Friday, December 31, 2010

Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 12

■1 can (14-ounce) Can Black-eyed Peas
■¼ whole Onion, Chopped Fine
■¼ cups Sour Cream
■8 slices Jarred Jalapenos
■1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
■3 Tablespoons Salsa
■Hot Sauce, to taste
■Salt And Black Pepper To Taste
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain black-eyed peas and partially mash, leaving some whole.

Add all other ingredients, stirring to combine.

Spread into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serve with tortilla chips!

*Note: if you have them available, you can use the canned black-eyed peas and jalapenos (they’re canned together.) If you do this, you can omit the extra jalapenos.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8

■1-¼ pound Ground Beef
■½ whole Onion, Diced Very Finely
■1 whole Egg
■½ cups Panko Bread Crumbs (or Regular Breadcrumbs)
■1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
■Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
■½ teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper, More To Taste
■¼ cups All-purpose Flour
■Canola Oil, For Frying
■2 whole Green Bell Peppers, Seeded And Diced Roughly
■1-½ cup Fresh Pineapple Chunks
■2 cups Beef Stock Or Broth
■2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
■½ cups Sherry Or White Wine Vinegar
■⅓ cups Sugar
■1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
■Salt To Taste
■Crushed Red Pepper, To Taste
■Extra Beef Stock If Needed
Preparation Instructions
Combine ground beef, diced onion, egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and crushed red pepper. Mix with hands until combined. Roll meat mixture into small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Freeze on the pan for 15 minutes to firm.

Mix together beef stock, soy sauce, sherry (or vinegar), sugar, and cornstarch.

Heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Roll meatballs in flour, then fry in two batches until nice and brown, about two minutes per batch. Remove meatballs and set aside on a separate plate.

Pour off oil from pan and return pan to medium high heat. When pan is hot, throw in the chopped green peppers and cook for one minute. Add pineapple to pan and cook for one minute, stirring gently. Pour in stock/soy sauce mixture, then add meatballs. Stir gently to combine and allow to cook and bubble for a few minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Add salt and crushed red peppers to taste. (Hint: this dish is yummy if it’s a little spicy.)

Serve over cooked brown or white rice.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8

■2 pounds Raw Shrimp, Deveined, Shells On
■2 sticks Cold Unsalted Butter Cut Into Pieces
■1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
■4 cloves Garlic, Peeled
■¼ cups Fresh Parsley
■½ teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
■1 whole Lemon, Juiced
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse frozen shrimp to separate, then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.

In the bowl of a food processor, add cold butter, garlic, lemon juice, salt, parsley, and red pepper. Pulse until combined. Sprinkle cold butter crumbles over the shrimp.

Bake until shrimp is opaque and butter is hot and bubbly.

Serve with hot crusty bread. Peel and eat the shrimp, then dip the bread into the butter in the bottom of the pan.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fig-Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula

Prep Time: 1 Hour30 Minutes
Cook Time: 12 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 12

■Pizza Crust
■1 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
■4 cups All-purpose Flour
■1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
■⅓ cups Olive Oil
■2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
■4 Tablespoons Fig Spread Or Jam
■Kosher Salt To Taste
■12 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced Thin
■6 ounces, weight Thinly Sliced Prosciutto*
■1 bunch Washed And Rinsed Arugula
■Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
■½ cups Shaved Parmesan
Preparation Instructions

Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.
In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.

Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for at least an hour. Use right away or store in the fridge until you need it. ***It’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Roll out 1/3 of the pizza dough as thinly as possible. Place on a large baking sheet.

Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Spread fig spread (or jam) all over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Lay sliced of mozzarella all over the surface. Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.

Remove from oven and immediately lay prosciutto over hot pizza. Just before serving, sprinkle on arugula and Parmesan shavings.

Cut into wedges or squares and serve immediately!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Filet au Poivre

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 2

■2 whole Beef Fillets Or Other Good Steaks
■2 Tablespoons Butter
■Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper
■2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
■¼ cups Brandy
■2 Tablespoons (additional) Brandy
■½ cups Heavy Cream
■1 Tablespoon Good Peppercorns, Crushed

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Melt butter in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When skillet is hot, brown steaks on both sides, about 45 seconds per side. Place skillet into the hot oven for about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and remove steaks to a separate plate.

