favorite recipes of the week

almost every week I try a new recipe. I just LOVE new discoveries in the kitchen and thought perhaps some of you might share my delight!

Yesterday I tried two new ones and they were both winners…hope you like them!

Recipe One

I wanted to make chicken cacciatore for dinner. So I went to my trusty Epicurious app on my iPod Touch to find a recipe. The one below was fantastic! My only tweaks to the recipe were these: I used boneless, skinless breasts because thats what I had on hand. Skipped the fennel seed (ew – can’t stand it!), and the dried crushed red pepper because I didn’t have any. It was SOOOO yummy.

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore – Bon Appetit – June 1999

  • 4 chicken breast halves with skin and bones
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound egg noodles, freshly cooked

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, and sauté until brown, about 5 minutes. Turn chicken over; sauté 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate. Add bell pepper and next 4 ingredients to skillet; stir 2 minutes. Mix in tomatoes with juices, tomato paste, wine and vinegar. Return chicken to skillet; spoon some sauce over. Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Arrange spaghetti on large platter; top with chicken and sauce.

Recipe Two

Before bed, I threw together this amazing coffee cake to put in the oven in the morning. So far, I have been totally impressed with every recipe I have made from Smitten Kitchen and this one did not disappoint either. In fact, its freakin’ fabulous. It may edge my grandma’s sour cream coffeecake recipe out of its top favorite slot. My tweaks: left out the rhubarb and sprinkled a few mixed berries on part of it because Kyle’s not a big fan of fruit in his coffeecake (but I am!). I also assembled it last night and baked it this morning. It worked just great to do it that way. It’s particularly delicious with a cup of Starbucks Tribute blend to accompany your large piece.

Big Crumb’ Coffeecake with Rhubarb
Adapted from The New York Times 6/6/07

Not rhubarb season? Don’t fret. I think this cake would be amazing with a blueberry, raspberry, sour cherry or any other tangy fruit filling you can think of. Simply adjust the sugar level accordingly–most of these will need far less than rhubarb does to make them palatable.

Butter for greasing pan

For the rhubarb filling:
1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the crumbs:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour (I was out and used all-purpose and it worked great)

For the cake:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour (ditto on the all-purpose flour–worked just fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into 8 pieces.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. For filling, slice rhubarb 1/2 inch thick and toss with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.

2. To make crumbs [this step now updated, see comment #150] in a large bowl, whisk sugars, spices and salt into melted butter until smooth. Then, add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look and feel like a solid dough. Leave it pressed together in the bottom of the bowl and set aside.

3. To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set aside.

4. Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even.

5. Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from rhubarb), 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

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