Thursday, February 23, 2006

Chocolate Volcano Cakes

Butter for ramekins
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup fine sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (I used semisweet)
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
Butter four 2/3-cup ramekins, set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a microwave or a double boiler, melt together 3/4 cup of chocolate chips and the butter. Set aside to cool.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar, flour. Add cooled chocolate mixture, and mix until blended. Fold in white chocolate chips (I really prefer a 1/4 cup of semisweet).

Divide mixture evenly among ramekins and place on baking sheet. Bake until tops are shiny and cracked and chocolate beneath is hot and gooey, about 20 min ( an extra few minutes makes them better). Eat when cooled a bit, remembering that the ramekin and chocolate are very hot.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lemon Meringue Pie

For filling

1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

For meringue
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven temperature to 350°F.

Make filling:
In a heavy saucepan whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt and gradually whisk in water and milk, whisking until cornstarch is dissolved. In a bowl whisk together egg yolks. Cook milk mixture over moderate heat, whisking, until it comes to a boil. Gradually whisk about 1 cup milk mixture into yolks and whisk yolk mixture into milk mixture. Simmer mixture, whisking, 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, lemon juice, and zest until butter is melted. Cover surface of filling with plastic wrap.

Make meringue:
In another bowl with an electric mixer beat egg whites with cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks. Beat in sugar in a slow stream, beating until meringue just holds stiff peaks.

Pour filling into shell and spread meringue on top, covering filling completely, sealing it to pastry. Draw meringue up into peaks and bake pie in middle of oven until meringue is golden, about 15 minutes.

Makes one 9- to 10-inch single crust pie.
May 1995

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry

12 frozen puff pastry shells, unthawed
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 (16 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and sqeezed dry
1 1/4 cups grated fontina cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
3-5 green onions chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the frozen pastry shells on the baking sheet and bake until the puff and become golden brown, about 20 min. Using small knife, cut out the center of the pastry shells.

Meanwhile, stir the cream, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the spinach, Fontina cheese, Parmesan, and green onions. Spoon the spinach mixture into the baked pastry shells. Bake until the pastries are golden brown and the filling is hot, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pastries to a platter and serve.

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Cake Release
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon cocoa

3/4 cup natural cocoa (Not Dutch)
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon instant expresso powder (optional)
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sour cream, room temp
1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temp
confectioner's sugar for dusting

For the pan
Stir together butter and cocoa in small bowl until paste forms; using a pastry brush, coat all interior surfaces of standard 12-cup bundt pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

For the cake
Combine cocoa, chocolate, espresso powder in medium heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temp; then whisk in sour cream. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in a second bowl to combine.

In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 min. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, mixing about 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down bowl with rubber spatula after first 3 additions. Reduce to medium-low speed(batter may appear separated); add about 1/3 flour mixture and 1/2 chocolate/sour cream mixture and mix until just incorporated, about 20 seconds. Scrape bowl and repeat using 1/2 remaining flour mixture and all of remaining chocolate mixture; add remaining flour and beat until just incorporated, about 10 seconds. Scrape bowl and mix on medium-low until batter is thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan, being careful not to pur batter on sides of pan. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out with few crumbs attached, 45-50 min. Cool in pan 10 min, then invert cake onto parchment-lined wire rack; cool to room temp, about 3 hrs. Dust with powdered sugar.

Cook's Illustrated 2004

1 Cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
1 pie crust
salt and pepper to taste

Bake pie crust at 350 degrees for about 9 minutes. You can use fresh or frozen spinach in bite sized pieces, mushroom, broccoli, cheese, bacon, ham, onions, shrimp, avocado, sausage...the options are pretty much endless.
Take pre-cooked pie crust out of oven and fill with various ingredients. Mix eggs, cream, salt and pepper into a custard. Pour the custard over the filled pie crust and bake for 35-40 min.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Chicken Marsala

1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 oz mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (2 lb total)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200°F.

Bring broth to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, then boil, uncovered, until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes.

Cook shallot in 3 tablespoons butter in an 8- to 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until shallot begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon sage, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

Put flour in a wide shallow bowl. Gently pound chicken to 1/4 inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap using the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin.

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, 1 piece at a time, shaking off excess. Transfer to sheets of wax paper, arranging chicken in 1 layer.

Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté half of chicken, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Transfer cooked chicken to a large heatproof platter, arranging in 1 layer, then put platter in oven to keep warm. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and cook remaining chicken in same manner, then transfer to oven, arranging in 1 layer.

Add 1/2 cup wine to skillet and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, about 30 seconds. Add reduced broth, cream, and mushrooms, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons wine and 1/2 teaspoon sage.

