Monday, September 17, 2012

Spicy Slaw with Peanut Sauce and Apples

Mmmmm...curry, peanut butter, and apples?! Yes please!

-2 cups shredded cabbage
-1 cup shredded carrots
-4 sliced green onions
-2 apples, thinly sliced
-1/2 cup salted peanuts
-chopped cilantro to taste

-1/3 cup peanut butter
-1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
-1/2 Tbsp. Asian chili oil
-1 tsp. rice vinegar

Combine the slaw ingredients in a bowl. Mix the sauce ingredients together, pour over slaw and toss.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

De la Rosa Cupcakes

My dentist is going to hate me for this. She just told me a couple weeks ago that I'm not allowed to eat dried fruit anymore because it's messing up my teeth. But she didn't say I'm not allowed to eat cupcakes!

There's a market right by my house that sells four De la Rosa candies for a dollar. I used twelve for this recipe. If you've never had them, they're crumbly, dry, and taste like peanut butter. I don't remember exactly how or why this idea came to me, but I do remember it came to me on the walk home from that market, probably while eating one of these candies.

They're mostly powdered sugar. Buttercream frosting is mostly powdered sugar and butter. Makes sense, no?

This creamy frosting will have small bits of peanut in it, just like the candy does. You'll notice the chocolate cupcake recipe calls for chili oil. It didn't turn out quite as spicy as I wanted, so maybe next time I'll try with some dried, powdered hot pepper, like cayenne.

For the cupcakes:

-1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-1 cup boiling water
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/4 cup Asian chili oil
-1 cup white sugar
-2 eggs
-2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:

-1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
-12 De La Rosa candies, crushed up to a powder (comes out to about 2 cups)
-1 cup powdered confectioner's sugar

Make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix boiling water with cocoa powder, set aside to cool. If you're like me and bad at planning ahead, put it in the freezer to cool it at supersonic speed! Just take it out and stir every 10 minutes or so.

 Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter smooth and fluffy. Beat in the chili oil, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Finally, add the vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

Add the flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated (don't over-beat). Stir in the cooled cocoa water. The freezer should bring it to room temp in about a half hour.

Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners, and fill each liner about 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Make the frosting:

Just like with the cupcakes, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the De La Rosa candy powder. If you found the candy to be lumpy, run it through a coffee grinder or food processor before adding it to the butter. Beat until incorporated, then add the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost them and sprinkle with a bit of cocoa powder, if you want them to be real pretty.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Samosa Quesadillas

Samosa quesadillas...too weird for you? Well then, you're missing out. More for the rest of us! If the name doesn't give you enough info, well, it's a samosa, but cooked in a tortilla!

Recipe makes 5.

You will need:

-5 flour tortillas
-4 red potatoes, cut into small cubes, peels on
-1 cup frozen peas
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 Tbsp. lime juice
-1 tsp. garam masala
-1/2 tsp. coriander
-1/2 tsp. cumin
-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
-pinch salt
-olive oil for cooking

Cook potatoes until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain water.

Cook garlic in a little oil until just fragrant. Don't burn or brown it, burnt garlic sucks!

While still hot, mash just enough to break up the cubes, but don't mash finely. Mix in the frozen peas until well incorporated, then mix in the spices, garlic, and the oil the garlic was cooked in.

Put about 1/3 cup of the filling into half of each tortilla, then fold in half (like a quesadilla). Cook in the oil until golden, turning once, about 2 minutes per side.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lemon & Raspberry Mini-Tarts

I am a dirty rotten cheater for posting this. Lemon curd from a jar? Pssshaw, clearly I am a terrible mad scientist. Go ahead and tell me how bad I am for posting this. What's that you say? Sorry, I can't understand you, because you just stuffed five of these delicious little tarts I made into your mouth. Why don't I get you a coffee to wash those down with, and then we can sit down and I'll tell you how to make them.

Preheat oven to 425.

You will need a mini muffin tin, as well as:

-1 ready-made pie crust (box usually contains 2 crusts for the top & bottom of the pie)
-1 jar lemon curd
-24 delicious raspberries.

Using a cookie cutter slightly bigger than the muffin holes in your mini muffin tin, cut out 24 circles.  Press pie crust circles into muffin tin, and bake for 10 minutes or until done (golden).

When cool, spoon in lemon curd, and top each mini-tart with a raspberry.

See what I mean? Too easy to post. But aren't they pretty?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yellow Corn Tortillas

For most of my life, I have greatly preferred flour tortillas to corn, but right now couldn't be any different. I love everything about corn tortillas, from their unmistakeable smell to their slightly 'cornier' texture. These are easy, fast, and require very little prep and clean-up. If this hasn't convinced you that corn tortillas are the best ever, then I'm all out of ideas.

-2 cups Masa flour (yellow if you can find it, it's exciting)
-1 1/4 cups warm water
-pinch salt

easy enough, right? Combine the three ingredients and form the dough (should be soft and not crumbly) into a ball.

