Friday, December 30, 2011

White Chocolate Bark - Merry Christmas - Belated!

Dear friends, I am so sorry I was not able to post this before, hopefully, you can use this recipe on your New Year's celebrations or even through the Winter season.

Chocolate is always good.  Now, white chocolate... it's simply delicious.  Now, pair a beautiful and velvety white chocolate with some salted pistachios, sweet and tangy apricot chunks and dried sweet cranberries... hummm the result is simply delightful!


Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole shelled salted pistachios
16 oz. good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup medium diced dried apricots



Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Using a pencil, draw and 8x20-inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper.  Turn the parchment paper over so the pencil mark doesn't get onto the chocolate and place it on a sheet pan.

Place the pistachios in one layer on another sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Place three quarters of the white chocolate in a heat-proof glass bowl and put it in the microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula, return it to the microwave for another 30 seconds, then stir again.  Continue to heat and stir in 30-second intervals until the chocolate is JUST melted.  Immediately stir in the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it's completely smooth.  (If you need to heat it a little more, place it in the microwave for another 15 seconds.)

Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread it lightly to fill the drawn rectangle.  Sprinkle the top evenly with the cooled pistachios, the cranberries, and apricots.  Press the nuts and fruit lightly so they will set in the chocolate.  Set aside for at least 2 hours until firm or refrigerate for 20 minutes.  Cut or break the bark in 16 pieces and serve at room temperature.


Source:  Recipe Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa - How easy is that? - slightly adapted.


For more delicious Christmas inspired recipes, take a look at: "Buscador de Recetas Chilenas"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nutella Pumpkin Tart


Thanksgiving is over but still there is room for a little bit more of pumpkin!  This recipe was a complete success in our house.  We made it for some friends that came to eat with us and everybody was wowed by the nice texture and smooth flavor combination.

Ingredients:

- For the tart shell:
1 large egg yolk
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tspn. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surfice
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 tspn. salt
8 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (1 stick)

- For the filling:
Nutella (Hazelnut - Chocolate spread) (about 1/2 cup or enough to cover the bottom of the tart)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can of pumpkin puree
2/3 cup light brown sugar1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 cups heavy whipped cream, chilled and whipped
Roasted hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

- For the tart shell:  Whisk together the yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl, set aside.  Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses.  With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.  Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disk.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable).  Unwrap and roll out between two lightly floured sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to a 13-inch round. (If the dough turns soft and sticky, put it back in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes more).

Transfer the dough to a tart pan by rolling the dough loosely around the rolling pin and unrolling over a 9 to 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Working around the circumference of the pan, ease the dough into the pan corners by gently lifting the edge with one hand while pressing it into the corners with the other hand.  Press the dough against the fluted sides of the pan. (If some sections of the edge are too thin, reinforce them by folding the excess dough back on itself).  Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to remove the excess dough.  Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375ºF.  Set the dough lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a 12-inch square of foil into the frozen tart shell and over the edge, and fill with metal or ceramic pie weights (I used beans).  Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.  Remove the foil and weights.  Continue to bake until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes longer.  Let it cool on a wire rack.
- For the filling:  While the tart is baking, cream the cream cheese until is soft and looks like a paste.  Add the pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, spices and a pinch of salt.  In another bowl, whip the heavy whip cream until firm peaks.  Fold the cream into the pumpkin mixture and chill.

Once the tart shell is cooled, start to assemble the tart by spread a generous amount of Nutella at the bottom, don't be shy! (it has to be enough to cover the bottom of the tart).  Then, pipe or spread the pumpkin mousse and sprinkle with roasted hazelnuts.  Finish the tart by drizzling some melted chocolate on top.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.  Enjoy!

Source:  Tart shell - Recipe Courtesy of "Baking Illustrated."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thai Coconut Soup

This is such a delicious soup/appetizer.  It is full of flavor and has a good kick.  If you don't like it as spicy, you can reduce the amount of red thai curry paste to make it to your liking.  This soup has a complex flavor, that is developed by the use of authentic thai ingredients.  All of them available at International or Asian markets.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp.  canola oil
3 Tbsp.  lemongrass, outer sheath removed, bottom 3 inches trimmed and minced
2 Tbsp.  fresh ginger, minced
1 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons Thai red curry paste (It is very spicy)
6 cups chicken stock (I recommend homemade)
3 Tbsp.  fish sauce 
1 Tbsp.  sugar
2 (14 ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 by 1/4-inch strips
1 (15 ounce) cans straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons lime juice
salt
1/2 cup whole fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
3 scallions, greens only, sliced thin on an angle (optional)
Chinese chives (they have a garlic flavor)

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the lemon grass, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.

