Roasted Cream of Tomato Soup
On a recent January day, it was cold, dark, rainy, and downright miserable and depressing. Not to sound negative, but we all know that’s what Winter in NYC can feel like at times. Pretty much hibernated away in my apartment, I decided I needed to entertain myself somehow – what better way than to warm up to some homemade creamy tomato soup? When I was a kid, I used to almost like staying home sick from school – why? My Mom would wrap me up under blankets on the couch and make me a grilled cheese sandwich smothered in Campbell’s tomato soup, which made the misery of being sick almost OK! This recipe isn’t Campbell’s, but it’s sure to warm you up with its creamy roasted flavor when you’re cooped up on the couch. Serve it with some grilled or toasted bread with olive oil and herbs for dipping in the soup (or for smothering!) and maybe even a glass of red wine to warm you up even more. Maybe Spring can wait a few more months after all…
4 lbs fresh heirloom or vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered
4 large garlic cloves
1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 tbsp butter
2-3 medium shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp fines herbes (parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable, if you prefer)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 c heavy cream or half and half
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet, drizzling with olive oil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour until tomatoes are soft and skins are dark brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, remove skins from tomatoes and garlic and discard.
Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over low heat. Add butter, shallots, fines herbes and salt and pepper, saute until the onions are soft. Add the roasted tomatoes and garlic, chicken or vegetable broth and tomato paste and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for 20-30 minutes.
After 20-30 minutes, puree the soup with an immersion blender in the pan, or remove from pan and puree in a blender and pour back into the pan.
Stir in heavy cream or half and half, blending thoroughly. Add additional salt and pepper to taste and garnish with a sprinkle of fines herbs (or julienned basil leaves). Serve in soup bowls with crusty herb bread (or over a grilled cheese sandwich on a plate!) and a glass of red wine. Comfort all around.
Caramelized Onion, Bacon and Cheese Quiche w/ Thyme and Fines Herbes
There’s nothing more comforting for breakfast in the Winter than a cozy quiche to warm your belly. This is a classic recipe based on Quiche Lorraine, but has the addition of Fines Herbs (chives, chervil, parsley and tarragon) and some fresh thyme and uses Cheddar rather than Swiss of Gruyere cheese. The onions are caramelized in a few tablespoons of bacon fat to give it a sweet and savory flavor. Feel free to make your own pie crust or use a pre-made crust (I like the frozen pie crusts from Fresh Direct and Pillsbury; they’re buttery and flaky and come out perfectly golden brown in the oven).
1 pie shell, unbaked
6 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
1 tbsp butter
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 large onion, diced fine
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp Fines Herbs
3 thyme sprigs (leaves only), minced fine
1/2 lb Cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Preheat large skillet on medium to medium-high heat.
Pre-cook the frozen pie shell in the oven for about 15 minutes until slightly golden but not fully cooked. Remove pie shell from the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet, and drain on paper towels. Once cooled, chop fine or crumble. Drain all but two tablespoons of bacon fat and leave in the skillet. Sauté the onions over medium heat in the bacon fat and 1 tbsp of butter for about 10-15 minutes until they are soft and golden. Remove onions from the heat in the skillet.
Whisk together eggs, milk and cream in a mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper, fines herbs and thyme, shredded cheese and mix together. Add the crumbled bacon to the pre-cooked pie shell. Pour egg, cheese and herbs mixture over the bacon.
Bake for an additional 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown, and the egg, cream and cheese filling is set. Test for doneness by pressing on the filling, it shouldn’t be too wet or runny.
Let cool for 10 minutes, cut into wedges for serving. Garnish with some additional thyme and fines herbs on top.
Pasta ‘Incaciata (Italian Eggplant and Cheese Timbale)
This is a Sicilian specialty called Pasta ‘Incaciata ~ a lovely baked pasta dish made with layered eggplant, stuffed with pasta, peas, ground veal, tomatoes and cheese. The Italian word timballo comes from an Arabic word meaning ‘drum’ – the dish is cooked in a round drumlike vessel which is a springform pan in this case. Basically it’s an eggplant and cheese “cake” that is a delicious one-pot dish perfect for a chilly winter day.
