Thursday, February 17, 2011

French Cheese Puffs

These were so easy and very good party pleasers! Make sure to eat them fresh out of the oven, or just re-heat leftovers!

From Food pics

2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 c flour
2 eggs
1 cup grated Swiss/Gruyere cheese
poppy seeds

1. Preheat oven to 425 and spray 2 cookie sheets with some oil.

2. Bring 1 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan. Add the butter, pepper and salt, and bring to a boil. When the butter is melted, remove from heat and add the flour. Stir constantly - you'll end up with a thick paste. Return to low heat and stir for another minute or two (this is where I taste it to make sure its salty enough).

3. Remove from heat and beat in 1 egg at a time until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Add the grated cheese and mix well.

4. Drop by the spoonful on the cookie sheet. Top with poppy seeds. Bake 25-30 minutes, until they are brown and slightly crispy.

Try stirring in some finely chopped broccoli and using cheddar cheese for a variation. I've been wanting to try some sweet ones with ricotta and sugar, or brie and apricot.

Thai red curry

I freaking love thai curry. 'Nuf said. Its hard to find a good one in Tallhassee, though Mr. Roboto's is fabulous. I've been working on my own version of the perfect curry, and I'm pretty satisfied with this result. As i work on making it better, I'll update changes. I really wanted to make my own curry paste, but unfortunately, the ingredients cannot be found in Tally.

From Food pics
(and yes, the wine is necessary)

A few notes about ingredients. Your curry will totally depend on the curry paste you buy. Pictured above is the brand I like, and I get the massaman and the red curry. This particular brand of coconut milk I was NOT happy with. It was really watery. If your coconut milk is watery, omit the vegetable broth that I've included below.

(these measurements are not at all exact - you'll have to do frequent tastings to get it to the way you like it. If you want it hotter, add some crushed red chillies).
1/2 a can red curry paste
1/2 a can massaman curry paste
1 can coconut milk (careful, make sure its good quality. If you buy lite milk, it might be watery and you might want a little more).
i tbsp brown sugar
about 1/4 soy sauce
about 1/4 cup vegetable broth (not necessary with lite or watery coconut milk)
1-2 tbsp minced ginger
1-2 tbsp lemongrass (this and the ginger are available as a paste in the produce section of the grocery store - they are so much easier!)
1/4 cup basil (Thai basil if you can find it)
1/2 white onion, sliced
a variety of sliced veggies. I used zucchini, squash, broccoli and bamboo shoots.
1 block firm or extra firm tofu, drained

1. Prepare your tofu. If I'm lazy I'll just cut it up after it drains and add it to the curry raw at the end. You could also deep fry it or saute it in a pan until it browns. Set aside until the dish is finished.

2. Prepare the curry sauce. Take a little of each curry paste and dissolve it in about 1/2 a can coconut milk, the veg broth, and a few squirts of soy sauce. Add the sugar and mix well. Taste it and see what it needs. It probably needs more curry paste.

3. Chop up the basil and add about half of it to the curry. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and taste it. Add more if needed, but reserve some for a garnish. Add the onion and simmer for another 5 minutes.

4. Add all the vegetables and simmer for a few minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the tofu.

5. Serve over basmati rice.

From Food pics