Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Cardamom Crumb Cake
Recipe By Dorie Greenspan - Baking: From My House to Yours
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup walnuts -- coarsely chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest -- finely grated
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules -- preferably espresso [or cocoa]
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- at room temperature
CAKE BATTER DRY INGREDIENTS:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules -- preferably espresso [or cocoa]
2/3 cup sugar
CAKE BATTER WET INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons orange zest -- finely grated
8 tablespoons unsalted butter -- melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup espresso coffee -- cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 400 and arrange rack in center of oven. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Put the pan on a baking sheet.
2. CRUMBS: Put all the ingredients except butter in a bowl and toss them together with a spatula just to blend. Add the butter, in small little pieces, and using your fingers or spatula, mix everything together until you've got crumbs of different sizes. It's nice to have a few big pieces, so don't overdo it. Set the crumbs aside (up to 3 days ahead).
3. CAKE: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom and espresso powder in a large bowl. Turn the dry ingredients out onto a sheet of waxed paper, and put the sugar and zest in the bowl. Rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of orange strong, then return the dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk to blend.
4. Put the remaining ingredients in another bowl and whisk them to blend. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir - DON'T BEAT - to mix. Stir ONLY until you've got an evenly moistened batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and top with a thick, even layer of the crumbs. Pat the crumbs ever so gently into the top of the batter.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake has risen (it will crown the pan), the crumbs are golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Transfer to a rack to cool in the pan, before serving warm or at room temperature.
7. You can unmold the cake if you want to, but you'll lose some of the crumbs when you turn it over. I prefer to cut the cake in the pan, taking care not to nick the surface of the pan with my knife. Use a silicone spatula if possible.
NOTES : This cake is best served warm the day it's baked. If you must make it ahead, freeze it. Defrost and reheat in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes to warm it.
Per Serving: 422 Calories; 21g Fat (44.6% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 52g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 90mg Cholesterol; 195mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 4 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
To print a PDF recipe, click title at top.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
While our whole family was here over last week, there were a lot of meals and snacks being prepared at all hours. Our grandchildren spent many, many hours in and out of our large, heated jacuzzi, and would beg for snacks like apples and cheese, soft drinks, juice (and towels, oh my, the towels). The refrigerator was bursting at the seams with leftovers and other stuff for a variety of meal types. And early on Saturday morning, our daughter Sara was already baking. She loves to bake. I mean it. SHE. LOVES. TO. BAKE. Sara usually prefers to bring desserts or baked items when we have a potluck meal. She's a very good cook in general, and her daughter Sabrina, aged 11, is already a very good baker too. She's been helping her mom since she stood next to her mom's elbow on a stool at the kitchen counter.
My standby Buttermilk Scones are more like a very rich biscuit. The ingredients, however, are very, very similar. Mine have less sugar, less butter (which surprised me), but more buttermilk. Amazing what a little addition of buttermilk can make to a baked good. Sara's have a little drier crumb (guess that's the buttermilk at work there), but they were absolutely delicious. I may try her recipe next time I bake scones. There are a precious few of these in the freezer, which we'll dole out for special occasions in the next couple of weeks. Thank you, Sara.
Sara's Cranberry Orange Scones
3 c flour
1/3 c sugar
2 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
½ t salt
3/4 c cold butter
½ c dried cranberries
zest from 1 orange
1 c buttermilk
a little cinnamon and sugar
Preheat oven to 425. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, then add the cold butter. Blend with knives or a pastry blender. Then add in the cranberries and orange zest. Pour in the cold buttermilk and gently stir dough until it holds together. Pour out onto a floured surface and press dough to about a 12 inch round and cut into shapes and place on a large baking sheet. Brush tops with milk and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove to cool for about one minutes. Serve immediately.
Per Serving: 247 Calories; 12g Fat (43.8% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 31g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 32mg Cholesterol; 389mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates. The nutrition count depends on how large you make the scones. This recipe makes about 14 or 15 large scones.
