Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Shrimp and Artichoke Casserole

Marti had this at a ladies luncheon, TO-DIE-FOR

Shrimp and Artichoke Casserole

Recipe By : Holy Chow/Best of the Best in Kentucky
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Artichokes Cheese
Company Main Dishes
Mushrooms Seafood
Shrimp Casseroles

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
6 1/2 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup half and half
salt and pepper -- to taste
14 ounce can artichoke hearts
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated
paprika
1 1/2 to 2 pounds shrimp -- cooked/cleaned

Melt 4 1/2 Tbsps. of butter. Stir in 4 1/2 Tbsps. of flour, add cream,
stirring constantly. When thick, add salt and pepper. Set aside. Drain
artichokes and cut in half. Place on bottom of casserole. Place shrimp over
aritichokes. Saute musrhooms in remaining butter. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. flour
over mushrooms. STir, then scatter musrhooms over shrimp. Add sherry and
Worcestershire sauce to cream sauce. Pour over casserole. Top with chees and
paprika. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tahini cookies

Total time: About 1 hour, plus rising

Servings: Makes 24 to 32 cookies

Note: Adapted from Maral's Pastry in Van Nuys. These simple cookies are made with bread dough, and their Armenian name, tahinov hats, literally means "tahini bread." The cookies bake best in a convection oven at the same temperature.

2 2/3 cup bread flour

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 cup sugar, divided

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

3/4 to 1 cup tahini paste, divided

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, yeast, one-half cup sugar and salt. Add the vegetable oil and mix at a low speed to combine.

2. Fill a liquid measuring cup with 1 cup warm water. With the mixer speed on low, start adding the water slowly — just enough for the dough to come together (we used just shy of 1 cup water), neither too wet nor too dry. Continue to mix at medium-low 2 to 3 minutes until the dough is evenly combined and smooth. Be careful not to overmix. Cover the dough with plastic film and allow to rise until doubled, 2 to 3 hours.

3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees (for either a convection oven or regular oven). Divide the dough in half and place one half on a floured work surface. Flatten it gently with the palm of your hand to a general rectangle shape; continue flattening it with a rolling pin until the rectangle is about 18 by 10 inches. Do not worry if the dough bubbles slightly while it is rolled out. Brush 5 to 6 tablespoons of tahini paste all over the rectangle to get a thin layer and then sprinkle 4 tablespoons sugar over the tahini.

4. Roll the rectangle up lengthwise and trim the ends. Cut the roll into 1- to 1 1/4 -inch lengths; you will have 12 to 16 pieces. Place each piece between your hands, cut sides against your palms; press to flatten into a disc (they will look like rosettes).

5. Place the discs on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes in a convection oven or 18 to 20 minutes in a regular oven, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.

Each of 24 cookies: 110 calories; 3 grams protein; 16 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 12 mg. sodium.

Green Goddess Dressing from Williams Sonoma

1/3 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 roughly chopped small dill sprigs
7 fresh basil leaves
2 roughly chopped green onions
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Salad greens for serving

Directions

Put the parsley, dill, basil and green onions on a cutting board and chop finely.

Using a small spatula or teaspoon, put the mayonnaise in a dressing mixer carafe. Add the buttermilk, honey, lemon juice, chopped herb

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Doesn't this sound interesting?

Add lots of finely chopped fresh basil and oregano, chopped onions, and minced garlic to a quart of a very good extra-virgin olive oil. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least two weeks, shaking daily. Strain, then whenever you make a salad, blend the oil with a small amount of wine vinegar for a delicious smooth vinaigrette.

Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli


1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 large carrot, julienned (1 cup)
3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can great northern beans (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 12-ounce can V-8 juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 pound (1/2 pkg.) ditali pasta

1. Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat.
Drain off most of the fat.
2. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.
4. About 50 minutes into simmer time, cook the pasta in 1 1/2 to 2 quarts
of boiling water over high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or just until
pasta is al dente, or slightly tough. Drain.
5. Add the pasta to the large pot of soup.
Simmer for 5-10 minutes and serve. Serves 8.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream



Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
For the caramel praline (mix-in)

½ cup (100 gr) sugar
¾ teaspoon sea salt, such as fleur de sel

For the ice cream custard

2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
1½ cups (300 gr) sugar
4 tablespoons (60 gr) salted butter
scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cups (250 ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. To make the caramel praline, spread the ½ cup (100 gr) of sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized, unlined heavy duty saucepan: I use a 6 quart/liter pan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or brush it sparingly with unflavored oil.

