Friday, May 25, 2012

Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Jam and Creme Fraiche

1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened, and 1 T for greasing the muffin tin
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 cup raspberry jam
creme fraiche (or whipped cream or whipped cream frosting or vanilla buttercream)  

 * * * * * *

Preparing the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Grease the muffin tin. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla, flour, baking powder, milk and mix until smooth. 

Spoon batters into muffin tin, filling about two-thirds full. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 9 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. 

Dollop creme fraiche over the top and a generous spoonful of raspberry jam. 

Makes 1 dozen cupcakes


Sunday, May 20, 2012

French Toast Muffins

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar 1 egg (preferably room temperature)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk

* * * * * *

 Ingredients for the topping:
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon  

 * * * * * *

Preparing the muffins: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

 Sift together all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined, but still a bit lumpy. Don't overmix. With an ice cream scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges. 

 * * * * * * 

Preparing the topping: 
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place melted butter in another small bowl. Dip the warm muffins in melted butter, then dip and roll the muffin in cinnamon sugar. 

Makes 8 to 12 muffins


Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 pound unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
3 cups bread flour
1 T salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 T vanilla extract
2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (Valrhona, 61%, preferred)  

* * * * * * *

Preparing the cookies: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined. 

Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Makes 8 1/2 dozen small cookies


Creme Brulee, Another Way

1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water  

* * * * * * 

Preparing the creme brulee: 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 

 Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use. 

 In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7- to 8-ounce) ramekins. 

Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. 

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. 

 Serves 6



1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 T dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 * * * * * *

 Preparing the brownies: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch by 13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper. 

Whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together in a bowl and set aside. Set the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan and cool to room temperature. 

Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or the brownies will be cakey. 

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 

Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve. 

 Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days. 

Makes 2 dozen brownies


(Better Than Girl Scout) Samoas

Ingredients for the cookies: 1 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup sugar 2 cups all purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract up to 2 T milk * * * * * * Ingredients for the topping: 3 cups shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened 12-ounces caramels 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 T milk 8 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate Preparing the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together at a low speed. Add the vanilla and milk, adding only enough milk as needed for the dough come together into a soft, pliable ball without being sticky - None at all may be needed. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough seems sticky. Roll the dough out in 2 or 3 batches, between pieces of wax or parchment paper to about 1/4-inch thickness or a little thinner, and cut into rounds using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Place on a parchment lined (or on silicone mat) baking sheet and make a hole in the center using a small end of a large round piping tip or a straw. Nicole comments that you can use a knife, or the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. Scraps can be re-rolled. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms are very lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, to allow them to firm up slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. * * * * * * Preparing the topping: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Watch carefully, especially near the end of toasting time; the coconut toasts very quickly once it begins to become golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside. Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula. Using the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2 to 3 teaspoons per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it begins to firm up, to make it soft and spreadable once again. While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching, or over a double boiler. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper or Silpat. Transfer all remaining chocolate into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate. This may require melting additional chocolate, if there is not quite enough for all the cookies. Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies


Garlic Cheese Biscuits

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of Bisquick buttermilk baking mix 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 cup milk 2 T unsalted butter 1 T dried oregano 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt Preparing the butter mixture: Mix the butter with oregano and garlic salt. * * * * * * Preparing the biscuits: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray cooking sheet with non-stick spray. Put biscuit mix, cheese and milk in a bowl and mix to form a sticky dough. Using spoon, drop lumps of dough onto cookie sheets 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Brush the biscuits with the butter mixture and bake 5 minutes at 400 degrees F, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and back for another 5 to 6 minutes.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken and Arugula

Ingredients: nonstick cooking spray 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 large egg whites 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 2 T grated parmesan 1 T grated lemon zest 1 T chopped fresh parsley 4 4-ounce skinless boneless chicken breasts 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 T lemon juice 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 1 5-ounce package baby arugula Preparing the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Whisk together the mustard and egg whites in a shallow pie plate. Combine the panko, parmesan, lemon zest and parsley on a sheet of wax paper. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Dip the chicken, 1 piece at a time, into the egg white mixture, then into the panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Place the chicken on the baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake until the crust is golden and the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Do not turn. Toss the lemon juice, oil, arugula and remaining salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Evenly divide the salad among 4 plates and top with the chicken. Serves 4 (under 300 calories per serving)


