Archive for the 'dairy recipes' Category



29
May
11

Shavuos Recipes


The Shavuos Recipe Contest, which we announced on May 12th, has so far netted only 11 entries. Come now, gentle readers, we know there are some great cooks out there, please send us your favorite dairy recipes for a chance to win a nice selection of cholov Yisroel cheeses.

Meanwhile, having attended Lévana’s delicious Shavuos themed Dinner and a Show this past Monday, she graciously agreed to share two recipes:

Photo by: levanacooks.com

Cold Watercress Soup Recipe

Cold soups would always be a thrill if only they were made with full-bodied and full-flavored veggies, as they are here. No stock or broth whatsoever! Bouillon cubes? Let’s not even go there!

There are several variations you might enjoy on this theme, keeping as always a short and sweet ingredient selection: Broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus instead of the watercress and zucchini; potatoes, turnips, parsnips, cauliflower instead of the celery root. Play with all the possibilities!

The immersion blender is a wonderfully nifty tool, inexpensive and portable (it will fit in a drawer), that allows you to blend your soup directly and in one shot right in your pot. No transferring, no mess. Just make sure there are no bones in the soup, or you will break your blade.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 large leeks, sliced
  • 1 large celery knob, diced
  • 2 large zucchini, cut in large chunks
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) water
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 bunches watercress, stems and leaves
  • Good pinch nutmeg
  • 4 cups cold milk or non-dairy milk
  • Pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a wide heavy pot. Add the leeks and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add the celery, zucchini, turmeric, water, wine and salt, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the watercress and cook only a few seconds, until wilted. Turn off the flame.
  5. The remaining ingredients and cream the soup with an immersion blender. Adjust the texture and seasonings.
  6. Chill the soup.

As a kid growing up in Montevideo, Uruguay, I had to contend with two major handicaps:

  • The first neighborhood we lived in was mostly Italian and we were the only Jews in our building, the lone Jewboy was a natural target…
  • I was extremely overweight and couldn’t run too well, that much better for the nabe’s bullies.

My saintly mother (aleha Hasholom!) decided she’d become the best Italian cook in the neighborhood. Why? So that everyone would want to be invited over for a meal and thus, out of pure self interest, stop beating up the very fat Jewish kid… One of the favorites was polenta, here’s Lévana’s own version:

Polenta Casserole au Gratin Recipe

Please ignore those insipid cooked polenta rolls you find in the supermarket: Making the polenta base takes minutes, and is the bulk of the work for this delicious dish, which will serve a good dozen guests! Au Gratin just means it is topped with a crust: Yum!

This is only one of the wonderful polenta possiblities: You will love to explore them, as it is not only delicious but very nutritious, and gluten-free to boot. You can:

  • Eat the polenta as is, hot and un-assembled (in other words, only the first step of the recipe) as the grain for a main course.
  • Thin it with a little water, garlic and minced basil, maybe a couple diced tomatoes for a great soup
  • Cut the cooled polenta in cubes or triangles and put it right under your broiler flame
  • Make other fillings: Roasted diced vegetables (mushrooms, eggplant, red pepper, fennel, artichoke hearts, etc…..
  • Make it dairy-free. Cook it in water or dairy-free milk, and/or substitute some white wine for some of the water or milk.

Ingredients

  • 9 cups milk, low-fat OK
  • A few drops olive oil
  • Salt to taste (remember the cheese is salty, so very little please)
  • 3 cups coarse cornmeal
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan or other strong cheese
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 5 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • Good pinch dried pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Topping

  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs, gluten-free OK
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Boil water, oil, and salt in a large pot. Add the cornmeal and stir until thick. This should take about ten minutes.
  2. Stir in the cheese.
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased cookie sheet, in a layer no more than half an inch thick. You might fill one and a half cookie sheets. Let the polenta cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  5. While the polenta is cooling, make the sauce: in a food processor, coarsely grind the garlic, basil and onion. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining sauce ingredients.
  6. Grease an 11-by-14-inch lasagna pan. Make one layer polenta, making sure you leave no blank spaces. Add half the sauce.
  7. Repeat: one layer polenta, one layer sauce. Bake the casserole for about 45 minutes, or until the dish looks bubbly and hot.
  8. Mix the bread crumbs with the butter, and sprinkle over the dish. Bake another 10 minutes.
  9. Let cool slightly before cutting into squares. Makes a dozen servings.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy AND don’t forget to send us your favorite Shavuos recipes (there is a nice selection of cholov Yisroel cheeses as the prize for the best!) to:

kosherscene@gmail.com

Meanwhile, check out Lévana’s pages for more Shavuos delicacies.

