Monday, August 29, 2011

gruyere and parmesan souffle

Souffles intimidating?
Not anymore!

This is literally foolproof.
I've made it with the recommended gruyere and parmesan.
I've made it with sharp white cheddar.
I've made it without parmesan.
I've made it with fontina.

I've made it with room temperature eggs.
I've made it with cold eggs.

I've made it with more salt.
I've made it with less salt.
I've made it with double the cayenne.

I've made it in the proper 10 cup souffle dish.

I've made it in 8 small ramekins.

Okay, I think we get it.
It's foolproof.

Just try it.
It's super easy....just get all the steps laid out before so you can move smoothly through the recipe.
It's perfect for a dinner party or wedding shower brunch or tea with the ladies.
(Just get it to the table'll have about 45 seconds before it starts to fall!)
You can even make it in advance, just shy of baking and freeze it!

Gruyere and Parmesan Souffle
Serves 4-6.
Bon Appetit!
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (packed) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 large egg whites

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400*. Generously butter one 10-cup souffle dish or six 1 1/4-cup souffle dishes or eight 1 cup ramekins.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to coat. (If using 1 1/4-cup dishes or 1 cup ramekins, place all on rimmed baking sheet.) Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Cook without browning until mixture begins to bubble, whisking constantly, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, then wine. Cook until smooth, thick and beginning to boil, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix yolks, salt and pepper in small bowl. Add yolk mixture all at once to sauce and whisk quickly to blend. Fold in 1 1/4 cups Gruyere cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (cheeses do not need to melt). Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm soufflĂ© base to lighten. Fold in remaining whites. Transfer soufflĂ© mixture to prepared dish(es). Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Gruyere cheese.
Reduce heat to 375* and place souffle in oven. Bake souffle until puffed, golden and gently set in center, about 40 minutes for large souffle (or 25 minutes for small souffles). Using oven mitts, transfer souffle to platter and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

homemade almond joys

Intriguing, no?

I was perusing one of my favorite foodie sites, Joy the Baker, and saw this.

And since Almond Joys are one of my favorite candies,
I had to continue reading.

Once I read through the recipe, it made perfect sense!
Condensed milk was the secret!

Yummy, sticky, gooey condensed milk.
To make all the coconut stick together.
Press a toasted almond on top and dunk in chocolate.
Easy peasy.

Homemade Almond Joys
Makes 25-30.
Taken from Joy the Baker.
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
25-30 almonds
about 20 ounces (a bag and a half) of good quality semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350*, spread raw almonds onto a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract.  

Stir in the unsweetened coconut.  The mixture will be thick.  Place mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes.  It's easier to work with if it's a little cold.

*See how the flakes are so big.  You do not want this.  The only unsweetened coconut I could find was in big flakes and not shredded.  I would process the flakes to make them easier to deal with the next time.*

Remove the coconut mixture from the freezer.  With clean hands shape one tablespoon of coconut into a little log about 2" long and 3/4" thick.  Press the logs together very well so they don't crack when dipped.    Place the logs on a baking sheet and continue until all of the coconut mixture is gone.  Rinse hands occasionally if they get too sticky.  Press an almond on top of each coconut log.  Press as firmly as you can. Place the baking sheet in the fridge to chill while you melt the chocolate.

Put the chocolate chips in a large glass bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds on high.  Stir.  Continue microwaving until chocolate is melted, about 30 more seconds, pausing to stir after every 10 seconds.  Do not let burn!
Remove the coconut candies from the fridge.  Place one coconut almond log on a fork.  Use a spoon to scoop a bit of chocolate over the almond.  This will help the almond stick to the candy and not fall off during dipping.  Lower fork into chocolate and spoon chocolate over candy to coat.  Lift fork and gently shake to release some of the chocolate.  Scrape the bottom of the fork along the side of the bowl and place on the lined baking sheet.  You might need a toothpick to help get the candy off the fork. Repeat until all candy is coated in chocolate.  

Let dipped candy harden in the fridge for 45 minutes.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.  


Sunday, August 21, 2011

spinach and feta hummus

Umm, yum, right??

And hummus is already healthful but if you add spinach??

(disregard the feta...but, really, feta is a very healthy cheese, if you think about it....) :)

No, but really, this is really, really good.

And, as always, hummus is super easy and delicious.
Easy appetizer and can be made in advance for parties.

Honestly, still not my favorite, but a close second!

Spinach and Feta Hummus
Makes about 2 cups or so.
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, cleaned and dried (for better results) OR if you are lazy, use a 1/3 package frozen, defrosted spinach (as shown, the lazy girl's kitchen)
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
5 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Combine the garbanzo beans, spinach, olive oil, lemon juice and tahini in a large food processor. Pulse until combined. Add the feta, red pepper flakes, garlic and salt. Pulse until combined. Taste and add salt or more red pepper flakes if desired.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

double decker club sammies

I hate boring.
Boring salads.
Boring sandwiches.
Boring boring.

But, these.
These are quite something.
From the Pioneer Woman so you know they aren't gonna be boring.

