Showing posts with label new cookbooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new cookbooks. Show all posts

14 October 2010

Healthy Recipe: Fiesta Southwestern Cheesecake, Oven Baked French Toast

Check out a creative beautiful dish that is a lower calorie version of our favorite Mexican flavors.



From Denny:  Out local TV show (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) personality and chef is delighting her fans with yet more great tasting recipes in her latest cookbook.  She specializes in lots of flavor without packing on the pounds.  Clegg's recipes are  simple and user friendly too, aimed at women of all ages.  Of course, to give you a grin there are those whimsical illustrations along with the full-color photos.




New Book:  "Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age" by Holly Clegg

(Save 28 percent by purchasing from Amazon Books)


Clegg's concept for this book was to make the book very visually pleasing so it would be eye-catching to give as a gift.  It's packed full of information and focused upon great recipes.  Clegg's books are always the kind of recipes that stimulate you to want to cook.  This book is 237-pages, featuring 200 recipes, 100 photographs and illustrations and also details  the nutritional and diabetic exchange information too.  There are also special icons to draw your attention to those recipes that are freezer friendly or vegetarian.

Some of what sets this cookbook apart from the rest is she gives advice as to which types of coffee will pair best with a particular recipe: medium-light, dark roasts or flavored coffees.  Like any good Louisiana cook she also offers up advice on spices, serving suggestions and cooking information.

And get this, Clegg has a chapter called “Diva Dermatology.”  Here she parks her  recipes for facials - which are made from everyday foods:  Avocado Carrot Cream Mask, Applelicious Wash and Margarita Salt Body Buffer.  Holly Clegg has always a reputation for being fun and this new book sure captures her essence for others to enjoy.

The majority of the new book, is for what Clegg  is most famous:  recipes "designed for busy women.… as they experience and embrace the many stages of life,” she says.

In the first chapter of the book, "Foods to Improve," she gives an overview of the best foods to include in your diet.  "Remember to eat with color," she advises, "using the colors of fruits and vegetables to ensure you will get a wide range of vitamins and minerals into your daily eating."

For the busy cook there is an amusing chapter called "Lovin' No Oven."  You guessed it.  These are recipes where you can skip turning on the oven and running up your utility bill or spend more time on a recipes.  There are yummy recipes like Tomato Bruschetta and Lemon Pie.

For the busiest among us, Clegg designed her "Quickies" chapter.  These recipes require just a few ingredients and are very easy to pull together:  Watermelon and Feta Salsa, Home-Style Chicken and Chocolate Fudgies.
Party recipes for groups: "Effortless Entertaining" is the chapter to visit.

For those empty nesters, the retired or young couples without children, Clegg has a chapter for recipes for just two servings: "Table For Two."  These recipe gems are simple and make-ahead for entertaining if you like.  There are high fiber, sweets, breakfast, snack foods and even ethnic-inspired:  Asian Slides With Pineapple Salsa to Garlic Fried Rice.


If you want to pay full retail for this book it can be ordered from her websites: Holly Clegg or The Healthy Cooking Blog - $24.95, plus tax and handling or call 1-800-884-6559.

Here’s a recipe from the book that would be welcome at tailgate or holiday parties.


Chillis


Fiesta Southwestern Cheesecake

From: “Holly Clegg’s trim & TERRIFIC Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age — 200 Simple and Sexy Recipes”

Makes: 20-25 servings. Make ahead and freeze this savory Southwestern-style cheesecake for an appetizer taste sensation. If freezing, top with salsa when serving.

Ingredients:

1 cup toasted corn Chex cereal crumbs
1 tbl. butter, melted
1 tbl. olive oil
2 (8-oz.) pkgs. reduced-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup nonfat sour cream
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
2 (4-oz.) cans chopped green chilies, drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups salsa, divided

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In springform pan, mix together cereal crumbs, butter and oil, press into bottom of prepared pan.

In mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, egg and egg whites until creamy. Add garlic, chili powder and cumin, mixing well.

Fold in cheddar cheese, green chilies, green onions and onion. Carefully spread half mixture over crust, top with 1 cup salsa, and cover with remaining cream cheese mixture; do not mix.

Bake 50-60 minutes or until mixture is set. Remove from oven, let cool in pan 10 minutes. Run knife around inside edge to loosen; remove sides from pan. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator and top with remaining 1 cup salsa.

Spicy advice: For extra flavor and kick, use a flavored salsa such as roasted tomato or your favorite. I like to purchase fresh salsa from the grocery store. Also, you can add shrimp or crabmeat to cheesecake for a seafood southwestern version.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 96 calories, 58 percent calories from fat, 6 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 252 milligrams sodium, 6 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 2 grams sugar and 4 grams protein.



