Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cranberry Salsa - T.D.F.

Cranberry Salsa
*from Chef Cluzey {thanks, Brad!}

12oz bag fresh Cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 med Jalapeno
2tbsp Cilantro
1tsp Cumin
2 Green onions
8oz Cream Cheese
Blend all of the ingredients, except the cream cheese, in a food processor.
Whip cream cheese until creamy {or buy whipped cream cheese}; transfer to serving dish.
Pour the salsa over the cream cheese and serve with tortilla chips.

This is To.Die.For!!!!! I didn't get a picture before it was gobbled up, but TRUST ME!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Magic of Cake Pops

If you haven't discovered the goodness of Cake Pops you must check out the Queen of Cake Pops, Bakerella! These are so much fun to make with the kids. You can pretty much do whatever you want with these:

  • German chocolate cake with coconut- pecan icing and milk chocolate coating.
  • Spice or carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting and vanilla coating.
  • Red Velvet Cake with vanilla frosting and white chocolate coating
  • White Cake with vanilla frosting and vanilla chocolate tinted green or red with green or red streaks (Christmas) or green or red sprinkles.
  • Devil's food cake with fudge icing and white chocolate coating.
  • Yellow cake with buttercream frosting and orange-colored vanilla coating with green or black sprinkles. (Halloween).
  • White cake with white frosting mixed with orange and yellow sprinkles and chocolate coating. (Fall or Halloween) or Harvest Sprinkles.

Cake Pops
1 box cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can frosting (16 oz.)
Wax paper
candy melts (1 lb. pkg.)- I use almond bark (24 oz.). You can get it at Harmon's
Lollipop sticks
After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
Mix thoroughly with 1 can frosting. (I use the back of a large spoon, but it may be easier to use fingers to mix together. But, be warned, it will get messy. Also, you may not need the entire can of frosting, so start out by using almost the entire can and add more if you need to.)
Roll mixture into quarter size balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50)
Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.)
Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)
Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don't tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.
Dip in sprinkles or desired coating.
Place in a styrofoam block to dry. (i put mine in a bowl filled with rice)
you can also make this without the sticks.....voila! Cake Balls!

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Best Egg Nog Ever

2 Eggs well beaten
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 qt. milk
1 c. whipping cream

Beat eggs, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, salt and milk. In another bowl beat whipping cream. After whipping cream is formed, fold into other mixture. Sprinkle with nutmeg and chill in fridge for a couple of hours.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

December Gourmet Dinner Group

Here are the recipes from our German Christmas Dinner night! I'm sorry there are no pictures to share! I planned on taking them as I went and got too caught up in cooking!

Green Salad with Cranberry Dressing

1 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 pound mixed salad greens

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Arrange almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 5 minutes, or until nuts begin to brown.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine the vinegar, oil, cranberries, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, and water. Process until smooth.
3. In a large bowl, toss the almonds, onion, blue cheese, and greens with the vinegar mixture until evenly coated.

Rotkohl (Red Cabbage)

1 onion
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium sized red cabbage
1 apple
juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons of water
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F or gas mark 3). Peel and finely chop the onion and apple. Finely shred the cabbage. Heat a large oven proof saucepan or casserole dish. Sauté the onion in the oil until slightly golden. Stir in the red cabbage anddiced apple. Remove from the heat.
Combine the lemon juice, brown sugar, vinegar, water and salt and pepper and pour over the cabbage mixture. Toss to combine and cover. Place in the oven the slowly cook for 2 hours. Serve hot along aside your mainmeal with Kartoffelklösse, or chill to serve with a selection of cold meats and cheese.
(Serves 4 to 6)

Creamed Spinach

2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons chicken base, or 1 cube chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (2 1/2 cups)
Salt and ground white pepper, if desired Ground nutmeg, for garnish and Crisp, cooked, crumbled bacon, for garnish
In a medium-size saucepan, heat the half-and-half, milk, chicken base, Tabasco, and seasonings to a simmer. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
In another medium-size saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk well to combine. Cook this mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Slowly whisk the heated milk mixture into the butter mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly until smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until it thickens. The sauce will be very thick.
Stir in the spinach and simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Serve while hot.
To serve: Place the hot creamed spinach in a bowl, sprinkled with an extra touch of ground nutmeg on top. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of crisp, cooked, crumbled bacon, if desired.Makes 5 cups/Serves 8

Wienerschnitzel (this recipe is kind of in depth, but if you follow it, you won't be sorry!)

