Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fallen choclate cake

Here is what it looks like when you cut into it.....yummy!

fallen chocolate cake

Fallen chocolate cake this is one of my favorite desserts and there are several variations, I have been making it so long I forget where it came from. It is quick and easy and you can make prepare it several hours before you serve it by putting it into the refrigerator. Take it out of the fridge about an hour before you cook it (make sure it is at room temperature).
1 stick of unsalted butter (100 g)
4 ounces (100 g)of bittersweet chocolate, I use Valrhona
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of all purpose flour, plus some for dusting
4 (4 oz) ramekins
1. In a double boiler set over simmering water. heat the butter and chocolate together until it is almost completed melted. Meanwhile beat the eggs and sugar together until thick.
2. Beat the melted chocolate & butter . Pour this into the egg mixture and immediately add the flour and mix.
3. Butter and flour the ramekins repeat this twice. Add the mixture to the ramekins and you can now refrigerate for several hours, but bring to room temperature before baking.
4. Preheat oven to 450F (230 C0. Bake the molds on a tray for 6 to 7 minutes. The cakes will be soft in the middle but the sides will be set.
5. Invert the molds onto a plate for about 10 seconds , unmold and enjoy.


Last evening we had risotto with asparagus & crimini mushrooms, soy ginger flank steak & fallen chocolate cake.....yummy!

Here it is being cooked.


300 grams of cannaroli rice (this is better than aborio for risotto)

2 litres of chicken stock, and I put the rind of parmigiano cheese into the stock (adds lots of flavors)

1 bunch asparagus cut into small pieces and these were blanched in boiling water.

crimini mushrooms about 5 chopped up, you can add more if you wish.

parmigiano cheese 1/4 cup or so

1. Place the stock and rind of parmigiano into a heavy bottom pan and bring to a simmer.

2. Heat a heavy bottom pan and add olive oil to the bottom, chopped onions and let them sweat; then add the rice and coat with the oil and onions.

3. Start by adding two ladles of stock and stir your rice and keep on stirring and adding stock as needed, it takes about 20 minutes or so, add the mushrooms and asparagus and continue on.

4. Taste the rice as you go and add the parmigiano rice and keep on stirring.

5. When finished, serve IMMEDIATELY (you wait for risotto, risotto does not wait for you), grate some parmigiano and enjoy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Well, it's been two weeks since my last blog. I have cooked and photographed all the items, but some I was not happy with the fotos. Anyway, tonight I made a favorite of mine, cod loin wrapped in prosciutto. It's rather simple to make.

Heat your oven to 400F (200C). Wrap the cod in prosciutto and pan sear on one side, flip over and place in the oven for about 6 minutes.