From Denny: This recipe from the cookbook too was a huge hit with a cook who wrote a review over at Amazon Books. She forgot to put up the nutritional information but raved about how easy it was to make and, most of all, how popular it was with the group who scarfed it down in no time.


One Dish Oven Baked French Toast

Makes: 10 servings

Ingredients:

1 large loaf French Bread, cut into 1-inch thick squares (whole wheat my be used)
1 (10 oz) jar seedless all natural blackberry fruit spread
1 (8 oz) package reduced-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup skim milk
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 cups fat-free half-and-half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Coat 13x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray

Place half of French bread squares in prepared baking pan. In microwave-safe dish, heat fruit spread until melted, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over bread.

In bowl, beat together cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar and milk until smooth. Drop over bread mixture and cover with remaining French squares.

In large bow, whisk together eggs, egg whites, brown sugar, half-and-half, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour mixture evenly over bread. Gently press bread into liquid mixture, cover, and refrigerate as time permits, preferably overnight.

Preheat over 325 degrees. Bake, covered, 30-35 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes more or until bread is golden.






New Book:  "Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age" by Holly Clegg

(Save 28 percent by purchasing from Amazon Books)

*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

24 September 2010

Sesame-Ginger Truffles From Culinary Institute of America

A simple tasty recipe worth of gift giving during the holidays.



From Denny: With the holiday season approaching, how about trying out a few new recipes to give as gifts or delight your guests when entertaining? I'm always up for a new recipe when it comes to chocolate delights! :) This gem of a recipe comes from the folks over at the Culinary Institute of America. Their cookbook is linked to Amazon Books where you can save on the retail price if you decide to purchase it.

I have a veritable library of wonderful cookbooks. Cookbooks are a fun way to get inside the head of a culture if you are exploring ethnic food. Cookbooks from professional organizations like this one are a great way to find out just how much you do know and fill in the blanks with valuable information.

Sesame-Ginger Truffles

From: Chocolates and Confections at Home with The Culinary Institute of America

Makes: 48 pieces

Skill level: 2


The nontraditional combination of sesame and chocolate is brought to life with the addition of ginger. Fresh ginger gives the best results.


Ingredients:

4 oz (1/2 cup) Heavy cream
1½ oz (2 tbsp) Light corn syrup
1 oz (1/4 cup) Ginger, peeled and grated
1 oz (2 tbsp) Tahini
8 oz (1 1/3 cups) Dark chocolate, pistoles or chopped in ½-inch pieces
1 tsp Toasted sesame oil
1/2 oz (2 tbsp) Chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
12 oz (2 cups) Dark chocolate or dark compound coating, chopped in ½-inch pieces, for dipping
Toasted sesame seeds or finely chopped crystallized ginger, for garnish (optional), as needed

Directions:

1. Line a 9 × 13–inch baking pan with parchment paper.

2. Combine the cream, corn syrup, and grated ginger in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil.

3. Remove from the heat. Add the tahini and chopped dark chocolate or pistoles to the cream and stir until smooth and homogeneous.

4. Stir in the sesame oil.

5. Strain the ganache through a fine-mesh strainer.

6. Stir the crystallized ginger into the ganache, if desired.

7. Pour the finished ganache into the baking pan to make a thin layer and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more until the ganache is firm.

8. Put the ganache in a mixer bowl and mix on medium speed using a paddle attachment for 30 seconds. Or stir vigorously in a mixing bowl by hand, using a spatula.

9. Allow the ganache to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

10. Using a #100 scoop or a teaspoon, scoop out balls of ganache and place on the sheet pan at room temperature.

11. When all of the ganache has been scooped, roll each portion by hand into a round ball.

12. Melt and temper the chocolate for dipping using the procedure on page 36. If using compound coating, follow the heating instructions on the package.

13. Dip the ganache centers in the tempered chocolate or compound coating using one of the techniques illustrated on pages 44 and 45.

14. After dipping, but before the chocolate sets fully, garnish with toasted sesame seeds or finely chopped crystallized ginger as desired.


Keys to Success:

• Make sure the ganache has enough time to firm in the refrigerator.
• An hour is a good guideline, but it is okay to leave it longer, even overnight if desired.
• Resting the ganache after mixing allows it to harden slightly, which makes scooping much easier.




Chocolates and Confections at Home with The Culinary Institute of America


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

11 May 2010

Triple Chocolate Toffee Brownies

From Denny: Who doesn't love brownies? If more people fought wars with brownies instead of bullets there would be no squabbles worth fighting! :)

Here's a recipe I ran across in our local newspaper when they were doing a cookbook review on a Food and Wine cookbook that features the best recipes from many recently published cookbooks. This recipe really loads you up on chocolate: semi-sweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, mini-chocolate chips and then toffee chips. Whew! A serious download of chocolate and intense flavor. Sounds like pure Heaven.

