It's winter. It's cold. Hot chocolate is possibly one of the best things ever to drink to cope with the snow and the wind - and the other drivers on the road, if you add in a splash of something alcoholic.

This is pretty simple, and adapted from a blend of a traditional recipe and a Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe.

4 cups half and half (or milk. Half and half, however, makes it really, really good. Cream would probably be even better, but clogs the arteries accordingly.)
4-5 ounces dark chocolate (85%. You can use a lighter variety, but you'll need to use a bit less sugar.)
1 heaping tablespoon Baking Cocoa
2 whole cloves.
1 small pinch anise seeds
1 large pinch cinnamon
1 tablespoon red chili pepper
1/3 cup sugar (to taste, really - 1/3 is a starting point)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat all ingredients together in a large sauce pan, stirring with a spoon to keep the chocolate from sticking to the bottom. Once the chocolate has thoroughly melted, whisk briskly, adding sugar, red chili pepper, and additional baking cocoa to taste.

I used Belgian Dark for the melting chocolate and Ghiradelli for the baking cocoa. Obviously the recipe can be adapted to take any kind of chocolate, with sufficient reductions (or increases) in the level of sugar. And of course, the best thing of all to have with this is some marshmellows.

Careful with the anise; it's very, very strong. They use it in absinthe to cover the bitter taste of wormwood - too much of it, and your hot chocolate will end up tasting of NyQuil. Not tasty.

1 package ground Italian sausage
1/2 bunch green onions, minced
2 egg whites
3 splashes soy sauce
1 splash mirin
1 splash rice wine vinegar
2 splashes sesame oil
5 minced garlic cloves
20-25 gyoza skins or wonton wrappers

Mix all the ingredients but one of the egg whites and the wrappers thoroughly in a large bowl. Stick in the refrigerator for an hour. After an hour, remove from the refrigerator, add one teaspoon of the meat mixture to a gyoza skin. Coat the edges with egg white, firmly press together, put aside on plate. Repeat twenty to thirty times.

Dumplings may be steamed if you're health-conscious or fried in a teaspoon of sesame oil if you aren't. Pre-cooking the meat lightly and draining it on paper towels will probably cut the grease, so will steaming it. Both ways are equally tasty and full of sausagey goodness. Heartily recommended with the following dipping sauce.

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons mirin
1 minced garlic clove
Thinly sliced green onion to taste/garnish
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 T melted butter
4 T sugar
1 t vanilla

Whisk together egg and flour in medium-sized bowl, pour in milk, whisk, add water, continue whisking. Add butter, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Should be slightly less thick than pancake batter.

Butter or spray a small frying plan, heat on high. Pour 1/8th of a cup batter into the pan (this is fairly easy to eyeball) and tilt pan to coat bottom. Wait until no longer "wet" with egg on top, work spatula in under an edge, flip. Brown both sides until golden (or spotted, equally tasty either way), stack on plate with layers of wax paper in between to keep 'em from sticking together.

Should make 7 or 8, depending on how good you can get at eyeballing the batter.

Really tasty with a good jam, or, if you feel like living dangerously, cream cheese. Or whatever you feel like: lots of things taste awesome with crepes.

Notes: Sugar can be added to taste, or not at all, but it goes well with the jam. Omit sugar and vanilla if you want to do things like add cheddar or other savory things. Add a little more flour and some baking powder and this converts well to a pancake recipe if more batter is added to the pan.
I have fallen into a comfortable routine of "indentured servitude" at Chez Seastrom. This is fairly enjoyable - what it means is that I turn on the dishwasher and cook dinner with what's at hand. What's at hand is a fairly decent selection of spices and sauces, meats and veggies. So I've been able to play around with things a little bit more. It helps that RS has a very, very nice set of knives and a capacious dishwasher. So here's something that I'm fond of making in various combinations of ingredients.

peanut chicken over noodles and salad )
haruspex: babylon (Default)
( Oct. 28th, 2006 08:41 pm)
Recipe: Chocolate Custard

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cocoa (I used the Godiva stuff, but any kind will work.)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Heat milk, sugar and cocoa in saucepan until thick. Mix in with the egg, add vanilla, add to small ramekin in a pan full of water. Bake at 350 for twenty minutes.

What actually happened, or: Cass has ADD. No one is surprised. )


haruspex: babylon (Default)


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