I cannot resist trying a new Speculoos recipe. I am mildly obsessed with these crispy spice cookies! 😉 I love the spiced sugar sprinkle on this delicious version. They may be my new favorite!
This recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com, contributed by Erika Bruce. I modified the method and used a combination of molasses and light corn syrup instead of dark corn syrup. Next year I need to make a double batch!
Yield: about 60 2-inch square cookies
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground allspice
2 T granulated sugar
320 g (2 2/3 cups) cake flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp freshly ground cloves
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cool room temperature
218 g (1 cup) packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
1 1/2 T light corn syrup
1/2 T molasses
Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Line 4 baking sheets with kitchen parchment.
In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, coriander and allspice. Measure 1 teaspoon of the mixture into another small bowl, then whisk the white sugar into it and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking soda, cloves and the remaining spice mixture.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and salt on low until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase to medium-high and beat until fluffy and pale, about 5 minutes.
With the mixer running, gradually add the corn syrup, molasses, and 2 tablespoons water.
Using a silicone spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix for another 30 seconds.
Reduce to low, add the flour mixture and mix until the ingredients just begin to form an evenly moistened dough, about 15 seconds.
Dust the counter liberally with flour and scrape the dough onto it. Gently knead the dough, giving it 2 or 3 turns, until smooth; it should feel moist and supple but should not be sticky.
Divide the dough in half; wrap 1 piece in plastic and set aside. With your hands, pat the second piece into a rough 8-by-6-inch rectangle.
Using a well-floured rolling pin, or between layers of plastic wrap, roll the dough rectangle to an even 1/8-inch thickness. Wrap well and place in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. (I place the dough on a plastic cutting board to keep it flat.)
With a 2-inch rectangular or round cookie cutter (ideally with a fluted edge), cut out cookies as close together as possible. Use an offset spatula to carefully transfer the cutouts to one of the prepared pieces of parchment paper, spacing them about 1/2-inch apart. (I used a square cookie cutter.)
Gently pat the dough scraps together, then re-roll and cut out additional cookies; transfer the cutouts to parchment paper.
If desired, use a slightly smaller cutter of the same shape to imprint a decorative border (do not cut all the way through the dough) and use a toothpick to poke a few holes in the centers. (I put 4 holes in the center of each square.)
Sprinkle the cookies evenly with half of the spiced sugar, then freeze or refrigerate uncovered for 15 minutes. (I place the parchment paper on a plastic cutting board to put it in the freezer.)
Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
Place the first sheet of cookies in the oven. Bake until the cookies are firm and beginning to brown, 14 minutes, on convection, or up to 18 minutes in a standard oven, rotating once halfway through.
Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
Repeat with the remaining cookies. Cool completely before serving.
My sister introduced me to Ethiopian food many moons ago. Ever since, we have really enjoyed eating at Ethiopian restaurants but I have never prepared any dishes at home. After receiving collard greens and parsley in my CSA share, this seemed like a fitting menu to try. It could be served any time of year. For us, it was a perfect meal to serve on a rainy and cool June evening.
I loved the brightness that the grated ginger, lemon, and chopped fresh chile added to the tender, stewed collard greens after cooking. The chickpea stew recipe utilizes the genius technique of incorporating ground red lentils to thicken the base.
The recipes were adapted from 177milkstreet.com. I changed the proportions and decreased the heat intensity. I served it over rice with dollops of whole milk Greek yogurt to offset the spice. I also omitted the fresh chile garnish in the chickpea stew. In a restaurant, these dishes would be served with injera, Ethiopian flatbread.
Yield: Serves 4
For the Stewed Collard Greens (Gomen Wat):
1 1/2 T ghee
1/2 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 T minced fresh ginger, divided
scant 1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 pound stemmed collard greens, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons and roughly chopped
3/4 to 1 cup chicken, vegetable or beef stock, divided
1/2 to 1 Fresno or serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the Berbere Spice Blend: (you will have a little extra)
1 T smoked sweet paprika
1 1 /2 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
scant 1/2 tsp garlic powder
heaping 1/4 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1/4 tsp dried basil, ground or crushed into a powder
1/8 tsp ground cumin
For the Chickpea Stew (Shiro Wat):
2 T red lentils
3 T ghee
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cups (1 pint) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
8 to 10 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 T minced or grated fresh ginger
2 T Berbere Spice Blend (above)
2 15.5-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, stemmed and chopped, optional (I omitted it)
cooked rice, for serving, optional (I served both dishes over white Basmati rice)
whole milk Greek yogurt, for serving, optional
injera (flatbread), for serving, optional
To Make the Stewed Collard Greens:
In a large pot over medium, melt the ghee. (I used an enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, 1 tablespoon of grated ginger, the cardamom and turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
Add about half of the collards and cook, stirring, until slightly wilted, then add the remaining collards.