Remember to stick with unsalted butter as the chocolate chips already have some salt in them - and eggs have natural salt in them too. Trust the recipe; you don't need to add any more salt.

There's also a link to my Amazon store where you can purchase the book at a discounted rate. Never pay retail is my motto! :)




From: “The Art and Soul of Baking” by Sur La Table with Cindy Mushet

From Amazon review:

2009 IACP Cookbook Awards Winner! Nominated for a 2009 James Beard Foundation Award.

Sur La Table teamed with pastry chef and baking teacher Cindy Mushet to bring you the ultimate guide to baking. Beautiful photographs and more than 250 easy-to-follow recipes lead you into a world of alluring aromas and light, flaky pastries. Illustrated asides take you step by step through important techniques, from carmelizing sugar to working with croissant dough. Plus, you'll find invaluable information on over 100 ingredients and 50 baker's tools. A true pleasure for anyone who loves to bake.

Each selection of the Gourmet Cookbook Club is handpicked and road-tested by the editors of Gourmet magazine, so readers can cook with confidence, knowing the recipes really do deliver. Online at Gourmet Book Club you can find videos of the authors demonstrating recipes, share your thoughts on the cookbooks in the forums, and learn more about each book's topic.

BENEFITS:

* The ultimate book for bakers.

* Professional tips and tricks are made easy for the home baker.

* Step-by-step techniques of baking.

* 100 photographs, 250 foolproof recipes and variations, and information on over 100 popular baking ingredients and over 50 pieces of baking equipment.






Check out this recipe from the cookbook:


Triple Chocolate-Toffee Brownies


Ingredients:

6 ozs. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ozs. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick (4 ozs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
1 cup toffee bits
1/3 cup mini-chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper, allowing the parchment to hang over the edges.

2. In a medium glass bowl, microwave semisweet and un-sweetened chocolates at high power in 30-second intervals until melted, about 2 minutes. In small bowl, whisk flour with baking powder and salt.

3. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Add the melted chocolate and beat until incorporated. Beat in the milk and vanilla at low speed. Beat in the flour mixture, then beat in 2/3 of the toffee bits and the minichocolate chips until evenly distributed.

4. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup of the toffee bits. Bake the brownies for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

5. Set brownies on a rack to cool completely, about 2 hours. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cutting. Use the parchment overhang to lift the brownie out of the pan; cut into squares and serve.


Make ahead: Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Authors’ note: Toffee bits are available in the baking aisle of most supermarkets, but you can also crush up a toffee bar for this recipe (even a chocolate-covered one will work.)


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

16 April 2010

Cooking 4 Men, Teaching Men to Cook 2

From Denny: This is a dilemma many mothers, wives, girlfriends and cooks face - how to feed men and boys when suddenly the Hungries strike and they growl and demand to be fed immediately. And they do not have a sense of humor if you tell them to wait a few minutes or don't snack before dinner. My guess is their blood sugar is about to drop dramatically and that's why they are so grumpy and ravenous all at once.

Lucinda Scala Quinn was featured on CBS The Early Show food segment recently. She wrote a book to help the men and boys in your life with The Hungries. Quinn notes, "Every guy loves to eat, but not every guy loves to cook."

She is an expert at feeding men and boys, including her four brothers, husband and three sons. So, naturally she wrote the funny title: "Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys." In this food video she demonstrates how to teach your men and boys to make hearty satisfying meals quickly.

The TV show host, Harry Smith, is having fun and misbehaving throughout the entire segment instead of the two boys who turn out to be quite teachable. Quinn was unflappable, in good humor and taking it all in stride to not miss a beat to teach the boys and demonstrate the recipes.

Recipes Featured:

Vinegar Glossed Chicken
Rose's Vinaigrette
Banana Cream Pie
Basic pie dough






*** On sale now at this blog's Amazon book store - Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys by Lucina Scala Quinn



Watch CBS News Videos Online






Vinegar Glossed Chicken

Serves: 6 to 8

From Quinn: This dish has been in heavy rotation in our home as a favorite weeknight dinner option for at least twenty years. Originally made from an Italian recipe of unknown origin, it has morphed into our own, though my husband and I each make it a little differently. This much is certain, however: when the rosemary vinegar is added to the pan of golden browned chicken, alchemy occurs as the vinegar deglazes those brown bits and reduces itself into a syrup. It permeates each chicken piece with an agrodolce (sweet-and-sour) flavor. There's no better accompaniment than polenta, soft and loose or firm and sliced. It's a heavenly combination of textures and flavors. (Rice, pasta, or bread will also work, as long as there is something to sop up the sauce.) Like many of the dishes here, it only improves when made in advance.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup best-quality red wine vinegar
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (about 1 tablespoon minced)
5 1/2pounds bone-in chicken pieces (each part should be cut in half)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chicken broth, plus more as needed

METHOD:

At least 15 minutes but up to 2 hours before cooking, combine the vinegar, garlic, and rosemary to marinate.

