Tag Archives: sesame seeds

Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

So there is an explanation why Sam and I have been doing a little less cooking…we’ve been busy packing!

Our exciting news is that we’ve sold our condo, and we’ve bought a new home!  We’re still staying put in Washington, DC- but we’re moving to a new neighborhood.  The best part is- our kitchen is getting bigger & brighter!  We’re both very excited for improved photos, how far we’ve come since the start of the blog!

We’ve been packing and trying to clean out our cupboards the last couple of weeks, so we have less to move.  One of the things I had made were these “clean-out the cupboards” chocolate chunk cookies.  They’re a little different- a bit of a nutty flavor from the sesame seeds, and a little extra salt from the soy sauce (yes, you read that correctly).  But they were delicious and soft, not just straight from the oven, but also the next day for an afternoon snack with some tea.

What do you like to eat when you’re packing up and moving?  Any ideas of what should be our first home-cooked meal in the new house?

Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from: Joy the Baker

1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp soy sauce
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 3 oz dark chocolate bars, broken into small chunks
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Set up the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and beat together the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Then add the egg and egg yolk, and beat until fluffy for about a minute.  Next, beat in the vanilla and soy sauce.  Then, add in all of the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt.  Beat all of the ingredients until they are mixed well, about 3 minutes.  Lastly, add the chocolate and sesame seeds, and fold together with a spatula.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Once you’re read to bake them, preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray.  Then scoop out a tablespoon of the dough, roll it into a ball and place it onto the cookie sheet.  Continue to do this until you run out of room on the cookie sheet, or the dough.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges.  Remove them from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack.  Enjoy!

Advertisements

Food Matters Project #26: Veggie Stir Fry

Another exciting recipe for the Food Matters Project!

This weeks host is Big Girls Small Kitchen College.  It’s a blog written by college students across the country on how to cook, eat, drink and live on and off campus.  There are a number of contributors that provide recipes and college stories.  Today’s contributor, Jen, chose the Crispy Rice Cakes with Stir-Fried Vegetables and Chicken; check out her version of the recipe here.  For all Food Matters Project contributors recipes, look under the comments section on this page.

I really enjoy making Asian food, especially since the home version is always healthier than the takeout!  Although I glanced over Mark Bittman’s recipe in the Food Matters Cookbook, I decided to do my own version of this dish.  First, we didn’t have chicken, so we enjoyed a vegetarian dish (you can also add tofu, chicken, beef or shrimp).  Secondly, although the rice cakes sounded great- I just wanted some regular stir-fry.  Sounds like everyone had some fun making the rice cakes, so check out Mark’s original recipe on page 324.  I was going to add water chestnuts, which I forgot about- so definitely add that into yours.

Veggie Stir Fry
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original
Servings: 4

1 cup uncooked rice
2 tbsp stir fry oil
1 large onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 cup snow peas, halved or quartered
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Cook rice per package instruction.  The cooked rice should yield about 2 cups.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp stir fry oil in a skillet.  Once it’s hot, add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes.  Next, add the garlic and carrots- cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Then, add in the ginger and broccoli, cook for 2 minutes.  Finally, add in the snow peas, jalapeño, fish sauce, soy sauce, 1 tbsp stir fry oil, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Cook all of these ingredients, while stirring, for about 5 minutes.  If you don’t want your broccoli or snow peas to be crunchy, cook for another 5 minutes.

Place the rice on the plate, add the stir fry veggies.  Then sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.  Serve with some chopsticks!

Food Matters Project #25: Greek Panzanella

I was a little excited about this weeks Food Matters Project.  The chosen recipe was great to put my own spin on it, and a way to enjoy fresh vegetables from the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market!

This weeks host is Megan, from Art by Megan.  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, she chose Greek Nacho’s with Feta Drizzle.  Check out her post, or other participants interpretations.  Find the original recipe on page 75 in the Food Matters Cookbook.

I’ve been craving a panzanella salad, which tends to be a summer salad that incorporates bread and tomatoes.  So why not make a greek version of a panzanella?  Last year I had saved a recipe (more of a guide) on how to put one together from Aggie’s Kitchen and have been wanting to make it since.  This was a fairly large salad (bigger dinner and leftovers), so I hope you all have large serving bowls!

Greek Panzanella
Adapted from: Aggie’s Kitchen

3 pitas, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cucumbers, chopped
1 bell pepper (we had green), chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives, halved
6 oz feta, crumbled or cubed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large bowl, gently toss the pita bread cubes, garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil and sesame seeds.  Add this mixture to a hot non-stick skillet and toast for about 10 minutes.  The bread should be lightly brown, but not burnt.

Once the bread pieces are cooked, add them to a large salad bowl.  Then, add in tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, kalamata olives, feta, salt, pepper and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Gently toss all of the ingredients to combine.

Food Matters Project #5: Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms

Yes, it’s another post for the Food Matters Project.  This weeks recipe was chosen by Dominica of Wine Food Love.  She chose Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce, it can be found on page 479 in The Food Matters Cookbook.