3 medium eggplant
2 tbsp EVOO, plus more as needed
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves
1/4 pound of ground veal
2 cups canned San Marzano tomatoes, pureed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
4 chicken livers (optional, for extra flavor)
2 tbsp sweet Marsala wine
1 pound penne pasta
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, diced and drained
1 1/2 cups grated Romano cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Lightly oil a sheet pan with the olive oil. Brush the slices with oil, season with salt, and place them on the pan and bake until lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes. Cool and set aside.
In a medium saute pan, add the 2 tbsp of oil and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and basil and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the veal, turn the heat on high and cook until the veal has lost its pink color, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook to concentrate the flavors, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 more tbsp of oil over high heat in a small skillet. Add the livers and saute until brown on the outside but still pink within, about 2 minutes. Add the Marsala wine, allow to cook off, cool and chop the livers. Stir in the peas and set aside to keep warm.
Oil a 10-inch springform cake pan liberally with the olive oil. Cook the penne in salted boiling water according to the package instructions. Drain and place in a mixing bowl. Add the veal sauce, livers, mozzarella and 1 cup of the Romano cheese and mix well.
Line the sides and bottom or the springform pan with the eggplant slices, reserving a few for the top. Spoon the pasta into the pan, pour the mixture over the pasta and cover with the remaining eggplant. Push with hands to make a firm “cake”.
Bake the timballo on a sheet pan until the cheeses are melted, 35-40 minutes. Cool 45 minutes and invert onto a serving plate leaving the pan in place for 10 minutes. Unmold, sprinkle with the remaining Romano cheese, slice and serve.
To reheat, replace the clean springform pan over the top of the dish and warm in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
Recipe from the Institute of Culinary Education, Techniques of Italian Cooking
Pumpkin and Onion Tarte Flambée (Flammekeuche)
Tarte Flambée is a delicious cross between a super thin crust pizza and a tart, originating in the Alsatian region of France. The German word Flammekeuche literally means “Flame Cake“, in French the term means “pie baked in flames”, due to the dish being cooked in a wood-fired oven. Tarte Flambée is typically made with creme fraiche and fromage blanc (a creamy soft French cow’s milk cheese) and then topped with lardons (pork fat) and onions, and other times made with Gruyere or Muenster cheese or mushrooms. This lovely recipe is made with pumpkin, feta cheese and red onion topped off with some fresh thyme and cracked black pepper. Perfect for warming up a chilly Fall night. Serve with a crisp Alsatian wine such as a Dry Reisling or Gewürztraminer.
1 box of puff pastry or pizza dough (store bought or homemade)
1 small to medium red onion, sliced lengthwise
½ cup of white wine (Alsatian, such as Riesling or Gewurztraminer)
1 tbsp butter
1 small pumpkin, sliced into very thin ribbons (can also use butternut squash)
1 cup of fromage blanc (a French soft white cow’s cheese, see recipe following)
1/3 cup crème fraiche (can substitute sour cream)
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
3 tbsp plain yogurt
a pinch of salt
Make the Fromage Blanc by blending the ricotta cheese, the yogurt and the salt for 30 seconds in a blender. Put into a covered bowl and chill for at least 12 hours.
When ready to make the pizza, preheat the oven to 450 F degrees.
Peel and cut the onion into thin length-wise slices. In a bowl, marinate it in the wine for approx. 20 minutes, then drain and pat dry, set aside.
Heat a medium-sized saute pan over medium heat.
Quarter and seed the pumpkin, then slice into very thin ribbon strips (a mandoline slicer works very well for this). Saute the pumpkin with the sliced onions in butter until they are slightly golden and soft, about 3-5 mins.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the creme fraiche, fromage blanc, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste, until smooth.
Roll the puff pastry or pizza dough out very thinly on a floured surface and place onto a large greased baking sheet. You can also cut the dough in half and make two smaller pizzas (either round or rectangular shaped is fine).
Spread the cream and cheese mixture onto the dough with a spatula, then sprinkle the onions on evenly along with the pumpkin and top with the crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle the oil all over the top.
Bake for 20 minutes or more until crispy and bubbly on top. Garnish with fresh thyme and additional freshly ground cracked pepper to taste.
