Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mexican Chocolate Pudding — Olé!

This recipe popped into my iGoogle reader one morning, and it was difficult not to rush home to make it. It arrived in my favorite recipe feed from Mark Bittman (also @bittman on Twitter).

In this instance, he was playing with tofu. Yes, there is one pound of tofu in this dessert. I PINKIE SWEAR nobody will ever notice. And with tofu and chocolate as main ingredients, I think a strong argument can be made that this deliciousness actually is good for you.

Fair warning: Do not make this luscious dessert when you have a bunch of vultures friends visiting or your bowl will look just like mine:

Here's what it looks like when Mark makes it (with chocolate shavings, of course—Photo courtesy of The New York Times):

Equipment needed:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Blender, whisk or spoon (even a fork would work)

  • Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pound tofu (silk, I used organic firm, but soft would work better probably)
  • 8 ounces chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I added a touch more)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (play with this - I use 1 teaspoon, but it's to taste)

  • What to do:
    Mix everything in a blender (or whipping it by hand also works).

    This is a very (very!) rich dessert, so it will go a long way. But I have yet to have leftovers.

    Did you play with this recipe? Make any fun alterations? Leave a comment and share with us!

    Monday, August 10, 2009

    Spicy Bean, er, Soup

    This project started out as a request from The Mate for spicy bean soup. So, I made it up. As you'll notice in the photo, mine turned out more like chili (which The Mate really loves, so that worked out). If you don't want this to happen, don't boil down the broth like I did. It's good either way.

    This spicy soup is perfect for a chilly fall meal. Of course, I made it on the hottest, muggiest day of the year (not crazy, just obsessed with food creation). No matter—it's delicious in any weather.

    And remember, soup is extraordinarily flexible. If there's an ingredient you don't like, substitute something else. Cooking is all about playing until you get it the way you want.

    Here's what mine looked like:

    Equipment needed:

    • Very large soup pot
    • Spoon to stir
    • Sharp knife to chop


    • 1 bag mixed dried beans (if it comes with a spice packet for soup, throw out that packet)
    • 1 pound chorizo (get the hot one—if it's not hot enough when you taste the soup, you can add a little cayenne to spice it up more)
    • 1 cup brown rice
    • 4 quarts water (I used 5, thus the excess boiling down and subsequent chili texture. 4 should work well—you can always add more if you like)
    • 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped oregano
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 fresh bay leaves (remove before serving soup)
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
    • 3-5 fresh tomatoes, chopped (or however many you have handy, any variety)
    • 1 6- or 12-ounce can tomato paste (I used 12-ounce, but 6-ounce would be fine)
    • 2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon, chicken
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    What to do:

    Set water to boil in soup pot. While it's heating up, remove casing from chorizo, break into small bits and drop into water. Add spices, tomatoes and tomato paste. When the water boils, add Better Than Bouillon (makes it easier to dissolve). Simmer for about 30 minutes (or until the scent is strong enough to make your mouth water). Add beans and rice, stir. Simmer for about another hour, until the beans are fully cooked, stirring occasionally. If you like the consistency of the soup, simmer with a cover on the pot. If you want thicker soup, no cover.

    Serve with warm tortillas (slathered in butter if you're extra decadent) or your favorite bread.

    This should serve 6-8 people. Or you can put it in glass mason jars and freeze for a quick meal later!