Add 1/2 cup chicken stock to the pot and stir to dissolve the curry paste. Add the remaining stock, fish sauce, and sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk, chicken, mushrooms, and lime juice. Bring back to a simmer and cook until the stock is hot and the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired. Serve immediately, garnishing each bowl with cilantro, chives and scallions.

Variation: THAI SHRIMP AND COCONUT SOUP. Substitute 1/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp for the chicken.

Source:  Recipe Courtesy of "Food.com" - Slightly adapted.
 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Black Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Marsala Sauce


 
I was pleasantly surprised by this dish.  I was looking for a "different" pork tenderloin recipe, and somehow when I read into this one, it looked really appetizing.  To my surprise, the flavors were outstanding.  Burst of peppery crust paired with a soft and juicy pork bite and a delicious sweet and tangy cherry sauce.  I am telling you, this recipe, is the kind you save for those special occasions when you want to wow your crowd.!  And let me tell you a secret... it doesn't require a huge effort to put it together... fancy and easy? yeah... that's my kind of combo!


Ingredients:
- For the Loin:
3 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
2 Tbps. coarsely ground pepper
2 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tspn. salt
1 (3 pound) boneless center-cut pork loin, trimmed

- For the Cherry - Marsala Sauce
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 onions, chopped (about two cups)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I used homemade)
1/2 cup Marsala wine (the original recipe called for Brandy)
1 bag (8 ounce) frozen pitted sweet cherries, thawed
1 cup dried cherries
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste


Directions:

- For the Loin:  Combine sugar, pepper, rosemary, and salt and rub all over pork.  Let roast sit at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- For the Cherry Marsala Sauce:  Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook onions until golden, about 8 minutes.  Stir in broth, Marsala, and frozen and dried cherries and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the vinegar, and the remaining two tablespoons of butter.  Cover and set aside to keep warm.  Season with salt to taste.

Adjust the oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450ºF.  Arrange the pork on V-rack set in roasting pan.  Roast for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 375ºF and cook until the meat registers 140ºF, about 50 minutes longer.  Transfer the pork to cutting board and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest until center of roast registers 150ºF on an instant-read thermometer, about 15 minutes.  Slice and serve.  You can add some of the cherry sauce on top or pass the sauce at the table.

Source:  Recipe Courtesy of "All Time best Holiday Recipes" - America's Test Kitchen (Slightly Adapted)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Roasted Turkey Roulade



Keeping with the Thanksgiving's Theme, here is a delicious and tasty recipe especially for the occasion. If you don't feel like roasting a whole bird and would like to make a little twist to your regular meal, this is a great recipe you will certainly enjoy!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup large-diced dried figs, stems removed
3/4 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup Calvados or brandy 4Tbsp.  (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1 1/2 cups diced onions (2 onions)
1 cup (1/2-inch-diced) celery (3 stalks)
3/4 pound pork sausage, casings removed (sweet and hot mixed)
1 1/2 Tbsp.  chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3Tbsp.  pine nuts, toasted
3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied (5 pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Directions:

Place the dried figs and cranberries in a small saucepan and pour in the Calvados and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. 

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until cooked and browned. Add the figs and cranberries with the liquid, the chopped rosemary, and pine nuts, and cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir well. (The stuffing may be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan.

Lay the butterflied turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board. Sprinkle the meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread the stuffing in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving a half-inch border on all sides. Don't mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. (Place the leftover stuffing in a buttered gratin dish and bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside the turkey.) Starting at 1 end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.
 
Place the stuffed turkey breast seam side down on the rack on the sheet pan. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees F in the center. (I test in a few places.) Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Carve 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve warm with the extra stuffing.
 
 
Source:  Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten - Back to Basics 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oven Roasted Turkey with Compound Butter


Turkey.  One of the most feared birds to cook.  Let me tell you a little secret.  It may look very intimidating, but it's like a chicken... but bigger.  The secret weapon... a good planning ahead and no fuss happy roasting!

Ingredients:


- For the Turkey:
1 (12 to 15-pound) whole fresh turkey, rinsed well and patted dry
3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, quartered
1 garlic head, halved lengthwise
a bunch of thyme, rosemary and sage sprigs
1 green apple, cut in half
1 or 2 turkey necks
2 cups homemade chicken stock, divided, plus more if needed for gravy
Salt and fresh ground pepper

- For the Compound Butter:

1 1/4 stick unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Note:  If you buy a frozen turkey, make sure to defrost it before cooking.  Plan on having the bird in your fridge for 3 to 4 days ahead.  This is the easiest and safest way to defrost your turkey. 

The night before roasting your turkey:  It's time to do some prep work, so the next day you can just put your roasting pan in the oven and baste your turkey every 20 to 30 minutes. Plan wisely on your roasting timing. Depending on the size, your turkey can be done within 2:45 to 3:30 hours.  Also, do not forget the resting time of the roasted turkey before carving (30 minutes).  So, if you are eating lunch at 2, you should be getting ready to cook around 10:45 to 11:00 am.