To print a PDF recipe, click title at top.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Our friends, Russ & Stacey, who live in the Bay Area, did two turkeys for their Thanksgiving crowd. One was smoked, the other baked. With lots of family and children around, Stacey wanted to make it easy on herself and prepared this all-purpose gravy that came from Cook's Illustrated. She emailed to tell me this gravy was just wonderful, and she liked it because it could be made ahead. We all know what it's like in the kitchen during the last hour before Thanksgiving dinner is ready to eat. Great idea, Stacey, and thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to add this to my Thanksgiving repertoire for next year.
With my posting yesterday about Kosher turkeys (and sometimes they're too salty to use the drippings for anything) this gravy would be a great make-ahead dish. One more menu item ticked off the list early. Here's what C.I. has to say about it:
- This gravy can be served with almost any type of meat or poultry or with mashed potatoes. If you would like to double the recipe, use a Dutch oven to give the vegetables ample space for browning and increase the cooking times by roughly 50 percent. The finished gravy can be frozen. To thaw either a single or double recipe, place the gravy and 1 tablespoon of water in a saucepan over low heat and bring slowly to a simmer. The gravy may appear broken or curdled as it thaws, but a vigorous whisking will recombine it.
Cook's Illustrated's All-Purpose Gravy1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small rib celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 whole bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
5 whole peppercorns
Salt and ground black pepper
1. In food processor, pulse carrot until broken into rough 1/4-inch pieces, about five 1-second pulses. Add celery and onion; pulse until all vegetables are broken into 1/8-inch pieces, about five 1-second pulses.
2. Heat butter in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat; when foaming subsides, add vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and well browned, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add broths; bring to boil, skimming off any foam that forms on surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and add bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 3 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Strain gravy through fine-mesh strainer into clean saucepan, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve hot. Make approximately 4 cups.
Per 1/2 cup serving: 82 Calories; 5g Fat (47.4% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 12mg Cholesterol; 29mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fat.
To print a PDF recipe, click title at top.
Monday, November 26, 2007
- Jews do not eat blood because the life of the animal (literally, the soul of the animal) is contained in the blood. This applies only to the blood of birds and mammals, not to fish blood. Thus, it is necessary to remove all blood from the flesh of kosher animals.
Even after slaughtering, the animal still has some blood contained within, so they must perform a second process:
- The remaining blood must be removed, either by broiling or soaking and salting. Liver may only be kashered by the broiling method, because it has so much blood in it and such complex blood vessels.
Since I'm a huge convert to the brining of lots of different meats, but particularly chicken and turkeys, I am relieved of having to DO the brining. The Kosher process does it for me. And since I've not perfected the ratio of water, sugar and salt so that a turkey doesn't come out too salty, I'm happy to let the Kosher butcher do all the work for me.
I will say, buying Kosher is more expensive. This year I went to Trader Joe's, who usually has them at Thanksgiving and Christmas, to buy my turkeys on Monday, the 19th. They were already sold out. I was absolutely devastated. I stood there in the middle of the store, with lots of people trying to get by me, and nearly cried. I talked to any clerk I could find. Nope, no Kosher turkeys. I went to the customer service desk. And very nearly cried. They shrugged. They told me all of the TJ's stores in Orange County were sold out by 10 am that morning.
The last 2 years I've relied on TJ's Kosher turkeys. They're certainly not carried at any of my local grocery stores. Thank goodness for Whole Foods. Yes, they had Kosher turkeys, but each 14 pound bird was about $75.00. A whole lot more money than TJ's. But, these two were the most moist turkeys we'd ever eaten. And the brining was absolutely perfect - I could use the juice in the bottom of the pan - it wasn't too salty at all. Some of our guests were blown away by how juicy the breast meat was. I may have converted several people to buying Kosher next year.
So, your challenge is to find a Kosher market (or a TJ's) and try a Kosher chicken or turkey. you'll be amazed, I do believe! As a little aside, I notice that all of the Kosher chickens and turkeys I've purchased have still had some feathers attached. And the only organ meat included is the liver - no heart of gizard. That's part of the Kosher law. So, there's your little lesson today in Kosher!
