Bacon brittle

INGREDIENTS
– 1 pkg bacon
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/8 tsp baking soda

– 1 1/3c sugar
– 1/2c water
– 1/4c light corn syrup
– 2.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter

PROCESS
1) Fry, bake or microwave bacon, dry and chop up. Add 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp & 1/8 tsp baking soda. Set aside.
2) Grease a sheet pan or place a silpat mat on the pan.
3) In a pan: 1 1/3c sugar, 1/2c water, 1/4c light corn syrup, 2.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter.
4) Cook for 12 min. on high heat until you start to see caramel notes on the edges of the liquid. Continue to cook until you get more of a light color change.
5) When it is all over caramel quickly add bacon mix and stir quickly and in invert onto your pan. Quickly smooth out mix and let cool.

I think I’m going to add nuts too.

Very important: To store you must store in a plastic container or the condensation of a bag or any other material will turn your toffee to goo. Do not store in the refrigerator. Don’t worry about the bacon going bad if not stored in the fridge….this will also turn it into goo too.

Published in: on December 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chocolate Mousse a la Julia Child (a la David Lebovitz)

Just made this absolutely amazing dessert – got the recipe from David Lebovitz…it’s a slight modification of Julia Child’s classic recipe.  Copied it directly from the website.  I’m going to add some bacon brittle to the top.

Chocolate Mousse
Six to eight servings

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Knopf) by Julia Child.

I tried to reduce the amount of butter in the recipe and found it wasn’t nearly as good. Since I’m not one to argue with Julia, I stuck close to the recipe tweaking it just slightly.

6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces (170g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (60ml) dark-brewed coffee
4 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup (170g), plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons (30ml) dark rum
1 tablespoon (15ml) water
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat a saucepan one-third full with hot water, and in a bowl set on top, melt together the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring over the barely simmering water, until smooth. Remove from heat.

2. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.

3. In a bowl large enough to nest securely on the saucepan of simmering water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the 2/3 cup of sugar, rum, and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, like runny mayonnaise. (You can also use a handheld electric mixer.)

3. Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks within the bowl of ice water and beat until cool and thick, as shown in the photo above. Then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.

4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape. Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then the vanilla.

5. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.

6. Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.

Serving: I like to serve the chocolate mousse as it is, maybe with just a small dollop of whipped cream; it neither needs, nor wants, much adornment.

Storage: The mousse au chocolat can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Published in: on December 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Geoff’s Classic Baklava

Ingredients
 
1 pound chopped mixed nuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
2. Toss together cinnamon and nuts. Unroll phyllo and cut whole stack in half to fit the dish. Cover phyllo with a damp cloth while assembling the baklava, to keep it from drying out.
3. Place two sheets of phyllo in the bottom of the prepared dish. Brush generously with butter. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the nut mixture on top. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, ending with about 6 sheets of phyllo. Using a sharp knife, cut baklava (all the way through to the bottom of the dish) into four long rows, then (nine times) diagonally to make 36 diamond shapes.
4. Bake in preheated oven 50 minutes, until golden and crisp.
5. While baklava is baking, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir in honey, vanilla and lemon zest, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
6. Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately spoon the syrup over it. Let cool completely before serving. Store uncovered.
Published in: on September 3, 2010 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mango Creamsicles

Yummy, delicious desserts for summer.  You could probably use light cream or milk as well.  But, as they are “creamsicles”, heavy cream is best!

INGREDIENTS

– 2 ripe mangoes, chunked
– 1 tsp. sugar
– 1 tsp. lime zest
– 1 TBSP lime juice
– 1 cup heavy cream

PROCESS

1.  Add mango to a blender and puree.

2.  Add additional ingredients and blend until smooth and thoroughly incorporated.  Stir by hand if necessary.

3.  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Red Cabbage & Rice Soup

I was following a recipe for a Mushroom-Barley soup with cabbage from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen but I was missing ingredients and Nason doesn’t like mushrooms, so I ended up improvising…a lot.  The resulting soup was really good – “one of the best you’ve ever made!” according to Nason.  The red cabbage gives it a nice, deep red color.

INGREDIENTS

– 1/2 C. cooked brown rice
– 4 cups beef stock
– 1 TBSP oil
– 2 medium onions, diced
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 cup potatoes, diced (whatever you’ve got on hand)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
salt to taste
– 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
– 2 tablespoons dry white wine
– 1/2 of a red cabbage, shredded
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– water

PROCESS

1)  Add 1 TBSP oil to a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until it softens and begins to brown.
2)  Add the garlic and potatoes and a little salt and pepper, reduce the heat, cover, and cook, stirring regularly, about 3 to 4 minutes.
3)  Add the thyme and white wine and cook until the alcohol cooks off.
4)  Add beef stock, sliced cabbage and paprika.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover.  Simmer for 30 minutes until the cabbage is tender, adding water gradually if it gets too thick.

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicken with White Wine and Parsley

A really easy entree and a classic preparation that is easily adaptable and quick – great for a weeknight dinner.  Mom had added mushrooms and garlic to oil first.  You could essentially add anything.

