Sunday, September 30, 2007

Vegetable Minestrone ..... I am so inspired by the cooler Fall weather to share soup recipes.

Vegetable Minestrone
When I visit our daughter in Italy I usually have several wedges of that great Italian Parmesan cheese in my suitcase when I return home. I keep the cheese in my freezer and grate it as I need it. Our daughter Mary told me several years ago that Italians save the rind. When they make soups, the rinds are added for flavor. I have to agree it does add a wonderful flavor.
1 bunch Swiss chard, rinsed thoroughly
4 medium tomatoes
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/4" dice
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups shredded savoy or green cabbage
1 can (14 1/2 ounce) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 to 4 inch Parmesan cheese rind
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
About 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut stems from Swiss chard leaves by making a V cut into the leaves around the stem. Finely chop stems, cut into ribbons, and set both aside separately.
Boil tomatoes for 30 seconds. Lift out with a slotted spoon and rinse under a very cold water. Remove the skin with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. Cut tomatoes into quarters, remove seeds and chop. Set tomatoes aside.
Whirl half of cannellini beans with 1/2 cup of water in a blender until smooth. Set bean puree aside.
Cook olive oil and garlic in a large pot over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, zucchini, reserved chopped chard stems, and salt. Cook, stirring until stems are tender, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and cabbage. Cook stirring, until cabbage wilts, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add reserved chard leaves, remaining cannellini beans, the chopped tomatoes, bean puree, chickpeas, Parmesan rind, and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until all vegetables are tender and flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Remove Parmesan rind. Serve soup hot topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup ..... Another great recipe for cool weather!

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
We stopped by a restaurant one Fall day after putting our boat in storage for the winter season. The restaurant special of the day was a great soup. I commented to the waitress and she replied, would you like the recipe. Well who would deny that offer?
3/4 cup wild rice (uncooked)
1 Tablespoon salt
1 ounce dried or 4 ounces fresh porcini mushrooms
5 Tablespoons butter, divided
4 ounces bacon, finely chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped
1 leek, halved, rinsed, and white and light green parts thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup milk
Put wild rice and 8 cups water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, add salt and lower heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile if using dried porcini mushrooms, reconstitute with 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Let set until soft, about 15 minutes.
In a smaller skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet to a paper towel to drain. Remove all fat from skillet. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, saute button mushrooms and leek. Cook stirring occasionally, until mushrooms give off their liquid, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, lift porcini from liquid with a slotted spoon (reserving liquid), chop finely and add to pot.
Sprinkle vegetables and bacon with flour and cook, stirring constantly, until flour starts to stick to the bottom of the pot (scrape up as much as possible while stirring). Add wine, reserved liquid from soaking porcini (pouring slowly as to leave the grit behind), and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine remaining 4 Tablespoons butter, the parsley, and pepper. Set aside.
Add reserved rice to the vegetable mixture and cook 10 minutes. Stir in milk and cook until hot, about 1 minute. Divide soup among 8 bowls and serve hot, with a dallop of parsley butter on each serving. Serves 8

Friday, September 28, 2007

Arizona Mountain Soup ..... "Flash Back Friday" to the days of the cooler Autumn weather and a warm bowl of soup.

Arizona Mountain Soup
The cool weather of Fall and Winter in Ohio usually meant a pot of soup was on the stove daily. Lunch was often soup and sandwich or just the freshly made warm bread. Now that pot of soup lasts all week unless we get company to help eat it. Before we retired I used to share with my neighbors. We have changed residences and so have many of our former neighbors. This is a great soup and remember that rice and beans make a complete protein.
1 1/4 cups dried pinto beans soaked overnight
2 sliced of bacon, diced and fried crisp and drained
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 16 ounce can tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (3/4 cup raw)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a stockpot, combine beans with 5 cups of water and allow beans to soak overnight. Do not drain. Simmer covered for 2 hours or until beans are tender. Drain reserving 2 cups of liquid. In a skillet cook bacon until almost crisp, then add onion and when transparent add garlic and saute for one more minute. Stir vegetables to prevent browning. Bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer with the two cups reserved juice from the cooked beans. If soup is too thick add water.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Perfect Fried Oysters ..... Eat fresh oysters in months with a "r". September through April is the season!