So, this is what you need to do the night before:

Get your turkey out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.   Rinse it and pat it dry.  Make sure you have removed the giblets and neck.  Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity of the turkey with the apple, one onion and herbs. Truss the bird for a better look and set aside.

Get your roasting pan (preferably a v-neck roasting pan) and add the chopped vegetables, herbs, garlic  and set aside.
Combine the butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.  With the help of your fingers, dis-attach the breast skin and rub a generous amount of the compound butter.  Then, rub the rest of the bird.  Make sure you are very thorough.  Sprinkle the turkey with some sea salt and pepper.  Finally, set the turkey on top of the pan.  Cover with aluminum foil and put back in the fridge until the morning.

The next morning/afternoon: (depending when if you are eating lunch or dinner)

Bring your turkey out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.  In the mean time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Put 2 cups of the chicken stock in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat. Pour over the turkey pan, making sure not to touch the turkey.

Put in the oven, and roast until lightly golden brown, 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue roasting, basting with the warm pan juices every 20 to 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 2 to 2 1/4 hours longer (This will depend on your bird size, so make sure to start checking the temperature after the 2 hours mark, so you don't overcook your turkey.) Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer to baking sheet and tent loosely with foil, and let it rest 30 minutes before carving.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I am back!

Hello everybody!!

I know... I know... it's been way too long... if only I could have one reason... but what can I say... sometimes life gets in your way, and you just become crazy busy and those little things that you enjoy super much but you don't always have the time to work on get put in the waiting list.... does it make sense?!?!  All that to say that I've missed you all and can't wait to be back on track with my favorite recipes, especially for this week of Thanksgivings and later on for some Christmas time!

Here is a little sneak peak of which recipes I'll be posting on the following days:  Hope you get ready to read and cook with me!

 Thai Coconut Soup
 Black Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Marsala Sauce
 Banana Pumpkin Cupcake, with truffle center and Orange Cream Cheese Icing
 Roasted Turkey Roulade with Cherry- Cranberry-Sausage Stuffing
 Nutella - Pumpkin Tart
Oven Roasted Turkey with Compound Butter

I promise we'll have a delicious week coming on!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Peach Shortcakes


Sometimes pictures do not make justice to a plate.  This is one of those occasions. This dessert was so fresh and delicious, but unfortunately my camera was not able to capture that. Anyway, I found a great recipe from Cooks Illustrated that will let you have this amazing dessert all year around, not only during Summer when fresh peaches from Chilton county are available ;-)

"This recipe works well with any peaches, regardless of quality. If your peaches are firm, you should be able to peel them with a sharp vegetable peeler. If they are too soft to withstand the pressure of a peeler, you’ll need to blanch them in a pot of simmering water for 15 seconds and then shock them in a bowl of ice water before peeling. If buttermilk is not available, substitute 1/2 cup of low-fat yogurt mixed with 3 tablespoons of milk. Orange juice or orange liqueur can be used in place of the peach schnapps. The biscuits may be made up to 24 hours in advance." Cooks Illustrated.

Ingredients:

- For the Fruit:
2 lb. ripe but firm peaches (4 to 5 medium), peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
6 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. peach schnapps (see note)

- For the Biscuits:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
2 tspn. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 tspn. table salt
2/3 cup buttermilk, cold (see note)
1 large egg
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

- For the Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

For The Fruit: Gently toss three-quarters of peaches with 4 tablespoons sugar in large bowl. Let stand 30 minutes. Toss remaining peaches with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and schnapps in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power until peaches are bubbling, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring twice during cooking. Using potato masher, crush peaches into coarse pulp. Let stand 30 minutes.

For The Biscuits: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. While peaches macerate, whisk flour, baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt in large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk and egg in medium bowl; add melted butter and stir until butter forms small clumps.

Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until dough comes together and no dry flour remains. Continue stirring vigorously for 30 seconds. Using greased 1/3 cup dry measure, scoop up mound of dough and drop onto parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (if dough sticks to cup, use small spoon to pull it free). Repeat with remaining dough, spacing biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart, to create 6 biscuits. Sprinkle remaining tablespoon sugar evenly over top of biscuits. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 15 minutes before assembling.

For The Whipped Cream: Using hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat cream, sugar, and vanilla on low speed until bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; continue beating until beaters leave trail, about 30 seconds longer. Increase speed to high; continue beating until nearly doubled in volume and whipped cream forms soft peaks, 30 to 45 seconds longer.
To Assemble: Split each biscuit in half and place bottoms on individual serving plates. Spoon portion of crushed peach mixture over each bottom, followed by peach slices and any exuded juices. Top peaches with 2 tablespoons whipped cream, cap with biscuit top, and dollop each shortcake with some of remaining whipped cream. Serve immediately.