Thoroughly season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat a 14-inch skillet (or two smaller skillets) over high heat and swirl in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down. Don't crowd the chicken; leave space around each piece. Work in batches if necessary. You should hear an immediate sizzle when the chicken pieces hit the pan. Don't move them; it takes a couple minutes to sear the chicken so it doesn't stick. Brown all sides; this will take 10 minutes per batch. Regulate the heat so it stays high but does not burn the chicken. Place all the browned chicken back in the skillet.

Add the chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat, simmer, and reduce for 15 to 20 minutes. Increase the heat to high and pour in the vinegar mixture. Swirl the pan and stir around as the vinegar evaporates to form a simmering glaze, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately or reheat with some extra broth.




Boy Salads

From Quinn: Boys will eat salads, but only the right salads. Some girls will eat any salads just because they think they should, but many boys will eat them only if the salads look and taste good. First and foremost, know that wet lettuce ripped into big chunks is a turnoff. But a salad prepared from cold, dry, crisp bite-sized lettuce, mixed with carefully considered add-ins and dressed in a vibrant, acidic vinaigrette, is easy to love, especially after repeat exposure. Washed and dried lettuce is the key to a great salad.




Rose's Vinaigrette

Makes: 1 cup

Quinn: All the green salads we had while growing up were dressed with my mom's vinaigrette. My dad thought it was the best dressing there ever was. Make it directly in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and store it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. This dressing is also key to the success of Rose's beloved White Bean Salad.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon minced shallot or garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD:

In the bottom of a clean jar, mash together the shallot, mustard, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour in the vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Cover tightly and shake well to combine and emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator.





Men Love Pie

Quinn: My boys love desserts, and pie is their favorite hands down.

My husband says he longs for good pie. "There is so much bad pie out there," he frequently laments. He remembers his mother's apple pie and how great it was, with a very salty crust and perfect fruit. He also recalls her chocolate banana cream coconut pie, which consisted of delicious chocolate pudding with banana on it, topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut. Regular crust, not a graham cracker one.

Any great pie begins with a great crust, something that intimidates many a fi ne cook. The first pie dough I learned to make successfully was for a cream cheese crust. I make it to this day and recommend it to anyone shy about trying crust. Its flavor is savory and cracker like. But the real baking secret for many down-home crusts is lard: ask any old-school pie baker, and I'll bet his or her crust is made with it; I think the pies of my husband's childhood owe their success to it. Try substituting lard for some or all of the butter in a pastry recipe and see for yourself the difference it makes in flavor and texture.

Since I've worked alongside many skilled bakers, I've learned many other tricks of the trade:

• Work cold and fast. Keep all your ingredients cold, including the flour.
Cold pieces of butter within the dough are what steams up in the baking and creates flakiness.

• Don't over mix the dough. Blend just until combined.

• Even if your dough doesn't fully combine into a ball, turn it out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Gather the pieces and press it together.

• Wrap firmly in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. If you made the dough in advance, remove it from the fridge 30 minutes before rolling. When pressed for time, I put freshly made dough in the freezer for 10 minutes before rolling.

• For fruit pies, make sure the ratio of thickener (cornstarch or fl our) to fruit is correct. A general rule is 2 tablespoons cornstarch to 4 cups of berries or stone fruit or 1 cup fl our to 3 pounds apples. Cornstarch thickens yet keeps the translucent jewel-colored juices of berries and stone fruits clear. It's so disappointing to cut into a pie in which the juice leaks out, separating from the fruit and making the crust soggy.

• After it comes out of the oven, let the pie sit out to cool long enough before cutting, to allow the juices to settle and the filling to slightly firm up.





Banana Cream Pie


Makes: one 9-inch single-crust pie

Quinn: My nostalgia for cream pies comes from childhood dinners at the many classic roadhouses in our lakeside Canadian town. These pies are some of the easiest to master and are welcome any time of year. The crust is blind baked, which means it's lined and weighted down with dried beans or with pie weights and baked on its own without the filling. When the crust cools, a simple homemade pudding is spread in and topped with whipped cream.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 recipe Basic Pie Dough
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups milk
4 large egg yolks (reserve the whites for a meringue or other recipe)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas
1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

2. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to about 11 inches in diameter and lay it in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edges of the dough to 1/2 inch over the edge of the pie plate's rim. Fold the dough under and gently pinch it together. Crimp the edges with your fingers or press with a fork all around. Prick the dough on the bottom twice with a fork.

