Thursday, September 2, 2010

Recipes from the Book "The Last Suppers"

Monster Cinnamon Rolls

3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup milk
3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3-1/4 ounce envelopes active dry yeast ( 7 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water
5 large eggs
8 1/2 to 9 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

8 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/2 pound cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup whipping cream, approximately
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar, sifted

For the DOUGH, heat the butter with the milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the salt in a small saucepan until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, add the remaining teaspoon sugar, stir, and set aside for 10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly. Add the lukewarm milk mixture and the eggs and beat until well combined. Add the flour a cup at a time, stirring and using enough flour to form a stiff dough. Turn out on a floured board and knead until smooth and satiny, approximately 10 minutes. Place the dough in a very large buttered bowl, turn to butter the top, and allow to rise, covered loosely with a kitchen towel, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, approximately 1 hour. Punch the dough down and roll out to a large rectangle, 24 inches by 36 inches.

Butter two 9x13 inch glass baking dishes. For the FILLING, beat together the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon until well combined. Spread evenly over the surface of the dough. Roll up lengthwise and cut at 2-inch intervals to make 12 rolls. Place 6 rolls in each buttered dish. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. (Refrigerate overnight after covering with kitchen towel if you want to bake them the next morning. They will rise in the fridge).

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake the rolls for about 20 to 30 minutes (40 if they go into the oven from the fridge) or until puffed and browned. Cool to room temperature on racks.

For the FROSTING, beat the cream cheese, cream, and vanilla until well combined. Add the sugar and beat until smooth and soft, not stiff. Frost the rolls and serve immediately.
Makes 12 large rolls.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 ¼ cups (13 ounce can) evaporated milk
¼ cup milk
2 cups vegetable oil
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ cup poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 30 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, evaporated milk, milk, and vegetable oil. Sift together the baking powder, salt and flour. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, beating until well combined. Add the extracts and poppy seeds, stirring only until well combined. Using a 1/3-cup measure, pour the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Makes 30 muffins

Mexican Pizza

2 ¼-ounce envelopes (5 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons olive oil
5 to 6 cups all-purpose four
olive oil and cornmeal for the pans
1 ½ cups picante sauce
6 cups grated cheddar cheese

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Add the sugar, stir and set aside for 10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly. Stir in the salt and olive oil. Beat in 5 cups of the flour, then add as much extra flour as needed to make a dough that is not too sticky to knead. Knead on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and satiny, 5 to 10 minutes. (Or place the dough in the bowl of an electric mixer and knead with a dough hook until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl, approx. 5 minutes.) Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to oil the op, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degreed. Brush a little olive oil over the bottom and sides of four 9- or 10- inch springform pans. Sprinkle cornmeal over the oiled bottoms and sides. Punch the dough down and divide it into quarters. Press each piece of dough out to fit the bottom of a pan, making a small collar around the edges. Spread 1/3 cup picante sauce on top of the dough circles; top each pizza with 1 ½ cups cheese. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes or until the dough is cooked through and the cheese is completely melted.
Makes four 9- or 10 each pizzas

Canterbury Jumbles

½ cup solid vegetable shortening
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1 ½ cups raisins
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat the shortening, butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the buttermilk and vanilla. Blend the flour, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl; stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until incorporated. Stir in the coconut, nuts, raisins and chocolate chips. Drop by level half-tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and slightly brown. Cool on a rack. The cookies keep well in an airtight tin.
Makes 11 dozen

Lemon Butter Wafers

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cups sifted flour
2 tablespoons very firmly minced lemon zest (see notes)
1/3 cup ground almonds (see notes)

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and add the sugar, beating until creamy. Beat in the eggs, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour, beating just until combined. Add the lemon zest and almonds, stirring until well incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until well chilled, at least 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a non-stick cookie sheet. Using a ½ tablespoon measure, spoon out level ½ tablespoons of chilled cookie dough onto the cooking sheet, placing them 3 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cookies have just flattened and are lightly browned around the edges. Cool the cookies on racks. Stir in a covered tin.
Makes 64 cookies

Note: It is best to grind the almonds an mince the lemon zest in a small electric grinder such as a clean coffee grinder. The result is superior to that obtained with an ordinary food processor.