If anyone has any questions please let me know. I sometimes serve this with kale, but today, I used savoy cabbage.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It started to snow and is a little cold outside, so I decided to make my Mom's eggplant, doesn't take long at all and can save time by doing it before dinner.
It is a very easy thing to do:
You will need:
wondra flour
eggs x 2
fresh basil
vegetable oil for the frying
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut the eggplant into rounds and salt the them, let them sit for a couple of hours, when done, pat off the salt.
2. Have three bowls ready, one for wondra flour, one for eggs and one for breadcrumbs.
3. Place eggplant into the flour first, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
4. Have a heavy bottom pan heating with vegetable oil in it and when ready put the eggplant in, when brown turn over to the other side.
5. Place the cooked eggplant onto paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
6. Grate some parmigiano over and sprinkle some parsley and cut up basil. You can serve these at room temperature.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It was Sunday and really cold, great day for comfort food and watching the football games. So, soup is always good and roasted chicken, and I made a my bread.
Cannellini Bean Soup:
I used what I had in the house because I didn't want to go out.
-1 can of cannellini beans or you could you any other bean (500 g)
- about 2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 shallot, minced
-1 litre chicken stock, I use the low sodium
-about 4 shitake mushrooms
-1 celery stalk, cut up small
-small bunch of kale or spinach ( I remove the stems from the greens) and cut it up
-1 red potato cut into small
-1 red pepper, cut up into small pieces
-cumin, about a teaspoon or so
-salt & pepper
-grated romano or parm cheese
-garlic, 2 0r 3, minced
In a heavy bottom stock pot, heat the pan over medium heat, add the oil, shallot and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the pepper, celery garlic and continue sauteing. Add the spinach till it wilts, then add the potato, broth, cumin. Bring to a boil . Reduce the heat to low and and let it simmer for about another 15 minutes or so, when the potatoes are soft the soup should be done. Garnish with the grated cheese and if you like some crushed red pepper.
Roasted Chicken with vinegar (Pollo con aceto)
-8 chicken thighs or you can use other parts of the chicken
-olive oil
-salt & papper
-2 tablespoon unsalted butter (30 g)
-8 - 10 cloves of garlic
-thyme, about a spring or so
-1/2 cup (120 ml) of vinegar white wine or sherry vinegar
-1 lemon
1. Preheat your oven to 500 F (260C) and place the rack in the lower part of the oven. Season the chicken with salt & pepper and heat about a tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan, then add the chicken skin side down and cook for about 4 minutes until you can lift up and the skin is nicely browned, turn the chicken over and place into the preheated oven.
2. This will take about 25 to 30 minutes.
3. When chicken is cooked, remove and put onto a warm plate and put the pan on the stove over medium heat, add the vinegar and scape the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatular (get all that good stuff on the bottom of the pan, it's call "fond".
4. When this is reduced by half, add a little water and bring back to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, taste for seasoning. Put the chicken back into the pan and turn it oven in the sauce.
5. Remove the chicken to a platter and pour the sauce over chicken, grate the lemon skin (using a raster) over the chicken and squeeze 1/2 of the lemon over the chicken and serve immediately.
Let me know what you think.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Soy ginger flank steak

A good friend came for dinner, still cold outside and knowing that he loves beef, I cooked flank steak. Would have preferred to cook the steak on my charcoal grill, but it was dark and cold. So, it was pan seared and finished in the oven. We also had eggplant and pizza with soppresatta. Here is the recipe for the flank steak.

1 flank steak about 2.5 lbs (1 kg)

1/4 cup (80 ml) soy sauce

5 tablespoons (75 ml) vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

1. Mix soy sauce, ginger, vegetable oil and garlic in a zip lock bag. Add flank and seal the back, mixing the meat into the marinade, let this marinade for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

3. Remove flank from marinade and in a heavy bottom hot pan add the steak, sear for about 4 minutes on one side, turn over and place into the oven for about 5 to 6 minutes.

5. When done, remove, slice and serve.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I love Artichokes and two weeks ago I was looking for the baby artichokes, well couldn't find them. Yesterday I did find them and decided that today would be great day to cook them. I usually grill them but since it's cold outside I sauteed them. They are really easy to do, and nutrious also. Can't go wrong with this way of cooking them.

You will need:

-Small artichokes, they usualy come 8 in a package

-Garlic cloves, about 3 or so, you can use more

-Rosemary or fresh Thyme

-Extra virgin olive oil

-Black olives, I like gaeta, but you can also use calamata (you might want to pit them)

-1 pint of grape tomatoes, cut in half

-Brined capers, about 1 to 2 tablespoons

1. Heat a heavy bottom skillet heating up and add the oil and garlic over low heat with a pinch of salt.

2. Meanwhile, remove the hard leaves then cut off a bit off the top and trim the stem, then cut the artichoke in half.

3. Add the artichokes to the pan cut side down, once you have all the artichokes in the pan raise the heat to high to brown them.

4. Once they are browned, add the tomatoes with water(about a 1/2 cup), olives, capers and turn the artichokes over,cover the pan and let them simmer for about 20 minutes. You might want to check the pan to be sure the the water has not evaporated.

5. Once they are soft, remove and place into a platter and enjoy hot.