Archive | November, 2011

Bacon and Egg Cups

13 Nov

Bacon and Egg Cups
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
6 eggs
shredded cheese
2 pieces of bacon, chopped into small pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease 6 muffin cups.
  2. Crack egg into each muffin cup, making sure to not break the yolk.
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top of the egg, covering surface. Sprinkle bacon pieces on top of cheese. If you want a runny yolk and want to gauge the doneness of the yolk, only sprinkle cheese and bacon on the egg white and make sure not to cover yolk.
  4. Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes depending on how well done you want your yolk.
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Peppermint Patties

13 Nov

Peppermint Patties

Ingredients:
2 1/4 c. confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 1/2 tbsp. water
4-6 drops of essential peppermint oil
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 c. confectioners sugar for rolling/kneading
1 large bar of dark chocolate for melting

Directions:

  1. Combine the confectioners sugar, corn syrup, water, peppermint oil and coconut oil.
  2. Sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar on your counter top and knead the dough until smooth. Roll it out between to pieces of parchment paper and place in the refrigerator to firm up.
  3. After about 20 minutes, peel off one side of the parchment and sprinkle the dough with some sugar. Repeat on the other side. Cut out one-inch rounds and set aside… preferably back in the fridge to keep them firm. I used a shot glass as a cookie cutter. It was the perfect size.
  4. Next melt your chocolate using a double boiler.
  5. Take the chocolate off the heat and allow it to cool to 80 degrees and then put it back on the heat until it reaches 88-91 degrees.
  6. Cool the chocolate slightly before dipping each peppermint round in. Allow excess chocolate to drip off and then place on a sheet of parchment.
  7. Allow them to set in the fridge until the chocolate is firm and then eat them.

Heart-Shaped Boiled Eggs

13 Nov

Heart-Shaped Boiled Eggs

Materials:
Egg
Milk carton or any juice carton (cut open, washed well and dried)
Chopstick (round one is ideal)
Rubber bands

Directions:

  1. Cut milk carton and fold it in half lengthwise.
  2. This is all you need. (besides an egg) The milk carton is about 3″ X 8″.
  3. Make a hard boiled egg.
  4. While the egg is still warm, peel the egg and put the egg on the milk carton, place a chopstick on the center of the egg, and put rubber bands on the both ends.
  5. Make sure the egg is freshly boiled and warm. Otherwise the egg might break from the pressure.
  6. It’s hard to see but you want the chopstick to dig into the egg.
  7. Leave it for about 10 minutes. (Keep the egg in the fridge if it’s summer time.)
  8. Take the chopstick off and cut the egg in half.

Pimiento Cheese Pinwheels

13 Nov

Pimiento Cheese Pinwheels

Pimiento Cheese:
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (packed) finely grated extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups (packed) finely grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 a cup of cream cheese
1/4 cup diced drained pimiento peppers from jar, roasted red peppers, or piquillo peppers (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix first 5 ingredients in medium bowl.
  2. Mash with fork to blend well.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover; chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

For the Pinwheels:
Ingredients:
Pimiento Cheese
Pre-made puff pastry

Directions:

  1. Thaw puff pastry until it can be rolled out.
  2. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin.
  3. Roll the puff pastry out to approximately a15x15 inch square, or until the puff pastry is thin, but does not easily tear.
  4. Spread a thin layer of pimiento cheese over the whole pastry, leaving a ½ inch border on all sides.
  5. Starting from the right side of the dough, roll the pastry up to form a log.
  6. Wrap the log in wax paper (to prevent sticking) and then tin foil (to seal) and put it in the freezer.   This can be frozen for several weeks.
  7. If you want to bake the pinwheels right away, I would still recommend freezing the log for 15-20 minutes, to firm it up.  Makes slicing a lot easier!
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Remove pinwheel log from the freezer and unwrap.  Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into thin rounds, less than a ¼ inch.
  10. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray, or cover with parchment paper.
  11. Lay the pinwheel down, about an inch apart.
  12.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed up and lightly browned.
  13. Cool and serve.

40 Clove Garlic Spaghetti

13 Nov

40 Clove Garlic Spaghetti

Ingredients:
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti (or your favorite spaghetti)
2 pork loin blade chops
40 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1/4 cup half and half
about 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 green onions, chopped finely (for garnish)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a heavy skillet (preferably cast iron), saute whole garlic cloves in olive oil on low heat for about 40 minutes. It is very important to turn often so they roast evenly without burning. Cook until tender and lightly carmelized. Remove garlic, set aside and do not wash pan.
  2. In same pan, add a little more olive oil and turn heat to medium high. When oil begins to shimmer, add the pork chops, a little salt and pepper, and brown on both sides. Once both sides are brown, simmer on a lower temperature a bit longer until cooked through. Remove chops, set aside and do not wash pan.
  3. Cook spahgetti to al dente, but before you strain, make sure to reserve 1 cup of the water and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the strained spaghetti to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Set aside.
  4. In food processor (or blender), combine garlic and half and half and process briefly until it has the consistency of hummus.
  5. In a small pan, and on medium heat, add a little butter, the garlic mixture (you don’t have to use all of it, just to taste) and 3/4 cup of the water from the pasta. Heat and stir until emulsified.
  6. Reheat the pan that you cooked the chops in with a little olive oil (make sure the meat is removed). Heat should be at medium high. Toss in the crushed red pepper for about 30 seconds, and then the pasta, and briskly toss and scrape the pan so that the pasta gets coated with the flavors from the pork and garlic. Add the remaining water from the pasta to help the process along, and then the garlic and half and half mixture. Continue to toss until evenly coated. Add salt if needed.
  7. Add pasta to serving dish and garnish with a little chopped green onion and more crushed red pepper. You can add grated parmigiano or romano cheese if you like.

Blueberry Simple Syrup

13 Nov

Blueberry Simple Syrup
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:
1 cup blueberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 lemon, juice

Directions: 

  1. Place the blueberries, sugar and water in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain the solids from the juice with a fine sieve and set the solids aside.
  4. Mix in the lemon juice, transfer to a jar and store in the fridge.

Shepherd’s Pie

13 Nov


Shepherd’s Pie
Serves 6

Garlic Mashed Potato Topping:
Ingredients:
8 medium Yukon Gold or other golden flesh potatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions: 

  1. Peel potatoes and chop into large pieces. Place potatoes and peeled garlic cloves in a medium sized saucepan and add enough water to cover.
  2. Boil 20 – 25 minutes (while you are sauteing the meat and vegetables for the filling) until the potatoes are fork tender (meaning a fork or knife slides easily into the potato when you test it).
  3. Drain the water from the saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Mash together with a potato masher until the mixture comes together and is smooth. You can whip with a whisk or give it a whiz in the food processor if you want the potatoes really smooth, I don’t bother.
  4. Taste and season further with salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Spoon the topping over the meat filling in the casserole dish and “rough up” the top with a fork so that it will drown nicely.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground lamb
1/2 pound ground beef
1 medium onion
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 small boiled potato, mashed
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Garlic Mashed Potato Topping

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Over medium heat, brown the ground lamb and beef in a large saute pan with the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and chopped herbs. Saute 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Stir in the salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, mashed potato and the 1/4 cup of water. Simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed. The potato will help to thicken the mixture so that it does not fall apart when you are serving. Stir in the cup of peas and season to taste, adding more salt or pepper if you desire.
  3. Transfer the meat mixture to an oven safe casserole dish. Top with the Garlic Mashed Potato Topping (recipe follows). Create a rough texture with the topping so that it browns while in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or just until the meat mixture is bubbling and the topping has browned. Serve and enjoy.