Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Mushroom Risotto

This is a wonderful dish on its own or with fish or chicken.  From Food and Drink 2003.

1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
8 oz mixed fresh wild mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp chopped garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley

5 cups chicken stock, approx.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Carnaroli or arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Pour boiling water over dried mushrooms in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.  Drain mushrooms and reserve liquid and mushrooms separately.
  2. Remove stems from fresh mushrooms and slice.  Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic and sliced mushrooms.  Saute until mushrooms exude their liquid.  Season with salt, pepper and chopped parsley.  Leave in skillet for reheating.
  3. To make risotto, bring stock to simmer on stove.  Heat oil and 1 tbsp butter in a heavy pot on medium heat.  Add onion and saute for 3 minutes or until softened.  Add rice and saute until rice is coated with oil.
  4. Pour in wine and simmer steadily until wine is absorbed.  Pour in mushroom soaking liquid and dried mushrooms and cook, stirring until most of liquid is absorbed.  Add 1 cup of stock, stirring until most is absorbed.  Continue to add stock in 1 cup quantities, stirring most of the time until rice is creamy with a slight bite in the centre, about 18 to 20 minutes.  Reheat mushrooms and stir into rice.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in remaining 1 tbsp butter and Parmesan cheese.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.
Serves 4

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Coffee Cooler

Continuing on the coffee cocktail theme!  This is from Food and Drink 2003

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.  Add 1 oz vanilla vodka, 1/2 oz white creme de cacao, 2 oz cold, strong coffee, 2 oz chocolate milk and 2 oz milk or cream.  Shake sharply and strain into a glass.  Sprinkle with shaved chocolate....yum!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Cancun Drizzle

From Food and Drink 2003, I had my doubts about this one, but I was wrong...it is wonderful!

To a heatproof mug, add 3/4 oz gold tequila.  Top with hot coffee and whipped cream.  Drizzle 3/4 oz Chambord Royale on top and garnish with a chocolate dipped raspberry.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Lexington

Another Coffee Cocktail!

To a small coffee mug, add 1 oz Amarula Cream and 1/2 oz bourbon.  Top with a shot of hot espresso and whipped cream and garnish with a bourbon soaked marashino cherry!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Coffee Eclairs

Who can resist eclairs anyway?  And Coffee Eclairs, talk about a double whammy.  If you don't want to pipe the pastry for an eclair, just drop by spoonfuls and call them cream puffs...that works well too!

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to boil over a medium low heat.  The butter must melt before the water boils.
  3. Remove from heat and add all the flour at once.  Stir with a wooden spoon then return to a low heat and continue to cook, stirring, until mixture forms a ball and comes away from the side of the pan, about 1 minute.  Turn into a bowl and slowly add the beaten eggs, a tablespoon at a time, beating the mixture until it comes together before adding more egg.  Add enough of the egg so that the mixture falls slowly from the lifted wooden spoon.
  4. Place in a piping bag with a plain 1/2 inch tip and proceed to pipe 3 to 4 inch strips at least 1 1/2 inches apart onto the parchment paper.  You will have about 10 pieces.  Add about 1 tsp of milk to any remaining egg mixture, mix, then using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the eclairs.  If you have no egg left, just use a little more milk.  Place eclairs in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Lower the oven temperature to 375F and continue to bake for 10 minutes.  The pastry should be light and crispy and dark in colour.  Turn off the oven, then remove eclairs from oven.   With a small knife, pierce each end of each pastry, return to the oven to dry out for about 30 minutes.

1 cup homogenized milk
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup whipping cream

  1. In a saucepan, bring milk and coffee to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Whisk egg yolks with sugar until thick and light.  Whisk in the cornstarch, vanilla and salt, then gradually whisk in 1/3 of the coffee milk mixture.
  2. Return mixture to the saucepan, then place over medium heat and continue to cook, whisking continuously.  Mixture will thicken and come to a boil.  Cook another minute, whisking all the time.
  3. Pour into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic onto the coffee cream.  Poke a few holes into the plastic with a knife and let cool.  Refrigerate.
  4. Whip the cream until stiff.  Whisk cold coffee filling, then fold in whipping cream.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp cold strong coffee

  1. Place icing sugar in a small bowl and add enough coffee to make a thick smooth icing.
  2. To assemble:  with a serrated knife, cut eclairs in half. Using a small knife, ice the top halves of the eclairs with coffee icing.  Spoon the chilled coffee cream into the bottom halves of the eclairs.  Top with the iced tops and serve.
Makes 8 to 10 eclairs.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Zucchini Bites

Yummy and easy, it is easy to change this up by switching the meat and cheeses.

