely grated ginger
5 cardamom pods
½ c. evaporated cane sugar
½ c. water
1 c. sparkling water
To make the ginger ale, peel and finely grate the ginger. Set aside. Crack open the cardamom pods and grind the seeds using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Set aside. Add sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add ginger and ground cardamom and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Once the syrup has cooled, strain through a fine mesh strainer. Transfer to a large jar or bottle and add sparkling water. Keep the ginger ale chilled in fridge while you make the rest of your drink.

Crush ice, either using a Lewis bag or food processor. Fill your cup halfway with crushed ice. Add the vodka, lime juice, and cardamom ginger ale, then top off the remainder of your cup with crushed ice. Cut a lime wheel and lay it on the top of the cocktail for garnish. Sprinkle a little ground cardamom on top of the cocktail for some added spice.

If you love ginger, you'll love this one. It's got bite, it's crisp, it's totally perfect for ladies night. I also really like the ginger ale just on its own.  
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