24 August, 2008

Prosciutto Wrapped Herbed Shrimp

INGREDIENTS
• 24 large Shrimp (Peeled & Deveined)
• 1 tablespoon Garlic (Minced Fine 15ml)
• 2 teaspoons Lemon Zest (Chopped Fine 10ml)
• 2 tablespoons Dill (Weed - Chopped Fine 30ml)
• 2 tablespoons Fresh Tarragon (Leaves Chopped Fine 30ml)
• 12 sheets Prosciutto (Sliced Paper Thin Cut In Half - Lengthwise)
• 2 tablespoons Olive Oil (30ml)
• Pepper (To Taste)

Method
1. In a medium bowl place shrimp, zest, garlic, dill, and tarragon; toss to coat and add pepper.
2. Cut the prosciutto slices in half lengthwise.
3. Wrap each shrimp in a half-slice of prosciutto. Brush liberally with the olive oil.
4. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
5. Prepare barbecue for direct grilling. Preheat grill to medium heat. Oil grill well.
6. Place shrimp on the grill and cook for approximately 2 - 3 minutes per side.
7. The prosciutto should be golden brown and crispy and shrimp will have lost their opaque color. Yields 24 pieces.

Pineapple Wasabi Aioli

SERVES 10 , 1 cup (change servings and units)

Ingredients
12 ounces pineapple juice (2 small cans)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon wasabi paste (from tube)

Directions
1 Bring pineapple juice to a boil and then simmer to reduce for 20 minutes or so. Consistancy should be similar to honey.
2 Mix together mayo, sour cream, soy and wasabi.
3 Add pineapple juice reduction after it has cooled to room temperature.
4 Refrigerate at least 3 hours.
5 This is best when made the day before in order to let all the flavors marry and have a good chill.

13 August, 2008

Creamy Curried Veggies

INGREDIENTS
1 large onion, sliced
2-6 cloves garlic, minced
1-3 large carrots, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium potato, cubed
1-1/2 cups cauliflower florets, sliced
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 cup coconut milk or soy milk
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup peas
3 tbsp Braggs or soy sauce

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onions, garlic, and carrots in oil on medium-high heat until the onions become translucent. Add the vegetables, curry, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne, stirring often so they don't stick to the pan, cooking for 2-4 minutes.
2. Add the milk, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork.
3. Stir in the peas and Braggs (or soy sauce), and cook uncovered on medium-high heat stirring constantly until the liquid has thickened.
2. Serve over rice or noodles.

Note: you can use whatever vegetables you have kicking around (e.g., spinach, kale, green onions).

31 July, 2008

Minty Watermelon Lemonade

Makes about 8 cups

Ingredients

* 2 Lemons, Quartered
* 1 cup Fresh mint leaves
* ½ Medium watermelon (about 9 lbs.), rind removed, cut into chunks
* add agave, or other sweetener to taste

Preparation

1. Squeeze lemons into a large pitcher; add squeezed lemon quarters. Add mint and sweetener; mash with a wooden spoon until mint is bruised

2. In a blender, puree watermelon in batches until smooth; pour through a fine-mesh sieve into pitcher. Stir to combine. Serve with ice.

*Stays for about 3 days in the fridge


Can add 1/4 - 1/2 Cup Vodka or White Rum ... or for a more exotic taste 1/3 c silver patron. Keep some fresh mint leaves and curl up some lemon rind for garnish.

YUMMY!!

Cayenne-Spiced Chocolate Brownies


Chef's Corner
A Delicious Cayenne-Spiced Chocolate Brownie and Almond Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich with Sweet Cherry Compote

Below are several recipes that can be used individually, or in concert. You can serve traditional, square-cut brownies for an after school treat; and the ice cream could be served alone or with the Cherry Compote as a simple, but delicious dessert. Here, we are serving all of them together for an over-the-top, you-are-worth-it special occasion dessert!

Cayenne-Spiced Chocolate Brownies
Serves 8

4 cups walnuts, soaked 8–12 hours, then dehydrated
1/2 cup pitted soft dates, chopped
1/2 cup dried figs, soaked 15 minutes, drained, and chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch solar-dried sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

1. Place the walnuts in a food processor and pulse until they reach the consistency of meal.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and continue processing until it is well mixed and sticky. The mixture should hold together when pressed into a ball. If oil begins to separate from the mixture, it is over processed. You may still use it, but it is not the desired effect.
4. Divide the mixture in half and press each half firmly into an 8- x 8-inch brownie pan lined with unbleached parchment paper. Cover and chill.
5. Cut each pan of brownies into 8 equal pieces, 4 inches x 2 inches.
May be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for 1-2 months.

Almond Vanilla Ice Cream
Yield: 5 cups (serves 8)

2 cups almonds, soaked 6 to 8 hours, rinsed, and drained (see note)
2 cups purified water
1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked 4 hours, rinsed, and drained
1 cup agave nectar
2 1/4 teaspoons psyllium powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
pinch of solar-dried sea salt

1. Blend the almonds with the purified water in a high-powered blender to make a thick almond cream. Strain the mixture through a cloth mesh bag, and store the pulp for another use.
2. Return the strained milk to the blender, add the cashews and other remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Spread the mixture firmly into two 8 x 8-inch brownie pans, each lined with unbleached parchment paper. Cover and freeze for at least 12 hours, or until firm.
4. Cut the frozen ice cream into 8 equal pieces, each one 4 inches x 2 inches.
May be stored in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.

Note: Store leftover almond pulp in the freezer for up to four months. Use in breads, cookies, croutons, cinnamon rolls, and scones.

Cherry Compote
Makes 2 cups (serves 8)

3 cups (30 ounces) frozen organic cherries, thawed and drained.
1/4 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup lemon juice

1. To make the compote, blend 1 cup of the cherries with the dates and lemon juice.
2. Stir the mixture into the remaining cherries.

Jamaican Jerk Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup ground allspice berries
* 1/2+ cup packed brown sugar
* 6 to 8 garlic cloves
* 4 to 6 Scotch bonnet peppers
* 1 tablespoon ground thyme or 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
* 2 bunches scallions (green onions)
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce to moisten

Preparation:
Place allspice, brown sugar, garlic, scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, scallions, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and soy sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth.

You may use allspice berries, if available, but use enough to give the equivalent of 1/2 cup ground. (Allspice berries and scotch bonnets are key ingredients.) Keep this sauce refrigerated and it will keep forever. Feel free to increase the hot peppers and garlic.

The traditional sauce doesn't have brown sugar.. and but you can add the brown sugar and a 2 tablespoons of vinegar to give that sweet and sour taste *omit the soy*.

03 June, 2008

Belgian Endive, Apple and Almond Salad

2 Tart green apples, peeled, Cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 Belgian endives, thinly Sliced crosswise
2 tb Almonds

Dressing:
4 teaspoons oil
1 T lemon juice
1 t minced garlic
1/4 t salt

Mix apple, endives and almonds together in a bowl. Mix the dressing and pour on salad. Toss thoroughly and serve.

25 May, 2008

Vanilla Honey Butter

1/2 Cup / 125 mL butter or margarine
1/4 cup/60 mL powdered sugar
1/4 cup/60 mL honey
1 tsp/5 mL (Watkins) Pure Vanilla Extract

Whip butter and powdered sugar together until smooth; stir in honey and vanilla.

Use on pancakes, waffles, biscuits or muffins.

Makes 3/4 cup/180 mL.

19 April, 2008

String of Pearls

Ingredients
1 1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Liqueur - Crème de Cacao - White
1/2 oz Cream - Half and Half
1 Chocolate -White

Instructions
Chill a martini glass. Fill cocktail shaker with ice cubes and add vodka, cème de Cacao, and half-and-half. Shake vigorously to blend and chill; place chocolate kiss or shaving in bottom of chilled cocktail glass and strain mixture into glass and serve. If you're feeling a bit over-the-top, feel free to drop another 1/2 oz. of Bailey's and maybe, just maybe, a dash of Kahlua or Tia Maria - of course, these are optional, but well worth the experiment, as is a chocolate covered espresso bean to replace the white chocolate kiss.

