Monday, November 24, 2008

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Photo's courtesy Google Imaging
Recipe Courtesy Emeril Lagase
I took out all his frills

1 unbaked pie shell
1 1/2 cups pecans
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup Pure Cane Syrup
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 ounces melted semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the pecan pieces and the chocolate chips evenly on the bottom of the pie shell. In a mixing bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together. Pour the filling over the pecans. Bake for about 1 hour or until the filling sets. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Mashed Yams

Recipe courtesy a Sundance Chef and me because he never wrote it down for me and he just told me the ingredients and I figured it out.

4-6 Yams
1-2 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 -1 cup 100% maple syrup
Salt & Pepper to taste

Bake yams at 375 for about 45-60 min depending on your oven.
Once cooled enough to handle remove skins. They should easily peel off.

While you are making this be sure to continually taste it, it is important not to get to much syrup or butter.

Using a hand or standing mixer add yams, butter and mix it for about 30 sec or so on very low just to combine butter and yams. Turning it back on low and mixing for as little time as possible add the maple syrup slowly to incorporate. Fold in salt and pepper and serve.

Carol's Stuffing

Photo of stuffing and sage courtesy Google imaging
Recipe courtesy my grandma Carol Lambert

This first recipe is hers:
Eyeball amounts and they will depend on the size of your bird
stale bread torn or cut into pieces
chopped celery and use scissors to cut up celery leaves
chopped onion
sage chopped or minced
2 sticks butter cubed

Combine bread, celery, onion and sage in a baking dish, bowl or whatever. Gently fold in cubed butter and stuff your bird. If you want extra dressing put it in a baking dish and sprinkle with butter and bake at 375 until golden brown.

Recipe courtesy Meikel Reece
My version of her recipe:
1 loaf white or sourdough bread left out a day or so
5 or so sticks of celery and leaves
2 or 3 onions chopped
1/2 cup sage chopped, make sure you don't use to much it is a very powerful herb.
1 stick of butter cubed
1 stick of butter for brown butter

Brown butter recipe:
Cut butter into pieces.
Heat butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir the butter or swirl the pan so that the butter doesn't burn.
Remove from heat when butter turns light brown and gives off a nutty aroma.
You can also add the sage at the last minute to infuse butter with sage.
Let this cool just a bit, may a couple of minutes

Combine bread, celery, onion and sage in a baking dish, bowl or whatever. Gently fold in cubed butter and pour brown butter over the top and stuff your bird. If you want extra dressing put it in a baking dish and sprinkle with butter and either add the brown butter sauce or wait till it's done and pour on after. and bake at 375 until golden brown.

Mashed Potatoes

Recipe courtesy my mom, aunts, grandma and Michael Chiarello

2 pounds potatoes (anything but red)
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (or soy butter)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, or more to taste
Sea, Kosher or Grey Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I tend to use 1 stick and just the olive oil to make it just a bit more healthy)

Additions feel free to have both just one or none:
Remember there is such a thing as to much garlic.
1 tablespoon garlic paste or minced garlic or no garlic, completely up to you.

1-2 packages or Boursin Cheese

For the Garlic Paste:
1 pound whole garlic heads
1/2 cup pure olive oil
Gray sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To roast the garlic if you so desire:
Courtesy Michael Chiarello
Peel the outermost layers of skin off the heads of garlic. Cut off the top 1/3 of the heads to open the cloves. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, cut sides up, and saute for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer pan to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Pop garlic cloves from their skins and place cloves in a blender, along with any olive oil left in the pan. Puree until smooth; you should have a paste-like consistency.

For the potatoes: Cube the potatoes. Then put the potatoes in a large saucepan with salted cold water and place in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, add some more salt and then bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well, place potato cubes in a food mill, and grind to remove skins. I actually love to have skins in my potatoes so just use a hand or standing mixer or fork if you would like to keep the skins. Alternatively, smash the potatoes with a large fork or potato masher.You can also use use a hand mixer or standing mixer but you have to be really careful not to over mix, because you can end up with nasty, gloupy, gummy potatoes.

