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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Tiramisu

Sorry that you are getting this a little early this week, as we are off Sunday for our Grape Escape. I will try to prepare a couple more recipes for posting when I get a quiet moment. In the meantime follow us on our journey through Wine Country…first California and then British Columbia. The new blog site is http://www.grapesahoy.wordpress.com

This recipe is my favorite Italian dessert. I first had it when it was prepared by my Italian cleaning lady when I was working at Riverside Secondary School. Thanks to Adriana (who even gave me the espresso pot) I have been making it ever since! This particular recipe comes from Food Network as well….Disfrutalo!

Tiramisu

Ingredients

  • 6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup good dark rum, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed espresso, divided
  • 16 to 17 ounces mascarpone cheese (Costco or Superama)
  • 30 Italian ladyfingers, or savoiardi (in Merida, they are available at Liverpool).
  • Bittersweet chocolate, shaved or grated
  • Confectioners’ sugar, optional

Directions

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until very thick and light yellow. Lower the speed to medium and add 1/4 cup rum, 1/4 cup espresso, and the mascarpone. Whisk until smooth.

Combine the remaining 1/4 cup rum and 1 1/4 cups espresso in a shallow bowl. Dip 1 side of each ladyfinger in the espresso/rum mixture and line the bottom of a 9 by 12 by 2-inch dish. Pour half the espresso cream mixture evenly on top. Dip 1 side of the remaining ladyfingers in the espresso/rum mixture and place them in a second layer in the dish. Pour the rest of the espresso cream over the top. Smooth the top and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Before serving, sprinkle the top with shaved chocolate and dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

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Penne with Cheddar and Bacon

Just had a hankering for real macaroni and cheese, but I do prefer penne! Found this great comfort food recipe on Food Network and it was awesome. With a side salad it is really comforting….

Penne ‘N Cheese with Bacon and Cheese (courtesy of Tyler Florence &  Food Network)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/tyler-florence/index.html

Total Time: 1 hr (Prep 20 min Cook 40 min) Yield:        6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound penne
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 or 3 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 1/2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar (can use half cheddar and half manchego)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips (I used pancetta, but Jamon Serrano works too))
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed

Directions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the penne and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small saucepan heat the milk with the thyme sprigs and 2 garlic cloves. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming. Whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked penne and the parsley and fold that all in to coat the penne with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

While that bakes, heat a sauté pan. Add the bacon, render the fat and cook until crispy. Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking bacon mixture on each spoonful.

Chocolate Nut Tart

I first made this recipe for a church function which was called “Broadway and Chocolate”. Members of the choir performed Broadway melodies and during several intermissions, you submitted tickets which entitled you to a plate of various chocolate desserts which had been made by the church members. It was a great fundraiser. That was 7 years ago and still this recipe stands the test of time…I just made it today! Served with a very good vanilla ice cream makes it even better.  Keep the slices small as it is quite rich!!!

Chocolate Nut Tart

Makes: One large tart Total Time: 1 hour (can be made ahead)

what you need

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 T chilled butter in 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 T whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 c toasted whole almonds (4 oz)
  • 3/4 c hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 3/4 c walnuts
  • 3/4 c light corn syrup
  • 1/4 c light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c melted butter cooled (1/2 stick)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

make it

Cookie Crust – Combine flour and sugar in processor. Cut in the butter using on/off motion. Add whipping cream and vanilla. On/off motion until moist clumps. Add more cream if too dry. Press dough over bottom and up sides of 11″ diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Let stand for 30 minutes. (I think you could also just do  these as bars in a square pan).

Filling -Combine all nuts in food processor. Chop coarsely. Whisk syrup, sugar and butter in large bowl. Add eggs and extracts. Mix in chocolate chips. Add nuts. Transfer into crust.

Bake at 350 degrees about 40-50 minutes.

Six Hour Boneless Leg of Lamb (LCBO Ontario)

Have done this recipe three times now and always works out stunningly. I gather the secret is in the slow cooking temperatures. Not to worry, you really do not taste the anchovies when this is cooked…Follow the directions as shown. If you must, serve with traditional mint jelly, but I liked the fresh mint leaves better. Unfortunately we cannot find rutabagas all the time, so I substituted baby potatoes with skins on. For those not in the know. the LCBO/LLBO in Ontario puts out a seasonal magazine called “Food and Drink” from which this recipe was taken. You can find it by doing a Google search –

http://www.lcbo.com/fooddrink/recipes.shtml

So here it is…

Six-Hour Leg of Lamb
Autumn 2008
By: Lucy Waverman

This method of preparing lamb originated in the days of mutton, which needed to be cooked for a long time before it was tender. This is a superb dish with its long slow-cooking time of up to 6 hours, which gives a meltingly soft, sweet finish that can be cut with a spoon. You will need to make it 1 day ahead in order to remove all the fat from the sauce. 

