Thoughts For Food

Insights into the Mind of a Culinary School Student


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Recipe: Chocolate Nutella Brownies


This is one of my favorite brownie recipes of all time. It’s incredibly simple and absolutely delicious. The end result are brownies that moist, chewy and absolutely addictive!

Chocolate Nutella Brownies – Makes 9 (fairly big) BrowniesNutella-Brownies

  • 1 ¼ C Cocoa Powder
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • ½ C All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ Tsp. Salt
  • 8 oz. Melted Butter
  • 2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 4 – 5 Tablespoons of Nutella
  1. Preheat oven to 300-degrees
  2. Spray sides and bottom of an 8” Square Pan
  3. Sift together Cocoa Powder, Flour, both Sugars and the Salt. Set aside
  4. Whisk together Eggs, Butter and Vanilla, then mix in dry ingredients. Mix only until just combined
  5. Pour into pan
  6. Swirl Nutella into the Brownie mix
  7. Bake at 300-degrees for 45 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean
  8. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing from pan and cutting to serve


Cinnamon Pecan Coffeecake Muffins


404643_710425609406_699123801_nThis is my all-time favorite muffin recipe. I actually learned this recipe while I was on Externship and it quickly became my favorite item to make. They smell wonderful while they’re baking and they taste just as good. Whether for a party or just for the family, these muffins are most definitely a crowd-pleaser.

Cinnamon Pecan Coffeecake Muffins – Makes 24

Dry Team

  • 400g Flour
  • 290g Sugar
  • 9g Baking Powder
  • ½ Tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 160g Butter

Wet Team226177_630386438546_276449_n

  • 360g Sour Cream
  • 100g Eggs
  • 60g Egg Yolks
  • 15g Vanilla Extract
  • 30g Canola Oil

Topping

  • 120g Toasted Pecans
  • 100g Dark brown Sugar
  • 6g Cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 400-degrees
  2. Combine the ingredients for the topping in the Food Processor and pulse until the Pecans are chopped small. Set aside.
  3. Cut the butter into small cubes and combine them with the rest of the Dry Team in the Food Processor until the texture is similar to wet sand. Set aside.
  4. Combine all the Wet Team ingredients in a large bowl, then mix in the Dry Team ingredients until only just combined. Try not to overmix.
  5. Fold in 2/3 of the Topping mixture. Leave the rest to top the muffins.
  6. Spray the muffin cups with a little bit of no-stick spray and then fill them about 2/3 of the way. Don’t over fill them or else they’ll flow everywhere in the oven.
  7. Bake for 400-degrees for 10 minutes, then drop the temperature to 350-degrees and bake for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes before serving


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Smoothies: Why You Should Drink More


We all know that smoothies are delicious and good for you, but why pay a lot for them when you can make your own? Not only is it fun, but you get a lot of added health benefits as well.

One obvious benefit to smoothies is Fiber, which is essential in cleaning out your insides and keeping you about as regular as Old Faithful. Drinking fruit smoothies can help you reach the recommended daily intake of fiber, which is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. One serving of fruit typically contains two to four grams of fiber with blackberries, pears and apples having the highest concentration of five to seven grams per serving. The soluble fiber found in fruit helps slow digestion and may help control blood sugar and lower cholesterol.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals are another reason that smoothies are good. Vitamin C helps your immune system and synthesizes collagen that aids in the framework of your body. Potassium supports your heart function and helps maintain a normal blood pressure, while folate promotes healthy cells. In addition, particular antioxidants in fruit decrease inflammation, while phytonutrients help fight off disease. Beta Carotene and Magnesium round out the laundry list of healthy essentials that are found in perfect smoothie fodder.

Fruits that are perfect for the smoothie treatment are:

  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Tangerines
  • Grapefruit
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Grapes
  • Mangoes
  • Kiwi
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Cherries
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honey Dew

Besides the fruit, however, it’s also important to have a base on which to build the smoothie. This can include anything; milk, juice, water, and even yogurt. Personally, I use Orange Juice, Greek Yogurt (Chobani) and a little ice just to chill the drink down. This is especially refreshing in the Summer, and if made right, one smoothie could last you all morning. The sky’s the limit. So get wild, go make your own and let me know what you think!


“Souffle” Pancakes Recipe


ImageI’m going to be very honest, I was inspired to make this after I saw them on an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” I didn’t pay attention to the recipe, so I couldn’t recreate it 100%, so what I did was fold in some whipped egg whites into a boxed pancake mix recipe. Turned out fantastic. Now, I’ve experimented and come up with a brilliant, scratch-made recipe with a couple of twists to make it stand out.

