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

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