Variation: Spread 1 tablespoon best quality seedless raspberry jam on the bottom of one cookie, then place the bottom of another cookie on top. This makes a delicious lemon-raspberry cookie sandwich. Makes 32.

Shrimp on Wheels

5 ounces pasta wagon wheels (ruote)
Salt; to taste
1 quart water
1 tablespoon crab and shrimp seasoning (“crab boil”)
¼ lemon
¾ lb large deveined raw shrimp
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules, dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup dry white wine (preferably vermouth)
2 tablespoon best-quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup frozen baby peas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish with a lid. Set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 10-12 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large frying pan, bring the quart of water to a boil and add the lemon and the crab and shrimp seasoning. Add the shrimp, cook until just pink, (about 1 minute) and immediately transfer with a slotted spoon, leaving the seasoning behind, to a colander to drain. Do not over cook. Drain and peel shrimp and set aside.

In another large frying pan, melt the butter over low heat and saute the shallot in it for several minutes, until limp, but not browned. Sprinkle the flour over the shallot and cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture bubbles. Stirring constantly, slowly add the chicken bouillon, milk and wine, stirring until thickened.

Combine the mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl. Add a small amount of the sauce to the mustard and mayonnaise and stir until smooth, then add the mixture to the sauce. Stir until heated through. Add the cheese, stirring until melted. Add the pasta, shrimp and peas and stir until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the buttered dish and bake, covered, for about 15-25 minutes or until heated through.
Makes 4 servings

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

9 ounce chocolate wafer cookies
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

½ pound unsweetened chocolate
1 ½ pounds cream cheese
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
¼ cup Amaretto liqueur
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup whipping cream

Whirl the chocolate cookies in a blender until they form crumbs. Mix with the melted butter. Press into the bottom and sides of a buttered 10-inch springform pan and refrigerate until you’re ready to fill and bake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I n the top of a double boiler over boiling water, melt the chocolate. Set aside to cool. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, heat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs and sugar and beat until well incorporated. Stir a small amount of this mixture into the chocolate to loosen. Add the chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture and stir well. Stir in the Amaretto, vanilla, and cream. Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the cheesecake is puffed slightly and no longer giggles in the center. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. Take the cheesecake out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving for ease of slicing. Remove the sides of the pan and cut with a sharp knife. If the cheesecake is hard to slice, hold a long, unflavored piece of dental floss in 2 hands and carefully saw through the cake to cut even pieces.
Makes 16 servings

Chilean Sea Bass with Garlic, Basil and Vegetables

4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 red-skinned new potatoes
8 baby carrots
1 ½ pounds fresh boneless Chilean sea bass fillets
8 slender asparagus spears

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, beat the butter, basil, garlic, and lemon juice until well combined. Set aside. Parboil the potatoes and baby carrots for 5 minutes; drain. Divide the fillets into 4 equal portions.

Place the fillets in a buttered 9- by 13-inch pan. Arrange the vegetables over the fish in a appealing pattern. Top each fish portion with one-fourth of the butter-garlic mixture. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.

The First Wasp Latkes

4 large or 8 small potatoes (approx. 2 pounds), peeled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Grate the potatoes into a large clean kitchen towel that can be stained. Roil the potatoes up in the towel and wring to remove moisture. (It is best to do this over the sink, since it will produce a surprising amount of liquid).