CS

RELATED POSTS

shavuos recipes – part 2 

————–

shavuos recipes – part 2

shavuos recipes – part 1

and for prize winning cheese cake recipes: and the winner is…

12
May
11

Shavuos Contest


Last year we announced The Kosher Scene’s First Annual Shavuot Cheese Cake Contest, as a result we received 21 recipes by the time it was over. We realize that not everyone is a baker so this year instead of cheesecake we are announcing a Shavuot Best Dairy Recipe Contest. It need not be a cheescake, it can be anything, BUT cheese must be one the ingredients.

Last year’s winner got the following cholov Yisroel cheeses from N&K some of whose products we’ve reviewed on these pages (here and here):

Stack 108 slices stack White American, 16ozs. Mozarella chunk, 8ozs. Muenster chunk, 8 ozs. Cheddar chunk, 6ozs. Muenster slices, 6ozs. Swiss slices, 6ozs. Processed Pepper Jack slices, 8ozs. shredded Pizza Cheese, 8 ozs. shredded Chef's Blend, 12 Mozarella Cheese Sticks

You may not like to bake, but you may like to cook up a storm of delicious dishes for Shavuot, so please, send us some of your best recipes to:

KosherScene@gmail.com

We’ll publish the most mouth watering ones with the author’s name and the winner will receive a selection of cheeses from N&K to rival last year’s prize. All entries must be emailed by Monday, June 6 of 2011. We will announce the winner on Monday the 13th of June. Send us your best recipes, don’t be shy. Even if you think other readers may send in better ones, try anyway, don’t let your modesty keep you from winning. Your family will be proud of you, other readers will thank you. We can’t wait to see your best efforts, our mouth are already salivating.

For last year’s delicious winning cheesecake recipes, check out: and the winner is…

CS

27
Apr
11

This Evening’s Radio Show and a Recipe


Right before Pessach we did a two hour show featuring various wine experts and distributors, talking about kosher wines from around the world. It ended with a half hour conversation with Chef Jeff Nathan of Abigael’s.  You can listen to the archived show here.

This evening our internet radio guest will be Chef Sarah Lasry. Mrs. Lasry is Food Editor at Binah Magazine, author of The Dairy Gourmet and The At Home Gourmet. For eight years she owned and operated Tastebuds, a very successful dairy restaurant in the Howell/Lakewood area in New Jersey. You can hear our conversation, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalk Radio. To talk to our guest, or to comment, you may call in at: 714.333.3357, we will be on from 8:00 – 8:30pm.

Looking through her latest of cookbook, The At Home Gourmet, I found it well organized and easy to follow. It’s divided in seven sections (Amazing Appetizers, Simple Soups, Zestful Salads, Lazy Lunches, Delicious Dinners, Waist Watchers, Basic Desserts) )and has a well organized Index. Quite a few of its recipes are destined to become new favorites, among them some of the very decadent desserts.

While I’m a carnivore to the core, those who follow this blog also know that any recipe that calls for cheese is sure to get my attention. Therefore, out of the many mouthwatering recipes in this book, I thought the one below would be perfect…

So Cheesy Onion Potato Gratin

  • 1 large onion sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp.extra virgin oil
  • 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Mozarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter
  • Extra shredded Cheddar or Mozzarella for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a skillet over med-high heat, saute the onions in olive oil until they have browned (about 4-5 minutes). In a sprayed 9 x 13 baking pan, layer the bottom with the fried onions. Then layer the potatoes over the onions, covering them completely and overlapping the potatoes one on top of the other.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk the heavy cream, salt, black pepper and both cheeses together. Pour the heavy cream mixture over the potatoes. In a separate bowl, add the crumbs and melted margarine, mix well and then spread generously over the top layer of potatoes. Sprinkle with a little more cheese and bake the gratin until it becomes bubbly, the top is brown and the potatoes are completely soft, about 20-30 minutes. Let gratin rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy! As for me I plan on pairing it tonight with a well chilled Balma Venetia 2006 Muscat Beaumes de Venise… can’t wait!