Here's where we might part ways: I don't have a tortilla press! If you have one, great! If you don't, try doing what I usually do and using a plastic bag cut in half.

Heat a pan or griddle (no oil) to medium-low. Tear off golf ball-sized pieces of dough, place them between the two pieces of plastic, and use a heavy pot or pan to squash them flat. It's up to you how thick you want to make them; I like mine on the thicker, more 'rustic' side.

Cook tortillas until they start to bubble underneath and dry out a little. Flip them and cook for another thirty seconds or so.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Egg(plant) Sandwich with Tahini & Ali-oli Sauce

Egg in an eggplant...duh DUN!

I guess I can't really call this a sandwich, since sandwiches normally involve bread, but eggplant is better than bread, so there!

(Let's see how long it takes me to apologize to my beloved friend, Bread, and take back that statement)

For one sandwich, you will need:

-1 small eggplant
-1 egg
-2 Tbsp Ali-oli.....possible future post ;)
-1 Tbsp. Tahini
-2 tsp. vinegar
-cracked peppercorns
-smoked paprika
-1 Tbsp. olive oil
Prick the eggplant and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, or until soft all the way through.

Heat the oil and fry the egg for about 4 minutes, covered, without flipping, over medium high heat (number 7 on my crappy electric stove...HA). Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper while cooking.

Mix together the Tahini, Ali-oli and vinegar with a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, sprinkle with salt and place the egg in the middle. Pour the sauce over the top and give it a little shake of smoked paprika. I'm thinking of re-naming this blog "Toni's love affair with smoked paprika".

Monday, May 21, 2012


Mmmm...Natillas. So simple, and available at almost every restaurant here in 'Espain". I was so excited when my friend who I give private English lessons to told me we would be making them at our next session! I guess when I say 'private English lessons', I mean cooking and chatting in English.

Pronounced 'nah-tea-yahs' for you non Spanish-speaking folk, it's a cold vanilla and cinnamon custard dessert usually served with a Maria cookie on top (kind of like a round graham cracker).

We used her heated blender, which eliminated the entire cooking process, but most people don't have one so we're going to do it the old-fashioned way, with a saucepan.

-4 egg yolks
-1 liter milk (make me proud and use whole milk)
-1 cup sugar
-4 Tbsp. corn starch
-1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
-Zest from 1 lemon
-Ground cinnamon
-Pinch salt

Whisk the egg yolks together with one cup of the milk.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cornstarch, sugar, vanilla, lemon peel and the remaining milk. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes, and don't let it boil completely.

Pour the contents of the saucepan over the egg yolks, whisk constantly and return to the saucepan. The whisk is your friend.

Return the saucepan to the stove. This time you want it to boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes, then turn it down to low for just a couple more. Don't stop whisking!!

Pour into serving dishes and chill until cold. Serve with cinnamon sprinkled on top, and of course a Maria cookie. But any cookie will of course be delicious.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Carrot Cake...Yay!

Not mad science-like at all, therefore I'm not posting a recipe. There is no shortage of carrot cake recipes on the internet. But...ain't it purdy?! =]

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quinoa Paella

You guessed it. Paella made with Quinoa instead of rice, courtesy of my friend Alex. Check it!

1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1/4 inch strips
1 can mixed vegetables, drained and rinsed (corn, green beans, peas)
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
pinch saffron threads
1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Soak and rinse the Quinoa to get rid of the bitter taste it can sometimes have. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large pot and throw in the onions and garlic for about a minute. Then add the chicken strips. It should take just a few minutes for them to cook. When chicken is done, pour in the broth, quinoa, saffron, and another half cup of water.

Stir and cover. Once it starts to boil, turn down the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is cooked and water is absorbed (15-20 minutes). Squeeze lemon juice on top.

serves 4-ish people

Sunday, March 4, 2012

White Bean and Cilantro Hummus

Yeah yeah, Hummus. Whatever, right? Well for your information I've been craving Trader Joe's wonderful White Bean Hummus quite a bit lately, and while the Kebab shops that are so thick on the ground here always have the regular chickpea stuff on the menu, it just wasn't quite as satisfying as making it myself from the lovely white bean (alubia blanca here in España).

I bought some Tahini the other day to make Baba Ganoush (didn't make that a post because it wasn't very pretty...) and had some dried white beans around already, so I figured it was meant to be. The only thing I didn't have that I think is pretty necessary for a good hummus was parsley. I could have gone out and bought some, but I already had some cilantro lying around, and while I'm well aware that they're completely different it just seemed silly to go out and buy another green leafy garnish, especially since cilantro is so darned delicious.

Thus, white bean hummus with cilantro was born. I hope you enjoy this tasty kitchen baby.

-1 can of white beans or dried white beans, soaked overnight.
-1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
-juice from 1 lemon or about 4 tablespoons
-2 garlic cloves
-cilantro leaves
-dash of cumin
-salt to taste
-a good quality extra virgin olive oil. It should be a little bit green.

