Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A trio of fantastic dishes...

I have three recipes to share with you today that have been sitting here, practically begging me to give them the attention they deserve on the blog. They each do deserve a post on their own, but I figured I better get them up before I forgot! We made a couple of these several weeks ago, but time is still slipping through my fingers faster than I care for. The weather outside is partly to blame - when heat of the sun's rays are shining outside, and I know back in Minnesota they just had snow the other day, I find it hard to keep myself holed up inside and not enjoy the warmth!

The first recipe, A Dozen Simple Bagels, came from one of our most trusted recipe sources. We've made a couple other bagel recipes over the years that were a bit more intricate, but this one was pared down in steps and came out just as good, though perhaps with a hare less developed flavor than one that has a refrigerated resting time.

If you don't have the non-diastatic malt powder for the water dunk step, simply replace it with brown sugar. The brown sugar has more sweetness than the robustness in the malt powder, but don't drive yourself bonkers trying to find it. The bagels were wonderfully golden and crisp on their outer shell, while the inside stayed true with a wicked good chew.

The next recipe is a ridiculous trip on brownies. Anna, whose been under the weather lately (we hope you get well soon!), posted these Killer Kahlua Brownies awhile ago and you can believe I eagerly printed them off as soon as saw them.

Moist and fudgy, without being too gooey, the brownies are decidedly decadent with a subtle coffee-like booziness from the Kahlua. I know subtle is fairly subjective, but we both agreed that it is a good way to describe the essence of each bite - there is just enough so you knew it was there, yet you wouldn't feel guilty sharing with a younger eater. We used white chocolate chips for a sharp visual contrast, but if you like nuts in your brownies, swap out those chips for chopped pecans.

The final dish I have to share, Savory Fig and Goat Cheese Tart with Arugula, was a real knock out.

While the toppings are superb for being so simple, what really made this tart was the rich crust, made from ground Marcona almonds, flour, butter and a generous drizzle of golden honey (and what made this even better was the fact it was all done in a single bowl using our trusty food processor!). If you've never had those almonds before, they are a real treat! The nuts have a more rounded shape to them, are not as crunchy and have a pleasant sweetness you don't normally find in the regular "California" variety of almonds) - they are also roasted in olive oil and then salted.

You don't need to have the fancy rectangular tart pan that we used either - a regular 8" or 9" tart pan would be just fine. Jeff was tempted to cut the Arugula out on top of his portion, but I urged him to just give it a try before tossing the salad off. The lightly dressed peppery greens bring a needed bite to cut through the richness, which we both (Jeff too!) appreciated.


  1. That's one monster of a post. Everything looks lovely. It's been quite a long time since I've made bagels or pretzels or anything of the like and I really should do so again soon. If I did want to find the malt powder, where would I get it? A home brewing store?

  2. Kelly - I've gotten mine through KAF in the past, but I would imagine they would have it at a brewing store or natural foods market!

  3. Wow, all three recipes look terrific! I might even make the Kahlua brownies for a party tomorrow night. And the fig tart ... I love figs, and the combination of ingredients sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing, Joe!

  4. Wow, all three recipes look terrific! I might even make the Kahlua brownies for a party tomorrow night. And the fig tart ... I love figs, and the combination of ingredients sounds heavenly! Thanks for sharing these, Joe!

  5. Looks great! I'm a huge brownie fan and also follow Cookie Madness religiously. Thanks for reminding me of this brownie recipe. I'm particularly intrigued with the fig tart. I've never seen anything like it before and want to try this sometime soon.

  6. Tamilee - We were quite pleased with each of these! Enjoy the recipes you choose to make!

    One - Anna rocks!

  7. Everything looks so good. The tart would be perfect at my next book club.