Storm the Cassoulet

Mexican Chocolate Cake

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ngredients:

Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or ground Mexican chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup cold water

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

6 tablespoons water

10 small fresh strawberries

Method:

Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat an 8-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray.

Combine all the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth. Pour into the pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. When the cake has cooled, whisk together the first three glaze ingredients. Dip each strawberry into the glaze and set aside. Pour the remaining glaze over the cake and arrange the strawberries on top. Set aside to dry, about 30 minutes.

 

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Beef Wellington with Madeira Sauce

Ingredients:

2 pounds filet mignon Salt and black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup whole-grain Dijon mustard 1/2 pound prosciutto di Parma 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed 1 egg yolk 1 tablespoon whole milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  (If using individual filets, see cooking time note below).

Pat filet mignon dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and black pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the filet mignon and brown from 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. You want to create a nice sear on the outside of the steak but leave the inside raw. Remove from heat and place on a cutting board to cool.

Cover cooled filet with Dijon mustard.  Spread the pate or the mushroom duxelles over the beef. Lay out the prosciutto on top of the pate/duxelles.

Lay out a clean, long piece of plastic wrap. Gently roll out puff pastry until it is a 1/4-inch thin. Place the wrapped steak on one end of the puff pastry and wrap. Pinch the ends closed and trim off any excess puff pastry. Use the plastic wrap to tightly seal the puff pastry. Pop it in the fridge for about 5 minutes to let it firm up again.

In a bowl, mix together egg yolk and milk.  Place a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Remove Wellington from fridge, remove the plastic wrap, and lay the Wellington seam-side down on the baking sheet. Baste the top of the puff pastry with the egg wash.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 to 30 more minutes.  Pastry should be a rich, golden brown, and the beef medium-rare.   Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing into medallions. Serve warm with the Madeira sauce.

Individual filets:  Bake about 12 minutes for rare, 16 minutes for medium, or 20 minutes for well done.

 

Madeira Sauce

Ingredients:

3/4 cup of Madeira wine

2 cans of Campbell’s Beef Consommé

2 stalks of celery

1 onion quartered

1 smashed garlic clove

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

Method:

In a sauce pan, add 1/2 cup of Madeira wine, 2 cans of Campbell’s Beef Consume 2 stalks of celery 1 onion quartered and one smashed garlic clove. Bring to boil and simmer 30 minutes.  In a separate bowl mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of Madeira wine. Blend into sauce pan with consume. this is a thin type of Au Jus rather than a thick and heavy gravy.  (Add any reserved juices from cooking the Beef Wellington.)

 

Mushroom Duxelles (in lieu of pate)

Ingredients:

1 pound cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Method:

To make mushroom duxelles: Add mushrooms to a food processor and process until completely smooth. The consistency is similar to wet hummus.

In a pan over medium heat, add mushroom paste, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly over the surface and cook on a medium-low heat until the moisture in the paste has reduced and the mixture has the consistency of a spreadable pâté. Remove from heat and let cool.

 

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White Cake with Cranberry Filling and Orange Buttercream

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Recipe from Southern Living

Ingredients:

FILLING

1 (12-oz.) jar cherry preserves

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

3 1/2 cups fresh cranberries*

 BUTTERCREAM

1 cup butter, softened

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 (32-oz.) package powdered sugar

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 2 Tbsp. milk (optional)

Additional:

Basic White Cake Layers

Method:

Prepare Filling: Bring first 3 ingredients and 3 cups cranberries to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop. Transfer 1 cup cranberry mixture to a small bowl, and stir in remaining 1/2 cup whole cranberries. (This will be the Cranberry Topping.) Transfer remaining hot Cranberry Filling mixture to another small bowl. Cool both mixtures completely (1 hour). Cover; chill 8 hours.

Prepare Buttercream: Beat butter and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with orange juice. Beat at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Stir in vanilla. If desired, add 1 to 2 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. at a time, beating until frosting reaches desired consistency.

Place 1 Basic White Cake layer on a serving platter. Spoon 1 1/2 cups buttercream into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe a ring of frosting around cake layer just inside the top edge. Spread cake layer with half of chilled Cranberry Filling (without whole berries), spreading to edge of piped frosting. Top with second cake layer. Repeat procedure with frosting and remaining Cranberry Filling (without whole berries). Top with third layer. Spread remaining buttercream over top and sides of cake. Pipe a ring of frosting around top cake layer just inside the top edge. Spread Cranberry Topping (with whole berries) over top cake layer, spreading to edge of piped frosting.

*Frozen cranberries, thawed, may be substituted.

 

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Impossibly East Breakfast Bake

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Ingredients:

2 packages (12 oz each) bulk pork sausage

1 medium bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

1 cup Original Bisquick® mix

2 cups milk

¼ teaspoon pepper

4 eggs

Method:

Heat oven to 400°F. Grease rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Cook sausage, bell pepper and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Stir together sausage mixture, potatoes and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese in baking dish.

Stir Bisquick mix, milk, pepper and eggs until blended. Pour into baking dish.

Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes.

