Herbes de Provence in front; Sweet & Spicy in back
John & I chose to make two versions of these nuts - the original, and the Bonne Idee Herbes de Provence. They were both wonderful. I love foods that stimulate multiple flavor sensors and have an interesting texture. These, in both versions, hit the mark: sweet, salty, spicy, and crunchy! We used an assortment of nuts, including: Pecans, Walnuts, Hazelnuts (Filberts), Cashews, and Almonds. We did find that we needed to add more nuts to the Herbes de Provence batch to distribute the coating a little better. All, in all a hit! Our family liked both versions.
John's Creamy Crab Dip with Crostini
In a medium saucepan, saute:
1/2 Cup Butter
6 Scallions (green and white parts), thinly sliced
When Scallions begin to soften, stir in:
1 1/2 Tablespoons Flour
Continue stirring until mixture (Roux) begins to bubble, then add:
Continue stirring until heated thoroughly, then stir in:
1/2 Cup Cream
1/4 Cup Shredded Cheese (this time, we used an Italian 4-Cheese blend)
Stir until well, combined and bubbly.
You can serve this in a small crock pot to ensure it stays warm while your serve it. Or you can prepare it in advance, place in a small baking dish, top with additional Cheese, and bake in the oven @ 325 degrees for 15 minutes until cheese is melted & beginning to brown.
Crostini Slice a Baguette into 1/8 - 1/4 inch rounds, brush with Olive Oil, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes, turn over, and bake for an additional 5 minutes. You can top with any seasoning you like - even cheese. This time, though, we just used Olive Oil to maximize the flavor of the Crabmeat.
We made this wonderful Pot Roast in October & thought it would be the perfect entree for a large family gathering. This time, we ended up using two le Creuset covered casseroles because we had 2 pieces of meat - approximately 3 pounds each. It was just as good as the first time we made it, and everyone loved it. Again, we added Carrots, Russet Potatoes, and Onions 1 hour before the roasts were done, and they really absorbed the flavors of the broth.
You do have to marinate the meat overnight, but it is the most flavorful roast we've made - and the meat is so tender that it just falls apart. It has the wonderful, deep flavors of red wine, Brandy, rosemary, thyme, and anchovies. A terrific feast for a crowd!
I wanted to make a light dessert that wasn't overly sweet - and this roulade was just the thing! I'd never made anything like it before, so was thrilled when it turned out so well! I lined both sides of the plate with fresh mint leaves before the final sprinkling of powdered sugar to make it look like snow.
Although Dorie categorized this recipe as "easy," I don't think it is. I had no trouble following her instructions, but even as an accomplished baker, I was anxious about getting it all just right. John & I both thought this would make a perfect summer dessert, as well - and would be good with all kinds of berries, even an assortment
Ham is one of our favorite week-night meats because it's so easy and so good - just heat & serve! These green beans from Mary Engelbreit's Queen of the Kitchen Cookbook are wonderful! They can be served warm or chilled, but we had them warm. They are sauteed with thinly sliced onion, garlic, tomatoes, and fresh basil. The Double Cheese and Macaroni is from the same cookbook. As you can see, it's creamy & cheesy - macaroni & cheese at its best!
Warm Pear Ginger Upside-down Cake
This Warm Pear Ginger Upside-down Cake comes to you from Rebecca Rather's The Pastry Queen Christmas: Big-hearted Holiday Entertaining, Texas Style I like Ginger, but not as the dominant flavor in a dessert, so I substituted 1 teaspoon Baking Spice and 1/8 teaspoon Ground Ginger for the Crystallized Ginger in the topping and the cake batter. This cake is awesome! From the caramelized edges to the soft, flavorful cake to the lovely smooth taste of pears. It also makes a lovely presentation.
I didn't make the recommended Amaretto Whipped Cream, but will the next time I make it - it's great just as is.
John and I both lived in Texas for a while, so we love the unique recipes and photos in this cookbook.
To thank you all for your support this year - and inspire your culinary curiousity next year, I am raffling a 2011 calendar that I created from photos and recipes from my blog with the help of Shutterfly. (My mother, father, aunt, brother, and sisters-in-law need not apply!)
