Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Rosemary Biscuits

As regular readers of the blog know, I don't claim to be very successful when it comes to biscuit baking. Yeast rolls? Yes, ma'am. Cornbread? Oh yeah. I have those down. Biscuits? Not so much.

So explain to my why I thought it was a great idea to attempt Rosemary Biscuits on Easter Sunday. I dunno, but I'm glad I did. These were delicious. 

Thanks to Southern Living for the recipe.

3 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup shortening, chilled
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 T. chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add buttermilk, whipping cream and rosemary, stirring with a fork until the ingredients are moistened. Dough will be soft.

Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 1 inch thickness; cut with a floured 2 inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and cool slightly. 

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Panko Breadcrumbs

We all know how delicious roasted asparagus is, right?  What, you've never roasted asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil and then added a few dashes of balsamic vinegar and then fought over the last piece on the platter? 

Just imagine, the wonderful flavor of asparagus, then ..... lemon panko breadcrubs then........parmesan.  Make this.  Soon.  Your family will love you.  If you're just cooking for you, more better.  You can enjoy the entire platter!

And yes, I know you want the asparagus platter.  A great buy a few years ago at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

But on to our recipe:

1 lb. asparagus
1 T. olive oil
1 t. herbs de provence
2 T. butter
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 T. freshly grated parmesan cheese
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Lay the trimmed asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle the herbs de provence on top and place into the oven.  Roast for about 15 minutes until just tender.

While the asparagus is roasting, melt the butter in a small saucepan.
Add the panko and stir for 3-4 minutes until the panko is golden brown.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the lemon juice and zest and stir.  Transfer the panko to a paper towel lined plate and let cool.

Once the asparagus is done, remove the baking sheet from the oven.  Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter and sprinkle with the panko mixture.  Add the parmesan cheese on top and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Serve immediately.

Thanks Martha Stewart!

Coconut Cream Pie

I'm not a fan of coconut anything, but Sweet Harold is and he requested this pie for Easter.  He and the rest of the diners thoroughly enjoyed it and I will trust their assessment of the recipe.  I will admit it was a beautiful pie!

If you're looking for a great source of pie recipes, I recommend Southern Pies by Nancie McDermott.

You'll need pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie (home made or store bought)

1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 t. salt
3 egg yolks
2 1/4 cups milk
1 1/4 cup shredded or flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
3 T. butter
1 t. vanilla extract

3 egg whites
5 T. sugar

Line a 9 inch pie pan with crust and crimp edges.  Line and partially bake the crust at 375 degrees for about 18-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Let it cool to room temperature.

To make the filling:
Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl and use a fork or a whisk to mix them well.  In another small bowl, beat the egg yolks.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk almost to a boil, stirring it as it heats up and begins to steam.  Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot milk and pour it into the small bowl of beaten egg yolks, stirring well as you pour.  This warms up the eggs and discourages them from curdling when they are cooked.  Scrape the warmed egg yolks into the hot milk mixture on the stove and stir well.

Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture to the warm egg and milk mixture and stir well to dissolve it.  Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring all the while, until the mixture has thickened to about the consistency of cream and becomes very smooth and evenly combined.  Cook for about 1 minute more, and then remove the pan from the heat.

Add 1 cup of the occonut, the butter and vanilla.  Stir to mix everything together well and until the butter has melted.  Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling, and set it aside to cool to room temperature.  When the filling has cooled down, pour it into the pie crust and set aside. 

To make the meringue:  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixture on medium speed until foamy.  Increase the speed to high, and add the sugar gradually, about 2 T. at a time.  Beat the egg whites until they thicken and swell up into plump, shiny, soft clouds that will hold firm, curly peaks.

Scoop the meringue onto the filling and spread it out to seal the edges of the crust.  Mound it up in the middle and sprinkle the reserved coconut over the top of meringue.  Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven and bake until the meringue is a beautiful golden brown, 10 - 15 minutes.  Place the pie on a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature, or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lemon Bar Cheesecake

This cheesecake is a play on the traditional lemon bar dessert popular in many areas of the country.  You get a double hit of lemon goodness.  There's lemon zest in the filling (I love lemon and ricotta together) and then a layer of rich lemon curd on top. 

For the crust:
8 oz. vanilla wafers, finely crushed (2 cups of crumbs)
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
7 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Table salt
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature

For the garnish:
3/4 cup lemon curd
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish

Make the crust:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the vanilla wafer crumbs and 3 Tbs. granulated sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.

Fill and bake the cheesecake:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, ricotta, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.

Add the lemon zest and vanilla, and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.

Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month (see make-ahead tip, below).
Garnish and serve:
Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust of the cheesecake. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate.

Spread lemon curd evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Sift confectioners' sugar evenly over the cake and serve immediately. To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice.

Make Ahead Tips
To freeze, put the unmolded, cooled cake on a rimmed baking sheet in the freezer, uncovered, until the top is cold and firm; then wrap it in two layers of plastic and one layer of foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
From Fine Cooking #104

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Line Camp Ribeye with PInto Beans

I've been craving a steak for weeks.  As luck would have it, I found an awesome buy on ribeyes at a local market and we were set.  My favorite "Texas" cookbook provided this gem.  I am completely recommending that you purchase The Big Texas Steakhouse Cookbook.  Each recipe for apps, side dishes, entrees, desserts and beverages are from steakhouses in Texas. 

This one is a specialty at Line Camp Steakhouse in Tolar.  I'd like to eat there someday!