Note: my Kosher info and facts for this posting came from Judaism 101.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
4 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 pounds leeks -- halved, washed, sliced
1 large russet potato -- peeled, quartered
1 pound broccoli -- stems and florets
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh dill -- minced
1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until very soft, about 20 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning. You do not want the leeks to brown.
2. Cook potato in boiling water until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in broccoli stems and cook for 5 minutes. Add broccoli florets and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Drain. Puree leeks, potato and broccoli in a food processor. Add cream and dill, then season with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer mixture to a saucepan to keep warm, or pour into an oil-sprayed baking dish. May be refrigerated at this point and kept up to 2 days. Bring to room temp before continuing.
4. Heat in microwave for 4-5 minutes, until heated through. Sprinkle top with additional dill, if desired.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 132 Calories; 11g Fat (70.4% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 33mg Cholesterol; 86mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat.
Friday, November 23, 2007
I wanted dressing with Italian sausage this year. So I turned to my favorite Thanksgiving cookbook, Thanksgiving 101 by Rick Rodgers. (As a side note, the photo at left is of Rodgers' new 2007 revised edition - I have a 1998 edition). Sure enough, I found a recipe titled Italian Stuffing with Sausage and Parmesan Cheese. I took some liberties with Rodgers' recipe, so I can't exactly give him full credit. Part of it is mine, and part thanks to Trader Joe's. I bought Trader Joe's boxed dry stuffing/dressing mix. I added many of the ingredients in Rodgers' recipe, then I added my own minor changes. So here's what it is: onion, celery (lots), bell peppers, garlic, hot Italian sausage, thyme, oregano, Trader Joe's seasoning packet, some Parmesan cheese, butter and chicken stock. We have some left over, along with some gravy. Delish that will be.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
L-R: Sliced (kosher) turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and pearl onions, one mounded plate of food.
L-R: broccoli/leek puree, Italian sausage dressing, broccoli hollandaise, grilled orange slices.
Awesome pumpkin pie and DH and I in the kitchen just before the dinner bell.
I'll be sharing the recipes for the dressing, the mashed potatoes and the broccoli/leek puree in the next couple of days. The pumpkin pies (all 3 of them) were Libby's recipe, still considered one of the best there is.
Posted by Carolyn T at 8:00 PM
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hope you're having a great day - or had a great day, if you're reading this after Turkey day. Its only 10 am and I've been cooking since 7:30. Let us not forget to be thankful for our dinner bounty, and to happy to share it with family.
For today's dinner, I made as much as I could yesterday, but there's still a lot to be done the day of. My daughter is helping a lot, thank goodness. Helpers are so nice to have around! This post, though, was one I wrote up a day or so ago - we're having pumpkin pie today. My very favorite pie in the world. Because we have so many pumpkin pie lovers in our family, we're having 3 pumpkin and one apple, and likely they'll all be gone by the end of the day, or at the latest tomorrow morning.
Probably I've mentioned before that I'm an inveterate recipe collector. Clippings from all the magazines I subscribe to (at the moment those are: Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Cooks Illustrated, Sunset and Southern Living), notes from a restaurant meal, emailed from friends, found on the internet, and now, with food blogs, I have a whole new source of recipes. If I cooked 3 meals a day, with 4-5 recipes per meal, I still wouldn't run out of new recipes for the rest of my life, just of the ones I have in my to-try collection. I'm really trying to be more circumspect about what I clip and print out. But, it's very hard because so many things sound so wonderful.
Because I subscribe to a lot of food blogs through google reader (if you've looked at the list down my right column you'll understand what I'm saying), I have a lot of reading to do. Not only do I like to support the other food bloggers out there by reading what they have to say, but you just never know what you're going to find. After I've been away for a few short days, my google reader box is full. You can imagine that when I finally got around to looking yesterday, after 3 1/2 weeks, it says I had 997 blogs to read. Oh my. That's almost overwhelming. And yet, what if I miss some fantastic recipe? So, I'm trying to read it gradually, maybe 15-20 minutes at a time. I've already printed out 4 recipes and I'm only down to the C's (google gives them to me in alpha order). So, the task ahead of me is huge. Daunting. But I'll keep slogging through it.