Source:  Recipe Courtesy of Cook's Illustrated. Published July 1, 2008.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Orange Cream Mimosas


Morning pleasures...  Mimosas are one of them, especially if you can make them in advance and serve them next to delicious breakfast/brunch foods!  This is a very easy recipe.  You will like it.  I promise.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (5 to 6 oranges)
1 orange, zested
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup superfine sugar
1 bottle sparkling wine or Champagne (*)
Strawberries, for garnish

(*) Non-alcoholic sparkling wine, sparkling cider, or ginger ale can be substituted, make sure you cut the amount of sugar, so your drink won't be overly sweet.

Directions:

Put orange juice, zest, half-and-half, and sugar into a blender and process until the sugar has dissolved, about 30 seconds. Pour this mixture into a shallow pan and freeze until hard, 4 hours or overnight.  (If you have an ice cream maker, just follow the manufacturer's instructions and churn the mix until soft serving consistency)

Remove the frozen orange mixture from the freezer and let it sit to soften slightly, about 10 minutes. With a scoop or tablespoon, scrape out a small scoop and put it into a Champagne glass. Slowly fill the glass with Champagne and serve garnished with strawberries.

Voila!

Source:  Recipe Courtesy of Tyler Florence

Monday, October 3, 2011

Spinach Salad Wrap



I've been inspired by sandwiches recipes lately, and I saw a similar recipe on the web and decided to make a twist on a regular spinach salad and turn it into a wrap!  Hope you guys enjoy it :)

Ingredients:

- For the Salad
1 5oz.  package of baby spinach (fresh)
6 flour tortillas (10")
6 slices Muenster Cheese, cut into strings (or yellow cheese of your preference)

10 slices of bacon (cooked, and chopped coarsely)
1/2 small red onion (sliced)
3 hard eggs, sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced


- For the salad dressing
5 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. mayo
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 tspn. dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. honey
Salt & Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

For the salad dressing:  Put all the ingredients inside of a mason jar and shake it until completely combined.  Set aside.

Before starting building your wraps, make sure you don't over fill the tortillas or it will be harder to roll them up after you put the last ingredient on them.  Divide the spinach leaves among the flour tortillas.  Start layering them with cheese, bacon, red onion, sliced tomatoes and eggs.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and drizzle moderately with salad dressing.

Roll the tortillas up (like a burrito) and cut them diagonally in half.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Beef Tenderloin Sandwich

So... what can you do when you have some leftover meat from dinner?
You can turn it into a delicious sandwich!

We wanted to try this recipe for quite some time, though I was not able to find "truffle butter" which I assume it would be hard to find it in Chile also, I substituted it with a lemon mayo.  In this case, we used leftover beef tenderloin (which made the sandwich absolutely scrumptious and delicious), but you can use any kind of meat you have and/or want.


Ingredients:

1/2 lb. beef tenderloin (or any other meat)
1 French baguette
1 cup mayo
1/2 lemon, juiced
Sliced Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
Fresh baby arugula

Directions: 

Slice your meat about 1/2 inch thick and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the mayo and lemon juice.  Split the bread lengthwise and spread the bottom generously with the mayo mixture.  Top with a layer of sliced meat and sprinkle some salt and pepper if needed.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan cheese into thin shards and scatter them over the meat.  Finish with a sprinkling of arugula leaves.  Cover with the top of the baguette, and cut diagonally into 3 or 4 sandwiches.

Enjoy!


Source:  Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten - "Back to Basics" - Adapted

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grilled Beef Tenderloin


A few weeks ago I got to cater a dinner for some friends.  They ordered beef tenderloin.  I was challenged.  I had never cooked a WHOLE beef tenderloin before.  My experience with fillet Mignon was good, but a whole cut of meet... grilled...(gulp) was a challenge.  So, after doing some reading and testing in my kitchen, I ended up with this amazing piece of grilled meet, that would melt in your mouth once you tried it.  Definitely a keeper, for  those special occasions...


Ingredients:

1 whole beef tenderloin, pealed, trimmed and tied.
1 1/2 Tbspn. kosher salt
1 Tbspn. freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil


Directions:

Pat dry the tenderloin and rub the kosher salt all over it.  Wrap the meat in plastic wrap, tightly and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.  This way, the salt would be able to penetrate the meet and flavor the whole tenderloin.

In the mean time, fire your grill (gas or charcoal) and let it get very hot. Once you are ready to grill the meat, remove the coals to one side of the grill (we'll cook the tenderloin under indirect heat).  If you're using a gas grill, move the layers to one side of the grill.

Unwrap the tenderloin.  Pat it dry, and brush it with vegetable oil.  Rub the pepper all over it.