The “Souffle” part of this recipe stems from the Meringue that is folded into the pancake batter in order to lighten it and make it puff higher while cooking. It gives the pancakes a lighter texture, without sacrificing the opportunity to add in flavor. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

“Souffle” Pancakes (Makes 6 Pancakes)

Pancake Batter

  • 1 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon of Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup of Whole Milk
  • 3 Egg Yolks

Meringue

  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 2 Teaspoons of Sugar
  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, milk and egg yolks until thoroughly emulsified.
  2. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and sugar together until you have stiff peaks, which means if you stick the whisk into the meringue and pull out a clump of it, the “peaks” that form should stay straight, even when you shake the whisk.
  3. Using a spatula, fold the meringue into the pancake batter until incorporated; just until you don’t see any white spots.
  4. Fry with a little butter in a pan or on a griddle until the bottom has become a toasty brown. Then, flip. Serve while still warm.

 

For a fresh take, just before you flip, you can add fresh fruits like Strawberries, Blueberries, Bananas or the like.


Recipe: Basil Pesto


Made this myself for dinner last night!

Hello everyone! I’m back with another recipe. This time, it’s one I thought of on my own and it’s really simple to make, despite the cost of some of the ingredients. I visited Rome, Italy a few years ago and that was my first experience with Pesto. It was so delicious and fresh that I wanted to make it at home. Well it took me a while but I finally did manage to make my very own batch and believe me when I say that it is DELICIOUS and extremely simple to make.

Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

  • One pack of Fresh Basil (available at many mega-marts)
  • One pack of Pine Nuts (also available at many mega-marts)
  • 1.5 Cups of Olive Oil
  • Heavy Pinch of Grated Romano Cheese
  • 4 – 5 Cloves of Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Small pinch of Oregano or Rosemary

Hardware:

  • Blender
  • Half Sheet Pan
  • Spatula
  1. Spread out the Pine Nuts on the sheet pan and toast at 400-degrees until lightly browned. Keep a watchful eye on these guys. They burn easy.
  2. Add all other ingredients into the blender and then add the Pine Nuts when they’re done.
  3. Blend the whole thing until smooth.
  4. Pour over your favorite pasta dish or meat dish and serve!

How simple was that? This dish literally takes no time at all to make and it’s a ready-to-eat sauce that requires almost no cooking! And as I briefly mentioned, pasta isn’t the only thing Pesto can be paired with. It goes really well with meats as well! Enjoy!


Recipe: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


Taken from Google Image Search

Hey everyone! Sorry for the slight delay in posts. Class has got my full attention for a while, but I’m back! First of all, I really need to thank everyone who helped my blog hit over 2000 views all time. It really means a lot to me and I’ll continue to churn out posts for your reading pleasure. Here’s to another 2000! Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve got a new recipe for you, straight from my class recipe guide. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but trust me, done right, they are absolutely fantastic, especially if the raisins got a little flavor augmentation. But I’ll get into that later. So, enjoy!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 12 Ounces of Room Temperature Butter
  • 14 Ounces of Brown Sugar (Light or Dark, it doesn’t matter)
  • 5 Ounces of Granulated Sugar
  • 5 Whole Eggs
  • 1/8 Ounce of Baking Soda
  • 1/8 Ounce of Salt
  • 14 Ounces of Rolled Oats
  • 9 Ounces of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Ounce of Cinnamon
  • 6 Ounces of Raisins (soaked in Rum, if you’re feeling adventurous)

Hardware:

  • #100 Scoop/Disher
  • KitchenAid Stand Mixer
  • Electronic Scale
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Whisk
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Small Bowl
  • Mesh Strainer or other sifting device
  • Sheet Pan(s)
  • Parchment Paper
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the butter into small cubes and put them inside the mixing bowl of the KitchenAid.
  3. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the butter and cream, using the paddle attachment, until the mixture is smooth and lighter in color. Now, when I say “cream,” it means to beat on about medium-high speed. What this does is aerates the butter by punching small holes in it using the sugar crystals. This will aid in leavening later on.
  4. Beat the eggs in the smaller bowl and then add the Vanilla extract. This will make adding them to the mixture easier.
  5. Sift the baking soda, salt, flour and cinnamon together and set that mixture aside for now.
  6. When the butter and sugar have reached the proper consistency, drop the speed to low and SLOWLY add the egg/vanilla mixture until a homogeneous mass forms. You may need to scrape down the sides and bottom of your mixing bowl to ensure a fully homogenized mixture.
  7. When the eggs and vanilla re fully incorporated, dump in all sifted ingredients at once, followed by the oats and then the raisins. Again, you can soak the raisins in a bit of rum for more flavor and a bit of a kick.
  8. Mix until everything comes together.
  9. Using your #100 scoop/disher, portion out the dough onto one or two sheetpans lined with parchment paper. I usually line them up in a 6 x 5 pattern.
  10. Bake at 350-degrees for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the outside is crisp, while the middle part is still moist and chewy.

Best part about Oatmeal Raisin Cookies? Not only are they good, they’re good for you! Well, maybe without the rum-soaked raisins. Then they’re just plain good! Enjoy!