2 large zucchini, halved and cored
500 g ground meat (I like sausage)
1 or 2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil or oregano, chopped
3/4 cup Havarti with jalapeno or tomato and basil
3/4 cup feta
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Place zucchini on cookie sheet.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and use to stuff zucchini.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until meat is well cooked and zucchini is fork tender
  5. Serve immediately with rice or couscous

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Pumpkin Squares

Instead of Pumpkin Pie, try these squares for something a little different.  They are simple and delicious.  Dress up by drizzling with some cream cheese topping or leave plain.  From Food and Drink 2003

2 cups flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups canned pureed pumpkin
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 corn syrup
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice or nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cream cheese
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Mix flour and icing sugar together with butter and salt in a food processor or by hand until mixture just comes together.  Do not let it form a ball.  Pat into lined baking pan.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden at the edges.
  4. In food processor or blender, combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar, corn syrup, whipping cream, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and salt.  Process until well combined.  Scrape sides and process again.
  5. Pour over base and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until centre springs back when touched.  Cool squares.
  6. Combine butter and cream cheese with a hand beater until soft and fluffy.  Beat in icing sugar and milk.  Pour into a plastic sandwich bag and cut a small hole in one corner.  Drizzle over squares.  Chill then cut into squares.
Makes 24 squares.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Baileys Bossa Nova

I don't know about you, but Baileys makes everything better for me!

In a glass coffee cup or mug add 1 oz Baileys and 1 oz Smirnoff Orange Twist.  Top with equal parts coffee and hot chocolate.  Garnish with whipped cream and orange zest.  Enjoy!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Real Irish Coffee

Delicious, especially this time of year.

2 oz Irish Whiskey
1 to 2 tsp sugar
Freshly brewed black coffee
1 to 2 oz heavy cream, warmed to room temperature

First heat the glass with hot water.  Discard the water and fill the glass to within an inch or so of the rim with coffee.  Add the whiskey and sugar and stir well.  Pouring over the back of a spoon, float the cream on the top of the coffee.  Serve without a spoon.   The idea is for the coffee to be sipped through a layer of cream, not for the cream to be stirred into the coffee.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Grilled Steak with Bourbon Sauce

Nothing but yummy here! Use fresh herbs if you are able.  The flavour has no comparison to the dried. This recipe was in Food & Drink 2003

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
1/2 cup bourbon
2 cups beef stock
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp olive oil
one 1.5 kg T-bone steak, 2 inches thick (Go to your local butcher for a better cut, I find the steaks at Costco are very good)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450F (I prefer the BBQ)
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of the butter on medium heat in pot, reserving remaining butter.  Stir in shallots, garlic, thyme, tarragon and rosemary.  Saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until shallots soften.  Add bourbon and bring to boil.  Reduce to 2 tbsp about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add stock and bring to boil.  Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup.  Swirl in 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, reserving the rest.  Season with salt and pepper and reserve.
  3. Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet on medium-high heat.  Season steak with salt and pepper.  Add steaks and cook for about 2 minutes per side.  Place in oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes for medium rare.  (I used the BBQ instead) Test steak with instant thermometer if you are unsure.  It should read 125F.  Place steak on carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Reheat bourbon sauce and whisk in remaining butter and reserved balsamic vinegar.  Season well.
  5. Slice steak down to 1/2 inch and serve with sauce.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Irish Roasted Salmon

Salmon marinated in Irish Whiskey and honey!  From Food and Drink Autumn 2003

2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Irish whiskey
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 salmon fillets

  1. Mix together honey, vinegar, whiskey, thyme, lemon zest, oil, salt and pepper.  Pour over salmon and marinate 1 hour on the counter or 4 hours refrigerated.
  2. Preheat oven to 450F.
  3. Remove salmon from marinade and place on a rack over a roasting pan.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, basting once with the marinade or until golden and white juices are just beginning to appear.  Place on 4 serving plates.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Yellow Pepper Sauce for Grilled Scallops or Fish

