Monday, April 2, 2012

Not Your Hippie Hummus

While hummus is often thought of as a hippie vegan dish; there is no need to be biased and it can really be enjoyed by everyone. I have become addicted to hummus on everything thanks to my cousin Megan and her husband Micah. Hummus is great because it can serve as a multipurpose dip/spread. You can use it as a healthy dip with pretzels as a snack and I recently started to use it as a spread on sandwiches with lettuce, slice tomatoes and avocado. Delish!

When I made it for the boys during my crazy cooking frenzy last week, for some reason they liked to dip the cheese pretzel bites into it. Not sure how I feel about that, I would be wary! Might just be a strange boy thing. 

My favorite hummus recipe is by Barefoot Contessa. I like that she adds Tabasco sauce because hummus is always better with a little bit of a kick. The lemon juice also makes it really fresh. Using Tahini scares me a little bit still as it's a bit of a foreign ingredient in my kitchen, but it really blends well with the overall flavor. I bought this giant jar at Garden Fresh for under $5.

Making fresh hummus is seriously way better than store bought, there actually is a huge difference in the taste. I definitely suggest taking the 5 minutes to throw it in your blender. Your taste buds won't be sorry!

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas
  • 8 dashes hot sauce
  1. Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it's minced. 
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste, for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature. 
Source: Barefoot Contessa

By: Maggie Dunphy

Friday, March 30, 2012

It's Actually Easy Being Green Salsa: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

I love to cook all the time. However, when I am really stressed, I sometimes overdo it...a bit. Last week, Indiana University made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. I was home for spring break for the previous games against New Mexico and VCU. My mother couldn't wait to get me out of the house.  Mom's mantra for the week was "Deerfield is not a college town, and you can't scream with all the windows open in the house." But Mom, this is INDIANA! Unfortunately, she is not a Hoosier and did not quite understand the concept. 


Hands down, one of my favorite memories at IU will always be watching Watford hit the 3 in the last seconds to beat Kentucky. Our unranked program, beat the #1 basketball program in the nation. Thus, I was completely on edge the entire week awaiting our fate when Indiana and Kentucky would meet again in the Sweet Sixteen round. The game was at 9:45 at night. My day ended up consisting of making: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (this recipe), Hummus, Cheese Pretzels, and Barbecue Wings. Thankfully I was cooking for a house of guys, who definitely appreciated it. Even with the nonstop cooking action all day and completely exhausting myself, I could barely watch the game. Every basket made or missed, we edged even further onto the edge of our seats. Everyone had different ways to deal. Some paced, some had to leave the room,  some yelled at the refs and I buried my head in a pillow. I had never felt so tense before. 

Even though, Indiana did not go on, we gave Kentucky a run for their money. I am so proud of everything Tom Crean has built back for our basketball program. I'll always be an avid Indiana Basketball fan, even when I'm not living in Bloomington next season. Thanks for a great four years and showing the country what potential the Indiana Hoosiers have in years to come. This is Indiana. BANNER UP! 

   Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
1 pound tomatillos, husks discarded 
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled 
2 large jalpeno peppers 
1 white onion, quartered 
juice of 1 lime 
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1/2 teaspoon sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Heat oven to 500 degrees.  Place tomatillos, garlic, jalapenos and onion in an ungreased baking pan.  Cook stirring once, or twice until vegetables are charred about 15 minutes: set aside to cool.  Remove stems(but not seeds from peppers: discard.  Peel garlic.
2. Transfer ingredients to a food processor; process until coarsely chopped.  Transfer to a medium bowl; stir in lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper until well-blended.  Salsa will keep, refrigerated, up to 4 days.

Recipe based on: Rick Bayless 
By: Maggie Dunphy

Friday, March 2, 2012

Oh No She Didn't!: Pasta Risotto

I know I have already posted two risottos, but I PROMISE, this one is definitely worth your while. The catch is that instead of cooking rice, you substituting it with my favorite college friendly simple ingredient, pasta. 

I love the Minimalist Blog by Mark Bittman from the New York Times, because he makes cooking in my kitchen quick and easy, but also at the same time concocts exciting flavors. No one likes a fussy recipe and buying ingredients you are never going to use again. This recipe is a pasta upgrade. Rather than boil your pasta in water, you slowly cook it in chicken broth. As the pasta cooks it absorbs the savory chicken broth/white wine base. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. If only I had mushrooms in my kitchen...good thing I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow!

If you are not a fan of mushrooms, you should be able to find a substitute. I recommend trying asparagus. However, even though I am not a big fan of the mushroom family quite yet, I love them in this recipe. When you saute them in garlic and then soak them in the  broth base, they pack even more flavor into the dish. The key is even if you don't like something, you have to keep trying. People's taste in food changes all the time. Don't miss out!

Unfortunately, I was out of fresh Parmesan to garnish my dish. On the bright side, spring break is in less than a week and mom will take me on a shopping spree to Caputo's! Right mom!?

Pasta Risotto

2 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
1 shallot or small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups crimini, shiitake or button mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
1/2 pound cut pasta like gemelli or penne, or long pasta broken into bits
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or water
3 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 boneless chicken thighs, diced
Chopped fresh parsley, optional
Freshly grated Parmesan, optional.

1. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add shallot, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms soften and begin to brown on edges, about 10 minutes. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated with oil, 2 to 3 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper, then wine. Stir and let liquid bubble away.

2. Ladle stock into skillet 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring after each addition and every minute or so. When liquid is just about evaporated, add more. Mixture should be neither soupy nor dry. Keep heat at medium and stir frequently.