3. Blind bake the crust: Line the dough in baking parchment or foil. Top with baking weights, dried beans, or rice to weight it down. Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Bake it for 10 more minutes, or until the crust is golden. Cool on a wire cooling rack.

4. Meanwhile, whisk together the fl our, the 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt in a medium saucepan. With the heat on low, slowly whisk the milk into the fl our mixture and cook on low heat. Whisk in the egg yolks. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly and incorporating the thickening mixture as it forms on the bottom and sides of the pan. The mixture should coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Cool slightly.

5. Slice the bananas into the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the pudding over the bananas, smooth the top, and chill the pie.

6. Whip the cream with the remaining tablespoon sugar to form stiff peaks. Spread over the custard mixture. Chill completely and slice.

A Successful Cream Pudding Filling

To avoid producing a pie filled with either soup or wallpaper paste, the pudding filling must be cooked to just below the boiling point; at this point the mixture should coat the back of a wooden spoon. While it may seem too thin, it will thicken more as it cools.





Basic pie dough

Makes: one double-crusted 9- or 10-inch pie

Quinn: Try making this both by hand and in a food processor; if you master both methods, you'll be ready to make pie regardless of what equipment -- or lack thereof -- is on hand. If you find yourself without a rolling pin, try a clean, dry wine or soda bottle, well floured, instead. Keep ingredients cold and work fast.

I prefer unbleached all-purpose flour, such as King Arthur or Bob's Red Mill.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose fl our
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup very cold milk or water

METHOD:

1. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and cut in or pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (To cut in means to mix cold fat such as butter with dry ingredients to form small pieces.) Pour in the milk. Combine just until the dough holds together in a ball.

2. Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and lift the sides toward the middle to press them together. Cut the dough in half. Form each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. If the dough has been refrigerated in advance, remove 15 minutes before using. The dough can be made and refrigerated for up to 3 days in advance or frozen for up to 6 weeks.


*** ALSO: Chefs New Cookbooks





*** On sale now at this blog's Amazon book store - Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys by Lucina Scala Quinn


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

13 April 2010

Cooking 4 Men, Teaching Men to Cook 2

From Denny: This is a dilemma many mothers, wives, girlfriends and cooks face - how to feed men and boys when suddenly the Hungries strike and they growl and demand to be fed immediately. And they do not have a sense of humor if you tell them to wait a few minutes or don't snack before dinner. My guess is their blood sugar is about to drop dramatically and that's why they are so grumpy and ravenous all at once.

Lucinda Scala Quinn was featured on CBS The Early Show food segment recently. She wrote a book to help the men and boys in your life with The Hungries. Quinn notes, "Every guy loves to eat, but not every guy loves to cook."

She is an expert at feeding men and boys, including her four brothers, husband and three sons. So, naturally she wrote the funny title: "Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys." In this food video she demonstrates how to teach your men and boys to make hearty satisfying meals quickly.

The TV show host, Harry Smith, is having fun and misbehaving throughout the entire segment instead of the two boys who turn out to be quite teachable. Quinn was unflappable, in good humor and taking it all in stride to not miss a beat to teach the boys and demonstrate the recipes.

Recipes Featured:

Vinegar Glossed Chicken
Rose's Vinaigrette
Banana Cream Pie
Basic pie dough






*** On sale now at this blog's Amazon book store - Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys by Lucina Scala Quinn



Watch CBS News Videos Online






Vinegar Glossed Chicken

Serves: 6 to 8

From Quinn: This dish has been in heavy rotation in our home as a favorite weeknight dinner option for at least twenty years. Originally made from an Italian recipe of unknown origin, it has morphed into our own, though my husband and I each make it a little differently. This much is certain, however: when the rosemary vinegar is added to the pan of golden browned chicken, alchemy occurs as the vinegar deglazes those brown bits and reduces itself into a syrup. It permeates each chicken piece with an agrodolce (sweet-and-sour) flavor. There's no better accompaniment than polenta, soft and loose or firm and sliced. It's a heavenly combination of textures and flavors. (Rice, pasta, or bread will also work, as long as there is something to sop up the sauce.) Like many of the dishes here, it only improves when made in advance.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup best-quality red wine vinegar
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (about 1 tablespoon minced)
5 1/2pounds bone-in chicken pieces (each part should be cut in half)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chicken broth, plus more as needed

METHOD:

At least 15 minutes but up to 2 hours before cooking, combine the vinegar, garlic, and rosemary to marinate.

Thoroughly season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat a 14-inch skillet (or two smaller skillets) over high heat and swirl in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down. Don't crowd the chicken; leave space around each piece. Work in batches if necessary. You should hear an immediate sizzle when the chicken pieces hit the pan. Don't move them; it takes a couple minutes to sear the chicken so it doesn't stick. Brown all sides; this will take 10 minutes per batch. Regulate the heat so it stays high but does not burn the chicken. Place all the browned chicken back in the skillet.