The year of original recipes includes:
January - Quick Bolognese Sauce
February - Quick Jambalaya
March - Shredded Pork & Guacamole
April - Blackberry-Peach Crisp
May 2011 Recipe - California Caprese Salad
May - California Caprese Salad
June - Garden Pasta
July - Open-face Crab Sandwiches
August - Curried Chicken Salad
September - Oatmeal Cookies
October - Red Beans and Rice
November - Filte Mignon with Ruby Port Reduction Sauce
December - Wine Poached Pears
To enter, please leave a comment to tell me what your favorite holiday recipe is (leave a link, if you can.). I have one calendar available and will choose the winner at random Tuesday, 21 Dec @ 5 p.m. Pacific Time.
Dorie, you had me at "Nutella...!" Everyone should bake these cookies for the holidays - their wonderful spicy aroma is as pungent and holiday-infused as mulling spices. They are so subtle and yet so flavorful at the same time. I was a little concerned about liking them because I thought they would taste like gingerbread cookies which I don't care for, but they don't at all. They have the distinction of being crisp on the edges and chewy inside.
I followed the Bonne Idee and filled them with Nutella - chocolate, cinnamon, and brown sugar - what could be better? I'm taking them to my friends at work tomorrow for our ladies holiday luncheon.
I wonder what it would be like to stand in the middle of a cinnamon tree grove... I found these cookies really easy to make, and will certainly make them again - maybe I'll stick a batch in the oven just before our realtor shows our other home!
Fill bowls with fresh field greens, then top with:
Finely sliced Green Onions
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Blue Cheese Dressing
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Baked Local Halibut
We are fortunate enough to live in an area where fish comes in fresh off the boat almost every day. We purhcased a 1-pound local Halibut steak at Fishermen's Catch, drizzled it with Olive Oil, then sprinkled it with Dukkah Seasoning which is made from an assortment of nuts, corriander, cumin, and sea salt, then baked it in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. It was such an unusual combination of flavors and was nicely complemented by fresh Lemon wedges.
When I was a kid in Naples, our friend, Alfonso, came into our kitchen and showed us how to make the freshest tomato sauce. It's remarkably easy and bursting with flavor.
In a deep skillet, saute:
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/2 Onion, finely sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
When Onions soften, add:
2 pounds (about 8) Roma Tomatoes, diced
Salt, to taste
Cook down until tomato you have a nice sauce (about 10 - 15 minutes)
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
15 - 20 Fresh Basil Leaves, chiffonade
We served this sauce with Campanelle because they hold the sauce well, but you can use any kind of pasta you like - including ravioli & tortellini. Be sure to top with fresh Parmesan Cheese!
My dad and me with my mom driving the boat back from Capri to Naples - circa 1974.
I made sure to have everything "mise en place" before I started creating this dish so it came together quickly and easily. There is a lot of chopping, but I find the rhythym soothing and productive. I love cooking with the freshest ingredients, so feel that the extra work is worth the effort.
This baked stew is so flavorful and different from its American counterparts. I loved just throwing it in the oven and letting the flavors blend into a hearty, slightly sweet, winter meal. The meat was so tender that it just fell apart - exactly the way I like it. It was interesting to me that this dish had no potatoes in it, but in the end, I really didn't miss them.
This would be great to make for company because they would be greeted by the most luscious aroma as you open the door and you could have the whole kitchen cleaned up before they arrive. Delicious!
This is the first recipe we tried from my new copy of The New Basics Cookbook. The name caught my eye as I was looking for a new way to cook chicken. We had all the ingredients on-hand. The only modifications we made were to use Thin-sliced Chicken Breasts and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of Arrowroot to thicken the sauce. We served it with sour cream mashed potatoes.
Not only does this dish taste and smell delicious, it has a beautiful caramel-colored sauce that is perfect for autumn. The flavor combination of bacon, carmelized pearl onions, and mushrooms made each bite unique. It was easy to make, but so impressive looking that we decided we'd make it for company next time.
This is the second November recipe I made for French Fridays with Dorie. It's a tender, sweet dessert that is reminiscent of Tapioca Pudding. The carmel topping is sweet with just a hint of lemon. This light cake would be a wonderful finish to a summer meal. It was easy to make, and even easier to eat!
I love cooking from Dorie's books because her instructions are so well-written and I always learn something new.
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