A Sarcastic Appetite

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
April 25, 2010, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Look, it’s simple: these require few ingredients, most of which you already have; they come together in about 7 minutes; and they’re completely and utterly addictive. I almost made them again this weekend, but I realized that would be a poor decision. I mean, it’s not like I really need to eat a whole batch of these in one sitting. So I, ah, made double chocolate coffee brownies instead.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Makes about 20 brownies…or fewer, depending on how you cut them. Adapted from this recipe at The Kitchen Sink, who adapted it from Heidi Swanson’s recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies.

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

1 1/4 c. peanut butter (the recipe specifies natural, but I used regular with great success)

1 c. maple syrup

1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. peanut butter chips

12 oz. bag of semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease an 8″ square baking pan, or something vaguely similar in size. Line the bottom with a strip of parchment paper, then grease that.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Then stir in the flour mixture, but only just until it combines (it’ll still look a bit dusty). Let it sit for five minutes or so, then stir it once again before pouring it into the pan. The dough is sticky, so use wax paper to press down so you get an even layer of dough.

Bake about 25 minutes, or until just (just!) cooked through. Pull them out of the oven and pour the chocolate chips on top; let them sit for a bit before spreading the melted chocolate with an off-set spatula. Let cool completely (so the chocolate hardens) before cutting into squares. Store in the fridge; let them warm a bit before serving. (Or, uh, not…)

Pasta with Chicken, Prosciutto, [Asparagus], and Peas
April 19, 2010, 10:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s come to my attention that some people don’t like onions. Or mustard, or mayonnaise, or too many tomatoes. This is cause for some concern: so, um, what do I cook instead? Mustard chicken? No way. Pasta puttanesca? Not a chance. Roast chicken with caramelized onio–you know, I’ll just stop right there.

Turns out it’s taken a little longer than I thought to expand my repertoire with stuff that everyone will like. I made about 4 versions of chicken marsala before I found one that was suitable, and even then it could use some tinkering. But really, I should have just skipped all that legwork and started with this little number. The only problem is that I managed to forget the asparagus tonight. Other than that, it’s excellent, and I’m told I need to start making this and selling it to impoverished people who have sprained their ankles playing hockey, live up five flights of stairs, and can’t really take care of themselves right now. I’ll consider it.

Pasta with Chicken, Prosciutto, and Peas

Adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe. Serves 4.

12 oz. penne

2 tbsp. butter

4 oz. prosciutto

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed if necessary and chopped into 1/2″ pieces. (Make sure you get really good asparagus if you want to just saute them – or get whatever kind if you’d rather blanch them first.)

1 1/4 c. frozen peas, no need to thaw

3 scallions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 c. grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra for garnish

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved

about 1/2 lb. cooked chicken, diced

1/4 c. heavy cream

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 c. chopped parsley

1/4 c. basil, julienned

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to however they tell you to do it. In your largest saute pan, melt the butter. Roughly dice the prosciutto, then add to the melted butter. Saute until crisp. Add the asparagus (you could blanch them in boiling salted water for a minute or 2, but when they are in season as they are now, they’re pretty tasty just sauteed as is). Add the peas, scallions and garlic and saute for several minutes, until the asparagus and peas are almost tender.

Add the cooked pasta, the cheese, cherry tomatoes, cooked chicken, a bit of salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Add the cream, olive oil, and lemon juice and stir together. Remove from heat before adding the parsley and basil. Serve with more grated cheese on top – and more black pepper if you like.