Melt the butter with the olive oil on a large griddle. Form the grated potatoes into 4 pancakes. Cook the pancakes over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown, then flip the pancakes. Cook on the other side for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve plain, or with sour cream and applesauce.
Makes 4 servings

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed With Grilled Chicken, Pesto, and Sun Dried Tomatoes

4 large portobello mushrooms

Marinade for Mushrooms:
5 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons dry sherry

Marinade for chicken:
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves each cut in half
¼ cup pesto
2 tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, drained and patted with paper towels if packed in olive oil

Carefully clean the mushrooms with damp paper towel and trim. Remove and chop the stems. Place the mushroom caps, tops down, and the chopped stems in a 9 by 13-inch glass-baking dish. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon sherry over the underside of each mushroom cap, pour the remaining olive oil and sherry over the stems. Cover and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

Mix together the marinade for the chicken and pour over the chicken slices. Cover and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat a grill. Grill the chicken quickly, about 1 to 2 minutes per side (they will be cooked further). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Carefully spread 1-tablespoon pesto over the underside of each mushroom cap. Sprinkle 1 ½ teaspoons sun-dried tomatoes on top of each pesto-covered mushroom. Evenly distribute the marinated mushroom stems on top of the tomatoes.

Place 2 slices of chicken on top. Place the stuffed mushrooms in a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Recipies from the book "The Cereal Murders"

Happy Endings Plum Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 16 ounce can purple plums packed in syrup, well drained, the syrup reserved and the plums chopped
confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Ins a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy and light, then gradually add the sugars, beating until creamy and smooth. Beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, alternating with ½ cup reserved syrup, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in the plums. Pour the batter into a buttered 9- by 13-inch pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Turn the cake out onto a rack and allow to cool, then dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Makes 12 to 16 servings

Chinese Beef Stir-Fry

1 pound good quality sirloin tips, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons and ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 large stalks of broccoli, stems removed and cut into florets
2 carrots, peeled and sliced on a diagonal
½ cup beef broth
8 spears (1/2 15-ounce can) water packed baby corn, drained
20 fresh snow peas
1 scallion, both white and green parts

Marinate the sirloin at room temperature in a mixture of the dry sherry, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, the sugar, ½ teaspoon of the oil, the pepper, and garlic for an hour. Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a wok over high heat. Stir fry beef quickly, until the meat is brown outside and pink inside. Remove.

Mix the remaining 2 teaspoons corn starch with the oyster sauce. Reheat the wok with the remaining tablespoon oil. Add the broccoli and carrots; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the broth, cover the wok and steam for approximately 1 minute or until the vegetables are tender but retain their crunch. Add the corn, snow peas, scallion, beef, and oyster sauce-cornstarch mixture. Heat quickly until the sauce is clear and thickened. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings

Chocolate- Dipped Biscotti

1 cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons anise-flavored liqueur
1 ½ tablespoons sour mash whiskey
2 tablespoons anise seed
3 large eggs
1 cup chopped almonds
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 12 – ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and melted butter. Add the liqueur, whiskey, and anise seed. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the nuts. Sift the dry ingredients together. Gently stir in the dry ingredients until well incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for about 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter 2 cookie sheets. Shape the dough on cookie sheets into 3 loaves, well spaced. Each loaf should be about 2 inches wide and ½ inch thick. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the loaves are puffed and browned. When the loaves are cool enough to touch, cut each loaf into diagonal slices about ½ inch thick. Lay the slices on their cut sides and toast them at 375 for an additional 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

Dip biscotti in chocolate the day they are to be served. In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the shortening, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir until a candy thermometer reads 85 degrees. Holding each cookie by its bottom, gently dip the tops into the chocolate. Turn immediately and ally to dry, uncoated side down, on wax paper. Continue until all biscotti are topped with chocolate.
Makes about 4 dozen

Irish Soda Bread

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup raisins
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 large egg
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
¼ cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Sift together the dry ingredients. Using a food processor with the steel blade or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small peas. Blend in the raisins and caraway seeds. Beat the egg, buttermilk, and sour cream together until blended.