Return pan to stovetop over low heat. Add Dijon and brandy, then whisk together. Add heavy cream and crushed peppercorns, whisking to combine. Allow to bubble for about 45 seconds, then remove from heat.

Spoon sauce over steaks and serve.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lia’s Dark Chocolate Truffles

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 36

■7 ounces, fluid Heavy Cream
■2 ounces, fluid Corn Syrup
■15 ounces, weight Dark Chocolate, Unmelted, Tempered, Chopped
■½ ounces, weight Soft Butter
■1-½ ounce, fluid Liqueur: Brandy, Kahlua, Schnapps, Chambord, Grand Marnier
■2 pounds Dark Chocolate, Melted And Tempered, For Precoating And Dipping
Preparation Instructions
Combine cream and corn syrup and bring to a boil.

Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for about sixty seconds to allow the chocolate to melt.

Whisk together, checking to see if all the chocolate is melted. If needed, place briefly over a warm water bath, but do not exceed 94 degrees.

Stir in soft butter. Then stream in the liqueur and mix until homogeneous.

Pour ganache into a large shallow pan. Let it rest at room temperature until slightly firm. Agitate/stir around the ganache with a spatula to break it up a bit.

Scoop truffles onto parchment paper and let sit until firm enough to handle.

Roll into balls and precoat in tempered chocolate. Dip again once the first layer of chocolate is set.

If desired, roll in cocoa powder. Truffles should look beautifully imperfect!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8

■2 Tablespoons Butter
■2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
■½ cups All-purpose Flour
■1 whole Chicken, Cut Into Pieces (cut Up Fryer)
■Salt And Pepper
■½ cups Finely Diced Carrots
■½ cups Finely Diced Celery
■1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
■½ teaspoons Ground Thyme
■¼ teaspoons Turmeric
■6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
■½ cups Apple Cider
■½ cups Heavy Cream
■1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
■½ cups Yellow Cornmeal
■1 Tablespoon (heaping) Baking Powder
■1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
■1-½ cup Half-and-half
■2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley (optional)
■Salt As Needed

Preparation Instructions
Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge both sides in flour.

Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. In two batches, brown chicken on both sides and remove to a clean plate.

In the same pot, add diced onion, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in ground thyme and turmeric, then pour in chicken broth and apple cider. Stir to combine, then add browned chicken. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes.

While chicken is simmering, make the dough for the dumplings: sift together all dry ingredients, then add half-and-half, stirring gently to combine. Set aside.

Remove chicken from pot and set aside on a plate. Use two forks to remove chicken from the bone. Shred, then add chicken to the pot. Pour heavy cream into the pot and stir to combine.

Drop tablespoons of dumpling dough into the simmering pot. Add minced parsley if using. Cover pot halfway and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Check seasonings; add salt if needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

*Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

Monday, December 13, 2010

Quick & Easy Mulligatawny

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8

■1 whole Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, Cut Into Bite-Sized Pieces
■Salt And Black Pepper To Taste
■4 Tablespoons Butter
■1 whole Medium Onion
■3 cloves Garlic, Minced Finely
■¼ cups All-purpose Flour
■1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
■32 ounces, fluid Chicken Broth
■2 cups Half-and-half
■1 whole Granny Smith Apple, Peeled And Diced
■1 Tablespoon Sugar (white Or Brown) More Or Less To Taste
■2 teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
■Freshly Ground Black Pepper
■Cayenne Pepper (optional, For Spice)
Preparation Instructions
Season diced chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden. Remove chicken to a plate. Set aside.

In the same pot, add butter and reduce heat to medium. Add diced onion and garlic and stir to cook. Onions should be starting to brown.

Sprinkle flour over onions. Stir to combine, then stir in curry powder. Cook mixture over medium heat for one minute, stirring constantly.

Pour in chicken broth. Stir to combine, then cook for five minutes. Add half and half, salt, pepper, and sugar, then cook for another five minutes.

