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Mini cheesecake recipe
Nov 24th, 2009 by sovicki

Ingredients

* 1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers
* 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line miniature muffin tins (tassie pans) with miniature paper liners.
2. Crush the vanilla wafers, and place 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed vanilla wafers into each paper cup.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Fill each miniature muffin liner with this mixture, almost to the top.
4. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool. Top with a teaspoonful of cherry pie filling.

Poulet au Porto: Roast Chicken with Port Wine, Cream and Mushrooms
Nov 19th, 2009 by sovicki

Recipe created by Julia Child

Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1

Chicken, cream, and mushrooms occur again and again, as it is one of the great combination. This perfectly delicious recipe is not difficult, but it cannot be prepared ahead of time or the chicken will lose its fresh and juicy quality. The chicken is roasted, then carved, flamed in cognac, and allowed to steep for several minutes with cream, mushrooms, and port wine. It is the kind of dish to do when you are entertaining a few good, food-loving friends whom you can receive in your kitchen.

Vegetable Suggestions
Nothing should interfere with these special flavors. It would be best to serve only potatoes sautéed in butter, page 526 (Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1), or a perfectly seasoned risotto, page 532. Peas, or asparagus tips, or braised onions, page 481, could be added if you feel the necessity for more vegetables.

Wine Suggestions
Serve very good, chilled, white Burgundy such as a Meursault or Montrachet, or an excellent, chateau-bottled white Graves.

Ingredients:
Serves 4

Roast Chicken:

* 3 pound ready-to-cook, roasting or frying chicken
* 1 pound fresh mushrooms
* 1/2 Tbsp. butter
* 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch blended with 1 Tbsp. of the cream
* Salt and pepper
* 1/2 Tbsp. minced shallots or green onions
* 1/3 cup medium-dry port
* Lemon juice to taste
* 1 Tbsp. butter
* 1/8 tsp. salt
* 1/4 cup cognac

Kitchen Supplies:

* 2 1/2 quart enameled orstainless steel saucepan
* Fireproof casserole dish or chafing dish

Roast the chicken as described in the master recipe on page 240. Be sure not to overcook it.

Meanwhile, trim and wash the mushrooms. Quarter them if large, leave them whole if small.

Bring 1/4 cup water to boil in the saucepan with the butter, lemon, and salt. Toss in the mushrooms, cover, and boil slowly for 8 minutes. Pour out the cooking liquid and reserve.

Pour the cream and the cornstarch mixture into the mushrooms. Simmer for 2 minutes. Correct seasoning, and set aside.

When the chicken is done, remove it to a carving board and let it rest at room temperature while completing the sauce.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the roasting pan. Stir in the shallots or onions and cook slowly for 1 minute. Add the port and the mushroom juice, and boil down rapidly scraping up coagulated roasting juices, until liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup. Add the mushrooms and cream and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, allowing the liquid to thicken slightly. Correct seasoning and add lemon juice to taste.

Smear the inside of the casserole or chafing dish with butter. Rapidly carve the chicken into serving pieces. Sprinkle lightly with salt, and arrange in the casserole or chafing dish.

Set over moderate heat or an alcohol flame until you hear the chicken begin to sizzle. Then pour the cognac over it. Avert your face, and ignite the cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole slowly until the flames have subsided. Then pour in the mushroom mixture, tilting the casserole and basting the chicken. Cover and steep for 5 minutes without allowing the sauce to boil. Serve.

Note: Chicken may remain in its casserole over barely simmering water or in the turned-off hot oven with its door ajar, for 10 to 15 minutes, but the sooner it is served, the better it will be.

Sweet Potato and Haupia Pie
Oct 30th, 2009 by sovicki

Crust

* 1 stick cold, unsalted butter
* 1 Tbsp sugar
* 1 cup flour
* 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, well chopped

The very first thing you need to do isn’t a “crust” step, but you’ll be glad you got it out of the way. Peel your sweet potatoes (from the Sweet Potato Layer section just below). Okinawan sweet potatoes come in wildly different sizes, so I can’t easily tell you how many potatoes you’ll need to make 2 cups. Just use your best judgment, and if anything, make a little extra. Boil the potatoes until a fork slides easily into them. Drain and mash them, then set them aside to cool while you make the crust. Isn’t that purple color amazing? How thoroughly you mash them depends on the final texture you want. I don’t mind little chunks in my pie, but other people prefer a creamy texture.

Oh yeah, now would be a good time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Now we can get started on our crust. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Add the chopped nuts and the butter. Cut the mixture with two butter knives, pulling them across each other in a scissors motion, until the crust mixture is crumbly and no large butter chunks remain. Press the crust mix into the bottom of a pie pan, continuing it up the sides of the pan. You don’t need to create a substantial or fancy lip to the crust. Place the crust in the refrigerator.

Sweet Potato Layer

* 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened (1 stick)
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 2 cup Okinawan sweet potatoes, mashed
* 1/2 cup evaporated milk
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 1/4 tsp. salt

Wash your medium size bowl that you used to mix the crust. Cream the butter and sugar together in it until smooth and… creamy. Add one egg at a time, mixing them each until completely incorporated. Add half the sweet potatoes, mixing thoroughly. Add the other half and mix again. Finally, mix in the evaporated milk, vanilla and salt.

Spread the sweet potato layer into the pie crust, making sure not to add too much. The potato layer should fill the pie no higher than 1/2 inch from the top edge of the crust, so that we still have room for the haupia layer. Bake the pie at 350 for 30 minutes, or until the edge of the crust is golden and the potato filling is lightly browning in spots.

Cool the pie completely in the refrigerator.

Haupia Layer

* 1 can coconut milk (usually 13.5 oz)
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1/3 cup cornstarch

When the cooked pie has cooled, begin preparing the haupia layer. You do not want to prepare the haupia early or it may solidify into an unwieldy block of coconut goo.

Place the coconut milk and water in a saucepan, but don’t turn on the heat just yet. Mix together the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl then add them to the liquids. Heat at medium, stirring constantly, until thickened. You can tell it’s thick enough when you lift your spoon out, and the bits that glop off the spoon back into the saucepan basically hold their shape.

Immediately pour the haupia mixture over the pie and return to the refrigerator to chill for several more hours. Serve when cooled, making sure to step back so that you don’t get trampled!