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Posted: 12:00 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012
Today might be 12-12-12, but it’s also Ambrosia Day. (Yes, that fruit salad made with marshmallows, pineapple, whipping cream and coconut has a designated day.) Anna Ginsberg created this ambrosia cookie in honor of her grandmother, who used to serve the salad at every meal except breakfast.
2 cups (9 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup minus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)
1 tsp. lemon zest
3/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center. Have ready two ungreased baking sheets.
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium-size bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add both sugars and beat for about a minute, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Stir in the oats, lemon zest, pineapple, coconut and pecans.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of batter 2½ inches apart onto the baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are nicely browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 60 cookies.
— Recipe from “The Daily Cookie” by Anna Ginsberg (Andrews McMeel, $24.99)
Grilled Pork Chops with Sweet Lemongrass Marinade
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. minced shallot
1 Thai chile, stemmed and finely chopped
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 bone-in center cut pork chops, each about 12 ounces and 1 inch thick
In a bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, chile, and black pepper and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Arrange the pork chops in a rimmed dish in a single layer. Pour the marinade over, cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. (The pork can also be refrigerated overnight. Bring meat to room temperature before grilling).
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill (you should be able to hold your hand 1 to 2 inches above the grate for only 2 to 3 seconds). When the coals are ready, push two-thirds of the coals to one-half of the grill, creating a hot zone; spread the remaining one-third on the opposite side of the grill to create a cooler zone.
Remove the pork chops from the marinade and discard the marinade. Place the chops on the hottest part of the grill. Let cook for 1 minute, then flip and cook for 1 minute on the second side.
Move the chops to the cooler side of the grill and cook, turning once, for about 10 minutes total, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chop registers 140 degrees, raking over coals from the hotter side of the grill if necessary to maintain an even temperature. Spritz any flare-ups with a spray bottle filled with water.
Transfer the chops to a large plate, tent with aluminum foil, and let stand for 10 minutes. Cut the meat from the bone and slice the meat across the grain on the diagonal. Transfer the slices and bones to a serving platter and serve. Serves 6.
— From “Vietnamese Cooking at Home” by Charles Phan (Ten Speed Press, $35)