Thursday, October 7, 2010

Red Velvet Cake (Better Homes and Garden Night)

2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz of red food coloring (1/4 cup)
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour or 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vinegar
1 recipe creamy frosting

1. Allow eggs to stand at room temp for 30 min. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour 2 9x1 1/2 inch baking pans or one 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Set pans aside. In small bowl stir together cocoa powder and food coloring, set aside. In another small bowl stir together flour and salt, set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla, beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time beating on medium speed after each addition until combined. Beat in cocoa mixture. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk beating on low to medium speed after each addition just until combined. Stir together baking soda and vinegar. Add to batter mixing until well combined. Spread batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 30 minutes for 13x9x2 inch pan or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool layers in pans for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans, cool thoroughly on wire racks. Or place the 13x9x2 inch cake in pan on a wire rack, cool thoroughly. Frost with Creamy Frosting. Cover and store cake in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For Creamy Frosting:
In a medium saucepan whisk 1 cup milk into 3 tbsp all purpose flour. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat, cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature (do not stir). In medium mixing bowl beat 1 cup softened butter, 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add cooled milk mixture to butter mixture, 1/4 cup at a time beating on low speed after each addition until smooth.

Crab Salad with Wonton Crisps and Lime

For wonton crisps
8 square wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
About 6 cups vegetable oil

For crab salad
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over (I used imitation crab)
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup thinly sliced white and pale green parts of scallions

I also added julienned cucumbers, and yellow and red cherry tomatoes (sliced or quartered)

This is supposed to be served with the wonton crisps, but I was being lazy and just served it with pita chips instead. Directions for making the wonton crisps is below.

Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer
Accompaniment: lime wedges

Make wonton crisps:
Halve each wonton wrapper to make 2 rectangles, then halve each rectangle diagonally to make 2 triangles. Heat 1 1/4 inches vegetable oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until thermometer registers 360°F. Gently lay 4 triangles on oil (do not drop in, or triangles will lose their shape) and fry, turning over once, until just golden, 15 to 30 seconds total. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Fry remaining triangles in same manner.

Make crab salad:
Whisk together zest, juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl until salt is dissolved, then add olive oil, whisking until combined well.

Add crab, celery, and scallions to dressing and toss gently to combine.

Serve crab salad in glasses topped with wonton crisps.

Cooks' note:
Wontons can be fried 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grilled potatoes

6 peeled and sliced potatoes
1 Medium sized Onion sliced (We use the mandolin slicer)
Saved bacon grease

Take an sheet of aluminum foil that is pretty big. It has to be big enough to wrap up all of the potatoes, so you want more rather than less. In the middle make a rectangle with the bacon grease that will fit about seven rows of about 10 potatoes(these are just estimates to give you an idea, but I have never really counted) Take a slice of potatoes and line the bottom of the foil making nice rows and columns. Sprinkle some of the onions on, then sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put a dab of bacon grease in the middle. Then make another layer of potaotes, onions, salt and pepper, and bacon grease. Usually you make about four layers. Then take the foil and wrap it up as tight as you can get it. Then take another piece of foil and wrap it around the potatoes in the opposite direction of the other foil wrapping job. Then cook on the grill for 20 minutes a side at about 400 degrees. The hotter the better, and if the potatoes on the bottom layers get a little crispy that is okay, those are the best ones! If any of this is confusing, you all know my phone number, so please call me and I will be happy to help you through it!

AVGOLEMMONO Greek Lemon Soup

Greek Lemon Soup

1 whole fryer chicken
4 Tbsp. chicken bouillion or 6 cans chicken broth
½ stalk celery, using tops as well as stalks
1 med. Onion, preferably sweet or Vidalia
4 Tbsp. parsley (+ or -), fresh or dried
Salt, pepper to taste
4 eggs
½ - ¾ c. lemon juice
2 tsp. corn starch
½ box Orzo

Place chicken in large dutch oven and cover with chicken broth or water
w/bouillion. Chop onions, celery, and parsley and place in the pot with
chicken. Be liberal with pepper, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then
simmer until chicken floats (about 40 minutes). Remove chicken and set
aside to cool somewhat. Bring broth back to a boil and add orzo. Boil orzo
for 10 minutes. While orzo is boiling, beat 4 eggs in a large bowl, then
add lemon juice and corn starch, blending thoroughly. Ladle the hot broth
mixture S-L-O-W-L-Y into the cold mixture, being careful to stir as you
are adding or broth will curdle the eggs. Continue to add broth until liquid
in bowl is as hot as the broth in the pot. Add the mixture back into the pot
after the orzo is cooked. Tear chicken into parts and add to the broth-orzo
Serves a lot of people!! Enjoy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Italian Cold Broccoli


Bunch of broccoli washed and separated into stalks

Two cloves of garlic minced

Salt/ Pepper to taste

Extra Virgin olive oil to taste

Red Wine Vinegrette to taste

1. Steam broccolli until tender

2 Place broccoli on large platter

3. Toss broccoli gently with all ingrediatns to taste

4. Regrigerate until cold.

5. Serve cold

Can Add lemon juice or additonall Italian herbs if would like.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese


12 servings

5 min
Inactive Prep
3 hr 0 min
3 hr 5 min
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8-ounce box isn't quite 2 cups)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stuck) butter, cut into pieces
2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally

Orange and Raspberry Cake

8 to 10 servings

15 min
Inactive Prep
1 hr 15 min
32 min
Butter, for greasing the pans
Flour, for dusting
1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
1 large orange, zested, about 1/4 cup
1 1/3 cups no pulp orange juice
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup creme fraiche
1 pound powdered sugar
1/4 cup raspberry jam
Water, as needed

1/4 cup raspberry jam
1 (6-ounce) container fresh raspberries
For the cake: Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of 2 nonstick, 8-inch round, baking pans. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the cake mix and orange zest. Mix for 20 seconds at low speed until the zest is incorporated. Add the orange juice, egg whites, and vegetable oil. Blend at low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula, as needed. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 to 32 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and creme fraiche at high speed until smooth, about 10 seconds. With the machine running at medium-low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar until incorporated. Add the raspberry jam and increase the speed to high. Beat until the frosting is smooth and spreadable, adding water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed.

To assemble the cake: Arrange 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a cake stand. Using a spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting on top leaving a 1/2-inch border. Spread 1/4 cup of raspberry jam on top of the frosting. Arrange the other cake layer on top. Using a spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh raspberries. Cut the cake into wedges with a slightly wet knife and serve.

Store the cake in a plastic container in the refrigerator. Allow the refrigerated cake to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches
8 to 9 servings

For the Magical Peanut Butter Cookies:
1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry Ice-Cream:
1 cup whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups half-and-half
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups diced strawberries
For assembly:
6 tablespoons strawberry preserves
Peanut butter chips or chopped peanuts, optional
For the Magical Peanut Butter Cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, the egg, and vanilla, and stir well with a spoon. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. With a fork, dipped in sugar to prevent sticking, press a crisscross design on each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cookies with some of the remaining sugar. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

Strawberry Ice-Cream:

In a small bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Puree the strawberries in a food processor and add to cream mixture. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker. After freezing in the ice cream maker, transfer to a container and place in the freezer, to freeze solid, for 6 hours before serving.

For assembly:

Spread the strawberry preserves on a peanut butter cookie. Top with a small scoop of strawberry ice cream and cover with another cookie. Roll sides in peanut butter chips or peanuts, if desired.