Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Chocolate Muffins

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
One 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips (or vanilla chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 6 giant-size muffin cups or 12 regular cups with non-stick cooking spray. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave on medium-high heat for 25 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream sugar and butter. Beat in eggs, then add sour cream and milk. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour flour mixture into butter mixture and stir together by hand. Stir in melted chocolate, then chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes for standard-sized muffins or 25 minutes for giant muffins, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Makes: 6 giant or 12 standard muffins.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Orange and Onion Marinade

From Derrick Riches,
Your Guide to Barbecues & Grilling.

This is a flavorful marinade which can be used on chicken, pork, and beef. Remember to let the marinade cool considerably before using it on raw meat.


* 1/3 cup orange marmalade
* 3 green onions, finely chopped
* 1/4 cup white wine
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Allow to simmer on low heat until marmalade has thinned and all ingredients are combined. Allow to cool completely before using as a marinade.

Orange Glazed Pork Chops

Orange Glazed Pork Chops
From Diana Rattray,

Pork chops are browned then cooked with orange juice and brown sugar, vinegar and marmalade.

* 4 pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* salt and pepper
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
* 1 tablespoon vinegar

In a large, heavy skillet, brown pork chops on both sides in hot oil. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Drain off excess fat. In a bowl, combine orange juice, brown sugar, marmalade and vinegar. Pour over the pork chops.

Cover and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, or until pork chops are tender and glazed. Remove pork chops to a warm platter. Spoon sauce over pork chops. Serve pork chops with rice or potatoes.
Pork chops recipe serves 4.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Braised Pheasant Thighs (Sherry and Almonds)

Serves 3 (2 thighs per person)
6 Pheasant Thighs
3 tablespoons ground Almonds
2 Garlic Clove, crushed
125ml dry Sherry
Olive Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Tomatoes, cut in eighths
3 sprigs Thyme
2 Bay leaves
250ml Chicken Stock
Sea salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

1] Gently toast the Almonds in a non stick pan until they turn golden.

2] Heat the Olive Oil and brown the Pheasant all over. Set the thighs aside to rest.

3] Heat a little more Oil in the pan and gently cook then until they soften.

4] Mix the crushed Garlic with a dash of Sherry in a small bowl and let sit.

5] When the Onions have softened, add the Tommatoes and herbs and simmer for a few minutes until they start to break down.

6] Add the Sherry to the pan and raise the heat to bring the Sherry to boiling point. Turn down the heat to simmer the liquid and reduce it to half its volume.

7] Warm the Stock in a pan or microwave.

8] Add the Pheasant, Stock and a little seasoning. Simmer gently for 40 - 50 minutes, covered.

9] Stir in the Almonds and Garlic/Sherry paste and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickend to your liking.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Creamy Prawn Curry

Creamy Prawn Curry
(Chingri Malai)

An authentic recipe from Bengal (eastern India). Fresh prawns cooked in coconut milk with spices.

Serves: 4

500g frozen Prawns
Turmeric powder
2 Onions, finely chopped
Ginger, a good chunk, grated (I have a micrograter that juices and mashes at once)
2 Red Chilli finely chopped or grated
2 Bay Leaves
1" Cinnamon Stick
4 Cloves
4 Green Cardamoms
1 can of Coconut milk
2 tablespoon(s) ghee(clarified butter) / butter
salt to taste

Rub the prawns with some salt and wash well. Apply some turmeric powder and keep aside for 5 minutes.
Heat half the ghee (clarified butter) in a heavy-bottomed pan and saute the prawns briefly. Strain the prawns from the pan and keep aside. Now, add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon and green cardamoms. Saute briefly. Add the onion paste and stir fry on medium heat for about minutes or till the paste is browned. Add the red chilli paste / powder and ginger paste. Fry briefly on low heat till the oil separates.
Add the prawns and coconut milk. Add salt as required. Mix gently. Simmer on low heat for about 2 minutes.
Mix in the remaining ghee (clarified butter) and cover tight for a little while.