CS

16
Mar
11

Some New Cheeses from Natural & Kosher


N&K's newest selections

I may be a carnivore to the core, but I’m also a cheese lover. Thus, over the last seven days I’ve been trying some of Natural and Kosher‘s latest selections. These included: Horseradish Cheddar, Olive Cheddar, Part Skim Mozzarella, Goat Kashkaval, Sharp Goat Cheddar, Goat Mozzarella with Red Peppers, Goat Mozzarella with Fine Herbs, Cranberry Pecan Chèvre Goat Cheese, Fine Herbs Chèvre, 2 types of American Slices, Cheddar Cubes, Mexican Blend (Shredded blend of Monterrey Jack, Cheddar and Asadero) and a superb Fitucci Grated Parmesan Cheese. I found them all to be delicious choices. Feeling adventurous I decided to do a white omelette. SYR had been telling me about an omelette without yolks, made with only the egg whites. What’s the point you ask? A drastic reduction in calories and the elimination of almost all the cholesterol with no sacrifice of taste!

SYR‘s Hearty White Omelette

Delicious and filling!

Yield: 2 servings

Directions

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1/3 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 Baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 6 egg whites
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 slice N&K Horseradish Cheddar
  • 1 slice N&K Olive Cheddar
  • Fitucci Grated Parmesan
  • 1 medium tomato
  • Parsley flakes

Directions

  1. Saute onion and peppers in a sprayed or lightly greased coated pan till light brown.
  2. Add in chopped mushrooms. and saute for another few minutes till onions are golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Toss egg whites into pan on low-medium flame till lightly golden add salt and pepper to taste- flip
  4. Add in suated onions, pepper ch0pped parsley mushrooms and cheese.
  5. When cheese melts, fold in half and slide onto plate.
  6. Garnish with tomato slices and sprinkle the whole with parsley flakes and grated Parmesan cheese.

What did we do with the yolks?!? With Purim coming up in a few days they were used for baking, of course.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

21
Dec
10

Soups as Comfort Food – Part 3


There are myriad types of soups, while I never intended an exhaustive listing when we started this series, while I realize there are far more types than I’m ever likely to try, this series only deals with some of my favorites from among those I’ve tasted. In this, the final installment of the series we will again feature two soups.

We chose all these recipes both because of their taste and the ease of preparation.

Last evening, at a cooking demo by Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum, I tasted her incredibly flavorful and very simple to prepare…

Aduki Bean Burdock Soup

Ingredients

  • 12 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground bay leaf
  • 2 cups aduki beans
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 celery root, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 large zucchini, cut in large chunks
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1 large piece burdock, peeled and cut in large chunks

Directions

  1. Bring all ingredients to boil in a wide heavy pot.
  2. Reduce to medium and cook covered for 1 hour.
  3. Cream the soup with an immersion blender.
  4. Adjust texture and seasonings.

If you do not have, if you cannot find burdock, you can substitute almost anything else. In spite of her recipe calling for burdock, Lévana – just to demonstrate the versatility of her recipe – used kale stalk instead

If you are like me you probably never heard of burdock before…What is burdock? For its culinary and medicinal properties look it up in the Wikipedia. Meanwhile, as the article says:

the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy wrote in his journal, in 1896, about a tiny shoot of burdock he saw in a ploughed field, “black from dust but still alive and red in the center … It makes me want to write. It asserts life to the end, and alone in the midst of the whole field, somehow or other had asserted it.”

For another of Chef Lévana’s superb soup recipes check out Quick Black Bean Chocolate Soup

To end this series I chose to adapt an Emeril Lagasse variation of the classic French Onion Soup on the Food Network :

Gratinee Lyonnaise (Lyon-style Onion Soup)

[adapted to conform with kashrus]

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup cognac
  • 8 cupspareve soup stock
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, tied into a bundle with kitchen string
  • 1/2 loaf French bread, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 pound Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2 egg yolks (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Port wine (optional)
  • Finely chopped parsley, garnish

Directions

In a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the cognac. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the alcohol has evaporated. Be careful as the cognac may ignite.

