Hello and Welcome...
My Momma always told me, "If you can read, you can cook." I've found that this is pretty much true as long as you have great ideas about food. So what are "Great Food Ideas"? It's for all of us who are not Naked Chefs or Two Fat Ladies, but want to create enjoyable, yummy foods. It's all about the love of food and the enjoyment in creating something yourself which tastes great.

One of my great passions in life is good food. As a web designer it seems like a good opportunity to share this passion with other people. This Holiday Season I have compiled some wonderful recipes from both professional and amateur chefs alike ...They are not chosen on the basis of how difficult or how easy they are to cook, merely on the "WOW" factor.

"WOW" factor - the definition is: after eating a really yummy food you sit back in your seat and say "WOW"! 





Yummy Stuff

Main Course Stuff


HappyHollyDaz...From Lin

©Copyright 2002/2003
Graphics by Moon and Back
Recipes By People Who Love to Cook
And The Time To Put It all Together By Lin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egg Nog French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote
From chef and author Emeril Lagasse



Whip up Egg Nog French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote for breakfast before Christmas day and you might end up getting more gifts than you expected. Your friends and family will devour this special holiday treat.


Apple Cranberry Compote

Egg Nog French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote Ingredients

 

  • 4 cups nonalcoholic, unsweetened cider
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise or 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup orange zest
  • 4 pounds of small tart cooking apples, diced (Pippins, Winesap or Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

  • Directions

    1. Place cider, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and zest into a 6 quart pan and bring to a low simmer.

    2. Add apples and cranberries. Cook for 6 minutes.

    3. Strain and reserve both the liquid and the apple cranberry mixture, discarding the cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean if you used the stick and bean.

    4. Place the liquid back into the pan and reduce by half - 30 to 40 minutes.

    5. Cool and add the apples and cranberries back into this mixture and reserve.

    *Note: This can be done 2 days ahead and chilled.



    Egg Nog French Toast

    Ingredients

    Egg Nog French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote

  • 16 slices of Bias cut French bread (cut on an angle)
  • 1 quart egg nog
  • 1/2 cup of Bourbon
  • Pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom
  • Butter for cooking

  • Directions

    1. In a medium bowl, combine egg nog, Bourbon and spices and mix well.

    2. Dip the slices of French bread into the seasoned eggnog and fill with 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cranberry compote. Press firmly together and reserve.

    3. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of softened butter in a pan over stove and allow to melt and brown slightly. Place three or four sandwiches in the pan and cook until desired color is achieved (about 3 to 4 minutes on each side over medium heat).

    Egg Nog French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote Note: Serve immediately or keep warm in low oven. If desired, you may garnish with powdered sugar or whipped cream.

    Serves 8 people (2 sandwiches each).

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    English Trifle with Poached Pears and Raspberries

    Makes 1 large trifle that will serve 12.

     Ingredients

    Poached Pears

     

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 4 ripe but firm Bosc or Bartlett pears, peeled
  • Creme Anglaise

     

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Trifle

     

  • One prepared pound cake, about 12-ounces
  • 3/4 cup Ruby Port or Marsala wine
  • 4 cups fresh raspberries, thawed if frozen
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate shavings

  • Directions

    Make the poached pears

    1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, honey, seeds from the vanilla bean and vanilla bean to a boil until the honey dissolves.

    2. Add the pear halves, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the pears are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 12 - 15 minutes. Transfer the pears with a slotted spoon to a cutting board and cut into thin slices.

    Make the Creme Anglaise

    1. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a bare boil with the vanilla bean and seeds over medium heat. Cool slightly.

    2. In a medium saucepan, blend the egg yolks and sugar with a whisk until it forms ribbons. Gradually add the warm cream, and mix well, stirring constantly over medium heat. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and keep warm, covered, until ready to use.

    Assemble the Trifle

    1. Trim the crust from the cake and cut the cake into 1/2-inch thick slices to fit tightly into the bottom of a trifle bowl (or alternately, a 1 1/2 quart decorative glass bowl), and slightly up the sides about 1 inch. Drizzle the cake with some of the Port.

    2. In a mixing bowl toss the berries with 2 tablespoons Port, stirring to crush the berries slightly. In separate bowl, whip the cream with the sugar.

    3. Layer one-third of the pears over the top of the cake, then top with one-third of the Creme Anglaise, followed by one-third of the raspberries. Repeat the process with the remaining cake, Port, pears, custard, raspberries for two layers each, finishing with the whipped cream on top.

    4. Decorate the top with chocolate shavings. Refrigerate the trifle for at least 4 hours, and up to 1 day for it to set up.

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    Christmas Apple Pie
    From chef and author Wolfgang Puck

    Christmas Apple Pie



    Ingredients

     

  • Pate Sucré (Pie Dough) 2 pounds
  • 5 pounds (about 10 large) Pippin or Granny Smith apples
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Calvados
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) chopped dried prunes
  • 1 1/2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) chopped dried apricots
  • 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) chopped dried figs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg white, very lightly whisked
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons crystallized sugar

  • Directions

    1. Divide the dough into two parts, one a little larger than the other. Wrap the larger piece in plastic wrap and reserve. On a lightly floured surface, roll the smaller piece into a round, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, large enough to overlap a 10 x 2-inch pie plate. Arrange in the pie plate and even with a sharp knife, leaving about a 1/2-inch overhang. (Add the trimmings to the reserved dough). Tuck the overhang back under, making a slightly thicker edging. Chill for 30 minutes. If using a glass pie plate, remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before filling.

    2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the reserved piece of dough into a 12-inch square, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out a piece of cardboard, 1/2 inch wide and 10 or 12 inches long. Wrap the strip in plastic wrap and use as a guide. With a sharp knife or a pastry cutter, cut the dough into 20 1/2-inch strips. Lay 10 strips vertically on the back of a large baking pan, leaving a very small space between strips. Weave a lattice pattern by placing each of the remaining strips over and under horizontally. (It’s easier to weave if the dough is not too firm, but it can’t be too soft, either. If it's too soft, refrigerate for a little while and then continue). To weave, turn back every other strip of dough (1, 3, 5, etc.), lay a horizontal strip across, as close to the top as possible, and return the turned-back strips to the original length.

