Brownie Cupcakes

Brownie Cupcakes

Adapted from Annie Riggs

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 stick of butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oven to 325 degrees and paper 12 cupcake liners in a muffin tin.

Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and cook in 30 second increments on 50% power until completely melted.

While the melted chocolate mixture cools slightly, whisk the sugar, eggs, and vanilla in another bowl until foamy.  Stir in the chocolate mixture until combined.  Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl and fold the mixture until incorporated.

Portion the batter into the prepared muffin tin and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the brownie-cakes have risen and are firm to the touch.  If you test with a toothpick, you should see some moist crumb stuck to your tester.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then carefully remove the brownie-cakes from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Peach Preserves

Peach Preserves

Adapted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

BAH Note: I took this base preserve recipe and made three different batches of preserves.  One was plain peach preserves.  The second was a ginger peach preserve (added ground ginger to taste to the base recipe).  The third was habernero peach preserve (added a few splashes of hot sauce to the base recipe).  No matter if you fancy it up or not, it’s good stuff.

  • 4 cups peach slices (from about 4 pounds peaches)
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 7 cups sugar

Working in batches, blanch the peaches in boiling water for about one minute.  Remove with a slotted spoon or spider strainer and transfer the peaches to a towel lined board to cool.  Use a pairing knife to remove the skins and then pit and slice the peaches.

Combine the peach slices, pectin, and lemon juice in a dutch oven or large non-reactive pot.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.  Add the sugar, stirring until it is dissolved, and bring to a rolling boil.  Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat, ladle the jam into heated jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space, and process for 10 minutes.

Let the jars cool for 24 hours before checking the seal and storing the jars. Any jars that have not sealed should be refrigerated or immediately reprocessed using new lids.

Beef Tenderloin with Wine Sauce

Beef Tenderloin with Wine Sauce

Adapted from Ellie Krieger

BAH Note:  To amp up the wine sauce even more, whisk in 1 tablespoon of butter just before taking the sauce off the heat and serving.

  • 2 pounds beef tenderloin
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced shallots
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.  Line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil and set a cooling rack in the pan.

Pat the tenderloin dry and then season all over with kosher salt and pepper.  Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.  Add the beef and sear until well browned on all sides, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the tenderloin to the sheet pan and roast in the oven until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the tenderloin reaches 140 degrees for medium rare, approximately 30 minutes (155 degrees for medium).  Remove the tenderloin from the oven and let it rest, covered with foil, until ready to serve.

While the tenderloin roasts, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the shallots and carrot and cook until softened, about 5 or 10 minutes.  Add the wine, broth, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid reduces to about 1/2 cup, approximately 40 minutes.

Once the sauce has reduced, pour it through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan.  Be sure to press all the juices out of the vegetables.  Whisk the cocoa powder into the reduced sauce, add the rosemary and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the sauce over slices of the beef tenderloin.

Baked Barley and Mushrooms

Baked Barley and Mushrooms

Adapted from And Baby Cakes Three

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup barley
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, simmering
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (optional)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the butter and olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted, saute the onions and mushrooms until tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  Add the barley and salt and stir so that it gets coated with the oil in the pot.  Cook the barley for a few minutes, until it gets a bit toasty, before stirring in the simmering broth.

Stir to combine, cover with a lid (or aluminum foil if your pot doesn’t have a lid) and bake for 1 hour.

After an hour, carefully remove the pot to check for doneness.  Most of the liquid should be absorbed and the barley should be just tender.  If the barley is still too hard, add additional liquid and continue to cook, covered, checking every 15 to 20 minutes.  Once the barley is done, you can cook for 10 or 15 minutes with the lid off if you have too much liquid left in your pot.

Carefully remove from the oven and stir in the grated cheese, if using, before serving.

Lemon Tartlettes

Lemon Tartlettes

Adapted from Sugarcrafter

BAH Note: Tracy got uber fancy and made a meringue topping for her tarts.  The next time I make these I might give that a try.  But I thought the tartlettes were sublime sans meringue…and it meant I didn’t have to fuss with the broiler.

BAH Tip: Don’t have a food processor to grind those cookies into crumbs?  A blender will work just as well.

  • 1 1/4 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice + zest of the lemons

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl and stir to combine.  Place 1 tablespoon of the crumb mixture into 8, 4-ounce canning jars or glass ramekins.  {You may have leftover crumb mixture.  If so, put it in a freezer bag and freeze for later use.}  Using a small spice jar (with a clean bottom), press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the jar.

Bake the crusts for about 5 minutes and allow them to cool while you make the filling.

Add the yogurt, sugar, salt, eggs, lemon juice and zest to a medium bowl and whisk until combined.  Divide the filling among the jars and bake for 10 to 20 minutes or until the centers are set.

Let the tartlettes cool to room temperature before serving.  Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.

Ina’s Panko Salmon

Panko Crusted Salmon

Adapted from Ina Garten

  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 salmon filets (4 to 6 ounces), skin on
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the panko, lemon zest, olive oil, and a pinch of kosher salt in a small bowl.  You want the panko to be moist.  Gently stir in the dijon mustard.

Dry the salmon.  Divide the mustard/panko mixture among the filets and press it into the flesh.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large, oven safe frying pan over medium high heat.  Add the salmon to the pan, skin side down, and cook, without turning for 3 to 4 minutes.  Transfer the frying pan to the oven and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the salmon is nearly cooked through.

Carefully remove the frying pan from the oven and serve.

Crispy Skinned Salmon with Tomato Caper Relish

Crispy Skinned Salmon with Tomato Caper Relish

Adapted from The Perfect Pantry

  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 salmon filets (4 to 6 ounces each), skin on
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the diced tomato, orange zest, capers, sugar, vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl.  Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper and set aside.

Dry the salmon and heat the vegetable oil in an oven safe frying pan over medium high heat.  Add the salmon, skin side down, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, without turning, before transferring the frying pan to the oven.  Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the salmon is almost cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.

Carefully remove the pan from oven and serve the salmon topped with the tomato caper relish.