Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Almond biscotti

Biscotti and coffee. Nuff said.

The original recipe was sent to me from Biaggi's restaurant, (Biscotti di Prato) and this version has never failed me yet. I have made it in the high altitude region of Colorado and the humid and low altitude of Minnesota.

My main concern with the biscottis I have tasted at several coffee shops in the US, is the smell of eggs that permeate through the biscuit after dunking it in coffee. Nothing puts me off more than the waft of egg smell through my pastries. This version solved that problem for me. As RR puts it, Yumm-O!

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, softened
2 eggs
1/4 tspn almond extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (if I feel like having another layer of spice)
2-1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup sliced almonds

Beat together sugar and butter until it becomes nice and smooth, add eggs, almond and vanilla, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and nutmeg if using. Beat for a bit. Add flour slowly, and then add the almonds. Make a log 12"x3" if you want large biscottis, otherwise make two logs. The width of the log will determine the biscotti size. I prefer making smaller ones most of the time.

Bake in a 350 deg preheated oven until golden and done. Cool well. Cut across into 1/2 inch or so thick slices. Reduce heat to 300 deg, and bake, arranging the slices cut side down, flat on cookie sheets. Bake until nicely golden brown. Cool on a rack.

Additional tip: Melt dark chocolate in a saucepan on a double boiler. Dunk the cooled biscotti halfway through. Lay on a cooling rack, until the chocolate has set. Mmyummy! I have never tried with white chocolate but it should work as well.

Make your favorite coffee and do the dunking!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oyster mushroom and pea risotto with hot french fried onions

Today in a conversation my friend Heidi mentioned the various different ways she uses french fried onions. Usually the crunchy topping for green bean casserole, she tops her hot dogs with it. Gave me an idea, in a weird way. Hence today's dinner.


French fried onions
Sri Racha sauce (I added a teaspoon to half a cup of onions, add less or more according to taste, or mood)
Heat oven to 275 degrees. Mix the sauce with the onions and spread on a cookie sheet. Heat in the oven for about 5-7 min. Turn oven off and keep warm until you are ready to serve it. I used store bought onions.


Olive oil (1 Tblspn)
1 Bay leaf
white wine (half a cup)

Vegetable broth (~6-8 cups)
Onions, diced (half onion)
Garlic diced (3 garlic)
Arborio rice (2 cups)
Oyster mushrooms, chopped (1-1/2 cups)
Peas (1/2 cup)
Parmesan cheese (upto 1/4 cup)

Heat the broth until it simmers. Lower the heat and keep it simmering all through the process.

Heat oil, add chopped onions and garlic, fry until translucent. Add rice and fry until rice becomes slightly opaque. Add wine and stir until the wine is absorbed. Add hot broth, one ladle at a time, constantly stirring, and waiting until the broth has evaporated before adding the next ladle.  Repeat until almost cooked. Add the mushrooms and peas. Add broth and stir until the rice is cooked al dente, do not wait until it is mushy. Add cheese, stir. Stir in the chopped parsley.

Serve topped with the spicy french fried onions.

It's really yummy in the tummy!