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Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Making Biscotti has been on my to-do-list for years now. I love Biscotti and buy them often at the store, but knowing now how delicious and easy they are to make, I’m gonna have to try making them again real soon. This particular Biscotti is meant to be softer than your standard Biscotti and it is a little piece of chocolate heaven. I love the fact that it is softer and I must confess, I had two in one setting.

Making Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Making Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate-Almond Biscotti (makes 15 Biscotti)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour (270 grams)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (45 grams)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (85 grams)

1 cup sugar (215 grams)

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup blanched, chopped almonds (70 grams)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (85 grams)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, stir and set aside. In the bowl of an electrical mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and smooth, 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at the time, mixing well in-between and scraping down sides as needed. Add flour in three increments, mixing to combine, dough will be firm. Stir in almonds and chocolate chips.

Place dough on baking sheet and shape into an approximately 12 x 4 inch flat log (30 x 10 cm). Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.

Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Place Biscotti log onto a cutting board and with a sharp serrated knife, cut into 3/4 inch slices (2 cm). Place slices back onto baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.

Source: adapted from Martha Stewart

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Italiensk Oksebov - Italian Beef Stew

Italiensk Oksebov – Italian Beef Stew

This winter seems to be going on forever and I don’t recall it ever being this cold in Virginia before. We, of course, have not had the extreme amount of snow that the rest of the country have experienced, but we did get one big snowfall which turned out to be a lot of fun. All the neighbors in our neighborhood, got together and helped shovel snow from each other’s driveways, and the day was wrapped up with a party, with lots of good food, at a neighbors house.

And so while we all continue to hunker down inside our homes, waiting for spring to arrive, I can recommend this wonderful Italian beef stew which is sure to warm your soul. I adapted this recipe from a Danish food blog called Dalsgaard i Skivholme, which I enjoy reading. The stew is very flavorful and equally good with or without the Rosemary, so I left the Rosemary as optional. Also the original recipe had white beans in it which I left out due to danger that my cooking pot would otherwise overflow. Please enjoy!

Italiensk Oksebov – Italian Beef Stew

Ingredients:

500 gram beef cubes

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

14 oz diced tomatoes

7 oz tomato sauce

1 glass white wine

chili powder – a dash

sugar – a dash

apple cider vinegar – a splash (1-2 tablespoons)

fresh rosemary, 1 twig

Directions:

Trim beef cubes and cut into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large pan to medium-high heat and sear beef in small portions. After searing beef, place the meat into a large cooking pot and add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Lower heat of pan to medium-low, add a 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions to pan and cook until translucent, add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Pour onion and garlic into the seared meat in cooking pot. Add mushrooms to pan and cook until slightly golden, add wine and simmer for another minute. Add mushrooms and wine into the beef mixture. Add chili powder, sugar and apple cider vinegar to beef stew. Add fresh rosemary (chopped or whole) to stew and let simmer over low heat for 1-2 hours. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Dalsgaard i Skivholme

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Excellent Meatballs

Excellent Meatballs

I have been trying and trying for years to make a tender and tasty meatball but they always came out too firm. I want my meatballs to easily fall apart when you dig into it with a fork. So what was different this time you ask me ? Well, I think the most important part is that I got equal parts veal, pork and beef directly from the butcher instead of using one of those “meatball” ground meat packages from the grocery store that supposedly have equal parts of all three meats in it. Also, the meatballs get browned and then baked plus I like to let them simmer in the sauce for at least 1 hour. These meatballs are so tasty and Anne Burrell also mentions another really important point and that is to test taste (why didn’t I think of that) a mini meatball before cooking them all up. Adjust the salt if needed! Now finally I got myself a tender meatball that I’ll be confident in serving for my guests.

Ingredients:

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

pinch of crushed red pepper

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound ground veal

2 large eggs

1 cup grated Parmigiano

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup water

Directions:Coat a large pan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium-high heat. Season the onions generously with salt and cook for 5-7 minutes. The onions should be translucent but have no color. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and saute for another 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine the meats, eggs, Parmigiano, parsley, bread crumbs and onions. Season well with salt. Mix using your hands squishing the mixture. Add water and do one final squish. The mixture should be quite wet. Test the seasoning of the mix by making a mini hamburger size patty and cooking it. The patty should taste really good.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Shape the meat into desired size. I prefer them slightly larger than a golf ball. Coat a large pan with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Place them on a cookies sheet and bake them in oven for 15 minutes or until cooked all the way through. If using right away, add meatballs to your favorite marinara sauce. If not, cool and freeze.

Source:  Anne Burrell

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