Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sherried Chicken Liver Pate

Sherried Chicken Liver Pate
From: Mahna Mahna

Dinner tonight is toasted baguette with olives and homemade sherried chicken liver pate.

Yes, I made my own pate (it's to bring over to The Angry Russian's house for NYE dinner). It was gooooooood and ridiculously easy (like, stupidly easy... like, remind-me-why-I-pay-money-for-the-premade-stuff-again easy).

All I did was saute a few strips of bacon until it was almost crispy, then added a couple of cloves of garlic and one shallot (all finely minced) and cooked until soft. To that, I added 3/4 cup of sherry and a handful of chopped fresh marjoram, and let it simmer for a bit to cook off a bit of the booze. Then I added a pound or so of chicken livers and cooked those until they were just barely pink. Poured the whole shebang into the food processor, added a little salt, pepper and a dash of balsamic. Then I gave it a whirl until it was smooth and poured into a pretty bowl before pouring over a thin layer of melted clarified butter to preserve the colour... and tah-dah! Deliciousness ensues.

Monday, December 28, 2009

GT's Pesto Lasagna (still experimental)

GT's Pesto Lasagna
From: gardentraveler

Based loosely on this recipe. I'm making it right now and will tweak later.

1 26-oz jar pasta sauce
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato paste
Approximately 2 cups water or broth
Additional herbs to taste (I added Italian dressing base because it was handy; you could add any of your favorite Italian herbs and maybe some garlic)

1 lb. ground beef, browned

1 15 oz tub ricotta cheese
1/2 c. grated Asiago cheese (or Parmesan or Romano)
1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 of a 3 oz. jar of prepared pesto
1 egg
1 c shredded mozarella cheese

About 12 lasagna noodles, uncooked

Combine tomato sauces and herbs. It's easiest to add liquid to the tomato paste slowly so that you don't get lumps of paste in your sauce.

Add some of the sauce to the browned beef.

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with sauce. Place 4 noodles on sauce and spread a bit of additional sauce on top. Top with a layer of meat (use about 1/2 the mixture). Top with all of the ricotta mixture. Cover ricotta with an additional layer of sauce, noodles, more sauce, last 1/2 of meat, 2nd cup of shredded mozzarella and a bit more sauce. Cover this layer with 4 more noodles, then pour sauce over to make sure everything is covered with at least a bit of sauce.

Cover pan in foil and allow to sit for about 1/2 an hour.

Place in preheated oven (375 degrees) and bake for an hour. At this point you can cool and refrigerate or freeze. Or uncover, add more cheese (about 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup of Asiago mixed, in my case) and continue to bake for about 10 minutes.

If you freeze at this point, defrost when you're ready to reheat, reheat at 350 for about 1/2 an hour-45 minutes (until bubbly), then up heat to 375, spread with additional cheese and bake for another 10 minutes or so. (Haven't done this part with this recipe, so I'll tweak as needed.)


From: swampbear
Well, really from swampy's Mom, via his sis.

swampy comments:
Ummm... after readin' all that I remember now that I decided that's too much trouble no matter how nummy the effort turns out. Have fun CutiePie and all you other adventuresome souls!


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat-free), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water


4 1/2 ounces dried apples (2 cups)
2 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Vegetable Oil


Blend together flour, butter, shortening, baking powder, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) until mixture just resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg with 1/4 cup ice water, then drizzle evenly over flour mixture and gently stir with a fork until incorporated.
Squeeze a small handful: If it doesn't hold together, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated.
Gather dough and knead just until smooth, 3 or 4 times, on a lightly floured surface (do not overwork, or pastry will be tough). Form dough into 2 (5-inch) disks and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.


Simmer all filling ingredients and a pinch of salt in a heavy medium saucepan, uncovered, stirring occasionally and mashing apples with a potato masher as they soften, until a thick purée forms, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.


Divide 1 disk of dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll out 1 piece on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 6-inch round, then put 2 heaping tablespoons of filling in center. Lightly moisten edge with water and fold dough over to form a half-circle, pressing out air around filling, then pressing edge to seal Press floured tines of a fork around edge. Make more pies with remaining dough and filling (you may have some filling left over).