Add the chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat, simmer, and reduce for 15 to 20 minutes. Increase the heat to high and pour in the vinegar mixture. Swirl the pan and stir around as the vinegar evaporates to form a simmering glaze, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately or reheat with some extra broth.




Boy Salads

From Quinn: Boys will eat salads, but only the right salads. Some girls will eat any salads just because they think they should, but many boys will eat them only if the salads look and taste good. First and foremost, know that wet lettuce ripped into big chunks is a turnoff. But a salad prepared from cold, dry, crisp bite-sized lettuce, mixed with carefully considered add-ins and dressed in a vibrant, acidic vinaigrette, is easy to love, especially after repeat exposure. Washed and dried lettuce is the key to a great salad.




Rose's Vinaigrette

Makes: 1 cup

Quinn: All the green salads we had while growing up were dressed with my mom's vinaigrette. My dad thought it was the best dressing there ever was. Make it directly in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and store it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. This dressing is also key to the success of Rose's beloved White Bean Salad.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon minced shallot or garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD:

In the bottom of a clean jar, mash together the shallot, mustard, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour in the vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Cover tightly and shake well to combine and emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator.





Men Love Pie

Quinn: My boys love desserts, and pie is their favorite hands down.

My husband says he longs for good pie. "There is so much bad pie out there," he frequently laments. He remembers his mother's apple pie and how great it was, with a very salty crust and perfect fruit. He also recalls her chocolate banana cream coconut pie, which consisted of delicious chocolate pudding with banana on it, topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut. Regular crust, not a graham cracker one.

Any great pie begins with a great crust, something that intimidates many a fi ne cook. The first pie dough I learned to make successfully was for a cream cheese crust. I make it to this day and recommend it to anyone shy about trying crust. Its flavor is savory and cracker like. But the real baking secret for many down-home crusts is lard: ask any old-school pie baker, and I'll bet his or her crust is made with it; I think the pies of my husband's childhood owe their success to it. Try substituting lard for some or all of the butter in a pastry recipe and see for yourself the difference it makes in flavor and texture.

Since I've worked alongside many skilled bakers, I've learned many other tricks of the trade:

• Work cold and fast. Keep all your ingredients cold, including the flour.
Cold pieces of butter within the dough are what steams up in the baking and creates flakiness.

• Don't over mix the dough. Blend just until combined.

• Even if your dough doesn't fully combine into a ball, turn it out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Gather the pieces and press it together.

• Wrap firmly in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. If you made the dough in advance, remove it from the fridge 30 minutes before rolling. When pressed for time, I put freshly made dough in the freezer for 10 minutes before rolling.

• For fruit pies, make sure the ratio of thickener (cornstarch or fl our) to fruit is correct. A general rule is 2 tablespoons cornstarch to 4 cups of berries or stone fruit or 1 cup fl our to 3 pounds apples. Cornstarch thickens yet keeps the translucent jewel-colored juices of berries and stone fruits clear. It's so disappointing to cut into a pie in which the juice leaks out, separating from the fruit and making the crust soggy.

• After it comes out of the oven, let the pie sit out to cool long enough before cutting, to allow the juices to settle and the filling to slightly firm up.





Banana Cream Pie


Makes: one 9-inch single-crust pie

Quinn: My nostalgia for cream pies comes from childhood dinners at the many classic roadhouses in our lakeside Canadian town. These pies are some of the easiest to master and are welcome any time of year. The crust is blind baked, which means it's lined and weighted down with dried beans or with pie weights and baked on its own without the filling. When the crust cools, a simple homemade pudding is spread in and topped with whipped cream.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 recipe Basic Pie Dough
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups milk
4 large egg yolks (reserve the whites for a meringue or other recipe)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas
1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

2. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to about 11 inches in diameter and lay it in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edges of the dough to 1/2 inch over the edge of the pie plate's rim. Fold the dough under and gently pinch it together. Crimp the edges with your fingers or press with a fork all around. Prick the dough on the bottom twice with a fork.

3. Blind bake the crust: Line the dough in baking parchment or foil. Top with baking weights, dried beans, or rice to weight it down. Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Bake it for 10 more minutes, or until the crust is golden. Cool on a wire cooling rack.

4. Meanwhile, whisk together the fl our, the 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt in a medium saucepan. With the heat on low, slowly whisk the milk into the fl our mixture and cook on low heat. Whisk in the egg yolks. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly and incorporating the thickening mixture as it forms on the bottom and sides of the pan. The mixture should coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Cool slightly.

5. Slice the bananas into the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the pudding over the bananas, smooth the top, and chill the pie.

