Monday, February 6, 2023

Crab Cakes...Dip Edition


In honor of the Super Bowl coming this weekend, we celebrate with a treat...Crab Cake Dip.  Dana Bowen, who's the Executive Editor of Every Day With Rachael Ray told Tonia's Kitchen there's a twist to this dip, nothing fried.  To get that crispy crunch that offsets the sweet and soft crab, Dana told Tonia she uses crushed saltine crackers, which provides the cake for that crab. Serve it all up with celery sticks. You Philadelphia fans will think you're on South Street

1 1 pound container  lump crab meat, drained and picked over for shells

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . In a medium bowl, mix the first 8 ingredients; season with Old Bay, salt and pepper. Transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish; smooth the top. Sprinkle with the crushed saltines. Scatter the butter slices over the saltines.
  2. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Garnish with the chives. Serve with the celery and saltines
  • 1 8 ounce package  cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup tartar sauce
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Old Bay Seasoning or chili powder, to taste
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed saltines (about 1/2 sleeve)
  • tablespoons cold butter, thinly sliced
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
  • Celery sticks and saltines, for dipping
  • Friday, February 3, 2023

    Beef With a Bite!


    And much like a Ginger Snap, this next dish has just a little bit of a delicious bite!  Ali Rosen, who wrote the new cookbook Bring It, stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her scrumptious Ginger Beef recipe. Ali told Tonia the dish is all about the sauce, and it's a simple sauce to make!  Ali says there's ginger, scallions, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar combined with a seared steak. And that's really all there is to it.  Ali added when people taste it, it'll seem like you spent a lot more time on this than you actually did!  But it's okay for them to think that :)

    30 Minutes
    1 Day Ahead
    Fridge to Table

    Makes 4 to 8 servings
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh ginger
    • 2 cups finely chopped scallions
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • Dash of salt
    • 4 pounds sirloin steak
    • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
    Make the sauce: Combine the ginger, scallions, soy sauce, vinegar, and olive oil. Set it aside. (I think the sauce gets better the longer it sits, but at least let it sit while you cook the steak so it has time to settle together.)

    Then make the steaks: Generously salt the steaks on both sides. Place a cast-iron or nonstick pan on very high heat and add the oil (only use half if you are making the steaks in two batches to keep from crowding the pan). Let the oil get hot and cook each steak for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of your steaks and the desired level of doneness. You will want to flip each steak every 30 seconds or so to ensure that it cooks evenly

    Remove the steaks and let them rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice off the fat and cut the steaks lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Add the sauce on top and serve.

    How to Bring It

    This dish is great hot or cold. If you are serving it cold, you can keep both the sauce and the cooked meat in the fridge for a day before serving (the sauce can keep for 3 days). If you are going to refrigerate the meat for later, don’t slice it after cooking: Wait until you are about to serve it so the moisture in the meat stays intact. If you want to serve the meat hot, undercook it a bit when making it and then reheat it from room temperature in an oven at 350 degrees F for a few minutes to get it up to temperature. You can microwave the sauce to get it hot if you like.

    Thursday, February 2, 2023

    No One Will Ever Say They're Small


    This is a big one!  Cookbook author Elinor Klivens, who wrote Big Fat Cookies, told Tonia's Kitchen about her recipe for Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies, and stuffed they are!  Elinor told Tonia she starts with an all brown sugar dough, and standard chocolate chip cookie ingredients.  She then sets aside one cup of extra chocolate chips, takes 2 tablespoons of dough and balls them on a cookie sheet.  Eleanor then adds the chocolate chips and places two more tablespoons of dough on top of that. She describes it kind of like a chocolate chip sandwich.  When it's all baked, it's delicious!