Add the soup stock and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the soup for 45 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, toast the bread slices until light golden brown. Remove from the oven.

Preheat the broiler.

When the soup is ready, divide 1/2 of the toasted bread slices between 6 individual ovenproof serving bowls or crocks and top with 1/2 of the grated cheese. Ladle some of the soup among the bowls and top with the remaining toasts. Ladle the remaining soup among the bowls and top with the remaining cheese. Place the bowls on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted, golden brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Optional topping:

In a small bowl combine the egg yolks and Port and whisk to thoroughly combine. Pour some of the mixture evenly among the soup bowls, stirring in around the edges so that it is incorporated into the soup. (The heat of the soup will cook the egg yolk and this will thicken and enrich the soup.)

Garnish the top with chopped parsley and serve hot.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Soups as Comfort Food – Part 2

Soups as Comfort Food

07
Nov
10

Little Lemon Meringue Pie


I’m constantly looking for delicious desserts, I confess, I have a sweet tooth… While scouring the web, for something decadent but fairly easy to prepare, I came across the following on The Food Network:

My mother (a"h) used to make something very similar... ahh, the memories!

 

Little Lemon Meringue Pies

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sour cream or yogurt

Lemon Filling:

  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

Meringue:

  • 1/4 cup egg whites (about 2 large eggs)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1 (6-cup) standard non-stick muffin tin

Directions

Crust:
Beat the butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until smooth. Add the sugar and salt and continue to beat until evenly combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the egg yolk. Add half of the flour, beating until just crumbly. Scrape down the bowl again; add the remaining flour and then the sour cream or yogurt, beating just until the dough is evenly moistened. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly to bring it together.

Roll the dough between 2 generously floured sheets of waxed or parchment paper into a circle about 1/4-inch thick with a rolling pin. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cut out 6 (4 1/2-inch) rounds using an inverted bowl or round cookie cutter. Place rounds in the muffin tins and, using a small shot glass or your fingers, press into the corners and about halfway up the sides for a snug fit (see photo). Freeze dough in the muffin tin for 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Spray the outside of 6 standard muffin liners with cooking spray and place in the crusts. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crusts until just brown around the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for about 1 minute; then carefully remove the muffin liners and baking beans. Return pan to the oven and continue to bake until crusts are cooked through and evenly browned (see photo), about 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool slightly. Then carefully remove crusts from the muffin tin and cool completely on a rack.

Lemon Filling:

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and yolks in a nonreactive saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture is smooth and sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Add the lemon and lime juice and zest and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is as thick as sour cream and is just about to simmer, 3 to 4 minutes. (Take care to stir into the sides of the pot so that all curd thickens evenly.)

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Whisk in the butter a little at a time, until smooth. Stir occasionally until cooled. (Setting the bowl in a larger bowl of ice will speed this up.). Fill each tartlet with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cool lemon filling.

Meringue:

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a saucepan that can hold a standing mixer’s bowl above the water. Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl by hand. Set the bowl above the boiling water and continue whisking until the mixture is hot to the touch (135 degrees F) and the sugar dissolves, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the whites at medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Increase speed to high and continue to beat to make a stiff, cool meringue, about 10 minutes. Dollop or pipe on top of the filling.

Just before serving, preheat the broiler to high. Set the pies on a baking sheet, and place under the broiler until the meringue is evenly toasted, about 2 minutes. (Alternatively, brown meringue with a blowtorch.) Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

For Busy Bakers:

They can be refrigerated for up to 2 days These also freeze wonderfully! They can be assembled and frozen up to 1 week in advance. Defrost for 20 minutes before broiling the tops and serving.

To make ahead in stages:

- The crusts can be made, baked and frozen up to 2 weeks.

- The curd can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.

- The meringue can be made up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

31
Oct
10

Sugar River Cheese Co.


Europeans have long laughed at the pretentiousness of American cheeses (especially kosher ones), but, judging by the latest entries into the field, that situation will soon change. I’ve seen quite a few interesting cheeses at the Pomegranate isles, among them some intriguing flavored ones from the Sugar River Cheese Co. Having tasted these delicious cheeses we just had to contact them and interview Mark Rosen, the company’s President.