If you are going to add no or just minced garlic then just carefully fold into potatoes. If you are going to add the Borsin cheese just fold into potatoes and it will melt.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter stops foaming and turns a light brown. Add the garlic paste and cook quickly. Add the cream, season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and fold in potatoes with a wooded spoon or large whisk. Add the remaining butter by tablespoons, stirring after each addition. Stir in the extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Cranberry Citrus Sauce

Photo's courtesy Google imaging
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
1 orange, zested and juiced
3 (12-ounce) bags fresh or frozen cranberries
Dash salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Start by making a simple syrup: dissolve the sugar in the water in a medium saucepan. Add vanilla beans and bring to a simmer. Add the orange juice and cranberries, a dash of salt and some freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Simmer until cranberries begin to pop and become tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Dijon mustard. Chill cranberry sauce until ready to serve. The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Just before serving, garnish sauce with freshly grated orange zest.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Photos courtesy Google imaging
Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson
my changes/additions are in yellow
This recipe can be made Vegetarian
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried or crushed chili flakes
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
5 cardamom pods, bruised
2 red peppers, seeded and finely diced
2 yellow peppers, seeded and finely diced
3 pounds 4 ounces ground beef
I use ground turkey for guests and I omit meat completely for myself.
1 bunch chopped cilantro
1 or 2 cups sour cream
Juice of 1 lemon
7 cups canned chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans
1 or 2 cans cannelinni beans

This is a great recipe sometimes I do buy a mix.
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups buttermilk
4 eggs
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated Cheddar

Serving suggestion:
2 cups sour cream mixed with chopped cilantro & lemon juice
Ground paprika, for dusting
3 3/4 cups grated Cheddar

Special equipment: Very large pan
Heat the oil in a very large pan and fry the onion and garlic until it begins to soften. Add the chili, coriander, cumin, and crushed cardamom pods and stir well.
Add the peppers then break up the ground beef into the pan and, using a fork, keep turning it to separate it as the meat browns. Add the chopped tomatoes, ketchup, tomato puree, and water stirring to make a rich red sauce. When the chili starts to boil sprinkle over the cocoa and stir it in. Add the beans and simmer partially covered for 1 1/2 hours. At this point you can cool and freeze the chili, or just keep it in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Pour the chili into a large, wide dish or keep in the pan you cooked it in if it is ovenproof.

Combine the salt, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl. Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, honey, and oil in a jug, and then stir into the dry ingredients mixing to make a vivid yellow batter.

Pour the cornmeal topping over the chili con carne, or blob it over to cover the top as evenly as possible. I don't do this step I prefer the cornbread on the side because after a while it gets quite soggy.

Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the cornbread and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cornbread topping is risen and golden and the chili underneath is bubbling. How long this takes depends on the how cold or hot the chili was when it went into the oven. Since it's such a huge vat, you may find it easiest to reheat it on the stove in its pan first.

Let the chili stand for about 5 minutes once out of the oven before cutting the cornbread top into squares or slices to serve with a helping of chili underneath.

Garlic & Citrus Chicken

Photos courtesy Google Imaging
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

1 (5 to 6-pound) whole roasting chicken, neck and giblets discarded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 orange, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
1 head garlic, halved crosswise, plus 3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (14-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
Kitchen string or butcher twine
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the orange, lemon, and garlic halves. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string to help hold its shape. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

Place a rack in a large roasting pan. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the rack in the pan. Roast the chicken for 1 hour, basting occasionally and adding some chicken broth to the pan, if necessary, to prevent the pan drippings from burning. Whisk the orange juice, lemon juice, oil, oregano, and chopped garlic in a medium bowl to blend. Brush some of the juice mixture over the chicken, after it has baked 1 hour. Continue roasting the chicken until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the innermost part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F, basting occasionally with the juice mixture and adding broth to the pan, about 45 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Tent with foil while making the sauce (do not clean the pan).

Place the same roasting pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in any remaining broth and simmer until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Strain into a 2-cup glass measuring cup and discard the solids. Spoon the fat from the top of the sauce. Serve the chicken with the pan sauce.

Creamy Cilantro Ranch Dressing (Cafe Rio Ranch)

Cilantro & Tomatillo photos courtesy Google imaging
Recipe Courtesy Kathi Ashton via the Salt Lake Tribune
3 Fresh Tomatillos, quartered
1 Package Ranch Buttermilk Dressing Mix (I highly recommend Hidden Valley)
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise or Veganaise
1/2 Cup sour cream or tofutti sour cream
1/3 to 1/2 C Buttermilk
1 bunch cilantro (less or more if you like)
2 cloves roughly chopped garlic (omit if you like)
1/4 tsp Ceyenne Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender and refrigerate at least 1 hour

Rigatoni with Squash & Prawns

Photos found on Google imaging.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup vegetable stock
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound prawns, peeled and deveined
3/4 to 1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Saute until the squash is golden and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the squash is very soft, another 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the squash mixture to a blender or food processor and puree.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the prawns with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add the prawns to the pan and cook until just pink, about 3 minutes. I also love to grill the shrimp for this dish!

In a large pot over low heat combine the cooked pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 3/4 cup milk. Stir to combine. Add the remaining 1/4 cup milk if the sauce needs to be moistened. Add the cooked prawns, basil, and cheese. Stir until warm and serve.
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