Eggless raspberry squares


Raspberry squares are an amazingly delicious cookie for so many reasons.The buttery crust doubles up as the crumble topping with a raspberry preserve sandwiched in the middle. The crust has oats and nuts,giving it a fantastic crunch. The white and dark sugar combine to lend a complex flavor. i often have to double the recipe as once served they go so fast.

Americas test kitchen

Makes 25 squares

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

1  1/2 cups ( 7 1/2 oz) all purpose flour

1  1/4 cups #  1/4 oz) quick cook oats

1/2 cup pecans or almonds,chopped fine

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp table salt

12 tablespoons ( 1  1/2 sticks ) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened

1 cup raspberry preserves

Adjust an oven rack to the lower -middle position and heat oven to 350*F.Line a 9 inch square baking pan with two pieces of foil and spray with vegetable oil spray.

Whisk the flour,oats, nuts, sugars, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat flour mixture and butter at low speed until well blended and the mixture resembles wet sand,about 2 minutes.

Transfer two thirds of the mixture to the prepared pan. Press the crumbs evenly and firmly into the bottom of the pan. Bake until just starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, spread the preserves evenly over the hot crust;sprinkly the remaining flour mixture over the preserves. Bake until bubbling around the edges and top is golden brown,around 30 minutes, rotatating the pan halfway through the baking time. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, 1 to 1  1/2 hours.Lift the bars from the baking pan using the foil extentions;Cut bars into 25 squares,serve.

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Eggless yogurt Almond coffee cake


My inspiration for this great coffee cake cake from Nita Mehta and ATK , one for the cake the other for the topping . Then I set about trying to figure out how to get more almond flavor in the cake , by switching some of the regular all purpose flour for almond meal . The topping is a mixture of sliced almonds , sugar and orange zest . This is just delicious and you simply cannot imagine the aroma wafting from the oven.

1 nine inch coffee cake

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup almond flour

1  1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup sugar

1 cup plain yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

zest of 1 small orange

TOPPING

1/4 cup sugar

zest of 1 small orange

1/2 sliced almonds

Mix the sugar and zest ,set aside for 2 minutes for the orange oils to release . Stir in the almonds . Divide mixture into 2 . set aside.

Sieve the flour and baking powder together , stir in the almond flour.

Beat sugar and butter till light and fluffy.

Add the yogurt , vanilla , and zest . Mix well .

Fold in the flour and almond mixture lightly so as not to deflate the batter .

pour half the batter into the greased pan. Top with half the almond mixture . Pour over the other half of the batter , smoothing the batter . Top with the balance almond mixture. Tap the pan on the counter top to deflate any air pockets .

Bake in a preheated 350*F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean . Cool on a rack , remove after 5 minutes . Serve when cool .

Creamless creamy Tomato soup


As the weather has turned colder I love to snuggle up with a cup of hot creamy soup , especially cream of tomato , a childhood favorite ( those days canned soup was the flavor of the day ) . After trying this soup , believe me your days of soup out of a can will be forgotten . This soup is so silky and creamy , I sometimes forget it has none . All the creaminess comes from pureeing sandwich bread into the soup. I love to serve this soup with oven baked crutons , which I finish with finely grated pecorino romano cheese .

Serves 6

Americas test kitchen

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

1/4 cup extra virgin oil , plus extra for drizzling

1 medium onion , chopped medium

3 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press

pinch red pepper flakes , optional

1 bay leaf

2 ( 28 oz cans )who;le tomatoes , ( I really prefer using San Marzano tomatoes ,they are less acidic and sweeter)

3 slices high quality sandwich bread , crusts removed, torn into 1 inch pieces

2 cups vegetable stock ( or chicken stock )

1 tbs brown sugar

2 tbs brandy , optional

table salt and ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

Heat 2 tbs of the oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic , red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Cook , stirring frequently until the onion is translucent , 3 to 5 minutes .Stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Using a potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than2 inches remain. Stir in the bread and the sugar and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally , until the bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes . Remove and discard Bay leaf .

Transfer half of the soup to a blender. Add 1 tbs more oil and process until the soup is smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes .Repeat .

Rinse and dry the Dutch oven and return the soup to the pot. Stir in the stock and brandy. Return the soup to a boil and season with salt and pepper , to taste .. Ladle the soup into bowls , sprinkle with chopped chives and drizzle with olive oil.

The best ever Mac and Cheese


This is an old fashioned recipe with a modern twist . Often I have eaten overly sauced macaroni or really dry, this recipe solves both those issues . I also love the combination of sharp cheddar and the creamy taste of Monterey Jack . This recipe can be altered to be slightly lower in fat by using lowfat or skim milk. The best part , in my opinion , is the crunchy bread and butter topping that I can honestly never get enough of . Just a short note here , my family prefers long tubular pasta , such as Rigatoni , asa everything is open to interrpretation , I simply swaped it out for the elbow pasta.

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

BREAD CRUMB TOPPING

6 slices high quality white sandwich bread , torn into quarters

3 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

PASTA AND CHEESE

1 tbs plus 1 tsp salt

1 lb elbow macaroni

5 tbs unsalted butter

1  1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ( optional )

8 oz Monterey jack cheese , shredded ( 2 cups )

8 oz sharp cheddar cheese , shredded ( 2 cups )

CRUMBS

Pulse bread and butter in a food processor until coarsely ground , 10 to 15 pulses , set aside .

PASTA AND CHEESE

Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position and heat the broiler . Bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil in a large pot . Add 1 tbs of  salt and the macaroni and stir to seperate the noodles . Cook until tender , drain and set aside .