I found Mr. Rosen very personable, witty and a true foodie. Besides being a fountain of information on cheese making processes, he also told us some amusing stories about himself, stories that gave us a glimpse into the make up of his love of food and pursuit of quality. That carefully nurtured quest for the best led him to start this company in 2002 with the aim of bringing “natural, terrific tasting, unique, kosher Wisconsin Cheeses to the kosher consumer.” Judging by what we tasted, he certainly succeeded.

The superb tasting Sugar River cheeses we've sampled...

The Sugar River cheeses we’ve sampled were: Parmesan (aged 18 months, my personal favorite), White Cheddar (aged 18 months), White Cheddar with Roasted Garlic and Green Onion, White Cheddar with Chipotle, Prairie Jack with Parsley and ChivePrairie Jack with Green Peppercorns, Monterrey Jack with Jalapeno and Cilantro, Monterrey Jack With Roasted Garlic And Basil (second place award in the Flavored Monterey Jack judging category at the 23rd Annual Competition and Judging by the American Cheese Society‘s (ACS) held July 22, 2006 in Portland, Oregon. The first time Sugar River cheeses ever entered a competition and the first time a kosher cheese ever won!) and Monterey Jack With Tomato And Olive.

SYR, thought this cheeses would go perfectly with some of her favorite pasta recipes. Here’s one she tried which turned out terrific:

SYR‘s Easy Penne Alla Romana

YIELD: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package of penne
  • water to fully cover the pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 chopped garlic
  • 6 chopped pearl onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, cubed
  • 10 shitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup oyster mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10-15 chopped leaves of fresh basil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 package Sugar River White Cheddar with Roasted Garlic and Green Onion
  • Sugar River Parmesan

Aaahh... the aroma, the taste!

Pasta

  1. In a medium size pot pour in water to two thirds height (enough to cover the pasta).
  2. Add the penne and cook until it is al dente (still firm, not hard).

Vegetables

  1. Pour the oil into a medium shallow pan.
  2. Sauté the chopped garlic and onions.
  3. Add the tomatoes when the above show some golden brown.
  4. After 30 seconds add the zucchini and mushrooms.
  5. Let it all cook for 1 minute and add basil and parsley.
  6. take off fire after 2 more minutes.
  7. Add mixture to drained penne

Cheese

  1. Cut the Sugar River White Cheddar with Roasted Garlic and Green Onion into small cubes.
  2. Add the cubes into the mixed penne and vegetable. Continue mixing until cheese is mostly melted.
  3. Sprinkle with shavings of Sugar River Parmesan.
  4. Serve while still hot.

Please remember, by using the 18 month aged Parmesan you have to wait six hours before you can eat meat.

Enjoy, gentle reader, Enjoy!

CS

19
Oct
10

Maple Pot de Crème


Recently I was looking for a really decadent dairy dessert, I found it, made it yesterday and it proved more than good enough to share on these pages. It comes from the 17 and Baking blog, a very nice blog with great recipes and photography:

Maple Pots de Crème

From Closet Cooking
Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and arrange four ramekins in a rimmed baking dish.

Combine the cream, maple syrup, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat until it comes to a simmer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Using a small ladle, add some hot cream to the egg yolks a few tablespoons at a time. Whisk the egg yolks into the cream in the saucepan until combined. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.

Pour the mixture into the four ramekins. Carefully pour enough hot water into the rimmed baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the edges are set but the center gently jiggles when shook, about 50-60 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Eat, or cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge (I prefer them cold.)