18 April, 2008

Singapore Sling

Ingredients
1 oz Gin
2 oz Sour Mix
1/2 oz Grenadine
1 dash Brandy - Cherry
6 oz Soda - Club Soda

Instructions
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add all ingredients (except club soda & cherry brandy), and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled collins glass, fill with club soda and float cherry brandy.

04 April, 2008

Slovenian Goulash

1 pound lean beef
1 pound lean veal (or all beef)
3 tlbs. fat
1 large onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 cup strained tomatoes
8 small peeled potatoes


Cut meat in cubes and saute with onion in hot fat, stirring occasionly to brown evenly. Add seasonings and strained tomatoes. Simmer about 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Add potatoes after one hour of cooking; add more strained tomatoes if necessary. Serve hot. 6 servings

21 March, 2008

French Onion "Soup" Mac and Cheese

Recipe courtesy Brett Greenberg, New York, NY
This recipe will be served at Friday's as one of their new side dishes.


Topping:
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Bechamel Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces Gruyere, grated
3 ounces mozzarella grated

French Onion "Soup":
2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon (or nonstick spray)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 large white onions, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry sherry
2 cups beef stock
8 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1 pound pasta, cooked al dente (elbow macaroni, ziti, or fusilli work well)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Topping: Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl and set aside.

Bechamel Sauce: Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and stir to combine. Stir constantly, for about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium and whisk in the milk or half-and-half, adding a little at a time and cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Lower heat, season with the salt and pepper and add Gruyere and mozzarella cheeses. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Set aside.

French Onion "Soup:" Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add onions, cover, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove cover, add garlic and honey, and continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Remove pot from heat and add sherry. Return to heat and stir to remove browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce sherry by half, then add stock and thyme and cook until almost all liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat.

Grease a 3-quart baking dish or casserole with the last tablespoon of butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Combine cooked pasta with onion "soup" mixture and bechamel sauce, and stir well to combine. Transfer pasta to baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumb/Parmesan topping.

Bake until top is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Not Your Ordinary Mac N Cheese J Alexander's - close to the recipe

6 cups chicken stock
2 cubes chicken base
2 cups (8 ounces) Cavatappi (also called cellentani or double elbows, is macaroni formed in a spiral tube shape with ridges)
3 tablespoons Pomace Olive Oil
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
3 tablespoons butter -- divided plus extra for greasing pan
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half and half
3 slices of thick cut bacon, cooked pressed and sliced in small bite size pieces (reserve the fat)
1/2 onion -- minced and sauteed in bacon fat
2 cloves of garlic pressed and sauteed with onion
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Cholula
2 1/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2c Panko

Bring 6 cups chicken stock and 1 1/1 cubes chicken base to rolling boil in medium saucepan. Add macaroni and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and put in large bowl, toss with Pomace Olive Oil and lemon. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream. Stir in onion, bay leaf, sugar and Tabasco. Simmer gently, stirring often, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf. Stir in macaroni. Pour half of mixture into greased, deep 1 1/2-quart baking dish (or 3-4 ramekins) and sprinkle with half of remaining cheese. Top with remaining macaroni and remaining cheese. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 cube chicken base in small skillet over medium heat. Add panko and toss to coat. Sprinkle buttered panko and Reggiano Cheese over top of macaroni. Bake at 350: F. until panko is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Fried Mac N Cheese Balls ala Cheesecake Factory

FRIED MACARONI AND CHEESE BALLS

1 pound Cavatappi (also called cellentani or double elbows, is macaroni formed in a spiral tube shape with ridges)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, warmed, plus 2 tablespoons for egg wash
1 pound grated White Sharp Cheddar
1 pound grated smoked Gouda
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
3 cups Panko
Vegetable oil, for frying
Marinara or Alfredo sauce, to serve

Cook the macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour into the butter and stir it with a whisk. Cook for 2 minutes.

Whisk the warmed milk into the flour mixture, working out any lumps. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat, add the cheeses, and stir until melted and smooth; season with salt and pepper. Fold the cheese sauce into macaroni. Pour the mac and cheese into a shallow pan and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.

Shape the cold mac and cheese into meatball-sized balls and place them onto a waxed paper-lined tray. Freeze the balls overnight.

Beat the eggs and 2 tablespoons milk together to form an egg wash and pour it into a shallow bowl. Put the bread crumbs into another shallow bowl.

Remove the mac and cheese balls from the freezer. Dip the frozen balls into the egg wash then into the Panko. Put the balls back into the freezer until you are ready to fry.

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 350 degrees F.

Fry the mac and cheese balls until they are golden brown and center is hot, about 5 minutes.

Serve hot with your favorite marinara or Alfredo sauce or combination of both for dipping.

Makes about 2 dz 2-inch balls.

12 March, 2008

Beshamel Sauce - Creamy Greek Cheese Sauce

Servings: 1


Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Butter Melted
2 Whole Egg
2 Item Egg Yolks
1 Cup Kefalotiri Grated
4 Cup Milk Hot
3 Pinch Nutmeg
1 Pinch Pepper
2 Pinch Salt
3/4 Cup White Flour

Directions:

* Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, add the flour and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute.
* Add the milk all at once, and stir until the sauce is smooth.
* salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
* Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, eggs and egg yolks.

Spanakopita - Spinich Pie

Servings: 6


Ingredients:
1 Bunch Dill Diced
2 Whole Egg
1 lb Feta Cheese
1 lb Fyllo Pastry
2/3 lb Green Onions Sliced
1 Whole Leeks Finely chopped
1 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Pinch Pepper To taste
1 Pinch Salt To taste
2 lb Spinach
Directions:

* Clean and boil the spinach lightly.
* Strain it well and chop it.
* Brown the green onions and the leek lightly in a pot using half the olive oil .
* Remove from the heat and add the dill, the eggs, the spinach and salt & pepper.
* Oil a pan and spread half the sheets of fyllo sheets.
* Spread the spinach mix on top and sprinkle with Feta cheese and cover with the other sheets.
* Oil the top and bake in medium oven for about 1 hr.

11 March, 2008

Moussaka - Eggplant Casserole

Servings: 8


Ingredients:
1 Batch Beshamel Sauce
1 A Little Corn Oil For frying
3 Large Eggplant
2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion Diced
1 Bunch Parsley Diced
1-2 Pinch Pepper To taste
2 lb Potatoes
2-3 Pinch Salt To taste
2 Medium Tomatoes
1/2 Cup White Wine
Directions:

* Prepare the “beshamel” sauce.
* Wrap the eggplants in aluminum foil and bake until they are soft.
* Slice them in thick slices.
* Peel the potatoes, slice them and fry them lightly.
* Brown the onion and the ground meat together in the olive oil.
* Grate the tomatoes and add them in along with the parsley and the salt & pepper.
* Simmer for 15 minutes.
* Layer the potatoes, the ground meat mix and the eggplants (in this order) in a deep pan.
* Cover with the beshamel.
* Bake in a medium oven for 30-40 minutes.

Tsatziki - Cucumber Sauce, Yogurt Dip

Servings: 6


Ingredients:
1 Cucumber
1 Pinch Dill diced/ to taste
4 Clove Garlic pressed
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Pinch Pepper to taste
1 Pinch Salt to taste
1 Teaspoon Vinegar
2 Cup Yogurt Pressed with cheese cloth

Directions:

* grate the cucumber.
* strain tightly using a cloth until very dry.
* mix in all other ingredients.

Lamb Kebabs with Lemon and Rosemary

A fillet end of leg is perfect for this recipe.

Serves 4
Ingredients

1½ lb (700 g) lamb, fillet end of leg (2 lb 4 oz/1 kg bought weight), on the bone
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 heaped tablespoon bruised and finely chopped rosemary
1 large yellow pepper
1 medium red onion
4 bay leaves, halved
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
8 tablespoons olive oil
8 chestnut mushrooms
8 cherry tomatoes
salt and freshly milled black pepper

To garnish:

1 small lemon, cut into wedges

You will also need 4 wooden skewers, soaked in water for about 20 minutes.



First, using a sharp knife, take the meat from the bone – which is very easy – and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Then halve and deseed the pepper, cut each half into 4, and then halve these again so that you finish up with 16 pieces.

Now place everything except the tomatoes into a shallow container or bowl, toss the meat and vegetables well in the marinade, then leave for 24-48 hours, turning everything a couple of times during that period. When you're ready to cook the kebabs, either light up your barbecue or pre-heat your grill; either way you're going to need a good 20 minutes' pre-heating time (and remember to soak the skewers at the same time).