    3. For the next row, alternate the strips that you turn back (2, 4, 6, etc.) and again place a horizontal strip across, close to the first strip. Repeat this procedure until all the strips are used. Refrigerate just until firm. Using a 9-inch cardboard round, a plate, or a pot cover as a guide, cut out a 9-inch circle of latticework and refrigerate on the baking pan until needed. (Excess dough can be wrapped and refrigerated or frozen for future use).

    cooked apples 4. Peel, core and quarter the apples. Cut into 1/4 - inch slices. In 2 or 3 large skillets, melt the butter (2 or 3 tablespoons in each skillet, depending upon how many you use) and brown. The butter will have a slightly nutty aroma. Divide the apples, arrange in the pans, and coat with the butter. Sprinkle in the sugar and over medium-high heat, saute the apples until lightly caramelized and tender, 15 to 20 minutes, turning often so that the apples cook evenly. Pour in 1 tablespoon of Calvados and the brandy and cook until the alcohol burns off. Pour in the cream and stir through. Transfer and spread over a large baking tray to cool.

    5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and then warm the remaining 1/4 cup Calvados. Combine the chopped prunes, apricots, and figs in a small bowl. Pour the Calvados over and let plump.

    6. In a large bowl, combine the cooled apples and the plumped dried fruit. Stir in the lemon juice, cinnamon, lemon and orange zests, and nutmeg, and mix well. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie plate. Using a wide spatula, carefully transfer the 9-inch latticework circle and arrange on top of the filling. Brush the latticework with egg white and sprinkle with the crystallized sugar. Bake 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake 35 to 40 minutes longer, until the crust is golden brown. Cool on a rack and serve warm.

    Serves 8 to 10 people.

    Pate Sucré (Pie Dough)

    crust dough Ingredients

     

  • 2 1/3 cups cake or pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • Directions

    1. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour and sugar. Add the butter and process until the texture resembles fine meal.

    2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks and 1 tablespoon of the cream. Scrape into the machine and process until a ball begins to form, using the additional tablespoon of cream, if necessary. Remove the dough from the machine, and on a lightly floured surface, press down into a circle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Makes about 1 1/2 pounds or two 9-inch tart shells.

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    Chocolate-Cherry-Walnut Bread
    hands-on time: 15 minutes
    total time: 60 minutes
    makes 1 loaf
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into thin slices
    Grated rind from 1 orange
    1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1 cup milk
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like coarse crumbs. Mix in the orange rind, cherries, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Stir in the milk, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Pour into pan. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack.
    variations: Substitute any of the following, using the same amounts: dried cranberries instead of dried cherries; white chocolate chips instead of semisweet chocolate; pecans, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts instead of walnuts.
    wrap it up

    The problem with food gifts-if they're made the right way-is that they disappear quickly, with only a few crumbs left as evidence of your generosity. Solve this problem by wrapping your gift in a new dishtowel that the recipient can keep long after the bread has been gobbled up. Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap first to protect the towel from grease stains.
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    Creole Christmas Trifle
    From chef and author Emeril Lagasse

    Creole Christmas Trifle Looking for something different to make this Christmas? Try whipping up Emeril Lagasse's Creole Christmas Trifle.
    Ingredients

    For the Macaroons (Makes 6 dozen)

  • 10 2/3 cups sweetened flaked coconut (two 14 ounce bags)
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Two 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

  • For the Filling (Makes 8 cups)

  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 10 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • To assemble the trifle

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 cup Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liqueur
  • 6 pints fresh raspberries, rinsed and patted dry

  • Stocking Tip: Make the macaroons in advance, as they have to sit out for about 12 hours to dry.


    Directions

    Make the Macaroons

    1. Preheat Oven To 350 degrees F.

    2. Thoroughly combine the coconut, vanilla, and condensed milk in a large mixing bowl. Spoon the mixture, by tablespoon, onto parchment- or waxed paper - lined baking sheets about « inch apart.

    Macaroons 3. Bake until lightly toasted and golden about 15 minutes.

    4. Removed the macaroons from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack. Let cool completely. Leave them out, lightly covered with parchment or waxed paper, for about 12 hours.



    Make the Filling

    1. Combine the milk, sugar and vanilla in a large heavy-bottomed or nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture comes to a gentle boil or simmer after about 5 minutes, take 1 cup of the milk-and-sugar mixture and add it to the yolks. Whisk to blend well.

    2. Slowly add the yolks to the milk-and-sugar mixture in the saucepan, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat until it thickens slightly, 4 to 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Over medium heat, slowly add this mixture tot he saucepan, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Using a wooden spoon, continued stirring for about 2 minutes.

    3. Add the coconut and continue the stirring for 2 more minutes. Add the butter and stir until it is completely melted and the mixture has thickened to a custard, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into a glass bowl. Cover the plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Cool completely and chill for at least 4 hours.



    Make the Trifle

    1. Beat the cream with an electric mixer on high speed for about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and forms soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

    2. Beat the coconut cream with a wire whisk until it is smooth. Set aside.

    3. Pour the Grand Marnier into a small bowl. Dip each macaroon in the liqueur, submerging for 2 to 3 seconds, then transfer them to a sheet of parchment or waxed paper.

    4. Spread 1 cup of the coconut cream filling on the bottom of a large, deep glass trifle bowl.

    5. Top the cream filling with 8 to 10 macaroons, placing them snugly against each other.

    6. Arrange 2 pints of the raspberries on top of the macaroons. Spread 2 cups of the coconut cream on top of the raspberries. Top with more macaroons, then 2 pints of raspberries. Spread another 2 cups of the coconut cream and top with the remaining macaroons and raspberries. Spread the remaining coconut cream on top of the raspberries. Mound the whipped cream evenly over the top. Serve immediately or keep chilled.

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    Chocolate-Caramel Trifle with Raspberries



    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 1/4 hours, plus at least 2 hours to chill

    NOTES: Make and cool pastry cream while cake bakes and cools. For a nonalcoholic version, substitute a hazelnut- or raspberry-flavor syrup (such as Torani, available in most well-stocked supermarkets) for the liqueur; the trifle will be somewhat sweeter.

