Monthly Archives: January 2011

(18-19) Ribeyes, Carmelized Butternut Squash, Garlic Fries

Aaron’s grandfather had a ton (and I almost mean that literally) of beef when we visited in November from cows he’d recently slaughtered, so he offered some to us.  I decided to thaw out two of the ribeyes for a nice Friday Night Meal.

Trader Joe’s (don’t you love TJ’s?) carries these frozen garlic fries that are so ridiculously good.  Of course, now that I’m cooking totally from scratch (well, almost totally, tortillas!), I can’t use TJ’s fries, so I made my own!  And, seriously, look out TJ’s.  CD (Cook Desirée) means business.

Making my own garlic fries took about twice as long… I had to roast the fries for 45 minutes vs. thawing/cooking the frozen fries for just 20 minutes.  But the results were definitely worth it.  And really, what’s 20 more minutes in the oven?  It’s not as though I had to do anything those 20 minutes, right?

Oh, and Aaron grilled the ribeyes, so I don’t have photographs.  And really, all he did was rub on some spices and toss them over the fire.  Do you really need a recipe to grill?  I didn’t think so.

Caramelized  Butternut Squash
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Mix together butter, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.


Toss butternut squash in sugar mixture, then plopp on a baking pan in a single layer.  Bake at 450° for 20-25 minutes or until sugar has caramelized and squash is tender.

Garlic Oven Fries

4-5 Yukon potatoes, sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt & Pepper


Place sliced potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast at 450° for 45 minutes or until potatoes are slightly crispy.


Toss fries with butter, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.

And remember to save some for the rest of the family!

(17) Turkey Hand Pies

Perhaps what I love best about this recipe is that it combines practically all the Thanksgiving leftovers into one handy (ha!) little pastry.  Talk about efficient!  It even puts the gravy to work.  And we all know how that shady gravy likes to turn one night crashing on the couch into a month-long stay.

 

Savory Hand Pies
from November 2010 Southern Living

1 cup turkey, finely chopped
3/4 cup mashed potatoes
4oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup green peas, cooked
1 carrot, shredded
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
Salt & Pepper
Piecrust
Gravy, warmed

 


Stir together turkey, potatoes, cream cheese, peas, carrots, and parsley.

 


Roll out pie crust and cut into 4″ circles (cut as many circles as possible, re-rolling dough when necessary).  Spoon 3 tablespoons turkey mixture into center of each circle and fold dough over, pressing edges to seal.

 


Place little meat pies on baking sheet and bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

 


Serve with warmed gravy and mixed green salad, dressed with oil & vinegar.

(15-16) Butternut Squash Soup & Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Isn’t butternut squash delicious?

Aren’t sweet potatoes divine?

Don’t you adore a Granny Smith apple?

Aren’t garlic, ginger and red curry among the most tasty flavors?

And don’t you just dream of combining them all in one yum-o soup?

I thought so.  And so I bring you Butternut Squash soup.  Mmm.

I also made a salad to accompany said soup.  The croutons I made from leftover French bread (remember that recipe?).  I also made the buttermilk dressing, but I wouldn’t put that tasteless sludge in my recipe box and so I will not provide you with the recipe.  Don’t cry, toots!  I’ll make a better buttermilk dressing another day.

Spiced Butternut Soup
from December 2010 Southern Living

2 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and cubed
4 cups turkey broth
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 teaspoon red curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt & Pepper


Melt butter in a large Dutch oven; add onion and bell pepper and sauté 8 minutes or until onion is golden.

Stir in garlic, ginger, squash, sweet potato, apple, turkey broth, bay leaves, red curry powder and pepper.


Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool 20-30 minutes.


Process soup,  in batches, in a blender until smooth.


Return soup to Dutch oven and add cream.  Simmer over low heat until warm.

Croutons
1 cup French bread, cubed
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 clove garlic, minced finely


Toss bread cubes in butter, paprika and garlic.  Place under broiler and toast until golden brown.


Scatter on salad and enjoy!