Now assemble the kebabs by sliding a mushroom on to a skewer, followed by a tomato and half a bay leaf, then alternately some meat, pepper and onion, finishing off with another half bay leaf, then a tomato and mushroom. Make sure you pack them all together as tightly as possible, then grill the kebabs about 4 inches (10 cm) from the source of the heat for about 20 minutes, turning them over and basting them with the marinade juices from time to time.

Cucumber Salad - Norwegian Recipe Agurksalat

1 European cucumber
2/3 cup (1-1/2 dl) vinegar, white
2/3 cup (1-1/2 dl) water
3-1/2 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash of white pepper
Fresh parsley



English or European cucumbers are quite expensive, but there is no comparison in taste. Slice them thin for salads; a Norwegian cheese knife works well. This salad tastes good with either baked or fried foods.

Thinly slice a European cucumber. Mix dressing well and pour over cucumber slices in serving bowl. Make salad ready early enough to let dressing penetrate without making cucumbers soft (about one-half hour). Sprinkle with fine chopped fresh parsley.

Irish Whiskey Christmas Cake

If you've never made a Christmas cake before, this one is dead easy, and you won't be disappointed. I now prefer the much thinner layer of marzipan and icing, and the flavour of the Irish whiskey in the icing, as well as the cake, is brilliant. The instructions here are for four small cakes or one large cake. If you want to keep the cake for any length of time, let the marzipan dry out (covered with a clean tea cloth) for a week before icing.

Makes four 4 inch (10 cm) square cakes or an 8 inch (20 cm) square cake.
I brought bake one of these cakes with me from Ireland and I will never forget how divine it was. I recommend using a good quality whiskey otherwise it will taste quite crappy no matter how drunk the fruits are.

Ingredients

For the pre-soaking:

10 fl oz (275 ml) Irish whiskey
1½ teaspoons Angostura bitters
4 oz (110 g) stoned no-soak prunes
2 oz (50 g) glacé cherries
2 oz (50 g) unblanched almonds
4 oz (110 g) mixed candied peel
1 lb (450 g) raisins
8 oz (225 g) currants
½ rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ level teaspoon ground cloves
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 level tablespoon molasses sugar
grated zest 1 orange
grated zest 1 lemon
½ level teaspoon salt

For the cake:

1 tablespoon Irish whiskey
9 oz (250 g) self-raising flour, sifted
9 oz (250 g) demerara sugar
9 oz (250 g) unsalted butter, softened
5 large eggs at room temperature
1 heaped tablespoon apricot jam

For the icing:

2½ tablespoons Irish whiskey
1lb 2 oz (500 g) marzipan (in a block)
1 lb 4 oz (570 g) unrefined golden icing sugar, plus a little extra for rolling
1 large egg white
1 dessertspoon molasses syrup or black treacle

You will also need an 8 inch (20 cm) square cake tin, greased, the base and sides lined with a double thickness of silicone paper (parchment) to sit 4 inches (10 cm) deep, plus four lengths of ribbon 4 ft (1.2 m) long, 1½ inches (4 cm) wide for four cakes, or one length 6½ ft (2 m) long, 1½ inches (4 cm) wide, for one large cake.



One week before you intend to bake the cake, measure out the whiskey, bitters and 3 tablespoons of water into a large saucepan, then roughly chop the prunes, cherries and almonds and finely dice the mixed candied peel. Add these, along with the rest of the pre-soaking ingredients, to the pan, ticking them as you go to make sure nothing gets left out. Now stir and bring the mixture up to simmering point, then, keeping the heat low, simmer very gently, without a lid, for 15 minutes. After that, allow everything to cool completely, then pour the mixture into a large jar with a lid or an airtight plastic container and leave it in the fridge for seven days, giving it a little shake from time to time.

When you're ready to bake the cake, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C). (For important information about cooking at gas mark 1, click here)

All you need to do is measure out the flour, sugar and butter into a very large bowl, then add the eggs and either whisk or beat with a wooden spoon until everything is evenly blended. Now gradually fold in the fruit mixture until it is evenly distributed. Then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, levelling the surface with the back of the spoon. Bake in the centre of the oven for 3 hours without opening the door, then cover the cake with a double thickness of greaseproof paper and continue to bake it for a further 30 minutes or until the centre feels springy when lightly touched.

Cool the cake for 45 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. When it's completely cold, wrap it in a double layer of greaseproof paper, then foil, and store it in an airtight container.

When you are ready to finish the cake, if you are making the four small cakes take a sharp knife and cut the cake into quarters so you end up with four 4 inch (10 cm) square cakes. Then melt the jam with the whiskey in a small saucepan and stir it a few times until all the lumps have dissolved. Now, using a brush, coat the surface of each cake quite generously with it. Take the marzipan and cut off a quarter of the block, then, on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll the piece into an 8 inch (20 cm) square. Now, with a sharp knife, cut the square into quarters so you end up with four 4 inch (10 cm) square pieces. Gently take each square and place one on top of each cake, lightly pressing the marzipan down. Next, cut the remaining piece of marzipan in half and roll each half into a strip measuring 6 x 16 inches (15 x 40 cm), then cut each strip in half lengthways so you are left with four strips: one for the sides of each cake. Press each strip lightly around the edges of each cake and pinch to seal at the join with the top piece of marzipan.

To make the 8 inch (20 cm) cake, just leave the cake whole. Melt the jam and whiskey as above and use a brush to coat the surface of the cake. Take the marzipan and cut off a quarter of the block, then roll this piece out to an 8 inch (20 cm) square and place this on the top of the cake. Cut the remaining piece of marzipan in half and roll each half into a strip measuring 3 x 16 inches (7.5 x 40 cm), then use these strips to cover the sides of the cake.

For the icing, sieve the icing sugar, then place the egg white and molasses (or black treacle) in a large bowl and, using an electric hand whisk, whisk together thoroughly. Now, with the whisk running, add a tablespoon of icing sugar at a time and keep adding it until the mixture thickens. As it begins to crumble, add a tablespoon of the Irish whiskey to combine the mixture, then carry on adding more icing sugar until it becomes thick. Add another tablespoon of whiskey, then the rest of the icing sugar and whiskey, and keep whisking until everything is blended together.

If you are making the 4 smaller cakes divide the icing into four. Using a palette knife smooth icing over the top and down the sides of your cake or cakes, dipping the knife into a small saucepan of simmering water to make it easier to spread. To finish, dip the knife in the simmering water once more and make swirls with the knife over the surface, then leave the iced cake or cakes to dry overnight. Wrap each cake in greaseproof paper, then in foil, and keep in an airtight container.

When you're ready to finish the cakes, carefully place a length of ribbon around each one, tying the ends in a bow.

Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes Ready In: 1 Hour 5 Minutes
Yields: 20 servings

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried black currants soaked for 15 minutes in hot water, drained and sat out to drain-off excessive moisture (my addition for an authentic soda bread)

1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in currants, 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 30 to 50 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

Old Fashioned Wafer Thin Butter Cookies

These are not the common butter cookies you are so used to seeing. This is an old German recipe given to me by my Aunt. I have been making these since I was married 31 years ago. They are rolled very thin, almost like a wafer than a cookie. The 6 egg yolks give it the richness that other butter cookies lack. I always look through websites and cookbooks to see if anyone else has a butter cookie recipe like this - I have not found one yet. I only updated the method to use a food processor instead of creaming the butter by hand. These are truly delicious and special.
by Joanne117
1¼ hours | 15 min prep | SERVES 6 , 7 dozen
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 lb unsalted butter (cold)
6 egg yolks (Large Eggs)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
red sugar crystals
green sugar crystals

1. Sift dry ingredients together. Place in food processor and process a few seconds to mix. Cut each stick of butter into 8 pieces and place in food processor. Process 20 to 30 seconds until butter is cut in evenly. Add egg yolks and vanilla and process until mixture forms a ball. Remove, divide into 4 equal balls, flatten each and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Cut aluminum foil to fit approximately 4 cookie sheets. Using a well floured pastry cloth and rolling pin cover, roll 1 section of dough, leaving the rest refrigerated until needed. Roll evenly approximately 1/8" thick (or actually 1/8" thin). Using small size cookies cutters, cut cookies (they should remain in the cutter, then tap out on to the foil lined cookie sheets). Place cookies 1/2 inch apart. Sprinkle with sugar crystals. (Easier to do one whole sheet red, next sheet green). Reroll scraps and roll out, trying to handle dough as little as possible. Don't reroll dough a third time, use another refrigerated section of dough. Bake approximately 8 minutes, one sheet at a time. Cookies should be slightly golden, remove quickly as once they start to brown, they could burn fast. Immediately slide foil off cookie sheet and leave cookies on foil to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. Store in a wax paper lined, cookie tin. Cookies reach their taste potential after a day and will stay fresh in a cookie tin approximatelly 3 weeks. Actual yield is based on the size cookie cutter used. I use a very small size, approximately 1 1/2 " across.