In the now empty pot  , melt the butter over medium high heat . Add the flour , mustard , cayenne ( if using ) and remaining 1 tsp salt and whisk well to combine .Continue whisking until the mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color , about 1 minute . Whisking constantly gradually add the milk;bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly  ( the mixture must reach a full boil to fully thicken ), then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking  occasionally , until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the cheeses until fully melted . Add pasta and cook over medium low heat , stirring constantly , until mixture is steaming and heated through , about 6 minutes .

Transfer the mixture to a broiler safe 13 by 9 inch baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Broil until deep golden brown , 3 to 5 minutes . Cool 5 minutes then serve.

Americas Test Kitchen

Serves 6 to 8

Arroz con Pollo


This Latino style chicken and rice is a Family must have . I love this version from America’s test kitchen , where they have included a final step to the cooked chicken which infuses a burst of freshness . This recipe calls for chicken thighs, which must be trimmed of excess fat and the skin removed to avoid the dish from becoming too greasy .

Serves 4 to 6

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

6 medium garlic cloves ( about 2 tbs ) , minced

Table salt

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tbs distilled white vinegar plus 2 tsp

Ground black pepper

8 bone in , skin on ( 3  1/2 to 4 pounds ) trimmed of excess skin and fat

2 tbs olive oil

1 medium onion , chopped fine ( about 1 cup )

1 small green bell pepper , stemmed , seeded , and chopped fine ( about 3/4 cup )

1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves

1 can ( 8 oz ) tomato sauce

1  3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup water

3 cups medium grain rice

1/2 cup green olives ( manzanilla ) pitted and halved

1 tbs capers

1/2 cup jarred pimentos , cut into 1/4 by 2 inch strips

Lemon wedges , for serving

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350*F. Place garlic and 1 tsp salt in large bowl ; using rubber spatula , mix to a smooth paste . Add Oregano , 1 tbs vinegar , and 1/2 tsp black pepper to garlic salt mixture; stir to combine . Place chicken in bowl and marinade . Coat chicken pieces evenly with marinade ; set aside for 15 minutes .

Heat 1 tbs oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until simmering. Add onion , green pepper , and pepper flakes , cook stirring occasionally , until vegetables begin to soften ., 4 to 8 minutes . Add 2 tbs cilantro; stir to combine . Put vegetables to sides of pot and increase heat to medium – high .Add chicken to clearing in center of pot , skin side down , in even layer . Cook , without moving chicken , until outer layer of meat becomes opaque, 2 to 4 minutes  . ( if chicken begins to brown , reduce heat to medium )Using tongs flip chicken and cook on second side until opaque , 2 to 4 minutes more .Add tomato sauce , broth and water; stir to combine . Bring to simmer ; cover , reduce heat to medium low , and simmer 20 minutes .

Add rice , olives , capers , and 3/4 tsp salt ; stir well . Bring to simmer , cover and place pot in oven . After 10 minutes , remove pot from oven and stir chicken and rice once from bottom up . Return pot to oven . After another 10 minutes , stir once more , adding 1/4 cup water , if rice appears dry and bottom of pot id beginning to burn . Cover and return pot to oven ; cook until rice has absorbed all liquid and is tender but still holds its shape and temperature of chicken registers 175 *F on instant read thermometer , about 10 minutes longer .

Using tongs , remove chicken from pot ; replace lid and set pot aside . Remove and discard chicken skin ; using 2 spoons pull meat off bones into large chunks . using fingers , remove remaining fat or dark  veins from chicken pieces . Place chicken in a large bowl and toss with remaining tbs olive oil , remaining 2 tsps vinegar , remaining 2 tbs cilantro , and pimentos ; season with salt and pepper to taste . Place chicken on top of rice , and let stand until warmed through , about 5 minutes . Serve passing lemon wedges separately .

Chicken Saltimbocca


This is a great weeknight chicken dinner . It is quick , delicious and just fun to make . A great green salad would be a perfect addition to the meal .

America’s test kitchen

Serves 4

1/2 cup unbleached all -purpose flour

Ground black pepper

8 thin -cut , boneless , skinless chicken cutlets ( about 2 lbs )trimmed of ragged edges , as necessary .

1 tbs minced fresh sage leaves , plus 8 large leaves ( optional )

8 thin slices procuitto  , cut into 5 to 6 inch long pieces to match chicken ( about 3 oz , thinly sliced NOT shaved )

4 tbs olive oil

1  1/4 cups dry vermouth or white wine

2 tsp juice from 1 lemon

4 tbs unsalted butter , cut into 4 pieces and chilled

1 tbs minced fresh parsley leaves

Table salt

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 *f . Combine flour and 1 tsp pepper in shallow dish .

Pat cutlets dry with paper towels , dredge chicken in flour , shaking off any excess . Lay cutlets flat and sprinkle evenly with minced sage . Place 1 procuitto slice on top of each cutlet , pressing lightly to adhere ; set aside .

Heat 2 tbs oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat until beginning to shimmer . Add sage leaves ( if using ) and cook until leaves begin to change color and are fragrant , about 15 to 20 seconds . Using slotted spoon , remove sage to paper lined plate ;reserve . Add half cutlets to pan , procuitto side down , and cook until light golden brown , flip and cook about 2 minutes more .Transfer to wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven . Repeat with remaining 2 tbs oil and cutlets , then transfer to oven to keep warm while preparing sauce .

Pour off excess fat from skillet . Stir in vermouth , scraping up any browned bits , and simmer until reduced to about 1/3 cup , 5 to 7 minutes . Stir in lemon juice . Turn heat to low and whisk in butter . Remove chicken from oven and place on platter . Spoon sauce over cutlets before serving.