Elissa, the blog’s author, is a very good photographer with an obvious love of baking. It was her photography that seduced my senses into imagining the taste and just try it. I was not disappointed. Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

11
Oct
10

It Isn’t Just for Kids Anymore


As a kid I used to love macaroni & cheese, my kids loved/love it, so do my grandkids AND… I still like it! Looking at one my favorite Chef’s blog (Chef Laura Frankel), Laura’s Kosher Kitchen, I came across her adult version of a lifelong favorite:

Macaroni and Cheese

Let me have it, let me have it! (Photo by: Elle239 on BlissfullyDomestic.com)

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Serves 6 generously

Ingredients

  • 1 pound macaroni or favorite pasta shape
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 shallot, minced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic minced finely
  • 2 cups of milk (I use whole milk for this)
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese-grated (I use White Sharp Cheddar)
  • 1 cup Emmentaler or Swiss cheese-grated
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • ½ cup bread crumbs-Panko* is perfect for this
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Bring a large saucepan with water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente (about 10 minutes depending upon size of pasta). Drain and set aside.
  2. Place a large sauté over medium low heat. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add chopped shallot and garlic and sweat the vegetables until they are very soft (about 2 minutes). Add flour and stir together. Cook the mixture for several minutes to remove the raw flour flavor.
  3. In a separate pan heat the milk until simmering. Add all at once to flour mixture. Whisk to prevent lumps. Add the hot sauce and cook until thickened (about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat. Add grated cheese and stir until melted and incorporated.
  4. Stir sour cream with cooked pasta. Add cheese mixture and stir to combine. Place in a lightly greased casserole.
  5. Stir bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake at 350 until bubbly and golden (about 30 minutes).

As Chef Laura explains in her intro to this dish:

Use the best quality cheese you can find-do not skimp and by all means, have some fun with it and try your favorite cheeses. I have made this dish with a sprinkling of Blue cheese for an adult version. I also have substituted whole wheat pasta instead of the traditional semolina pasta and no one complained. Attention all comfort food cravers-Skip the box and go for the good stuff-we are after all adults even if we need a bit of comfort now and then.

After a hard, tiring day at work, on any cold day, I find that macaroni and cheese just warms one up as it recharges the batteries…

Enjoy!

CS

05
Oct
10

Dulce de Leche


I grew up in Uruguay where Dulce de Leche is even more popular (and deservedly so!!!) than peanut butter was ever a favorite here in the US. A cousin sends me this delight, directly from Argentina, every few months and I look forward to it just as a junkie longs for his fix.

Looking through David Leibowitz‘s blog, I came across this mouth-watering recipe which uses Dulce de Leche and I can’t wait to try it!

Chocolate-Dulce de Leche Flan

Adapted from My Sweet Mexico (Ten Speed) by Fany Gerson

Serves 8 to 10

3/4 cup (210g) dulce de leche

For the cake layer:

3/4 cup (150g) sugar

3/4 cup (110g) flour

1/3 cup (35g) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk or plain whole milk yogurt

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 egg, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the flan layer:

1 can (12 ounces, 340g) evaporated milk

1 can (14 ounces, 395g) sweetened condensed milk

4 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC.) Lightly brush or spray an 8-inch (20cm) porcelain mold or cake pan (not a springform pan) with oil.

2. Smear the dulce de leche around the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place the mold or cake pan in a larger roasting pan, which you’ll use as a double boiler for baking.

3. To make the cake layer, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk or yogurt, vegetable oil, 1 egg, and vanilla.

5. Use a spatula to stir the wet ingredients into the larger bowl of dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Scrape the batter in the mold, over the dulce de leche.

6. Make the flan layer by blending together the evaporated and condensed milks, the 4 eggs, the vanilla, and salt, until smooth.

7. Over the back of a large spoon (like a big mixing spoon), pour the flan mixture over the cake layer, using the spoon to diffuse the custard as you pour.

8. Cover the mold or cake pan loosely with foil, fill the roasting pan with very hot water, so it reaches halfway up the side of the mold, and bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out relatively clean.

(Note: I found the flan took considerably longer to bake than 50 minutes; mine took practically an 1 1/2 hours. So being checking it at 50 minutes, but note that it may take longer.)

9. Once done, remove from the oven and carefully lift the custard out of the water bath wearing oven mitts, then let the flan cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate the flan until ready to serve.

To serve: Run a knife around the perimeter of the flan, then set a cake or dinner plate overturned on top of the mold or cake pan. Holding both the mold and the plate, flip the two simultaneously and shake gently, until you hear the flan release. Remove the mold. And remaining dulce de leche can be smeared back over the flan.

Storage: The flan can be kept for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Well gentle reader, I know what I’m preparing tonight! I better go shopping, right now, for some missing ingredients…

CS




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