Stir the egg mixture into the dry mixture just until blended. Transfer the batter to the pan and bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Makes 1 round loaf

Nachos Schulz

1 15-ounce can chili beans in chili gravy
9 tablespoons picante sauce
1 13-ounce bag corn tortilla chips
4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 avocado
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 ½ cups sour cream
1 tablespoon grated onion
4 scallions, both white and green parts, chopped
1 cup pitted black olives, chopped
1 tomato, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mash the beans with ½ cup of the picante sauce until well mixed. Grease 2 9- by 13- inch pans. Place half the chips in each pan, then spoon the bean mixture over them. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the beans are bubbling.

Meanwhile, peel, pit and mash the avocado, then mix it with the lemon juice, ½ cup of the sour cream, they grated onion and 1 tablespoon picante sauce. Garnish the nachos with the guacamole, the remaining 1 cup sour cream, scallions, tomato and olives.
Makes 6 – 8 servings

Red ‘n’ Whites

2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 package (3-oz size) Cream Cheese, Softened
½ cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups All Purpose Flour
36 small Ripe Strawberries, Hulled And Halved

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with the cream cheese until well blended. Beat in the sugar and vanilla, then stir in the flour until well mixed.

Using a 1/2-tablespoon measure, shape the mixture into small balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a small indentation in the top of each cookie with your thumb. Carefully place a strawberry half, cut side down, in each indentation.

Bake for 12 to 18 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool on racks.
Makes 5 dozen

Galaxy Doughnuts

5 teaspoons (2 ¼-ounce envelopes) active yeast, dry
1/3 cup warm water, warm
2 1/4 cups plus ½ teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening, melted
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded & cooled to lukewarm
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
¼ cup wheat germ
¼ cup soy flour
¼ cup oat bran
4 1/2 c Flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Allow the yeast to soften for 5 minutes, then stir the yeast into the water along with the 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Set the mixture aside to proof for 10 minutes; it should be foamy. Mix the melted shortening into the warm milk, then add the liquid to the yeast mixture along with 1/4 cup of the remaining sugar, the salt, vanilla, eggs, wheat germ, soy flour, oat bran, and 1 1/2 cups of the flour.

Beat vigorously until very well blended. Stir in the remaining flour and beat until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm, draft-free place until the dough is doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down, turn it out on a well-floured board and pat it out so that the do is about 1/2″ thick. Using a star cookie cutter, cut out the dough and place the doughnuts 2″ apart on greased cookie sheets. Allow the doughnuts to rise, uncovered, for another 20 to 30 minutes or until they are doubled.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Mix the remaining two cups sugar with the ground cinnamon. Bake the doughnuts 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Dip them quickly into the melted butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar.
Makes about 3 dozen

Sorry Cake

2 cup All purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup solid vegetable shortening
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
2 cup shredded wheat broken into shreds
1 cup cranberries, quartered
½ cup Chopped pecans
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ 8-ounce cream cheese, softened
¼ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, approximately
1 teaspoon freshly gated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the cake, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat the shortening with the butter until well combined. Cream in the sugar and beat until fluffy and light. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time until well combined. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginnng and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the orange zest, cereal, cranberries, and pecans. Beat the cream of tartar into the egg whites and continue beating until stiff. Gently fold the whites into the cake batter.

Pour into 3 buttered 8- or 9-inch round cake pans. Bake for 250 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on racks.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese with the butter until well combined. Gradually add the confectioiners’ sugar and orange juice; beat until creamy and smooth. Stir in the orange zest. Frost the tops and sides of the cake.
Makes 14 to 16 servings

Cereal Killer Cookies

2¼ cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 6-ounce packages almond brickle chips (Bits O’ Brickle or Heath Toffee chips)
1 2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the oats with the brickle chips. Shift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. In a food processor mix the sugars until blended, then gradually add butter. Continue to process until creamy and smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and process until blended. Add the flour mixture and process just until combined. Pour this mixture over the oats and brickle chips and stir until well combined. Using a 2-tablespoonmeasure, measure out scoops of dough and place at least 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on racks.
Makes 4 to 5 dozen

Julian’s Cheese Manicotti

1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed (preferable) or chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste, plus water
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil
14 manicotti noodles

1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
6 larges eggs
¼ pound Fontina cheese, grated
¼ pound mozzarella cheese, grated
1/3 cup freshly grated best quality Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons soft butter (not margarine)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Gently sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir. Slowly add 4 tomato paste cans of water and stir. Add the seasonings and allow the sauce to simmer while you prepare the manicotti and filling.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the olive oil, and drop in the manicotti. Cook just until al dents, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the manicotti in a colander. Set aside.

