Arsip Tag: cup

avocado cup salads, two ways – smitten kitchen

I have the most boring thing, ever, to tell you today (and clearly it’s not “how to write an enticing lede”): I tried not to eat bread for a couple months. Wait, come back! Let me explain. I don’t mean ever. I am not anti-carb or anti-dessert, nor is Wheat Belly our new idea of a good bedtime story; I am ever your gluten-full host. I remain certain that freshly-baked, crackly-crusted artisanal bread is one of the greatest things in the world; to turn it down a moderate serving of it when you’re able to enjoy it (chemically and all that) is a sacrilege. But that’s not really what most of our bread looks like, does it? Most often, bread is merely bookends on a sandwich, with the goal of making filling portable. Or, it’s toasted so that it can sop up butter, jam or a runny yolk, or crouton-ed to make a salad feel bulkier. It’s all too infrequently in and of itself noteworthy. These latter categories of bread were what I suspected I wouldn’t miss if when I challenged myself to skip them. That is, at least two meals a day: an ascetic, I am not.

rainbow of peppers, black beans
bell peppers, black beans, jalapeno, white onion

But I promise, I didn’t drag you here today to sell you on a refined carb-free life as I myself have little interest in living one. What I’d hoped to share was the neat thing that many less stubborn than myself have known of eons: when you tip the food scales away from lackluster bread-fill, a wonderful thing happens: vegetables, beans and protein come back into prominence, and it was just the cooking recharge that I needed. To wit, since the beginning of the year we’ve talked about eggs baked in a nest of spinach and mushrooms (biscuits on the side), a seasonal mayo-light riff on devilled eggs, my new favorite three-bean chili (a small amount of brown rice underneath), chicken fajitas loaded with vegetables, beans, slaw, pico, and guacamole (all perched on one or two small corn tortillas) and a kale-quinoa salad I’m so addicted to, if I don’t have it for lunch at least three days a week, I feel twitchy.

radishes, cucumbers, scallions

radishes, cucumbers, scallions

I’ve also rekindled my love affair with I like to call “bruschettas” but in actuality the bread is something more interesting. In the past, we’ve done this with thick discs of roasted sweet potato or eggplant; but raw avocado, scored and then mounded with a finely chopped, well-dressed salad is even more fitting for the warmer weather as it requires no cooking whatsoever. One version has a Tex-Mex vibe, a riff on this black bean confetti salad with a chile-lime vinaigrette; the other drizzles finely diced radishes, cucumbers and scallions with a ginger-miso vinaigrette and toasted sesame seeds. I couldn’t pick a favorite, so I decided not to.

prep the avocados
avocado cup confetti salads

One year ago: Spring Vegetable Potstickers
Two years ago: Bacon, Egg and Leek Risotto
Three years ago: Crispy Potato Roast and Sour Cream Cornbread with Aleppo
Four years ago: Shakshuka and Easy Jam Tart
Five years ago: Chewy Amaretti Cookies, Artichoke Olive Crostini, Chocolate Caramel Crack and Simple Potato Gratin
Six years ago: Spring Panzanella, Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake, Fork-Crushed Purple Potatoes and Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Seven years ago: Gnocchi with a Grater, The Tart Marg, Black Bean Confetti Salad and Margarita Cookies

Inspired a bit: By these avocados vinaigrette.

Avocado Cup Salads with Black Bean Confetti

You could bulk this up further with some diced tomatoes or even cooked shrimp, as we did in this salsa.

Makes 8 mini-salad cups; I’d estimate 2 halves or 1 full avocado per person/meal

1 cup black beans, cooked, drained (about 2/3 of a 15-ounce can)
1 large bell pepper, finely diced (I used a mix of colors because we keep them around for the kid)
1/4 cup finely diced white or red onion
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Dashes of hot sauce or pinches of cayenne, to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish
4 ripe avocados

Mix black beans, pepper, onion and jalapeno in a medium bowl. In a small dish, whisk olive oil, lime juice, salt, cumin and hot sauce or cayenne. Adjust dressing seasonings to taste. Halve avocados and remove pits. Score avocado halves with a knife, cutting lines in both directions to form a grid, but being careful not to through the skin.

If you’re serving all four avocados right away, go ahead and mix the dressing and salad ingredients together, then heap each avocado half with salad and dressing and garnish with cilantro. If you’d like to stretch this over several days of lunches or the like, keep the mixed salad ingredients and dressing in separate dishes. When you’re ready to eat, cut and score your avocado, dot a little dressing directly on each half, heap with salad filling and drizzle with more dressing. Garnish with cilantro.

Eat with a spoon.

Avocado Cup Salads with Cucumbers, Radishes and Ginger-Miso Dressing

You could bulk this up further with cooked edamame. This carrot-ginger dressing would also be excellent here, but I didn’t want to make a simple recipe too complicated. My 4 year-old, who has peculiar tastes, thinks that dried seaweed snacks would also be good crumbled on top. Proceed at your own risk.

