Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lime in the Coconut Pie

I’ve wanted to try this recipe for a while. I’m not sure what I was waiting for, especially now that I’ve tasted it! This is a quick and “easy-as-pie” recipe that takes almost no effort to make. I used key lime juice for a sharper lime flavor. I also added 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the heavy cream and used a piping bag and large decorating tip for the whipped cream.

This pie was simply sublime! The coconut is a lovely subtle complement to the more dominant lime flavor of the pie. I’ll definitely make this recipe again, especially since I have a feeling this pie won’t last very long.

Lime in the Coconut Pie, Danny Boome

1 prepared frozen 9-inch pie crust
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
4 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 to 5 limes)
3 tablespoons coconut rum
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes, divided
1 cup heavy cream
3 thin slices lime, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove crust from freezer and let thaw for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile in a bowl, whisk together lime zest, egg yolks, condensed milk, lime juice and rum. Mix well. It may look like it's starting to separate but mix it well and it will come together. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the coconut flakes on the bottom of the crust then pour the mixture into the crust and top with the rest of the coconut.

Bake until the center is set, but still jiggles a bit when the pan is nudged, about 20 to 25 minutes. When baked, cool the pie completely on a wire rack. (At this point the pie can be chilled up to a day ahead and topped when you're ready to serve.)

For the topping, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Spread cream over cooled pie; garnish with lime slices. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Barefoot Shrimp Bisque

Who doesn’t love a good bisque, especially when the weather turns cold? Bisques are soups made of cream and pureed seafood, often lobster or shrimp. Evidently, an authentic bisque uses crustacean shells that are “ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup.” No offense to the purists out there, but I’m quite content without any ground shells in my soup. This shrimp bisque is so flavorful, I don’t think you’d miss the shells!

For this
Barefoot Bloggers recipe selection, chosen by Jennifer of Our Blessed Home, I used chicken stock instead of seafood stock, (simply because that’s what I had in my pantry). The pot of leeks, shrimp, Cognac, and sherry offered an irresistible and rich, lovely fragrance. Once all the elements of the pureed shrimp, half-and-half mixture, and simmered stock were combined, this classic soup was perfectly seasoned. This was a delicious and elegant dinner soup that we’ll enjoy again and again.

Shrimp Bisque, Barefoot Contessa at Home

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
4 cups seafood stock
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 leeks)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
Pinch cayenne pepper
¼ cup Cognac or brandy
¼ cup dry sherry
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
⅓ cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock. Add enough water to make 3 ¾ cups.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.

In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling. Season, to taste, and serve hot.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Scallops Provencal

These scallops were so delicious! McHubby even said that they were the best scallops he’s ever had! The best thing about this recipe is that it takes so little time to prepare, so it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner even after a full day at work. I used sea scallops, which are much larger than bay scallops. The flavor of the sauce in this dish is perfectly balanced with the wine, shallots, and lemon.

Scallops Provencal, Barefoot In Paris

1 pound fresh bay or sea scallops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, divided
½ cup chopped shallots (2 large)
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
⅓ cup dry white wine
1 lemon, cut in ½

If you're using bay scallops, keep them whole. If you're using sea scallops, cut each 1 in half horizontally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss with flour, and shake off the excess.

In a very large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat until sizzling and add the scallops in 1 layer. Lower the heat to medium and allow the scallops to brown lightly on 1 side without moving them, then turn and brown lightly on the other side. This should take 3 to 4 minutes, total. Melt the rest of the butter in the pan with the scallops, then add the shallots, garlic, and parsley and sauté for 2 more minutes, tossing the seasonings with the scallops. Add the wine, cook for 1 minute, and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Chive Risotto Cakes

I love risotto—it’s one of my favorite comfort foods of all. These risotto cakes are not difficult to make, but it does take time and planning, requiring at least 2 hours of refrigeration before forming the cakes and pan frying them. I could not wait to dive into these golden brown, cheesy cakes. The panko offers a delicate crunchy coating. I’ll definitely be making these again!

Chive Risotto Cakes, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

Kosher salt
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
½ cup Greek yogurt
2 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 ½ cups grated Italian fontina cheese (5 ounces)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Good olive oil

Bring a large (4-quart) pot of water to a boil over medium-low heat and add ½ tablespoon salt and the Arborio rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. The grains of rice will be quite soft. Drain the rice in a sieve and run under cold water until cool. Drain well.

Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, chives, fontina, 1 ¼ teaspoons of salt, and the pepper in a medium bowl. Add the cooled rice and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, until firm.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Spread the panko in a shallow dish. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Form balls of the rice mixture using a standard (2 ¼-inch) ice-cream scoop or a large spoon. Pat the balls into patties 3 inches in diameter and ¾-inch thick. Place 4 to 6 patties in the panko, turning once to coat. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side until the risotto cakes are crisp and nicely browned. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and keep warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Continue cooking in batches, adding oil as necessary, until all the cakes are fried. Arrange on a serving platter and serve hot.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lemon Angel Food Cake

So the bad news is that several days ago, our freezer broke. When we discovered our broken freezer, several items had thawed, including my stash of egg whites. I knew I needed to use them up soon, but the broken freezer necessitated that I use them this weekend. The good news is that I was able to use them all in this delicious angel food cake recipe.

This angel food cake is as light as a feather—it’s like eating fluffy clouds! The lemon zest imparts a lovely flavor in this cake, which can be served plain, with fruit, or with the lemon glaze.

Lemon Angel Food Cake, Barefoot Contessa Family Style

2 cups sifted superfine sugar, divided
1 ⅓ cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1 ½ cups egg whites, at room temperature (10 to 12 eggs)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)

Lemon Glaze:
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine ½ cup of sugar with the flour and sift together 4 times. Set aside.