Put your tenderloin on the hottest part of the grill (the one with the coals) and proceed to sear it around two minutes in each side (start by the wide sides first).  Once completely seared, roll it into the side with no coals and put the lid on and leave it there for 25 minutes.

Check the temperature and look for 125-130ºF with a meat thermometer and set it on a platter.  Let it rest for 10 minutes (to let the juices get distributed inside of the meat) and slice it to taste.  Enjoy!


Source:  Recipe courtesy of "Cook's Illustrated"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte


This is one of the things that gets me excited about Fall.  Those spiced lattes and flavorful meals that are so distinct of this lovely season... not even saying that the weather gets that little breeze or crisp that we longed so much during this past hot, hot summer!

This coffee drink,  so common and very well sold by a national coffee chain, is now available in your very own kitchen... isn't that nice? I was looking for this recipe so long ago, tweaking here and there my own creations, until I found the one that actually fit all my expectations and desires! So, I am finally able to share this beauty with you all!


Ingredients:

For the pumpkin spice syrup:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks or 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn. ground cloves
1/2 tspn. ground ginger
1 tspn. ground nutmeg
3 Tbsp. canned pumpkin
 
For a single latte:
1 shot of espresso or 2-4 Tbsp very strongly brewed coffee
6-8 oz milk, heated or steamed until very hot
1-2 Tbsp pumpkin spice syrup (or to taste)
Whipped cream, optional
Salted Caramel Sauce, optional

 

Directions:

To make the syrup: Cook sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat until the mixture is completely clear. 
 
Whisk in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow mixture to come to a boil. Allow mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes. Strain syrup through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer into a large jar or bottle of your choice. Keep syrup in the fridge, it will last a while. 
 
To make the latte, combine espresso with heated milk, and 1-2 Tbsp of pumpkin spice syrup (add to taste). Top with whipped cream and salted caramel sauce, if desired. 
 
Source:  Recipe Courtesy of "Confessions of a Foodie Bride"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Greek Patty Melts with Kasseri and Muhammara Sauce

Today, I want to share with you a delicious sandwich.   It is one of our favorites.  But I have to warn you: it requires a little bit of effort.  But it is totally worth it!  So delicious... you'll save it for those special lunch/dinner occasions :)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
1/3 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tspn. ground coriander, from toasted seeds
1 tspn. kosher salt
1/2 tspn. ground cumin, from toasted seeds
1/2 tspn. paprika
1/4 tspn. ground allspice
1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
Olive oil
1 (20 to 24-ounce) prepared pizza dough, rolled into 1 large or 2 smaller rough rectangles
1 pound aged Kasseri cheese, grated (usually available in Mediterranean stores.  If you can't find it you can substitute it for Provolone)
Muhammara Sauce (recipe below)
4 large sweet onions, thinly sliced and grilled

Directions:

Preheat a grill over indirect medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, combine the parsley, yogurt, garlic, coriander, salt, cumin, paprika, and allspice. Add the lamb and mix gently by hand until evenly combined. Shape the meat into 4 patties, each about 4 by 6-inches by 1/2-inch. 

Oil 1 side of the pizza dough very lightly. Grill, oiled side down, over medium-high heat until the bottom side is blistered. Lightly oil the top and flip over. Scatter the cheese over the dough and cook until the underside is blistered. Move to indirect heat, cover, and cook until the cheese is melted and the dough is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the dough into rough rectangles about the size of the patties and keep warm while you grill the burgers. 

Lightly oil the patties and arrange them on the hot side of the grill. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, flip, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare to medium. Transfer the burgers to the bread, top with some Muhammara and grilled onions and top with another piece of the grilled pizza dough. Put them back on the grill over low or indirect heat for a few seconds per side. Remove them from the grill, halve the sandwiches on a long diagonal, and serve immediately.

Muhammara Sauce:

1 pound red bell peppers, charred, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 to 2 small hot red peppers, charred, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup walnut pieces, about 5 ounces, toasted
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 tspn. ground cumin, from freshly toasted seeds
Kosher salt
1/2 tspn. smoked paprika
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses (also available in Mediterranean Stores)
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
Put all of the ingredients, except the lemon zest, in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. (Start with 1 hot pepper, taste, and then add more if you want it hotter.) If the mixture is too thick, drizzle in a little more olive oil. Stir in the lemon zest by hand. Taste and add more salt and hot pepper, if desired.

