Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cheesey Chorizo Caramelized Onion Dip

I was going to make this, but then I got tired so D made it. I was glad he did because I was going to put it in the crock pot and he thought it would get too oily so he decided to follow the directions. He also thought chopped onions were strange for caramelizing so he left them sliced.

We had it for a party. I actually had to move away from the bowl so I would be able to have other foods. I just couldn't get enough of it. Judging from the bowl, other people felt the same way. There was one bite left at the end of the evening (D doubled the recipe), and I believe it was the "I don't want to be that guy who eats the last bite" bite. I ended up being that last guy.

Anyway, I would have again.

Photo by ALB
Cheesey Chorizo Caramelized Onion Dip

Serving Size: 2 cups

2 cups onion, chopped (sliced instead of chopped)
3 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon thyme
(D added in balsamic vinegar, ~1 TBSP)
6 oz chorizo sausage
8 ounce package of cream cheese (used 1/3 fat)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (used RF Hellmans)
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped chives or green onions
kosher salt

Remove chorizo from casing and cook in a medium skillet over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, chopping with spoon and stirring occasionally. Set aside.

In another skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add onion. Add thyme, (balsamic vinegar), season with kosher salt and lower heat to medium-low and cook onion for about 20 minutes until onions become soft and caramelized.

In a medium sized bowl add cream cheese and mayonnaise and mix well until smooth. Add mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, green onions and mix well. Gently fold in chorizo. Pour into a 2 cup baking dish.

Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degree F for 12-15 minutes or until dip is golden and bubbly. Garnish with additional green onion and serve with baguette slices or tortilla chips. (used Fritos)

German Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

So I never made a cheesecake.  D and I have been married 11 years, and 11 years ago as a present I got a springform pan.  It has sat in the cabinet for 11 years with me wondering if I would get the guts to make a cheesecake. Then I found this recipe.  What's odd is in 2012 I posted a German Chocolate Cake from David Lebovitz on my list of things to try.  I wouldn't have thought about it until I found this recipe.

Any way, D and I were having a party for our anniversary and I showed him this cake and he said ok.  I silently cursed myself for showing him this as it looked complicated and a lot of work.  So I said ok, and then signed us up for a 5K because having a race to do before making this cake, well, just seemed logical...haha. It actually took 2 days to make (started it Friday Night and got everything made but didn't assemble).

It took about 5 miuntes to assemble and then at the party I released the springform.  I was super nervous but it came out fine.  Everyone who had some, liked it.  The only issue was the crust was a little hard.  I think this was too thick, based on my lack of expertise in ever making a cheesecake crust.

Cake Sliced: Photo by ALB
I would make again.

German Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, with filling adapted from David Lebovitz
Yield: 10-12 servings

Crust Ingredients
1 package (about 38) chocolate sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs (oreos)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (used salted, so didn't use salt)
Small pinch of salt (didn't use)

Ganache Ingredients
3/8 cups heavy cream
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (Had I read, I would have used half semisweet and half Ghirardelli 60% Cacao chocolate chips, but I used 1 oz choc chips and 4 oz of the Ghirardelli 60%)

Cheesecake Ingredients
3 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, room temperature (I used 1/3 fat)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 eggs, room temperature
3 ounces or about 6 tablespoons chocolate chips, melted and cooled (I used semisweet)

Cake Ingredients
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (This is 6TBSP)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/8 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/8 cup plus 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (This is 2.5 TBSP)
3/8 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted

Make the cheesecake crust
Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides). It’s hard to get the crust up that high, but keep pressing the crumbs up from the bottom with a smooth-sided glass (twisting the glass as you do so, so the crumbs don’t stick) and working them around — you’ll want it that high to hold the cake layer. Patience helps with this step.

Make the ganache Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan (or heat in the microwave for about a minute, watching to ensure it doesn’t boil). Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Pour the ganache over the bottom of the crust. Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes.

Make the cake While the ganache is freezing, cut a circle of parchment paper and use cooking spray as “glue” to adhere it to a 9-inch round cake pan. Then grease the pan and the paper (Used PAM). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and coarse salt together in a mixing bowl. Beat the dry ingredients on low until combined before increasing the speed to medium and adding the egg, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Pour it into the pan.

Place the pan in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 25-30 minutes. Rotate the pan about halfway through so it’ll bake evenly. When you take the cake layer out, leave the oven preheated for the cheesecake. Let the cake layer cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before turning it out onto a sheet of wax paper and leaving it to cool completely. Wrap the cake layer and stick it in the freezer to firm it up for assembly.

Make the cheesecake
While the cake layer is baking, mix cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until well blended and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each, and continue mixing until combined. Add the chocolate and continue mixing until combined. Pour mixture into prepared crust and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 55 minutes or until center of cake is almost set. The top may crack, but it doesn’t particularly matter, since you’ll be covering it anyway. Let the cheesecake fully cool. When almost cool, place it in refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.

