Nonstick oil spray
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1- inch cubes
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
2 large eggs, chilled
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup walnut pieces, toasted (optional)
Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often- about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately add the sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla and salt. Stir to blend.
Let cool for 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot.)
Stir in the nuts and transfer batter to the prepared pan.
*How to toast nuts:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes. Halfway through toasting, give nuts a little toss for even cooking. Watch them like a hawk for the last few minutes of toasting so that they don’t burn. Nuts are done when they smell toasty and have a deeper more concentrated flavor. Cool completely before using in recipe.
Here’s a batch I made without nuts. Ridiculously fudgy and good! These were gobbled up faster than the first tray. (I had help in eating these- I swear!)
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup harissa paste or sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 heaping cups of fresh spinach (or 1 cup frozen)
1/2 cup chicken broth
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Dry chicken thighs with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
In a cast iron skillet or medium to large saute pan, heat pan over medium- high heat. When hot, add olive oil. Place chicken thighs skin side down and cook for 5 minutes until skin is nice and golden. Turn over and cook for 2 minutes. Remove thighs from pan and transfer to a plate.
With pan drippings still in pan, on medium heat, add onions and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes until softened. Stir in harissa and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add peas, spinach and chicken broth and simmer until spinach is wilted- about 3 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and place chicken thighs back in the pan skin side up. Turn thighs once or twice so that each piece is covered in the sauce.
Place pan in oven, uncovered, and cook for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through.
1 large eggplant
2 medium size onions, diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
1 carrot, shredded
4-5 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 six-ounce can tomato paste
1 pound ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
salt and pepper
2 28-ounce cans of tomatoes and their juices
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leave
2 thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup basil leaves, chopped (plus some whole leaves to garnish with)
1 pound pasta of your choice
Grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut off stem and ends of eggplants and then cut the eggplant lengthwise into approximately 1/2-inch thick slices. Then cut into 1/2-inch bites. Place in a large roasting pan single file.
Salt eggplant and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Roast for 20-30 minutes until soft all over and browned in some spots.
While eggplant is roasting, heat up a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onions, celery, carrot, and garlic until softened- about 8-10 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Increase heat to medium-high and add the ground turkey, stirring to mix and break up the meat, and cook until starting to brown and no longer pink. Season mixture with salt and pepper.
Add canned tomatoes and their liquid, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, thyme sprigs and balsamic vinegar. Break up tomatoes with spoon, bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes partially covering the saucepan with cover.
Gently stir in chopped basil and eggplant and simmer while cooking your pasta.
Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Toss sauce with pasta, divide into bowls and garnish with a couple of fresh basil leaves.
Serve pasta with parmesan cheese and fresh black pepper.
Tarter Sauce Ingredients:
3/4 cups mayonnaise
3 tablespoons pickle relish or finely chopped up pickles (sweet or dill both work great)
3 tablespoons drained capers
3 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Tarter Sauce Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cover and chill until ready to use.
Fish Stick Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 1/2 pounds firm-flesh whitefish like halibut or cod, about 3/4 inch thickness cut into 3 by 3/4 inch strips
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, divided (2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons)
Fish Stick Directions:
Whisk eggs in a medium bowl with a fork and set aside.
Spread out panko breadcrumbs on a plate.
Season fish with a small amount of salt and pepper.
Working in 2 batches, coat fish slices in egg followed by panko breadcrumbs.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half of the fish sticks and cook, turning often, until crust is a nice golden brown color on all sides and fish is opaque in the center- about 3-5 minutes total frying time.
Transfer fish sticks to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm while you repeat these steps to make the second batch. If needed, return the first batch to the pan when ready to serve to warm them up.
Serve fish sticks immediately with tarter sauce.
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The “Judy Bird” Technique
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