3. Begin tasting pasta 10 minutes after you add it; you want it to be tender but with a tiny bit of crunch. When pasta is about 3 to 4 minutes away from being done, add chicken and stir to combine. Continue to cook until chicken is done — it will be white on inside when cut — and pasta is how you like it. Taste, adjust seasoning, garnish with parsley and Parmesan if using, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Mine?: Valentine Sugar Cookies

I always used to call Valentines Day, a "Hallmark Holiday". However, I've realized that if you take away the chocolates, flowers and gifts; it's really not that bad of an idea. You don't need a significant other to tell someone you love them, pass on a smile, or say something nice to brighten someone's day.

I know I have already posted my sugar cookie recipe, but I am just so proud of myself that I have finally been improving on my royal icing skills. Decorated cookies always make great presents, because they are thoughtful and hopefully delish as well! (They usually are my boyfriend's favorite kind of present.) You can always find a cookie cutter for any occasion. My new favorite one is a high heeled pump. (Hobby Lobby and Michael's have an insane amount in every category imaginable)

With a little practice and a light dusting of powdered sugar all over my apartment, beautiful bakery quality results are possible. 

Happy Valentines Day! I love you all!

Wilton Royal Icing Recipe:

4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty
mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
Thinned Royal Icing:To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing.
Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you
reach proper consistency.
How to Ice:
Use your first batch of "thick" royal icing and outline the shapes in the cookie you want to separate for different colors. Then put a couple teaspoons of water to thin your icing. You will use this batch to fill in the outlines 

Sometimes I like to just add sugar instead of frosting 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Make em' laugh: Orange and Balsamic Roasted Carrots

I really have been focusing on main courses on my blog, but I have learned that sides are just as important in the recipe for making a well rounded meal.

Over break, I helped Chef Gale Gand with a couple of demos and picked up this awesome side dish for roasted carrots. I assisted by taking photos and helping her prepare homemade gnocchi and chocolate mousse. (I'll share those recipes at a later time!) It was an especially funny scenario, because my sister turned out to be in one of the classes for a school field trip and neither of us knew the other would be there.

The best part out of the experience was when Gale pointed out that I had flour on my face during the middle of the demo. My sister was very amused. You have to laugh at yourself, especially when you are cooking! 

I love this recipe because it can be a side for dinner or even make an easy healthy snack after a long day of classes. I especially like them because you just throw it the oven, and you're basically done! I usually just make a simple chicken breast and have these on the side for a splash of flavor and color. 

PS- You know they are good because I made these for our Thanksgiving dinner as a side. The whole Fisher clan (my mom is from a family of 8) didn't leave any leftovers! You can also add beets too. 

Orange and Balsamic Roasted Carrots 

6 medium carrots
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  1. Cut the carrots into chunks (Gale does a Japanese roll cut here), place them in a roasting pan, drizzle them with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. 
  3. Pour the orange juice into the pan and continue roasting for another 15 minutes to reduce the liquid and glaze the carrots.
  4. In a large bowl, gently combine the roasted carrots sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve. KEEPS 2 -3 days 


Monday, January 9, 2012

LEGEN-DAIRY: Cheese Souffle

This winter break, I was a couch potato and watched a lot of television. I was mainly obsessed with Bones, which I think secretly fulfills my desire to be an FBI agent. However, my mom can't stand to watch the "CSI Investigation" genre. She doesn't understand how I don't have nightmares from them. So when my mom and I were watching tv, we can always agree on two things; any of the Real Housewives, but our absolute favorite is How I Met Your Mother. We watched the entire series from the very beginning. It actually became the inspiration for this post.  

The Seattle Dunphy's and New York Gottlieb's came to visit Chicago the week before Christmas and we had a blast! My Uncle Steve is an amazing cook and has been trying to get me to post about the very intimidating French appetizer, cheese souffles. Since he was in town, I asked him to take the lead for me. 

Barney is known for his "legendary quotes" My personal favorite is, "It's gonna be legend-... wait for it... and I hope you're not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is DAIRY!" There are some lactose-intolerant family members who couldn't be our taste tasters, however, Uncle Steve and I are confident that we can make a soy-product souffle for next time! 
Uncle Steve taking a perfect cheese souffle out of the oven

Uncle Steve has probably made thousands of souffles, so I wanted be the sous chef for the night and learn from the French cooking master. Surprisingly, cheese souffles are not nearly as hard as I thought.

Two Rules.
2. You do need to serve promptly because it will start deflating. However, they are full of flavor and it's like eating air; light, fluffy and decadent. 

This is a legendary recipe and I think the pictures speak for themselves. Definitely worth a try in any beginner's kitchen. 

Cheese Souffles


  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • Directions:
    1. Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 400 F. Butter 6-cup (1 1/2-quart) soufflé dish. Add Parmesan cheese and tilt dish, coating bottom and sides. Warm milk in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming.
    2. Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam and loses raw taste, about 3 minutes (do not allow mixture to brown). 
    3. Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 1 minute. Pour in warm milk, whisking until smooth. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in paprika, salt, and nutmeg. 
    4. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition. Scrape soufflé base into large bowl. Cool to lukewarm. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.
    5. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm or room temperature soufflé base to lighten. 
    6. Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions while gradually sprinkling in Gruyère cheese. Transfer batter to prepared dish.
    7. Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375 F. Bake until soufflé is puffed and golden brown on top and center moves only slightly when dish is shaken gently, about 25 minutes (do not open oven door during first 20 minutes). Serve immediately.

    Source: Epicurious/adapted from The Way to Cook by Julia Child.

    Gently separate the egg white and yoke. Shift back and forth in the shell, constantly catching the yoke

    Egg whites should make soft peaks

    The key is FOLDING! Gently, until just combined

    Bam! a little Parmesan 


     By: Maggie Dunphy