Colcannon

Recipe by Lifehack, Photo by Priscillakittycat

Recipe by Lifehack, Photo by Priscillakittycat

What to do with a package of frozen spinach?

Peel 2 or 3 large russet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Add them to a saucepan, cover with water, add a bit of salt, and simmer over medium heat until they’re fork-tender. While they’re simmering, drain a package of frozen spinach (about 2 cups’ worth), chop it very finely, and sautée it in 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat for a minute or two. Add 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of milk, and keep simmering until the milk bubbles. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Drain the cooked potatoes, pour them into a large bowl, and mash them thoroughly. Add the spinach mixture and combine thoroughly. Feel free to add a bit more milk and/or butter if you feel that they’re needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and eat while it’s warm. Leftovers can be made into patties and fried for breakfast the next morning.

*Note: For a vegan version, use Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine) and soy milk instead of the dairy.

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Bittersweet Chocolate-Truffle Tart with Candied Oranges

Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine, Photos by Priscilla Ferreira

Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine, Photo by Priscillakittycat

In Brasil we enjoy eating candied fruits.  When we have candied oranges we call it Doce de Laranja and just the skin is used.  The orange is peeled and the curls of peel are candied.  For this truffle I used high quality chocolate (Ghirardelli).  For the candied oranges your best bet is Valencia oranges.  “Magnifique” is all there is to say about the pairing of chocolate with the candied oranges.  I kept some oranges in their syrup to eat alone as a dessert.

There’s a good article about Brazilian Chef, Alex Atala, in the same issue (December 2013) where I found this recipe.  He’s owns some restaurants in Sao Paulo and is referred to in the article as:  “The Most Interesting Chef in the World”.  I like this!

Harvest Cake with Grapes and Sangiovese Syrup

Harvest Cake with Grapes and Sangiovese Syrup, Recipe by Food & Wine, Photo by Priscillakittycat

Harvest Cake with Grapes and Sangiovese Syrup, Recipe by Food & Wine, Photo by Priscillakittycat

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups seedless red grapes
1 quart unsweetened grape juice
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the salt and baking powder. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the granulated sugar until pale yellow. Whisk in the milk, olive oil, melted butter, lemon zest, orange zest and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture, followed by 1 1/2 cups of the grapes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for 15 minutes. Dot the top of the cake with the remaining 1/2 cup of grapes and bake for about 40 minutes longer, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack, carefully remove the ring and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, boil the grape juice over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 25 minutes. Let the grape syrup cool to room temperature.
Remove the cake from the base and transfer to a serving platter. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Cut the cake into wedges and serve, passing the grape syrup at the table.

The grape syrup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve the syrup chilled or at room temperature.

Recipe by Food & Wine, Photo by Priscillakittycat

Recipe by Food & Wine, Photo by Priscillakittycat

Red Tuna Linguini

Recipe by Francesca Romano, Photo by Priscillkittycat

Recipe by Francesca Romano, Photo by Priscillkittycat

Way back when I was in college…our family hosted a tennis player from Italy who was in Miami to play for the Lipton Tennis Tournament.  The name of the tournament has changed many times since then.  Today you know it as the Sony Open.  Anyway, Francesca and her coach, Marco, taught us how to make tuna linguine with red sauce.

In the photo it doesn’t look like linguine…because it isn’t.  We didn’t have linguine on hand so I substituted spaghetti.  The ingredients are:  One or two cans of Tuna, Tomato Sauce, Olive Oil and Milk.  Heat and simmer the first three ingredients in a saucepan for about 15 minutes.  Season with salt.  (I added a few chopped anchovy filets to give the dish a more fishy taste…and also added canned tomatoes instead of tomato sauce…because we didn’t have that in the pantry either.)  Add the milk and cook for just a few more minutes.  Toss with linguine and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Coconut Chiffon Bundt Cake

Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine, Photo by Priscillakittycat.

Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine, Photo by Priscillakittycat

I’ve been testing recipes for the holidays and have to ask, “Will Food & Wine Magazine ever publish a recipe that doesn’t turn out good?” Although the recipe is in the December 2013 issue, under the heading “Holiday Buffet Makeover”, it could just as well be a cake you serve at tea time, throughout the year.  I plan to host a brunch for family and friends on the Saturday that follows Thanksgiving, and this light and lovely cake will be on the menu.

CAKE

1 3/4 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
7 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

FROSTING

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Toasted shredded coconut, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 10-inch Bundt pan and dust with flour. In a large bowl, sift the 1 3/4 cups of cake flour with the baking powder, salt and 3/4 cup of the sugar. Stir in the shredded coconut. In another large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the coconut milk, oil and vanilla.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. With the mixer on, gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and beat until the whites are glossy and soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Mix in the coconut milk mixture until incorporated. Stir one-fourth of the beaten egg whites into the batter, then carefully fold in the remaining beaten whites until no streaks remain. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, until golden and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 1 hour. Run a paring knife around the side of the cake to loosen it, then invert the cake onto a plate.

FROSTING In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the coconut milk until smooth. Spoon the frosting over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the side. Garnish with toasted shredded coconut.

The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Mini Banana Beignets

Recipe by Food Network, Photos by Priscillakittycat

Recipe by Food Network, Photos by Priscillakittycat

beignets 2

Mom received a Fry Daddy for her birthday.  Just what we always wanted.  Notice the gift was for mom but it’s what “we” always wanted.  On the day we sat to admire the Fry Daddy, I was in need of a way to make use of over-ripe bananas.  Best when still warm, accompanied by a cup of tea.  So French…and British.

 

Fruit Salad

Recipe and Photo by Priscillakittycat

Recipe and Photo by Priscillakittycat

When you want something that’s healthy, sweet and fresh, remember fruit salad.  It’s very simple: Four oranges, half of a large papaya, one apple and two bananas.  Peel the fruits (except the apples) and chop into whatever-sized pieces you like.  Place the chopped fruits in a bowl.  Cut another 3 oranges in half and squeeze their juice into the bowl.  Chill.  For added sugar you can add 1/2 cup Groselha, a syrup sold in Brazilian specialty stores.

Eggplant, Pear and Pecorino Salad

Ingredients:
1/3 cup walnuts
One 1 1/4-pound eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Bosc pears—peeled, cored and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon Cognac or other brandy
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon honey
Thin shavings of Pecorino

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a pie plate, toast the walnuts for about 5
minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil
and season with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant over moderately high heat
until lightly browned and tender, about 2 minutes per side.
3. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the pear slices and cook over
moderate heat, tossing, until just starting to soften, 3 minutes. Add the
Cognac and toss the pears to coat thoroughly; remove from the heat.
4. In a small bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons of oil with the garlic, vinegar, 1
tablespoon of the parsley and 1/2 tablespoon of the chives. Season the
vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
5. Arrange the eggplant slices on a platter and drizzle with the vinaigrette.
Arrange the pear slices over the eggplant and drizzle with the honey. Scatter
the walnuts, cheese and the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley and 1/2
tablespoon of chives over the top. Serve.

Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine, Photo by Priscillakittycat

Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine, Photo by Priscillakittycat