(14) Turkey Tostadas

The November issue of Southern Living had several recipes to put that leftover Thanksgiving turkey to good use.  Don’t get me wrong.  I lo-ove the Thanksgiving meal and will gladly eat it over again, but c’mon; I don’t want to eat it twelve times in a row.  Can I get an amen?

So, after making turkey & dumplings, I moved on to the first of two recipes from Southern Living: turkey tostadas.

I had every intention of making the tostadas from scratch.  I bought the masa harina (Masa harina is corn flour that has been treated with calcium hydroxide or “lime,” which makes it more nutritious by releasing the niacin in the corn, and easier to digest) and set to work, adding flour and rolling out the dough.  Every recipe I looked at said, “use a tortilla press,” but I do not own a tortilla press and I could not find a tortilla press in any of the local kitchen stores.  I thought I could just roll the dough out with a rolling pin.

I was sooo wrong.

I deleted the pictorial evidence of just how wrong I was.  It was a disaster.  The dough was too sticky and adhered itself to the rolling pin (despite my dusting the rolling pin with flour), so I added more masa harina.  Then the dough was too dry and fell all to pieces when I tried to roll it out (in reality, it wasn’t too dry… it just needed to be pressed, not rolled).  Once, I did manage to get a nice little tortilla rolled out, but it went to pieces as soon as I tried to pick it up.  I chucked the whole kit and kaboodle in the garbage and dashed out to purchase a pack of tortillas.  Sacrilege, I know.

I did forgo purchasing full-out tostadas, though, and instead fried up the corn tortillas to make my own tostadas.  So that counts for something, right?  Right, guys?

Anyway, unprocessed fail aside, this recipe is firecracker.  It is so good.  If it weren’t for the whole “new meal every night” thing, I’d make these again tomorrow.  And then the next night.  And then I’d cook a whole new turkey just so I could keep making them.  Seriously.  They’re that good.

Oh, and the chipotle was from the stash of jalapenos we smoked at my grandfather’s-in-law over Thanksgiving weekend.  We’re out of those chipotles now, much to my chagrin.  I’m currently in negotiations with my husband to procure (i.e. build or buy) our own smoker (and by negotiations, I mean that I’m asking for a smoker and he’s saying “maybe,” which, unfortunately, means exactly “maybe”).

And, one final note.  I photographed the whole process, but somehow, half the photographs were lost in translation.  It’s really very mysterious.  So, sorry, but there are no pictures for the second half of the recipe.

Turkey Tostadas with Spicy Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce

8 corn tortillas
Frying oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 poblano pepper, sliced (and seeded, if desired)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups shredded turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced*
Salt to taste
1 cup black beans, smashed
1 cup cranberry sauce
1 chipotle pepper, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup Mexican cheese blend, shredded
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

*I’m pretty sure I used about 3x the recommended garlic.  You do what’s best for you.

Heat up some vegetable oil in a pan and toss in the corn tortillas, one at a time. Fry until just starting to golden, then turn tortilla over and repeat (the tostadas will continue to brown once removed from the oil, so make sure they’re only slightly tan when you remove them from the oil).  Place on a paper towel so all that mucky oil can seep off and clog the towel’s arteries, not yours.

Plunk the onion, poblano, red bell, and garlic into a pan, along with the olive oil, and sautee until the veggies are tender.

Add in the turkey and cook until the meat is heated through.

Mash up the black beans (which you previously took from dried to plump by soaking and cooking).


Combine the cranberry sauce, chipotle, and spices in a saucepan over low heat.  Simmer until heated through.

(And thus begins the mysterious photograph disappearance, which truly is sad because the finished product was so lovely.)

Spread the tostada shells with the black beans, then top with the turkey mixture.  Drizzle with the cranberry-chipotle sauce.  Sprinkle with the Mexican cheese.

Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.  Sprinkle with fresh cilantro before serving.

