staring up at us from the coffee table ever since the April issue of Bon Appétit made it’s way into our possession. That & their versatility.
Sandwiches can be simple, they can be elaborate, healthy or indulgent & most definitely delicious.
This one falls into the simple & healthy category & we love it because it’s made up of things we typically have on hand & is open to interpretation.
No sprouts? Use up the leftover arugula in the crisper. Have a red onion on the counter? Use that instead of green onions. Lactose intolerant? Coconut milk yogurt is a pretty stellar match for the curry. No bread? Throw it on a bed of greens. Any variation makes for a quick & tasty meal.
CURRIED CHICKPEA SALAD SANDWICHES makes 6 sandwiches
4 cups chickpeas (if using canned, drain & rinse)
4 green onions, whites & tops, thinly sliced
1 mango, diced
1 English cucumber, seeded & diced
6oz plain coconut milk, or regular, yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
kosher salt, to taste
12 slices bread, toasted
a few handfuls sprouts, arugula, or other green
In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, onion, mango & cucumber. Mix to combine.
In a small separate bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, ginger, curry powder & salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Pour over the chickpea mixture & mix well. Using a potato masher, or a fork, smash some of the chickpeas & stir until the mixture lightly holds together.
Add some greens to half the slices of bread, spread the chickpea mixture over them & top with the other slice of bread. Serve.
1. Rise. Tom Ferguson & his Durham Catering crew did a knock out job of catering our wedding & now he’s cornering the breakfast market at his newish donut & biscuit shop at Southpoint. We’ve been in a few times now, & the entire menu is mouthwatering & changes daily, but we can’t get enough of the savory sweet combination of chicken biscuits with honey & crunchy, sugary, vanilla bean flecked, custard stuffed crème brûlée donuts.
2. Gonza tacos y tequila/Dos Taquitos/Centro…the Salamanca family food empire. We’ve been to all three, two of them within the past week. Best Mexican food in town, although, Gonza is our favorite. I don’t even want to tell you that, because it’s busy enough in there.
3. Houchart. Favorite rosé currently. $12/bottle.
4. Durham Farmers’ Market. The gettin’s good at local farmers’ markets right now, with Spring in full bloom. We love Durham Farmers’ Market for their variety, huge selection of organics, beer, flowers, music & food trucks.
5. Trophy Brewing. We’ve mentioned them here before & their constant rotation of well crafted beer shouldn’t be overlooked. Now that the weather is absolutely perfect, their patio has opened & they’re serving food. Pizza & beer!
Most years for Tom’s birthday I make some sort of towering, multi-layered chocolate monstrosity, since he’s the chocolate lover of the two of us. But this year, I opted for cupcakes because more people were coming to his party than we have plates & we thought the cleanup would be easier with everyone having their own little individual serving of cake.
The cocktails flowed, our little house was packed, we all had a blast…& the next day we had dark chocolate crumbs ground into the carpet, all in the bottom of our silverware drawer (?) & even a fudge handprint on the door. So much for cupcakes making less mess!
I won a Savory Spice Shop credit, so I went ahead & bought Black Onyx cocoa powder & used it for the hot fudge & part of the cocoa powder in this recipe to give the cupcakes their dark, dark color. Black Onyx cocoa powder is ultra-Dutched (alkalized) to give it a deep, almost purplish color, but the alkalization also removes some of its fat content, which is why it’s recommended to use it for only about 25% of a recipe’s amount of cocoa powder…nobody wants a dry cupcake.
If you don’t feel like making the investment, any dark cocoa powder should work in this recipe. Either way, dark chocolate + peanut butter + fudge sauce is a pretty hard combination to beat.
PEANUT BUTTER HOT FUDGE CUPCAKES makes 12 cupcakes
for the cupcakes:
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup hot fudge sauce (recipe below)
for the frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup peanut butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon, plus more if necessary, heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
for the hot fudge sauce:
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg & sugar until no lumps remain. Add the milk, cream, butter & vanilla & continue to mix until smooth. Fold in sour cream.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, dark cocoa powder, baking soda & salt. Add the dry ingredients & mix until combined & smooth. Swirl in the hot fudge sauce. Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour the batter into each liner in the prepared pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, checking periodically until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Set aside & let cool completely.