6. Whip the cream with the remaining tablespoon sugar to form stiff peaks. Spread over the custard mixture. Chill completely and slice.

A Successful Cream Pudding Filling

To avoid producing a pie filled with either soup or wallpaper paste, the pudding filling must be cooked to just below the boiling point; at this point the mixture should coat the back of a wooden spoon. While it may seem too thin, it will thicken more as it cools.





Basic pie dough

Makes: one double-crusted 9- or 10-inch pie

Quinn: Try making this both by hand and in a food processor; if you master both methods, you'll be ready to make pie regardless of what equipment -- or lack thereof -- is on hand. If you find yourself without a rolling pin, try a clean, dry wine or soda bottle, well floured, instead. Keep ingredients cold and work fast.

I prefer unbleached all-purpose flour, such as King Arthur or Bob's Red Mill.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose fl our
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup very cold milk or water

METHOD:

1. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and cut in or pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (To cut in means to mix cold fat such as butter with dry ingredients to form small pieces.) Pour in the milk. Combine just until the dough holds together in a ball.

2. Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and lift the sides toward the middle to press them together. Cut the dough in half. Form each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. If the dough has been refrigerated in advance, remove 15 minutes before using. The dough can be made and refrigerated for up to 3 days in advance or frozen for up to 6 weeks.


*** ALSO: Chefs New Cookbooks





*** On sale now at this blog's Amazon book store - Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys by Lucina Scala Quinn


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26 March 2010

Spring Food: Chef Kellers Marinated Skirt Steak, Ice Cream Sandwiches

From Denny: I just love it when great chefs are out promoting their latest cookbook and go on network TV to demo some recipes. You always learn something new, polish your skills and pick up some interesting recipes! Chef Thomas Keller is known for emphasizing local ingredients like green garlic and the many different ways it can be applied to tasty dishes.

Chef Keller is author of the New York Times Best Seller cookbook "At Hoc At Home." As a famous Napa Valley chef and restaurant owner he has a unique take on springtime food.

The Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival will take place on April 8 - 11 in California. Count on Chef Keller to be there this year too as he has participated for many years. It's a convergence of the creme de la creme of the culinary arts world tasting wine and demonstrating recipes while playing golf. Not a bad gig! :) This year there will be 70 chefs swarming the festival and over 250 wineries.

Chef Keller enjoys working with the Pebble Beach local ingredients, especially garlic, as it is one of the specialties of this area. Keller teaches there are many uses for garlic, from roasted garlic to garlic confit, working in a wide spectrum of dishes from pastas to salads.

Check out his easy to make and economical marinated skirt steak you can serve year round. And he gives divine recipes for your own homemade ice cream too! Just in time for the warmer Spring weather sweeping across America.

Take a look and learn a few new things. Did you know that adding salt to boiling water elevates the temperature? Check out other quick facts chef mentions as he demonstrates his easy to do Spring menu.




Check it out: "Ad Hoc at Home" By Thomas Keller - discounted over at Amazon.


Recipes Featured:

Marinated Skirt Steak
Marinated Cucumbers
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Vanilla Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream





Watch CBS News Videos Online



Marinated Skirt Steak

SERVES: 6

MARINADE

6 thyme sprigs
Two 8-inch rosemary sprigs
4 small bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
5 garlic cloves, smashed, skin left on
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Six 8-ounce trimmed outer skirt steaks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter
4 thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves, smashed, skin left on


DIRECTIONS

Skirt steak, part of the diaphragm, is a very flavorful cut. There are two sections of the skirt, an outside muscle and an inside muscle. The inside muscle is smaller, a little more uneven, and a little tougher than the outer skirt, which we prefer. The outer skirt is still a tough cut of meat and, because it's served medium-rare, not tenderized through long cooking, you need to slice it across the grain, straight down (thereby shortening the long muscle fibers that otherwise make it tough), to ensure that it's tender. The marinade we use here, with abundant herbs and garlic, is excellent for all cuts of beef.

Combine the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, and oil in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let the marinade cool to room temperature. Pull away the excess fat from the skirt steak and discard. If necessary, trim the steak of any silver skin. Cut crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Put in a dish or a resealable plastic bag, add the marinade, and cover the dish or seal the bag, squeezing out excess air. Marinate for at least 4 hours, or for up to a day, in the refrigerator.

Remove the meat from the marinade and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking; discard the marinade. Dry the meat with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Heat some canola oil in a large frying pan over high heat. When it shimmers, add half the meat and quickly brown the first side. Turn the meat and, working quickly, add 1 tablespoon of the butter, 2 thyme sprigs, and 1 garlic clove and brown the meat on the second side, basting constantly; the entire cooking process should take only about 11/2 minutes. Transfer the meat to the rack and spoon the butter, garlic, and thyme over the top. Wipe the pan and repeat with the remaining steaks.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the center of the meat registers about 125°F. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest on the rack in a warm place for about 10 minutes for medium-rare.

