Thursday, June 21, 2012

Skordalia with toasted pita bread
3 pita breads, each cut into 8 wedges
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Mediterranean spices
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes
1/4C extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp.  Za’atar (for sprinkling)
olive oil for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Spread the pita wedges on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spices.  Bake 3 – 4 minutes on each side or until crisp.  Set aside.

Place potatoes in a large pan, add cold water to cover by one inch.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender.  Drain and press through a ricer along with the garlic into a large bowl.  Add olive oil, lemon juice and Italian parsley to hot potatoes and stir with a fork until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.   Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Za’atar.  Serve warm with pita wedges.
MAKES:  8 servings

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chocolate Fudge Cake
1C all purpose flour
6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and warm
1-1/4C packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2C hot water

Chocolate icing/sauce
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1C cream
1/2C cream beaten with sugar and vanilla to taste (optional)

For the cake:  Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 9x2-inch round cake pan with parchment and butter.  Pulse the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a food processor.  In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar, add the eggs and vanilla and stir until well blended.  Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and pulse to combine.  Pulse in the hot water.  Turn the batter into the cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean – about 30 minutes.  Let cool on a rack for ten minutes.  Run a thin knife around the edge and invert cake, peel off parchment and invert onto the rack.  Place the rack over a baking sheet and let cool completely.

For the icing:  Bring the cream to a boil, add the chocolate and whisk gently until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.   Pour the warm icing over the cake and spread it over the top of the cake and down the sides.  Let set for about an hour before serving.  Serve with any remaining icing and optional whipped cream.
MAKES:  8 – 10 servings