Amy Brooks, Gourmet 2005

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C butter (softened)

1/2 C sugar

1/2 C brown sugar (packed)

2 eggs

1 1/2 t vanilla

2 1/3 C flour

1 t baking soda

2 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips (a little more than one bag; I like Guittard brand)

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until very light and fluffy (~3-5 minutes).

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add vanilla.

In another bowl, mix flour and baking soda.

Gradually add to butter-sugar mixture, blending


Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake on cookie sheets (yes, this is what my recipe says) 11-14 minutes in a 325 F oven.

I use the fancy double-walled cookie sheets, because it makes me feel like a celebrity chef.

Remove and let cool on wire racks or paper towels. Eat as soon as possible.

Serves 1-2.

You can adjust the amount of flour to change the flatness / butteriness of the cookies.

Less flour = flatter and more buttery.

More flour = rounder and dryer, approaching hockey puck suitability.

Tom Brosnan 2006

Karl's Squash Soup
1 medium butternut squash, cooked (~375 for 1 hour when halved)
3-4 cups chicken stock, boiling
1 small onion, white, chopped and cooked in 1 TBSP butter
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped (half for the soup, half for topping later)

Blend these 4 ingredients together well, with cuisanart if available.
Adjust stock volume to get soup to desired thickness.
Cook at light simmer for another 1/2 or or more.

When ready to serve, add one pint heavy cream,
and a gentle ammount of white pepper and nutmeg to taste.
Serve with sour cream and hazelnut as toppings.

Chardonnay Vance 2005

Lemon Bundt Cake

Grated zest plus 3 TB juice from 3 lemons
3 cups (15 oz) unbleached AP flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk, preferably low fat
3 large eggs plus 1 large yolk, at room temperature
18 TB (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
2 cups (14 oz) sugar

2-3 TB lemon juice
1 TB buttermilk
2 cups (8 oz) confectioners sugar

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 12 cup Bundt pan with non-stick baking spray with flour (or, brush
pan with mixture of 1 TB flour and 1 TB melted butter). Mince lemon zest to
fine paste (2 TB). Combine zest and lemon juice in small bowl; set aside to
soften, 10-15 minutes.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Combine
lemon juice mixture, vanilla, and buttermilk in medium bowl. In small bowl,
gently which eggs and yolk to combine. In standing mixer fitted with flat
beater, cream butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy,
about 3 minutes; scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce to
medium speed and add half of eggs, mixing until incorporated, about 15
seconds. Repeat with remaining eggs; scrap down bowl again. Reduce to low
speed; add about one-third of flour mixture, followed by half of buttermilk
mixture, mixing until just incorporate after each addition (about 5
seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining
buttermilk mixture. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at
medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.
Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to
incorporate any remaining flour. Scrap into prepared pan.

Bake until top is golden brown and wooden skewer or toothpick inserted
into center comes out with no crumbs attached, 45-50 minutes.

For glaze - While cake is baking, whisk 2 TB lemon juice, buttermilk,
and confectioners' sugar until smooth, adding more lemon juice gradually as
needed until glaze is thick but still pourable (mixture should leave faint
trail across bottom of mixing bowl when drizzled from whisk). Cool cake in
pan on wife rack set of baking sheet for 10 minutes, then invert cake
directly onto rack. Pour half of glaze over warm cake and let cool for 1
hour; pour remaining glaze evenly over top of cake and continue to cool to
room temperature, at least 2 hours. Cut into slices and serve.

Cook’s Illustrated 2006

Beef In Gravy

Take 1 lb of round steak, cut in bite sized pieces. Coat with flour. Heat some oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) and brown the floured meat. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, about 2 tbls. onion and green pepper (mince into little pieces) after the meat is brown. Add 3 cups of water, turn down to a simmer or real low boil and cook for about an hour. If it has not thickened into gravy, you can thicken it with corn starch or butter and flour. If you use olive oil to brown the meat, your gravy will not be real thick. If you use butter, it will be super fattening, but the gravy will thicken on it's own. Make sure you don't let the liquid boil away and if it's getting too thick too soon, just add a little more water. Serve over brown rice.