    MAKES: 8 to 10 servings

    About 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature

    About 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    4 ounces semisweet chocolate

    1 cup sugar

    2 large eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    3/4 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    3/4 cup milk

    3/4cup hazelnut- or coffee-flavor liqueur (see notes)

    Caramel Pastry Cream (recipe follows)

    1 1/2 ?cups fresh raspberries (6 oz.), rinsed and drained

    1. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.

    2. Coarsely chop 3 ounces of the chocolate and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in a microwave oven on full power (100%), stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes total.

    3. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium-high speed, beat 1/2 cup butter and the sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate.

    4. In another bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, stir to combine, then beat until well blended. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread level.

    5. Bake in a 350° regular or convec-tion oven until cake begins to pull from pan sides, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cake cool to room temperature in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

    6. Run a thin knife between cake and pan sides and invert onto a board to release. Cut cake into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes. Layer a third of the cubes in the bottom of a 3- to 3 1/2-quart trifle bowl or other straight-sided glass bowl. Drizzle 1/4 cup liqueur evenly over cake. Spoon a third of the Caramel Pastry Cream over cake and spread level. Repeat to make two more layers each of cake, liqueur, and pastry cream, ending with pastry cream. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

    7. Finely chop remaining 1 ounce chocolate or scrape into curls. Arrange raspberries on trifle and sprinkle chocolate evenly over berries. Scoop onto dessert plates to serve.

    Per serving: 669 cal., 40% (270 cal.) from fat; 8.6 g protein; 30 g fat (18 g sat.); 88 g carbo (2 g fiber); 379 mg sodium; 205 mg chol.

    Caramel Pastry Cream

    PREP AND COOK TIME: 45 to 50 minutes, plus 30 minutes to chill

    MAKES: About 5 cups

    1 1/2 cups sugar

    2 2/3 cups milk

    4 large egg yolks

    1/4 cup cornstarch

    1 1/2 cups whipping cream

    1. In a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, tilt and stir sugar until melted and amber-colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour onto a sheet of foil (about 12 by 18 in.) and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Peel off foil and break caramel into chunks; put in a food processor or blender and whirl into a fine powder.

    2. Combine milk and caramel powder in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan; stir over medium heat just until caramel is dissolved (it will form lumps, then melt; do not boil), 9 to 10 minutes.

    3. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks to blend. Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into yolks and whisk until blended, then whisk yolk mixture into pan and stir over medium-high heat just until mixture boils and thickens, 3 to 4 minutes.

    4. Rub pastry cream through a fine strainer set over a bowl; discard residue. Cover pastry cream and chill about 1 hour, or nest bowl in ice water and stir until cool, about 30 minutes.

    5. In a large bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat the whipping cream until it holds soft peaks. Gently stir the whipped cream into the cool pastry cream.

    Per 1/2 cup: 296 cal., 46% (135 cal.) from fat; 4 g protein; 15 g fat (8.9 g sat.); 37 g carbo (0 g fiber); 48 mg sodium; 134 mg chol.
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    Pumpkin Ice Cream Torte with Ginger Crust

    Candied Walnuts



    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 hour, plus 5 hours to freeze

    NOTES: For the smoothest texture, use a rich, full-fat ice cream. To soften slightly, heat it in the carton in a microwave oven at half power (50%) for 15 to 30 seconds.

    MAKES: 12 servings

    8 ounces crisp gingersnap cookies

    2 tablespoons sugar

    3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

    1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin, chilled

    2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

    About 1 1/4 cups caramel ice cream topping

    1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened (see notes)

    About 1 cup hot fudge sauce or chocolate ice cream topping

    Candied Walnuts (recipe follows)

    1. Place about a third of the cookies in a zip-lock plastic bag, seal bag, and roll with a rolling pin until cookies are finely crushed; pour into a 9-inch cheesecake pan with removable rim (at least 2 in. tall). Repeat to crush remaining cookies (you need 1 3/4 cups total) and pour into pan. Add sugar and butter and mix. Press cookie mixture over bottom and about 1 inch up sides of pan.

    2. Bake crust in a 325° regular or convection oven until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes, then chill or freeze until cold, 5 to 10 minutes.

    3. In a chilled large bowl, mix pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and 1/4 cup of the caramel topping until smooth. Add ice cream and mix until blended.

    4. Working quickly, spoon about a third of the ice cream mixture into the cold crust. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons caramel topping and 2 tablespoons fudge sauce (if fudge sauce is too stiff, warm slightly in a microwave oven at full power [100%], stirring once, just until fluid, 15 to 30 seconds); sprinkle half the Candied Walnuts on top. Repeat with two more layers, omitting nuts on the top layer. Freeze until solid, about 5 hours, then cover and freeze up to 1 week.

    5. About 15 minutes before serving, remove sides from pan, set torte on a serving plate, and let stand in refrigerator to soften slightly. Cut into wedges. Serve with additional caramel topping and fudge sauce (warm and stir again if too stiff) to add to taste.

    Per serving: 495 cal., 38% (189 cal.) from fat; 5.9 g protein; 21 g fat (9.1 g sat.); 77 g carbo (1.3 g fiber); 339 mg sodium; 38 mg chol.

    Candied Walnuts

    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 5 minutes, plus about 7 minutes to cool

    NOTES: Use these sweet nuts in the Pumpkin Ice Cream Torte (preceding) or sprinkle on salads or ice cream. If making Candied Walnuts up to 2 days ahead, cool and store airtight at room temperature.

    MAKES: About 1 cup

    In a heavy 8- to 10-inch frying pan, combine 6 tablespoons sugar and 2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (about 1/2 in.). Shake and stir often over medium-high heat until sugar is melted and amber-colored, about 5 minutes. Pour onto a piece of foil and spread into a thin layer. Let cool until hard, about 7 minutes. Break into small pieces.