  • 2 cups (280g) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened for about 30 minutes
  • 1 1/2 cups (240g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large cold eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (505g/18 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1
    Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • 2 Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until blended, about 1 minute. The mixture may look slightly curdled. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Mix in 2 cups (336g) of the chocolate chips.
  • 3 Roll 2 tablespoons of dough between the palms of your hands into a ball, flatten it slightly to make a 2-inch (5cm) disk and place on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat to make a total of 16 disks, placing 8 on each baking sheet and spacing them 4 inches (10cm) apart. Leaving a 1/4-inch (6mm) plain edge, lightly press 1 tablespoon* of the remaining chocolate chips onto each disk. Using the remaining dough, make 16 more disks, placing one on top of each chocolate-chip-topped disk. Press the dough disks gently to cover any of the chocolate chip filling that shows around the edges.
  • 4 Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the edges are lightly browned but the centers are still pale golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm (the filling will be soft and melted) or at room temperature.
  • 5 The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • 6 * I ended up using less than 1 tablespoon of chips – it was difficult placing all that amount of chocolate inside each disk of cookie dough

  • Wednesday, February 1, 2023

    It Doesn't Look Easy To Make, But It Is


    These cream puffs are delicious, simple to whip up and beautiful, because after all they're swans! Gail Sokol, who wrote the cookbook About Professional Baking, came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her delicious recipe for these swans that isn't hard at all. Gail told Tonia it's a one-pan deal with some very simple ingredients that you bring to a boil. Play with the dough and make these swans as beautiful as you like!

    Cream Puff Dough
    1 cup water
    ½ cup unsalted butter
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    4 large eggs
    1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
    2. In a medium saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil.
    3. Quickly add flour and stir with a wooden spoon. A ball of dough will form. Lower the heat and cook for about 1 minute while mixing constantly. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool for several minutes.
    4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing to incorporate with each addition. The dough should hold its shape.
    5. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with about 2/3’s of the dough. Pipe swan bodies spacing them evenly onto a parchment-lined sheet pan.
    6. Using a small round tip and the remaining dough, pipe a neck and head for each swan body onto a different parchment paper lined sheet pan making extras in case of breakage. Bake necks in a 3
    75° F. oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Place cream puffs or swan bodies in a 425° F. oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350o F. and continue baking for 15 minutes or until the swan bodies are puffed, brown and crisp. Cool.
    Stabilized Whipped Cream
    3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
    1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
    1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
    3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted if lumpy
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1. In a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water. Stir and set aside.
    2. Heat 1 inch of water to a simmer in a saucepan or skillet big enough for the bowl of gelatin to fit inside. Place bowl of gelatin into hot water bath just long enough to melt down the gelatin. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream just to cool down the gelatin.
    3. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whip attachment, beat the remaining heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, the melted gelatin, and the vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form.
    1. On a cutting board, slice each swan body in half crosswise. Cut the top portion lengthwise to form two wings. Leave bottom part intact.
    2. Fill pastry bag, fitted with a large star tip with cream, and fill each bottom with cream. Place one wing on each side and stick a head and neck on front of each swan. Dust with powdered sugar.

    Monday, January 30, 2023

    Chicken Fried Tofu


    We admit it, there's few things more delicious than scrumptious pan-fried chicken...but sometimes you need a break from the bird!  That's where Dina Cheney comes in.  The cookbook author who penned the cookbook Meatless All Day told Tonia's Kitchen she has a delicious recipe for Tofu Milanese.  She starts with extra firm tofu and drains it.  She then mixes flour, egg and panko breading, and dips the tofu in it, just as she would chicken.  Fry the tofu in olive oil for 3 minutes per side, just until it's crispy and brown. Then serve it over an Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing.

    • 2 14-16 oz. containers of extra firm tofu
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 lemon, zest and juice
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 cup panko
    • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    Press tofu on a kitchen towel, letting  all excess liquid drain out for at least 1 hour.  (this step just helps to make the tofu more firm)
    Mix eggs with lemon juice in a deep bowl.
    Put flour in another bowl with a pinch of salt and bread crumbs with lemon zest, parsley and parmesan in another.
    Heat a large frying pan over high heat and add oil.
    Bread tofu by dipping in flour, then eggs then crumb mixture and place in oil.  Fry on each side until crispy.  Serve immediately or reheat in oven when ready to serve.  Sprinkle more lemon juice if desired.