Enjoy with a green salad with shaved parmesan and vinaigrette, and a glass of the Alsatian white wine.
Makes 1 medium tart, serves 4.
Lemon Zucchini Garlic Penne w/ Parm & Toasted Almonds
This is a lovely summer pasta dish I created that takes advantage of the seasonal fresh zucchini I had on hand. It has a bright lemony flavor from a wonderful Grapeseed Lemon Pepper infused oil I have by Tavern Direct but you could use extra virgin olive oil as there is lemon peel zest included in the recipe. Paired with roasted garlic chips, toasted almonds and a handful of grated Parmigiana Reggiano – this is a perfect light summer dish that can be enjoyed alone as a Main course or with a side salad with a lemony wine vinaigrette and some crusty bread. You could also top the pasta with some fresh ricotta salata and use whole wheat pasta if you prefer. Either way you make it, its delicious, light and refreshing…Enjoy!
1 package of penne rigate
4 garlic cloves, sliced very thin
2 zucchini, sliced in half, each half sliced into thin slices
Zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp red pepper flakes
A handful of sliced almonds
4 tbsp olive oil or lemon infused grapeseed oil (Tavern Direct brand is excellent)
Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded or grated
Bring a pot of water to boil adding salt and a dash of olive oil. Meanwhile, sliced garlic and zucchini and heat a large sauté pan over low heat.
Saute the garlic chips until they get a golden brown color. Add pasta to boiling water and cook 8 minutes until al dente.
Turn up the sauté pan to medium high and add the zucchini, red pepper, salt and pepper and sauté until soft, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add the almonds with a little more olive oil and sauté 1-2 minutes more until they are lightly golden brown and mix through.
Once pasta is done cooking, drain and reserve a few tablespoons of the pasta water. Add pasta and the reserved pasta water to the zucchini garlic mixture in the sauté pan and mix through. Sprinkle the pasta with lemon zest, a handful of shredded parmesan cheese, kosher salt and pepper to taste.
Grilled Shrimp Kabobs and Corn Tomato Salad
I love cooking in the summertime. Everything is ripe and fresh picked from the garden. Grills are heating up the neighborhood with scents of charcoal and BBQ smoke. This is a quick and easy dish to make when you have a few fresh items on hand and want to throw it all on the grill and on to the plate. Skewered grilled shrimp marinated in lemon, olive oil, parsley and garlic, cooks in less than 10 minutes. The salad is made with fresh corn, tomatoes, arugula and red onion, for a refreshing lovely side salad to accompany the shrimp. Happy Grilling!
1/4 cup vinaigrette dressing
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 clove fresh garlic, chopped fine
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
salt and pepper
1 lb large shrimp (cleaned, deveined, tails on)
Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl and add shrimp. Cover with plastic wrap or put in a freezer bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Soak bamboo skewers in water until softened and preheat grill to medium high. Thread shrimp on to skewers (4-6 depending on how long the skewers are). Grill for approximately 3-4 minutes per side, brushing reserved marinade on shrimp as they cook. Serve immediately with a lemon wedge and additional fresh parsley for garnish.
Corn and Tomato Salad
10 ears fresh corn, husked
2 lbs fresh plum tomatoes, diced into small cubes
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Arugula, washed and torn
Cook corn in salted boiling water for approximately 5 minutes and let cool. (You could also grill or roast the corn if you desire for a smokier, grilled flavor to the salad). Cut off corn kernels with a serrated knife into a bowl and mix in the tomatoes, onion, parsley, oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper the salad to taste. Serve over arugula leaves with Grilled Shrimp Kabobs, enjoy with crusty bread with olive oil and a glass of white wine. Yum!
Shrimp Orleans (Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Recipe)
The first time I tried Shrimp Orleans was in Annie’s Cafe in Austin, Texas and that was when I fell in love with this buttery, spicy dish. Typical to New Orleans style Cajun and Creole cooking, is also popular down in Texas for some reason (hot and spicy I gather?!) It’s similar to a Shrimp Creole but minus the peppers, celery and tomatoes, and there is no roux made with flour as a base in this dish. This isn’t a traditional BBQ sauce - the Orleans sauce is spicy but a lot smoother and creamier, and the Shrimp are sauteed in butter (A LOT OF IT!) with onion and white wine. The spicy, buttery savory Orleans BBQ sauce is made with Tabasco, garlic, cayenne, paprika and a lot more butter..which is the key ingredient to this delicious recipe – creamy and delicious with a kick! Serve over rice if desired, or a side of grilled Texas Toast to mop up the sauce. Perfect with a glass of dry white wine. This particular recipe below is from Ruth’s Chris Steak House - enjoy!