INGREDIENTS

– 1/4 C. flour
– 1 lb. chicken breasts
– 3 TBSP olive oil
– 3/4 C. white wine or chicken stock
– freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon
– 2 TBSP flat parsley, roughly chopped

PROCESS

1.  Coat chicken with flour.
2.  Heat 1 TBSP oil in skillet over medium high heat.  When oil is hot, cook chicken until done.  Put on plate.
3.  Pour wine and lemon juice into pan to deglaze, cook over high heat until reduced and consistency is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Season with salt and pepper.
4.  Add fresh parsley and cooked chicken to pan.

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Peggy’s Spinach Salad

Easy, yummy salad.  Can add chicken, etc. to make an entree.

INGREDIENTS

Dressing (If possible, mix day before in jar and shake well.)
– 1 C oil
– ¾  C sugar
– 1/3 C  ketchup
– ¼ C vinegar
– 1 med onion, grated
– 1 t Worcestershire sauce
– salt to taste

Salad (amounts are flexible)
– 1 lb spinach
– 14 oz can bean sprouts, drained – I use fresh
– 5 oz sliced water chestnuts
– 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
– 12 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

PROCESS

Assemble ingredients in a bowl and toss with dressing.

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Priscilla’s Bread Recipe

This recipe makes a good, basic white bread.  Very easy.  Came from Aunt Priscilla (Eisenhaure) Brown.

INGREDIENTS

– 2 Cups warm water
– 2 Tbs oil
– 2 Tbs sugar
– 1 Tbs  salt
– 1-2 packets of yeast
– Flour

PROCESS

1.  Sprinkle yeast on warm water.  Wait until yeast bubbles (about 10 min).
2.  Add 10 Tbs flour – gently stir.
3.  Continue to add flour until dry enough to remove from bowl to floured surface then knead more flour in, a little at a time until you can stick your fingers into the dough and they come out fairly UNsticky!
4.  Move dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise in bowl until doubled in size.
5.  Punch down dough and put into shape of bread you desire in a baking tin.
6.  Bake at 375 until top is brown.  Let cool slightly and serve.

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Robust Kale Soup

This is my evolving combination of a bunch of different recipes.  It’s easy, hearty, and yummy.  You can make it as spicy as you want depending on the spices you add and what kind of sausage you use (chorizo is going to give it a kick).

INGREDIENTS

– 1 yellow onion, 1/2 diced fine, 1/2 sliced
– 1 tsp Emeril’s Essence (or a mix of thyme, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, cayenne pepper)
– 1 bay leaf
– 1 package chorizo (or other sausage), sliced
– 1 potato, turnip, parsnip or other root veggie, cubed 1/2″
– 1 bottle beer
– 1 can chick peas or kidney beans
– 4 cups veggie/chicken stock (can also use beef)
– 1 lb. Kale, coarsely chopped
– salt and pepper to taste

PROCESS

1.  Heat a TBSP of butter or veggie oil in a dutch oven on medium high heat.  Add diced onions and cook until soft and fragrant.
2.  Add root vegetables, Emeril’s Essence and bay leaf and stir.
3.  Add chorizo, cook for a few minutes and stir constantly.
4.  Deglaze the pan by pouring in all the beer.  Add stock and kale.  Cover.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low or low (just at a simmer).  Cook for 20 – 30 minutes and serve.

Note: the longer you cook the soup, the more the flavors blend.  This soup is really tasty the day after as well!

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Savory Quiche

Quiche has been a great way to use the excess eggs that we now have at our house.  Mom says that quiches are really easy to freeze, but I haven’t tried that yet.  I got the basic recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, but I improvised quite a bit. I made it with 1% milk which was delicious and a little healthier, I think.

Serves 8.

INGREDIENTS
– 1 recipe pie dough
– 4-5 pieces proscuitto or bacon
– 2 scallions, chopped
– 2 shallots, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
– 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
– 1 1/2 cups 1% milk
– 3/4 cup arugula, chopped
– 1/2 cup dried cranberries
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
– pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
– 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled into large chunks

PROCESS

1)  Heat oven to 375 degrees and move oven rack to lower middle position.  Arrange pie dough in pie shell, cover entire crust with aluminum foil, fill with weights (I use dried beans) and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until crust is lightly browned.
2)  While crust is baking, fry prosciutto in a skillet over medium heat until browned, 5 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
3)  Saute the white parts of the scallions along with the shallots in a tablespoon of cooking oil or butter until softened, about 5 minutes.
4)  Whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg together in a medium bowl.
5)  Remove baked crust from the oven, maintain the oven at 375.   To assemble quiche:  start with crumbled proscuitto and goat cheese on the bottom.  Add sauteed scallions and shallots.  Top with cranberries, arugula and green parts of the scallions.  Pour in egg mixture.
6)  Transfer to the oven and bake for 32 – 35 minutes.  Quiche should be a light golden brown and a knife inserted about an inch from the edge comes out clean.  Transfer to a rack to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 2:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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