Monday, May 21, 2012

Grilled Antipasto Sandwich

This sandwich is an impressive sight to behold.  Great for a day when you don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen but still want something special! 

Yield:  4-8 servings

1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
1/2 pound sopresseta
1/2 pound Genoa salami
1 pound provolone slices
Olive oil, for brushing
1 large baguette, split
1 large garlic clove, halved
1/2 pound marinated artichokes, drained
2 roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your grill to high.  This could also be made on a grill pan, but you would probably need to slice the bread into smaller pieces to fit the size of your pan.

Slice the bread and brush inside and out with a light layer of olive oil.  Rub the cut side of the garlic on the inside of the bread.  Grill the bread, turning once or twice, until toasted, about 5 minutes. 

Next, on a cutting board, lay out the bread.  Take 2 provolone slices and add a layer of salami and sopresseta, then roll into a cylinder and wrap prosciutto around the outside.  I did not have to use any toothpicks or skewers, even though the recipe called for it.  Lay prosciutto roll seam side down on bread, and continue until you have covered the loaf (I made four of these).
Layer the sandwich with the artichoke hearts and roasted bell peppers and sprinkle the sandwich with salt and pepper.  Place the entire sandwich on a piece of aluminum foil and return to the grill for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and meat is warm.

Slice and serve!  Enjoy!

Tips:  The original recipe called for just the prosciutto, but I added some other Italian meats for more flavor.  It's easy enough add more or subtract ones you don't like, just try to use an even amount of each.  Also, grilling the sandwich is key, as it gives it a lot of smoky flavor.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cone Cake

This was from Food Network magazine and I couldn't resist.  It was actually quite easy to make.  Not so easy to transport, though!

1 tsp butter, softened (for pan)
14 pizzelle (thin Italian waffle cookies) or wafer cookies, crushed
3/4 cup chocolate fudge sauce
1 quart vanilla caramel swirl ice cream, slightly softened
1 quart chocolate ice cream, slightly softened
3/4 cup caramel sauce
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
5-8 small waffle cones
1/2 cup toffee bits
Butter the sides of a cheesecake pan.  Cover the bottom of the pan with half of the cookies.  Drizzle 1/4 cup fudge sauce over the cookies.

Pack about half of the vanilla caramel and chocolate ice cream into the pan, alternating scoops of each flavor.  Drizzle with 1/4 cup of caramel and sprinkle with sea salt.  Top with remaining cookies, pressing gently to pack in the ice cream and create an even surface.

Drizzle fudge sauce over the cookies and top with scoops of the remaining vanilla caramel and chocolate ice cream.  Drizzle with the rest of the caramel and fudge sauce and sprinkle with the remaining sea salt.  Arrange the ice cream cones, point-side up, on top, pressing in a bit so that they will freeze into place.  Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, remove the sides of the pan and press the toffee bits into the sides of the cake.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Cream Sauce

Garlic.  Cream.  Yum.

1 pork tenderloin, 2 - 3 lbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
6 cloves roasted garlic, creamed
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine spices with olive oil. Rub over the meat and place the tenderloin on a sheet tray or small roasting pan. Cook until the temperature registers 155 degrees on a meat thermometer, about 20 minutes or so.  Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice into 1/2 inch slices.

While the pork is roasitng, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Blend in flour, salt, pepper. Add the garlic and cream and heat until the sauce boils, stirring constantly. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Spoon sauce over pork slices and serve.  Enjoy!

White Peach Sangria

This is a sweet and refreshing sangria that is easy to make. Summertime, here we come!


1/2 bottle dry white wine

1 bottle peach champagne (if you can find it, if not plain champagne will work)
3/4 cup peach flavored vodka

6 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 pound white peaches, pitted and sliced 

1 cup seedless green grapes, halved


In a large pitcher, combine white wine, champagne, peach vodka, lemonade concentrate and sugar.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add sliced peaches and green grapes.

Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours, or overnight to blend flavors.  Serve over ice.

Tips -  You can add or sub any additional fruit that you choose, though citrus fruits work best with these flavors.  This recipe is easy to double and/or make stronger or weaker, by adjusting the amount of vodka vs wine.  Also, if you can't find white peaches, regular peaches will work just as well, the flavor is very similar (white peaches are a hint more floral in taste).  Cheers!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pomegranate Cosmopolitan

I just noticed that most of the recipes I've been posting lately have been red.  And the background of this picture is even in red...  Strange.