© 2007 Recipezaar. All Rights Reserved. http://www.recipezaar.com

Caramel Apple Butter Crisp

This recipe is for anyone who loves to pick the topping off the crisp.

* 7 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced to 1/4 inch thick
* 1 jar Stonewall Kitchen Caramel Apple Butter
* 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch squares
* 1/2 cup Applejack, Calvados, Apple Cider or Apple Juice

Topping:

* 1 cup flour
* 2 cups quick oats
* 2 cups brown sugar
* 2 sticks cold butter, cut into pieces
* 2 cups pecans, chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Place apple slices, apple butter, apple juice (or liquid of choice) and half of the butter pats in a bowl and mix together thoroughly.

Place in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Cover apple mixture with remainder of butter.

Prepare topping by placing all the dry ingredients in a food processor; pulse briefly to blend ingredients.

Add butter, then pulse in 3- to 4-second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

When well-blended and crumbly, sprinkle topping on the top of the apples and bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Serves 8.

Cherry Cashew Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 10 oz. package vanilla milk chips, or 1 2/3 cups coarsely chopped white chocolate
1 1/2 cups dried tart cherries
1 cup lightly salted cashews

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix with electric mixer on medium speed until thoroughly mixed.
Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture.
Stir in vanilla milk chips, dried cherries and cashews. 5. Drop by rounded
tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree F. oven 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let cool on wire racks; store in a tightly covered container.

Almond Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, (Sifted before measuring)
1/4 teaspoon salt


Directions:

Preheat oven to 300F. Lightly grease a baking sheet (or use a nonstick one).
Mix together almond butter and oil; beat until smooth. Mix in maple syrup and vanilla extract.
Stir together flour and salt. Add to almond butter mixture and mix until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place on baking sheet and flatten with a fork.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Doubly Delicious Peanut Butter Cookies Tanya Twist

1 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar
1 - 1 1/2 c. peanut butter (crunchy or smooth your preference)
1 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 to 3/4 c. peanuts, chopped to resemble bread crumbs (optional)
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 banana (makes cookies moist and richer)

Either by hand or with an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add sugar, beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with an electric mixer, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary. (This is an important step. Make sure that the sugar/butter mixture is very fluffy and light.) Beat in the peanut butter until fully incorporated, then the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Mix until batter is creamy and smooth.

Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, until ingredients are completely mixed together. Mix for about 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure that it is mixed thoroughly. Add the ground peanuts and stir gently until just incorporated.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Make criss-crosses on each ball with a fork dipped in sugar, making sure not to flatten the ball all the way.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Do not over bake.


**For those allergic to nuts you can substitute Sunbutter with the following changes**
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 c. SunButter

They will look undercooked, don't overcook them. 10-12 minutes should do it for the sunbutter version.

Banana Split Cake

4 cups crushed graham crackers
3 sticks butter, room temperature
2 eggs 16-ounce box powdered sugar
20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
2 to 3 bananas, sliced
12-ounce container whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust, mix crushed graham crackers and 1 stick of butter. Line bottom and sides of a 13 by 9-inch pan with mixture. Bake crust for 5 to 8 minutes.

Beat the eggs, 2 sticks butter, and the powdered sugar until fluffy. Spread mixture on cooled crust. Add layer of crushed pineapple and layer of sliced bananas. Cover with whipped topping and sprinkle with nuts or graham crackers. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Coconut Mango Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 large ripe mango, peeled and cubed

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Add the coconut milk, water, and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in the mango. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

Remove the rice from the heat and fluff with a fork. Place a clean, dry dish towel over the pan, cover with the lid, and let steam for 5 minutes before serving.

10 March, 2008

Apple Cake / Apple Spice Cake Shot

Ingredients:

* 2 cl Licor 43 (Cuerenta y Tres)
* 2 cl Apfelkorn (german - Apple Schnapps/Liquor)
* 2 cl Milk

Mixing instructions:

Shake well and use it as a shot

Add 1 tsp of Goldschlager to make it spicey.

Monkey In a Tree

1 1/2 oz Malibu® coconut rum
1/2 oz creme de bananas
1/8 oz grenadine syrup
pineapple juice
1/2 oz Midori® melon liqueur


Add rum, creme de banana and grenadine to a collins glass. Almost fill with pineapple juice, and mix. Float midori on top, and serve.

Carrot Cake Shot

Ingredients:

* 1-2 tsp Goldschlager
* 2 oz Bailey's irish cream
* 2 oz Coffee liqueur - Kahlua

Mixing instructions:

Fill highball glass with ice. Place a tsp. (float) of Goldschlager in glass. Fill rest of glass with Irish Creme and Coffee Liqueur. Shake. Pour into shot glasses.

add more Goldschlager if you like more of a bite.

Caramel Apple Shot

Ingredients:

* 1 oz Apple Pucker
* 1 oz Butterscotch schnapps

Mixing instructions:

Mix the ingredients with ice in a shaker and pour in shooter.

Gingerbread Man Shot

Ingredients:

* 1/3 oz Goldschlager
* 1/3 oz Butterscotch schnapps
* 1/3 oz Bailey's irish cream

Mixing instructions:

Mix the ingredients with ice in a shaker and pour in glass.

Peppermint Patty Shot - Dessert Cocktail

INGREDIENTS:

* 1/2 oz crème de cacao
* 1/2 oz peppermint schnapps
* 1 oz cream

PREPARATION:

1. Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice.
2. Stir well.
3. Strain into a shot glass.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

INGREDIENTS:

* 1 oz peppermint schnapps
* 1 oz dark crème de cacao
* 2 oz cream

PREPARATION:

1. Pour the peppermint schnapps, crème de cacao and cream in an ice-filled old-fashioned glass.
2. Shake by placing a mixing tin over the glass and giving it one or two good shakes.

M&M Shot

INGREDIENTS:

* 1/2 oz amaretto
* 1/2 oz coffee liqueur

PREPARATION:

1. Pour the coffee liqueur in the bottom of a shot glass.
2. Top with the amaretto.

Oatmeal Cookie Shot

Ingredients:

* 1 jigger Goldschlager (or Hotdam)
* 1 jigger Butterscotch schnapps
* 1 jigger Bailey's irish cream

Mixing instructions:

With ice, shake/stir and serve in shot glasses.

04 March, 2008

CItrus Mango Sauce

1 mango - peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons dark rum

In a small saucepan, mix the mango, orange juice, lime juice, and honey. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small cup, mix cornstarch with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water until cornstarch is dissolved. Stir into mango mixture, and simmer one minute, or until sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in dark rum.

Coconut Chicken

2/3 cup Bisquick
2/3 cup flaked coconut
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
4 boneless chicken breasts, skinned
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix Bisquick, coconut, paprika, and salt; set side.

Mix milk and mustard.

Dip chicken in milk mixture; coat with coconut mixture. Place in ungreased rectangular pan - 13 x 9 x 2 inches; drizzle with butter. Bake until done, 35 to 40 minutes.

16 February, 2008

Creamy Strawberry Crepes

CREPE:
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
Additional butter
FILLING:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced, divided
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, milk, water, butter and salt. Add flour; beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In an 8-in. nonstick skillet, melt 1 teaspoon butter; pour 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom.

Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.

For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, peel and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 2 cups of berries and whipped cream. Spoon about 1/3 cup filling down the center of 15 crepes; roll up. Garnish with remaining berries. freeze remaining crepes for another use.