    Per 2 tablespoons: 101 cal., 55% (56 cal.) from fat; 1.4 g protein; 6.2 g fat (0.6 g sat.); 11 g carbo (0.5 g fiber); 1.1 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
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    Apricot Buttons


    Tita Owre, Pecos, NM

    Tita Owre writes that her mother's apricot buttons were more than just a Christmas cookie – they were
    an essential part of every family celebration. Whirl the walnuts in a food processor until very finely ground, or chop very finely with a knife. The buttons are also great filled with raspberry jam.

    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 hour

    MAKES: About 3 dozen cookies

    About 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature

    3/4 cup sugar

    2 large eggs, separated

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 1/2 cups finely ground walnuts (see note preceding)

    1/2 cup apricot jam

    1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 cup butter and the sugar until smooth. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in flour and salt and beat just until dough comes together.

    2. In a small bowl, beat egg whites to blend. Place walnuts in another small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip each in egg whites, turning to coat completely, then roll in walnuts to coat. Place about 1 inch apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. Press your thumb gently into the center of each cookie to make an imprint.

    3. Bake cookies in a 325° regular or convection oven until lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes; if baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

    4. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon jam into the center of each cool cookie.

    Per cookie: 135 cal., 57% (77 cal.) from fat; 1.8 g protein; 8.6 g fat (3.6 g sat.); 13 g carbo (0.5 g fiber); 91 mg sodium; 26 mg chol.
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    Chocolate–Macadamia Nut Clusters

    Elsie Chan, Leucadia, CA

    These rich drop cookies taste amazingly like chocolate-covered macadamia nut candies, which is the effect Elsie Chan was after. Take care not to overbake them; their centers should remain soft and chewy.

    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 45 minutes

    MAKES: About 3 1/2 dozen cookies

    8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

    About 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine

    1 cup sugar

    2 large eggs

    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    1/4 teaspoon baking powder

    1 1/2 cups unsalted macadamia nuts

    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    1 cup sweetened flaked dried coconut (4 oz.)

    1. In a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) barely simmering water in a pan, stir bittersweet chocolate and 1/4 cup butter often until mixture is melted and smooth.

    2. In a large bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add chocolate mixture and beat until well blended. Stir in flour and baking powder, then beat just until moistened. Stir in macadamia nuts, chocolate chips, and coconut.

    3. Drop dough in 1-tablespoon portions about 2 inches apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

    4. Bake cookies in a 350° regular or convection oven just until firm on the edges but still soft when pressed in the middle, 8 to 10 minutes; if baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

    Per cookie: 132 cal., 67% (88 cal.) from fat; 1.5 g protein; 9.6 g fat (4.6 g sat.); 12 g carbo (0.5 g fiber); 20 mg sodium; 13 mg chol.
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    Louisiana Pecan Balls
    Heather Allen, Aptos, CA

    Heather Allen's parents made these tender, melt-in-your-mouth cookies every year; now she makes them with her children. We thought they were the best of their kind.

    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 45 minutes

    MAKES: About 28 cookies

    About 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature

    2 cups powdered sugar

    2 teaspoons vanilla

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    1/4 teaspoon baking powder

    1 cup chopped pecans (about 4 oz.)

    1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

    2. In a medium bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Add to butter mixture, stir to mix, then beat until well blended. Stir in pecans.

    3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 1 inch apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

    4. Bake in a 300° regular or convection oven until cookies are pale golden brown, about 25 minutes. If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies stand on sheets until cool enough to handle.

    5. Place remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar to coat all over; discard remaining sugar. Set cookies on racks to cool completely.

    Per cookie: 143 cal., 59% (85 cal.) from fat; 1.3 g protein; 9.4 g fat (4.4 g sat.); 14 g carbo (0.5 g fiber); 73 mg sodium; 18 mg chol.
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    Royal Raspberry Bars

    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 hour

    MAKES: 2 dozen bars

    1 1/4 cups rolled oats

    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

    3/4 cup sweetened flaked dried coconut

    1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) butter or margarine, melted

    3/4 cup raspberry jam

    3 large egg whites

    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

    1. In a bowl, mix oats, flour, coconut, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt. Add melted butter and stir until well blended. Press dough level in bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

    2. Bake crust in a 325° regular or convection oven until edges begin to brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes, then spread jam evenly over warm crust.

    3. In a large bowl, with a mixer on high speed, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until thick and foamy. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar and continue to whip until mixture holds soft, shiny peaks. With a spatula, spread meringue evenly over jam.

    4. Bake until meringue is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then cut into 24 bars. Let cool completely, then use a wide spatula to remove bars from pan.

    Per bar: 158 cal., 39% (61 cal.) from fat; 2 g protein; 6.8 g fat (4.3 g sat.); 23 g carbo (0.9 g fiber); 124 mg sodium; 16 mg chol.
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    Chinese Almond Cookies
    Chinese Almond Cookies


    Louise Pariani, Novato, CA

    The recipe for these crisp almond cookies was given to Louise Pariani nearly 50 years ago by Ah Lee Wong of Chicago, who was a Navy shipmate of her husband's during World War II.

    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 45 minutes

    MAKES: About 4 dozen

    About 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature

    1 cup sugar

    1 large egg

    1/2 teaspoon almond extract

    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1 large egg yolk

    1 tablespoon milk

    1/3 cup blanched whole almonds

    2 tablespoons sesame seeds

    1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 cup butter and sugar until smooth. Add whole egg and almond extract and beat until well blended. Add flour and baking powder; stir to mix, then beat until well blended.

    2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, flatten each slightly, and place about 1 inch apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

    3. In a small bowl, beat egg yolk with milk to blend. Brush cookies lightly with egg mixture; discard any remaining. Press an almond into the center of each cookie and sprinkle with about 1/8 teaspoon sesame seeds.

    4. Bake cookies in a 325° regular or convection oven until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes; if baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

    Per cookie: 86 cal., 51% (44 cal.) from fat; 1.2 g protein; 4.9 g fat (2.6 g sat.); 9.4 g carbo (0.3 g fiber); 52 mg sodium; 19 mg chol.
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    Cranberry Rugelach

    Jeannie Lee, Marin County, CA

    A trip to New York inspired Jeannie Lee to develop this cranberry-filled variation on the favorite flaky pastry. Use any leftover cranberry filling as you would a cranberry relish or jam.