So, when I saw the title of this blog posting, I was hooked, since I love all-things-pumpkin. The blogger Sassy Radish, was guest hosting at the Accidental Hedonist, and wrote up a nice list of her favorite Thanksgiving menu items, among them, this dessert. Read her original posting about this recipe here. Its origin is Charles Phan of the Slanted Door in San Francisco, a hugely popular restaurant in the Ferry Building, a place I'd love to visit. You can also find the recipe on Epicurious with the title of Pumpkin Souffle/Bread Pudding.
This isn't pumpkin pie. Naturally, with the main ingredient of bread, it's a different texture. The challah is a soft bread, just slightly sweet. And not something I'd ever purchased before, but figuring it was an important item, I sought it out. Finally found it at Trader Joe's, thank goodness.
Very little sugar is added, surprisingly, to the bread pudding. The pumpkin custard mixed with whipped-up egg whites provides a subtle pumpkin flavor. It's lighter, though, than most bread puddings because of the addition of whipped egg whites. I like that part. With a big dollop of whipped cream on top, yum. If and when I make this again, I think I'll add more spices (just because I can, and I like more of those pumpkin pie type spices anyway) and I'll add more pumpkin. Hopefully the custard will hold with 4 egg yolks. I made a double batch, and because I don't have enough custard cups, I made it in a 9 x 13 pan, which is what Sassy Radish did also. I baked the dish 10 minutes longer because of that. And having made this several days ago, I'll tell you that I think this tastes better after it sits overnight - so this might make a great do-ahead dessert.
Pumpkin Bread Pudding Souffle
Recipe: Chef Charles Phan's recipe, via Sassy Radish, via Accidental Hedonist
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
9 ounces bread -- challah, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
3 1/2 ounces butter -- (7 tablespoons)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Pinch cloves
1 Pinch nutmeg
4 large egg yolks
1 cup pumpkin purée -- at room temperature
2 whole egg whites
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a small saucepan, bring milk and cream to a simmer over low heat. Place challah cubes in bowl. Remove milk mixture from heat and pour half of the liquid over the challah.
3. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and egg yolks, beating well. Add pumpkin purée and the other half of the heated cream and milk.
4. Fold the soaked challah into the pumpkin mixture. Beat the egg whites and sugar until they form stiff peaks and gently fold into the batter. Butter and sugar 8 three-inch ramekins, then divide batter evenly among ramekins. Bake for 25 minutes, or until knife comes out clean. Baked desserts can be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, then heated in the oven wrapped in foil or microwaved until warm.
Per Serving: 363 Calories; 26g Fat (63.3% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 179mg Cholesterol; 454mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 5 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
To view a PDF recipe, click title at top.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Are these not adorable? I thought it would be fun for our daughter Dana, and our granddaughter Taylor to make these little guys for the Thanksgiving Dinner table. The project was in Martha Stewart Living (magazine) this month. You can access the template and directions on Martha's website here. Dana will add here, that it takes a bit of time to make these little guys, what with the yarn wrapping, gluing here and there, and the cutting of the card stock took the most time, actually. But then, we are having 16 people for dinner tomorrow. They had to make a trip to Michael's, who had everything they needed, and it took about 3-4 hours of work to complete them, done over 2 days. But I think they're just darling, don't you?
Posted by Carolyn T at 10:00 AM
And the soup, called a Tomato Bisque Sip Soup, was so very tasty. It came from Sunset Magazine, she said. From the taste, I wouldn't have known that it was such a super-quick one, merely using canned tomatoes and a few ingredients, heated up and served. 1-2-3. Done. Don't you just love those kinds sometimes?
Tomato Bisque Sip Soup
3 14 1/2 oz cans. diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
1 Tb balsamic vinegar
1 Tb brown sugar
1 1/2 ts finely shredded orange peel
1/4 ts cracked black pepper
3/4 C whipping cream (or a combination or whipping and 1/2 and 1/2)
Place 2 cans of tomatoes in blender. Process until very smooth. Transfer to large saucepan. Process remaining tomatoes and all ingredients but cream until very smooth. Transfer to saucepan. Bring to simmer over med-low heat. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, remove from heat.
