February 22, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I usually don't really like baking cookies since I'm using a toaster oven that fits an 8"x9.5" baking sheet, but I wanted to try this one on my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookies. I shouldn't complain anyway: this is a step up from my Easy Bake Oven days, when cookies were baked one by one.

I haven't reached the Holy Grail of chocolate chip cookies yet, but these were pretty awesome. They were nice and crispy with a lovely salty buttery toffee flavor. The secret is in chilling the dough for at least a day--this allows the flour to absorb the moisture in the mixture.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Jacques Torres via the New York Times
allow at least 24 hours chilling time

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1-2/3 cups bread flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2-1/2 sticks (1-1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1-1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate chips/disks/fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt

In a large bowl, sift the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla, then add the flour mixture until just combined. Add the chocolate. Press plastic wrap against the dough and refrigerate for 24-36 hours and up to 72 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a cookie sheet.

Scoop mounds of dough the size of golf balls onto the sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake for about 15 minutes (it might be more or less depending on your oven) until cookies turn a golden brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool for a bit. Give into temptation and eat one right out of the oven and burn your tongue.

It'll be worth it.

February 7, 2009

Unday Ki Kari: Egg Curry, Goan Style

I had some leftover coconut milk that I needed to use before it spoiled, so I decided to make this egg curry dish.  I balked the first time I saw this recipe since it didn't sound too appetizing, but I'm glad I decided to try it!  I'm definitely making this again.

Unday Ki Kari
adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian

2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
3 plum tomatoes fresh or from a can, chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
15 fresh or dried curry leaves
3/4 cup coconut milk, about half a 14-oz. can
3/4 teaspoons salt
5 hard-boiled eggs, 3-4 long slits cut into the whites and yolk to allow sauce to penetrate

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium high heat.  Add the onions when hot, and stir and fry until slightly brown.  Throw in the garlic and ginger and stir for about 2 minutes, then add the cumin, coriander, cayenne, and turmeric, stirring for another minute.  Mix in the tomatoes and tomato paste, stirring often, and cook until the tomatoes are soft.  And 1/4 cup water and bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the skillet and puree with whatever gadget you have on hand until a paste forms.  Shield yourself from splatters if you (like me) thought it was a good idea to puree the mixture in a large bowl with a hand held blender.

Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet and add the mustard seeds when hot.  When they start popping, toss in the curry leaves.  Add the paste, the coconut milk, and salt.  Stir and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the hard-boiled eggs and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve with rice or a thick crusty bread and enjoy the goodness.