Makes 8 mini-salad cups; I’d estimate 2 halves or 1 full avocado per person/meal

1 cup finely diced cucumber (from about half a long English or 2 small Persian cukes), seeds removed
1 cup finely diced radishes (from about 4 large red ones)
2 scallions, finely chopped
4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons white miso (shiromiso, which is more mild/less salty)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated or minced fresh ginger root (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
4 ripe avocados

Mix cucumber, radishes and scallions in a medium bowl. In a small dish, whisk sesame oil, miso, rice vinegar and ginger. Add dressing flavor and seasonings to taste. Halve avocados and remove pits. Score avocado halves with a knife, cutting lines in both directions to form a grid, but being careful not to through the skin.

If you’re serving all four avocados right away, go ahead and mix the dressing and salad ingredients together, then heap each avocado half with salad and dressing and garnish with mix of sesame seeds. If you’d like to stretch this over several days of lunches or the like, keep the mixed salad ingredients and dressing in separate dishes. When you’re ready to eat, cut and score your avocado, dot a little dressing directly on each half, heap with salad filling and drizzle with more dressing. Garnish with mix of seeds.

Eat with a spoon.

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chocolate peanut butter cup cookies – smitten kitchen

My changes to the standard recipe were as follows: First, I found it a little easier to assemble the cookies if I made the filling first, dolloped it out on a tray, and froze it while assembling the outer cookie layer. It doesn’t take any more time, and those more firm centers are easier to wrap the outer cookie around. I also added some sea salt to the filling. I found that the suggested amount of filling (3/4 cup each of peanut butter and sugar) consistently made way too much; I’ve reduced it slightly here (2/3 cup each) but you will likely still have a few blobs of extra filling; seems safer than too little. I found that a little more than the usual teaspoon suggested is ideal for the filling; I use a teaspoon measure and mound it a bit on top, so it’s more like 1 1/2 teaspoons. This gives you an almost equal striation of cookie-filling-cookie.

My bigger changes were to the chocolate cookie itself; I increased the amount of cocoa and decreased the amount of flour for a dark, more intensely chocolate cookie. I then used Dutch/Dutched cocoa instead (a nuttier, darker cocoa standard in Europe but sold here too under brands like Droste and Valrhona; I then used baking powder (which needs to be used in larger quantities) instead of baking soda because Dutched-style powder doesn’t react as well with baking soda as well. If you don’t have Dutched cocoa and want to use natural (i.e. any American brand such as Hershey’s or one labeled as natural), you can do so here and use the more standard 1/2 teaspoon baking soda instead of 2 teaspoons of baking powder; it simply makes a lighter-colored cookie.

    Filling
  • 2/3 cup (170 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup (80 grams) powdered sugar
  • Two pinches of flaky seas salt
  • Cookie
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature for a mixer, cold is fine for food processor
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, plus more to coat cookies
  • 1/2 cup (95 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (65 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (55 grams) dutched cocoa powder (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
Heat oven: To 375 degrees F.

Make filling: Line a small tray or plate with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt with a fork; it’s a little messy but it will come together. Once evenly mixed, use a teaspoon measure to scoop heaped teaspoons of filling into little balls. Spread them out on prepared tray or plate. Once you’ve used all the filling, put the tray in the freezer while you make the cookie portion.

Make cookie with a hand or stand mixer: Beat softened butter with peanut butter and sugars until creamed together. Add vanilla, egg, and salt, and beat until combined. Sift in baking powder and cocoa, beat to combine, then add flour and mix until flour disappears.

Make cookie in a food processor: Pulse flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and sugars in food processor until mixed. Cut cold butter (if using, softened works fine here too) into chunks and add to bowl. Run machine until fully blended. Add peanut butter, egg, and vanilla and run machine until it is blended, scraping sides down as needed, and then keep running until dough balls together.

Assemble cookies: Place 1 to 2 tablespoons extra granulated sugar in a small bowl. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Take a scoop of cookie dough that’s just shy of 2 tablespoons (a #40 scoop holds 1.75 tablespoons and is perfect for this) and place it in the palm of your hand. Flatten it with your fingers. Take a peanut butter filling from the freezer and place it in the center, and wrap the chocolate dough around, rolling it in your palms until smooth. Roll it in the granulated sugar to coat, place it on your prepared baking sheet and gently flatten the cookie, just slightly, with your fingers. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake cookies: For 8 to 10 minutes. This is going to seem like really little time, and the cookies are definitely going to look underbaked, but remember that we are just baking a thin outer shell of a cookie (the center doesn’t need to be baked), and this does not take long. Let cookies rest and set up on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool.

Store: At room temperature in an airtight container.

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