Source:  Recipe courtesy of Miriam Garron from Food Network.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chupe de Ostiones y Camarones (Scallops and Shrimp Chilean Style Au Gratin)

(Picture courtesy of Emol.com) 

September is here and our Independence's celebration day is only around the corner. This year, our celebrations are different. There is grief and lots of questions with no answers in many Chilean hearts. Only a couple weeks ago Chile got hit hard by a terrible accident. A plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean while was trying to land at Isla Juan Fernandez. As a result, 21 persons died. Sweet people that were working on the island's recovery from the earthquake and tsunami. Intense and extreme efforts have been made to recover them from the deep waters. When we heard the words "no survivors" it was like the a bad nightmare that we wanted so bad to wake up. A few weeks later, our hearts remain with grief, a grief that only God can heal and gives us hope of better days ahead. We pray that His name would receive great glory from this tragedy and the Chilean people can learn, grow and heal from this painful experience.  


This recipe, is in memory of all the victims


Chupe de Ostiones y Camarones (Scallops and Shrimp Chilean Style Au Gratin)  

Ingredients:

1 bag of frozen baby scallops, defrosted
1 bag of frozen raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, defrosted
2 cups of baguette crumbs (see directions first)
1 cup of milk or seafood stock
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tspn. paprika
2 sprigs of thyme
1/2 cup white dry wine
1/2 cup heavy whip cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
a little squirt of lemon juice
1 small bunch of fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste  

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Grease a pie plate and set aside.

With the help of a sharp knife, take the crust off your baguette. Cut into squares and process in a food processor until very coarse texture (small size peas). Put into a medium bowl and add milk (or seafood stock), about 1 to 1/2 cups and let it rest for a few minutes. (The idea is that the bread will soak most of the liquid while it rests).

In a big pan, heat the olive oil, then add the onions, garlic cloves and sweat for about 5 minutes (they will look soft and translucent). Add the condiments (paprika, thyme, salt and pepper). Stir and cook for one minute. Slowly add the wine and let it reduce. Then squeeze some of the liquid from the soaked bread and toss the solids in the pan. Keep stirring, until it resembles a paste. Add the heavy whip cream and let it reduce too. Add the cheeses and cook until fully incorporated and melted. Add the seafood (shrimp and scallops). Stir until well combined. Finally, add lemon juice, cilantro and re season if necessary.

Bake until bubbly and golden on top (about 15 to 20 minutes).

Serve with baguette slices :)  Viva Chile!

Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Chef Potro", slightly adapted.

For more recipes and ideas to celebrate these "Fiestas Patrias" click on  this link.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo


A delicious and comforting gumbo for those rainy days... a classic Cajun dish with a poultry twist (for those not seafood lovers).

Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 lb. smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 1/2 tspn. salt
1/4 tspn. cayenne
3 bay leaves
6 cups chicken broth
1 pound boneless chicken meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tspn. Rustic Rub (or any cajun rub you have)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 Tbsp. file powder

Directions:

Combine the oil and flour in a large cast iron or enameled cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and continue to stir for 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted. Add the sausage, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves. Continue to stir for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth. Stir until the roux mixture and water are well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Season the chicken with the rub and add to the pot. Simmer for 2 hours. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, green onions, and file powder. Remove the bay leaves and serve in deep bowls with rice on the side (or middle.)

** Rustic Rub:

8 Tbsp. paprika
3 Tbsp. cayenne
5 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. onion powder
6 Tbsp. salt
2 1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 1/2 Tbsp. dried thyme

Combine all ingredients and store in an air-tight container.

Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Emeril Lagasse - 2005"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Slow cooked corned beef with cabagge


So happy to be back!!! I was out of town for Labor Day weekend and then tropical storm Lee hit Alabama and I was without power for several days...

A few weeks ago, my husband asked me to make him this dish. It is a staple from southern cuisine and I gave it a shot and I enjoyed very much. It is very succulent and full of flavor. A good idea for this cooler fall nights :)

Ingredients:

4 pounds lean raw corned beef brisket
3 Tbsp. pickling spice (often included with brisket)
1 medium rutabaga, halved and cut into wedges
1 lb. large carrots, cut into 4-inch pieces
1 1/4 lbs. large fingerling potatoes
1 leek, white and light-green parts only, cut into 3-inch pieces
1/2 head Savoy cabbage, cut into wedges
1/3 cup horseradish, drained
1/3 cup crème fraiche or sour cream

Directions:

Place the corned beef in a large slow cooker and scatter the pickling spices on top. Layer the rutabaga, carrots, potatoes and leek in the cooker (in this order for even cooking). Add enough hot water (4 to 5 cups) to cover the meat by at least 1 inch, put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high, 7 to 8 hours.

Remove the meat and vegetables from the slow cooker and keep warm. Put the cabbage in a microwave-safe dish with 2 cups cooking liquid from the slow cooker, cover and microwave until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil another cup of cooking liquid in a small skillet until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Mix with the horseradish and crème fraiche in a small bowl.

Slice the corned beef and serve with the slow-cooked vegetables, cabbage and sauce.

Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Food Network Magazine"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Butterscotch Scones


A few weeks ago, my friend Lisa and her family came to have brunch with us. She brought these delicious butterscotch scones, and I just couldn't help myself and had to make a batch to share with all of you... so delicious, so gooey and the best part, so easy to make!!!