Add chicken and diced apple and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off and allow to stand 5 or 10 minutes before serving. Taste for seasonings before serving.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spinach Soup with Gruyere

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8


■2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
■10 ounces, weight Spinach
■2 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
■4 Tablespoons Butter
■½ whole Medium Onion
■¼ cups Flour
■5 cups Whole Milk
■2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
■½ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
■Freshly Ground Black Pepper
■4 ounces, weight Gruyere Cheese, Grated (other Cheeses Are Fine)

Preparation Instructions

In a large skillet, heat olive over over medium heat. Add spinach and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, or until wilted. Add spinach to a blender or food processor. Pour in 1/4 cup hot water and pulse until pureed. Set aside.

In a large soup pot, cook onion in butter over medium heat until onions begin to soften. Sprinkle flour over the top and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes, then pour in milk, stirring occasionally. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in pureed spinach, then cook another 3 to 5 minutes until thickened.

Check seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, or cayenne as needed. Serve in a bowl. Add a little grated Gruyere.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lia’s Butter Toffee

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate
Servings: 18


■16 ounces, weight Butter, Melted
■16 ounces, weight Granulated Sugar
■3 ounces, fluid Water
■1 teaspoon Salt
■1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
■16 ounces, weight Chopped Topping: Toasted Nuts, Candy Canes, Sea Salt, Etc.
■24 ounces, weight Tempered Dark Chocolate For Coating, Melted

Preparation Instructions

*Necessary Equipment: Candy Thermometer*

Combine butter, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Cook over moderate heat, stirring gently, until candy thermometer registers 298 degrees.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla until well combined.

Pour the mixture onto a silicone baking mat or good parchment paper. Use a heatproof rubber spatula or offset spatula to spread quickly before the toffee sets. Spread thin.

Allow toffee to cool completely. Blot to remove excess oil from the surface. Coat surface with half of the melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle with topping.

When chocolate has totally set, carefully flip over (it’s okay if it falls apart a bit) and coat other side with the rest of the chocolate. Sprinkle on topping.

Allow to set, then break into bite-size pieces.

Store in an airtight container.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Festive Fruitcake Cookies

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 24

■3 teaspoons Milk
■3 teaspoons Baking Soda
■1 stick (1/2 Cup) Regular (salted) Butter, Softened
■1-⅓ cup Packed Brown Sugar
■2 whole Eggs
■1 cup Brandy
■1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
■2 cups Flour
■¾ cups Finely Chopped Pecans
■8 ounces, weight Candied Pineapple, Roughly Chopped
■4 ounces, weight Candied Red Cherries, Roughly Chopped
■4 ounces, weight Candied Green Cherries, Roughly Chopped
■½ cups (additional) Flour


■½ cups Brandy
■½ cups Packed Brown Sugar
■1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine milk and baking soda and stir. Set aside.

Cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and mix lightly. Add milk/soda mixture and mix. Add 2 cups flour and mix until just combined. With mixer on low, pour in brandy and vanilla and mix until combined. Add nuts and combine.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup additional flour over the chopped fruit. Toss to coat. Add fruit and any excess flour to mixing bowl Mix until just combined. *Batter will be very wet*

Spray baking sheet with baking spray (or use baking mat.) Drop heaping tablespoons of batter, then bake for 20 minutes or until just golden brown. Do not overbrown!

Mix glaze ingredients in a bowl, then spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of glaze over each warm cookie. Allow to cool. These cookies get better with age! (Well…within reason.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cleta Bailey’s Toffee Squares

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 24


■2 sticks Butter
■1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
■1 whole Egg
■2 teaspoons Vanilla
■2 cups All-purpose Flour
■2 cups Chocolate Chips (milk Or Semi-sweet)
■¾ cups Finely Chopped Pecans

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and flour and mix until combined. Spread on cookie sheet with an offset spatula until thin. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle on chocolate chips. Return to oven for 1 minute. Remove from oven and spread chocolate thinly over the cookie layer.

Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Cut into squares