As with almost every recipe which can be found in this book, Mark Bittman gives some ideas on different variations for this recipe.  He suggests tossing the ingredients (bean sprouts, beef, scallions and sesame seeds) with soba noodles, rice or quinoa.

From first glance I knew I didn’t want to use beef for this recipe, this past week we’ve had more meat than usual, and I wanted more veggies.  When I gave the choice of mushrooms or tofu to Sam, he went with the mushrooms.  Then he mentioned he’s not a fan of orange sauce.   So I was thinking about soy-based sauces that include sesame seeds, garlic and ginger.  Lastly, we’ve a number of noodle dishes in the last weeks for the Food Matters Project, so I decided to not include any noodles and make this a very vegetarian dish.

It took me less than 30 minutes to make this, so it’s perfect for a weeknight meal.  Tofu, chicken, beef or tempeh can be used as a substitute for the mushrooms.  If you have a favorite asian sauce, feel free to swap that here.  If you’d like more of a crunch, feel free to add some chopped peanuts or cashews.  Lastly, different vegetables can be added: broccoli, snap peas, or even edamame are just a start.  On a last note, I found that this dish tastes great cold- so no need for reheating.

Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms
Inspired by: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 479)
Servings: 2-3 portions

2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
4 mushrooms caps, cut into long strips
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp ginger, grated
3 tbsp sesame oil
16 oz bean sprouts
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sriracha (optional)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp honey
5 green onions, chopped

Heat up a skillet, once the bottom is slightly warm, add the sesame seeds.  Allow them to toast, while shaking the pan often.  Don’t allow them to burn, once they are brown (3-5 minutes) them remove them from the pan and put them aside.

Heat up the skillet once again, when it’s warm add the butter and allow it to melt.  As it’s melting, add the onion, mushrooms, 4 garlic cloves and 1 tbsp ginger.  Allow this mixture to sauté until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are browned.  Once they are cooked, remove the ingredients from the pan and leave them in a separate bowl.

Next, add 2 tbsp of sesame oil into the same skillet.  Allow the oil to heat up a bit and then toss in the bean sprouts.  Sprinkle in salt and pepper.  Allow the bean sprouts to sear, and every couple of minutes move them around and flip some over.  I continued to cook the bean sprouts until the ends started to brown, and the sprouts had a crunchy texture to them (I tasted them every so often).  It took about 10 minutes on medium-high heat.  Once they are crisp to your liking, then place them on a napkin, so some of the oil will soak out.

In a bowl, or dressing container, mix together: 2 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, sriracha, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, 2 tbsp ginger, honey and 1 tbsp sesame oil.  Shake or whisk together all of the ingredients.

Divide the bean sprouts among plates.  Then sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds on top.  Next, spread out the mushroom mixture on top of the dish.  Then drizzle some of the dressing onto the plate- the amount depends on what you prefer; I think I used about 2-3 tbsp.  Lastly, sprinkle the top with the green onions.

Chinese New Year Sorbet with a Crisp

Yesterday (January 23rd) many celebrated the first day of the lunar year.  For the next 15 days the Chinese New Year festivities will continue, ending on the day of the full moon.

When I had some friends over for our monthly dinner, I decided to go with the theme of Chinese food.  I had made egg rolls, lettuce wraps, rice noodles with vegetables and some sesame spinach.  In true foodie fashion, I think I need to work all of those a bit more before they are presented on the blog.

But I think the dessert turned out well, I even had some last night.  This was the first time I’ve ever made a sorbet.  Although it’s not the perfect January dessert, it was very light and refreshing (definitely would be a great summer dish).  The pear sorbet included a Sesame Wonton Crisp, which was extremely easy to make.  It’s a great little “extra” on an ice cream or sorbet!

Want to try another chilled dessert?  How about Rum Raisin Ice Cream or Kumquat & Orange Sorbet.  Let us know which is your favorite!

Pear Sorbet
Adapted from: Lottie + Doof

5 juicy pears (peeled, cored and roughly chopped)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup pear brandy
2 drops  of vanilla extract

Remember to store your ice cream maker in the freezer at least 6 hours before this (this note is from personal experience).

Make a simple syrup, heat up the water in a small saucepan until its boiling.  Then add the sugar and keep stirring until it dissolves.  Once it’s dissolved, then turn off the burner and let the syrup sit until it cools off.

Puree the pears in a food processor until the mixture is smooth (really smooth).  Then transfer the mixture to a bowl.  Add the simple syrup, brandy and vanilla extract.

Process in the ice cream maker per the directions.  For example, I did mine for about 30 minutes.  Transfer the sorbet into a container and keep in the freezer so it firms up.  Serve with a wonton crisp!

Sesame Wonton Crisps
Adapted from: yumsugar

8 wonton wrappers
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet.  Arrange the wontons, leaving space in between each of them.

In a small bowl mix together the sugar and ginger.

In another small bowl mix together the egg yolk and heavy cream.  Brush the top of the wontons with the egg wash.  Then sprinkle each with the sugar mixture, and lastly with the sesame seeds.

Bake the wontons until they are crisp and golden, this should be about 8-10 minutes.  Let them cool, and then add them with a sorbet.