(13) Turkey & Dumplings

About, oh, three weeks ago, we woke to six inches of snow.  If you live anywhere north of the Mason Dixon line, I’m sure you are scoffing at the “measly six inches,” but around these here parts, six inches is serious stuff.  I mean all the bread and milk were gone when I went to the grocery store, and Lowe’s had to bring in an extra shipment of generators.  It’s true.  I saw it on the news.

For the record, neither I nor my husband bought a generator.  Nor did I stock up on milk and bread.  Why do people buy milk and bread before a snow storm anyway?

After a nice little traipse through the snow with my man and my baby, I decided the perfect meal for a snow day would be turkey and dumplings.  (And I needed to put the leftover turkey from the previous Friday Night Dinner to use.)  Turkey & Dumplings (or, the more traditional Chicken & Dumplings) is a fairly simple, easily adaptable, all-in-one dish.  You can toss in any number of veggies and hearty up the dumplings with your choice of grains.  I went traditional this time and stuck with onions, celery and carrots and plain whole wheat.

Turkey & Dumplings
2 cups leftover turkey, shredded/chopped/diced
2 celery ribs, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cups turkey stock
2 tablespoons dried parsley
Salt & Pepper

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons olive oil

In a drizzle of olive oil, sautee onions until soft.

Add celery, carrots, parsley, salt and pepper. Continue to sautee until carrots and celery just begin to soften.

Pour in stock and toss in turkey.  (Note: I did not have time to thaw the turkey stock I had previously made, so I pulled out a bone I’d been saving for stock and tossed it, along with 2 cups of water, into the pot.  Instant (sort of) broth.)  Simmer for 30 minutes, or until turkey is thoroughly heated.

Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder, salt, milk and oil.  Mix well to form a stiff dough.

Drop tablespoons of dough into the simmering soup.

Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Remove lid and behold!  Turkey and dumplings.

Plate it up, son.  And eat!

(12) Turkey Stock

Whoa now.  For some reason the television is on in the living room (no, no one is in there… strange).  But I just heard the opening credits for The Cosby Show.  I may or may not finish this post. I haven’t seen The Cosby Show in ages!  And we don’t even have cable!

Remember that divine turkey I roasted?  I took the carcass, threw it into a pot with some vegetable scraps, and presto chango: turkey stock!

Turkey stock?  Progresso doesn’t sell turkey stock in the grocery stores…

Nope.  But do you really want to waste a perfectly good turkey carcass?  I don’t think so.  Turkey = poultry; chicken = poultry; therefore, turkey = … well, not chicken.  But turkey stock does equal a viable substitution for chicken stock.  Brilliant!

Turkey Stock
Turkey carcass
Vegetable peelings
Water

Chuck the turkey carcass in a large stockpot or crockpot (I divided my turkey carcass between a stockpot and a crockpot so I could make more stock, so you will see both in the photographs.  Actually, I used a crockpot and two stock pots).

Throw the vegetable scraps in the pot (I usually save all my vegetable peelings for about a week before I make stock.  I just store them in a bowl, gallon sized baggie, or large Tupperware, in the fridge).

Add enough water to fill the pot– but not so much it comes sloshing over the top.  You don’t want a huge slopping mess on your floor.

Add salt and pepper, if desired (and clearly I desired).  Cook on low for several hours.  I cooked mine all afternoon– probably about six hours.  If using a crockpot, you could leave it to simmer overnight.  You do what’s right for you.  You’ll know when that turkey carcass has given its all.

After the allotted time has passed, peek in the pot and stifle a gag.  You will find yourself face-to-face with what looks like a pot of old scraps into which someone accidentally dumped dishwater.

Grab a large bowl and set a colander over it.  Pour the contents of the crockpot (or stockpot) into the colander to separate the broth from the vegetables and bones.

At this point, you have a nice, fatty bowl of broth.  You can use one of two methods to separate the fat from the stock:

1. You may pour the stock (in small batches) into a fat separator, let sit until the fat rises to the top, then pour out the remaining broth or

2. You may pour the entire batch of stock into a large pitcher and leave it in the fridge until the fat rises to the top and congeals, then simply scoop the fat off the top (usually in one large chunk).

