Batter Licker

April 27, 2011

sprouted bean coconut curry soup

Several friends of mine have been singing the glory of Heidi Swanson’s Coconut Red Lentil Soup for over a year. Now that I finally saddled up and made a variation of that soup, I’m inclined to join their joyful chorus.

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Truth be told, I’m a sucker for anything containing coconut milk and curry. But the beauty of this soup is that its complex and addictive flavor comes together in a relatively simple process – even simpler if you have leftover sprouted (or unsprouted) beans or lentils on hand. (more…)

April 21, 2011

triple chocolate cookies with sea salt and cayenne sprinkling

Filed under: cookies,dessert — Tags: , — Kristen @ 2:17 pm

According to Jay, I have some ‘splainin’ to do. I seem to have named this site “Batter Licker,” and yet there hasn’t been so much batter around these parts lately. In fact, the most recent dessert was posted almost three months ago!

But dessert is back, and these triple chocolate cookies are rich enough to make up for the utter lack of dessert since early February.

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These cookies have an intense and complex chocolate flavor that comes from the combination of cocoa powder (I used Valrhona, and yes, this is the size of the box I lugged back from Paris for cheaper than you can get it in the US), 70% chocolate, and cacao nibs. This is chocolate decadence at its utmost in cookie form.
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April 15, 2011

collard greens, black beans, and potato pizza with parsley pesto

On Sunday each week, I compile a grocery list, taking careful inventory of the contents in my refrigerator and pantry and cross-referencing them with the ever-growing list of recipes I want to try. But before I add ingredients to my list and recipes to my meal plan for that week, I force each recipe through the reality filter. On a week night, after a full day at work, a workout and possibly laundry or working a shift at Bar Method, I can’t always muster the energy or the patience it takes to cook a preparation-intensive meal and have it not be ready to eat until 9 p.m. Earlier in the week on a Monday or Tuesday, I can usually make it work. But come Wednesday and Thursday, fast and easy take priority. So on those nights, I shove my desire to innovate and experiment aside, and embrace familiar, fast recipes that allow me to eat dinner well before 9 p.m. Enter pizza.

While pizza is often associated with the unhealthy varieties featuring at least a half-inch thick layer of cheese and loads of fatty meats, they don’t have to be that way at home. And they don’t have to be boring either. You would be surprised how far a little dusting of cheese can go when you get a little creative with wholesome yet richly flavored ingredients. (more…)

April 13, 2011

parsley, almond and sunflower seed pesto

Whether you count yourself among those who work hard or hardly work in the kitchen, a fresh pesto sauce that comes together after one minute of chopping and one minute of blending is something you have no excuse not to make.

Pesto is not only among the easiest things to make, but the homemade variety made with a fragrant bunch of fresh herbs results in unbeatable flavor at a fraction of the store-bought price. With basil and other spring herbs showing up at the market, now is the time to pull out that food processor and blend away.

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What I love most about pesto, beyond its fresh flavor and minimalist prep time, is its unlimited versatility. Whether slathered on a sandwich or a pizza, tossed with roasted potatoes or fresh veggies, or mixed into a simple pasta dish, pesto adds a little something that elevates these simple dishes. But pesto’s versatility extends beyond its uses to the ingredients themselves. (more…)

April 8, 2011

asparagus, radish and smoked trout salad with lemon, dijon and balsamic vinaigrette

I remember picking radishes out of my mother’s garden as a child. And I’m almost certain that I did not clean them with as much diligence (and an entire bottle of hand soap) as the first baby carrots I ever pulled out of the ground. Rather, I brushed off the dirt with my shirt, twisted off the ugly root, and dove right in. Crunchy and spicy, I enjoyed the radish in its freshest and rawest state without any adornments. But unfortunately, I never thought to approach asparagus in the same way.

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Fresh asparagus, as I appreciate it now, signals the decline of thick greens and hearty root vegetables, and ushers in the lighter, more uplifting assortment that spring has to offer. However, in my childhood memories, I recall asparagus as a rather sad, drooping and stringy set of spears that were often overcooked, as that is the easiest and most frequent method of preparing a veggie that barely needs any time to cook. Except for eating it raw. (more…)

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