    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 2 1/2 hours, plus at least 45 minutes to chill

    MAKES: 4 dozen cookies

    About 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature

    6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

    2 teaspoons vanilla

    2/3 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

    About 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

    Cranberry Filling (recipe follows)

    1/3 cup chopped white chocolate
    (2 oz.)

    1/3 cup chopped walnuts

    1 large egg yolk

    1 tablespoon milk

    1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 cup butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the brown sugar and beat until very smooth.

    2. In a medium bowl, mix 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and cloves. Add to butter mixture, stir to mix, then beat until well blended. Divide dough into thirds and flatten each into a disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.

    3. With a floured rolling pin, on a lightly floured surface, roll one disk at a time into a 1/8-inch-thick round about 12 inches in diameter. Spread each evenly with about 1/2 cup Cranberry Filling, then sprinkle with a third of the chopped white chocolate and a third of the walnuts. Cut each round into 16 wedges. Starting at the wide end, roll each wedge around filling; bend each roll slightly into a crescent. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

    4. In a small bowl, beat egg yolk and milk to blend. In another small bowl, mix remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Brush cookies lightly with egg mixture and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar; discard any remaining egg mixture and save cinnamon sugar for other uses.

    5. Bake cookies in a 350° regular or convection oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes; if baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

    Per cookie: 111 cal., 50% (55 cal.) from fat; 1.2 g protein; 6.1 g fat (3.6 g sat.); 13 g carbo (0.4 g fiber); 53 mg sodium; 19 mg chol.

    Cranberry Filling

    In a food processor, whirl 2 1/2 cups fresh cranberries (sorted and rinsed) or thawed frozen cranberries, 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger, and 1 orange, rinsed and quartered (seeds discarded), until smooth. Scrape into a 3- to 4-quart pan and add 1/2 cup sugar; stir often over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is reduced to about 2 cups, about 10 minutes. Chill until cool, about 30 minutes.

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    Pecan Pie Cheesecake

    Makes 16 servings
    Prep: 15 min., Bake: 50 min., Stand: 1 hr., Chill: 8 hrs.

    1 (2-pound, 4-ounce) package frozen MRS. SMITH'S Special Recipe Southern Pecan Pie
    2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    1/2 cup DOMINO Granulated Sugar
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1/4 teaspoon   Cinnamon
    2 (8-ounce) packages PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
    2 large eggs
    2/3 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup half-and-half
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup  Confectioners Sugar
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    16 pecan halves

     

    Preheat oven to 325°. Thaw pecan pie according to package directions. Cut evenly into 20 thin slices, keeping wedges intact, and set aside.

    Stir together cracker crumbs and next 3 ingredients; press mixture onto bottom and 1 1/2-inches up sides of a 10-inch springform pan.

    Arrange 10 pecan pie wedges in a spoke design in prepared pan, placing 1 cut side of each wedge on crust with narrow end towards center of pan. Reserve remaining pecan pie wedges for another use.

    Beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add sour cream, half-and-half, and vanilla; beat until blended. Fold in confectioners sugar and flour. Carefully pour cream cheese mixture evenly over pecan pie wedges in pan, making sure wedges remain in place. Arrange pecan halves evenly around edge.

    Bake at 325° for 50 minutes. Turn off oven, and let cheesecake stand in oven 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.

    Ginnie Prater
    Calhoun, Georgia

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    Banana-Apricot Bread
    hands-on time: 15 minutes
    total time: 75 minutes
    makes 1 loaf
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    4 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
    2 large, very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
    1 cup buttermilk
    2 eggs, beaten

    Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like coarse crumbs. Mix in the pecans and apricots. Stir in the bananas, buttermilk, and eggs until well blended. Pour into pan. Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack.
    variations: Substitute 1/2 cup flaked coconut or any dried fruit (such as golden or brown raisins or dates) for the dried apricot


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                  Orange soufflé
    Hands-on time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 45 minutes
    Makes 2 servings
    3 tablespoons butter
    3 tablespoons sugar
    2 teaspoons flour
    1/4 cup milk
    2 tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
    1 tablespoon grated orange zest
    2 egg yolks
    2 egg whites
    Pinch salt
    Pinch cream of tartar

    Heat oven to 375° F. Grease one 16-ounce or two 8-ounce ramekins with 1 tablespoon of butter. Coat with 1 tablespoon sugar, then tap out the excess. Set aside.
    Melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Blend in the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils, 1 minute. Remove from heat. Blend in the liqueur and zest. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Set aside. (Recipe can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
    Beat the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Pour the sauce into the whites; gently fold together. Spoon into ramekins. Bake until puffed and browned, 40 minutes for a 16-ounce soufflé, 20 minutes for two smaller ones. Serve immediately with Custard Sauce.
    rosemary-olive oil bread
    makes 1 loaf
    hands-on time: 15 minutes
    total time: 90 minutes
    This sweet-and-savory bread makes great toast to serve with salad, soup, or cheese on special occasions. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    2 teaspoons dried rosemary
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Grated zest of 1 lemon (1 tablespoon)
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    3/4 cup sweet white wine or apple juice
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray.

    In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, walnuts, baking powder, rosemary, salt, and lemon zest. In another bowl, blend the eggs, wine, and olive oil; stir into the dry ingredients. Transfer the batter into pan and smooth surface. Bake 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
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    Caramel Fudge Cutouts

    Makes 16 cutouts or 3 dozen squares
    PREP: 20 min. ; Cook: 25 min., Cool: 40 min.

     

    INGREDIENTS:
    2 cups sugar
    1/4 cup cocoa
    3/4 cup milk
    2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
    8 caramels, chopped
    3/4 cup skinned hazelnuts or pecans, chopped
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

     INSTRUCTIONS:
    Butter an aluminum foil-lined 8-inch square baking pan; set aside.

    Butter the inside of a large heavy saucepan. Combine sugar and cocoa in saucepan; stir in milk and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1/4 cup butter, stirring until butter melts. Cover and simmer over medium heat 3 minutes.