2 cups vodka
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup orange liqueur (such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup simple syrup 
1/3 cup powdered sugar, for rim

Combine vodka, orange liqueur, pomegranate juice, lime juice, and simple syrup in a pitcher and refrigerate until ready to use.  Pour the mixture into sugar rimmed martini glasses and serve.  Cheers!

Tips:  To get the sugar to stick to the rim of the glass, dip in water before dipping in sugar.  I meant to use regular sugar and accidentally used powdered, but I actually thought it looked cool, like ice on the glass.  Either would work though.  Enjoy!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Devil's Food Tea Cakes with Pinot Noir Frosting

Let's face it, this is just delicious.

Cake Ingredients:
1 box devil's food cake mix (plus ingredients called for on back)
1 cup melted chocolate

Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
1 tsp red food coloring gel (optional)

Mix cake with ingredients called for on the back (usually an egg and some oil!) and then add melted chocolate.  Bake cupcakes according to directions.  I used a teacup pan, which creates a space in the middle for filling, but you could also do these as regular cupcakes or any variation you can think of!

To make frosting, mix all of the ingredients until smooth.  I added red food coloring to make the frosting a bit brighter, but that's really up to you.  Enjoy!

Tips:  This should probably not be served to children, unless you live in France.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Nutty White & Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding

This is easy to make and you can add pretty much any type of nut, fruit or chocolate.  Especially chocolate!

8 slices bread (I used challah as I'd recently made it)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup almonds, sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roughly chop or tear bread into bite sized pieces and place in an 8 x 8 baking pan. Drizzle melted butter over the bread.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, cream, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread and allow to soak in for a few minutes.  Sprinkle with white chocolate, dark chocolate and stud with the nuts, pressing some of the chocolate and nuts down into the soft bread mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Enjoy!

Tips: Pretty much any type of topping can be substituted here... but this was really good with a lot of chocolate and nuts!

Homemade Chorizo

I was so excited to try this recipe because I am obsessed with chorizo.  I was not disappointed by the results... it's delicious!

1 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, chopped
1 lb ground pork
5 tbsp ground guajillo chile pepper
1 tbsp Mexican oregano
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp coriander
3 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup lime juice

In a large skillet, heat olive oil, then add garlic and onion.  Cook until softened and beginning to turn brown, about 10 minutes.  Add the pork and cook on high until slightly browned.

Add spices to the pork mixture, tasting as you go along - be sure to adjust this to your preferred level of spice.  I like it spicy so I just kept adding more of the chile pepper!  I tried to make this as close to real chorizo as possible - very spicy, tangy and flavorful!  Simple reduce the spices for a milder version.

Next, add the lime juice and vinegar and allow to cook until the liquid has reduced.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

This is great in tacos, with eggs or potatoes, or in any variety of Mexican delights (quesadillas, hmmm?)  It will last in the refrigerator for about a week, or can be frozen for later use.  Enjoy!

The original recipe called for using dehydrated guajillo chiles and toasting, then rehydrating them.  I happened to find ground guajillo chiles at the store, so I used that instead, but either way should work just fine.  After I made this, I saw another recipe for homemade chorizo that incorporated tequila, so I might try that next!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chipotle Shrimp and Corn Enchiladas

I didn't used to like the flavor of chipotle peppers, I don't know why.  Now I'm obsessed with it.  It's particularly good as a spice or sauce with seafood.

1 pound raw shelled and deveined shrimp
1 cup corn
1/4 cup lime juice
14 ounces chipotle salsa (usually found in 7 ounce cans)
8 ounces tomato sauce
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 corn tortillas
4 cups shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
1 avocado (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Defrost and remove shells from shrimp, if necessary. 

In a large bowl, mix chipotle salsa, tomato sauce, lime juice, garlic and spices.  Taste and add additional seasoning if necessary/desired.  This will be the flavor for the entire dish, so you do want it to have a bit of intensity.  In a smaller separate bowl, reserve about a cup of the sauce.

Drizzle a few tablespoons of the sauce into the bottom of an oven safe baking dish.  This recipe should make about enough for a 9 x 13 inch pan.

It is easiest to fold the corn tortillas if they are warm, so I suggest heating them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  If they get cold during the assembly process, nuke them again.

Add shrimp and corn to the salsa mixture and stir to combine.  To assemble, take one tortilla and dip it into the reserved sauce.  Then spoon some cheddar cheese into the tortilla, top with the shrimp and corn mixture, and roll tightly.  Place seam side down in the baking dish.  Repeat this process until all of the tortillas have been used and the pan is full.  Pour remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is thoroughly melted and beginning to brown.  I like to serve this with salsa and sliced avocado on the side.  Enjoy!

