Sunday, December 27, 2009
Inspired by a new cookbook I received for Christmas, my culinary adventure du jour was polenta. The recipe was as simple as cornmeal, water, and salt but I decided to spice it up with 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper. Once the polenta had cooked, I pressed it onto a lined cookie sheet and allowed it to cool for about an hour. Using a cookie cutter, I created small rounds. Each one was brushed with olive oil and pan fried for 2 minutes on each side creating a wonderfully crisp outer shell on which to perch delicious toppings. I dressed the crunchy cornmeal cakes with onions that were caramelized in apricot nectar and butter. This brought a wonderful sweetness and balanced the heat of the cayenne pepper. Since it was truly a blank canvas on which to create, fried polenta has secured it's place as another weapon in my culinary arsenal.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
It's that time of year again... cookie exchanges, secret santas, and gift giving galore. Christmas baking is in high gear here at my house and today I stumbled upon a delicious combination - chocolate ganache and peanut butter cookies. Since I happened to have a vast amount of chocolate ganache, thanks to my truffle making endeavors, I decided to boost the yum factor of my peanut butter cookies by combining them with the sweet chocolaty filling. Sandwiched between two perfectly crisp cookies, the gooey ganache added a level of flavor that can be described in one word... perfection. It's a simple, classic combination but one that makes me weak in the knees every time. There is no resisting the power of chocolate and peanut butter.