Strawberry Banana Crepes

CREPE:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons butter

FILLING:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


TOPPING:
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 medium firm bananas, sliced
1/4 cup sugar, optional
Melted Nutella, also optional (don't use with optional sugar)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, milk and eggs. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In an 8-in. nonstick skillet, melt 1 teaspoon butter. Stir batter; pour about 2 tablespoons into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack.

Repeat with remaining batter, add butter to a skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper on paper towels in between.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the filling ingredients until smooth. Spread 2 rounded tablespoonfuls on each crepe; roll up. In a large bowl, combine topping ingredients; spoon with crepes.

Cheddar Ham Cups

2 cups (8 ounces) finely shredded cheddar cheese
2 packages (2-1/2 ounces each) thinly sliced deli ham, chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup real bacon bits
2 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tube (10.2 ounces) large refrigerated flaky biscuits

In a large bowl, combine the cheese, ham, mayonnaise, bacon and mustard. Split biscuits into thirds. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of ungreased miniature muffin cups. Fill each with about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture.

Bake at 450° for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Let stand for 2 minutes before removing from the pans. Serve warm.

Apple Pie Granita

Low Cal and healthy!!

3 cups natural-style apple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground allspice

In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, 3 minutes. Pour into an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Freeze until icy around the edges, about 1 hour. Using a fork, scrape the icy shards into the center. Continue to freeze, stirring occasionally, until slushy throughout, about 3 hours longer. Scoop into bowls and serve.

Greek Marinade

1/2 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Six 1-inch strips of lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons ouzo
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together. Place the chicken in a large, resealable bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and brush liberally with vegetable oil. Scrape any marinade off the chicken, season it generously with salt and pepper and grill.

Peruvian Marinade

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
8 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together. Place the chicken in a large, resealable bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and brush liberally with vegetable oil. Scrape any marinade off the chicken, season it generously with salt and pepper and grill.

Vietnamese Marinade

5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together. Place the chicken in a large, resealable bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and brush liberally with vegetable oil. Scrape any marinade off the chicken, season it generously with salt and pepper and grill.

Strawberry Shortcakes with Meyer Lemon Cream

BISCUITS
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup cake flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

LEMON CREAM
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, preferably from Meyer lemons
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

STRAWBERRIES
2 pints strawberries, quartered
2 tablespoons sugar

MAKE THE BISCUITS: Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose and cake flours with the sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the cold butter until it is the size of small peas. Stir in the cream until a shaggy dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Roll the dough into a 7-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2 3/4-inch or 3-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out 5 biscuits. Gently gather the scraps and reroll them; cut out 1 more round so you have a total of 6 biscuits.

Transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet and brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. Let cool.

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE LEMON CREAM: Set a strainer over a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, combine half of the lemon zest with the lemon juice, sugar, egg, egg yolk, salt and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Immediately strain the curd into the bowl. Whisk in the remaining lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of butter. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until cool, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, softly whip the cream. Fold the lemon curd into the whipped cream and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

PREPARE THE STRAWBERRIES: In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes.

Split the biscuits in half and arrange the bottom halves on plates. Mound the lemon cream on the biscuits, top with the strawberries and their juices and replace the tops. Serve right away.

MAKE AHEAD The biscuits can be stored in an airtight container overnight. Recrisp them in a warm oven and let cool before serving. The lemon curd can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. The lemon cream can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours.

Warm Churros and Hot Chocolate

2 sticks unsalted butter ( 1/2 pound)
Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 large egg white
4 1/2 cups whole milk
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

In a large saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups of water to a boil with the butter and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Remove from the heat, add the flour and stir vigorously until incorporated. Return to moderate heat and cook, stirring, until the dough pulls away from the side, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Using an electric mixer, beat the dough at low speed for 1 minute, just until slightly cooled. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat in the eggs and egg white, one at a time. Transfer the dough to a bowl, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until cooled to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the milk with 1/2 cup of water until small bubbles appear around the edge. Add the chocolate, cocoa powder, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar and a pinch of salt and whisk over low heat until the chocolate is melted. Keep warm over very low heat.

In another large saucepan, heat the oil to 375°. Set a rack on a large baking sheet and cover with paper towels. In a pie plate, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Scoop the dough into a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.

Working quickly, squeeze 6-inch lengths of the dough into the hot oil, cutting them off with a knife. Fry no more than 8 churros at a time; they expand a bit as they cook. Fry over moderately high heat, turning once or twice, until browned, about 8 minutes. Drain the churros on the rack for 2 minutes, then toss with the cinnamon sugar in the pie plate. Serve at once with hot chocolate.

Brûléed Key Lime Tarts

10 Oreo cookies
2 tablespoons melted butter
5 egg yolks
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup Key lime juice
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 8 teaspoons for sprinkling
3 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, finely grind the Oreos. Pulse in the butter. Lightly spray four 4 1/2-inch fluted tartlet pans with removable bottoms; press the ground Oreos into the bottoms. Set the pans on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, or until the edges look dry. Let cool.

In a bowl, whisk the yolks, condensed milk, 1/3 cup of the Key lime juice and the lime zest. Pour the filling into the pans and bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the edges are just firm. Let cool for 30 minutes, then freeze until very cold, about 2 hours.

In a small saucepan, combine the 3 tablespoons of sugar with 3 tablespoons of water, the lime leaves and the salt. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, then let cool. Discard the lime leaves. Stir in the remaining 1/3 cup of lime juice and refrigerate.

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the sugar over each tart and caramelize with a blow torch. Unmold the tarts and place in shallow bowls. Pour in the Key lime sauce and serve. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Classic Tiramisù

5 large egg whites
Salt
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
Two 8 3/4-ounce containers mascarpone, at room temperature
1/2 cup strong brewed espresso, cooled
About 17 ladyfingers (from a 17-ounce package)
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate curls, made with a vegetable peeler

In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt at high speed until firm peaks form. In another medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and thickened. At low speed, beat the mascarpone into the yolks. Fold the beaten whites into the mascarpone mixture.

Spread half of the mascarpone mixture in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Pour the espresso into a shallow bowl. Dip the ladyfingers in the espresso until evenly moistened and arrange in a layer on the mascarpone mixture; you may need to break a few in half to make them fit. Spread the remaining mascarpone mixture on top. Sift cocoa powder over the tiramisù. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Scatter the chocolate curls evenly over the tiramisù and serve.

MAKE AHEAD: The tiramisù can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Père Roux’s Cake

CAKE
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup solid vegetable shortening (6 ounces)
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups skim milk
7 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

FILLING
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 overripe bananas, coarsely mashed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Meyers’s dark rum

FROSTING
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 pound cream cheese, softened
directions

Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with rounds of wax paper and butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the shortening and mix at low speed until evenly blended. Add the sugar and mix at medium speed until a mass forms around the paddle. At low speed, gradually add 3/4 cup of the milk and beat until smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl from time to time.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 3/4 cup of milk and the vanilla and almond extracts. With the machine on, gradually beat the egg white mixture into the batter at medium speed until silky, about 5 minutes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden and springy. Transfer the cakes to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes in the pans, then invert them onto the rack and let cool completely. Peel off the wax paper and slice each cake in half horizontally.

Meanwhile, make the filling:
In a large saucepan, cook the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon over moderately high heat until the butter and sugar have melted. Remove from the heat and add the bananas and 1/2 cup of the rum. Cook the filling over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very thick and the butter just begins to separate, about 25 minutes.

Transfer the filling to a food processor. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of rum and puree until smooth. Let the filling cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Make the frosting:
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat at low speed until incorporated. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Place one cake layer on a large plate, and spoon one-third of the filling on top and spread it to the edge. Top with another cake layer, pressing gently; spread with another third of the filling.

Repeat with the remaining cake layers and filling, ending with a cake layer. Spread the frosting over the top and side of the cake and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until set. Bring to room temperature before serving.


MAKE AHEAD The cake can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Salsa Verde

2 cups basil leaves
3 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp chopped cornichons
2 tbsp drained capers
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Scrape the salsa into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Can be refrigerated overnight.

Indian Rub

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp curry powder
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

Mix into a paste, rub into chicken. Bake.