This sauce has a beautiful vibrant colour and a great flavour that makes it delicious with grilled scallops or fish.  Change it up with different coloured peppers if you wish.  From Food and Drink 2003

3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 yellow peppers, seeded and sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup whipping cream (or use milk for a thinner sauce)
1 tsp granulated sugar
Salt and Freshly ground pepper
20 fresh large sea scallops

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a saucepan,  add the onion and cook gently until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the peppers, garlic and thyme, cook for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add the stock and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the peppers are very soft.
  3. Remove the thyme and puree the pepper mixture.  Return to a clean pan adding the cream and sugar.  Bring to a boil, check the seasoning, then simmer t minutes.
  4. Season the scallops.  Add the remaining oil to a very hot frying pan and sear the scallops 2 minutes on the first side.  Turn and cook another minute or until just opaque in the centre.  Divide the sauce between 4 warmed plates and top with the scallops.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Roasted Pepper Salad

Try this with sausage (your choice) or without.  I roast my peppers on the bbq for best flavour.

3 roasted peppers (I like red)
2 tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
2 tbsp juice from peppers
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 grilled Italian sausages

  1. Peel the peppers over a bowl to catch their juice.  Remove all the seeds.  Cut the peppers into 1 inch pieces and place them on a platter.  Scatter with the capers
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the pepper juice, olive oil, garlic and vinegar.  Season with the pepper; the capers should provide enough salt.  Stir in the chopped oregano.
  3. Slice the sausages into 1/2 inch diagonal slices and then toss with the peppers.  Pour over the dressing and serve.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Cabernet Chicken

The sauce developed with this recipe is wonderful!  I used seedless grapes.  From Food and Drink 2003

3 lb (1.5 kg) chicken
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 cup sliced leeks
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon or oregano
1 cup Cabernet Franc
1/2 cup red grapes, halved
1/2 cup red grapes, whole

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Truss chicken to help it keep shape.  Heat butter in ovenproof casserole on medium heat.  Brown chicken, breast-side down, until golden, about 3 minutes.  Turn on its side and brown another 3 minutes.  Brown remaining sides.  Remove chicken and drain off all but 1 tbsp fat.
  3. Add leeks, carrots and celery into casserole and saute 2 minutes or until softened.  Add tarragon and wine.  Bring to boil and reduce by half, about 5 minutes.  Stir in halved grapes.  Return chicken to pan breast side up.  Cover and bake for 55 minutes, basting occasionally.
  4. Remove chicken from pan to carving board and cover with tea towel to keep warm.  Skim fat from casserole.  Strain sauce into a skillet, pressing down on the solids.  Add whole grapes, bring to boil and simmer 1 minute or until flavours are combined.  Season with salt and pepper.  Carve chicken and serve with sauce.  

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes and Icing

I wasn't sure about the rolled oats in these, but they really work to keep the cupcakes moist.  You don't even notice them.  Make them with or without the icing.

1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tbsp cocoa
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.  Pour water over oats in a mixing bowl.  Add oil and cocoa and blend.  Stir in sugar and eggs.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir into batter  with vanilla.  Fill paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full and bake until a tester inserted into cakes centre comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Remove from muffin tins, cool on a wire rack then top with icing.  Store in a tightly covered container or wrap and freeze.  Makes 16 cupcakes.

This is decadent!  I have never used a raw egg before in icing.  If you have concerns about salmonella, you could replace with about 2 tbsp greek yogurt.

1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
2 tbsp sifted cocoa
Pinch salt
1 egg well beaten
1/3 cup soft butter
1 tsp vanilla

Combine icing sugar, cocoa and salt in a mixing bowl.  Add egg, butter and vanilla and beat, until fluffy with electric beater.  Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Hazelnut Chocolate Crisps

These are great with coffee!

1 1/4 cups hazelnuts
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup each of granulated and brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp each of baking soda and baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely grated

  1. Chop nuts so that small pieces are still visible.  Set aside 1/2 cup.  In a large bowl, stir butter until creamy then stir in oil and sugars.  Stir in egg and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir flour with cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Gradually stir into butter mixture.  Stir in 3/4 cup nuts and grated chocolate.
  3. Turn dough out in a log about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 inches thick onto a large sheet of waxed paper.  Use waxed paper to help shape into a smooth log.  Pat outside of roll with reserved 1/2 cup nuts, again using waxed paper to help turn log.  Roll log up in waxed paper; tuck ends and place roll in a tray in the freezer.  When hard, cut into 4 pieces each about 3 1/2 inches long.  Leaving waxed paper intact, over wrap each with foil and place in an airtight plastic freezer bag. Return to freezer.
  4. To bake cookies, preheat oven to 375F.  For each dozen cookies, remove one segment of roll from freezer.  Remove foil and waxed paper.  Using a heavy chef's knife, cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick.  Place 1 inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment or foil lightly coated with cooking spray.  Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until edges are browned.  Cool on a rack.