Boneless Pork Chops (the thick ones at Costco are great) - sliced (most weresliced into 3 equal medallions) and pounded to a bit less than 1/4 inchthick. Do not pulverize, just flatten. Marinate the flattened chops in buttermilk - you only need enough to make them wet. Too much will make thedredging more difficult. A few hours is good. Overnight is better.
For the Dredging:
You need 3 plates. 1 for the flour, one for egg mixture and one for breadcrumbs.
1/2 C AP Flour
1 t Salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t sweet paprika
Mix these dry ingredients together. This amount will not be enough if youare doing a lot of schnitzel. I just kept remaking more flour when it was needed.
For the egg mixture, the ratio is about 1 egg to 2 t of milk. Beat togetherwell. Start with 3-4 eggs.
For the bread crumbs, fresh are best. Panko would be great.
The process is that you shake/dry off as much buttermilk from the chops as possible. Then dip both sides in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess.Then dip both sides in the egg, and then in the bread crumbs. Let the breadcrumbs soak up all liquid. Do the schnitzel one at a time. Stack the schnitzel between plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate until ready to cook. When ready to cook, you could use a cast iron fry pan or a big skillet. I used a 50/50 mixture of olive oil and butter. Once cooked, keep warm in a 175 degree oven oncooling racks placed over cookie sheets (this allows the warm air to circulate while not allowing too much steam to sit on the schnitzel). This will keep them crispy.

Jager Sauce (these are approximations and you will have to taste as you go)
In a heavy, large pan add:
2 sweet onions - sliced
1/2 stick of butter
6 oz bacon - chopped
Cook down until onions are browning and quite soft (10-15 minutes). Do not drain off the fat.
Add: 1.5 - 2 lbs mushrooms
1 sprig of fresh thyme (make sure to remove this before serving)
Cook the liquid out (mushrooms have a lot of water in them - you don't want any left or it will make the sauce lumpy because of the next step). Once you have cooked the mushrooms and onions down to where the only liquid leftis butter and bacon fat, add: 1/3 to 1/2 C flour (depending on how much bacon fat was rendered)
Stir in and cook down until there is no longer a raw flour taste.
Stir in: 1 32 oz. box of store-bought beef stock (not broth), 1 cup red wine. Stir the whole time. Once all liquid is added, bring to a light boil. Then lower heat to a simmer and allow to cook until desired consistency is reached (about the same as any gravy). Add water if the sauce is too thick. Season with salt, pepper and paprika to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve. Just before serving, add 1/2 cup of half and half or crème fraiche and a small amount of chopped fresh parsley. Serve with spaetzle, boiledor roasted potatoes, or warm potato salad and rotkohl.

Apple Strudel

6 c Apples; Tart, Sliced1 T Lemon Rind; Grated2 t Cinnamon8 oz Fillo Leaves; 1/2 Box,Thawed OR make strudel dough - recipe follows1 c Bread Crumbs; Finely Crushed3/4 c Raisins3/4 c Sugar3/4 c Almonds; Ground1 3/4 c Butter;(No Margarine),Melted
Directions:Mix apples with raisins, lemon rind, sugar, cinnamon, and almonds. Set aside. Place 1 fillo leaf on a kitchen towel and brush with melted butter. Place a second leaf on top and brush with butter again. Repeat until 5 leaves have been used, using about 1/2 c of butter. Cook and stir bread crumbs with 1/4 c of butter until lightly browned. Sprinkle 3/4 cup crumbs on the layered fillo leaves. Mound 1/2 of the filling in a 3-inch strip along the narrow end of the fillo, leaving a 2-inch border. Lift towel, using it to roll leaves over apples, jelly roll fashion. Brush top of the strudel with butter and sprinkle with 2 T crumbs. Repeat the entire procedure for the second strudle. Bake the strudels at 400 degrees F. for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned.

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