6 (14 oz.) ribeyes
Southwestern Dry Rub (recipe on a separate entry on the blog)
Garlic Butter (recipe on a separate entry on the blog)

Pat steaks on each side with dry rub.  Allow steaks to reach room temperature before grilling. 

Each time you flip the steaks on the grill, add a pat of garlic butter.  Grill to desired doneness and before serving, top with another pat of garlic butter.  Enjoy!

Pinto Beans
1 pound pinto beans
1/2 red onion, julienned
2 - 4 whole jalapenos
4 slices uncooked bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
salt to taste

Thoroughly wash and soak beans in enough water to cover overnight.  Drain beans and set aside.  In a large Dutch oven, boil enough water to cover beans again.  Cook until almost tender, about 30 - 45 minutes.  Add all other ingredients and cook another 10 - 20 minutes, until tender.

Garlic Butter

1 stick butter, softened
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. parsley flakes

Place ingredients in small food processor and blend thoroughly.  Use to top steaks, baked potatoes or steamed/grilled vegetables.  Or spread on bread.  Yum, garlic bread.

Southwestern Dry Rub for Steak and/or Burgers

I used this dry rub on some gorgeous rib eye steaks for the grill. Thanks to Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine in Forth Worth, Texas for the recipe. Perfect amount of heat/spice. I know this will be awesome sprinkled on burgers, as well. 

5 T. iodized salt
2 T. granulated garlic
2 T. fine black pepper
2 t. cayenne pepper
3/4 T. dried thyme
3/4 T. dried oregano
2 T. paprika
1 T. onion powder
1/2 T. dried basil
1/2 T. cumin
2 t. coriander
2 T. chili powder
1/2 T. dry mustard

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and store in an airtight container until ready to apply to meat before cooking.

Country Ham and Gruyere Dutch Baby

Received this recipe via email from Taste of the South Magazine.  I was ignorant on exactly what the term "Dutch Baby" referred to before doing a little research.  Basically it's a large pancake baked in an iron skillet in the oven.  The toppings are endless.  They can either be sweet or savory. 

With only four eggs, you could feed a family easily with this dish.  Very soon, I'll attempt a sweet one.  Apples/cinnamon/honey perhaps?  Yum.

1/2 cup chopped country ham
1/4 cup butter
4 large eggs
1 t. ground mustard
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 T. chopped fresh chives
1/2 t. chopped fresh tarragon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a 12 inch cast iron skillet, cook ham over medium heat, stirring often until browned, about 10 minutes.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  Add butter to skillet, place in oven.

In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together eggs, mustard, flour, milk, cream, salt and pepper until blended about 5 - 10 seconds.  Remove skillet from oven.  Pour egg mixture into skillet.

Bake until mixture puffs and is light golden brown, 20 - 25 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Top with reserved ham, cheese, chives and tarragon. 

Serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuscan Chicken and Vegetable Soup

I found this recipe in a magazine at the doctor's office.  I added some ingredients and changed others.  The only thing I may do differently next time is deglaze the pot with a little red wine before adding the stock and tomatoes.

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. chili flakes
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes (with oregano and rosemary)
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
2 cups cooked, cubed white meat chicken
1 T. minced oregano
1 T. minced parsley
5 oz. bag of baby spinach, stems removed
16 oz. petite rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

In a large pot, over medium heat, saute garlic and chili flakes in olive oil for about a minute. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and tomatoes and and bring to a simmer. Add beans, potatoes, cubed chicken, oregano and parsley. 

Let simmer until veggies are tender, about 20 - 25 minutes. Add spinach and let wilt, about 5 - 6 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. 

Place a serving of pasta in a bowl and ladle soup over the pasta. Top with granted Parmesan or Romano cheese, if desired.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Salsa Verde Pizza with Goat Cheese and Chorizo

Thank goodness while channel surfing yesterday I stopped on Rick Bayless.  He was preparing a Salsa Verde Pizza with Goat Cheese and Chorizo.  I decided immediately I had to go get the ingredients and make this pizza this weekend.  I'm very glad I did.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
8 ounces tomatillos, de-husked and rinsed (3 - 4 medium)
1 - 3 serrano chiles, stems removed
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
6 springs cilantro or 6 sprigs parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 small white onion, finely chopped
salt to taste

Roast the tomatillos, seranos and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, until blotchy black and softening (they'll be turning from lime green to olive green), about 5 minutes.  Flip them over and roast the other side.

***I toasted 3 cayenne peppers in a hot skillet and then rehdrated them with boiling water for about 10 minutes before adding them to the tomatillo mixture. If extra heat scares you, don't add them.

Cool, then transfer everything to a food processor, including all the juice that has accumulated.  Add the cilantro or parsley and 1/4 cup water, then blend to a coarse puree.  Empty into a serving dish.  Add the finely chopped onion and salt.

For the crust:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 t. instant yeast
1 t. salt
1/2 cup water at room temperature
1/3 cup beer, a light lager is good

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, yeast and salt.  Measure in the water and beer.  Stir to combine everything in a rough looking mass.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 6 - 18 hours.  After the dough has risen, heat the oven to 475 degrees.

Generously oil a 13 x 18 rimmed baking sheet (a half sheet pain).  Use a rubber spatula to gently deflate the dough and scrape it out onto the baking sheet.  Gently coax the dough into a mostly even rectangle about 9 x 13 inches.

Spread 2/3 cup of the roasted tomatillo salsa leaving a 1 inch border around the outside. 

Scatter on the cooked chorizo, sliced onion and crumbled goat cheese.  Bake in the middle rack until puffy and browned.

Sprinkle with queso and cilantro or parsley, cut into squares and serve.