Roast Chicken with Salsa Verde

Ingredients for the chicken: 1 4- to 5-pound chicken kosher salt 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded 2 fresh bay leaves 3 cloves garlic 1 small onion, peeled 1 small bunch fresh thyme 2 T extra virgin olive oil 4 cups baby arugula 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar 1 T extra virgin olive oil * * * * * * Ingredients for the salsa verde: 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh flatleaf parsley 2 T salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped 2 T thinly sliced fresh mint 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 2 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced 1 clove garlic, minced grated zest and juice of 1 lemon 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (about 1 T) 1 shallot, minced kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Preparing the salsa verde: Combine the extra virgin olive oil, parsley, capers, mint, red pepper flakes, anchovies, garlic, lemon zest and juice, jalapeno and shallots in a bowl and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow the flavors to meld for at least 15 minutes before serving; if planning to serve after more than an hour, add the lemon juice at the last minute to keep the color vibrant. Makes 1 1/2 cups * * * * * * Preparing the chicken: A day before cooking, rinse the chicken inside and out under cold water and pat dry. Salt liberally, cover and refrigerate. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lift the skin off each chicken breast and wedge 3 lemon slices and 1 bay leaf between the skin and each breast. Put the garlic, onion, thyme and remaining lemon slices in the cavity of the chicken. Rub the entire chicken liberally with the olive oil. Put the chicken in an ovenproof saute pan or roasting pan breast-side up, slide it into the oven and roast until the thigh reaches 160 degrees F, or until the cavity juices run clear, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes. When ready to serve, in a medium bowl, dress the arugula with the red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces, drizzle with the salsa verde and serve with the arugula salad. Serves 4


Escarole with Garlic and Pine Nuts

Ingredients: 1 head escarole, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds 4 T extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 2 T pine nuts Preparing the escarole: Bring 3 quarts water to a rolling boil. Separate the escarole leaves and rinse thoroughly. Drop leaves into the boiling water and boil, covered, until tender, about 35 minutes When the escarole is tender, drain thoroughly and let dry. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Roughly chop the escarole. Add the garlic to the hot pan and saute until the garlic begins to soften and turn a light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the pine nuts and cook until the nuts are lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the escarole and stir until well cooked and very soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve. Serves 4


Chocolate Mousse Trifle

Ingredients for the trifle: 1 quart heavy cream 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1/2 cup creme fraiche 2 batches pudding 3 cups crumbled Oreos 4 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars, such as Heath, chopped * * * * * * Ingredients for the pudding: 4 egg yolks 1 1/2 cups sugar 4 cups heavy cream 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup unsweetened cocoa 1/3 cup all purpose flour 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips Preparing the trifle: In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar until aerated, just before soft peaks have started to form. Gently fold in the creme fraiche. In a large trifle bowl, place a thick layer of the pudding, top with a layer of the whipped cream mixture and then sprinkle on half of the cookies and half of the toffee candy. Repeat the process, finishing with the cookies and candy. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours and serve. * * * * * * Preparing the pudding: Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add the cream and salt and whisk until combined. Mix the cocoa and flour together, and then whisk the wet ingredients into the dry. Place the mixture in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and stir continuously until the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and chocolate until melted. Let cool. Makes about 5 cups. Serves 8 to 10


Southern Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ingredients for the Neapolitan sauce: 1/4 cup olive oil 1 rack baby back ribs, separated (about 2 pounds) 1 large Spanish onion, diced 1 T kosher salt 6 cloves garlic, sliced 1 bottle dry white wine 2 28-ounce cans San Marzano tomatoes, chopped 3 T fresh oregano leaves 1 T crushed red pepper flakes, optional 1 fresh bay leaf 1 2-inch by 3-inch parmesan rind * * * * * Ingredients for the meatballs and sauce: 1/3 cup olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 shallot, minced 1 1/2 cups diced day-old wheat bread (like from a pullman loaf) 1/4 cup whole milk 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (80/20 or 75/25) 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped 1/2 cup chopped fresh flatleaf parsley 1/4 cup grated parmesan 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 egg Neapolitan Sauce * * * * * Ingredients for the pasta: kosher salt 1 pound spaghetti 15 fresh basil leaves, torn 1 to 2 T butter 1/4 cup grated parmesan Preparing the sauce: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the ribs and brown evenly, about 4 minutes. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt and cook until translucent, 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until everything is soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine, stirring to deglaze the pan. Add the tomatoes along with the oregano, red pepper flakes if using, bay leaf and parmesan rind. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce the heat to its lowest possible setting and continue to cook until reduced by about a third, for up to 8 hours. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Remove the bay leaf. If not using right away, let the sauce cool, and then cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months. Makes about 2 quarts. * * * * * For the meatballs and sauce: In a small saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, the garlic and shallots and sweat until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Soak the bread in the milk in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the beef with the ricotta, basil, parsley, parmesan, salt, egg and the cooked shallots and garlic. After the bread has soaked up the milk, remove it from the bowl and ring out the remaining liquid. Thoroughly mix the bread into the meat mixture. Form the meat mixture into 2-inch balls using about 1/4 cup for each. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan and add the meatballs. Cook until golden on the outside, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place Neapolitan sauce in a large saucepan and add the meatballs. Bring to a simmer and simmer about 30 minutes. * * * * * Preparing the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti al dente, according to the package directions. Add a cup or two of the sauce to the empty meatball pan over medium heat. Drain the spaghetti and add it to the pan, along with the basil leaves, parmesan and butter. Toss to coat. Transfer to a serving platter, top with the meatballs and ribs from the Neapolitan sauce and serve with the remaining sauce on the side. Serves 6 to 8