1 lb. butter
2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. whole dried rosemary leaves (measured, then finely chopped)
2 oz. (1/4 cup) garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 tsp. water
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. (16-20 count), cleaned, peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 C. chopped green onions
1/2 C. dry white wine
Sourdough bread, for serving
For Barbecue Butter: Soften butter at room temperature to 70-80 degrees. Place butter in mixing bowl; add pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, rosemary, garlic, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and water. Whip on high speed 3 minutes or until thoroughly blended. Refrigerate to 40 degrees. The following shrimp recipe will use 1 cup of the butter; reserve extra for another use. Makes about 2 1/2 cups of sauce.
For Shrimp: Pour olive oil in a hot saute pan. Add shrimp to the saute pan and cook on one side for 1-2 minutes. (Don’t crowd; if necessary, use 2 pans. A 12-inch pan will accommodate 1 pound of shrimp.) Reduce heat to medium, turn shrimp, and add the chopped green onion. Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add white wine and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup. Stir in 1 cup cold Barbecue Butter, reduce heat to low and cook and stir frequently until shrimp are just done (white throughout, moist and tender), approximately 1 1/2 minutes. Take care not to overcook the shrimp. Serve immediately in a bowl preheated to 160 degrees.
Grilled Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri is a lovely Brazilian sauce made of freshly chopped herbs such as parsley, cilantro and basil, mixed with olive oil, lemon, vinegar, red pepper flakes and garlic. It has a bright green color and a bright fresh flavor to match, perfect for topping over grilled chicken or steak. Serve with a side of steamed or grilled asparagus and garnish with extra chopped cilantro and lemon zest for a perfect Summer dish. Enjoy!
2 lbs chicken breasts and thighs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped fine
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, reserve some for garnish
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley, reserve some for garnish
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice and zest for garnish
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
1 lemon, sliced (for garnish)
Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place in a medium sized baking dish or large freezer bag. Combine olive oil, shallot, honey, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Pour marinade over chicken; cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours (or overnight if desired).
Finely chop herbs and garlic, mix together in a bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated (covered) overnight.
Heat grill over medium heat, and drain excess marinade off, leaving a little bit on chicken. Discard extra marinade.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken covered until cooked through about 15 minutes, turning once half way through. Brush lemon slices with a little bit of olive oil and grill for a few minutes on each side until grill marks appear and lemons are softened.
Transfer chicken to platter and spoon chimichurri sauce over the chicken. Garnish with lemon zest and a sprinkle of with extra chopped parsley or cilantro for color. Serve with a side of steamed asparagus and grilled lemons. Enjoy!
Roasted Beet Salad with Wine Vinaigrette
I recently went to Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto, a delightful Italian salumeria and trattoria on the Upper West Side in New York City. They have a gorgeous menu of small plates, salumi plates, and homemade Italian dishes originating from the Tuscan region in Italy. Chef Cesare Casella is the genius behind the menu, and while visiting I ate outside on a sunny weekend afternoon, sipping Pinot Grigio, sampling smoked prosciutto, tuscan cheese and a delightful Roasted Beet Salad with Wine Vinaigrette. The beets were a beautiful red plum color, perfectly roasted with a red wine vinaigrette, finely chopped onions and garnished with chopped chives. If this is what dining al fresco in Italy is like, take me there. I recreated this luscious beet salad at home by roasting some fresh beets and tossing them with olive oil and a Champagne wine vinegar and orange juice, tossed with some chopped and chives, onions, salt and pepper. Super easy and addicting!
