Saturday, May 1, 2010
When I saw Food Gal's recipe for Italian Macaroons, I marked it on my to-do list. I'd never had an Italian macaroon, but she described the cookies to be chewy and almond flavored, and so I knew I'd love them. It's taken me a long time to get around to this recipe. Despite the recipe being easy to make, it required almond paste, which is a bit pricey, and I needed a scale to weigh my ingredients.
I finally got everything I needed, so I made a batch. They were so simple to make, and I love how they taste. They remind me a bit of coconut macaroons, but with almonds instead and with a stickier base. These cookies are small and delicious. I could eat them all day long.
I screwed up a little with the recipe. You are supposed to roll the dough balls in a bowl full of sliced almonds. I accidentally poured the almonds directly into the dough. But they cookies still came out chewy and tasty, and I think it was easier to make with the almonds in the batter, since the dough is super sticky. It just means that the almonds are mixed inside and aren't just on the outside.
Italian Macaroons (adapted from Food Librarian)
(makes about 2 1/2 dozen)
7 oz almond paste
3/4 cups sugar
2 large egg whites
About 1/2 pound slivered almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mat.
2. Break almond paste into pieces. Place in bowl of a food processor
with the sugar. Pulse into almond paste is crumbled finely, and evenly
combined with sugar.
3. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Stir a little of
the egg whites into the almond mixture; it will be fairly dry. Fold in
4. Place almonds in a shallow bowl. Roll almond paste mixture into
1-inch balls, keeping them as round as possible. If mixture is too
sticky, alternately drop heaping teaspoonfuls into the bowl of almonds;
use your fingers to roll the dough ball around until coated evenly with
slivered almonds. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. (I just dumped my almonds into the dough and rolled 1 inch balls.)
5. Bake cookies until evenly pale gold, 15 to 17 minutes.
Friday, April 30, 2010
422 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Boyfriend and I found ourselves in LA during lunchtime on a weekday. It was the perfect opportunity for us to visit Sushi Gen, a place I'd be wanting to visit for a long time. Sushi Gen is a small sushi joint that is quite popular. Even at 1:30 on a weekday there was a wait.
I was surprised that the staff was mostly not japanese. The restaurant has a long sushi bar, and then some small tables. I didn't have my camera on me, so we had to rely on camera phones.
During lunch, they have a sashimi special. For $15, you get a plate of
various sashimi, soup, cucumber salad, a tofu appetizer, and rice. $15!
I couldn't believe it. Where can you get something like that in San
Diego? So I chose to get the sashimi special.
I really liked the tofu. It was warm and had a light soy sauce based sauce. The fish pieces were served on a bed of edible cooked seaweed pieces. There was even toro included.There was also some cooked squid and a piece of grilled salmon.
Boyfriend ordered the sashimi deluxe. This seemed more appropriate for a dinner, but it was something I had read about that I knew he would like and since we had come so far, it was one of the few opportunities we would have to try it. The Sashimi delux is $30, and has quite a few items not included in the lunch special such as clams, octopus, anchovies, salmon and some other fish I don't remember which ones.
Now I know why this place is so popular. I wish we had something like this in San Diego.
Friday, April 30, 2010
A while back I tried a recipe for a coconut mochi bundt cake. The batter was really wet — a lot wetter than the batters from most mochi recipes I've made. The result was a really chewy cake. It reminded me a lot of chinese new year cake (nian gao) rather than the mochi I am used to.
While the coconut mochi bundt came out beautifully, since the cake was so chewy, it was really hard to eat like slices of cake. I enjoyed the taste, but I wanted to make the mochi smaller. I also wanted them to be slightly less chewy. I thought they would be perfect as bite sized servings, so I took out my Nordicware seashell pan and put the batter into seashell molds. I also adjusted the batter slightly, reducing the amount of milk.
The result were great. The pieces came out so pretty and I liked the bite sized quantities. It made it a lot easier to chew and eat, rather than thick cake slices.
Mini Coconut mochi seashells
1 stick butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. baking powder
16 oz. box Mochiko flour
6 oz. milk
1/2 cup water
13.5 oz. can coconut milk
Beat eggs and sugar together. Add vanilla, butter, milk,
coconut milk and water. Add in mochiko flour and baking powder.
2. Spoon mixture into seashell pan, about 2/3 full.3. Put in a 350 F oven for about 20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
3. Cool completely before serving.