Spanish Rub

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp dry sherry
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton de la Vera)
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, chopped

Mix into a paste, rub into chicken. Bake.

Jamaican Rub

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp Scotch bonnet or habanero hot sauce
3 scallions, minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix into a paste, rub into chicken. Bake.

Almond Ice Milk

1 quart whole milk
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup ground blanched almonds
1/2 tsp pure almond extract

In a medium sauce pan, bring the milk and honey to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the honey, about 4 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the ground blanched almonds and the almond extract until completely combined. Fill a large bowl with water and ice. Place a medium bowl in the ice bath. Strain the almond milk through a fine mesh sieve into the medium bowland let cool completely, stirring occasionally. Transfer the chilled almond milk to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Tuscan Sangria

1 750 ml bottle Tuscan red wine, such as Sangiovese
3 cups fresh orange juice
3/4 cup Tuaca (a vanilla-and-citrus-flavored liqueur)
1/3 cup Punt e Mes (a bittersweet Italian vermouth)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup limoncello
1/4 cup sugar
ice
orange slices and cinnamon sticks for garnish

In a pitcher, combine the red wine, O.J., Tuaca, Punt e Mes, lime juice, limoncello and sugar. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. To serve, fill wineglasses halfway with ice. Add the sangria and garnish.

Crème Fraîche

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk

Note: If possible, use pasteurized heavy whipping cream, as ultra pasteurized will take longer to thicken.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the cream to 105 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in the buttermilk. Transfer the cream to a large bowl and allow this mixture to stand in a warm place, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until thickened but still of pouring consistency. Stir and taste every 6 - 8 hours. This process takes anywhere from 24 to 36 hours, depending on your room temperature. The crème fraîche is ready when it is thick with a slightly nutty sour taste. Chill cream, in the refrigerator, for several hours before using. Crème fraîche may be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Coca Cola Roast Beef

5 lbs bottom round
1 tbsp each of salt and chili pepper
1 tsp each of thyme leaves, basil leaves, oregano leaves, paprika, black pepper, chervil, dry mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups Coca Cola (DO NOT USE DIET!!)

Place the roast in a large roasting pan. Blend the seasonings. Pour the coke along side the beef.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, reduce temperature to 300 degrees and continue to bake for 3 hours.

Remove beef, slice and serve.

I've also done this in a crock pot with the same temps.

Chocolate Pasta

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the flour with the cocoa powder, and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the eggs and vanilla extract, and mix to a smooth dough.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until 1/8 inch. With a pastry wheel cut the dough into strips 3/4 inch wide and about 7 inches long. (If you have a pasta machine, you can use it to roll the dough out into the ribbons.)

Cook the pasta in unsalted, boiling water for 3 minutes.

Dessert Lasagna

12 pieces lasagne
4 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar, divided
8 kiwis, peeled
4 cups strawberries, washed and trimmed, 8 reserved forgarnishing
4 cups blackberries, washed
1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds
Mint sprigs to garnish

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse, drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and ½ cup sugar. Set aside.

In the food processor, puree 4 kiwis with 2 tablespoons sugar. Transfer the puree to a bowl and set it aside. Rinse the processor bowl.

In the processor, puree half the strawberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. Strain the puree into a bowl and set it aside. Rinse the processor bowl.

In the processor, puree half the blackberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. Strain the puree and set it aside.

Slice the kiwis into ¼-inch thick rounds. Slice the strawberries into 1/8-inch thick pieces. Slice the blackberries in half.

Reserve 1/4 cup of each of the purees to use as a garnish when serving.

To assemble the lasagne, first cover the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass baking pan with 3 pieces of pasta. Spoon 1/3 of the ricotta on top and spread it evenly. Pour the kiwi puree over the cheese and arrange the kiwi slices on the puree. Lay on 3 more pieces of pasta and cover with 1/2 the remaining cheese. Pour the strawberry puree over the cheese and sprinkle with sliced strawberries. Lay on 3 more pieces of pasta and cover with the remaining cheese. Pour the blackberries puree over the cheese and sprinkle with blackberries. Top with a final layer of pasta. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, sprinkle the lasagne with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and with the toasted almonds. Cut into 8 rectangles and use a spatula to set the pieces on dessert plates. Decorate the plates with dots of reserved purees. Garnish each piece of lasagne with a strawberry and a sprig of mint.

Creme Anglaise

3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
2 cups scalded milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

In the top of a double boiler whisk the sugar with the egg yolks until light and pale, place over simmering water. Slowly whip in the milk and cook until thick, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla. Use hot or cold with fruit, ice sorbets, chocolate dishes, floating islands, white chocolate pasta or as desired.

Herb Butter

1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp each of chives, parsley, chervil (french parsley,) tarragon, shallots
1 tbsp whipping cream

Place the ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth.

Creole Sauce

1 1/2 tbsp safflower oil
1 1/2 finely diced onions
1 finely diced green bell peppers
1 1/2 finely diced celery stalks
10 peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp basil leaves
1/4 tsp oregano leaves
1/4 tsp thyme leaves
3 diced green onions
1/2 bunch chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan. Saute the onion, celery and green pepper until tender. Add the tomatoes and seasoning, simmer until the desired thickness has been achieved (about 4 hours.)

Add the green onion and parsley. Simmer 15 minutes longer. Sauce is ready for use.

Armadillo Eggs

16 Jalapeno peppers
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 eggs
1/4 milk
1/2 cup flour
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 cups safflower oil
2 cups hot Creole sauce (see recipe on this site)
curly lettuce leaves (garnish)

Cut the tops from the peppers. Using a small knife remove the membranes and seeds from within the peppers.

Stuff each pepper with cheese, pack the cheese as tight as possible. Place on a baking tray.

Blend the eggs with the milk in a small mixing bowl.

Dust the peppers with the flour, dip into the eggs and dredge in the bread crumbs.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Fry the peppers in the oil until golden brown.

Place the sauce in a small bowl to be served with the Armadillo eggs.

Monkey's Lunch Cake w/ Banana Kahlua Frosting

Cake:
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 mashed bananas
1/4 cup Irish Cream liqueur
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.

Beat in the banana. Blend in the Irish Cream. Sift together the baking soda, baking powder, flour and salt, fold into the cake.

Pour batter into a 9" buttered and floured spring form pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes then transfer cake to cooling rack, turn cake out and cool completely. Frost with Banana Kahlua Frosting.

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp banana liqueur
3 tbsp Irish Cream liqueur
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate - melted

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and whip in the confectioner's sugar.

In a double boiler beat the eggs, sugar, flour, salt, liqueurs and chocolate. Cook 10 minutes, cool. Whip into the cream and butter. Frost cakes.

Sesame Noodle Salad with Red Bell Pepper and Peanuts

Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Salad:
1/2 pound uncooked spaghettini
1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts
3/4 cup (2 x 1/4-inch) julienne-cut red bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

To prepare dressing, combine first 10 ingredients in a jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously.

To prepare the salad, cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse under cold water. Combine pasta, bean sprouts, and the next 5 ingredients (bean sprouts through cilantro) in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Let stand 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with peanuts.

Bourbon Marinade

1 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Combine and marinate meat.

Good for salmon, pork and chicken

Bourbon-Glazed Salmon

1 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
Cooking spray
4 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add salmon fillets. Seal bag, and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag once. Remove fillets from bag; discard marinade.

Preheat broiler.

Place fillets on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 11 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle each fillet with 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon onions.

13 February, 2008

Drunken Monkey's Lunch

1 oz vodka

1 oz banana liqueur

1 oz Kahlua

3 oz milk


Pour the Kahlua, vodka, banana liqueur over cubed ice in an old-fashioned glass. Fill with milk.

09 February, 2008

Margarita Cupcakes

(from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World)

1/4 cup lime juice
1 1/2 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
1 cup soy milk (plain or vanilla)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp tequila
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
In a large bowl, mix together lime juice, lime zest, soy milk, oil , tequila, vanilla and sugar.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to lime mixture and stir until just combined. Divide evenly into muffin tins.
Bake for 20-24 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.