For the frosting, combine the butter & peanut butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, or large bowl with electric hand mixer. Cream on medium until well combined. Very gradually add 3 cups of the powdered sugar until well combined. With the mixer still running, carefully pour in the cream & vanilla. Toss in a pinch of salt & mix until well combined, adding more powdered sugar &/or cream until light, fluffy & well combined.
For the hot fudge sauce, combine the sugar, dark cocoa powder & salt in a double boiler, or glass bowl set over pot of simmering water. Gradually pour in boiling water & stir constantly until thoroughly combined & mixture thickens. Remove from heat & stir in butter & vanilla.
To assemble, remove the cooled cupcakes from the pan. Fill a piping bag, fitted with your choice of tip, with frosting. Insert the tip of the piping bag into the center of the cupcake, filling the middle with frosting just until the top of the cupcake rises a bit. Be careful not to overfill. Frost the top of the cupcake as desired. Fill & frost all of the remaining cupcakes.
Reheat the fudge sauce until loosened enough to pour. Spoon fudge sauce over the top of each frosted cupcake. Watch for crumbs!
I seriously do not know how you Pacific North-westerners do it. We’ve been at least a week without sun. It’s been grey & damp & drizzly. Dismal, really.
I think we’re finally getting a reprieve toward the end of the week, but to make the best of the damp, colder than usual weather (seriously? Is it really May?) we’re working in one more round of soups & comfort food before we have the ungodly heat & humidity to contend with.
This recipe comes from Jerusalem, a cookbook we’ve been completely enamored with since it’s release back in October. It’s a hearty twist on risotto, that uses barley instead arborio rice, that’s just as delicious & warming as the classic, but not nearly as rich. Perfect for an unseasonably cold day in May.
BARLEY RISOTTO WITH MARINATED FETA serves 4
1 cup pearl barley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 stalks celery, diced
2 small shallots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
4 strips of lemon peel
pinch of chile flakes
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
1 1/4 cups crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
10 oz feta cheese, roughly crumbled
1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
Pour all the barley into a fine mesh strainer & rinse well under cold water. Set aside to drain.
In a Dutch oven, or other large pan, heat the butter & 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, shallots & garlic & cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the barley, thyme, paprika, bay leaf, lemon peel, chile flakes, diced tomatoes, vegetable stock & crushed tomatoes, stirring to combine. Add a big pinch of salt. Bring everything to a boil, reduce to a simmer & cook, stirring frequently to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. After about 45 minutes, most of the liquid should be absorbed & the barley should be tender. If it’s not quite ready, add a bit more vegetable stock & simmer longer.
While the risotto cooks, mix the peppercorns & feta in a small bowl. Swirl in the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, gently mix & set aside.
When the barley is tender, check for seasoning. Divide the risotto among serving dishes, top with the feta & oil mixture & sprinkle minced oregano over top. Dig in.
We owe you a good booze post. Here’s some things we’ve been drinking lately.
Guinness Draught. Standby pub favorite.
Foothills Hoppyum. A nice, bold, hoppy North Carolina brew for North Carolina Beer Month.
Brooklyn Silver Anniversary Lager. It’s the dopplebock version of Brooklyn Lager that’s said to pair well with steaks & other meats…fitting for the short ribs Tom had alongside it.
Brasserie Dupont Posca Rustica. I didn’t really dig the herbaceousness of this beer, but Tom though it was the perfect porch beer for this fantastic weather we’ve been having. People on Beer Advocate seem to really like it, too.
Terrapin Bourbon Barrel Aged Peaotch at Busy Bee’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Birthdayfest. I loved what the barrel aging did for this beer. Sure, it lost some of the peach character, but took on some lovely richness.
Green Man Norwegian Wood. This delicious malty Baltic Porter was a nice surprise from the bitter & hoppy beers we love so much from Green Man.
Trophy Rose Gose. We’ve never had a beer from Trophy that wasn’t fabulously executed. This rosemary gose is no exception.
Elk Cove 2012 Pinot Noir Rosé. Rosé is seriously under appreciated, which is a shame because it’s so wonderfully, clean, crisp & food friendly. I want to drink it all the time forever.
Bell’s Oberon (randalled through mangos & pineapple). Oberon is released on baseball’s opening day each year. We’re not really baseball watchers at all, so it really just means that spring is here. The mangoes & pineapple on this pour were really subtle, but who cares, Oberon = Spring.