Beat the ricotta with the eggs until combined in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Add the grated cheeses and softened butter; beat until combined. Add the salt, pepper, and basil. Beat on low jut until everything is combined.

Gently fill the cooked manicotti with the cheese mixture and arrange in 2 buttered 9- by 13-inch pans. Cover the pasta in each pan with half the sauce; sprinkle on additional Parmesan. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is thoroughly melted and the sauce is bubbling.
Makes 7 servings

Sweetheart Sandwiches

¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup unsweetened cocoa (recommended brands: Hershey’s Premium European-style, Droste, Ghirardelli)
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon soda

4 tablespoons (½) stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
whipping cream

To make the cookies, cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl until light. Beat in eggs and vanilla; set aside. Sift the cocoa, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Stir the dry ingredients thoroughly into the butter mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 or 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and butter 2 cookie sheets. Using a teaspoon measure, roll level teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place them 2 inches apart the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cookies are puffed and surfaces slightly dry and cracked. Cool on racks.

To make the filling, cream the butter until light. Beat in the vanilla and powdered sugar, adding whipping cream and continuing to beat until the consistency is like creamy frosting.

When the cookies are completely cool, spread about ½ tablespoons of filling on the bottom of one cookie, then top with the bottom side of another cookie.
Makes about 3 dozen sandwiches.
For half a batch of vanilla filled and half a batch of peppermint filled cookies, add 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract to half the filling. Tint the peppermint filling pink or green before filling half the sandwiches.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Recipies from the book "Dying for Chocolate"

Chile Relleno Torta

½ pound cheddar cheese, grated
½ pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
5 eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 2/3 half and half
1 4 ounce can diced green chilies, drained
¼ cup picante sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix grated cheese and spread evenly in buttered 10 –inch pie plate. Beat eggs, add flour slowly, and then beat in half and half. If mixture is lumpy, strain it. Pour egg mixture over cheeses in pie plate. Carefully spoon chiles over the surface, then spoon picante sauce over all. Bake about 45 minutes or until center is set.
Makes 8 to 10 servings

Scouts Brownies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 ½ ounces best-quality unsweetened chocolate (recommended brands: Callebaut or Valrhona – available at Williams-Sonoma)
3 tablespoons dark European-style unsweetened cocoa (recommended brand: Hershey’s Premium European-Style)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extrac
1 cup chocolate chips (recommended brand: Mrs. Field’s)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter with unsweetened chocolate in top of double boiler, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool. Sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat eggs until creamy, then gradually add sugar, beating constantly. Add vanilla and cooled chocolate-butter mixture. Stir in dry ingredients just until combined. Spread batter in buttered 9 by 13 inch pan. Sprinkle chips over surface. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until center no longer jiggles when shaken. Cool, then cut into 32 pieces.
Makes 32 brownies

Lethal Layers

1/2 cup (1 stick ) unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pecan halves -- (1 to 2 cups)
2 eggs
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
additional all purpose flour – see directions
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. In a food processor, combine the first three ingredients with a metal blade until coarse crumbs are formed. This can also be done with 2 knives or a pastry cutter. Pat as a crust into a buttered 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool completely.

When crust is cool, spread pecans evenly over the surfact. Beat eggs with brown sugar until thick. Add vanilla. Put salt and baking power in the bottom of a 1/4 cup measure, then fill the rest of the measure with flour. Stir this into egg mixture. Pour this mixture over the pecans and crust. Sprinkle chips over the mixture.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until center is set. Cool, then cut into 32 pieces.

