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Showing posts from March, 2015

Fish Francese

You know my feelings on Chicken Francese - good but can be very, very bad. I thought why not make fish Francese. So off I went...

Fish Francese

1 lb Tilapia (or cod or sole)
1/2 c Wondra flour
2 T olive oil
1 c white wine
1/4 c lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon

Dredge fish in Wondra seasoned with salt and pepper. Make sure to tap off the excess flour. You want a very thin coating of flour. Heat skillet, add oil, and then fish. Cook fish until golden and then carefully flip over. Cook until done. Carefully pour wine and lemon juice to a section of the pan where there is no fish. Let reduce. Top fish with lemon zest.

Simple huh? Pretty tasty too. This is one of those recipes that once you have the fish, you probably have all the rest of the ingredients already.

Slow Cooker Onion Soup

First of all you need to be prepared for this soup. You will be crying your eyes out cutting up the onions and then your house will smell like caramelized onions (things could be worse). Is this like real onion soup cooked on the stove - no - but it's pretty darn close.

Slow Cooker Onion Soup (Adapted from Cooking Light)

4 T butter (1/2 stick)
6 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
5 lbs of sweet onions, sliced vertically (about 16 cups)
2 T sugar
6 c beef stock (homemade)
2 T balsamic vinegar
sliced baguette toasted
1 1/4 c shredded Gruyere or Fontina cheese

Place butter, thyme, bay leaf in a slow cooker. Add layers of onions and sprinkle some salt and sugar in between layers. Cover and cook for 8 hours on HIGH. Add stock, pepper, and vinegar. Cover and cook 30 minutes on HIGH. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Toast baguette slices under broiler. Place soup in ramekins or ovenproof bowls. Top with toast and cheese and place under broiler until cheese melts and browns slightly.

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

I always hating making cupcakes for school when the girls were younger. I would much rather make a whole cake. I've changed my mind a little bit about that and it wasn't due to that stupid cupcake craze. I used to hate spooning the batter into the papers! I think what changed my mind was that using an ice cream scoop to portion the batter makes it easier and the cupcakes themselves are portion control (providing I don't eat several).

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes (Adapted from ???)

2 c cake flour
2/3 c cocoa powder
1 1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 stick butter
1 3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 t chocolate extract (optional)
1c buttermilk
1 c chocolate chips (feel free to be more generous)

7 1/2 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 c heavy cream
3 T butter, cut in small cubes
Chocolate sprinkles (optional)

In a small bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a mixer bowl beat butter until fluffy. Add…

Broccoli Cream Soup

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light and thought it was an interesting way to give soup a creamy taste. They use brown rice - weird huh? I knew I had to try it. Well and you know I had to muck about with it because it didn't sound like they had enough flavor in it.

Broccoli Cream Soup (Adapted from Cooking Light)

1/2 c brown rice
4 c chicken stock
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 lb broccoli florets (1 large head of broccoli)
1/2 c white wine
1 c milk
1 T lemon juice
Grated cheddar cheese for garnish

In a saucepan, cook 2 c of the stock and the brown rice (about 45 minutes) until tender. Meanwhile add onion, olive oil, and salt to a dutch oven. Cook until onions are caramelized. Add garlic and heat until fragrant. Add broccoli and toss for about 5 minutes.  Add white wine, scraping bottom of pan. Cook until wine evaporates. Add remaining chicken stock. Let simmer until broccoli just starts to become tender - about 5 minutes.

Place brown ric…


I have made several different Focaccia breads but I think this is quite a good version. I like to use semolina flour - it gives it a nice texture.

Focaccia (Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

1 1/2 t yeast
1/2 t sugar
1 c warm water
1/2 t salt
2 T olive oil
1/2 c semolina flour
2 1/2 c flour (you may not use all of it)
Olive oil for drizzling

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Set aside. Place salt, olive oil, semolina flour and 1 c of flour in mixer.  When yeast begins to bubble (about 10-15 minutes), add to mixer. Mix until dough begins to come together. Add additional flour as needed. Knead in mixer until a smooth dough forms. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and set in a warm place for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

When dough has doubled, punch it down, and turn it out onto a floured surface. You can free form the dough into a 14" circle or place it in a oiled 8" square pan. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes.

