Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Nutella Mousse Recipe:
1 Cup Heavy whipping cream
1/2 Cup Nutella spread (found in the PB aisle for those of you unfamiliar with the product)
1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
Lightly stir the instant coffee powder into the heavy whipping cream (if you do this in a metal bowl the entire mix will stay cold longer). Add the Nutella into the cream and using an electric whisk blend until you have soft peaks. Divide into individual containers and then let chill to set.
This is the original recipe that serves four - I quadrupled the recipe and layered 8 sliced bananas and two store bought angel food cakes to help make it go further.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Ice Cream Favorites Grow Up
By Melissa Clark
Published: August 12, 2011
It all started with grasshopper pie. Shockingly green, made from mint chocolate-chip ice cream slathered with crème de menthe-flavored whipped “topping,” it was a specialty of one of our neighbors when I was growing up and a block-party staple.
I hadn’t thought of it in years. But it sprang to mind recently while I was trying to transform store-bought ice cream into a party-worthy dessert.
It used to be that a couple of cartons of premium ice cream made a perfectly respectable end to a summer soirée all on their own.
But these days, with ice cream makers nearly as prevalent in home kitchens as food processors, and fancy ice cream ubiquitous in every corner deli, I knew I needed to do a little more than just pass around the pints.
I wanted to make something just as easy as that grasshopper pie, but updated and fresh. Something that took advantage of the variety of intriguing ice cream flavors now available, but that added a personal spin to make a dinner-worthy dessert, without (to be blunt about it) requiring much effort.
Once I got going, icy ideas stormed through my brain. I thought about ice cream pies made from homemade cookie crumbs, topped with whipped cream infused with aromatic spices. I thought about a play on tiramisù using vanilla ice cream in place of mascarpone. I thought about those fancy iced bombes my mother used to make in the ’80s, with two or three layers of bright-hued whipped frozen mousse packed into a decorative mold.
A cheater’s version would simply pack layers of different colored ice cream and sorbet into a metal bowl. I added a tropical twist by combining coconut ice cream swirled with coconut macaroons, fresh mango and vibrant sorbet.
It was stunning, and quicker to put together than the time I spent locating the package of macaroons at the supermarket.
I also picked up some malted milk balls. When I got home, I froze them and pulverized them with a rolling pin, then used the crumbs, mixed with some malted milk powder, to make coffee ice cream malted bonbons. They are just the right size for noshing on straight out of the freezer, with no spoons required.
After these first two escapades, I learned that the key to making whimsical desserts with store-bought ice cream is patience.
I needed to sit on my hands while the pints softened enough to spread. To speed up this process a little, I slid the ice cream out of the pint container and onto a plate, and cut the frozen cylinder in half. Then, once I formed the bombe and the bonbons, I needed to sit on my hands again while the ice cream hardened in the freezer. Immediate gratification it’s not.
One way to avoid all that waiting around is to serve sundaes. All you need to do is make the sauce ahead of time.
As much as I appreciate a traditional hot fudge number, it’s butterscotch I pine for. Mine is based on maple syrup with a good slug of dark rum to keep things from getting too cloying. Poured over scoops of ginger ice cream and showered with walnuts and dollops of thick crème fraîche rather than whipped cream, it was cozily familiar yet quietly thrilling to eat.
For my modern grown-up version, I scooped ice cream into sliced baguettes, then drizzled it with either pepper-spiked apricot jam or sea-salt-strewn chocolate nut spread.
These sandwiches were sweet, savory, sophisticated and laughably easy, just like grasshopper pie — even if their color wasn’t quite as dramatic.
Grilled Caprese Pizza with Balsamic Reduction
1 (14 oz.) can pre-made pizza dough
2 tomatoes, sliced
6-8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
5-6 leaves fresh basil, minced
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper
Unroll the pizza dough onto a sheet pan. Lightly coat each side with olive oil and cut into four pieces. Set aside. Prepare all the ingredients on a platter and set aside.
To make the Balsamic Reduction: Bring the balsamic vinegar and sugar to a light boil in a small sauce pan. Allow to boil, while stirring constantly for 4-6 minutes, or until reduced in half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Preheat a grill over a medium high flame until grates are very hot. Hot grates are important to ensure the dough cooks quickly and doesn’t stick. Gently stretch each section of dough and carefully lay it across the grates. Cover and allow to cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Check halfway through to make sure they don’t burn. Flip using two tongs. Evenly distribute the tomato and mozzarella slices. Cover and allow to cook for an additional 2 – 3 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly melted. Remove from the flame and cut in half. Drizzle each slice with the balsamic reduction and sprinkle with minced basil. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 as entree. Serves 6 – 7 as side.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
2 cups of stock
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
Parsley or cilantro for garnish
1. Cook onion and garlic and ginger in olive oil for 5 minutes.
2. Add 2 teaspoons each cumin, coriander and cinnamon; cook for 1 minute.
3. Add tomatoes, stock and cooked chickpeas.
4. Simmer until saucy.
5. Garnish with parsley or cilantro.
1/2 cup natural chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons sambal olek or other chile paste
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
6 Asian or baby eggplant
1/4 cup chopped, roasted peanuts
1/4 cup sliced scallions.
1. In a bowl, whisk together peanut butter, 1/3 cup water, soy sauce, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, sambal olek and garlic.
2. Trim the ends of the eggplant. If using baby eggplant, peel them. Place in a steamer basket set over a pan of simmering water. Cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can wrap the eggplants individually in parchment and microwave until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.) Halve eggplants lengthwise.
3. Transfer eggplants to a platter, cut side up. Spoon peanut sauce over eggplant. Garnish with peanuts and scallions.
Yield: 6 servings as an appetizer; 3 to 4 as a side dish
Sunday, August 7, 2011
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