Just for taste.

What's new in the MoonHouse kitchen?  Only the best gingersnaps you've ever tasted.
Try 'em yourself.  Spicy good.  CG

Gingersnaps -
Recipe lifted from Cook's Illustrated magazine.  The best I've found...so spicy. 

2 ½ cups (12 ½ oz. flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
12 tbs. unsalted butter
2 tbs. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. pepper
Pinch cayenne
1 ¼ cups (8 ¾ oz.) dark brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
2 tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
½ cup (3 ½ oz. sugar)

1.            Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in bowl.  Heat butter in 10 inch skillet over medium heat until melted.  Lower heat to medium-low and continue to cook, swirling pan frequently, until foaming subsides and butter is just beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes.  Transfer butter to large bowl and whisk in ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cayenne.  Cool slightly, about 2 minutes.  Add brown sugar, molasses, and fresh ginger to butter mixture and whisk to combine.  Add egg and yolk and whisk to combine.  Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. 

2.            Adjust oven racks to up-per middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place granulated sugar in shallow baking dish.  Divide dough into heaping teaspoon portions; roll dough into 1-inch balls.  Working in batches of 10, roll balls in sugar to coat.  Evenly space dough balls on prepared baking sheets, 20 dough balls per sheet. 

3.            Place 1 sheet on upper rack and bake for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, transfer partially baked top sheet to lower, rack, rotating 180 degrees and place second sheet of dough balls on upper rack.  Continue to bake until cookies on lower tray just begin to darken around edges, 10 to 12 minutes longer.  Remove lower sheet of cookies and shift upper sheet to lower rack and continue to bake until cookies begin to darken around edges, 15 to 17 minutes.  Slide baked cookies, still on parchment, to wire rack and cool completely before serving.  Cool baking sheets slightly and repeat step 3 with remaining dough balls.  

4.            Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.  Let dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping.  Let frozen dough thaw overnight before proceeding with recipe.  Cooled cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks in airtight container.

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Christine and I hosted a cooking class last year at Central Market in Austin.  I cooked, she talked (go figure).  Enjoy our recipe for Prosciutto Wrapped Dijon Chicken served over Saffron Orzo with a Roasted Vegetable Medley.  It's really delicious.

Prosciutto Wrapped Dijon Chicken

Chris had this dish in an Italian restaurant in England and came home, determined to recreate it – which he has done!

Ingredients: 

2 large chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2/3 cup white wine
2 tablespoons shallots – chopped fine
1 tablespoon garlic – chopped fine
A pinch of Herbes de Provence
4 teaspoons whole grain mustard
Sprigs of fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
4 large, thin slices of prosciutto
Cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Separate the breast halves to create 4 breast filets.  Pound the chicken breasts with a heavy mallet under saran wrap until flat and fairly thin.  Season with salt and fresh pepper.

In a sauce pan, sauté the shallots and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter till translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add white wine, Dijon mustard and Herbes de Provence and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Coat the chicken breasts in the Dijon/wine sauce and place one teaspoon of whole grain mustard and a sprig of parsley at the thinner end of the breast.  Starting there, roll the breast and then wrap with prosciutto ham.  Secure with a wooden toothpick if necessary.  Drizzle with olive oil and top with cracked black pepper. 

Place in lightly oiled baking dish and bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.  The prosciutto should get crispy and the kitchen should smell incredible.

Serve over Orzo. 

Deglaze the chicken pan by adding white wine and a squeeze of lemon…let reduce for 5 minutes, then pour over chicken & orzo to finish.     Serves 4

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Saffron Orzo 

No special story – we found this through the magic of Google! It mixes well with the Dijon sauce from the Chicken.   

Ingredients 

4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 pound dried orzo
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
 

In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low, bringing the stock to a simmer.  Add the saffron, stir, and allow the saffron to bloom, about 5 minutes.  Return the heat to medium and the stock to a boil, then add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain orzo and transfer to a large bowl.  Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley.  Toss to combine.  Serves 6

Roasted Vegetable Medley

 Simple and delicious.

Ingredients 

6 oz. Crimini mushrooms
2 red peppers
1 yellow pepper
1 medium red purple onion
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the peppers along their folds in lengthwise sections (8 to a pepper).  Scrape away and discard the pulpy core.  Peel the onion and cut into 8 wedge shaped sections.  Place the vegetables in a baking dish, drizzle with EV olive oil, sprinkle with salt and fresh pepper and toss till coated.  Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing once more halfway through cooking time.    

Serves 4

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