New Potato Salad

12 new red potatoes, boiled in their skins until tender (15 to 20 minutes)
about ¼ cup best-quality mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
whipping cream
½ teaspoon salt
white pepper to taste
about 2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill
2 garlic cloves, minced

Cool and quarter potatoes. Thin mayonnaise slightly with cream. Add salt, white pepper, dill and garlic. Taste and correct seasoning. Chill.
Makes 4 servings

Montessori Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 Cup chopped, pitted prunes
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup oil
½ cup molasses
1 ½ cups milk

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and prunes in a bowl. Stir together egg, oil, molasses, and milk in another bowl. Combine the mixtures, mixing just until blended. Spoon into a greased 12-cup muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick tests clean.
Makes 12 muffins

Goldilocks’ Gourmet Spinach Soup

5 tablespoons butter
1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, dried, trimmed and diced
1 scallion, chopped
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1/2 tablespoon salt (if desired)
black pepper
ground nutmeg (optional)
1/4 lb. cream cheese, softened and cut into cutes
1 cup grated Swiss cheese-Jarlsberg
3/4 lb fresh spinach, washed, trimmed, cooked, chopped

Melt butter in large saucepan, sauté the mushrooms and scallion until tender. Add flour and stir just until flour is cooked, a couple of minutes. Whisk in first chicken broth and then milk, stirring until thickened. Add salt if desired, pepper, nutmeg, if desired, cream cheese and Swiss Cheese; stir until melted. Then stir in spinach. Heat and stir very gently. Season to tastes, serve hot.
Makes 4 – 6 servings

Strawberry Super Pie

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup chopped pecans

2 pounds strawberries, divided
½ cup water
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 ¼ cups whipping cream
¼ pound cream cheese, softened
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 375 F.

For crust, mix melted butter with flour, powdered sugar, and pecans. Press into a buttered 10" pie plate. Bake for 25 minutes or until light brown. Allow to cool completely.

Start topping by mashing enough strawberries to make one cup. Cut tops off remaining strawberries and set aside. Place mashed berries in a sauce pan and add water. Mix sugar and cornstarch into crushed berry mixture and bring to a boil on top of stove, stirring. Boil about one minute or until clear and thickened. Set aside to cool.

For filling, whip cream until stiff. In another bowl, beat cream cheese with vanilla and powdered sugar. Carefully fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Spread in cooled crust and refrigerate.

When crushed berry mixture is cool, pie can be assembled. Stand whole (or halved, if your prefer) strawberries on top of cream filling, cut side down. When entire filling is covered with whole berries, carefully spoon cooled crushed berry mixture over all. Cream filling should not be seen between berries. Once the crevices have been filled, do not overload the pie with the crushed berry mixture, as it will just drip over the sides. Any left- over crushed berry mixture is delectable on toast or English muffins.

Schulz’s Guacamole Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce
¼ cup grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup chopped scallions
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup crushed corn chips (recommended: Chili Cheese Fritos)

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup corn oil
1 tablespoon picante sauce

Tear lettuce into small pieces and combine with cheeses, scallions, and tomatores. Cover and refrigerate in salad bowl until serving time. Combine all ingredients for dressing and mix well. Toss salad with dressing and sprinkle top with crushed chips.
Makes 4 – 6 servings

Crustless Jarlsberg Quiche

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup all purpose-flour
1½ cups milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups small curd cottage cheese
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
9 eggs
11 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ pound Jarlsberg, grated
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, add the four, and stir just until mixture bubbles. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Stir this cream sauce until it thickens. Set aside to cool.

Stir baking powder, mustard and salt into cottage cheese. Beat eggs well then beat in; softened cream cheese and cottage cheese mixture. Slowly beat in cream sauce, then thoroughly incorporate Jarlsberg and Parmesan. Pour into 2 buttered 10-inch pie plates. Bake for 45 minutes, until puffed and brown. Cut each quiche into eight large wedges.
Makes 16 servings

Anniversary Burgers

2 eggs beaten
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 tablespoons milk
2 slices bread, torn up
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dry mustard
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup catsup

Light a charcoal fire.