Tequila and Lime Frosting
1/4 butter or nonhydrogenated shortening, softened
1 tbsp soymilk
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tequila
2+ cups confectioners' sugar
coarse sugar for "rims"

Cream together butter/nonhydrogenated shortening (depending on whether you want the frosting vegan or not), soymilk, lime juice, tequila, and 2 cups of confectioners' sugar. Add in more sugar as needed to make frosting stiff, but spreadable.
Spread on cupcakes and roll the edges in a small amount of coarse, colored sugar (poured into a small bowl, so it's easy to direct it.

Gingery Limeade

Ginger is a natural way to sooth uneasy stomaches and is a natural digestive aid. It can be used to treat nausea and also helps to eliminate harmful intestinal bacteria (so now you know why they serve ginger with sushi!). Lime is a natural diuretic and is also good for soothing stomach ailments and headaches, they are very high in vitamin C and help to clean out those stuffy nasal passages. So not only is this drink tastey but it has some wonderful benefits too!


3/4 cup sugar (Splenda can be used instead)
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger (don't substitute!)
1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 1/2 cold water

Combine first four ingredients in a small pan, whisk until sugar is dissolved. Give it a bit of heat, if needed. Strain mixture through a sieve into a pitcher. Add juice and 2 1/2 cups cold water through the sieve, discard the ginger and lime zest. Chill completely.

Garnish the pitcher by floating a few thinly sliced limes on top.

Picnic Sandwich



1 package sheet puff pastry; thawed
1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
4 tablespoons spicy mustard
½ cup sliced olives, green or black
¼ lb each sliced meat; ham, turkey, roast beef and corned beef
1 egg, beaten

Roll one sheet puff pastry gently with as little flour as possible; about 1/4” thick. Fit pastry in a spring form pan. Cut pieces to form the sides. Pinch pastry together with a little water.

Spread one tablespoon of mustard on bottom of pastry. Layer meat, olives, mustard, and cheese ending with meat.

Roll other sheet of pastry as tin as first and cut circle slightly larger than top of pan. Seal edges and brush top with beaten egg. (yes, that is a smiley face)

Bake 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until brown. Use lower third of oven so the bottom crust cooks. Cool before removing from pan and cool completely before cutting.

Chocolate Gravy - Mole Poblano

Ingredients:

4 CHILES MULATOS
4 CHILES ANCHOS
4 CHILES GUAJILLOS
4 CHILES PASILLAS
1 CAN WHOLE TOMATOES
1 LARGE ONION
4 GARLIC CLOVES
1/2 C. ALMONDS
1 RIPE PLANTAIN (or "PLATANO" OR "COOKING BANANA")
1/2 C. PEANUTS
1 PIECE TOASTED BREAD
2 CORN TORTILLAS
1 TABLET "ABUELITA" CHOCOLATE
1/8 C. SESAME SEEDS
OIL OR LARD FOR FRYING CHOCOLATE, CHICKEN-TURKEY
Devein chiles and remove seeds. Peel onion and cut in quarters. Peel, then cut plantain in 1/4 in. pieces and set aside with chiles, etc.

Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a widepan (a wok is great) and fry all ingredients, in batches, starting with the chiles and ending with the nuts, tomatoes and chocolate. As you fry all the ingredients, set them aside in a large bowl, mixing them together as you go.

Once all ingredients have been sauteed, puree them in a blender, thinning them with chicken or turkey broth (or consomme cubes or powder dissolved in hot water). Consistency should be fairly thick, but just thin enough to blend to a smooth sauce.

Cook over low flame (or in crock pot) for approximately two hours, or until Mole turns a dark reddish brown color. The perfect test for Mole is when you stir it, you will see the bottom of the pot!

Serve over chicken, turkey, pork or sirloin tips, always accompanied by Mexican rice and corn tortillas or Mexican rolls (French baguettes will do too!)

Chocolate Gravy

This is the type of gravy you see in the movie Chocolat that they served over the Turkey, Meats and pork type dishes.

1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 15 mL
1 cup sodium-reduced chicken broth 250 mL
5 squares 70% cocoa chocolate 50 g
1 tbsp fancy molasses 15 mL
1 tsp ground cinnamon 5 mL
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 2 mL
1 tbsp instant brown gravy thickener 15 mL
Salt and pepper


Heat oil in a saucepan set over medium heat. Sauté shallot for 2 minutes or until translucent. Add balsamic vinegar and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to low and simmer for 2 minutes.

Add chocolate, molasses, cinnamon and cayenne pepper, stirring until chocolate is melted and well blended. Add thickener and stir to combine well. Strain sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Corn Bread ala Tanya

Sweet Corn Bread
Estimated Times:
Preparation - 10 min | Cooking - 35 min | Yields - 12 servings


Ingredients:

* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup Yellow or White Corn Meal
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/4 cups milk
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

I add 1/3 cup of frozen corn, approx. 1/2 tsp of fresh ground nutmeg (somewhat visible when stirred in), 1 Tbsp honey and occasionally will throw in a handful of craisans or diced jarred jalepenos to give a different taste.

Directions:
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

COMBINE flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bow. Combine milk, eggs, vegetable oil and butter in a small bowl; mix well. Add to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

FOR MUFFINS:
SPOON batter into 18 to 20 greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Palmiers


  • 1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • flour for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly dust surface with flour and roll out a sheet of puff pastry until it’s about 18″ by 14″.

Spread half the stick of butter evenly across the pastry. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon and evenly spoon half of this mixture across the buttered pastry. With your palms, gently press the sugar into the puff pastry to help it “stick” to the butter.

Beginning at left edge, roll the dough, jelly roll style, to the center line. Repeat with the right edge. This will result in the dough having almost an eyeglasses shape.

With a sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch slices of dough, and place the eyeglass-shaped slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. This will be somewhat messy.

Repeat with other sheet of puff pastry.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely on wire racks.

Makes about 4 dozen palmiers.

Elvis Cake - Banana Cake/PB Frosting

Banana Cake

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temp
2 Tbs. dark rum
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350°F.

2. Butter and flour 2 nine-inch cake pans.

3. Mix the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt together in a bowl.

4. With a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is creamy.

5. Add the sugars and beat for a couple of minutes.

6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Then add the vanilla and the rum.

7. Lower the speed and add the bananas. Keep it on low speed while you add the buttermilk and the flour - add the dry ingredients and liquid ingredients alternately, adding the flour mixture in three portions and the coconut milk in two (begin and end with the dry ingredients).

8. Mix until everything is just incorporated.

9. Divide the batter between the two pans.

10. Bake for around 45 minutes, or until the cakes are a deep golden brown.

11. Cool in pans for 5 minutes and then on a rack until completely cool.


Peanut Butter Frosting

Ingredients:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Turn this recipe into a puzzle! [click]

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.

Ultra-Easy No Knead Bread


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
  • Cornmeal

1. In a large bowl, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100°F). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and pinch off a grapefruit-size piece. Carefully turn dough in your hands to form a round; the bottom will be bumpy. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal and let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and quickly shut oven to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Makes 3-4 loaves.

From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François.



Each batch makes three or four loaves of crusty bread, but you don’t need to bake it all at once. The unused dough can sit in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and you pull off a portion and bake it when you want.

Spicy Chocolate Meat Rub

Here’s a recipe for a spicy rub made with unsweetened cocoa powder that goes great on pork, lamb, or chicken. Just give them a good coating of the rub before grilling. This rub works especially well with kabobs, which give you more surface area and thus more chance to enjoy the chocolate rub’s flavors. Simply combine the ingredients together in food processor or spice grinder until the red peppers have been ground fine. This will keep several months in an airtight container.

  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
YUM!!!

Mayan Hot Chocolate

This recipe is inspired by Vianne from the book/film Chocolat by Joanne Harris

2 cups boiling water
1 chile pepper, cut in half, seeds removed (with gloves)
5 cups light cream or whole or nonfat milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate or
3 tablets Mexican chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar or honey, or to taste
l tablespoon almonds or hazelnuts, ground extra fine
Whipped cream

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add chile pepper to boiling water. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove chile pepper; strain water and set aside. (You can omit this step by using 2 large pinches to 1/4 teaspoon pasilla or ancho dried chile pepper powder or a combination of the two. Do not use chili powder — a mix of spices with cumin and oregano. Use pure ground red chile pepper like the rich pasilla, chile negro or ancho).