Cheesecake Filling: Photo by ALB

Make the filling
Place the butter, salt, toasted coconut, and toasted pecans in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream, sugar, and egg yolks over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened, coats the spoon, and reads 170 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Pour this mixture over the coconut mixture and stir until the butter melts. Let the mixture cool completely (I set mine in the fridge once it was almost cool to thicken it some more.)

Everything before Assemby: Photo by ALB
Assemble the cake
Place half of the filling on top of the chilled cheesecake and spread it out. Carefully place the chocolate cake layer on top. Spread the rest of the filling on top of the chocolate cake layer. Decorate with pecans. Chill for 3 hours or overnight. When completely chilled, loosen the cake from rim of springform pan by wrapping the pan in warm dishtowels. Remove the springform pan and serve.

Final Cake before sliced: Photo by ALB

Butterfinger Nutter Butter Cheesecake Bars

I don't know what exactly I was searching for when I found this recipe. I read it over and thought they looked pretty easy to make, so I'd try them.  Just when?  We were having a party and I like to have little desserts in case someone wants to snack before dessert is served, so these would serve the bill.

Some of the Ingredients: Photo by ALB
They were pretty easy make.

Ready to go in the oven: Photo by ALB
The result?  They were really good albeit a bit overly sweet (duh) so the fact they were cut in small pieces were good.  But they had a good peanut butter flavor with a tad of cheesecake.  And they were so easy, I would definitely make again.

Yum!  Photo by ALB
Butterfinger Nutter Butter Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 36 SMALL SQUARES (I got 25)
From Lauren's Latest

For the crust
16 whole nutter butter cookies
1/4 cup melted butter

For the cheesecake filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (used 1/3 fat Cream Cheese)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
6 fun size Butterfinger chocolate bars

For the topping
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9x9 square dish with foil or parchment and set aside. {If you are lining your pan with foil, lightly grease with non stick cooking spray.} Grind nutter butter cookies in a food processor until the consistency of graham cracker crumbs. Pour in melted butter and pulse a few times to mix. Press into prepared dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, whip cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Stir in egg, vanilla and flour. Finely chop butterfingers and fold into the cheesecake mixture. Pour over top nutter butter crust and bake for 18-22 minutes or until cheesecake has set. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled.

Pour chocolate chips and butter into a small bowl and microwave using the 'melt chocolate' function, stirring every 20-30 seconds. If your chocolate is almost melted, don't put it back into the microwave! Just keep stirring- the residual heat will continue to melt the chocolate completely. {If your microwave doesn't have this function, zap your chocolate at 50% power at 20 second intervals, stirring in between.} Spread melted chocolate overtop of the bars evenly and place back into the refrigerator 5-10 minutes to harden the chocolate. (I did 7). Remove from refrigerator and using the foil or parchment, remove the entire block of bars from the pan. Cut into bars and serve. (I actually cut the bars still on the parchment and then put them back in to the tray to serve later in the day.)

Recipes Notes: If you leave the bars in the refrigerator longer than 10 minutes after you've topped it with chocolate, cutting into the bars might be more difficult and the chocolate is more likely to crack.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pork And Fennel Meatballs

I'm not really sure how D found this recipe, but I'm glad he did.  It really should come as no surprise that we like pork.  So this is right on.

They were really flavorful and I would definitely have again. We had with Ian's Dad's Pasta and Rao's Marinara Sauce.

Photo by ALB

Pork And Fennel Meatballs

Makes 19 meatball

2 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
1 lb pork mince (ground pork)
6 oz piece flat pancetta, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Olive oil, for cooking

Photo by ALB

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the fennel seeds and salt in a mortar and pestle and lightly crush.

Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl and stand for 5 minutes.

Add the mince, pancetta, parsley and fennel-salt mixture and mix well for 2–3 minutes or until mixture comes together.

Shape 1/3 cupfuls of the mixture into balls.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.

Add a little oil to the pan and cook the meatballs, in batches, until well browned on all sides.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 5–7 minutes or until cooked through.

Nutritional Information (from My Fitness Pal)
Calories: 130; Carbs: 5; Fat: 9; Protein: 6; Sodium: 370; Fiber: 0

Spices - Fennel seed, 2.5 tsp; Calories: 17
Spice - Coarse Kosher Salt, 2 teaspoon; Calories: 0
Progresso - Italian Style Breadcrumbs, 1 cup; Calories: 440
Milk - Reduced fat, 2% milkfat, 0.25 cup; Calories: 31
Pork - Fresh, ground, raw, 16 oz; Calories: 1,191
Boar's Head - Diced Pancetta , 6 ounce; Calories: 660
Parsley - Raw, 0.25 cup; Calories: 5
Oil - Olive, 1 tablespoon; Calories: 119

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tangy Asian Meatballs

I think emailed me summertime crockpot dishes last week and this recipe was in the email.  At least that's what I'm going with.  I showed D and he said OK, however he didn't see it was a crockpot dish.  So what was going to be Thursday turned into Saturday's dinner.  No problem, as we were home painting the dining room.