To serve, return soup to a simmer, stir in cream until combined. Garnish with additional pepper and shaved Parmesean, if desired. Makes 16 1/3 cup appetizer servings or 4 main-dish servings. This served 10 in the china teacups.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Here's another great chicken (breast) recipe. Another recipe from Phillis Carey's cookbook, that I've talked about before. She's just such a wizard with chicken. This could be a "regular" night dinner, although I think it should be elevated to "company" status. It isn't exactly on the low cal side - it has some heavy cream in the sauce - and it isn't exactly quick, either. Fortunately I had two helpers (Dana, my daughter, and her daughter, 10-year old Taylor). They're all visiting us for the week (my daughter - and her two children - come to join her husband who's been with us for a couple of months while he works on a project here, locally). So, chicken seemed like the best choice for dinner. Chicken breasts were defrosted, and I found I had everything on hand to make these. It's nice when you do a dinner like that and you don't have to make a trip to the grocery store.
Cajun and Creole are two different things, just in case you didn't know. The cuisines are different, and although I'm not from the south (I'm actually a California native), we've visited enough times that I've learned not to mention to the N'awlins' folks that they might appear similar to the unknowing. Since I couldn't remember what the difference was, I looked it up on Wikipedia:
- According to an expression of the region, Cajuns live to eat, not eat to live. Outside Louisiana the distinctions between Cajun and Louisiana Creole cuisine have been blurred. However, Creole dishes tend to be more sophisticated continental cuisine using local produce. Cajun food is rural, more seasoned, sometimes spicy, and tends to be more hearty. Many well-known Cajun dishes were originally centered on wild game, rice and other local ingredients.
Likely the lines are a bit blurred in this recipe as well. Whatever it is, and whatever its roots, it's just gosh-darned tasty. I'd serve this to guests anytime, although I'd make double the sauce. There just never seems to be enough sauce to go around. And I like to serve this with pasta on the side, and the sauce goes just nicely with the pasta. I happened to have served it with green beans - the Green Beans with Garlic and Olive Oil that I shared a couple of months ago on the blog. This time I had some mushrooms on hand, so I added them to the Creole sauce. They weren't in the original recipe, so you decide whether you want to do that. The chicken breasts were pounded to an even thickness, then sort of stuffed with a cream cheese-green onion - Parmesan mixture, dipped in egg and bread crumbs (I used Panko), then baked for half an hour. Meanwhile you make the creole sauce and boil up some pasta. And whip up a bright green vegetable, perhaps a salad, and you're done.
Cajun Chicken Breasts with Creole Sauce
Recipe: Phillis Carey, cooking instructor
4 pieces chicken breast, no skin, no bone, R-T-C
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup green onion -- chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese -- freshly grated
1 whole egg
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup onion -- finely diced
1/4 cup celery -- finely diced
1/4 cup green pepper -- finely diced
1 1/2 cups mushrooms -- sliced
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup dry vermouth
14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes -- canned, drained
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon oregano -- fresh, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Trim chicken and pound to an even 1/4 inch thickness (between two sheets of plastic wrap). Season with salt and pepper. Combine the cream cheese with green onions and Parmesan cheese. Divide cheese into quarters and place one lump on each chicken breast. Fold in sides and roll up the chicken to enclose the cheese.
2. Whisk egg to combine in a bowl. Toss breadcrumbs with Cajun seasoning in another bowl. Toss breadcrumbs with Cajun spice in another bowl. Roll chicken in egg and then in bread crumbs to coat well. Transfer chicken to a shallow baking dish, seam side down and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cooked through. Do not overcook.
3. Sauce: melt butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, mushrooms and bell pepper. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in Cajun spice and sugar, then add dry vermouth. Bring to a boil, then stir in tomatoes, hot sauce and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until mixture reduces slightly and thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in fresh herbs. Season to taste for salt, pepper and hot sauce. May cook ahead up to this point, then reheat when ready to serve. Spoon sauce over chicken.
NOTES : If you have fresh tomatoes, use them rather than canned ones.
Serving Ideas : Definitely serve this with either rice or linguine, because you want the sauce to mix with the carb. You may want to make more sauce, as it's barely enough for the chicken servings.