Mix eggs with cream and milk then add torn-up bread, onion, salt horseradish, pepper, thyme, and dry mustard. Stir well, then let stand for 10 minutes, then stir well again until all is well moistened and the bread is no longer in pieces. Add ground beef and mix well.
Melt butter with catsup and keep warm.

Measure out beef in ½ cup increments and form patties. Grill over hot coals on one side. Turn and brush with butter-catsup mixture. Grill other side. Serve hot.
Makes about 9 patties.

Dijon Pasta Salad

1 pound tricolored fustilli or rotini pasta
2/3 cup corn oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 large celery ribs, chopped
6 thick bacon slices, cooked and chopped
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
½ to 1 teaspoon salt
paprika (optional)

Cook pasta in boiling water just until done, usually 11 to 13 minutes. Drain. Run cold water over pasta until it is completely cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard and mayonnaise.

Add pasta and all other ingredients to dressing, mix carefully and taste for seasonings. Chill thoroughly before serving.
Makes 8 to 10 servings

Friday, August 20, 2010

Recipes from "Catering to Nobody"

Goldy’s Marvelous Mayonnaise

1 Large egg, purchased from a salmonella-free source
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ Tablespoon dry mustard
½ Tablespoon salt
1 Cup safflower oil

Put the egg, juice vinegar, mustard and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until well blended, about 30 to 40 seconds.

Place the oil in a small pitcher, and with the food processor running, dribble the oil into the egg mixture in a thin stream. When all the oil has been added, turn off the processor and scrape the mayonnaise from the bowl and the blade into a small bowl that can be tightly covered. Keep the mixture well chilled. It is best to use homemade mayonnaise within 24 hours.

Wild Man’s Wild Rice Salad

½ Cup raw wild rice
2 Cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon tarragon vinegar
½ Teaspoon Dijon mustard (or more, if desired)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Scallions, finely chopped
3 Radishes, diced
1 Small tomato, drained, seeded, and diced
1/3 cup jicama, peeled and diced
1 Cup baby spinach leaves, well washed and drained, plus extra for lining platter
Salt and pepper to taste

The night before you are to serve the salad, thoroughly rinse the rice, place it in a glass bowl, and completely cover the kernels with water. Allow the rice to soak overnight.

The next morning, carefully strain the rice and discard the water. In a large pan, bring the broth to a boil and add the rice. Cover the pan and immediately lower the heat to the lowest setting. Allow the rice to cook, covered about 1 hour to 1 ¼ hours, or until the kernels have puffed and taste done (i.e., they are not chewy or hard). Drain the rice and measure it. You should have between 1 ¾ and 2 cu[s cooked rice. Spread the kernels out on two plates to cool completely. For the salad the kernels must be dry and cool. Pat the kernels dry with paper towels, if necessary.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar and mustard, and whisk well. Add the oil in a thin stream whisking all the while, until you have a smooth, blended dressing. In a medium-sized bowl, gently combine the cool rice kernels with the scallions, radishes, tomato, jicama, and spinach. Pour the dressing over this mixture and mix very gently. Taste and correct the seasoning. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Turn out onto a small platter that you may line with spinach leaves, if desired. The salad must be consumed the day it is made; it does not keep well.

Goldy’s Dream Cake

Crumb Mixture:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces, well chilled

1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
6 cups reserved crumb mixture
2 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups sour cream
2 teaspoons almond extract

1 pound (two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup red raspberry preserves, sieved to remove seeds

2/3 cups raw whole almonds
2 cups reserved crumb mixture
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9- or 10-inch spring form pans and set aside.