2 1/2 pounds red beets, rinsed and greens trimmed
6 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons Champagne wine vinegar (can also use red or white wine vinegar)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons onion, finely minced
A handful of chives, finely minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Place beets in a roasting pan, adding 1/2 inch water. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a 400° oven until tender when pierced, 50 to 60 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/2-inch wedges.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine orange juice, vinegar, onion and olive oil. Add the warm beets and stir to coat. Garnish with chopped chives and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6 to 8.
Spicy Jalapeno Poppers with Jalapeno Puree
There is something about Jalapeno Poppers that I just can’t resist – the crunchy panko coating, married with the spicy, tangy peppers cooling the heat by a creamy, cheesy explosion in the center. I had some of these lovely gems last night at Brinkley’s Pub and Kitchen in NOHO New York City, and they were so delicious and beautifully presented I couldn’t resist digging up a recipe so you can make your own spicy little treats. The popper recipe is adapted from the original recipe by Ian Knauer, published in Gourmet Magazine, August 2008. Try to eat just one!
Spicy Jalapeno Poppers
12 fresh jalapenos
1/2 cup coarsely grated Cheddar
1/2 cup coarsely grated Monterey Jack
2/3 cup cream cheese (or Mascarpone)
1 tsp. hot sauce
3 large eggs
1 cup plain fine dry bread crumbs
2 tsp fresh minced oregano
Canola oil, for frying
Equipment: a deep-fat thermometer
Blanch the jalapenos in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath to immediately stop the cooking. Cut a lengthwise slit from stem to bottom of each chile. Make a crosswise incision at stem end, forming a T.
Pry open enough to hold back long cuts to expose ribs and seeds, then devein and seed using tip of a pairing knife and kitchen shears. Stir together cheeses, hot sauce, 1/4 tsp pepper and 3/4 tsp salt.
Shape a small portion of the filling like a torpedo that will fit inside the chiles. Fill chiles with cheese mixture, pressing seams closed after filling, so that cheese is compacted and chile remains its shape.
Put some all-purpose flour in a shallow bowl or dish. Lightly beat eggs in a small shallow bowl. Stir together bread crumbs, oregano, and 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper in another shallow bowl.
Dip chiles in flour, shake of excess, then dip into the egg, letting excess drip off, then coat with bread crumbs, transferring to a work surface. Repeat coating with egg and crumbs to form a second layer.
Heat 2 inches oil to 325 degrees in a medium saucepan (you will know the oil is hot when you see it shimmering and bubbling on the surface). Fry chiles in 3 batches, stirring occassionally, until golden brown all over, 5-6 minutes per batch. Transfer to several layers of paper towels to drain. Return oil to 325 degrees F between batches.
5 fresh jalapeño chiles
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 T fresh lime juice
1 T water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup packed fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
Sformato di Pecorino (Pecorino Flan)
In a Tuscan cooking class at the Institute of Culinary Education, I discovered a super delicious little treat – Pecorino Flan. It’s a simple dish made of Tuscan Pecorino and Parmigiana Reggiano cheese, milk, flour and eggs and baked in oven tins until golden brown. It’s almost like a savory custard tart, without a crust that is so good combined with roasted pears and arugula. It makes an ideal Spring brunch menu item and pairs nice with a glass of crisp Tuscan wine. You’ll love the flavors of the creamy tangy cheeses along with the peppery arugula and warm roasted pears. Delicious!
Mix all ingredients together and pour into buttered individual ramekins or aluminum cups and bake until set and golden brown. Invert onto serving plate, serve with arugula and roasted pears.
4 pears, peeled and cut into large chunks
8 shallots, large chunks
Extra Virgin olive oil
Toss all ingredients together in a roasting pan and roast at 400 degrees until browned. Serve on a plate of arugula leaves topped with Pecorino Flan and a crisp white Tuscan wine to heighten the flavors of the pears and cheese.
Recipe originated from Gina Stipo, Chef Instructor and Author of Ecco La Cucina
Butternut Squash Ravioli w/ Sage Brown Butter
Nothing sounds better to me right now than some yummy ravioli filled with buttery squash, buttery crispy sage, buttery browned nuts topped with some buttery brown butter sauce. Wow. Guess it’s a sign that we are in the dead of Winter and in some serious need of comfort, which I believe this recipe can deliver…in the blink of an eye.
