I love eating, cooking and especially reading about all different types of food. Every month I'll try recipes from some of my favorite culinary magazines and cook books, review restaurants and even share some of my own creations. I'll post pictures and let you know what works, how they taste and tips to make them better. I'll also enlist some friends around the country to tell you about some great food finds where they live.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Everyday Food - Black Bean Burgers & Good Housekeeping - Chocolate Pudding

At work I have a magazine fairy, actually a couple.  These wonderful folks drop off tons of magazines at my desk, and in my mailbox.  Since I normally eat lunch at my desk, I usually sift through them pretty quickly and hand off to my co-worker Tiffany.  I think she's got 6 or 7 piled up by now.  Anyway, I was looking through a Good Housekeeping (Feb 2010), which I've never read before, and noticed an interesting section called (Almost) Vegetarian.  There was a recipe for Black Bean Burgers...hmmm...that sounds like something Mr. Steele might like to eat during football.  So Sunday I promised my honey a hearty vegetarian meal.

So the Black Bean Burger...

I was skeptical the second time I read the GH recipe.  I remembered that my Everyday Food (Jan/Feb 2010) also had a Black Bean Burger recipe (pg 110).  I decided to compare the two since the GH recipe had mayo which might have been weird for Mr. Steele.  I decided to go with the recipe from the Everyday Food.  It had brown rice, and more natural ingredients.  I probably should have stuck with the GH recipe.  First off, flavor wise, it was decent (I added 1/4 tsp coriander), but these patties just didn't set up.  There was no "binder" in the recipe.  You are supposed to heat the baking sheet in the oven and then place the patties on them.  After 15 minutes, they were still mushy.  I had to end up taking them out the oven, cool a bit, and pan fry with some olive oil to get a decent crust on them.  Even after that, they were still falling apart.

So I salvaged what I could, and piled the toasted whole wheat buns with heirloom tomatoes, avocado and baby greens.  Not bad, just looked messy.  I scratched the yogurt sauce.

I served it with a red cabbage slaw.   It was very hearty, definitely filled you up.  Would I make this again, nope.  I wonder if the people at Everyday Food had this issue and just kept it to themselves.  Oh well, at least I tried.  Let me know if you try this and have the same issue or have a better Black Bean Burger recipe.

Chocolate Pudding

This one is a keeper.  It's from the Feb 2010 Good Housekeeping (pg. 161). 

It's got really great chocolate flavor and is really easy.  Just be patient at the end when you're whisking, it'll thicken up.  It gets really nice and thick, beats Jell-o any day!  Add some whipped cream to the top, a fresh strawberry and some chocolate shavings.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bon Appétit - Jan 2010 - Coconut Cake with Chocolate Chunks and Coconut Drizzle

Yesterday, I made the Coconut Cake from the January 2010 Bon Appétit, page 91.

 Coconut Cake recipe

While searching for the recipe link on line, I noticed that Bon Appétit spelled "coconut" wrong.  Come on guys, my first recipe and we already have a spelling error...it's c-o-c-o-n-u-t.

Anyway, this was a particularly easy recipe to make.  The coconut ingredients are very easy to find.  They made a note that the unsweetened shredded coconut was available at specialty stores, so I went to Whole Foods first instead of Safeway which is my go-to supermarket.  No need.  Safeway had tons of unsweetened shredded coconut, at half the price of the coconut I bought at Whole Foods. 

The recipe calls for shredded coconut in the batter.  I had bought flaked from Whole Foods and I think that may have attributed to the different texture.  Also, the orange zest can get overpowering, so follow the recipe or use a little less, or else you might as well add "orange" to the recipe title.

The topping gets brown pretty quickly, so make sure you loosely cover the top with some foil.

Overall, the cake is very soft and moist, a little crumbly even.  The coconut flavor is subtle, but the glaze is delicious and helps bring some extra sweetness to the cake.