Cooking for two is boring -- I want to cook for the entire blogosphere!

Friday, January 26

Wild Rice Cakes with Creamed Spinach

You can find the recipes for this here and here, so I won't bother posting them, but doesn't this look divine? What a perfect little appetizer for a dinner party or a small main meal for two.

By the way, you can save a few calories and substitute milk for cream in the spinach. It makes a basic white sauce instead. If you go this route I would use cornstarch instead of flour to help it thicken better. The sauce won't have the apprearance or rich taste of a cream sauce, but at least a low-fat sauce gives you an excuse to throw some parmesan cheese on top. Also, it's not necessary to steam the spinach prior to putting it in the sauce, unless you like well-cooked spinach. Otherwise, the heat from the sauce will wilt it, if you stir everything together for about a minute over the heat.

Also, I should add that I tried two new things this week that I'd never made before: eggplant parmesan and hummus. I decided to bake the little breaded eggplant disks for the eggplant parm, instead of frying them, with decent results. So, it can be done if you want to avoid frying. Just add a lot of sauce when you're finally baking everything together. The hummus, on the other hand, was quick as a snap and very delicious. Super easy with a little mini prep food processor and miles cheaper than buying prepared hummus from the grocery store. I'd recommend giving it a shot sometime!

Sunday, January 14

Hot Fudge Sauce

I had a craving for something sweet this weekend, and thought, "Why not hot fudge sundaes?!" For Christmas I gave my better half Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, and inside was an easy and, it turned out, excellent recipe for hot fudge. The quality of the final product depends greatly, of course, on the type of chocolate used; we had good-quality semi-sweet chocolate that worked really nicely. This recipe isn't as achingly sweet as many commercial chocolate sauces, which I find nice, but you could always pick a sweeter chocolate to make the sauce more child or sweet-tooth friendly.

Hot Fudge

4 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

4 tbsp butter

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla

Combine first 5 ingredients in a saucepan over very low heat. Cook, stirring, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Add the corn syrup. Bring the mixture just to a boil and turn quickly back down, careful not to burn the chocolate. Cook, stirring more or less constantly, for 5-10 minutes, until the mixtures is shiny and begins to thicken. Add the vanilla. Avoid the temptation to eat this right away; it's better if it sits for 10-15 minutes before you dig in. Not only does this allow the sauce to thicken, but also your ice cream won't melt that way!