    Uncover and cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 238° (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and remaining ingredients. Do not stir. Let mixture cool to 130° (about 40 minutes).

    Beat fudge by hand with a wooden spoon until it thickens and begins to lose its gloss (about 10 minutes). Quickly spread fudge into prepared pan; let cool completely.

    Lift fudge out of pan with foil; invert fudge onto a cutting board, and discard foil. Cut desired shapes using 2-inch cookie cutters, or cut fudge into 1  1/2-inch squares.

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    A Sipper For Santa

    Red Rooster Holiday Drink
    From chef and author Emeril Lagasse

    Red Rooster Holiday Drink A simple, sweet, slushy, holiday punch.


    Ingredients

     

  • 1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 6-oz can frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
  • 2 cups vodka

  • Directions

    1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large plastic container. Freeze for several hours. It will not freeze solid but will achieve the consistency of a slushy.

    2. Scoop into punch hops or wine glasses and serve.

    Serves: makes 2 quarts

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    Orange Eggnog Punch

    • 1 quart eggnog

    • 1 12-oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed)

    • 1 12-oz. can ginger ale (chilled)

    In a pitcher, stir eggnog and orange juice concentrate until well mixed. 
     Pour in ginger ale and stir gently.
    makes 8 7-oz. servings

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    Mid-Atlantic Crab Boil Stuffing
    From Sara Moulton


    This tasty stuffing has all the ingredients of a traditional crab boil, crab meat, Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco and green and red peppers.


    Ingredients

     

  • 6 cups old-fashioned white, cubed and toasted
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 4 ribs of chopped celery
  • 1 pound of cooked crab meat
  • 2 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning (in seasonings section of supermarket)
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, chives or chervil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 cup of chicken stock (canned)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

  • Mid-Atlantic Crab Boil Stuffing Directions

    1. Toast the 6 cups of bread cubes for 10 - 15 minutes in a 325 degree oven until golden. Transfer toasted cubes into a large bowl.

    2. In a skillet, with the stick of butter, sauté all of the vegetables for 10 minutes, until soft. Remove vegetables and place in bowl.

    3. Now, in your bowl, combine the crab meat, vegetables, breadcrumbs and the rest of the listed ingredients EXCEPT for the chicken stock. Mix the ingredients until well combined.

    4. Now add just enough chicken stock to moisten the bread mixture. You do not want it soaking wet.

    5. If packing the turkey, stuff the neck and cavity loosely with stuffing, folding the neck skin under and fastening with a skewer. If not, lightly pack stuffing into a large, shallow stoneware-baking dish.

    6. If you bake the stuffing inside the bird, roast the bird at 325 degrees for 15 minutes per pound, or until the temperature of the bird reaches 180 degrees and the juices run clear when thigh is pierced with fork.

    7. If you back in a separate dish, drizzle the stuffing with a little bit of stock (do not soak). Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

    Recipe Courtesy of Sara Moulton

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    Spiced Holiday Baked Ham with Potatoes
    From Chef and author Emeril Lagasse



    When you bake a ham like this, you can count on about 10 to 15 minutes baking time per pound, but make sure your instant read thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees to guarantee that the ham is baked through. Not only is this good straight out of the oven, the ham makes amazing sandwiches the next day.


    Spiced Holiday Baked Ham with Potatoes Ingredients

     

  • One cooked, bone-in, butt portion ham, 6 to 7 pounds
  • 1 loosely packed cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 cup Creole mustard, or other spicy, whole-grained mustard
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

    For the Potatoes

  • 7 small sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

  • Directions

    1. Rinse the ham under cold running water. Pat dry and place on a work surface. With a sharp knife, score parallel lines, 1-inch apart and 1/4-inch deep, across the rounded, skin side of the ham. Turn the ham 180 degrees and score in a similar fashion to create a grid pattern across the ham. Put the ham in a two-gallon plastic storage bag.

    2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, whisking to mix. Pour the mixture into the bag with the ham and seal. Gently squeeze the bag to evenly distribute the marinade around the ham. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 350.

    3. For the potatoes: Cut the potatoes in quarters lengthwise and put in a large mixing bowl. Toss with the vegetable oil, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and the sugar. Arrange the potatoes in a layer on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Remove the ham from the bag and reserve the marinade. Set the ham, scored side up, on top of the potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes.

    4. Pour the marinade into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until it has thickened and will coat the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes.

    5. Remove the ham from the oven and evenly baste all sides with the marinade. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the ham from the oven and baste again.

    6. Turn the sweet potatoes that are along the side of the ham. Return the ham to the oven and bake, basting very 15 minutes, for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with the sweet potatoes. Makes 8 servings

    Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, © 2000

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    Kicked Up Prime Rib of Beef
    From Chef and author Emeril Lagasse



    This is a kicked-up variation on prime rib, although we're not using the usual 109 cut with the fat cap that is normally used for prime rib. Instead, we went to the butcher shop and picked up a rib-rack roast with two bones, which is the perfect thing for a dinner party for four if you're serving generous portions, or six people if you're cutting the slices a little thinner.


    Kicked Up Prime Rib of Beef Ingredients

     

  • One standing rib roast, 4 1/2 to 5 pounds
  • 16 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme

  • Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the roast under cold running water, pat dry, and put it in a small, heavy roasting pan, bone-side down. With a small, sharp knife, make sixteen 1/2-inch deep slits across the meaty side of the roast. Insert 1 garlic clove into each slit, pressing it into the meat. Pinch with your thumb and index finger to close the opening.

    2. Combine the chopped thyme, the salt, Essence and black pepper in a small bowl. Slowly add the oil and stir to make a paste. Rub the paste on each side of the roast and place the thyme sprigs under the roast. Roast for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, and turn. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. and continue roasting for 45 minutes for medium rare, and 1 hour for medium.

    3. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes before carving.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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    Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Brown Onions

    From Chef and author Wolfgang Puck

     
      Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Brown Onions

    Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Salt
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, brought to a boil
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound onions, cut into thinly sliced rings
  • All-purpose flour

  • Directions

    In a saucepan, cook the potatoes in lightly salted water until tender. Drain well.

