Saturday, January 30, 2016

Flourless Double Chocolate Cookies

Although these cookies look simple at first sight, their flavor is rich and decadent. Specially if you use good quality chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. Valrhona, Callebaut  or Guittard are good choices.
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kalhua liquor
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a bowl placed on top of a pan of simmering water. Whisk until smooth and set aside.

In another bowl mix the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. If you find lumps it is better to sift this mixture. Set aside.
Whisk the eggs with the sugars and liquor until frothy.

Add the cooled chocolate mixture and the dry ingredients. Mix everything together until combined and then add the chocolate chips. Refrigerate overnight.

Scoop the chilled dough onto the prepared sheet pans and bake for 10-12 min. They should be shiny and puffy.

 Let them cool on wire racks.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Farro Salad with Mushroom, Broccoli and Fresh Mint

Happy New Year! I hope 2016 brings health and hapyness to you and your family.

To start this year right I propose this salad that it is not only delicious but also very nourishing with the addition of farro.

Farro is a nutty-flavor whole grain that contains a high percentage of protein. It has recently gained popularity in America, specially among vegetarians who need alternative source of protein. But in Italy, farro is an ancient ingredient and a staple of Tuscan region cuisine. I like to add it to soups or salads. I is a great substitute for rice.

Farro Salad with Mushrooms, Broccoli and Fresh Mint
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) farro
  • one  bay leaf
  • 1shallots, peeled and diced 
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups mushrooms (crimin, shiitake or any variety of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • A generous handful mint, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon (the zest and juice)
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar 

Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Bring 6 cups of well-salted water to a boil, then add the farro and bay leaf. Cook until tender, but still chewy. Depending on the variety, they’ll take between 20-30 minutes to cook.

While the farro is cooking, set the broccoli florets and mushrooms on a baking pan and drizzle generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Let it cool. 

Once the farro is cooked, drain them well, plucking out the bay leaf. Transfer the farro to a bowl and mix in 1/4 cup of olive oil, stirring well. Taste, seasoning with more salt if necessary.

 Stir in the broccoli, mushrooms, shallots and mint and do a final check for seasoning and add more salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and additional olive oil, if desired. Add the lemon juice and zest and the vinegar and mix.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Storage: Can be made up to three days in advance, and refrigerated. Let come to room temperature before serving.