Monday, September 21, 2009

Chinese spicy noodles

A little bit hot, this is adapted from Pasta and Co.'s best-selling Chinese Vermicelli. You can find hot chili oil and sesame oil in the Asian section of the grocery store.

-1/4 cup sesame oil
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-2 T. sugar
-2 T. hot chili oil
-2 T. balsamic vinegar
-1 and 1/8 lb. whole wheat spaghetti noodles
-1 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
-1 cup green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Whisk the first five ingredients together in a large bowl.
Cook the noodles until barely tender (undercook by a couple of minutes), drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Toss with the dressing, using your hands to completely coat the noodles in the dressing. Stir in almonds and green onions. Serve at room temperature.

To make a complete meal:
Serve with a stir-fry of julienned carrots, slivered sweet onion, pea pods, minced ginger and 2 cloves garlic, minced.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lemon, Almond, and Olive Oil Sponge Cake

This cake is delicious served with raspberry sauce or fresh berries.

Be sure and beat the eggs as long or longer than called for, as this is what causes the cake to rise (no baking powder).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a 9" springform pan.

Assemble all the ingredients ahead to add while beating the eggs:

5 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
grated zest of one lemon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon jice
1 cup all purpose flour
confectioner's sugar for garnish

In a deep bowl, beat the eggs at high speed until pale and thick, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture triples in size and is pale, thick and foamy, at least two more minutes. Continue beating, and add the olive oil, almond and vanilla extracts, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold in gently with a wide spatula.

Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 50 - 60 minutes until the cake is golden, springy and shrinks away from the sides of the pan. Let cool on rack, and in 10 minutes run a knife around the sides, then remove the sides of the springform pan. Sift confectioners sugar over the top and serve cut into thin wedges.

Raspberry Sauce:
4 cups fresh raspberries
1 T. confenctioner's sugar
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a blender, combine the berries, sugar and lemon juice and blend. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl to remove the seeds. Transfer to a container and seal tightly. The sauce can be refrigerated for 2-3 days or frozen for six months.