Friday, January 6, 2012

Chestnut Cookies (Kestaneli Kurabiye)




In my opinion, fresh roasted chestnuts are irresistible and so are the sweets and desserts made with chestnuts. Roasted chestnuts are best when fresh so when I have leftover roasted chestnuts, I grind them right away and save them for cookies or cakes. This cookie recipe came up from wanting to use the leftover roasted chestnuts before they hardened. It turned out pretty good and I decided to share it with you all. You may substitute pistachios or hazelnuts if you’re not fond of chestnuts.

Note: Follow my 'Roasted Chestnuts' recipe if you have never roasted chestnuts.

3 ¼ cups flour
1 ½ cups finely ground roasted chestnuts
3 sticks soft butter (12 oz.)
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Using a Stand Mixer:

Using the paddle attachment of the mixer, mix sugar and butter until the butter takes a whitish color. Add the egg, vanilla and chestnuts. Mix for 1-2 minutes. Turn off and unplug mixer. Remove the paddle attachment and replace with flat beater. Re-plug and turn on the mixer. Continue mixing at speed 2 and gradually add the flour. Mix until the dough is smooth.

Manually:

Place butter and sugar in a deep bowl. With an egg beater, mix both until butter takes a whitish color. Add the egg, vanilla, chestnuts and continue mixing until all ingredients are married together. Slowly incorporate the flour. Using hands knead the cookie dough until the it is smooth.

Grease a cookie sheet. Pull egg sized dough and create a ball. Flatten the dough ball by pressing with your fingers on the cookie sheet. Bake at 350° F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool. Serve with hot tea or coffee.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cabbage in Tomato Sauce (Kapuska)



Growing up cabbage was one of the vegetables I disliked the most next to cauliflower. Never did I enjoy any type of meal that contained cabbage. Forgetting my dislike for cabbage after many years, I started cooking with cabbage and now it is actually one of my favorite vegetables. Besides stuffed cabbage, this is one of my favorite cabbage recipes. Very simple to prepare, yet it is delicious. After having this plain with rice for dinner, the next day I boiled pasta and added it to this cabbage meal. It became pasta with cabbage sauce. It worked perfectly! Many people add rice or meat to this recipe. I will post a meat version of it at another time.

1 green medium cabbage
¼ cup chopped onion
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Cut cabbage in half. Slice each half and set aside. Heat olive oil. Saute the onions until translucent. Add tomato paste and stir. Add cabbage, salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Cook covered for 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove cover, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Enjoy warm with pasta or rice.