4 anchovies
2 cloves garlic
5 lb (2.2 kg) lamb leg on the bone or boneless leg of lamb
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil

Vegetables

12 shallots, peeled and trimmed (or one large white onion chopped)
4 carrots, peeled, halved, thicker ends cut in half
1 small rutabaga peeled, or baby potatoes with skins and cut into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (250 mL) red wine
2 cups (500 mL) beef or chicken stock
1 cup (250 mL) canned tomatoes with juice
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme or substitute two fresh rosemary sprigs
2 whole heads garlic, trimmed

Garnish            ¼ cup (50 mL) chopped mint

1. Preheat oven to 250ºF (120ºC).

2. Chop anchovies together with garlic. Cut slits all over lamb and insert some of the mixture into each slit. Season well with salt and pepper.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb and brown all over, about 8 minutes. Remove lamb, reduce heat to medium and add shallots, carrots and rutabaga/potatoes. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly tinged with brown. Season with salt and pepper. Remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside, reserving skillet for sauce.

4. Place lamb in a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole with a lid.

5. Place wine, stock, tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme or rosemary sprigs in reserved skillet and bring to boil, stirring up all the little brown bits. Pour over lamb and cover tightly. Bake for 2 hours, turn lamb and add reserved carrots and rutabaga and bake another 2 hours. Turn again, add shallots and garlic and bake for remaining 2 hours or until lamb is so tender you can cut it with a spoon.

6. Remove vegetables from sauce and chill vegetables and lamb separately, covered, overnight.

7. Remove lamb from pot and skim fat from cooking liquid. Bring cooking liquid to a boil and reduce until full of flavour and slightly thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.

8. Carve lamb from bone and reheat meat and accompanying vegetables in sauce until warm. Transfer to a serving platter and serve lamb garnished with vegetables. Sprinkle with fresh mint if desired.

Serves 8

Chocolate Chile Ice Cream

Yeppers, Larry has been at it again, experimenting with different ice cream flavours! Our neighbour, Wendy, likes to bring us chocolate and chile chocolate bars when  she comes to dinner as she knows we enjoy them so much. Et voila (as Larry would say in French)…this was the inspiration for this recipe. It is very rich to say the least. Yesterday we served it with a raspberry sauce which Larry also ‘enriched’ with a few more bits of ancho pepper, drizzled on the plate for additional heat and decoration. Actually the ice cream is NOT hot…the taste of the peppers is very subtle…..

Chocolate Chile Ice Cream

Ingredient list

A          2 eggs + 2 egg yolks

1/3 cup brown sugar

B          1 cup whole milk

9 oz. bitter-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 dried chile pasilla, ancho or arbol

C          2 cups heavy cream

2 Tbsp. Kahlua or whatever you think would taste good with the chocolate and chile

½ cup chocolate chips (sweet or semi-sweet)

D         ¼ cup chocolate chips (sweet or semi-sweet)

½ cup of chopped, toasted almonds or other nuts

Preparation Sequence

Note:  It is quite easy to prepare the toasted almonds over a low heat, while doing Steps A and B simultaneously.

A          Set up a “bain-Marie”, bring water to a boil and turn down to a simmer.

Place the eggs, yolks and brown sugar in the bain-Marie and beat until light and fluffy.

B          In a separate pot place the chopped bittersweet chocolate, cinnamon, milk and the chile. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted, the mixture is smooth and creamy and milk is almost boiling, about 170 to 180 F. Pour onto the egg mixture, discarding the chile, and beat well. Let cool.  Slit open the chile, remove and separate the seeds, finely chop the chile and set aside to add to the mixture during step D.  Note:  Only add the chopped chile and seeds to obtain the amount of “kick” that you want in the finished product.   As an alternative, you could just add a few flakes of dried chile.  The problem is, you don’t know how much “heat” you will have until you taste the frozen ice-cream, so you have to experiment!!!!  

C          Lightly whip the cream, Kahlua and vanilla together in a separate bowl.  Add the cooled chocolate custard mixture from part C and the ½ cup of chocolate chips.  Blend together with a spatula.

D          Transfer the mixture to an ice cream machine and process for about 15–20 minutes. Add in the remaining ¼ cup of chips and the ¾ cup of almonds and process for approximately another 5-10 minutes, adding in the chile slowly.  Transfer to containers for freezing.  Remove from freezer about 15 minutes to allow ice cream to soften slightly for easy serving.