Filled with bacon, ham, turkey, avocado, cheese, and two different kinds of mayos.
Um, yes.
Yes, please.

Double Decker Club Sammies
Pioneer Woman Cooks
Serves 4.
12 slices sandwich bread (I used 1/2 rye and 1/2 pumpernickel!)
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon basil pesto (homemade or storebought)
1 tablespoon prepared sundried tomato pesto (or just a couple of pureed sundried tomatoes)
8 slices bacon, sliced in half
1/2 pound sliced deli ham
1/2 pound sliced deli turkey
4 whole avocados, sliced
4 slices cheese (swiss, mozzarella, or whatever you'd like)
Romaine lettuce

Toast bread until light golden brown. Set aside.
Fry bacon until just barely crisp, then set on a paper towel to drain off excess grease. Set aside.
Mix together two tablespoons mayonnaise with basil pesto and in a separate bowl, mix the other two tablespoons mayonnaise with sundried tomato pesto.
Okay, when all that is done, start the sammies!
To make one sandwich, spread two pieces of bread with basil pesto. On one piece of bread, lay ham on top of pesto mayo, then top with cheese and lettuce. On other piece of bread, lay the slices of 1/2 avocado on top of the pesto mayo. Top avocado with bacon. Put the two sides together, ingredients in.  
Next, on the top of the top piece of bread, spread the sundried tomato mayonnaise. Spread one side of the third piece of bread with sundried tomato mayonnaise. Place ham, cheese, and lettuce on top. Place other half of the avocado slices on the other piece of bread. Top with bacon slices. Place this piece of bread, ingredient side down, on top of the first piece of bread.
Cut in half or quarters, on the diagonals and enjoy!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

espresso cookies with white chocolate chips

Don't these sound awesome?
They are.

And don't they look awesome?
They do, don't they?

It's like a cappuccino in a cookie.
I mean, really?
What else could be better?

The espresso granules kinda crunch ever so slightly when you bite into the cookie.
And the white chocolate chips melt in your mouth, like the cream of the cappuccino.

I really wish I would have made more.
Because they are definitely all gone and all this talk about white chocolate melting makes me want more.
Right. Now.

Espresso Cookies with White Chocolate Chips
Makes about 3 dozen.
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
1 cup Crisco or softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350*.
Sift together the flour, soda and salt.  Whisk in the espresso powder.  Set aside.

Cream together the Crisco and sugars, until creamy, about 3 minutes.

Add egg and yolk and vanilla and beat again.

Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix until just combined.

Fold in white chocolate chips.

Drop dough onto cooking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, until slightly golden.  Let sit for a few minutes on the sheet and then remove to cool completely.

Or just stuff a hot one in your mouth.
But watch the molten chocolate chips.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

homemade buttermilk syrup

Have you heard of this??
I hadn't.

So, while we were making buttermilk pancakes for breakfast and had leftover buttermilk, I remembered that I had this recipe bookmarked and pulled it up!

So. Good.
Go make it.
And let's pretend that I didn't eat it with a spoon after breakfast.

Buttermilk Syrup
Makes about a cup.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large pot, combine butter, sugar, buttermilk, and light corn syrup, and bring to a boil for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add baking soda and vanilla. Mixture will fizz up to about twice the size so watch it!  Set it aside to thicken while stirring occasionally. Pour the lovely honey-colored syrup over waffles, pancakes, or French toast!

Friday, August 5, 2011

fondue cheesecake bites

I love appetizer ideas.
I love easy appetizer ideas.
In fact, I like appetizers that are so easy that they can be made the day before and sit at room temperature for as long as you need until your guests arrive.
And you have time to change.
And change your baby's clothes.
And then change again because he just spit up all over you.
And still have time to answer the door with glasses of wine and lead your guests to the delicious little savory cheesecake bites that await them.

Fondue Cheesecake Bites
Makes 24.
Adapted loosely from a Cuisine at Home recipe.
10 sheets phyllo dough
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup shallots, minced
6 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1 cup Boursin cheese, crumbled
6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 egg
Grapes, halved, optional

Preheat the oven to 325*.  Lightly grease a 24 count mini-muffin pan.
Open phyllo dough and cover with a damp kitchen towel.  Lay one sheet of phyllo out, recover the others with the damp towel and brush with melted butter.  Lay another sheet on top and repeat brushing with butter and layering until you've used 5 sheets.  Cut out 2-3" circles and put into the mini muffin tins.  Repeat with the other 5 sheets until you get 24 little cups.  Bake 10 minutes until golden and remove to cool a bit.

Boil wine with shallots in a saucepan over high heat until liquid has almost evaporated.  Reduced heat to low, then whisk in cream cheese until melted, stir in Boursin and Parmesan until smooth, then whisk in the egg.  Spoon 1 tablespoon cheese mixture into each muffin cup, then bake 15 minutes, or until set in the center.  

Cool 5 minutes before serving.  If you'd like, top with halved grapes and enjoy!

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