Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year, New Ingredients

Sometimes even the most adventurous cooks and eaters can fall into a food rut, and while I don't consider myself amongst the most adventurous, I do lament that I have several "safe eating" patterns that I've fallen into in 2010.

With that in mind, I want to make a list of ingredients that I rarely, or never use, but would like to. Here are a few to get me started:
  • Eggplant
  • Tofu
  • Mussels
  • Tarragon
  • Fennel
  • Leafy greens (kale, mustard greens, etc.)
What ingredients do you shy away from? What would you like to see me experiment with in 2011? What are your New Years resolutions?

Happy New Year!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Giada's Chocolate Almond Honey Tart

Are you looking for the easiest and most impressive dessert recipe to bring to a New Year's party? Look no further than this yummy, RICH tart, with only 6 ingredients from Giada de Laurentiis. Be warned, it packs a lot of flavor, so serve small squares and watch them disappear! Pair with a chocolatini for a REAL chocoholic experience :)

Chocolate Almond Honey Tart

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature, plus extra for coating the pan
graham crackers, 5 1/2-ounces total
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
3/4 cup heavy

1/4 cup honey
12 ounces semisweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Place the graham crackers and almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture forms fine crumbs, about 15 to 20 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until incorporated. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

In a small saucepan, whisk the cream and honey together over low heat until the honey has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to just below a boil. Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour the chocolate filling over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.

Loosen the tart from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the edge. Unmold the tart and transfer to a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.

Keep these in the fridge until ready to serve, as the chocolate gets messy if left at room temperature.