Perfect Fried Oysters
If you are lucky enough to have a fresh supply of oysters, try them fried, baked as in Rockefeller, raw or in stew. At holiday season stuff the bird with oyster dressing. My friend Arlene had this recipe. Since I have fresh oysters available which I could eat daily I asked for the recipe. Arlene swears this recipe is wonderful and I will take her word! She is a great cook.
12 to 18 large oysters
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon milk (or water)
3 cups fresh bread crumbs or panko
6 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
salt to taste
lemon wedges
Drain oysters; freeze the juice for a future use. Dry oysters on paper towels till nice and dry. Place flour in shallow dish or pan. Whisk eggs and water together in small bowl. Put bread crumbs or panko in shallow pan. Dust each oyster with flour, then dip egg mixture, and into bread crumbs.
After breading, chill in refrigerator for at least one hour. Best if you can use a cast iron skillet but place skillet on medium high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons butter and 1 Tablespoon oil. Heat till hot but not smoking. Fry a few oysters at a time. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with favorite sauce.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Grilled Basil Chicken ..... This recipe gets four stars from my friend Arlene

Grilled Basil Chicken
My friend was riding around the neighborhood and stopped by to visit. Commenting on my pot of herbs growing on the patio, I offered her what herbs she could use as they have grown with a great abundance. Arlene said she had a great recipe for Grilled Basil Chicken. I asked for her permission to post the recipe and Arlene quickly obliged and delivered her recipe book to me for the opportunity to share it. Thanks Arlene, you are a great friend!
3/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
4 Chicken breasts or bonless thighs
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup fresh basil or 1 Tablespoon dried basil
1/2 cup butter
2 Tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper
Press the cracked pepper into the chicken. Mix the melted butter and basil and brush it on the chicken.
Combine the 1/2 cup butter with minced basil, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and salt and pepper to make a paste. Set aside. *See My Suggestion at footnote.
Grill chicken on medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes on each side, basting with remaining melted butter mixture. When chicken is 95% grilled, brush with the butter, basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper mixture over the tops. Serve as soon as this mixture starts to melt.
My Suggestion: I am going to reduce the butter using 1/4 cup butter. This recipe as written would equal 2 Tablespoons of butter per serving. The 1/2 cup butter is a bit high for my preference.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stuffed Tomatoes ,,,,, An abundance of tomatoes at this time of year calls for a variety of ways to serve them.

Stuffed Tomatoes
Our daughter Mary shared this recipe with me several years ago. It is an attractive way to serve tomatoes as well as a tasty side dish.
1 10 ounce box frozen broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
Cook broccoli just until done and drain. Saute onion. Mix mayonnaise, cheese, bread crumbs and sauteed onion. Mix broccoli int0 the mixture. Fill tomatoes which you have removed tops and scooped out the seeds and membranes. Sprinkle tops with Parmesan cheese. Bake about 20 minutes at 325 until tops are lightly browned.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Spinach Pecan Bake ..... This is an old family favorite and I would have posted it on "Flash Back Friday" but I will be at the Lake with no computer.

Spinach Pecan Bake
This recipe was always a great crowd pleaser and a family favorite. Our children often requested this dish. I will not have a computer most of this week so I am posting the recipe today.
3 10 ounce packages chopped spinach
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1//2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Butter a 1 1/2 quart shallow baking dish. Cook spinach and drain well. Melt 1/4 cup butter and saute onion til tender. Combine spinach, butter, sauteed onion, half and half, 1/3 cup bread crumbs, chopped toasted pecans, salt, nutmeg and pepper.
Mix 2 tablespoons butter with 1/4 cup bread crumbs, sprinkle over casserole. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until brown. Serves 6 to 8

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Zip-Loc Omelet ..... An easy way to cook for a crowd when everyone wants their omelet with different condiments.

Zip-loc Omelet
I emailed this recipe to many in my address book over one year ago. Today I received it from another friend who said they tried it and it really worked. I would like to share it again, and thanks Ann and Bert who were so kind to send it.
zip-loc bags
pot of boiling water
marking pen
green pepper
mushrooms cheeses
hash browns
any ingredients you want in your omelet.
1.) Have everyone write their name on a quart size zip-loc freezer bag with a permanent marker. Crack two eggs into the bag. Shake to combine them.
2.)Set out a variety of ingredients such as: tomato, hash browns, salsa, cheese, seasonings, etc.
3.) Each person adds their choice of ingredients to their bag and shake. Make sure to get the sir out of the bag (important) and zip it tight.
4.) Place the bags in the rolling water for exactly 13 minutes. You can usually cook 6 to 8 omelets in a large pot. If you need to cook more than the 6 to 8 omelets, heat two pots of water. Keep water at rolling boil. Check before opening the bag as you may have to cook longer.
5.) Open the bags and the omelet will slide out easily. Be prepared for everyone to be amazed.
6.) Nice to serve with fresh fruit and coffee cake; everyone gets involved in the process and a great conversation piece.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Spiced Prune Cake ..... Just like Grandma used to make!!!