I chose method two because a) it takes less time and b) I really have no desire to sit in my kitchen for twelve hours, waiting for the fat to rise to the top approximately seventy billion times.  I like efficiency: let the fat rise once, in one batch.  Done.

You may then transfer the stock to your choice of freezer containers: pint size glass jars, quart size freezer bags, ice cub trays, muffin tins, etc.  I chose quart size freezer bags and measured out two cups per bag.  If you typically use less stock at a time, freezing in 1-3 ounce portions is a great idea (thus the ice cube trays or the muffin tins).  Or, if you so desire, you may can the stock.

And, finally, congratulate yourself on a job well done.  You just made several quarts of homemade, from scratch, filled with goodness and love, turkey stock.  You’re a rock star.

(11) Sherry Chicken

Sometime in the autumn, my husband said to me, “You should make that sherry chicken dish.”  At that time, I didn’t make a sherry chicken dish, so I said, “What sherry chicken dish?”  He said, “You know, the one my mom makes.”

Now, if I didn’t like my mother-in-law, I could have made all sorts of smarmy comments at this juncture.  I happen to really love my mother-in-law, though, so… sorry.  No smarmy comments or jokes.

Instead, I emailed her and asked for the recipe.  Gotta keep my man happy, right?  Little secret: this dish makes me happy, too.  The sauce only has a few ingredients: onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil, salt & pepper, cream and sherry.  But let me just tell you this: cream + sherry is a phenomenal idea.  Unbelievably good.  And the aroma?  Please.

Sherry Chicken

2-3 chicken breasts
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 tomatoes, diced
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sherry
1 pint whipping cream
Season chicken with salt & pepper, then brown in an oil-coated pan.  Cook chicken thoroughly, then set aside.
If necessary, deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of sherry and add more olive oil.  Turn heat to medium and sautée onions and mushrooms until onions are soft.  Sprinkle with dried basil, salt and pepper.
Add the tomatoes and sherry.  Reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes have cooked.
Pour in the cream and simmer until the sauce has thickened.  Return chicken to pan and simmer until thoroughly heated.
Serve over rice.
I also prepared a simple mixed greens salad with freshly grated parmesan, dressed with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Bon apétit!

(10) Tipsy Spiced Fruit Tart

Saturday, after church, we had a covered dish meal and one of my contributions was a Spiced Fruit Tart.  I used a recipe from the December 2010 Southern Living, subbing in a homemade pie crust for the called for packaged refrigerated piecrust.

For some reason, piecrust has earned the reputation of being very difficult to make.  I haven’t found this so, and I even forgo the called-for shortening for butter (shortening creeps me out).  Furthermore, piecrust takes practically no time at all to make.  I highly suggest you try my recipe and find out just how easy pie is.

Tipsy Spiced Fruit Tart with Buttermilk Whipped Cream
2/3 cup bourbon
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup dried Mission figs, halved
1 7oz package dried apricots, chopped
1 cup raisins
3 pears, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 piecrusts (recipe below)
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
Buttermilk Whipped Cream (recipe below)

1. Cook bourbon, cinnamon, allspice and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.  Try not to dive your face into the fragrant syrup.

2. Remove from heat and stir in dried fruit.  Pour mixture in a gallon-size zip-top freezer bag and seal, removing as much air as possible.  You may sample one piece of fruit, but limit yourself to one.  Otherwise, you will risk having no fruit for the tart.  It’s that good.  Chill for 24 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350°.  Dump fruit into a large bowl and stir in the pears, flour, ginger, and 1/4 cup sugar.

4. Stack piecrusts on parchment paper.  Mound fruit in the center of the piecrust, leaving a 2-1/2 inch border.  Fold in the piecrust, leaving an opening about 5 inches in diameter.

5. Brush crust with egg, then sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Slide parchment paper (and tart) onto a baking sheet.

6. Bake for 50 minutes or until filling is all bubbly and yummy.  Cool on baking sheet for at least half an hour.

Piecrust
1-1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
4-5 tablespoons cold water

1. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

2. Sprinkle mixture with the water.  You may stir together with a fork, delicately moistening (that’s right, family, I said “moist”) the dough, but I prefer to just stick my hands right in there and mash it all together.