Per Serving: 808 Calories; 44g Fat (49.4% calories from fat); 65g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 304mg Cholesterol; 1051mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 8 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 7 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
To print a PDF recipe, click title at top.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Recipe: Barefoot Contessa Parties!
Serving Size : 16
1/2 pound unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 whole extra large eggs -- (at room temperature)
1/3 cup lemon zest -- (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup lemon juice -- freshly squeezed
3/4 cup buttermilk -- at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice -- freshly squeezed
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease two 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ -inch loaf pans. Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine ¼ cup lemon juice, the buttermilk and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
3. Combine ½ cup granulated sugar with ½ cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves and makes a syrup. When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
4. For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the top of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
White Zinfandel (or Pink) Sangria
Recipe By : Bon Appetit, July 2001
Serving Size : 6
750 milliliters wine -- white zinfandel, chilled
1/2 cup peach schnapps -- or Peach Pucker Schnapps
2 tablespoons Cointreau -- or other orange liqueur
2 tablespoons sugar
2 whole cinnamon sticks -- broken in half
1 whole lemon -- sliced
1 whole orange -- sliced
1 whole peach -- sliced into wedges
1 bottle club soda -- chilled, 10 ounce bottle
1. Mix first 8 ingredients in tall pitcher. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Mix in club soda. Fill 6 wineglasses with ice cubes. Pour sangria over ice and serve.
NOTES : I call this Pink Sangria, just because lots of people profess to dislike white zinfandel. But with all the other ingredients, it just becomes a nice, light, summer drink. I use Peach Pucker Schnapps (because that's what I had on hand the first time I made it), which makes the drink a bit more tart than some might like).
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 152 Calories; trace Fat (2.6% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 84mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Fruit; 0 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates. (My recipe program doesn't recognize peach schnapps, so that's not included in the nutrition summary.)
To print a PDF recipe, click title at top.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Well, I'm here to tell you that not every quiche is created equal. And despite the fact that men may not admit to eating quiche, they do. And most of them like it too.
For years I used to make a quiche recipe that was good. Very good, actually, but then one day at lunch I ordered quiche at a French restaurant. After a couple of times, I determined that my recipe had to go. So a year or so ago I decided to try a different chemistry for my own home made one. More and different cheese, and whipping cream instead of half and half. Oh my. What a difference. This recipe is just really, really good. I found it on the internet somewhere, tweaked it to my own satisfaction, but I didn't make any notes, so I don't know where it came from. Sorry. Thick and creamy (well, yes, with whipping cream instead of milk or half and half). And although I enjoy other varieties of quiche - like broccoli or spinach, or mushroom, my favorite remains Lorraine (bacon).
We had a brunch here at our house today. In doing the menu planning, and after spending about 2-3 hours perusing all kinds of other recipes (to try something different) and building a menu from the entree, I kept going back to the quiche. I hadn't served it to this group before, so it was "new" to them. DH loves quiche any way, shape or form. Our gourmet gathering is a group of 4-5 couples, and we've been meeting for about 5 years or so, on a off and on basis, for a gourmet kind of dinner. We'd never done brunch. The hostess chooses the menu, and assignments are made with each couple bringing some part of the meal, so I only made the entree and the pink sangria (I'll tell you about that one in a day or so) we sipped on before we sat down to our meal. The other couples brought a soup, a vegie salad and a lettuce salad, a fruit side dish and dessert.
So, this quiche has all the "normal" ingredients of a quiche - cream, eggs, cheese, bacon in a piecrust. What's different about it? Maybe not much, except a bit of white onion, white pepper, paprika, some garlic, and the types of cheese. I used Gruyere (an imported cheese from Switzerland) and Gouda and real Parmegiano-Reggiano. This one is made in a tart pan, so the piecrust is not high - it's not a deep dish kind of quiche. I used a removable bottomed tart pan, and shhhh, I cheated and used Pillsbury's piecrust from the refrigerator case. It was quite lovely, actually. Better than the frozen shells, and very pliable, so it was easy to fit into my two different sized pans. I just trimmed some off one and pressed it into the other one. Simple really. Then you press all the grated cheese into the shells, the bacon, onion, the Italian parsley and kind of press it all down, then you whip up the custard base and pour it on. Quite simple, really. Note: if you use a different kind of pan, or regular pie crusts and traditional pie plates, you'll probably need more custard, so just add another egg and perhaps another 1/2 cup or more of cream. And another side note: if you use salty bacon, as some brands can be, you'll want to reduce the amount of salt.So if a quiche is an appropriate item for a holiday breakfast or dinner, you'll be very happy to have tried this one. To see the tart shell recipe print out the PDF recipe. I didn't reproduce it here.