Place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on high speed until the eggs make medium-firm peaks, about 1 minute. With the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining 1 ½ cups of sugar by sprinkling it over the beaten egg whites. Whisk for a few minutes until thick and shiny. Whisk in the vanilla and lemon zest and continue to whisk until very thick, about 1 more minute. Sift about ¼ of the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold it into the batter with a rubber spatula. Continue adding the flour by fourths by sifting and folding until it's all incorporated.

Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, smooth the top, and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, until it springs back to the touch. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan on a cooling rack until cool.

For lemon glaze, whisk together ingredients and drizzle on top of cake.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

You gotta love recipes that have only five total ingredients, especially when they are so full of flavor like this one! Even with a busy work week, this dish is easy enough to pull together. I made the marinade and let the chicken soak in the sauce overnight. Then I popped the baking pan in the oven when I came home from work—too easy! The chicken came out browned, moist, and delicious with the flavors of the ginger and honey permeating the meat.

I served this dish with basmati rice and roasted carrots to round out dinner. Thanks to Todd of A Cooking Dad for selecting this Barefoot Bloggers recipe.

Indonesian Ginger Chicken, Barefoot Contessa

1 cup honey
¾ cup soy sauce
¼ cup minced garlic (8 to 12 cloves)
½ cup peeled and grated fresh ginger root
2 (3 ½ pound) chickens, quartered, with backs removed

Cook the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger root in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted. Arrange the chicken in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan, skin side down, and pour on the sauce. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan, turn the chicken skin side up, and raise the temperature to 375 degrees F. Continue baking for 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh and the sauce is a rich, dark brown.

Basmati Rice

This basmati rice was a great side dish! The onions were a nice addition to offer texture and a buttery sweet flavor. The rice was fluffy and light and a perfect accompaniment with dinner.

Source: Basmati Rice, Barefoot Contessa

1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup long grain basmati rice
1 ¾ cups water
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Cook the butter and onions over medium heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and toss until all of the grains are coated with the butter. Add the water and salt, cover and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the scallions and parsley, fluff with a fork, and serve.

Roasted Carrots

Roasting really brings out the flavor of vegetables, and it couldn’t be any easier to prepare! It’s a simple toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper before going into a hot oven. The trick is to keep the carrot pieces similar in size so that they cook evenly. A tasty and simple side dish!

Roasted Carrots, Barefoot Contessa

12 carrots
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

If the carrots are thick, cut them in half lengthwise; if not, leave whole. Slice the carrots diagonally in 1 ½-inch-thick slices. (The carrots will shrink while cooking so make the slices big.) Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until browned and tender.

Toss the carrots with minced dill or parsley, season to taste, and serve.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Easy Lemon Cake

McHubby had a bit of a sweet tooth today, scrounging around the kitchen for something to snack on. So, I whipped up this cake—it really was that easy, just a matter of throwing the ingredients in the stand mixer while preheating the oven and pouring the batter into a Bundt cake pan. Super easy and super tasty—it doesn’t get better than that! When served warm on a cold day, it melts in your mouth!

Source: Susan’s Lemon Cake, The Cake Mix Doctor

Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
Flour for dusting the pan
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 package (3 ounces) lemon gelatin
⅔ cup vegetable oil
⅔ cup hot water
4 large eggs

½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out excess flour. Set the pan aside.

Place the cake mix, gelatin, oil, water, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down if needed. The batter should look thick and well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula, and place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it is light brown and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a serving platter. Spoon the glaze evenly over the warm cake so that it drizzles down the sides and into the center. Slice and serve warm, or let it cool before slicing.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Smoked Sausage and Black-Eyed Peas

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity. This one-pot dish is super easy to prepare and so tasty—delicious Southern comfort food! Basically, it's just a matter of throwing everything in the pot and letting it simmer for 1 ½ hours, until the beans are tender. What a great meal on such a cold and lazy New Year's Day!

Source: Smoked Sausage and Black-Eyed Peas, Emeril Lagasse

1 pound smoked sausage
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
4 cloves of garlic
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
3 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
8 cups chicken stock
1 pound black-eyed peas
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cornbread muffins
1 tablespoon chopped green onions

In a large pot, over medium heat, render the sausage for 5 minutes. Stir in the onions, salt, cayenne, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onions are wilted. Stir in the chicken stock, peas and garlic. Bring the liquid up to a simmer and cook for 1 ½ hours, or until the peas are tender. Spoon the peas and sausage in the center of a shallow bowl. Garnish with green onions. Serve with cornbread muffins.

New Year Waffles

Last year on New Year’s Day, McHubby went to our friend Kim’s house for waffles and monkey bread and the company of good friends. We had so much fun and wanted to carry on this new tradition—for today’s New Year breakfast, we had some neighbors over for a small waffle party. We used our new Belgian waffle iron to make these delicious waffles. For the waffle spread, we had blueberries, sliced strawberries, mini chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, powdered sugar, whipped cream, butter, and maple syrup. What a wonderful way to start the New Year! Happy New Year, everyone!

Source: Basic Waffles, Cuisinart recipe booklet

6 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 ½ cups reduced-fat milk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten

Combine all ingredients, in order listed, in a large mixing bowl; whisk until well blended and smooth. Let batter rest 5 minutes before using.

Preheat the waffle maker to desired setting.

Pour a scant 2 cups of batter onto the center of the lower grid of the preheated waffle maker; spread batter evenly using a heafproof spatula. Close lid of waffle maker. When tone sounds, waffles are ready. Open lid and carefully remove baked waffles. Repeat with remaining batter. For best results, serve immediately.

Makes 16 waffles.