In the large bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, blend the flour and sugar until well combined, about 5 seconds. With the motor running, quickly drop the butter pieces through the chute, blending until the mixture resembles small, sandy crumbs, less the than a minute. Measure out 6 cups o this mixture for the cake. Measure the last 2 cups of the mixture for the topping and set aside.

For the cake, gently stir the baking powder, soda and salt into the 6 cups of reserved crumb mixture. In a separate bowl, mix the beaten eggs with the sour cream and almond extract, stirring until well combined. Pour the egg mixture over the crumb mixture and stir until smooth and thick. Spread the cake batter over the bottom and up the sides of each of the prepared pans.

For the filling, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in the large bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Spread half of this mixture over the cake batter in each of the prepared pans. Top with cream cheese mixture in each pan with ½ cup of the sieved preserves.

For the topping, whirl the raw almonds in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until chunky. Mix the almonds into the 2 cups reserved crumb mixture and sprinkle half of this mixture over the preserves layer in each pan.

Bake the cakes for 45 to 55 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness. (All that should adhere to the toothpick is cream cheese and preserves, not cake batter. Cool the cakes thoroughly on racks, then cover with foil and refrigerate several hours or, even better, overnight. Serve in the morning with coffee, if desired.

Makes 2 large cakes.

Dungeon Bars

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13- inch baking pan and set aside.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to low, and bet in the eggs and vanilla until well combined. Carefully stir in the flour mixture, oats, and raisins until well combined. Spread in the prepared pan (batter will be thick). Smooth the top. Bake from 20 – 30 minutes, until the batter has puffed and flattened, is brown around the edges, no longer appears wet in the center, and testes d one with a toothpick. Cool slightly. While warm, cut into 32 bars. Allow to cool completely on a rack. Serve with best quality vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

Makes 32 bars

Goldy’s Terrific Toffee

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
2 pounds (8 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for pans
2 pounds best-quality milk chocolate (Lindt)
4 cups packed brown sugar

Note: A candy thermometer is essential for this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the pecans in two 9-inch glass pie plates, and roast until the nuts have turned slightly darker and are well toasted, about 10 minutes. Stir once or twice during the roasting process to ensure even browning. Remove the pecans from the oven, spread out to cool on paper towels, and set aside until you finish the toffee.

Butter two 9 x 13 inch glass pans and set aside. Unwrap the chocolate and divide between tow plates. Break all the chocolate into squares and set aside. Using a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter with the sugar and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer hits 285 degrees to 290 degrees, the soft-crack stage. (Candy will be very hot: be sure to protect your skin and clothing through the cooking and pouring process.) Pour the toffee into the prepared pan and immediately place the squares of chocolate in rows across the toffee (1 pound of chocolate per pan). When the chocolate has softened, spread it to the edges of the toffee. Sprinkle 1 cup of the roasted pecans over the chocolate in each pan. Allow to cool, then cover with foil and chill.

Using a large, heavy-duty knife, break the toffee into 1- to 3-inch pieces.

Makes approximately 6 dozen pieces

Honey I’m Home Gingersnaps

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup solid vegetable shortening
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup honey
¼ teaspoon finely minced lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter two cookie sheets.

Sift together the flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and honey until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture and the zest, stirring until well combined, with no traces of flour visible.

Using a 1-tablespoon scoop, measure the cookie onto the cooking sheets, keeping them two inches apart. Do not attempt to make more than one dozen per sheet. Bake the batches one at a time, until the cookies have puffed and flattened and have a crinkly surface, 10 – 12 minutes per batch.

Cool the cookies completely on racks.

Makes 32 cookies

Holy Moly Guacamole

1 large or 2 small avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed to make 1 cup
1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated onion
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon picante sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
Corn Chips

Place the mashed avocado in a non-metallic bowl. Mix the juice, onion, salt, and picante sauce until well blended. Spread the mayonnaise over the top to the edges, cover the bowl, and refrigerate. At serving time, uncover the bowl and thoroughly mix in the mayonnaise. Serve with corn chips

Makes 1 ¼ cups