2 Short Crust (Press-In) Tart Shells -- or use ready-made
12 ounces bacon
8 ounces Emmental cheese -- grated, or Gruyere
5 ounces Gouda cheese -- grated
3 ounces Parmesan cheese -- grated
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 whole eggs
1/2 cup white onion -- minced
1 clove garlic -- minced
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Italian parsley -- minced
1. Prepare the short crust tart shells.
2. Fry bacon pieces until just crispy done, drain on paper towels, then mince into small pieces. Pour off most of the bacon grease, then sauté the onion in the bacon fat until just translucent. Remove and set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 400°. Have all ingredients prepared ahead (grate the cheese, mince the parsley, etc.) before starting to fill the shells, as you do not want the liquid portion to sit very long in the shell.
4. Mix all the cheeses together and sprinkle in the pie shells. Gently press down so cheese is compacted. Sprinkle top with the grated, cooked onion, and the bacon. Press down. In a large bowl combine the eggs, whip them some, then add the cream, garlic, white pepper, paprika, and salt. Gently pour the cream mixture into the pie shells. Fill until the cream mixture comes just barely below the top of the pastry crust. Sprinkle the top with the reserved Italian parsley.
5. Carefully place the quiches in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325° and bake another 20-25 minutes, until the top of the quiche is golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool about 10 minutes, or can be served at room temperature. Remove outside rims before placing on a serving platter or pedestal cake plate.
NOTES : You can use your own choice of cheeses, but you need to have at least half of it a sharp Swiss (imported) type, like an Emmental or Gruyere. Then use some other medium bodied cheese to make up the one pound of cheese called for. Do NOT use any of the Parmesan cheese out of a can. Use the real stuff. You can prepare all of the different parts of this the day or night before, then assemble it just before putting in the oven. I use the fluted sided tart pan about 1 inch high, and because I don't have two of the same size, I make one larger and one smaller.
Per Serving : 585 Calories; 48g Fat (73.6% calories from fat); 20g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 188mg Cholesterol; 732mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 8 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
To view a printable PDF recipe (including the press-in pastry recipe I usually use) click title at top.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Recipe: This is a Carolyn original
12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 large apple -- cored
1 large orange -- with peel, chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup sugar
1. You may use fresh cranberries, if available. If you've frozen them, just defrost before starting relish.
2. In a food processor, whiz up the cranberries first. Do not allow them to turn to mush. Scrape out into a bowl. Do the same with the apple, leaving the peel on, and add to cranberries. Cut orange into many small pieces, peel and all and do the same. Be careful there aren't any large pieces left in the workbowl. Add ginger and sugar to the mixture, stir well and refrigerate for a few hours.
2. Will keep for about a month before spoiling.
NOTES : Cranberry relish has always been a favorite of mine, and I've made a bunch of different kinds over the years. But, this is my favorite, with just a bit of tartness. It's also wonderful with grilled meats - pork chops, chicken and even steak.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 90 Calories; trace Fat (1.4% calories from fat); trace Protein; 23g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Fruit; 0 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.
To print a PDF recipe, click title at top.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
There they are on the Silpat before baking. It's a bit tricky spraying the plastic wrap, laying it over the little blobs of dough, then very gently patting the cookies out thin. I wonder if I made them a tad too thin? Maybe next time I'll try them a bit thicker just to see. Once you remove the plastic wrap, you add the nuts. I used walnuts because that's what I had on hand.