Spiced Prune Cake
Baking time is very important. Be sure to follow instruction as the cake needs time to caramelize and release easily from the bundt pan.
unsalted butter at room temperature for the pan
2 cups all purpose flour plus more for the pan
1 cup pitted prunes (dried prunes)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup low fat buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts
confectioners sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 325. Butter and flour a 12 cup bundt pan, shaking out excess flour.
Bring a small sauce pan of water to a boil; remove from heat; add prunes. Cover and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain prunes and finely chop and seet aside.
Meanwhile, on a large pan, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, and eggs. Add oil mixture to flour mixture; mix just until combined. Stir in prunes and nuts.
Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean and the cake has pulled away from the sides of the pan, 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Immediately invert onto a cooling rack; let cool completely. Dust with confectioners sugar, if desired.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Skinny Pancakes ..... Flash Back Friday To The Days Of Skinny Pancakes aka Crepes

Skinny Pancakes
Many years ago my friend Vigdis gave me this recipe for Skinny Pancakes. She would send a birthday card to her neighbor children with a coupon for a breakfast of Skinny Pancakes. She was well known in her neighborhood for this recipe. Our children liked them equally as well and I occasionally made them for our family.
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Beat two eggs until light in a medium sized bowl; blend in 1 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sift one cup all purpose flour and 1/4 cup sugar into egg-milk mixture; beat with rotary beater just until smooth. Be light handed as over beating batter tends to toughen pancakes. Batter will be thin.
Melt a small amount of butter in skillet. If using an electric skillet, heat to 340 degrees. Place enough batter to cover the bottom of skillet, tilting the skillet slightly to spread the pancake thin. Bake until the top looses it's gloss and sides lift easy. Flip pancake and bake other side. When done, place filling in pancake and roll into a finger shaped roll.
TIP: These skinny pancakes aka crepes can be filled with jams, jellies, nutella the chocolate hazelnut spread or fruit in a glaze. I like just a little butter and sifted confectioners sugar sprinkled over the top.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Spinach Salad With Stuffed Mushrooms ..... This recipe is great also for entertaining. It has brief last minute assembly. It's a keeper !

Spinach Salad With Stuffed Mushrooms
Scallop stuffed mushrooms are the highlight of this salad. They could also be served alone as an hors d'oeuvre or as a garnish around grilled fish.
12 large cremini mushrooms
8 ounces scallops, cut in chunks
4 teaspoons sake
1 med. egg beaten
3/4 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
salt and freshly ground white pepper
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons Panko crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 Tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Score the tops of the mushrooms with a knife in a crosshatch pattern. Place scallops, sake, egg, grated lime rind, soy sauce, salt, pepper, cornstarch and sugar in food processor. Process until mixture is smooth.
Fill mushroom caps with about 2 Tablespoons paste rounding it very slightly in center.
Press mushrooms paste side down, firmly into mixture, making sure the whole top is coated. Reserve.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat an ovenproof skillet on a medium heat and add oil. Fry mushrooms, coated-side down for thirty seconds or until coating is golden. Turn over and place skillet in oven. Bake for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
Combine spinach and red onions. Whisk together rice vinegar, soy and oil. Toss with salad.
Slice mushrooms into three or four slices each. Place in a circle on plate. Top with a twist of spinach salad. Serves 4

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rosemary Bread ..... A recipe for Rosemary Bread that is a close production to the chain restaurant that serves it with "Italian Butter"

Rosemary Bread
The restaurant chain that made famous serving Rosemary Bread with Italian Butter is a favorite of ours. However our son-in-law from Italy was shocked to learn what Italian Butter was as he had never tasted it. Olive oil with fresh cracked pepper was his surprise. This bread has the crispy crust which will be a favorite recipe of yours. Try it with "Italian Butter"
For the Starter:
1 cup tepid water
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
For the Bread Dough:
2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup starter
2 cups warm water
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2-3 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons salt
3-4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
To make the starter: place all ingredients in a mixer bowl. Beat with the paddle attachment on a medium speed until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about three minutes. Transfer the starter to a 2 quart plastic container that will allow the mixture to triple in volume.
Cover and leave at room temperature overnight or leave in refrigerator for 1-2 days before using. You will have about 2 1/2 cups starter.
To make the bread dough: In a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast, starter and warm water in the bowl. Beat until the water is chalky and foamy, about 5 minutes. Change to the dough hook and add the olive oil, rosemary, salt and three cups of the flour and beat until well combined and pulls away from the sides of a bowl, adding more flour if dough is too sticky. Turn dough out on a lightly floured board. Knead by hand until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, and turn the dough to coat all surfaces with the oil. Cover with a dampened kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft free place until triples in size. 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Punch down the dough and divide in half. Shape each half into a free form loaf and place on a baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Make four shallow slashes in the top of each loaf. Bake until golden brown and the bottom of each loaf is sounds hollow when tapped, about 45 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Makes 2 loaves