Stir the stock and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the collards are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. (I cooked it for 30 minutes.)
Off heat, stir in the chopped chile, lemon juice and remaining 1/2 tablespoon ginger.
Taste and season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving dish.
To Make the Spice Blend:
In a small bowl or jar, stir or shake together all ingredients until combined. The berbere will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot for up to 2 months. (I used a recycled glass spice jar.)
To Make the Chickpea Stew:
In a spice grinder, pulse the lentils until finely ground, about 10 pulses; set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium, melt the ghee. (I used a low and wide enameled cast iron pot.)
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, ginger and berbere. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have given up their liquid and the mixture is beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the chickpeas, ground lentils, 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Boil over medium-high, then reduce to medium and cook at a simmer, uncovered and stirring often, until the sauce clings to the chickpeas and the desired thickness and consistency is achieved, about 15 to 20 minutes. (If serving over rice, cook the rice at this time.)
Off heat, stir in the parsley and chili (if using).
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve the stewed collard greens and chickpea stew with injera or over rice topped with a dollop of yogurt, as desired.
In Venice, this classic dish is traditionally served on April 25th, St. Mark’s Day. This version was adapted from Michela Tasca, owner of Ca’ de Memi Farm and Bed and Breakfast in Piombino Dese, outside of Venice, Italy, via 177MilkStreet.com, contributed by Diane Unger.
The recipe is similar to risotto in its cooking method and because it incorporates arborio rice, but this dish is much more fluid and soupy. It is definitely for pea lovers! Whole peas and puréed peas are mixed into the creamy rice. I loved the vibrant, beautiful color of the finished dish.
Yield: Serves 4
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large white onion, half thinly sliced and half finely chopped
1 medium celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 quart chicken stock or broth
2 cups frozen peas, divided (1 cup frozen, 1 cup thawed & at room temperature)
2 cups lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 ounces pancetta, cubed or finely chopped (I used uncured pancetta)
4 T salted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces, divided
1 cup arborio or vialone nano rice
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces (1 cup) finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
In a medium pot, combine the carrot, sliced onion (reserve the chopped onion), celery, fennel seeds, stock (or broth), and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high, then cover, reduce to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables have softened, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the solids to a blender, draining as much of the liquid as possible. (It’s okay if some of the fennel seeds remain in the pot.) (I used a Vitamix.)
Add 1 cup of the stock to the blender along with the parsley and the still-frozen peas. (The frozen peas cool the mixture so that it remains a brilliant green.) Leave the remaining stock in the pot, covered, so that it remains warm. (I kept the pot over low heat.)
Blend the solids, parsley, frozen peas, and cup of stock until the mixture is completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes; set aside. (You should have about 3 cups of purée.)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the reserved chopped onion, pancetta, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and pancetta are lightly browned and the pancetta fat is rendered, 6 to 8 minutes. (I used a low, wide, enameled cast iron pot.)
Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated with fat, about 1 minute.
Stir in 1 cup of warm stock. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Ladle in additional stock to barely cover the rice, about 1 cup at a time, and simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 5 minutes per addition.
Repeat the addition of stock, about 4 or 5 times, until the rice is al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let stand uncovered for 5 minutes.
Add the thawed, room temperature peas and the reserved purée; stir into heated through, about 1 minute.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; stir until melted.
Stir in the Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve sprinkled with additional grated Parmesan, as desired.
This quick weeknight dish was packed with flavor. The seasonings had a great balance too. The original recipe notes that tofu can be substituted for the pork to make a vegetarian version.
This recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com, contributed by Dawn Yanagihara. I reduced the amount of kimchi and increased the amount of garlic. This dish could definitely gobble up more kimchi- I may incorporate the full amount next time. I served it over brown Basmati rice to make a complete meal. Wonderful!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin (can substitute 14 oz extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes)
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups Napa cabbage kimchi, drained, large pieces chopped, with 2 T reserved juice (I used 10.6oz jar of Trader Joe’s kimchi)
2 1/2 T soy sauce, divided (I used reduced sodium soy sauce)
brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional (I used 1 cup rice cooked in 2 cups stock)
Cut the tenderloin in half lengthwise, then slice each half crosswise about 1/4-inch thick.
In a medium bowl, stir together the pork, 1 tablespoon of the reserved kimchi juice, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
In a 12 or 14-inch skillet over high, heat 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil until beginning to smoke. Swirl to coat the pan, then add the pork and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl.
In the same pan over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil until beginning to smoke.
