I have two Ina Garten recipes to share today.
First is Curried Couscous which was chosen as the first June recipe for the Barefoot Bloggers by Ellyn of Recipe Collector and Tester. I wasn’t sure I’d like this recipe going in because I’m not 100% fond of curry all the time, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
This was an easy recipe to make and it only took a few minutes. I changed some ingredients to match what I had on hand and it turned out great, I think this is a very adaptable recipe. If you don’t like an ingredient, leave it out or replace it with something else you do like. I used heavy cream in place of plain yogurt and chives in place of scallions. I honestly thought of using Key Lime Pie yogurt when I realized I was out of plain, but the heavy cream was expiring first so I went with that. I’ve mentioned before that I avoid going to the store like it’s the plague, right?
The curry was not overwhelming at all. It was just the right balance of spices. There were a lot of different ingredients going into this but all of them stood out on their own. I loved the sweetness from the raisins, the flavors from the curry and onions, and the crunch from the carrots all against the backdrop of the couscous which is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to center a dish around. This dish is perfect as a side or would work as a meal.
I probably wouldn’t have ever made this own my own so thank you Ellyn for choosing it.
The Magnificent Ina Garten’s Curried Couscous
1 1/2 cups couscous
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup small-diced carrots
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup small-diced red onion
Click here for directions
And now for the second show…
Eva of I’m Boring (I can’t help it, I love the name of her blog…she’s definitely NOT boring though!) chose these Outrageous Brownies that I ending up missing back in May. I had never made Ina’s brownies before although I’ve heard lots about them. I’d say they are one of her most well known recipes as they are everywhere on the internet, have tons of ratings on foodnetwork.com and I’ve seen them compared against other brownie recipes a lot when people try out new ones. Now, these are not for the faint of heart. She doesn’t call them “outrageous” for nothing. They were super chocolately and I could only handle a small piece at a time or I was overloaded. I don’t like nuts in baked goods so I left out the walnuts, everything else I followed exactly except the baking pan. A few years ago, my good friend Lisa gave me a Longaberger Grandma Bonnie’s Pie Plate for my birthday filled with homemade brownies. I’ve baked brownies in it ever since – more than I’ve baked pies.
Well, I was a little late on the Outrageous Brownie train but I have finally arrived! It was a sweet ride.
Thanks to Eva for pushing me to test this recipe out. I see a lot of workouts with my Cindy Crawford tapes in the near future trying to work off all those delicious calories. Yes, I said Cindy Crawford workout tapes. Circa 1992 & ’93 and still going strong, baby!
The Fabulous Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies
1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups diced walnut pieces
Click here for directions
This Tuesday, Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures selected Cinnamon Squares. A layer of cinnamon espresso chocolate chips in the middle of a cinnamon cake that’s topped with a bittersweet chocolate frosting… Whoa, mama.
I halved the recipe and baked in a small round cake pan for about 25-30 minutes. I took the cake out even though the middle was still streaking the knife a little bit. Once it cooled, everything was all good and the cake was totally done without being overly done. I forgot that I had ran out of sugar while making last week’s Chipster-Topped Brownies so I made this all with Splenda instead of running to the store. I felt weird about it, I’ve never baked with anything but sugar but it worked out fine. This cake was pretty cinnamony, actually a bit much – but I’m not the biggest fan of cinnamon so what was strong for me may be ok for others. All in all, I did like it but I’m not too sure I’d make it again. The pluses about it: it smells great while baking, tastes good plain, is made even better by the chocolate icing, and is one of those outside of the norm recipes that is a refreshing change every now and then.
I’m exhausted today from working overtime so I’m keeping this short and sweet. Please head on over to Tracey’s blog Tracey’s Culinary Adventures to view the recipe or check out Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to yours on pages 210 and 211. See you next Tuesday for Parisian Apple Tartlet chosen Jessica of My Baking Heart!
I love old cookbooks. But I especially love old ones where members of some organization pooled recipes together for a fundraiser and created one of those paper cookbooks with full length plastic binders. I have a few of these that I’ve picked up from yard sales, old bookstores or stolen from my Mom. I find them really interesting to look through. I like everything from the kitchen tips to the weird outdated pictures to the recipes that call for “1 pound of lard” (mmm, tasty) to the no-nonsense instructions that can sometimes leave you scratching your head. It’s comforting to know that someone at one time thought their recipe for ____ was THE BEST and offered it up for a compilation knowing their name would be attached to it forever. It’s almost like a seal of approval that it will be edible because you know nobody would submit something that wasn’t good that would make their aquaintances go “Can you believe So and So’s “Best Ever” Something and Something?? Best Ever?? Yeah right, it was so bad I threw the whole thing in the trash”. No one wants that.
Anyway, these Cinnamon Twists came from “Jan”. I don’t know who or where she is now but she sure offered up a great recipe back in 1987. Thanks, Jan… I hope you guys reached your fundraising goal!
These are good on their own but adding decorating sugar and orange cream cheese frosting really takes them to the next level of super good.
Jan’s Cinnamon Twists
What You’ll Need for Day One:
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 cup milk, scalded (in other words, warm enough to melt butter in)
1 yeast cake or package dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup very warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
4 cup flour
What You’ll Need for Day Two:
Melted Butter (I would melt at least three to four tablespoons to start with and go from there)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs sugar
Day One: Melt margarine in milk and cool slightly. Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Beat eggs and add sugar, salt, yeast and milk. Stir in flour or use mixer until smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Day Two: Divide dough in half. Roll into rectangle (about 10×14 inches). Spread with some melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Fold dough in half, pressing edges together. Cut into strips 3/4 inch wide (using a pizza cutter makes it really easy). Place on greased cookie sheet, twisting as you do this. Let rise (covered) for three hours. Preheat oven to 325 and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and drizzle with icing.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
Enough milk to make the icing spreadable (do not make too thin)
Optional and Highly Recommended Additions:
Orange Cream Cheese Icing for dipping (any basic recipe with a little added orange extract will do)
What I DID/CHANGED/THOUGHT:
I didn’t change anything from the original dough recipe.
I doubled the cinnamon and sugar amounts.
I tried getting fancier on a few with the style of twisting and stuff, but honestly, it really didn’t work. There was something about doing too much with the dough that made them too dense. They also didn’t brown as much.
My house smelled awesome while these were baking.