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sausage and Lentils With Fennel

Sausage And Lentils With Fennel
Lentils are a grain that I incorporate frequently in my meal preparation. They blend so well with so many foods and meats and have a multitude of ways to prepare.
1 cup dried lentils (preferably French 
   green lentils; 7 oz.)
4 1/2 cups cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 medium fennel bulb (stalks removed 
   and fronds reserved)
3 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1/4" dice
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage links
3 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar or to taste
Extra Virgin olive oil for drizzling
Bring lentils, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 2 quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender but not falling apart, 12 to 15 minutes.
While lentils simmer, cut fennel bulb into 1/4" dice and chop enough fennel fronds to measure 2 Tablespoons. Heat 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a 3 to 4 quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then stir in carrot, onion, fennel buld, fennel seeds, and remaining teaspoon salt. Cover pan and cook stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile lightly prick sausages in a couple of places with tip of a sharp knife, then cook sausages in remaining 1/2 Tablespoon oil in a 10" skillet over moderately high heat turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board.
Drain cooked lentils in a sieve set over a bowl and reserve cooking water. Stir lentils into vegetables with enough cooking water to moisten (1/4 to 1/2 cup) and cook over moderate heat until heated through. Stir in parsley, pepper 1 Tablespoon vinegar and 1 Tablespoon fennel fronds. Season with vinegar and salt.
Cut sausages diagonally into 1/2" thick slices. Serve lentils topped with sausages and sprinkled with remaining fennel fronds. Drizzle all over with extra-virgin olive. Serves 4 Main Courses

Monday, September 17, 2007


A Great Dish For The Crock Pot Or Oven.
This is a recipe that a friend from Germany taught me to prepare. We enjoy this dish and find it is a great to prepare ahead for company. 
round steak cut 1/4" thick and no more
prepared mustard
salt and pepper
diced onion
Have the butcher cut the steak as thin as possible and not more than 1/4 inch thick. Lay the steak flat on your work surface and spread with a thin layer of mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the steak into serving size pieces. I usually get four pieces to one round steak. Place one half of a strip of bacon which has been fried almost crisp on each serving size, add diced onion, parsley and a sprinkling of nutmeg. Roll each rouladen and tie close to each end with cotton cord. Do not use anything but 100% cotton cord to tie the rolls.
Lightly coat each roll with flour and brown in a skillet with oil. Watch the skillet close as you do not want the flour to burn in the skillet with too high a heat. When each roll is browned, remove from the skillet. Add a chopped tomato and julienne carrot strips to skillet and allow the tomato to cook thoroughly. Add water and decarmelize the skillet scraping the bottom of the skillet and add a roux (flour blended with water) to make a thin gravy. At this point you can place the rouladens in a crock pot and pour the gravy to cover and simmer to tenderness or return rouladens to skillet and finish cooking. Serve rouladens with mashed potatoes and the gravy.
TIP: From experience I learned that I can heat my crockpot on a high setting for about one-half hour and when I place my food in the crock pot I am reducing the cooking time starting with a warmed crockpot.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rigatoni With Shrimp and Butternut Squash Sauce ..... I am going to make one more attemp to post this tasty dish.

Rigatoni With Shrimp and Butternut Squash Sauce
I posted this recipe earlier this month and uncertain why but some parts were not readable. I will attempt again on a different computer.
butternut squash
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh shrimp
Parmesan cheese to pass
Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When boiling add salt and rigatoni. Rigatoni should be added after the squash has cooked a few minutes.
Season fresh shrimp with salt and pepper
Peel and dice about 2 to 2 1/2 cups squash into 1/2" cubes. Heat olive oil in skillet and place squash in skillet to cook, season with salt and pepper. Stir often but allow to caramelize. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
When the sqash is almost fork tender, in another skillet add olive oil, heat and add shrimp. Shrimp cook quickly and should not take more than three minutes total to cook on both sides. The squash, shrimp, and rigatoni need to be finished cooking at the same time.
When squash is cooked place in a food processor and puree. If necessary a small amount of the pasta water maybe added to make the puree the consistency of a thick tomato sauce. Butter may also be added if you wish.
Add shrimp to pureed squash and toss with rigatoni. Pass Parmesan cheese for those who wish.
TIP: Typical of Italian dishes it is all in the timing so every ingredient is finished at the right time. Pasta is never overcooked and the sauce is usually prepared from fresh ingredients and finished at the same time as the pasta. ENJOY! Serves 4

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Key Lime Pie ..... A Delicious Dessert With No Calories From Sugar Or Cholesterol !