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Polenta and Peas

Type your summary here. 4 cups water 3 bay leaves 2 sprigs rosemary sea salt 1 cup corn grits 2 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 2 leeks, white and light green parts sliced thin, OR 1/2 cup sliced ramp stems (1/2 inch pieces) and 2 cups chopped ramp leaves (1 inch pieces) 1 cup frozen peas black pepper, freshly ground 3 ounces fresh goat cheese Preparing the polenta: Add the water, bay leaves, rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and rosemary, raise heat and return to a boil. Slowly pour the corn grits in, whisking as you go. Continue whisking, once mixture is boiling, lower heat and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is thick and creamy. To prevent lumps and the mixture sticking to the pot, whisk every couple of minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and additional salt to taste. Cover pot while you cook the peas and leeks. * * * * * * * Preparing the peas and leeks: In a skillet or frying pan, warm remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add leeks and a pinch of salt and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the peas and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes or until leaves are wilted and peas are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon polenta into a serving dish and spoon the peas and leeks over the polenta. Top with crumbled goat cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 2


Spring Sweet Pea Crostini

Ingredients: 2 pounds sweet green peas in their pods 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste 3 T extra virgin olive oil 6 thick slices homemade or artisan baked walnut bread or other artisanal bread 1 large clove garlic fresh pecorino for shredding black pepper, freshly ground Optional: Mint, chervil, or chives, chopped, for garnish Preparing the pea crostini: Shell the peas. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to the water, add the peas and cook about a minute. Drain and rinse with cold running water to cool them off quickly. Shake as much excess water off as you can. Now you can work in a bowl by hand or with a blender or food processor. Put the peas and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the vessel of your choice. Mash the peas with a fork or pulse to half-mash the peas. Toast the bread. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the toasts with the garlic. Discard the used garlic clove or use in another dish. Spread each toast with its fair share of the pea mash and drizzle them with the remaining bit of olive oil. Sprinkle toasts with grated pecorino and black pepper, as well as more salt to taste (a bit of fleur de sel is nice here) and any herbs you choose to use. For the record, if you make too many of these delights for your guests to ingest – perhaps because you cooked a four-course dinner for eight when there were only four of you present and you made an extra-large salad in a last-minute moment of panic that by some insane logic there wasn’t enough food – any leftover crostini make a tasty breakfast.


Potato Pea Salad with Tarragon and Mustard Seed

This dish can be served warm or refrigerated. Ingredients: 1 pounds of fingerling potatoes or new potatoes 2 cups fresh peas 1 cup packed Italian parsley 1/4 cup packed tarragon leaves 1 garlic clove 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/8 cup lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 T whole grain mustard 1 T capers 5 scallions 1/2 cup chopped celery lemon zest Preparing the potato salad: Place potatoes in a pan with enough water to cover by about an inch with one tablespoon of sald and cook for 20 minutes or until it's fork tender. In a food processor, pulse parsley, tarragon, garlic until finely chopped. Add olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Pulse a few more times and set aside. In small pot blanch fresh peas 2 minutes, in heavily salted water. Drain potatoes and peas and place both in one large bowl. Add chopped scallions, capers, whole grain mustard and celery. Fold in the parsley and tarragon mixture. Pepper to taste.


Followers of The Cook In The Family::

  © Blogger template 'Isfahan' by 2008

Back to TOP