If using dried beans, drain the water from soaking, then refill with enough water to cover them by about 1.5 inches. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until soft. drain water and sprinkle with salt.

combine all ingredients except olive oil and a few cilantro leaves and blend until smooth. Drizzle with olive oil and top with cilantro leaves. Enjoy with pita or crusty whole wheat bread (if you're a whole wheat sucker like me).

Friday, February 24, 2012

Panettone French Toast

Mmmm....I always loved Panettone as a kid. We ate it at breakfast, toasted with cream cheese on top. I remember one Christmas I gave a box to my teacher and she said "Is this from your Italian grandma?" I made sure to tell her it was actually my grandpa who is Italian.

I didn't know until I bought this particular loaf at a small shop here in Madrid that they also eat it in Perú. It's exactly the same, except that it's spelled "Panetón" and it's normally eaten dipped in hot chocolate.

This was an eye-opening and amazing discovery, but with it came an even more delicious discovery: Panetón makes excellent French Toast.

-6 thick slices of Panettone (or Panetón, depending on where you buy it from)
-3 eggs
-3/4 cup milk
-Pinch salt

Beat eggs, milk, cinnamon and salt in a wide, shallow bowl. Melt butter in a frying pan. Let the Panettone slices soak in the egg mixture longer than you normally would for french toast, especially if the slices are very thick. You don't want them dry inside, or do you? It's best to let some slices soak while others are cooking, first coating on both sides and then flipping them as you flip the slices in the pan.
Cook until golden brown on each side, and then serve with maple syrup (hard to find!) and strawberries.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cocido Madrileño

Cocido is a chickpea stew made from a collection of different meats. It's one of my favorite Spanish dishes. I can't think of anything more perfect that a hot plate of Cocido with some crusty bread on a rainy winter's day.
This is going to be a difficult recipe to write since the amounts of everything are all to taste. Apologies in advance if it's hard to follow, because I'm not going to write exact amounts at all. Basically, meat + stew vegetables + chickpeas=cocido. I hope you're good at math because that formula is key here.

you will need:

-cooked chickpeas
-morcilla (blood sausage)
-fatty, streaked bacon in a block, or lard
-cured ham bones with some meat still attached
-sliced cabbage
-cubed potatoes
-cut carrots

cover meat in water in a large pot and cook slowly for about an hour. remove ham from bones.

add chickpeas, onions, and garlic. simmer for about 30 minutes and add vegetables. continue cooking until vegetables are done.

drain off all the broth. Save the broth or cook noodles in it to be served as the first course (as they do in restaurants here).

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Open-faced Sausage and Fried Egg Sandwich with Veggies

This is almost too simple to post a recipe for, but it was so good and so pretty that I just had to share it. For the sausage I used Spanish Chorizo, but you can use any kind you want!

-6 inch long piece of crusty bread
-1 sausage cut lengthwise
-1 egg
-Your favorite white cheese
-1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
-1/2 of a medium sized onion, sliced
-1/2 of a medium-sized zucchini, sliced
-salt and pepper

cook sausage in a frying pan with some oil, add a splash of water if it starts to stick. when cooked, remove the sausage and cook the vegetables in the same pan, adding salt and pepper to taste. Remove the veggies from the pan and fry the egg without letting the yolk cook all the way through (unless you like it that way).
Cut the bread lengthwise into 2 pieces and top one piece with the egg first, then the cheese, sausage, and veggies. Drizzle some olive oil on top.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pomegranate White Chocolate Oatmeal

Before the start of winter break, I decided to make some pretty, Christmas-y-looking pomegranate white chocolate cookies for my co-workers (eeew...i hate using that word. makes me sound so grown up). Everyone loved them and I ended up having a whole pomegranate left over, as well as a whole bar of white chocolate.

I'm living in Spain right now and haven't yet figured out where to find chocolate or white chocolate chips, so I always end up buying a chocolate bar and smashing it up. Is this how cavemen made chocolate chip cookies? I hope so.

The cookie recipe is great and all, but it's been done, and that's not what MadSpatch is about. MadSpatch is about eating pomegranates and white chocolate for breakfast! This one's for all you oatmeal lovers, because the more oatmeal I eat, the more fun things I find to do with it. See my previous Baked Oatmeal post for more fun with oats.

-1 cup oats
-1 1/2 cup water
-1 1/4 cup milk
-At least 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
-1/4 cup white chocolate chips, or a smashed-up white chocolate bar if you're me
-Pinch salt

Bring water to a boil, add oats and salt. Turn down the heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the milk and cook for another 5. I haven't tried this, but I've heard great things about microwaving oatmeal with just milk (no water). I prefer to just use milk but I include the water in this recipe because milk tends to burn the pot.

Remove oatmeal from heat and stir in white chocolate until melted. Serve topped with pomegranate seeds and shaved white chocolate if you have a bar.