3. Form dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface, then flatten slightly.  Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough, working from the center out, until the circle is 12 inches in diameter.

4. To transfer the pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin.

Buttermilk Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons sugar

Beat together ingredients until soft peaks form.

(5-9) Thanksgiving in January

Around this house, Friday evenings are most special times as they mark the beginning of the weekly Sabbath.  To help celebrate, I typically try to make Friday dinner a bit more fancy than the regular weeknight meals.  This Friday, I decided to dig out from the freezer the turkey my husband’s employer handed out at Thanksgiving.

I love a good roasted turkey all on its own, but I am particularly excited about some of the recipes for leftovers in the November 2010 Southern Living.  We were away this past Thanksgiving, so I did not have any leftover turkey to call my own; I didn’t think it particularly appropriate to commandeer the leftovers– and my husband’s grandparents’ kitchen– to try out a couple of new recipes.

Back to the Friday night meal: to accompany the simple roasted turkey, I made roasted Brussels sprouts & grapes, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry compote, and chocolate soufflé.  Now, I knew that canned cranberry sauce was fairly common, but did you know that people buy instant mashed potato mix?  I imagine that its simply dehydrated mashed potatoes, but nevertheless, making potatoes from a powder seems terribly disgusting, especially when considering that homemade mashed potatoes takes all of twenty, maybe twenty-five minutes. Unfortunately I cannot share my mashed potato recipe with you because a) Aaron made the potatoes and b) it’s a top secret recipe (I know it, but that doesn’t mean I have to share it with you!).

I do have to admit that I grew up eating canned cranberry sauce.  After my mom died, Dad continued to host Thanksgiving at our house and one year decided he would contribute cranberry relish along with roasting the turkey.  The first year, probably every family member took a little– it was new, so why not?  Let’s just say that in the subsequent few years he continued to make it, aside from Dad’s serving for himself, the only reason any was eaten at all was because all the cousins would stand in the kitchen and dare one another to try it.  Later on, my older sister and I discovered Sugars coaxing effect on Cranberry’s acerbic tongue, and I have never looked back and the canned stuff.  I have a feeling that once you try the Bourbon-Cranberry Compote, you won’t look back, either.

Roast Turkey
This is a very simple roast turkey recipe.  I enjoy a more complex turkey now and again, such as with sage butter stuffed under the skin, but you really can’t go wrong with the class roasted turkey.

1 12-pound turkey, thawed
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
Sea Salt
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Yank the neck and giblets out of the cavity (you will have to lift up the skin at either the neck opening or the… bottom opening).  Toss the nasty giblets away (don’t open the package and take a peek!), but reserve the turkey neck.  Stuff the cavity with half the onion wedges.

2. Tie together the legs with kitchen twine (our turkey came with the legs already pinned together, as pictured below).  Cut a slit in the skin just above each wing and tuck in the tip of each wing (this prevents burning).

3. Get fresh with the turkey and rub him (or her!) down with the butter, then sprinkle with the salt.
4. Chuck the remaining onions, carrots, celery and turkey neck in a large roasting pan.  Position the bird on the roasting rack and place the rack in the pan.

5. Roast the turkey for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.  If the turkey starts to get a little sunburned, just tent it loosely with foil.  If the vegetables begin to blacken, pour into the pan a little water or chicken broth.
You have a couple of options for checking that it is done: wait until the little timer that is stuck in the turkey pops up, or stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh and make sure it has reached 165°.

While the turkey is roasting, you can baste it every 30 minutes with the pan juices.  The absolute only reason to spend time basting is to produce a nice, evenly brown crust.  I didn’t bother with the basting and my turkey came out beautifully brown anyway.