    Mash the potatoes through a food mill into a stainless steel bowl. Stir in the butter and warm cream and combine thoroughly. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set over simmering water to keep warm.

    Meanwhile, in a deep-fat fryer or a deep, heavy saucepan, heat about 3 inches of oil. Dust the onion rings with flour and carefully drop into the heated oil. Cook until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a clean towel. Season lightly with salt.

    Spoon some of the mashed potatoes onto 5 or 6 warmed plates and top with a few of the browned onions. Serve immediately.  Serves 6

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    Mushrooms with Fine Herbs

    Ingredients

     

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds mushrooms (such as cepes, chanterelles, champignons de Paris, or oyster mushrooms)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon, chervil, or flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh fines herbs

  • Directions

    Cut the mushrooms into halves or quarters. If they are small, leave whole.

    Place in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons butter. Add the shallots and tarragon and sauté over moderate heat for 1 minute.

    Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender. Strain off any excess liquid, return mushrooms to the pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and over high heat cook until golden brown.

    Season with salt and pepper.

    Presentation: Place the mushrooms in a warm serving dish, sprinkle with fines herbs and serve.

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    Scalloped Potatoes
    From chef and author Emeril Lagasse

    Emeril's rich and cheesy version of this classic will send you straight to heaven.

    Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. plus 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 lbs. red potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 2 cups milk

  • Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with 1 tsp. of the butter.

    2. Put the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add the salt and white pepper. Toss to season evenly. Arrange a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the flour. Dot with a tablespoon of the remaining butter, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup of each of the cheeses. Repeat the process until all the potatoes, butter, flour and cheeses are used, ending with the cheeses. Pour in the milk.

    3. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
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    Crabmeat Deviled Eggs
    From chef and author Emeril Lagasse



    Crabmeat Deviled Eggs A devilishly delicious combination that will have your family and friends reaching for more.



    Ingredients

     

  • 12 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and cut lengthwise in half
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1/2 lb. lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1 oz. caviar, such as beluga, osetra or sevruga

  • Directions

    1. Remove the yolks from the whites and put in a medium-size mixing bowl, using the back of a fork, mash the yolks, then add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, white pepper, and hot sauce. Stir with the fork to mix. Add the crabmeat and stir gently to mix. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into the egg-white halves. Chill the eggs for two hours before serving.

    2. To serve, garnish with the caviar.

    Makes 12 servings (2 deviled egg halves per person)
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    CRANBERRY- ORANGE STUFFED TURKEY
    CRANBERRY- ORANGE STUFFED TURKEY

    Picture perfect turkey, filled with cranberry and orange bread stuffing, ready for a special holiday.


    Preparation 45 min.  
    Cooling 15 min.  
    Baking 5 hrs.  

    Stuffing Ingredients:

    •  3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
    •  3/4 cup sugar
    •  1 1/2 cups orange juice
    •  9 cups dried bread cubes
    •  1 cup Butter, melted
    •  6 ribs (3 cups) celery, sliced 1/2-inch
    •  2 medium (1 cup) onions, chopped
    •  2 teaspoons salt
    •  1/2 teaspoon pepper
    •  1/4 teaspoon allspice

    Turkey Ingredients:

    •  1 (18 to 22-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed

    Sauce Ingredients:

    •  1/2 cup orange juice
    •  2 (10-ounce) packages frozen cranberry-orange sauce

    Instructions:

    Stir together cranberries, sugar and 1 1/2 cups orange juice in 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop and sugar dissolves (9 to 11 minutes); cool 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, stir together all remaining stuffing ingredients in large bowl. Stir in cranberry mixture.

    Heat oven to 325°F. Stuff turkey with stuffing. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan. Bake as directed on turkey package or approximately 5 to 6 hours. (Meat thermometer should read 180°F in thigh.)

    Meanwhile, stir together sauce ingredients in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until melted (2 to 3 minutes). Baste turkey with sauce during last 30 minutes of baking time. Loosely cover turkey with aluminum foil if browning too quickly. Heat remaining sauce; serve over turkey.

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    Cajun Shrimp

    An easy, yet elegant, appetizer for everyday celebrations.
    Source: Better Homes and Gardens
    Prep: 35 min.
    Ingredients

       1/2   of a lemon
       1/3  cup water
       1   small onion, chopped (1/3 cup)
       2  tablespoons lemon juice
       1  tablespoon cooking oil
       2   cloves garlic, minced
       1  tablespoon Cajun seasoning
       1/4  teaspoon salt
       1-1/2  pounds fresh or frozen peeled medium shrimp (about 2 pounds in the shell)
       1/2  cup chopped green or red sweet pepper
          Lettuce leaves
        Cajun Shrimp

    Directions

    1. Carefully remove peel from the lemon half, being careful not to include the white portion. Cut the lemon peel into very thin strips.
    2. Combine lemon peel, water, onion, lemon juice, cooking oil, garlic, Cajun seasoning, and salt in a large skillet; heat to boiling. Add shrimp stirring to coat. Return to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 4 minutes or until shrimp are opaque, stirring twice. Stir in green or red pepper. Transfer mixture to a glass bowl. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours, stirring the mixture occasionally.
    3. At serving time, drain mixture well. Serve in a lettuce-lined bowl with serving picks. Makes 12 servings.

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    Herbed Seafood on Toast
    Instead of the usual butter and garlic on toasted bread slices, these are topped with
    a lemony shrimp-and-crabmeat mixture.

    Prep: 25 min.   Broil: 2 min.
    Ingredients:
       1  tablespoon olive oil
       1  tablespoon lemon juice
       1  tablespoon snipped fresh chives
       1  tablespoon snipped fresh basil
       1  tablespoon snipped fresh mint
       1  teaspoon bottled minced garlic
         8-ounces  peeled, deveined, and cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped
         6-ounces frozen crabmeat, thawed and drained, or one 6-ounce can crabmeat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed
       1  cup chopped plum tomatoes
       1/2  cup finely chopped onion
       1  8-ounce loaf baguette-style French bread
       2  tablespoons olive oil
          Freshly ground pepper
          Fresh basil or chives (optional)
        Herbed Seafood on Toast

    Directions

    1. Stir together the 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, chives, basil, mint, and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add shrimp, crab, tomatoes, and onion; toss to coat.
    2. Cut the bread into 48 thin slices; brush one side of each slice with some of the 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle lightly with pepper.
    3. Arrange bread slices, brushed side up, on a baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted. Arrange on a serving platter with oiled sides up. If desired, spoon seafood mixture on each slice. Garnish with fresh basil or chives, if desired. Serve the appetizers at once. Makes 48 appetizers.

