Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cranberry Sauce

Ah, sweet, tart, tangy cranberries.  Have you ever made your own cranberry sauce?  It’s so easy and so homey!  Definitely worth it.  This recipe is one of my favorites.  Don’t be afraid of the jalapeno, it just gives a slight heat @ the back of the throat like with a good chutney.  If you prefer, leave it out.  The recipe is still delicious!

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Ingredients

  • 1 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, cleaned
  • 1/2 a jalapeño finely diced
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions

Cook the cranberries, jalapeno, sugar, and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the skins pop open. Add the apple, zests, and juices and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat and add the raisins and nuts. Let cool, and serve chilled.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chocolate Pots de Crème

 

Thanks to Food Network’s Alex’ Day Off!  This recipe of hers was delicious!!  I skipped the whipped cream, but the chocolate pot de crème was more than good enough on its own!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 (4-ounce) espresso cups or other small cups
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a small pot, over low heat, bring the milk, half and half, almond extract, vanilla seeds and vanilla pod to a gentle simmer. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. In a large bowl, add the eggs, cocoa, and sugar and whisk to combine. Pour the heated milk mixture into the melted chocolate and whisk to combine. Temper the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, adding it slowly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Do not overmix. You want the ingredients to be blended but not frothy or bubbly.

Pour the mixture into the small cups, filling almost to the top. Put the cups in a baking pan and fill the pan with 2 inches of water. Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil. This will prevent the custard from forming a tough skin as it cooks. Put the pan in the center of the oven and bake until the custards are set but still a little loose, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.

Carefully remove the cups from the water bath and allow them to cool for 30 minutes Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or refrigerate overnight, before serving with the whipped cream.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Campanelle Noodles

The pasta dish that I made last month, Vecchia Bettola, was supposed to be made with penne pasta.  I didn’t have any at the time, so used macaroni noodles instead.  I made the dish again, but this time used campanelle noodles.  They are my favorite newly discovered noodles and I’ll never use another noodle for this dish ever again!

The curly noodles are not only adorable, but they compliment any sauce dish as the sauce beautifully wraps into the ruffles and interior column of this pasta just perfectly.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Finding new ways to use leftovers

I often make meals that I only eat myself (my boyfriend is quite the picky eater), and therefore I always have a ton of leftovers.  While I often take leftovers to work for lunch, I also like to find new ways to utilize the leftovers in other dished.

Today I made my standard meatloaf, but to add moisture, additional flavor, and a few extra servings of vegetables – I added 1 cup of the veggie mixture from my stuffed vegetable recipe into the meatloaf batter.

It was great!  Definitely a good option for the veggie leftovers! 

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Caramelized Onion Pizza

Love caramelized onions?  Then you’ll love this pizza!  I started out with a basic pizza dough.  While the dough was rising and prepping in the oven (I always drizzle my dough with olive oil, Italian seasonings, and bake a few minutes before adding toppings) – I caramelized the onions.

Caramelizing onions is very easy.  The only tips you need to know are to keep the stovetop heat low, to use a decent amount of oil and butter as a cooking base, and to have patience.  It can take a good 20 minutes to caramelize a medium onion.

One the dough and onions were ready, I topped the pizza with some other ingredients I had on hand – goats cheese, shredded chicken, baby spinach, and a touch of parmesan and mozzarella cheese.  A final drizzle of olive oil and the pizza is ready to go back in the oven and then in my tummy!

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