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tspn. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, diced
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chilled heavy whip cream
1 large egg

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375ºF. In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Mix in chips. In a measuring cup, whisk together the heavy whip cream and egg. Gradually add the cream mixture into the dry ingredients until combined. Do not over-mix.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn't stick. Flour a large square plain or fluted cutter and cut squares of dough. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more squares.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch.

(*) I baked mine only 15 minutes for a more gooey texture.

Enjoy!


Source: Recipe courtesy of "Bon Appetit" - Slightly adapted.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


All of us have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe under our sleeve, but sometimes you have new recipes coming up over and over saying "this is the best cookie I've ever had/made", and since I am a very curious person, guess what?!?!?! I did try this new recipe and felt right in love with it... simple, scrumptious, delicious...oh, and I forgot to mention... over sized chocolate pleasure!

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 Tbspn unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tspn. baking soda
1/2 tspn. salt
12 Tbspn. melted butter, cooled (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tspn. vanilla extract
1 1/2 chocolate chips (I used chocolate chunks)


Directions:

Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

Roll a scant 1/2 (half) cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough's uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time.

Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a wide metal spatula.

Grab a glass of cold milk and enjoy!


Source: Recipe Courtesy of Baking Illustrated - slightly adapted

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chocolate Muffins

Muffins are such a staple for morning breakfast around here. You can find them in any flavors you can imagine. But there are some days that you NEED to have something chocolatey in the morning without gilt. This recipe will help you satisfy those cravings and won't really add too much to your scale!

Ingredients:
¾ stick (6 Tbspn.) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 Tbspn. baking powder
½ tspn. baking soda
½ tspn. salt
1¼ cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tspn. pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit with paper muffin cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Melt the butter and half the chopped chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients and the melted butter and chocolate over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Do not overmix the batter. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.


Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Brown Eyed Baker"

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Feliz Dia del Niño 2011 - Happy Children's Day


This weekend in Chile we celebrate the Children's Day. It is a festivity where we intentionally celebrate our little ones and give them a special treat to remind them of our great joy of having them as part of our families.

Several food bloggers in Chile and around the world have agreed to post a recipe to share for those little ones that we love. So, today, I am going to post their favorite cake! Hope you enjoy it :)

Tuxedo Cake



Ingredients:

- For the cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups water
1 cup canola oil
4 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

- For the frosting:
4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1¼ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

- For the chocolate topping:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract

- For Garnish:
6 or 8 chocolate covered strawberries (optional)


Directions:

To make the cake layers, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line three 9-inch round cake pans (or two 10-inch round cake pans) with parchment paper. Butter and flour the inside edges of the pan, shaking out the excess flour.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, water and canola oil; heat until the butter is melted. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, and flour; whisk to blend. Pour the melted butter mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then whisk in the buttermilk. Add the baking soda, salt and vanilla to the bowl and whisk just until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake layer and invert onto a wire cooling rack. Allow the cake layers to cool completely before frosting, at least 2 hours.

To make the frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and continue to whip until thoroughly combined and stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-beat!

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cake platter and spread a layer of the whipped cream frosting over the top. Top with a second cake layer, more frosting (and the third cake layer, if using). Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake. Refrigerate until the frosting has stabilized, at least 1 hour.

To make the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit 1-2 minutes. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous. Blend in the corn syrup and vanilla. Pour the glaze into a pitcher or measuring cup and let cool for 10 minutes. (Do not let the glaze cool longer or it may become difficult to pour over the cake.) Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, ensuring that the top is covered and the glaze drips over the sides.

Refrigerate the cake until the glaze is set and the whipped cream frosting is firm, at least 1 hour. Slice with a long, sharp knife, wiping the blade clean between slices.



Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Annie's Eats"


For more delicious treats made by fabulous Chilean people, please visit this link.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mango Smoothie


It's hot in here people!!! So instead of that lovely cup of tea and a toast for breakfast we have to get creative and have something icy delicious! This treat is so fresh, velvety and full of flavor. You won't regret it!

Ingredients:

1 cup of cold mango puree (*)
1 cup of plain yogurt
1 splash of whole milk
a hand full of ice cubes
honey to taste

Directions:


Pour all the ingredients inside of your blender vase and pulse until well combined and smooth. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

(*) Mango Puree: Peal and pit three ripe mangoes. Put them in your blender and add 1/3 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Process until liquified. Strain through a fine mesh and store in a sealed container in your fridge.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beef Stroganoff



My husband was craving this dish and I had never made it before. I was pleasantly surprise. This is not your traditional and rich beef stroganoff. It is brightened up by a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice and flavored by some tomato paste. Definitely, a keeper!