Tips -  Personally, I like a lot of cheese in my enchiladas, so if this seems excessive or nutritionally reckless, feel free to override me!

Frozen Butterfinger Pie

For this recipe, you don't even have to cook anything.  That's right!  Just mix it together, freeze it and voila!  A great summer dessert.

Chocolate crust (the crumbly store bought kind!)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
7 oz sweetened condensed milk (1/2 can)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
8 oz container of Cool Whip, thawed
10 fun size or 4 full size Butterfinger candy bars, chopped

Start by unwrapping candy and chopping into bite sized pieces. Reserve, separating about 1/4 cup of the candy for the top of the pie.

Then, using a hand or electric mixer, beat cream cheese, condensed milk, peanut butter, and powdered sugar until smooth and completely combined. Fold in whipped topping and chopped Butterfinger.

Spread the mixture into the pie crust.   Garnish with reserved candy.  Cover and freeze until firm, about an hour. Serve frozen.   Enjoy!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Strawberry Daiquiri Jello Shots

This is a little time consuming but I think the presentation is well worth it... they are adorable!

1 pint strawberries (get the biggest ones you can find!)
1 box strawberry jello
1 cup dark rum
1 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
2 -3 limes (sliced into teeny tiny triangles!)


Slice a thin sliver off the bottom of each strawberry so that they will stand upright.  Be very careful not to take too much off. Since the strawberries are porous, they will leak very easily, causing the jello to drizzle out while you are waiting for it to set. Trust me, I learned my lesson on this one!

Cut off the top of each strawberry and using a small spoon or knife, hollow out a cavity in the top.   Again, don't go too deep or you run the risk of the delicious rum mixture running out the bottom.

Boil the water in a small pan, then add the jello and whisk until is dissolves. Pour in the rum and stir to combine.   Let cook for about 2 more minutes, then remove from heat and cool.

Once the jello mixture is lukewarm, pour it into the strawberries and chill until set (a few hours or overnight). I found the easiest way to keep them upright was by using an ice cube tray.

When ready to serve, roll strawberries in sugar and garnish with limes. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sunny Side Up Bacon Cupcakes

How could I resist making these?

I saw this on another blog - That's So Michelle  I've modified the recipe a bit, but the idea is essentially the same!

Yield:  About 18 cupcakes

1 box white cake mix
3 egg whites
9 slices bacon,
cooked crisp and crumbled
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup water

Egg (Cream Cheese Frosting):
16 ounces (2 pkg) cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar 

Yolk (Maple Frosting)
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maple extract
2 teaspoons orange food coloring

Salt and Pepper:
Chocolate and White Sugar Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl or electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg whites, water, oil and maple syrup.  Meanwhile, fry bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels.  Chop into small bits, then mix the bacon into the batter.  Fill cupcake liners or pan with the batter about 3/4 full.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set.

To make the frosting, simply mix ingredients with a whisk or electric mixture to desired consistency.  For the maple frosting, be sure to use enough food coloring to make the yolk bright and pretty!

When the cupcakes are done, remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Now for the fun part!  Using a spatula or knife, spread white frosting smoothly over the top.  For the egg yolk, I used a small melon baller to measure out the shape and size, then patted it down with the back of it.  Piping this on with a decorating bag would have probably been easier... I just didn't think of it at the time!

Finally, "season' the egg with the salt (sugar sprinkles) and pepper (chocolate sprinkles) and serve!  Enjoy!

Tips:  This will probably make more frosting than you need.  But, good news... you can freeze the leftovers and use in another recipe... this maple frosting is delicious on spice cake!

Strawberry Butter

I saw this recipe in a magazine and it sounded delicious.  It lives up to the hype!  I think this would go nicely with so many things... on bread, french toast, piped into cupcakes or pastries, with scones, etc.  I am also considering using it as a filling for a summery cake!

Of course I also put some in a Babycakes jar because I'm obsessed with making products for my food truck, so I apologize in advance if that seems capitalistic!  Did I just make up a new word?!

Yield:  About 25 servings

1 pound fresh strawberries, cored
1 pound salted butter, room temperature
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until a thick, creamy consistency is achieved.  The butter will become more rigid in the refrigerator when chilled, so it won't seem like butter just yet.

Taste the butter and adjust flavorings if necessary - I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to measuring, so I basically just added more powdered sugar until it was sweet enough, and a bit more butter to get the proper consistency.  The measurements above are pretty similar to what I used, but you may want it more sour, more sweet, etc, so that is up to the cook!

This can be refrigerated for about a week, and frozen for later use.  Enjoy!