Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Me? Dinner Monday through Wednesday means cook something lighter, easier and quick for clean-up. The beginning of the week always means work, schedules and unexpected events. Thursday is looking closer to the weekend so I want to cook fun dishes, usually requiring more effort. Friday, well, its' Friday! Weekend . . . Anything GOES . . .
The Hot Lobster Dip and Asian Shrimp Bisque with Shrimp Toast is my Friday dinner menu. I do make my menus for each week and know what is possible and what is not. Fridays, I let myself leisurely make dinner, sip wine and talk about whatever makes us happy:
Hot Lobster Dip
8 oz. cream cheese
1 T. milk
1/2 lb. lobster meat, diced
2 T. onion, grated
1 t. cream style horseradish
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/3 C. almonds, slivered and toasted
Soften cream cheese with milk. Add all other ingredients except almonds. Blend well. Spoon into oven proof dish. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 15 minutes at 375.
Asian Shrimp Bisque with Shrimp Toast
Serves: 2 quarts soup serving 8, 8 pieces Shrimp toast for garnish
(adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup small diced onion
1/2 cup small diced carrot
1/2 cup small diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped leek
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 to 3/4-pound shrimp shells and heads (if possible)
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup sake
6 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 cup sushi rice
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 recipe Shrimp Toast, recipe follows
8 sprigs cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons diagonally cut green onion tops
Set a deep, wide pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, carrots and celery. Saute, stirring, until the vegetables are lightly caramelized, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Add the leeks, ginger and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook until the vegetables are well coated about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the shrimp shells and heads to the pan and cook until the shells are pink and well caramelized, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and sake and ignite.
Continue to cook the brandy and sake until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove the shells and heads. Add the chicken stock, bay leaf and thyme and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
Season with 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper and the paprika.
Add the rice to the soup and cook until the rice is tender and beginning to burst, about 45 minutes.
Use an immersion blender (or in small batches in a bar blender) to puree the soup and then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean pot. Return to a simmer and add the coconut milk and cayenne pepper.
Heat through but do not allow the soup to boil after adding the coconut milk. Adjust the seasoning and serve while hot with the shrimp toast. Garnish with the cilantro leaves and green onion tops.
1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (about 9 ounces unpeeled)
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons minced green onions (green parts only)
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
3 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 slices brioche, or home-style white bread
1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted clarified butter
Combine the shrimp, egg, egg white, green onions, cilantro, garlic, salt and white pepper in a food processor and process until blended but still slightly chunky. Add the cream cheese and pulse until smooth and thick. Add the cream and pulse just until blended being careful not to over-process. Spread 1/4 cup of the shrimp mixture on each slice of bread, spreading it to the edges and smoothing the top. The remainder can be used within 2 days or frozen for up to a month.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
When baking with any fruit, one problem coming to mind is the fruit juice making the bottom crust soggy. To remedy this problem, sprinkle a dusting of cookie, cake or bread crumbs under the filling, keeping the dough from getting soggy.
Bosc pears are the best choice for this pastry. The pear holds its' shape when baked and does not give off as much juice as other varieties, such as Comice or Anjou.
Generally, strudel is made with a thin pastry, but using puff pastry is also a fast and delicious alternative; unless you make the puff pastry from scratch. I bought puff pastry premade =)
This recipe makes 6 to 8 servings and is delicious! The Pear Strudel with Puff Pastry is an adaptation from the Kaffehaus cookbook by Rick Rodgers.
3 firm-ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 T. golden rum (I used Bacardi golden rum)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/3 c. sugar
optional: 1/3 c. raisins (I did not add)
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 sheet of puff pastry
1/2 c. cookie, cake, or dried bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten, for brushing
1/3 c. sliced almonds for sprinkling over the top
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375 degrees F. Line a large sheet with parchment paper.
Toss the pears, rum, lemon juice, and zest in a medium bowl. Mix in the sugar, (optional) raisins, and cinnamon.
Roll out the dough to a 16 x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface, with the long side facing you. Sprinkle the crumbs in a lengthwise, 3-inch-wide strip down the center of the dough. Heap the pear mixture over the crumbs, leaving a 3/4-inch border at the short ends. Fold the top and bottom of the pastry over to cover the pears with a 1/2-inch overlap, brushing the area under the overlap with beaten egg, and pressing the edges of the dough together to seal. Transfer the roll to the baking sheet, seam side down, curving the roll into a gentle horseshoe shape. Fold the ends under the roll. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Brush the top of the toll with the egg and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake until crisp and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or cook to room temperature.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The only change to the recipe is me adding whole pecan halves. That is it! Promise! I will be back this morning to post the finished baked cookie with nibble marks; BUT I am including blow-by-blow pics ~ of course.
When I first started blogging, remembering to take pictures for the different steps, trying not to slop goop all over my Canon XLR while cooking AND remembering to take a FINAL photo was ridiculously hard to do. Now, I click pictures for everything. The picture taking has grown a life of its' own. Red Mill Wheat Germ is being used.I ALWAYS support our local farmers. I collect Washington honey from local vendors and never have enough on hand. I use honey as a sweetener for as much as possible.
Wheat germ (1/2 c.), flour, baking powder all whisked into fluffiness.
Lemon zest rubbed into the sugar . . .LOVE the lemony aroma!
Gets taken out of refrigerator, cut into sections, rolled into wheat germ and Baked!
Now, I will entertain you with my latest finished apron. The apron was made for my daughter Ashley (Her first apron, ever!). The apron made me teary eyed because the colors reminded me of a dress with an attached apron I made Ashley when she was about 7 years old. She looked just like Alice in Wonderland with the dress on. Now she is 18. Where does the time go? Also included? My recipe for Chicken Scampi with Linguine 2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 egg beaten
1 1/2 c. Italian bread crumbs
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. butter
1 lb. linguine
1/2 c. butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
2 T. butter, melted
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
lemon wedges (optional)
Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Dip the chicken in the beaten egg, then into the bread crumbs, which have been mixed with the grated cheese, 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper.
Spread the coated chicken pieces on a rack or platter.
Heat 1/4 c. oil and 1/4 c. butter in a large skillet. Add 1/3 of the chicken pieces; saute until golden brown. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon, and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
Discard oil in the skillet, and wipe out.
Cook pasta. While pasta is cooking, melt 1/2 c butter in the skillet. Add garlic and cook 1 min. Add cooked chicken, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss to coat the chicken with the sauce. Do not allow chicken to cook further.
Drain pasta, and toss with the remaining 2 Tb. butter and spoon onto a heated platter. Spoon chicken and sauce over. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with the lemon wedges (optional).
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie is using up a large package of opened, unseasoned stuffing cubes (kept in a Gallon size Ziploc bag), leftover turkey meat and a Quart Ziploc bag of homemade turkey stock. Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie
8 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1-1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, cubed
6 cups unseasoned stuffing cubes
2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 1/2 cups chicken or turkey broth
4 cups cubed cooked turkey
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup sour cream, divided
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Place potatoes in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute celery and onion in butter until tender. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the stuffing cubes, poultry seasoning and sage. Stir in broth and celery mixture. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
In another large bowl, combine the turkey, soup, garlic powder and 1/2 cup sour cream; spoon over stuffing mixture. Drain potatoes; mash in a large bowl. Beat in the cream cheese, pepper, salt and remaining sour cream; spread over turkey mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.
The Shepherd's Pie was perfect for reheating in the microwave the next day. My leftovers are leftovers (laughing).
Monday, February 15, 2010
As the cookie barely cooled, we cracked our first one. Melted chocolate oozed out.