Dimple the top of the dough with your fingertips and drizzle with olive…

Loaded Potato Soup

Funny thing about this recipe - I cut it out of Cooking Light magazine twice - once in 2010 and again in 2012 (Shame on you Cooking Light for re-using recipes). I'm glad that I did cut it out (twice) - it is such a quick-cooking, flavorful soup.

Loaded Potato Soup (Adapted from Cooking Light)

4 baking potatoes
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 slices bacon (or about 3 oz salt pork) chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c chicken or vegetable broth
3 T flour
2 c milk
1/4 c sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/3 c cheddar cheese, grated
sliced green onions (optional)

Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Place in microwave on HIGH for about 13 minutes (or until tender).  Cut in half and set aside.

While potatoes are cooking, add oil, onion, and bacon to a dutch oven. Saute until onions start to caramelize. Add broth. Whisk flour into 1/2 c milk, then remainder of milk and lastly add it to soup. Bring to boil; stirring often. Remove from heat and add sour cream (or Greek yogurt). Peel …

Glazed Cornish Game Hens

Cornish Game Hens are a nice change from chicken. They really don't have a huge difference in taste.  Probably if you put them both in front of me and I blind taste tested, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference?? They do make a nice presentation though.

Maple-Apple Jack Cornish Hens Adapted from Fine Cooking)

2/3 c apple juice (or apple cider)
1 1/2 t molasses
1 1/2 T maple syrup
2 T AppleJack or Calvados
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
1 T butter
2 Cornish Hens, cut in half

Add ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced by half 3-5 minutes.

Dry hens with paper towels. Place Cornish hens in a roasting pan. Bake in a 425 oven for 45 minutes (or until they reach the temperature of 180) basting with sauce every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Serve

I like cutting the hens in half. They cook evenly and they just make serving easier. Most people are not going to eat a whole hen. It's easier to just cut them in half at the o…

Raspberry Charlotte

I've made a Charlotte before. Because of the sponge - they are so light and delicious and make me think of summer. With this winter being so brutal, I decided I needed to make this ASAP. I used frozen raspberries and it was delicious. I will warn you - it is very easy to make but be prepared to wash a LOT of dishes. Without chilling time, it took two hours but all of those two hours are not hands on. And yes I know I need to work on my swirls and drizzle techniques.

Raspberry Charlotte (Adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

1 1/4 t unflavored gelatin
2 T water
3 egg yolks (save white for cake)
2 t cornstarch
1 lb raspberries (fresh or thawed)
2/3 c sugar
2 T butter
1/4 t salt
1 3/4 c heavy cream

Sprinkle gelatin over water in large bowl and set aside. Whisk egg yolks with cornstarch in a bowl (I found a 2c measuring cup worked well). Combine raspberries, sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Mash lightly with whisk and stir until combined. Cook over medium heat until m…

Chocolate Swirl Bundt

So I didn't learn my lesson with that bundt pan did I? Really and that was back in May. Sometimes I just need to give up. I convinced myself that maybe it was greasing the pan. Maybe I should've used spray and that would work better. Really? Uh NO! It didn't work better. All the chocolate in the world is not hiding that mess. I've also decided I'm not a good drizzler.
Chocolate Swirl Cake (Adapted from Cooking Light)

2 c sugar
1/3 c canola oil
6 T butter
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract

1t canola oil
1 oz bittersweet chocolate melted
2 T cocoa powder
2 c flour
3/4 c white whole wheat flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1c buttermilk
1/4 c milk

Combine the sugar, oil, and butter in a large mixer bowl. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs; beating until incorporated. Stir in vanilla.

