Friday, November 30, 2012

Easy Hollandaise Sauce

Luscious, lemony, creamy, dreamy Hollandaise sauce. My family requires it Christmas morning for their Eggs Benedict. It elevates any dish to festive status. Serve over roasted asparagus, or broccoli. Spooned on top of poached salmon or steak garnished with crab.

Easy Hollandaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
dash of cayenne or hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice + more to taste
pinch of salt and pepper
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Place egg, cayenne, mustard, 1 T. of lemon juice, salt and pepper in a blender and mix on low speed until combined.
In a saucepan, heat butter until melted and hot, but not brown.
With the blender running on high, slowly add melted butter in a stream until fully combined. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Twice Baked Sweet Potato

Great with a salad for lunch or as a side for dinner.
Twice Baked Sweet Potaoes

3 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 roasted garlic cloves, mashed (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3 slices apple wood bacon, cooked and chopped
1 Tablespoon sour cream
1 Tablespoon green onion, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon butter, divided

Preheat oven to 375F.
Prick sweet potatoes all over with a knife. Cook potatoes in microwave on high for 2-3 minutes (this will quicken the cooking time in oven).
Place potatoes on a foil lined baking pan and cook about 40 minutes in the oven. (If using garlic, it can be roasted at the same time)
When potatoes are cooked and tender, take out of oven and slice in half.
Scoop out most of the flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch to keep potato skin edge firm.
In a bowl combine potato flesh, goat cheese, thyme, bacon, sour cream, green onion, salt and pepper, and garlic if using.
Spoon back into skins and dot with butter.
Bake an additional 20 minutes.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuna Salad in Apple Cups

With fresh fall apples this makes a hearty, healthy lunch. This recipe is taken from Simply Delicious the Costco Way.
Tuna Salad in Apple Cups

1 6 ounce can tuna (packed in water), drained
1 Tablespoon honey mustard
2-3 Tablespoons mayo (or Vegenaise)
1/3 cup diced celery
2 Tablespoons diced red onion
2-3 apples
1 lemon
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Place tuna in a bowl and stir in mustard, mayo, celery and onion. Set aside.
Slice off the top quarter of each apple. Cut a slice from the bottom, so they stand level.
Rub the cut apple, as well as the slices, with lemon to keep from browning, set aside on paper towel to dry.
Core the apple and discard. With a spoon, carefully carve out the inside of the apples, continue to scoop out flesh, working toward the skin, leaving about 1/2 inch edge.
Dice the apple trimmings and add to the tuna mixture. Add salt and pepper and mix well.
Fill each apple with the salad mixture and cap with the stemmed apple tops.
Serve immediately.
Note: Bake says this would be good with a Bartlett or Asian Pear. Also with the addition of walnuts.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pumpkin Ginger Mousse Cups

Pumpkin Ginger Mousse Cups
1 cup whipping cream
1-15 ounce can organic pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
8 ounces ginger snaps ( I used Trader Joe's gluten free), crushed

Beat whip cream until it forms soft peaks. Set aside in fridge.
Mix together pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, brown sugar, vanilla and maple syrup until combined. With a mixer, add cream cheese and beat until well blended.
Gently fold in whipped cream.

Place 3 Tablespoons of ginger snaps into individual serving sups.
Top with pumpkin mixture.
Crumble more ginger snaps on top.
Garnish with more whipped cream or ginger snap cookie.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Roasted Rosemary Cashews

It is Thanksgiving day and football is on, nuts are the perfect snack. This recipe was created by the Union Square Cafe in New York.
Roasted Rosemary Cashews

1 1/4 pound cashew nuts
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 375F.
Place nuts on an ungreased baking sheet for 10 minutes, and bake until warmed throughout.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, salt and melted butter.
Toss nuts into bowl and coat evenly.
Serve warm.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Luckily, this sauce lasts for days and can be made ahead for Thanksgiving and put aside in the fridge. There are many recipes calling for a variety of spices and nuts but Bake loves this one. Along with turkey on Thanksgiving and sandwiches that follow, this cranberry sauce is also good over yogurt for a breakfast change.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce

1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tablespoon orange zest

Place cranberries, sugar and orange juice in a saucepan over high heat until mixture comes to a boil.
Lower heat and simmer until cranberries start to pop. Cook about 10-15 minutes. 
Remove from heat and add orange zest.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pureed Carrots with Raspberry Rim

This is one of our families favorite side dishes for Thanksgiving. Along with turkey, it works well with roast chicken or pork tenderloin.
Pureed Carrots with Raspberry Rim
I use to make a raspberry sauce but found it quicker to use a seedless raspberry jam.

2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon plus 1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 Tablespoon sherry
1-2 Tablespoons cream
pepper, to taste
4 ounces raspberry jam

In a medium size pot, combine carrots, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, and 1 Tablespoon of butter. Add water to cover carrots and heat to a boil, cook until carrots are tender.
Drain carrots and puree in food processor with 1 Tablespoon butter, sherry, cream and 1 Tablespoon sea salt.
Mound pureed carrots in the middle of serving dish. Rim the dish with raspberry jam.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hot Water and Lemon with Ginger

For a break from coffee or tea, this soothing "tea" is actually good for you!