Recipe: Andrew Schloss, "Homemade in a Hurry" via Bon Appetit, Dec. 2007
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate -- chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 piece kosher salt
1/4 cup pistachio nut -- or walnuts
1. Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat to 350. Butter 2 baking sheets. (I used a silpat in each).
2. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe medium sized bowl. Microwave on medium-high power until almost completely melted, about one minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add sugar and egg and whisk until smooth, about one minute. Add flour (both quantities), both extracts and salt, stir just to blend. Let batter sit for 10 minutes.
3. Scoop rounded teaspoons batter onto prepared sheets, spacing apart (12 per pan). Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and place, sprayed side down, on top of cookies. Using your fingers, press each mound into 2 1/2 to 2/3/4 inch rounds. Remove plastic wrap. Sprinkle nuts on top.
4. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until slightly darker at edges and firm in center, about 7 minutes. Cool on rack for 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to rack and cool completely. Can be made 5 days ahead and stored at room temperature.
NOTES : These taste just like the way the very top layer of a brownie tastes. They're extremely fragile until they're cool, and even then, they're still fragile. Let them cool completely and put waxed paper or plastic wrap between layers.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 69 Calories; 5g Fat (62.1% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 17mg Cholesterol; 82mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
To view a PDF recipe, click title at top.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Some people might think Budapest is so foreign they might not want to go. Whatever you might have thought, it's not so. Budapest is a beautiful, small city, situated on both sides of the Danube. The Buda side is the hilly side, where the castle is located (lit up spectacularly at night), and most of the tourist shopping areas, the cathedral and some lovely restaurants. The Pest (pronounced pesh to you non-Hungarians. so it's Booda-pesh) side is the flat side, where much of the business and industry is located. More commercial. It's also where Gundel is located.
Years ago, probably 10, DH and I enjoyed a dinner at Gundel. We were with a small group and the dinner had been pre-arranged. It was spectacular. We even bought some of the Gundel-labeled red wine and brought it home (as we did this time too). Hungarians make some fine wine. Inexpensive. And almost none of it is exported. You've probably heard of the label Tokaji (pronounced toe-kai), a line of sweeter wines, from 1 to 5 in sweetness. They're lovely wines and hard to find here in the U.S. We enjoyed #5 with our dessert the other night. It was really lovely. My DH doesn't drink much late harvest or sweet wines, so I didn't buy any, although I really wanted to. But, I'd be drinking it all, so decided not to.
So earlier last week I asked one of the ship's crew to make a reservation for us at Gundel for Saturday night, our last night there. No problem. We took a taxi - and had the nicest driver - he even came to pick us up at 9:30 at the conclusion of our dinner, AND he picked us up the next morning and drove us to the airport. A very nice man - an Hungarian. With a son in dental school.
Gundel requires men to wear coats (ties not required). It's a very formal place, but not stuffy, really. I was charmed, even more so this time. Last time we were served in a private room upstairs. I liked eating in the main dining room. The ambiance was not to be missed. Lucy and I just ate it up. From the bottled water to the multiple forks and knives lined up on each side of the plates.
We'd been warned the dinner would be expensive. One guide told us to expect to pay about 80,000 Hungarian florins (approx. $300) apiece. Fortunately, it was nowhere close to that. The 6 course meal, including wine for 5 of the courses, was 82,000 florins. So, about $75 per person. To our minds, it was a bargain, considering the fabulous food we had, and the lovely wines they served along with. Hungary, although in the EU, won't convert to the euro until 2012. But most places we went accepted euros with no difficulty. They even took American dollars too.
So, here's what we had:
The foie gras torte. Amazing.
Sinfully delicious soup, with venison, apple and chestnut. Slurp.
The charming table, chock-a-block full of dishes, wine glasses, utensils, little bowls, butter dishes, salt and paprika (no pepper, just paprika), dinner plates and bread plates
The fried catfish in the foreground, with the very different and delicious pumpkin seed strudel at the back.
The amazingly tender pork chops with onions and a spinach strudel.
And, last but not least, this scrumptious crepe filled with a ground and chunky walnut, raisin, rum filling, topped with a dreamy chocolate sauce and powdered sugar. A stunner to look at and to devour.
Here we are, l-r: me, my DH, Lucy and Wayne.