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 stick of butter
12 fresh sage leaves, ripped
1/2 c. dried cranberries
freshly grated nutmeg
freshly grated parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. roasted walnuts or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
2 packages of butternut squash ravioli (frozen or fresh)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, chop shallot and roasted walnuts. Slowly add ravioli to boiling water and cook accordingly.
While pasta is cooking, stir butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sage, shallots, cranberries and nuts and cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with pepper and nutmeg. Gently plate ravioli and top with brown butter sage sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
White Magic Espresso
Warm up a wintry night with one of these steaming cups of espresso and white chocolate milk. The recipe suggests adding a nip of brandy to make it even more bone-warming..I think a bit of whipped cream with some white chocolate shavings would make it even more DELECTABLE.
1 1/2 cups ground espresso beans
6 cups boiling water
5 cups milk
15 oz. white chocolate, chopped
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Set a drip-coffee cone with a filter over a heatproof glass measuring cup or pitcher and add the ground espresso. Slowly pour in the boiling water until you have 5 cups of coffee. In a medium saucepan, scald the milk. Whisk until frothy. Whisk in the white chocolate. Pour the coffee into warm mugs. Pour the milk over the coffee. Dust each serving with cocoa powder and serve.
Makes 10 servings.
White Chocolate Latte
Here is another version of the recipe above but it uses instant coffee and has some vanilla and almond extract to give it a nutty, sweet flavor.
2 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup white chocolate morsels
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Whipped cream (optional)
Garnish: cinnamon sticks
Stir first 4 ingredients together in a small saucepan over low heat until white chocolate morsels are melted. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts; pour evenly into 4 mugs. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Garnish, if desired, and serve immediately.
Recipe source: Southern Living, MyRecipes.com, Original Recipe from Karyn Dardar, Montegut, Louisiana, Southern Living, OCTOBER 2004
Hello Dollies were always my favorite Holiday cookies that my Mom used to make. They’re gooey, sweet and chewy and delicious and super easy to make. Layers of chocolate chips, buttery graham cracker crumbs, coconut, chopped pecans and sweetened condensed milk make a yummy treat that is sure to sweeten your holidays. These are truly a chocolate and coconut dream.
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, cut into large pieces
1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs (about 8 graham crackers, pulsed in a food processor)
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat until melted, add graham cracker crumbs and stir together for a few minutes until coated well. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of a glass casserole dish. Layer chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut on top of crushed graham crackers. Pour condensed milk over entire dish, top with more coconut.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until the top is light brown. Let the dish cool in the refrigerator and then cut into squares for serving.
Creamy Beef Stroganoff
Beef Stroganoff is a dish that always reminds me of home - my mother used to make this on cold winter nights as a special treat for my Dad who is a total ‘meat and potatoes guy’ and obsessed with anything beefy and creamy with noodles and gravy. She sometimes prepared her recipe with Ground Beef but I’ve adapted her recipe a bit, and also added a few ingredients I’ve seen in other Beef Stroganoff recipes to make my own savory version of this classic winter dish. Enjoy with a green salad on the side and a glass of red wine. Delicious!
2 tbsp butter
¼ c. flour
½ lb. fresh white mushrooms, sliced (2 c.)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. butter
2 lbs. round steak (sliced ¼”-1/2” thick)
1 tsp salt
1.5 c beef broth
1/3 c. red wine
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 package wide egg noodles
Boil a large pot of water and cook egg noodles per directions. While water is boiling, heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion, mushrooms and garlic until soft in 2 tbsp butter and remove from pan. Cut steak into strips 2 ½” long and ¾” wide. Melt 2 tbsp butter in pan. Toss steak strips in flour and coat. Brown meat in butter until well browned on both sides. Add salt and pepper, worcestershire, wine and broth. Simmer, stirring occasionally until meat is tender (about 1 ¼ hours). Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme and parsley and cook about 7 mins until sauce thickens. Add sour cream, stir until smooth and remove from heat. Serve over hot buttered egg noodles and garnish with more parsley.
To make a casserole: combine beef stroganoff mixture with cooked egg noodles with butter and spoon into a greased casserole dish. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven and then top casserole with crunchy fried onions and bake 10 mins more until onions are crunchy and golden brown.