6. After the turkey is all done, reserve the pan and its contents for the gravy.

Gravy
Contents from roasting pan
1 cup dry white wine
1-3 cups chicken broth
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper

1. Remove the vegetables and neck from the pan and drop them like they’re hot (which… they probably are…) into the trash.  Pour the pan juices into a fat separator and allow to sit for 5 minutes while the fat makes its way to the top.  Pour the juices into a measuring cup, but leave that fat film behind!

2. Place the empty roasting pan across 2 burners and add the wine to deglaze the pan.  Cook for 1 minute.  Pour the contents of the pan into the measuring cup of skimmed pan juices.  Add enough chicken broth to make 4 total cups.

3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then sprinkle with the flour to create a roux (roooooooo).  Cook the roux for 4-5 minutes.

4. Whisk in the 4 cups of liquid and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until you have a nice, thick gravy.  Finish it off by seasoning with salt and pepper.




Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Grapes
recipe from November 2010 Real Simple

1-1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved
1 pound red seedless grapes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon thyme (fresh or dried)

1. Heat oven to 375°.  In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts, grapes, olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.
2. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until Brussels sprouts are golden brown and tender.


Bourbon Cranberry Compote
adapted from recipe in November 2010 Real Simple
1 12-ounce bag cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup bourbon

1. In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, juice and bourbon (feel free to sample the bourbon– to make sure it’s still good).
2. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to burst forth from their shells.
3. Continue to simmer until sauce thickens, 20-25 minutes total.  Cool before serving.


Chocolate Soufflés with Whipped Sour Cream
adapted from “Red Velvet Soufflés” recipe in the December 2010 Southern Living
To turn these chocolate soufflés into red velvet soufflés, just add a tablespoon of red food coloring to the batter.  That seemed like an awful lot of food coloring just to make something “red velvet” rather than just plain ol’ chocolate, so I forewent the dye.  You are the captain of your own ship, though, so if you really hanker for red soufflés, then dye away!

1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons sugar
4oz bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped
5 large eggs, divided
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
salt
2 tablespoons sugar
powdered sugar
whipped sour cream (recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease bottom and sides of 6 8oz ramekins with butter, then sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons sugar. Place ramekins on a baking sheet.
2. Melt chocolate in a double-boiler.  Stir in 4 egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, milk and vanilla extract.

3. Beat 5 egg whites and salt and high speed until foamy.  Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat the egg whites into submission (or until stiff peaks form).
4. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture, one-third at a time.


5. Spoon batter into ramekins and run thumb around the edges of the mixture to create a shallow indentation (this apparently helps the soufflés rise– and there is nothing more disappointing than a flat soufflé!).

6.  Bake for 20-24 minutes until soufflés rise and set.


Whipped Sour Cream
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Beat together all ingredients at high speed with a hand mixer until lightly whipped and pourable.

Drizzle the soufflés with the whipping cream and enjoy!

(4) Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Roasted Veggies

Yeah, so I’m about a week behind in posts.  Little Man is constantly on the move these days, which eats up an astonishing amount of my time.  Daddy is working from home today, though, so hopefully I will have a little time to get all caught up!  I’ll just date the posts as though I wrote them on the day I made the food.  Cheating?  Of course not.

Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Roasted Veggies

We haven’t had fish in a while, and Trader Joe’s had a lovely piece of Salmon, so I brought it home (after paying for it, of course!) for dinner.  This recipe is so easy-breezy and is ready in less time than it would take to drive to a restaurant, order it and wait for it.  And my eight-and-a-half month old son even enjoyed it!

2 bulbs fennel, cut into wedges
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 pint cherry tomatoes or diced tomato
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Salmon
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
Salt
Pepper
1 tablespoon butter

1. In a baking pan, toss the fennel, onion and tomatoes with a generous coating of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast at 375° for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in skillet and sear salmon on one side.  Flip and while second side sears, sprinkle top with Parmesan, salt and pepper.  Cheese should just begin to melt while second side sears.

3. Once vegetables have roasted 30 minutes, add seared salmon to middle of pan and return to oven.  Allow to cook 20 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through and cheese is slightly toasted.

See?  Easy.  So, having salmon tonight?