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Portland, Oregon food blog with over seven years worth of recipes, restaurant features and food photos.

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SHF#26: Sparkly Chocolate Star Cookies

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This month’s Sugar High Friday is hosted by Habeas Brulee and the theme is a great one — sugar art. Of course, with it being the holidays and everything, I kind of took the lazy way out and made cookies decorated with sparkly sugar. These are very much like chocolate shortbread and are very good. I actually found them to be even tastier the day after baking.

The recipe is from the book, Christmas Cookies, edited by Susan Hernandez Ray. I received it a couple of months ago when I accidentally forgot to decline the monthly selection at the Good Cook’s Book Club. Oops.

Chocolate Star Cookies
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups AP flour
1 cup Dutch process cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 ounces white chocolate chips
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, combining well. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until blended.

cookies

Combine the flour and next three ingredients and gradually add to the butter mixture at low speed. Divide dough in half and wrap each potion in plastic wrap. Chill at . . . → Read More: SHF#26: Sparkly Chocolate Star Cookies

It Must be a Holiday, I Smell Roasted Game Hens

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We have a Christmas tradition (when we’re at home) of having Roasted Cornish Game Hens for Christmas dinner. And they are so-so-so good! Especially so after I got the book, “The Cook’s Illustrated Complete Guide to Poultry (since re-named as the Complete Book of Chicken…). The book is the poultry and fowl bible, as far as I am concerned. This book has never let me down and this recipe is no exception.

I basically follow the book exactly, except that I add veggies to the pan and I rub some roasted garlic, butter and sage under the breast skin. That’s what I do with turkey too. It just seemed like a good idea for hens as well. Really, what piece of poultry could you not do this with? I don’t ever want to find out.

Roasted, Stuffed Cornish Game Hens
Based very closely on the Cook’s Illustrated recipe
2 cups kosher salt or 1 cup table salt
2 Cornish hens (each less than 1 1/2 pounds if possible), trimmed of extra fat, giblets removed, rinsed well
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine
1 small head garlic, wrapped in foil and roasted until soft (400 degrees for . . . → Read More: It Must be a Holiday, I Smell Roasted Game Hens

Happy Holidays!

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Je Mange la Ville is going on a break until the 26th or 27th of December. I hope everyone has a great few days. My first post next week will probably be of our Christmas dinner: Roasted Cornish Game Hens, Creamed Spinach and Roasted Root . . . → Read More: Happy Holidays!

Monte Christo Sandwiches: It’s Like Eating French Toast for Lunch (or Dinner)!

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When I was little, whenever we’d go out for lunch, I would get a Monte Christo sandwich. It was my absolute favorite. I think it was the, “I’m eating French Toast for lunch!!”, thrill of it all. Granted, this was a simpler time, long before Freedom Toast.

Recently, however, I was browsing thorugh the Food Network site and saw this recipe, originally featured on Sara’s Secrets — recipe from Mama’s on Washington Square, San Francisco, CA. So, grab a pan and some eggs, bread, meat and cheese and let’s make some freedom on a plate, San Francisco-style.

Monte Christo Sandiches (makes 2)
4 slices white bread
Mayonnaise, as needed
4 slices Gouda or Havarti
4 slices smoked turkey
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Optional: Powdered sugar

Serving suggestion: Really good blackberry jam on the side.

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Using a knife, cut the crusts off the sandwich (this helps to pinch and seal the ends). The, lay out 2 slices of bread and spread with mayonnaise. Top each slice with the 1 slice of Gouda and 1 slice of turkey each. Put the third slice of bread on top of one stack, and flip the remaining stack on . . . → Read More: Monte Christo Sandwiches: It’s Like Eating French Toast for Lunch (or Dinner)!

Iorio on Hawthorne: Very Festive & Tasty

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Iorio
912 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 445-4716

I pass this restaurant pretty much every day (unless I catch the Division bus instead of the Hawthorne one) on my way home from work. It always looks so cozy and inviting. Bright red walls, soft lights and lately — a big Christmas tree in the middle of the restaurant, as well as two white-light decorated tress guarding the doorway.

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I talked jwa into trying this place Saturday night and I’m very glad I did. We had a great two hour dinner and a very nice time. The meal started with a couple of complimentary snacks — bread with a squash dip and a small plate of marinated garbanzo beans with a balsamic drizzle and shaved Parmesan. Both were fabulous!

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The meal itself was a hard choice. However, I have a rule that whenever calamari is on a menu we have to have it. At Iorio this meant calamari with a cornmeal crust and accompanied with a herbed aioli and Serrano chile oil. I really liked it. The calamari was tender and the breading not too heavy and the dipping sauces were especially good.

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After . . . → Read More: Iorio on Hawthorne: Very Festive & Tasty