Almond Blondies
Use blanched slivered almonds instead of hazelnuts.  Use all white sugar by replacing brown sugar with 1/2 cup granulated sugar and substitute vanilla with 1/4 tsp almond extract.

The Ooh-La-La Burger

This is fantastic, anytime you add sauteed onions and mushrooms to a hamburger you make magic.  But add some red wine to the onions and ooh-la-la!  The French Bread is fun...but experiment with what you like.  I would stay away from an Onion Bun though - I think it would overpower the onions and mushrooms.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 tbsp packed brown sugar

2 tbsp olive
250 g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme

750g medium ground beef (I used lean)
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
125 g brie cheese, thinly sliced
8 slices French Bread (not baguette)
Grainy Dijon mustard to taste
2 cups lightly packed washed and dried mache (lambs lettuce) (or baby spinach if you prefer)

Monday, 8 October 2012


I almost didn't make this traditional Italian candy as I wasn't sure I would like.  I am so glad I tried it.  It was absolutely delicious and very easy to do.  I am not a big fan of Sambuca so instead of buying a new bottle of it (white) I just used some of what I had (black).  This is a great candy to give at Christmas. From Food and Drink 2000

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Sambuca
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 cup slivered almonds
2 tbsp grated orange rind

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.  Oil an 8 x 10 inch pan and line with greased parchment paper.
  2. Combine sugar, honey and Sambuca in large, heavy pot.  Bring to boil on high heat and boil for 5 to 6 minutes or until the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water.  A sugar thermometer will reach 238F.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour hot syrup over.  Mix well to combine.  Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth top.  It should be about 3/4 inch thick.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until mixture is set but slightly soft.  Cool, remove from pan, peel off parchment paper and cut into 1 inch squares with a serrated knife.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Brandy Alexander

This is apparently a traditional Christmas Eve drink - I think I just found a new tradition.

1 1/2 oz brandy
1/2 oz white creme de cacao
2 oz 10% cream

freshly grated nutmeg

Shake brandy, creme de cacao and cream with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.  Grate nutmeg on top.

Friday, 5 October 2012


I cooked my first live lobster this summer.  I was a little worried about it I have to say, but I needn't have been.  I got these tips from Food and Drink magazine 2000.  I bought my lobsters from the local Zehrs and they were just fine.  It must be more common now as most grocery stores carry live lobsters. My family would never have cooked this when I was a kid!  Of course that was when meat and potatoes was the norm.


  • Buy and cook alive.  
  • The supplier should have a good sized tank.
  • The lobster should put up a fight when taken from the water.  The better the fight, the fresher the lobster.  Don't buy submissive lobsters, they are old and tired.
  • Try to get a 1 1/2 lb (750 g) lobster
  • Female lobsters are sweeter, while males have larger, meatier claws (any surprise here people).
  • Females will also have roe inside if you like that.
  • Keep the lobster in a paper bag or box in the refrigerator until cooking time.
  • Cook the lobster the day you buy it.
  • I have a good sized pot, but still only cooked them one at a time.  Do not over crowd the pot.
  • Fill an 8 to 10 qt pot with 6 qt of water and add 3 tbsp of salt.  
  • Cover and bring to a full rolling boil.
  • Take the lobsters from the fridge, pick them up by the body, turn them belly side up and plunge them head first into the boiling water.  When you do this they die within seconds.  Make sure they are both submerged in the water.  Cover. When the water returns to a boil, remove the lid and reduce heat just enough to keep the water at a steady boil without boiling over.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Remove the lobsters from the pot.  
  • To double check they are cooked, insert an instant read thermometer 1 inch into the lobster meat via the vent hole at the base of the tail.  165F (75C) means the lobster is cooked.
  • Serve with sauce


1/3 cup finely diced shallots
2 tbsp dry white wine
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp whipping cream
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces at room temperature
salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Place shallots, wine and vinegar in a pan over low heat.  Cook until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 7 minutes.  The shallots will be just glistening.  Add cream and heat until boiling.  Remove from the heat.  Using a whisk, whisk in butter, piece by piece until totally incorporated.  Season to taste.  Do not reheat.  The sauce can be kept if necessary in a thermos previously rinsed with hot water or in hot water bath.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Steak with Double Cranberry Reduction

Tis the cranberry season!  Here is a recipe that doesn't include turkey and cranberry.  A nice change.  Make sure you get the best steaks you can - it makes all the difference.