In a small bowl mix oil, melted chocolate and cocoa powder. Stir until smooth. Set aside.

In a separate bowl mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix together t…

Spaetzle Again

What Spaetzle again?  Just because I got this spaetzle maker for Christmas doesn't mean I need to make it all the time. I know, I know. But I wanted to give this other recipe a try. I think this version is more in the pasta family, while the other recipe was a lighter version. Both are delicious, so it depends what you're in the mood for.

Spaetzle (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

6 eggs
1/2 c water
Nutmeg (pinch)
2 T olive oil
1/8 t salt
3 c flour

In a large bowl whisk the eggs. Add the water, nutmeg, oil, salt. Add 2 c of flour. Add remaining flour until dough forms (you might not need all the flour). Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

You know the drill from here. Have the ice bath ready. Boil the water and press through a colander or the spaetzle maker. Remove from the water when they float and put them in the ice water. Drain and Serve.
I served them this time with just a little bit of butter as a main. Hey it was a lazy Friday - what can I say?

Milk Chocolate Creme Brulee

You know I had to do it. You know I had to try a chocolate creme brulee. It really turned out quite nice.

Milk Chocolate Creme Brulee (Adapted from Cooking Light)

1 c milk
1 c heavy cream
1/4 c sugar
1/4 t salt
4 oz milk chocolate, chopped
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 T Amaretto
1/2 t vanilla
1 t chocolate extract
2 T Raw sugar

Combine milk, heavy cream, 2 T sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Heat until it just starts to bubble around the edge. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts.

In a medium bowl whisk eggs, yolks, and sugar. Gradually whisk in the cream mixture. Whisking constantly.  Add Amaretto, vanilla, and chocolate extract. Pour mixture through a small strainer into ramekins. Place ramekins in a 13x9 pan. Add hot water to the pan until the water is about 1/2 up the ramekins. Bake at 300 for 50 minutes or until center is slightly jiggly.

Carefully remove ramekins from pan (using tongs with rubberbands wrapped around them). Cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4…

Oven-Fried Fish

This is a really nice way to "fry" fish without the mess. The cornmeal really adds great flavor. The key is heating up that pan in the oven.

Oven-Fried Fish (Adapted from Cooking Club)

1lb tilapia fillets (or cod)
1/2 t salt
1/2 c flour
3/4 c buttermilk
1 c yellow cornmeal

Place a heavy rimmed baking sheet in oven. Heat oven to 450. Meanwhile, salt fish. In separate shallow bowls, place flour, buttermilk, and cornmeal. Coat fish in flour. Shake off excess flour. Next dip fish in buttermilk. Next, coat the fish in cornmeal. Set aside on a dish.
When oven is preheated, remove pan from oven. Spray with cooking spray. Place fish on pan and spray fish with oil. Return pan to oven. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and turn fish. Cook fish for another 5-8 minutes; until flakey. Serve with tartar sauce.

Tartar Sauce

1/2 c fresh mayonnaise (and yes you have to make it)
3 Cornichons, minced)

Combine ingredients

It really went nice with that Two-Potato Gratin:
Make sure that …

Two-Potato Gratin

Now this may be a little bit of work but most of the real work happens in the oven. While that's going on, you can clean all the pans you used, which I must admit there are quite a few. It is quite colorful looking - rather than that pale looking regular potato gratin.

Two-Potato Gratin (Adapted from Cooking Light)

2 medium baking potato, peeled and sliced 1/4" thick
2 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced 1/4" thick
2 quarts chicken stock
2 T oil
3 green onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 T fresh thyme
3 T flour
1 1/2 c milk
1 c chicken stock (reserved from potato liquid)
3 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
1 oz (1/4 c) Parmesan Cheese

Place potatoes in a stockpot with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes.

Meanwhile in a saucepan heat oil and green onions. Saute until softened, add garlic and thyme. Cook until fragrant. Whisk in flour and cook for about 3 minutes. Gradually add milk; whisking constantly. 

Remove potatoes from water and …