Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Grand Marnier Souffles

this was one of the last things i had on the cruise, and one of the most memorable.

if you don't drink, i am certain you could use something other then the two tablespoons of grand Marnier, and it would still be good.

personally, i don't think the two tablespoons would hurt you either.

so here is what i found on this dessert... so yummy.

i want to try this one day when i have about a million hours to kill....

ingredients for the souffle
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter plus additional for buttering ramekins
1 cup sugar plus additional for coating ramekins
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
7 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon orange oil ( i would probably try to favor oil i already had)
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
8 large egg whites

ingredients for the creme anglaise to pour over the top
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 2-inch piece vanilla bean, split
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
Combine milk and cream in heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring milk mixture to simmer. Remove from heat.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return custard to saucepan. Stir over low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Strain sauce into bowl. Cover and chill. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)

Preparation for the Souffle
Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously butter eight 1-cup (3 1/2 x 2-inch) ramekins and coat with sugar, knocking out excess sugar.
In a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan melt 3/4 stick butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add milk and cook over moderate heat, whisking, until mixture is very thick and pulls away from sides of pan. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool 5 minutes. In a large bowl whisk together yolks, vanilla, oil, and a pinch salt, and whisk in milk mixture and Grand Marnier, whisking until smooth.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat whites until they hold soft peaks. Beat in 1 cup sugar, a little at a time, and beat meringue until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk about one fourth meringue into yolk mixture to lighten and with a rubber spatula fold in remaining meringue gently but thoroughly.
Spoon batter into ramekins, filling them just to rim, and arrange ramekins at least 1 1/2 inches apart in a large baking pan. Add enough hot water to pan to reach halfway up sides of ramekins and bake souffles in middle of oven 20 minutes, or until puffed and tops are golden.
Remove pan from oven and transfer ramekins to dessert plates. With 2 forks pull open center of each souffle and pour some creme anglaise into opening.
Serve souffles immediately.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Potato Chowder

This is my favorite potato soup. Perfect for colder weather. Also a perfect recipe for those times that I don't want to eat what I had planned on making. I always have these ingredients in my fridge and cupboard. Also a great way to use up last nights left over veggies.

Olive oil
1 onion diced
about 4 lbs of potatoes peeled and cubed
salt and pepper to taste
whole milk
1-2 cups grated cheese
chopped cooked veggies (any kind you like) or you can boil them with the potatoes

-saute onion in oil until soft
-add salt, pepper and the potatoes, and veggies if you are using raw
-add enough water to just cover potatoes and lightly boil just until potatoes are cooked (don't over boil)
-Pour off at least half of the water from pot
-add cheese and veggies (if not already in the pot)
-add milk to desired consistency

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

chile relleno tart

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup blue cornmeal* or yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons (about) ice water Filling
3 large fresh poblano** or New Mexico chilies
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
4 large eggs
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), room temperature
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup grated Colby cheese
*Blue cornmeal is available at natural foods stores and some specialty foods stores.
**A fresh green chili, often called a pasilla, available at Latin American markets and some supermarkets.
For crust:Combine 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup cornmeal and 1 teaspoon salt in processor. Add butter and cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in water by tablespoonfuls until mixture forms moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before using.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter 11-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan; trim to fit, reserving scraps. Place pan on heavy baking sheet. Bake until crust is set and edges begin to brown, about 20 minutes. If crust cracks, gently press small bits of reserved dough into cracks. Transfer pan to rack and cool.
For filling:Char chilies over gas flame or under broiler until blackened on all sides. Seal in paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed and chop chilies.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle Gruyère and mozzarella over bottom of crust. Sprinkle chilies over cheese. Combine eggs, cream, goat cheese, butter, salt and pepper in processor; blend well. Pour into crust. Sprinkle with Colby cheese.
Bake tart until filling is golden brown and set, about 25 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.) Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Creamy Fettuccine with Two Cheeses

This recipe comes from my everyday food magazine. I love this magazine. I have had a subscription for the past two years and have found wonderful recipes every month. Now that I am cooking without meat I can't use quite as many but there are still lots to choose from. This one was very fast and easy to make. The original recipe served 4 so I've changed it to serve more.

1 lb. fettuccine
3 T butter
1 1/3 c half & half
1/2 c (plus a little more) grated Romano cheese
1/2 c (plus a little more) grated Parmesan
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

-boil fettuccine in a pot of salted boiling water, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and set aside
-in large pot, melt butter over med heat
-add half & half and cheeses, bring just to simmer
-add pasta and toss to combine
-if needed, gradually add enough of the pasta water to thin the sauce ( I added almost all of the water) sauce thickens as it stands
-sprinkle with parsley and serve

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pizza Crust

I have been trying to make my own pizza since we first got married. I never had much luck with the dough. It would either burn or it wouldn't cook all the way through. I gave up and would buy the pre-baked crusts but they were not really good. After I got my kitchen-aid mixer and started making bread, I thought I could give it a try again. I searched the Internet and found two recipes which were very similar and combined the two. It has worked perfectly every time!

1 c warm water
1 T honey
2 1/4 t yeast
2 3/4 c flour
1 t salt
2 T olive oil

-Mix first 3 ingredients and let the yeast rise
-In mixer bowl combine remaining ingredients and add yeast mix
-knead with dough hook on the lowest setting for 5 min.
-Oil bowl and let rise in warm spot for 1 hour
-Divide dough into 2, roll out, add toppings, bake @ 475 for 10 min each
-Makes 2 pizzas

You can use white or wheat flour or any combination of the two. Some of our favorite toppings are: tomato with basil and goat cheese, pineapple with olive, and zucchini with corn (It's delicious I promise). I also like to sneak spinach in by layering some down on top of the red sauce before I put the cheese on.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

French Bread

My good friend Kelli taught me how to make this bread in the beginning of the year. Even though it does take a bit of time, it is easy. I have had lots of success with it. (Except for the time that it tasted like I poured the whole jar of yeast into it, still not sure what happened there) Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys it as much as we do.

2 T yeast
2 T sugar
2 1/2 c warm water
3 c flour
1 T salt
2 T olive oil

-Mix first 3 ingredients together and let yeast rise
-Mix next 3 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
-add liquid mix to flour mix
-Slowly add up to 3 more cups of flour
-let rise for 10 minutes and punch down, repeat 5 times
-shape into 2 long skinny loaves and bake @ 400 for 20-25 minutes

for a crispy crust, brush egg white over loaf before baking

This recipe makes 2 loaves but I usually half it and it turns out great

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup

I need to remember to take pictures of my meals from now on. Next time I make this soup I will take a pic and add it to this post but for now this picture of a butternut squash will have to do.

I first had this soup at Stephanie's house and I loved it. I have always loved squash but had never tasted butternut squash. It immediately became and remains my favorite.

1 butternut squash
1 yellow or white onion diced
2 T butter
about 2 cups water
1-2 cups milk
salt and freshly ground pepper

-preheat oven to 375
-cut squash in quarters, scoop out seeds and place cut side down in baking dish with 1 inch of water.
-bake 45min to 1 hour, till soft
-melt butter in large pot, add onion and cook till lightly brown over med-high heat.
-peel and cube squash, then add to pot with salt and pepper
-add water to pot just to cover and simmer for 15 minutes
-puree soup in blender or food processor (or use a potato masher if you like chunky soup)
-return to pot and add milk until desired consistency
-salt and pepper to taste

I served this soup with salad (spring mix, dried cranberries and pine nuts) and homemade french bread ( I will post that recipe soon)

My meat loving father and brother loved it!