Arrange the steak on a serving platter, or slice each piece against the grain, cutting straight down, and arrange on the platter. Garnish with the garlic and thyme.





Marinated Cucumbers

MAKES: ABOUT 3 CUPS

INGREDIENTS

6 small cucumbers (5 to 6 ounces each) or 2 pounds medium cucumbers
3/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cut off the ends of the cucumbers and peel them. Seed the cucumbers if desired: cut the cucumbers lengthwise in half and use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds. Cut the cucumbers into half rounds, or into rounds (if you didn't seed them), batons, wedges, or any shape you like. Combine the vinegar, oil, red pepper, and sugar in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put the cucumbers in a canning jar or other storage container and pour the liquid over the top. Refrigerate for at least 1 day, or for up to 2 weeks. Before serving, remove any solidified oil from the top of the liquid and discard. Serve cold.





Ice Cream Sandwiches

MAKES: 12 ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

INGREDIENTS

1 quart homemade ice cream (see below), just spun, or store-bought ice cream, softened

Twenty-four 2- to 3-inch cookies

DIRECTIONS

My fondness for this American classic is so well-known that my French pastry chef at per se created a four-star version. But here's a simple version that's hard to beat. You can use any kind of cookie and any kind of ice cream. Simply spread the soft ice cream on a quarter sheet pan and freeze it until firm, then use the same cutter you used for the cookies to cut out squares or rounds of ice cream and sandwich them between the cookies. Kids love this, but it's also a fabulous adult dessert.

You can use just one kind or a variety of ice cream flavors and cookies. Some of our favorite combinations are Chocolate Chip Cookies (page 326) with Vanilla Ice Cream (page 319), Chocolate Shortbread Cookies (page 327) with Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (page 320), and Linzer Cookies (page 331) with Chocolate Ice Cream (page 319).

Line a quarter sheet pan with a piece of plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on both long sides. Spread the ice cream in an even layer in the pan. Fold over the plastic and freeze until firm.

Lift up the edges of the plastic wrap to remove the ice cream. Have a bowl of hot water at your side. Using the cutter you used to make the cookies or a knife, cut squares or rounds of ice cream slightly smaller than the cookies, dipping the cutter or knife in the hot water and drying it with a towel before making each cut. Assemble the sandwiches and serve immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 days.





Vanilla Ice Cream

MAKES: A GENEROUS 1 QUART

INGREDIENTS

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
10 large egg yolks
Pinch of kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan, and add half cup of the sugar. With a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, if using, and add them to the liquid, along with the pod. Or stir in the vanilla paste. Bring to just below a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar; a skin will form on top and the liquid should just begin to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat and let steep, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean from the pan, if you used it. Return the pan to the heat and heat until the milk is just below a simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar and the yolks in a bowl until slightly thickened and the whisk leaves a trail. Slowly, while whisking, add about half cup of the hot milk mixture to the yolks, then whisk in the remaining milk mixture. Set a fine-mesh basket strainer over a clean saucepan and strain the liquid into the pan.

Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and set a medium bowl in the ice bath; have a strainer ready. Put the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom and sides often with a wooden spoon, until steam begins to rise from the surface and the custard thickens enough to coat the spoon. Strain into the bowl, add the salt, and let cool, stirring from time to time.

Refrigerate until cold or, preferably, overnight.

Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the texture is "soft serve," transfer to a storage container and freeze to harden. (The ice cream is best eaten within a day, but it can be made several days ahead.)





Chocolate Ice Cream

MAKES: A GENEROUS 1 QUART

INGREDIENTS

7 ounces 55% chocolate cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
11/2 cups granulated sugar
10 large egg yolks
Pinch of kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.

Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until warm. Reduce the heat to medium, whisk in the melted chocolate, and heat until just below a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and yolks in a medium bowl until slightly thickened and the whisk leaves a trail. Slowly, whisking constantly, add about H cup of the hot liquid to the yolks, then whisk in the remaining liquid. Set a fine-mesh basket strainer over a clean saucepan and strain the liquid into the pan.

Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Set a medium bowl in the ice bath; have a strainer ready.
Put the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom and sides often with a wooden spoon, until steam begins to rise from the surface and the custard thickens enough to coat the spoon. Strain into the bowl, add the salt, and let cool, stirring from time to time.

Refrigerate until cold or, preferably, overnight.

Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the texture is "soft serve," transfer to a storage container and freeze to harden. (The ice cream is best eaten within a day, but it can be made several days ahead.)




Check it out: "Ad Hoc at Home" By Thomas Keller - discounted over at Amazon.




*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!
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