I Don’t Give A Fig

But I’ll take a few pints of them! Apparently, figs are in season right now, and my local Whole Foods has them on sale. I picked up two pints to play with.

Seriously, how great do these look?


If I May Direct Your Attention

to the little Coming Soon! link up at the top.

That’s right! New stuff is on the way. I’m still working out some kinks here and there, but what’s the point of a summer break (school starts again September 9th!) if I can’t spend some time making The Reckless Chef a little more fun?

I take requests, too! If there’s anything you’d like to see, please let me know. This includes site-related comments and requests of the culinary variety :)

Amazing Braising

I finally used my dutch oven for the purpose it was (likely) made for: I braised beef short ribs in merlot.

I am still amazed that this piece of kitchen equipment is suited for stove-top use, but that’s kind of that it’s made for.

Meat that is so soft you can break it apart with a fork? Wine-soaked veggies and smashed potatoes? Yes, please.

Bonus: the leftovers are just as good. The beef didn’t dry out in the microwave like I feared it would.

Bonus #2: if you save the sauce, it makes a delicious baked potato topper.

Thanks again for the dutch oven, Gma! You are the best :)

Quick update: I’ve gotten some emails asking about the process. I (loosely) followed the braising directions from my trusty
How To Cook Everything, but I’ll be editing this post soon with the how-to’s.

I Love Coffee, I Love Tea

I love cookies that look like coffee beans.

Coffee-flavored shortbread cookies (made with Intelligentsia coffee), shaped like coffee beans because that’s just cute. And also because that’s how Martha Stewart makes her (very similar) espresso shortbread cookies.

Update: the recipe! I do have to admit that I’ve only made these once, so I can’t vouch for the reliability of the recipe, but they were delicious when I made them! I’m definitely planning on making these again, so I’ll post edits if there are any.

The Recipe: Coffee Bean Shortbread, adapted from Martha Stewart’s Espresso-Bean Shortbread, featured in Holiday Party Foods 2003

Yield: 4-5 dozen
Time: 5-6 hours, including chilling time

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp ground coffee (I used Intelligentsia’s El Gallo Breakfast Blend)
2 tbsp hot water
3 cups + 2 tbsp flour
3/4 tsp salt

Do This
Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Stir the coffee grounds into the hot water until it forms a nice, coffee-smelling paste. Scoop the coffee paste into the butter/sugar/vanilla mix, and blend well.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients, and combine into the dough. Once everything is well-blended, wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for several hours (the dough might be sticky, but chilling it will firm things up).

Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 325. While the oven is preheating, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and shape the dough into small ovals. Use a butterknife or skewer to etch a line into the center of each oval — magic! It’s a coffee bean!

Bake your coffee bean cookies until golden brown at the edges, around 15-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, then serve with your beverage of choice.

Incidentally, they go well with both coffee and tea.