6 tenderloin steaks (at least 1 1/2 inches thick)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup diced shallots
3 tbsp diced shallots
3 tbsp dried cranberries
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cups dry red wine (enjoy the rest with your meal)
2 tbsp maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Remove meat from the refrigerator and season.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, except maple syrup and seasoning, and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil until cranberries pop and the sauce reduces and thickens slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from heat, place in bowl, add maple syrup and season.
  3. Clean pan and return to heat.  Add remaining oil, and cook steaks as desired ( or BBQ!!).  If you cook in the pan remove steaks to a warm plate and discard any fat, then add cranberry sauce to pan and stir to loosen any brown bits.
  4. Slice steak across the grain and pour over cranberry reduction.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Egg Nog

Got this from Food and Drink 2000!  I simple recipe that uses cooked eggs so you don't have to worry about salmonella.

3 large eggs
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup rum
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
2 cups milk
Ground nutmeg

  1. Place a bowl over a pot of water, making sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl.  Bring to simmer.  Add eggs and sugar and beat over the heat until light and fluffy.  Whisk in brandy and rum, continuing to whisk until mixture has tripled in volume.
  2. Remove from heat, cool then beat in ice cream and milk.  Pour into serving pitcher and chill until needed.  Serve with each glass dusted with nutmeg.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Eggnog Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is one of my favourite desserts.  This one is a little different with an eggnog flavour.

2 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup rum
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp grated nutmeg
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar for topping

  1. preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Bring whipping cream, brandy and rum to boil.  Cool for 15 minutes.  Stir in vanilla and nutmeg.  Reserve..
  3. With an electric mixer, beat together egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar for 2 to 3 minutes until thick and lemon coloured.  Whisk in warm whipping cream.
  4. Butter six 1 cup custard or ramekin cups.  Divide custard between them.  Place cups in a baking dish large enough to hold all six.  Add hot water halfway up sides of cups.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the custard is just set.  Remove from water bath, cool and refrigerate.
  5. A few hours before serving, sieve 1 tbsp remaining sugar evenly over each custard.  To caramelize sugar to a  golden brown, place under a broiler as close to heat as possible and watch closely to avoid burning it.  It takes about 1 to 2 minutes to turn a golden brown colour.  Cool and serve.

Monday, 1 October 2012

White Chocolate Cardamom Mousse

Superbly rich dessert with a sweetness that is tempered with the cardamom.  Add some seasonal fresh fruit on the side for change.  Something about this recipe screams Christmas.

2 cups whipping cream, divided
10 oz (300g) white chocolate
2 tsp ground cardamom
3 eggs, separated
pinch salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar

  1. Place 1/4 cup whipping cream in a small heavy pot.  Bring to boil on medium heat.  Immediately remove from heat and stir in chocolate.  Stir until chocolate is melted and the mixture looks like a thick cream.  Reserve.
  2. In a separate pot, heat 1 cup whipping cream and cardamom until simmering.  Set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat egg yolks, in a bowl, until thick and lemon coloured.  Whisk in warm cardamom cream.  Return mixture to pot.  Cook, on medium low heat, stirring constantly until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 2minutes.  Remove from heat and beat in reserved chocolate cream until smooth.  Cool completely.
  4. With an electric mixer beat remaining 3/4 cup whipping cream until it holds soft peaks.  Fold into cooled chocolate mixture. 
  5. In a separate bowl, with clean beaters, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form.  Slowly beat in sugar until mixture is thick and glossy.  Stir one quarter of whites into chocolate mixture then fold in remaining whites.  Pour into a bowl or separate serving dishes and refrigerate until ready to serve, about 4 hours.  Decorate with dark chocolate shavings or leaves of dark chocolate and serve with fruit if desired.