Set a cooling rack on a large baking sheet or tray. Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat until it registers 360 to 370°F. Fry pies, 3 or 4 at a time, turning occasionally, until deep golden-brown, 7 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to rack to drain. Return oil to 360 to 370°F between batches.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Arugula, Pear and Parmesan Salad

Arugula, Pear and Parmesan Salad
From: Dottygumdrop

100g (3-4oz) hazelnuts, roughly chopped
500g (a generous pound) of arugula, washed
2 pears, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
200g (7-8oz) parmesan, shaved
2 Tbsp butter,
1/2 tsp chilli powder

1. Place arugula, pear and parmesan in a large salad bowl and toss to combine.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter then add the hazelnuts and cook over a gentle heat for 3 minutes. Add the chilli powder and cook for a minute or two, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. To serve, drizzle hazelnut dressing over salad.

Asparagus with Brie & Walnut Sauce

Asparagus with Brie & Walnut Sauce
From: Dottygumdrop

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chilli powder
125ml (4-5oz) pouring cream
100ml (3-4oz) white wine or chicken stock
150g (5oz) brie, skin removed and chopped
2 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
150g (5-6oz) walnuts, chopped
4 bunches (at least 1lb) fresh asparagus, woody ends removed

1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook briefly to soften/colour garlic, then add chilli powder, cream and wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add brie and cook until melted. Remove sauce from heat and add chives and walnuts. Season to taste, then keep warm.

2. Place asparagus in a large saucepan of boiling water and cook 2-3 minutes. Remove and refresh in a bowl of cold water, then drain well and place in warm serving dish. Pour sauce over asparagus just before serving.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake (Link)

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Shared by gardentraveler

From Paula Deen on the Food Network Web site.

My friend this made this for a brunch this weekend. It's awesome.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bourbon Balls (Link)

Bourbon Balls
Shared by gardentraveler
From: The Joy of Baking

Of course, because it's me, I didn't make it exactly like the recipe. The recipe calls for 2 cups of vanilla wafer crumbs, which, it turns out, isn't the whole box. So, I adjusted ingredient amounts to go with the whole box. Also, I didn't toast the walnuts because I'm lazy.

I've done everything by weight because it's much easier to make sure that I've got the right amounts. If you don't have one (and bake from scratch at all) you really need to get a scale. But, for the scale-impaired, I've added dry measures.

275 g crushed vanilla wafers (2 1/4 c)
125 g chopped walnuts (1 1/8 c)
65 g confectioner's sugar (generous 1/4 c)
17 g cocoa (2 rounded tablespoons)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons corn syrup
1/3 c bourbon (you can use rum instead for Rum Balls)

I recommend sifting both the cocoa and the sugar so that they combine more evenly (I wound up sifting the mixture retrospectively, which was a pain because I kept having to dump out the walnuts.)

In any case: you mix all the dry ingredients, add the corn syrup and bourbon and mix together. I mixed with a spatula (one of those nifty silicon ones) and then by hand. You can refrigerate for a while at this point or continue and form 1 in. balls and roll them in sifted confectioner's sugar. Age in a tin for a while to allow the flavors to blend.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The most divine Chicken Stroganoff known to man!!!

The most divine Chicken Stroganoff known to man!!!
From: Dottygumdrop

3 FROZEN skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1lb)
1 (10 3/4oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (1oz) package of onion soup mix
16oz sour cream
1 (14oz?) can mushrooms, drained and rinsed
1 (4 1/2oz) can tomato paste

Dump the FROZEN chicken breasts (yes, still frozen - I know, I know, just trust me!!!) into the crockpot. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a mixing bowl then pour on top of the chicken. Put the lid on and cook for 6 hours on medium/low. After 6 hours, remove the wonderfully moist, tender chicken and shred with forks, then return to the sauce. Stir until all mixed and delicious. Serve over fettucine, or rice, or mashed potatoes, or just spoon it straight from the pot into your gob! YUMMM!!!