Saturday, May 22, 2010

Chive Risotto Cakes

I am always looking for new side dishes to go along with dinner and to get away from the same ole boring thing night after night. I remembered this recipe from an episode of Barefoot Contessa and decided to give it a try. Once again Barefoot did not disappoint and they were delicious!! This recipe will probably make about 10-12 cakes so I cut it in half since it was just me and Brian . . . watch out though because these are incredibly rich and could prob be a meal in itself along with a light salad . . . ENJOY!!

Kosher salt
1 cup uncooked Aborio rice
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 extra large eggs
3 tbs minced fresh chives
1 1/2 cups grated Fontina cheese (5 oz) - you could also use Romano or Parmesan
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Olive oil

Bring a large (4 qt) pot of water to a boil and add 1/2 tbs salt and the Aborio rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. The grains will be quite soft. Drain the rice in a sieve and run under cold water until cool. Drain well.

Meanwhile, whisk the yogurt, eggs, chives, cheese, 1 1/4 tsp salt and the pepper in a medium bowl. Add the cooled rice and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight until firm.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Spread the panko in a shallow dish. Heat 3 tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Form balls of the rice mixture using a standard ice cream scooper or a large spoon. Pat the balls into patties about 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Place 4 to 6 patties in the panko turning once to coat. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes per side until the cakes are crisp and golden brown. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and keep warm in the over for up to 30 minutes. Continue cooking in batches adding oil as needed. Serve hot.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Peanut Butter-Filled Chocalate Cupcakes

So I had the urge to bake something last night and I gave these a try this morning mainly because I had all of the ingredients, plus how can you go wrong with peanut butter AND chocolate. Let me tell you they definitely did not disappoint . . . ENJOY!!

Batter Ingredients
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into small pieces
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Filling (stir all together until smooth, use immediately)
4 tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Put butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over (not in) a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Whisk granulated sugar into cooled chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until well incorporated.

Spoon 2 tbs of chocolate batter into each lined cup, followed by 1 tbs of peanut butter filling. Repeat with another tbs of batter and top with 1 tsp filling. Swirl top of cupcake batter and filling with a toothpick.

Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until cake tester inserted into centers comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 40 min. Transfer tin to wire cooling rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Makes 12 cupcakes