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream or milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick until bubbles appear around the edge. Reduce heat to low; add chocolate and sugar or honey; whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolves. Turn off heat; remove vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Add chile-infused water, a little at a time, tasting to make sure the flavor isn't too strong. If chocolate is too thick, thin with a little more milk.

Serve in small cups and offer ground almonds or hazelnuts and whipped cream.

Molten Chocolate Cinnamon Cakes


(recipe from Cook's Illustrated, The Best Recipe)
These can be made with our without the cinnamon, add a pinch of chili pepper for a bold flavor.. it will really bring out the sensuality of the chocolate ~ 2 large pinches to 1/4 teaspoon pasilla or ancho dried chile pepper powder (or a combination)

8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter and flour 8 small ramekins or custard cups. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water, instead using the steam to gently and indirectly heat the chocolate. Stir the chocolate occasionally for even melting. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Beat the eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until mixture lightens in color and triples in size, about 7-8 minutes. Add the cooled chocolate and the flour (and cinnamon) to the egg mixture and gently fold together without deflating the eggs too much. The batter will be foamy.

Ladle the batter equally into the 8 ramekins. Bake for 12 minutes, until the outside is set and the center is still jiggly. Loosen the cakes by running a knife around the edge and invert it on a plate. Let cool 30 seconds – 1 minute and lift off the ramekin. Serve immediately with whipped cream, ice cream, or a strained fruit puree. Serves 8.

These can be made the day before, refrigerated and baked the next day with decent results, although the same day is preferable.

03 February, 2008

Besitos de Coco - Coconut Kisses

Prep Time : 10min Cook Time : 35min


INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut (or vanilla) extract

PREPARATION
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Grease a 13x9x2 cookie sheet.
3. In a bowl, thoroughly mix all ingredients together into a dough.
4. Divide the dough into 24 uniform balls.
5. Place the balls on the greased cookie sheet forming peaks at the top like a kiss and bake for about 35 minutes. They should be golden.

Servings: 24 cookies.


Alternatives

Can dip the finished product in chocolate and/or nuts

Tempting Training Treats

2 1/3. cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat) 1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup grated cheese (like parmesan)
1 large egg
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup non-fat powdered milk


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well; Roll the dough out to size of a cookie sheet; Pat the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, bringing it to the edges.
Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut desired sizes into dough (just score through). If you're using as training treats, cut them into small pieces; Sprinkle a little extra cheese and garlic powder if desired on dough for flavor. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15 minutes until golden brown. Turn off the oven and let cool for a few hours; They will keep hardening the longer you leave them. Break them apart; store tightly covered or in the freezer

Pooch Peanut Butter Swirls

Dough #1:

4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Combine all #1 ingredients and mix thoroughly. Knead on a lightly floured surface. Set aside.

Dough #2:

4 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 egg
1 1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. molasses
2 Tbsp. cinnamon

Combine all #2 ingredients and mix thoroughly. Knead on a lightly floured surface.


Roll each dough separately to a 1/8 inch thickness, into rectangles. Lightly brush a little water over the top of the light dough. Place the dark dough on top, then roll up like a jelly roll. Wrap the roll in plastic and chill in the freezer for one hour. Cut the roll into 1/4 inch slices. Place them on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Yield: 36 pieces

Munchy Crunchy Meat Treats

1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. honey
1/2 cup water
5 tsp. chicken or beef broth
1 jar baby food meat (any flavor)


Combine all ingredients well. Form into a ball. Roll dough out on a floured surface. Cut out desired shapes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool. The treats should be hard and crunchy.

Pumpkin Cookies

If you notice there isn't a whole lot of sugar in this cookie, they are dog biscuits! Although yes quite tasty I suppose if more sugar was added they would be more pleasing for humans too.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup pumpkin, canned
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons Crisco
1 whole egg
1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and cut in shortening. Beat egg with milk and pumpkin and combine with flour, mixing well. Stir until soft dough forms. Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Double Crusted Cheddar Apple Pie

Serves: 6 Ready In: 30-60 minutes

Ingredients:

***CHEDDAR DOUGH***
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter -- cubed
4 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
4 ounces sharp Cheddar -- grated fine and chilled well
2 egg yolks beaten lightly with 1/3 cup cold water
Milk
***FILLING***
3 pounds McIntosh apples
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter -- cut into bits



Directions:
Make the dough: In a food processor combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until it resembles very coarse meal. Add the Cheddar and pulse until it again resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the yolk mixture, tossing with a fork until it forms a dough. Add more cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary. Form the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disc, and dust with flour. Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Roll out half the dough 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Fit it into a 9-inch (1-quart) glass pie plate and trim the edge, leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Chill the shell and the remaining dough while making the filling.

Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel, core, and cut the apples into eighths. In a large bowl toss together the apples, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the flour, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the salt, and the lemon juice until the mixture is combined well. Transfer the filling to the shell and dot it with the butter.

Roll out the remaining dough into a 13- by 14-inch round on a lightly floured surface, drape it over the filling, and trim it, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it, and crimp the edge decoratively. Brush the crust lightly with the milk and cut slits in it with a sharp knife to form steam vents.

Bake the pie on a large baking sheet in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake the pie for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until the crust is golden and the apples are tender.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 1860 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (1% calories from fat); 36g Protein; 419g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 1608mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 17 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat; 10 Other CarbohydratesAlan Hewitt

Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread

Ingredients

* 1 cup of sugar
* 1 cup of oil
* 3 cups of flour
* 1 tsp. baking powder
* 1 tsp. of vanilla
* 12 oz. chocolate chips
* 4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Mix the Mandel Bread Wet Ingredients
First put the sugar, the eggs and the oil into a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed. Using a recipe with 4 eggs will make this a more cookie-like rather than a brittle type of mandel bread.
Mix in the Mandel Bread Dry Ingredients
Next, add the baking powder to the flour and whisk them together. Now, a little bit at a time, mix the flour into the wet mixture. Once you've got the flour worked in, add the vanilla. Mixture will be thick and sticky. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips with a spoon. You can add walnuts at this time, but I will leave it as is.
Bake the Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread
Spoon about half the mixture onto each of the two parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake them for about a 1/2 hour.
Cut the Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread
Take them out of the oven and cut the loaf into 1-inch slices. If your loaf is wide like mine, I like to also cut the loaf down the middle. Then, put back in oven for another 5 minutes.

Take out of the oven, serve, and enjoy!

Kosher Rugelach

Ingredients

* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 sticks cubed unsalted butter
* 8 ounces cubed cream cheese
* 1/3 cup sour cream
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
* 1/2 cup chopped raisins
* milk

Prepare the Kosher Rugelach Dough
First, prepare a food processor with a chopping or dough blade. Next, place the cream cheese, butter, and sour cream in the mixer. Pulse this together until its creamy.

Then add the flour and the salt. Pulse again until the mixture pulls away from the sides as it blends. Use the dough function on your mixture, if you have one.
Store and Chill the Rugelach Dough
Take out the blade and scoop out 1/4 of the mixture. For easy storage, place the dough into a plastic bag and then shape the dough into round disc. Do this with all the dough, so you have four bags.

This dough also freezes well. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
Combine the Rugelach Filling
In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped walnuts, finely chopped raisins, sugar, and cinnamon. There are many varieties of rugaleh. You can add brown sugar or even chocolate chips in the filling.
Add Filling to the Dough
Taking one disc out of the fridge, and roll it into a 9-inch circle. Keep the other disks chilled until you are ready to roll them.

Now add the filling. Sprinkle the sugar and nut mixture all around the dough. Then, lightly press it down into the dough.
Cut and Wrap the Rugelach Dough
With chef's knife or pizza cutter, cut each round into 12 wedges. Roll wedges from wide to narrow, you will end up with point on outside of cookie. Some people like to add fruit jams to the dough before adding the filling to make another variation.

Instead of a circle, you can also wrap the dough like a jelly roll. Then, cut the roll into small pieces.
Chill the Kosher Rugelach Dough
Place the rugelach on foil-lined baking sheets and chill for around 20 minutes. This will help prevent the shape of the dough from falling apart while cooking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Bake the Kosher Rugelach
After the rugelach are chilled, brush with milk and sprinkle some extra cinnamon and sugar on top.

Bake them in the center rack of your oven for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks. Serve and enjoy!