 

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Pork Crown Roast

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Ingredients:

Garlic powder

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

10 pounds pork rib roast (about 12 to 14 ribs) – have butcher prepare it.

Note:  You need at least 10 ribs to make a circle.

Stuffing of choice (ex. bread stuffing with cranberry, apples, applesauce)

Pork Gravy (add some pork juice)

Bone Booties for the rib bones

Watercress, for garnish, optional

Special equipment: roasting pan fitted with roasting rack

Optional:  ginger ale or apple juice

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set rack on the bottom third of the oven so the roast will fit completely inside.

Combine garlic powder, and salt and pepper.  Add oil, about 1 cup, and combine.

Take crown roast of pork that the butcher has already prepared. Rub the pork all over with the oil mixture.

Place in a roasting pan. Set aside to bring the pork to room temperature prior to cooking.

Fill the cavity with your stuffing of choice.

Cover the stuffing and the tips of the rib bones with foil then place the whole roast in the oven and bake for 2 hours and 20 minutes, an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should register 150 degrees F when done.  Baste with a little the juice (or ginger ale or apple juice), if desired.

About 30 to 45 minutes prior to doneness, remove the foil to brown the stuffing and create a crust.

Remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes before cutting. Cut off string.  Serve with stuffing and gravy. Garnish with bone booties and watercress, if desired.

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Corn Bake

cornbake

Ingredients:

1 small onion, diced

½ small green pepper, diced

½ cup butter

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 can cream style corn

1 can whole kernel corn (don’t drain)

1 8-oz box corn muffin mix

1 cup sour cream

3 eggs

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sauté onion and green pepper in butter.

Mix both cans of corn, muffin mix, and eggs.

Add the sautéed mixture and pour into a 2-qt casserole dish.

Mix sour cream and grated cheese.

Spoon on top of the corn.

Bake for 45 min.

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Cranberry Christmas Cake

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Ingredients:

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
12 oz fresh cranberries

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as your leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.

Spread in a buttered 9×13 pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. (I baked mine for 43 minutes.) Let cool completely before cutting into small slices. I cut mine into fairly small pieces, about 1″x2″, so that they could be easily eaten at a party. Enjoy!

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Brownie Stuffed Cheesecake with a Peanut Butter Cookie Crust

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Ingredients:

1 tube peanut butter cookie dough
1 8×8″ pan of baked and cooled fudge brownies (chopped into bite sized pieces and frozen)
2lb cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs

Method:

Cookie Crust

Preheat oven to 350

Open the tube of cookie dough and press it into the bottom and 1 1/2″ up the sides of a greased 9″ springform pan. Bake 5 minuntes,

Cheesecake

Beat together cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until very smooth. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time on low speed mixing just until blended. Add in the chopped, frozen brownies (reserving several pieces to sprinkle on top) and gently stir. Pour batter into the crust and top with remaining brownies. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until cheesecake jiggles only slightly when you gently shake the pan.

Let cool on the counter, then cover and chill at least 4 hours.

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Salted Pretzel Caramel Brownies

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Ingredients:

1 box Betty Crocker fudge brownies (for 9×13 pan)
2 eggs
1/4 c. water
2/3 c. vegetable oil
3 cups pretzels
1 jar caramel sauce
coarse sea salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, or grease with cooking spray.

Prepare brownie batter according to package instructions.

Pour about 1/3 of the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan. Spread until the bottom of the pan is evenly coated. Then add two even layers of pretzels, covering the entire surface. Carefully spoon the remaining brownie batter on top to cover the pretzels.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the brownies comes out clean. Remove and set on a cooling rack to cool.

Spoon the caramel sauce onto the top of the brownies in an even layer. (If it is too thick, spoon the sauce into a small bowl first and microwave for 30 seconds to thin.) Sprinkle the caramel with a few pinches of sea salt.

Serve warm, or let cool to room temperature then serve.

 

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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 From Leda


Ingredients:

Cake:
3 cups cake flour, plus more for pan
1 cup butter, softened, plus 1/2 cup, melted
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups whole buttermilk
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple slices in juice, drained well (reserve 2 tablespoons juice for frosting)
1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained well

Pineapple Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 pound butter, softened
2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Makes about 2 cups.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans and coat with flour.

In a large bowl, beat 1 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and set aside.

In a small bowl, add the 3 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Divide the brown sugar evenly into the bottom of each pan. Pour the melted butter equally over the brown sugar. Arrange the pineapple slices and cherries over the brown sugar. Reserve remaining pineapple slices and cherries for another use.

Pour equal amounts of batter over the fruit and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto wire racks to cool completely. (Otherwise Frosting will slide right off)

To assemble the cake, carefully arrange 1 cake layer, pineapple side up, on a cake plate. Carefully stack the remaining cake layer, pineapple side up, over the first layer. Frost the sides and top of the cake with Pineapple Buttercream Frosting. (Do not put frosting between layers – makes a mess). Press chopped pecans into sides of cake, if desired.

Please note: I think it’s best to keep it in a cool room versus the refrigerator. The fridge seems to make everything very heavy and dense.

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