Mom 2005

Amy's Fettucine

1/2 LB (plus just a little more, but not quite 3/4 LB) egg fettucine
1/2 cup unsalted butter (cut into about 1/2 inch cubes, room temp)
1/4 cup grated parmesano-reggiano (the good stuff makes a huge difference)
2-3 cloves fresh pressed garlic
1/2 LB small peeled shrimp
1/4 LB bay scallops
1 TB olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper

Start fettucine cookin' in salted water

Saute' shrimp and scallops in the olive oil with the garlic and a few
turns of pepper, adding the scallops first (4 mins) and the shrimp a minute
later (3 mins) - drain all but about 1 TB of the liquid

Drain pasta (reserving 1/2 cup cooking water) and throw it in a big bowl
(heat the bowl first)- drop the butter and cheese on top and then the
seafood and toss through with tongs for about 1 minute, until smooooooooth
and dreamy. Add cooking water as needed to keep it from wadding up, or
"keep it loose" if you prefer. (work fast while doing this)

Fresh pepper on top and salt to taste.

Take leftovers to work and make co-workers drool.

Amy Brooks 2005

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Cube and cook 2 large chicken breasts

In stock pot, melt ½ cup butter. Add ½ cup flour to make a roux, season with pepper. Stir in 3 cups chicken broth – slowly. When thickened, add cooked chicken and one 16 oz bag mixed vegetables.

Pour into a deep dish pie crust (scored on bottom), stick second crust on top (poke holes on top too). Cook for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

Sam-n-Scott 2005

Russian Kvass - Cold Cucumber Soup

2 medium sized potatoes, washed and boiled in skins

6 Hard boiled eggs

1 medium cucumber with peal

1 small white onion

4 tablespoons fresh dill

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups whipping cream


When potatoes and eggs are cooled, peel and grate into large bowl. Grate cucumber and white onion mixing with potatoes and eggs. Add the dill and a pinch of salt, mix. Add one cup of whipping cream and then add water until mixture is covered. Salt if needed, add more cream is needed, can be thick to your specifications. refrigerate.

Anne Buroker (Grandma)

Grandma's Beef Stew

Stew meat cut into small chunks

Several potatoes cut into small chunks

Dredge meat in flour salted and peppered. Brown meat in fry pan. Add water to meat, cover and cook until meat is tender on medium heat. You may have to add water as it cooks to keep meat covered.

When meat is almost done cook potatoes in salted water until done. Add potato water to meat mixture and continue cooking until the potatoes have absorbed the stew juices.

Add minces white onions to the stew meat while it is cooking to fool your unsuspecting granddaughters.

Anne Buroker (Grandma)

Lemon Bars

1 Cup (2 sticks) butter

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1 ¼ cups oatmeal (not instant)

Juice of 3 lemons

Zest of 2 lemons chopped fine

Zest of 1 orange chopped fine

1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk

Cream butter and sugar, then add the flour and oatmeal to make the dough (it will be a little crumbly). Set aside. Stir juice and zest into milk. Set aside. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan. Press 2/3 to ¾ of the dough into pan. Spread lemon/milk mixture evenly over the top of the dough. Sprinkle the remaining dough (kind of like streusel) over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until golden. When cool, slice into 1-inch squares.

Mandarin Quinoa Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa

One 11 oz can mandarin orange segments in light syrup

1 cup salted peanuts

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of salt

pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

¼ cup scallions (optional)

In a large bowl toss together the quinoa, orange segments, peanuts and scallions (optional).

In a small bowl stir together the remaining ingredients including 2 tablespoons of the mandarin orange syrup. Pour over the salad and toss to combine.

Variatoin: Add 2 teaspoons of curry powder to dressing.

1,000 Vegetarian Recipes 1996

Perfect Potato Salad

Strangely enough Robin came to help with a BBQ, and we realized that both her dad's and my mom's potato salad are one and the same!!

12 medium red potatoes

12 hard-boiled eggs

1½ cups mayonnaise

Salt to taste

Rinse the potato skin and remove any eyes or rough patches with a vegetable peeler. Quarter and boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until a fork runs through the large pieces easily. About 20 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and chill at least an hour.

To hard-boil eggs: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the eggs and bring back to a boil for 1 minute. Turn off heat, cover tightly, and let the eggs cook for 12 minutes. You’ll have perfect eggs with bright yellow yolks!

Chop the eggs and potato into bite-sized pieces. Add the mayonnaise and season with salt.

Note: This salad is great as-is. But feel free to add a dash of one of the following: Celery salt, white pepper, Tabasco, Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, or curry powder.

Judy Buroker and Jeff Gray

Artichoke-Parmesan Dip

1 package of cream cheese, room temperature

1 package of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

1 cup of mayonnaise

1 cup of shredded fresh parmesan

1 tbsp minced garlic

Mix the ingredients and bake (or microwave) until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbly. Add a few slices of white cheese (Swiss, provolone, havarti) for extra cheesy dip!