Hot Water and Lemon with Ginger 
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup hot water
juice of 1/2 lemon

Grate the fresh ginger into a cup. Fill with hot water and allow the ginger to steep for a minute.
Add lemon juice.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Light Broccoli Soup

The holiday season is approaching, along with the festivities come large meals and cocktail parties. So, in the near future, eating a little lighter is in order.
Bake walked in the kitchen as I was finishing up the soup and asked if there was Pancetta in it? No.
Cheese? No. Sour cream? NO. I am not sure he grasp the concept. But, he did enjoy the soup.

Light Broccoli Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
8 cups of broccoli florets
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water
juice of 1 lemon

Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Add carrot, onion and celery and saute until onions are soft, about 6-8 minutes.
Add broccoli and stir. Season with sea salt and pepper. Add stock and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until broccoli is tender.
Add lemon juice and puree soup in blender (in batches) until smooth.
Reheat and serve.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Baked Potato Soup

Looking for comfort food on a chilly evening? Baked Potato Soup will deliver.

4 large baking potatoes, cooked
Baked Potato Soup
6 slices applewood bacon, diced
1 shallot, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon bacon fat
2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken stock
pepper, to taste
dash of hot sauce (optional)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated (save a little for garnish)
1/2 green onion, thinly sliced (save a little for garnish)

Scoop out insides of baked potatoes and set aside.
In a large stock pot, cook bacon over medium heat. Remove bacon and drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter to stockpot. Stir in shallot and onion, cook until soft, add garlic.
Add 3 tablespoons of flour and cook 1-2 minutes.
Add 4 cups of chicken stock, cooked potatoes, and a dash of hot sauce. Cook over medium heat until heated throughout.
Stir in cooked bacon (saving a little for garnish) cheddar cheese, and green onion. Stir well.
Serve and garnish with bacon, cheddar cheese and green onion.
Note: This soup will be chunky. For a smoother soup it can be blended. For a richer soup, add 1 cup of whole milk or cream when heating and can be topped with sour cream

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bake's Chicken Pot Pie

This is the recipe that Bake is famous for. He usually makes it in a 9x13 inch glass baking pan or any 8 cup baking dish. Today, I made it in individual ramekins.
Bake's Chicken Pot Pie
Store bought dough is what he uses, or you could use any pie dough. I use store bought puff pastry. With leftover dough, you can cut out shapes to make a design on top.

2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
2 cups sliced carrots, cooked
12 ounces of frozen peas, thawed
1 veloute sauce recipe
pastry dough for 1 pie crust
1 egg
1 Tablespoon water
sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400F.
Combine chicken, carrots, peas and veloute sauce. Place in a greased 8 cup baking dish. Cover with pastry dough. Combine egg with water and brush over pastry dough. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Veloute sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
Individual Chicken Pot Pies
Melt butter, blend in flour and cook. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly, add chicken stock, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Roast Chicken

When we use to have a full house, Sunday night dinner was roast chicken. I would roast 2 of them and then use the leftovers during the week, on top of salads, in sandwiches for school lunches, curried appetizer (used in a previous post) or for Bakes chicken pot pie. Later Sunday evening, while everyone was preparing for the week ahead, I would take the carcass of the chicken and make stock, to use for soup or sauces during the week.
Roast Chicken

4-6 pound organic free range chicken
1 lemon, cut in half
1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
sprigs of fresh thyme and sage
1 large onion
4 carrots, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Alfies seasoning

Preheat oven to 425F.
Remove giblets and neck from cavity.
Wash and dry chicken, inside and out.
Season inside with Alfies, and then stuff with 1/2 of the lemon, herbs, 1/4 of onion and half of the garlic.
Line the bottom of roasting pan with chopped carrots and the remaining onion, sliced.
Place stuffed chicken on top of vegetables. Brush chicken with olive oil,  juice 1/2 lemon over top and sprinkle on seasoning and remaining garlic.
Truss the legs together with twine and turn wings under.
Roast chicken for about 1 1/2 hours until juices between thigh and breast run clear or until thermometer reads 165F at thickest part of meat.
Remove from pan with tongs to a carving board and let sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Note: Vegetables can be served along side chicken and drippings can be used for gravy.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Roasted Shrimp and Yellow Zucchini over Pasta

This dish can be put together in minutes, for a quick lunch or dinner.
Preheat oven to 425F.
Roasted Shrimp and Yellow Zucchini over Pasta
12 large shrimp, thawed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lemon, zest
sprinkle of Alfies seasoning
pinch of chili flakes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 small yellow zucchini
grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Mix shrimp, garlic, lemon zest, and seasonings in olive oil and scatter on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Bake about 10-15 minutes until cooked.
Slice zucchini in rounds and put on separate baking sheet with a sprinkle of Alfies seasoning.
Roast about 10-15 minutes.
Toss cooked shrimp with lemon juice. Sprinkle with basil and parsley. 
Add zucchini and put over cooked pasta (or rice). Top with grated Parmesan.