2. Heat the sugar over moderate heat until the edges begin to melt. Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved. (Or most of it—there may be some lumps, which will melt later.)

Continue to cook stirring infrequently until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it's just about to burn. It won't take long.

3. Without hesitation, sprinkle in the ¾ teaspoon salt without stirring (don't even pause to scratch your nose), then pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and lift up the baking sheet immediately, tilting and swirling it almost vertically to encourage the caramel to form as thin a layer as possible. Set aside to harden and cool.

4. To make the ice cream, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and adding a cup or so of water so they're floating. Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 2 quarts/liters) over the ice, pour 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk into the inner bowl, and rest a mesh strainer on top of it.

5. Spread 1½ cups (300 gr) sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized, using the same method described in Step #2.

6. Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go.

The caramel may harden and seize, but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted. Stir in 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk.

7. Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 160-170 F (71-77 C).

8. Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.

9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

10. While the ice cream is churning, crumble the hardened caramel praline into very little bits, about the size of very large confetti (about ½-inch, or 1 cm). I use a mortar and pestle, although you can make your own kind of music using your hands or a rolling pin.

11. Once your caramel ice cream is churned, quickly stir in the crushed caramel, then chill in the freezer until firm.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pineapple Pie


Whistle Stop's pineapple pie

The Whistle Stop uses lard as the shortening, which makes for a very flaky crust, very easy to roll out. You can use Crisco, or a mixture of vegetable shortening and butter, or use prepared pie crusts.

Pie crust:

1½ cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup lard

¼ cup cold water

Pineapple filling:

1 cup sugar

½ heaping cup flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

5 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon butter

16-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

Meringue:

8 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ cup water

3 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the crust: In a bowl, stir flour and salt together, and cut in lard until the mixture is grainy, with pieces the size of a BB to the size of a pea. Stir in water to form a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so.

Roll out to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Trim and crimp edges. Prick bottom all over, line with aluminum foil and weigh down with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until it begins to turn a light golden brown, 20 minutes or more. Remove foil and weights, return to oven, and bake another 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

To make filling: Combine sugar, flour, salt and milk together in the top of a double boiler set over boiling water. Stir frequently so it will not get lumpy. When mixture thickens, add beaten egg yolks slowly and cook 10 to 15 minutes. Add vanilla and butter. Fold in drained pineapple.

Pour pineapple mixture into pie shell. Heat oven to 300 degrees.

To make meringue: Mix 2 tablespoons sugar with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and water in a microwaveable container or small saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool.

Beat egg whites with salt and vanilla. When stiff but not dry, add 6 tablespoons of sugar gradually, beating consistently. Slowly add cornstarch mixture; beating well as you do. Cover pie, touching all the edges of the crust with meringue.

Bake at 300 degrees until meringue is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Meringue pies do not keep well; serve soon.

Serves 8.

Nutrition data per serving: 474 calories, 9 grams protein, 69 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 18 grams fat, 323 milligrams sodium.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Nisha's E-Z Springtime Dessert

Nisha, has been making this for years - it's Mandi's favorite, she wants it every year on her birthday. She's eaten it since she was four years old.

Angel Food Cake - deli bought one works fine for this
1 large size box strawberry jello
1 box frozen strawberries in syrup, drain
1 carton Cool Whip

Take a wooden spoon handle and poke holes all over the top of the angel food cake, being careful not to go all the way to the bottom - 2/3 of the way down is what you're aiming for.

Make LARGE Jello,substituting the strawberry liquid for the cold water and only use 1.5 cups of boiling water. You will probably use 2.5-3 cups of liquid all together depending on how much liquid you get from the strawberries.Then put in strawberry to partially jel, then mix in thawed strawberries , and pour it in the holes in the cake. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight, covered and then frost with Cool Whip. Store, covered in the fridge.

You want to fill holes all the way to the top, it will look full, but then sink a bit and you refill until they stay at the top. You may not be able to use quite all of the Jello mixture, just refrigerate leftover Jello to eat.

Nish uses food coloring in the Cool Whip to make it whatever colors she wants. She also sometimes puts a glass in the hole in the middle and fills it with fresh flowers, so that it looks like flowers are coming out of the cake.

At Easter she cometimes uses a little coconut nest in the hole, filled with Jelly Beans.