Saturday, April 28, 2012

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Strawberry and Rhubarb Compote

Indulge in spring awakening. 
Cook time: 20 minutes              |            Total time: 4 hours              |               Yield: 3-4

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta:
· 2 tablespoons water
· 1 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
· 1 3/4 cups cream
· 1/3 cup sugar
· 1 cup half and half
· Pinch salt
· 1 - 2 drops fresh lemon juice

· 1 drop of vanilla extract
· 1 vanilla bean, seeds only

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote:
· 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh rhubarb
· 2 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped
· 1 1/2 cups sugar
· 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
· 2 teaspoons cornstarch, if desired (to thicken)

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta:
1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the of water in a 
 bowl. Let sit to soften.
2. Put the half and half in a small saucepan 
with the sugar over medium heat and heat 
until bubbles form around the edges. Whisk
 until all the sugar is dissolved. 
3. Take off the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until completely dissolved. Whisk in the cream, salt, lemon essential oil, and vanilla bean seeds.
4. Divide the panna cotta mixture between four 6 - 8 ounce individual serving containers and chill until set. Before serving, top with 
spoonfuls of strawberry rhubarb compote.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote:
1. Combine rhubarb, sugar, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a heavy large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. 
2. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rhubarb is tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add the cornstarch to the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and add to the rhubarb mixture. 
3. Add strawberries, and simmer for 2-3 minutes, uncovered.
4. Transfer rhubarb mixture to bowl. Cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours. 

Source: Adapted from Good Life Eats

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mozzarella Sticks

Celebrate the oozy gooey. 
Prep time: 20 minutes                  |             Total time: 2.5 hours             |             Yield: 12

· 12 stick s of string cheese
· 1 1/2 cups panko-style breadcrumbs 
· 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
· 1/2 teaspoon table salt
· Freshly ground pepper to taste
· 4 eggs
· 1 cup of all-purpose flour
· Canola oil for frying

1. Spread the flour and breadcrumbs on separate plates (pie plates work well for this). Add the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs and mix well. Place the eggs in a small bowl and beat them lightly.
2. Drop a piece of cheese into the flour and roll it around until it is well covered. Shake off the excess flour and dip the cheese into the egg mixture before rolling it in the breadcrumbs until well coated. One last time, dip the breadcrumb coated cheese back into the beaten egg and roll again in breadcrumbs to create an extra crispy coating. Set aside on a clean plate and repeat with the remaining cheese sticks. Once all of the mozzarella has been breaded, place the plate into the freezer uncovered and freeze until the breadcrumb coating is firm, at least 2 hours.
3. Pour enough oil into a large heavy-bottomed pot to come to a depth of at least 2 inches. Heat oil until it reaches a temperature of 350°. Fry the mozzarella sticks in batches until crispy and browned on the exterior, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Cookie Dough Peanut Butter Cups

For the love of chocolate.
Prep time: 20 minutes                |            Total time: 1 hour             |             Yield: 24 cups


· 2 1/2 cups chocolate chips
· 1/2 cup unsalted butter
· 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
· 3/4 cup powdered sugar
· 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. In a small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Whisk in brown sugar until dissolved, 
then let it bubble for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and 
whisk in peanut butter. The mixture will be liquidly. 
Whisk in vanilla. Let sit and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
2. Line a mini muffin with with liners. Melt 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips in the microwave, heating on full power for 20 seconds, stir, 30 seconds again, and stir until melted. Drop 1 teaspoon of chocolate into each liner, then use a spoon to brush chocolate up the sides of the liner. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes. 

3. By this point the butter + sugar mix should be cool. Whisk in powdered sugar, salt and flour, until combine and few lumps remain. Fold in mini chocolate chips (if some melt, let it cool longer and add more chips). The dough will be wet, but pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden.
4. Remove muffin tin and cookie dough, then place 1 teaspoon of cookie dough (I somewhat rolled mine) into the chocolate cups. Place back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. 
5. Melt the remaining chocolate chips, then cover each cookie dough top with chocolate, smoothing with a spoon. Freeze again for 15-20 minutes. 

Source: Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spaghetti Carbonara

Eggcelent pasta. 
Prep time: 20 minutes              |            Total time: 40 minutes            |              Yield: 8 servings

· 1 pound spaghetti
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 8 slices pancetta, diced
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1 onion, chopped
· 1 clove garlic, minced
· 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
· 4 eggs
· 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
· 1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
· 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.
2. Cook chopped pancetta until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and heat in reused large skillet. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute.
3. Return cooked bacon to pan; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. 
4. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Quickly add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty).
5. Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top, and extra Parmesan cheese.

Source: All Recipes

Friday, April 6, 2012

Maple-Bacon Waffles

Breakfast of champions. 
Prep time: 5 minutes                  |               Total time: 45 minutes                |           Yield: 6


· 3 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 Tablespoon baking powder
· 1 teaspoon baking soda· 1 teaspoon salt
· 2/3 cups canola or grape seed oil
· 4 large eggs
· 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
· 2½ cups buttermilk
· 6 tablespoons maple syrup
· 6-8 slices of bacon

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay bacon on sheet and brush both sides with 2 Tbsp. maple syrup. Bake, turning once, until crisp and browned, 25 to 30 minutes or until crispy. Coarsely chop bacon.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar. Whisk to blend.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and store. Once almost fully incorporated, add the bacon and stir. Mix only until most of the dry ingredients are moistened in the batter; like pancakes, it’s good to have a lumpy batter.
4. Preheat a 7-inch waffle iron. Brush with a bit of oil and add 1/2 cup batter. Cook until lightly browned and crisp, 6 minutes. Place waffle on a plate in oven; cook remaining waffles.
5. Serve with additional maple syrup, if desired.

Source: Adapted from MyRecipes