Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Glazed and Infused

Another location at 201 E Delaware for iconic restaurateur Scott Harris who partnered with Tom Culleeney, (Lettuce Entertain You) and Christine McCabe (named "Pastry Chef of the Year" by Bon Appetit in 2005) to take simple, old-fashioned doughnuts to a new level of delicious.

Although the Lemon doughnut I love is a rotating flavor and longer on their menu (I am on a personal campaign to bring it back), plenty of great flavors are like Crème Brûlée and Lemon Blueberry.

Did you know that Glazed and Infused doughnuts are made the old fashioned way (handmade not processed) with all natural ingredients? A lot of the ingredients are shipped directly from the source.
The biggest challenge? Eating just one.

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mini Chocolate Cups

Does mini-sizing my favorite indulgence make me feel half as guilty?

Pass me the pint of ice cream and we’ll talk about it.

Bon Appetit!

Bloody Mary Magic

Make your favorite Bloody Mary and add plain or maple glazed bacon, pickled okra and a dose of horseradish.

Yes, change up the garnish and you now have a Southern Bloody Mary.

Bon Appetit!

A Finishing Touch To A Chocolate Dessert

To make a Chocolate Lattice, pipe good-quality melted chocolate onto waxed paper, let harden, and carefully peel them off. 

They are a stunning accent on any dessert.

Bon Appetit!

Butter-Pecan Blondie Sundae

This recipe is in the latest issue of Food and Wine. The combination of the blondies, the caramel and the pecans made it one of my favorites. In fact, I can’t think of a combination I like better.

I added butter toffee on top for a little extra crunch. I also used vanilla ice cream instead of the butter pecan. That seemed like a bit of buttery overload.

This is definitely one of those desserts for a very special dinner. Everyone I have made it for is delighted with the surprising flavors and most have asked for a second helping. 

Always a good sign that the recipe is a treasure.

Bon Appetit!

Butter-Pecan Blondie Sundaes with Creamy Caramel Sauce
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pecan halves, chopped
Butter-pecan ice cream and candied pecans, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350° and spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with baking spray. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the brown and granulated sugars at medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until incorporated. Beat in the pecan halves. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until shiny and lightly crackled on top and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely.
Invert the blondies onto a board. Cut the blondies into twelve 3-inch squares, then cut 8 of the squares into quarters (save the remaining squares for snacks). Divide half the blondie pieces among 8 parfait glasses. Top with a scoop of ice cream and the remaining blondies. Sprinkle with candied pecans and drizzle with Creamy Caramel Sauce. Garnish with more candied pecans and serve.

Creamy Caramel Sauce
1 ¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Pinch of salt

In a saucepan, mix sugar and water and cook over moderate heat.
Cook without stirring until a medium amber caramel forms, 5 minutes.
Add cream, butter and salt and cook until thickened, 2 minutes, Let cool.

Loaded Potato Rounds

Anyone who loves loaded bakes potatoes will not be able to resist these mini appetizers.
You can serve them with sour cream and they go really well with a cold glass of Guinness.
I cut mine thinner than the recipe called for so they were more like chips.
Bon Appetit!
Loaded Baked Potato Rounds
4 medium sized red potatoes, washed, sliced into thin rounds, about 1/4-inch thick (I use a mandolin to cut even rounds)
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground peppercorns
5 or 6 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp, crumbled
shredded Monterey jack cheese
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, grease lightly with baking spray and set aside.

Put the sliced potatoes in a pot filled with water and bring to a boil; cover and continue to cook for 3 minutes, or until fork tender.

Drain potatoes and pat them dry with paper towels.

Place the potatoes on the baking sheet.

Brush the potatoes with olive oil and season with sea salt and fresh ground peppercorns.
Layer the bacon pieces and cheeses on top of each potato slice.

Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Serve with a side of sour cream