Key Lime Pie
Friday evening we were guests at a cookout at the home of friends, David and Bonnie. Bonnie made a dessert which she described as no calories from sugar or cholesterol. It was absolutely delicious and refreshing. I think you too will enjoy this light refreshing pie.
1/4 cup boiling water
1 four serving box of Lime Sugar Free Jello (3 oz.)
3 six ounce containers of Lite Lime Yogurt
1 eight ounce tub Lite Cool Whip, thawed
1 six ounce graham cracker crust
In a medium mixing bowl add the jell-o and whisk the boiling water and jell-o for two minutes until dissolved. Continue to whisk the jell-o and add yogurt stirring constantly. Stir the Lite Cool Whip to reduce any frozen lumps then add to the jell-o yogurt mixture. Spoon mixture into pie shell and refrigerate for at leasst two hours befor serving.
Tip: Use any combination of yogurt and jello of the same flavor. The Key Lime is my favorite.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Chocolate Lava Cakes With Coffee Custard

Chocolate Lava Cakes With Coffee Custard
If you are looking for a special presentation or something for a special occasion, try the Lava Cakes and collect the compliments!
6 1/2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened)chocolate or semi sweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons sugar
2 large egg whites
Coffee Sauce: recipe follows directions for Lava Cakes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter four 6 ounce custard cups, dust with flour, shake out excess. Combine chocolate, butter and salt in top of double boiler set over simmering water. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes.
Beat egg yolks and 3 Tablespoons sugar in large bowl until thick and light, about 2 minutes. Fold in chocolate mixture. Using electric mixer fitted with clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites and 1 Tablespoon sugar in medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Gently fold whites into chocolate mixture in three additions. Divide batter among prepared cups.
Place custard cups on baking sheet. Bake until cakes are puffed but still soft in center, about 11 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to rack; cool cakes 1 minute.
Using small knife, cut around sides of cakes to loosen. Place plates on top of cups. Invert cakes onto plates; remove cups. Spoon Coffee Custard Sauce around cakes. Top with whipped cream if desired.
Coffee Custard Sauce;
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons instant coffee
Beat egg yolks and sugar in bowl until thick and light yellow in color, about 2 minutes. Bring whipping cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk hot cream into egg yolk mixture. Return mixture to same saucepan. Stir over medium low-heat until sauce thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 3 minutes (do not boil). Strain mixture into a clean bowl. Add instant coffee and stir until coffee is dissolved. Cool sauce at least one hour. Can be made one day ahead.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Buttered Cabbage With Dumplings

Haluski  Buttered Cabbage With Dumplings
The holiday was a great celebration the entire weekend. We had a cousin and his wife who came to visit which was an added bonus. Saturday night a neighbor who plays in a band had his other members here to give us a concert. Sunday morning we attended church and then hurried home to finish decorating the golf cart for the parade in the Park. It was fun to see how original many of the themes were. At 5 p.m. everyone met for a community pot-luck picnic. What a great selection of food. One dish in particular was such a favorite of many. I learned the cook was a close neighbor and I hunted down the recipe . Barbara has so willingly offered to share her mother's recipe.
1 stick of butter (not margarine)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small or medium cabbage, chopped
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 egg
Cabbage: Melt the stick of butter, add onion and chopped cabbage, with core removed, and cook over a low heat heat. Cover with a lid and stir often to coat with butter. Cook until cabbage has softened and starts to brown. Remove from heat. ( The cabbage will add liquid as it cooks.) Watch carefully to avoid the cabbage burning.
Dumplings: Boil water in a medium sauce pan. In a small mixing bowl add the dry ingredients together. Whisk the egg into the dry ingredients and mix well. Add water to the dumpling batter until it is about the consistency of "toothpaste". Drop from a teaspoon into the pan of boiling water a few spoons of batter at a time. When the dumplings rise to the top they are done. Remove the cooked dumplings with a slotted spoon and drain well. Continue until the dumpling batter is cooked.
When the cabbage is cooked, add the dumplings to the cabbage and allow to cook for about ten minutes in a covered pan. Place in an over proof dish or pan and cook in a 360 oven for about 30 minutes. Optional: May add thin slices of Kielbasa sausage when you add the dumplings to the cabbage.