Ingredients:

- For stroganoff:
2 Tbspn. olive oil
1 pound beef sirloin, cut into 2x1x1/8-inch strips
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbspn. unsalted butter
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbspn. tomato paste
3 Tbspn. all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tspn. Dijon mustard
2 tspn. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbspn. chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

- For the noodles:
Kosher salt
One 12-ounce package wide egg noodles
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper


Directions:

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Raise the heat to high and heat 1 tablespoon oil. Season half the beef with salt and pepper, add to the skillet, arranging it in a single layer, and saute, without stirring, until well-browned and still pinkish inside, about 1 to 2 minutes. (It is key to only partially cook the meat at this stage, since it will be finish cooking later in the sauce.) Transfer to a large plate and set aside. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef. Discard any excess oil.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and, when the foaming begins to subside, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until well-browned, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the plate with the beef.

Heat 4 tablespoons butter and, just as the foaming begins to subside, add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute more. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the beef broth and, whisking constantly, bring to a full boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the sour cream, mustard, and lemon juice and season with pepper to taste. Set the sauce aside covered.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and cook the noodles until tender but not mushy. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with the butter and season with pepper to taste.

Add the beef and any juices, mushrooms, and parsley to the sauce and reheat over medium heat until just hot. (Do not boil.) Divide the noodles among 4 plates and top with the stroganoff. Serve immediately.


Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Food Network Kitchens" - Adapted

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Crème Fraîche Ice Cream



The weather has been ideal to try all kinds of ice cream recipes. The other night we had friends over for dinner and I thought this would be a great opportunity to try this luscious ice cream. Crème Fraîche is a french cultured cream, similar to Mascarpone Cheese to Italians. It is less sour than regular sour cream and it has a comparatively low viscosity and a higher fat content. By itself can be added as a topping to a dessert or even use to smooth a delicious and creamy soup. In this case, it is added to a simple custard and as a result... you'll get a delicious, smooth, sweet and luscious ice cream...


Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Big pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
2 cups Crème Fraîche


Directions:

Prepare a medium-sized bowl with a mesh strainer over the top and set it in an ice bath.

Warm the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back in the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof plastic spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

Once cool, whisk in the Crème Fraîche, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Note: If you can't find Crème Fraîche in your location, you can make your own version by stirring together 1 cups of heavy cream and 1/4 cup buttermilk. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, until thick. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Enjoy!




Source: Recipe Courtesy of "The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blueberry Muffins



Blueberries are in season and muffins are a perfect pair for them! I have already posted a blueberry muffin recipe before, but when I saw this new one, I decided to try it. I was not wrong. They are so incredibly airy, full of flavor and let me warn you... they can be addictive!


Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbspn. baking powder
½ tspn. salt
1 egg
1 cup granulated sugar
4 Tbspn.unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1¼ cups sour cream
1½ cups frozen or fresh blueberries


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F*. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin (or line with paper liners) and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk the egg in a separate medium bowl until well-combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously until thick, about 30 seconds. Add the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add the sour cream in 2 additions, whisking just to combine.

Add the berries to the dry ingredients and gently toss just to combine. Add the sour cream mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until the batter comes together and the berries are evenly distributed, 25 to 30 seconds. Small spots of flour may remain and the batter will be very thick. Do not overmix.

Using a large spoon or a cookie scoop sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, divide the batter amount the muffin cups. Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Immediately remove muffins to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Note: I tried this recipe with fresh blueberries (like the first picture) and they have a cleaner look, while the batch I made with frozen ones, the batter part makes purple stripes in it (picture bellow)


Trust me. You will not regret to make these guys!


Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Brown Eyed Baker"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mexican Grilled Corn



If you're ready looking for a delicious recipe for grilled corn, here is this one. Full of texture, flavor and depth! This 4th of July can be the day to make your corn with a little twist and add some Mexican flare!


Ingredients:

1/4 cup regular or light mayonnaise
3 Tbspn. sour cream
3 Tbspn. minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 medium garlic clove, minced
3/4 tspn. chili powder
1/4 tspn. ground black pepper
1/4 tspn. cayenne pepper (Optional)
4 tspn. juice from 1 lime
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
4 tspn. vegetable oil, plus extra for cooling grate
12 tspn. kosher salt
6 large ears corn, husks and silk removed


Directions:

Turn all burners to high and heat grill with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, pepper, cayenne (if using), lime juice, and cheese in large bowl; set aside. In a second large bowl (I used a gallon sized ziploc bag), combine oil, salt, and remaining chili powder; add corn and toss until coated evenly.

Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooling grate. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, 7 to 12 minutes. Place corn in bowl with mayonnaise mixture; toss to coat evenly (I used a kitchen brush and brush them evenly around). Serve immediately.

Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Cook's Ilustrated, Summer Grilling