Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yin and Yang Salad with Peanut-Sesame Dressing Recipe

Stolen from who stole it from somewhere else so I don’t feel that bad…

Salad Part

2 bags shredded napa cabbage
3/4 bag shredded red cabbage
1/2 bag shredded carrots
5 - 8 radishes, shredded
4 or 5 green onions (white and green parts), julienned or chopped
1 cup Peanut-Sesame Dressing (recipe follows)
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes chilled ginger tofu (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

(I GUESS you could shred all that cabbage yourself, but the supermarket has perfectly good and fresh stuff already done for a decent price. Save yourself the trouble and buy it. You have to do a ton of other stuff for this salad, so this will be a gift.) Toss the cabbages and carrots in a large bowl. Pile shredded radish in the middle and sprinkle green onions around the edge of the radish pile.

Peanut-Sesame Dressing Part

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

If you’d like a spicier dressing, just add more crushed red pepper flakes. This thickens up once it’s refrigerated, so you can either add a little water to thin it or leave it thick to use as a sauce on grains and other cooked dishes. You might want to I.V. it straight to your capillaries or something because this dressing is pure, taste bud insanity. You should bathe your newborn baby in it ‘cause this shit is delicious.

To make just blend the peanut butter, vinegar, maple syrup, water, tamari, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the cilantro and blend just until it’s finely chopped. The dressing will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated but really- it won’t last that long.

Gingered Tofu Part

2 (12-ounce) containers water-packed extra-flrm tofu
2/3 cup tamari
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
I tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
I tablespoon canola oil

Drain the tofu and cut into 1-inch wide strips, and pat dry with paper towels. Cover a large baking sheet with more dry paper towels. Place the tofu in a single layer over the towels on the baking sheet and let drain for 2 hours, changing the paper towels after 1 hour.

Whisk the tamari, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a bowl to blend. Put tofu in a shallow container and cover with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day. I suggest as long as possible because the tofu drinks this marinade and makes this salad incredible. Halfway through your marinade time turn the strips over so both sides get a chance to take a bath. A wonderful, finger-licking bath.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Oil a heavy, rimmed baking sheet with the canola oil. Drain the tofu and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown and heated through. Serve warm or cold, or at room temperature. The tofu will keep for 1 day, covered and refrigerated.

After All That Work Is Done:

Bring salad, tofu, sesame seeds and dressing to table and have people dig the heck in. Pile on the tofu, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, dress and serve. Fuck yeah. Really – this salad might change your religion.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ridiculously Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake with Ganache and Berry Coulis (plus bonus truffles!)

Flourless Chocolate Cake stuff:

8 ounces squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
cocoa powder for dusting
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease an 8 inch round Springform pan and cover bottom with parchment. Dust sides with cocoa powder.

In the top of a double boiler over lightly simmering water, melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat.

Combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly fold in chocolate a little at a time, so as not to scramble the eggs.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. This sounds easy but it’s absolutely not. The cake will be fudgy and wet and difficult to remove. Really let it cool before you do anything. Then do whatever you do - SLOWLY. The sides of the Springform come off easily, but separating the bottom from the cake is difficult, even with the parchment. I slid a knife between the parchment and the pan and that seemed to work ok.

Ganache stuff-

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional)

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur.


“Ice” the cake with the ganache, pour some in the middle and ice the top and sides with an offset spatula. or a spoon. or your hands.

Fresh Berry Coulis Stuff:



Push berries through a sieve into a bowl. Add sugar to taste. Put in squeeze bottle then when you are ready, squeeze the coulis onto the cake in a pretty way. :) So it looks all professional and shit.

any extra ganache should be refrigerated. after you have woken up from the sugar coma of the cake, get the ganache out of the fridge and scoop it into balls. roll balls in cocoa. TRUFFLES! you can fridge or even freeze these because you might not need them with all that cake around.