Add the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid released by the mushrooms has mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, if necessary (I omitted it), and the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Return the pork to the pan with any accumulated juices and cook until the juices evaporate, 30 to 60 seconds.
Add the kimchi, mirin, the remaining 1 tablespoon kimchi juice and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the kimchi is heated through, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the sesame oil, half of the sesame seeds and half of the scallions.
Transfer to a bowl or platter, over rice, if desired. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and sesame seeds. Serve.
I love Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street television show and cookbooks. I recently joined their mailing list too. I have received a million emails from them since about offers and products, etc., but getting recipes like this one makes it worth the spam. 😉
This was our Election Day comfort food meal. It was quick and absolutely delicious. Perfect. The recipe was inspired by chef Vitaly Paley of Portland, Oregon, via 177milkstreet.com, contributed by Julia Rackow. I used cremini instead of portobello mushrooms and modified the proportions. I loved how the mushrooms lightened up the meaty sauce.
Yield: 6 servings
2 T salted butter
7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and finely chopped or portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed, caps finely chopped
2 large shallots, halved and thinly sliced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, preferably bulk (I used sausage links and removed the casings)
1 cup full-bodied, dry red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
14 1/2 to 16 oz can crushed tomatoes
16 oz dried pappardelle or tagliatelle
minced fresh parsley, for garnish, optional
grated Parmesan, for serving, optional
Finely chop the garlic and mushrooms in a food processor.
In a 12-inch skillet over medium, heat the butter and garlic until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to sizzle. (I used a wide enameled cast iron pan.)
Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the shallots have softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking the meat into small pieces, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes. Discard any accumulated fat, if necessary.
Increase to medium-high and add the wine. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the broth, cinnamon, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Continue to simmer until the broth has reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the tomatoes and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside, covered.
While the sauce simmers, in a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil.
Add the pasta and 2 tablespoons of salt and cook until the pasta is al dente.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking (pasta) water, drain the pasta and return it to the pot or a serving dish.
Add the sauce to the pasta (I layered it) and toss to coat. If needed, add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water to adjust the consistency of the sauce. (I did not add pasta water but kept it to add when reheating the leftovers.)
Serve garnished with parsley. Pass grated Parmesan at the table, as desired.
This Indian stew was fast to prepare, loaded with spices and flavor, and was absolutely fabulous. What a combination! If that wasn’t enough, it was also a hearty vegetarian dish with a little bit of heat. All my favorites.
This recipe is from Milk Street: The New Home Cooking by Christopher Kimball. It is a simplified version of a classic Goan dish. I increased the amount of onion and served the stew with warm naan and chopped grape tomatoes on the side as an optional garnish.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 T coconut or peanut oil
4 garlic cloves, smashed
3 tsp finely grated fresh ginger, divided
2 tsp yellow or brown mustard seeds
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp freshly ground fennel seeds
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 1/2 cups water
13.5 to 14 oz can coconut milk
1 cup split red lentils, rinsed
6 oz (about 6 cups) baby spinach, roughly chopped
juice of 1/2 to 1 lime
unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish, optional
chopped tomatoes, for garnish, optional
In a large saucepan over medium to medium-high, combine the onion, oil, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are just beginning to color, 7 to 9 minutes.
Stir in 2 teaspoons of the grated ginger, the mustard seed, turmeric, coriander, fennel, and red pepper flakes.
Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the water, coconut milk, and lentils, then bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the lentils have broken down, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Uncover and stir in the spinach; return to a simmer.
Off the heat, add the remaining 1 teaspoon of grated ginger and the lime juice.
Season with salt to taste.
Serve, garnished with coconut flakes and chopped tomatoes, as desired.
I couldn’t stop myself from trying- and sharing- one more recipe in Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street: The New Home Cooking book. 🙂 This recipe was inspired by Madhur Jaffrey’s tomato rice recipe in Vegetarian India.
This quick and versatile dish can be served as a side with seafood, chicken, or, as Kimball suggests, a simple fried egg. We ate it as a light meal with sautéed chard with garlic and cumin. I loved the layers of spices. I used serrano chiles instead of bird’s-eye chiles.
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
1 cup white Basmati rice, rinsed
1 1/4 cups water
2 T tomato paste
2 T grapeseed or other neutral oil (I used canola oil)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp brown or black mustard seeds
2 serrano or bird’s-eye chiles, stemmed and halved lengthwise
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
In a bowl, combine the rinsed rice with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain the rice very well
In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine the 1 1/4 cups water and tomato paste; whisk until dissolved. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium, combine the oil, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, chiles, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the seeds begin to pop and the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the rice and salt and cook, stirring, until coated with oil, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the water-tomato paste mixture and bring to a simmer.
Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat, add the tomatoes and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro, fluffing the rice with a fork.