D looked at the ingredients and thought it would be overly sweet, so he added some sambal oelek to the recipe.  The bite that it added made these great. I would definitely have again.

We had with ginger and scallion rice and edamame.

Tangy Asian Meatballs

With a different and delicious Asian-style glaze, these meatballs are a tangy addition to any potluck meal, indoors or outdoors.
Yield: Serves 4
Cook time:5 Hours
Prep time:15 Minutes
Cost Per Serving:$2.16

1 pound ground pork
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
Photo by ALB
3 scallions, white and light-green parts, chopped
1 large egg
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup jarred Chinese plum sauce or duck sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1. Combine pork, panko, scallions, egg, soy sauce, ginger and garlic in a large bowl; mix gently but thoroughly with your fingers. Roll into 1-inch balls.

2. Mist slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add meatballs. In a small bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce, plum sauce and hoisin sauce; pour over meatballs. Gently stir to coat.

3. Cover and cook on low until meatballs are cooked through, 3 to 5 hours.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 419; Fat: 26g; Saturated fat: 9g; Protein: 23g; Carbohydrate: 21g; Fiber: 1g; Cholesterol: 135mg; Sodium: 803mg

All You DECEMBER 2010

Friday, June 27, 2014

Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad

D made this when I was sick.  It was really good.  It made a lot of dressing.  We only got 3 servings (because I never measure lettuce/cabbage) but there was dressing left over.  I would have again.

Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes' marinating time
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes 4 servings


Photo by ALB

Marinade and dressing
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp very finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 Tbsp canola oil (use 2 TBS)
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp kosher salt
2 (9-oz) boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)

1 lb napa cabbage, halved lengthwise, very thinly sliced crosswise
2 carrots, shredded or cut into matchstick-size strips
3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal
2/3 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp black sesame seeds (optional) (didn't use)

1. Marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk soy sauce, ginger, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and salt to blend. Transfer 3 Tbsp of the marinade to a baking dish, add chicken, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.

2. Dressing: Whisk vinegar and scallions into the remaining marinade. Set aside.

3. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade, add to grill pan, and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced in the thickest part with the tip of a small sharp knife. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes. 

4. Cut chicken crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices.

5. Salad: In a large bowl, toss chicken, cabbage, carrots, scallions, cilantro, and half of the almonds with enough dressing to coat lightly.

6. Mound salad in center of 4 plates. Re-whisk dressing and drizzle a little over and around salad. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds and sesame seeds.

Nutritional Information
420 cal, 24 g fat, 32 g protein, 19 g carb.

Adapted from Curtis Stone

Jalapeño and Lime Refried Beans

So when I showed this recipe to D, he went, "I thought we didn't do all day bean recipes."  He's right, we don't.  I told him we should just buy canned pinto beans and make it from there. He agreed.

He used less lime juice because he wasn't sure how much beans he had.

The result... they were really limey and didn't have a lot of heat.  The left overs were less limey but just lacked flavor.  I don't think we'll have again.

We had with Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwiches.

Jalapeño and Lime Refried Beans

We like this zesty, south-of-the-border side dish for picnics and outdoor get-togethers. Top with queso fresco and fresh cilantro for something truly special.

Yield: Serves 8
Cook time:6 Hours, 10 Minutes
Photo by ALB
Prep time:30 Minutes
Soak:8 Hours
Cost Per Serving:$.36

3 cups dried pinto beans, soaked 8 hr. or overnight in cold water
1 medium onion, quartered
5 cloves garlic (3 crushed, 2 minced)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons grated lime zest
Salt and pepper
Queso fresco and chopped cilantro, for serving, optional

1. Drain beans; place in slow cooker. Add onion and crushed garlic. Pour in enough water to cover. Cook, covered, until beans are tender, about 4 hours on high or 6 on low.

2. Drain beans, reserving liquid. Use a potato masher, pastry blender or fork to work bean mixture into a thick, pulpy mass.

3. Warm oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and jalapeño. Cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in mashed bean mixture and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add small amounts of reserved cooking liquid to thin as desired. Mixture should have the consistency of thick mashed potatoes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and zest. Season generously with salt and pepper. Top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 283; Fat: 5g; Saturated fat: 0.0g; Protein: 14g; Carbohydrate: 43g; Fiber: 15g; Cholesterol: 0.0mg; Sodium: 146mg

All You JUNE 2011