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    Baked Spinach Casserole

    If you like spinach, you will go crazy over this recipe. Guaranteed to put a smile on everyone's face...

    Heat oven to 325 degrees

    3 Tablespoons butter
    2 cups light cream
    3 Tablespoons grated onion
    2 packages frozen spinach, thawed and drained
    1 lb chopped mushrooms
    3 tablespoons grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
    3 tablespoons flour
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon white pepper

    Sautéed onions and mushrooms in butter for 5 minutes. Blend in flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Gradually add cream, stirring to boiling point. Taste for seasoning. In buttered casserole, spread half the spinach; cover with half of the mushroom sauce, then repeat. Sprinkle with the grated cheese. Set in pan of hot water.
    Bake 40 minutes.
    Serves 6 - 8.

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    Award Winning New England Clam Chowder
     Click here to link to us!

    Here is a variation of our clam chowder recipe which was a multiple winner at the Newport, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts chowder festivals.   The secret to an exceptional chowder is to not skimp on the ingredients. Canned ingredients may be substituted but the final product will not be the same.

    Preparation Time: Approx. 90 minutes

    Servings: About 2½ quarts or 12 servings

    Ingredients

    2 cups 1/2 inch dices potatoes

    5 cups fresh chopped surf clams

    3 cups clam juice

    4 oz. butter

    1/2 cup flour

    1/4 cup minced onion

    1/4 cup minced celery

    2 tablespoons minced garlic

    2 1/2 cups light cream

    salt as needed

    2 teaspoons ground black pepper

    3 bay leaves

    3 teaspoons dry dill weed

    Method

    Wash the diced potatoes, drain and place in a stock pot with the clam juice. Bring the potatoes to a boil, add the chopped clams and bay leaves and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

    In a separate stock pot melt the butter and sautee the onion, celery, and garlic until the onions become transparent. Add the flour to the butter and onion mixture to make a roux and cook over a low heat for several minutes.

    Add the hot clam stock through a strainer a cup at a time and wisk until smooth. Add the remaining potatoes, clams, and stock and bring to a simmer.

    Add the light cream, black pepper, and dill weed and return to a simmer. Adjust the seasoning.

    Serve at once with oyster crackers.
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    Lobster Sherry

    4-6 oz. cooked lobster meat.

    3 artichokes hearts.

    3 sundried tomatoes.

    2 tsp. chopped garlic.

    1/2 cup cream sherry wine.

    1/8 cup clam juice.

    ¼ cup butter.

    2 tbs. parmesan cheese.

    Pinch salt, pepper, basil.

    Preparation: In a medium sauté pan, simmer artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, garlic, butter and spices. Add sherry wine, clam juice and bring to a boil. Then add the lobster meat and cheese, let simmer on low heat. Serve

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    Lemon–Rosemary Roasted Onions and Garlic

    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 hour

    NOTES: If you have only one oven, roast the vegetables up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Let warm to room temperature to serve, or return to a 400° oven after the turkey is done; bake cold onions, uncovered, until warm, about 5 minutes. Squeeze the roasted garlic from peels onto potatoes or turkey.

    MAKES: 10 to 12 servings

    5 or 6 onions (about 8 oz. each), unpeeled, rinsed

    1 lemon (about 6 oz.), rinsed

    1/4 cup olive oil

    2 dozen large cloves garlic, unpeeled, rinsed

    6 fresh rosemary sprigs (each 6 to 8 in. long), rinsed, or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary

    About 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

    1. Cut onions in half lengthwise. Cut lemon in half lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices; discard seeds and ends.

    2. In a 12- by 17-inch baking pan, mix lemon, 1/4 cup water, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spread level in pan. Lay onions, cut side down, in pan, on and around lemons and herbs.

    3. Bake in a 400° regular or convection oven until onions are soft when squeezed, 50 to 60 minutes. Check occasionally; if pan juices evaporate before onions are tender, add a few tablespoons of water. Arrange onions, cut side up, on a platter; distribute lemon, garlic, and rosemary over onions. Serve hot or at room temperature. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

    Per serving: 87 cal., 48% (42 cal.) from fat; 1.6 g protein; 4.7 g fat (0.6 g sat.); 12 g carbo (2.3 g fiber); 52 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
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    EARTHY DELIGHTS
    Crab and Mushroom Strata



    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 1/2 hours

    NOTES: To ensure enough bread slices, be careful not to cut thicker than 1/2 inch. If assembling strata through step 3 up to 1 day ahead, cover and chill; let chilled strata stand at room temperature for 15 minutes, then bake about 1 hour.

    MAKES: 10 to 12 servings

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms, such as crimini, porcini, shiitake, or common (use one kind or a combination), cleaned and thinly sliced

    2 teaspoons minced or pressed garlic

    4 teaspoons sherry vinegar

    2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

    About 1/4 teaspoon salt

    About 1/8 teaspoon pepper

    6 large eggs

    3 1/2 cups milk

    1 loaf (1 lb.) day-old crusty sourdough bread, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices (see notes), ends discarded

    6 ounces shelled cooked crab, any bits of shell removed

    1/3 cup chopped green onions, white and pale green parts only

    2 cups shredded jack cheese (about 8 oz.)

    1. Pour olive oil into a 12-inch frying pan or 14-inch wok over medium-high heat; when hot, add mushrooms and garlic and stir until mushrooms begin to brown and liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Add vinegar and thyme; cook, stirring often, to blend flavors, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to blend.

    3. Cover bottom of a 3-quart baking dish (such as 9 by 13 in., at least 2 in. deep) with bread slices, trimming if necessary to fit in a single layer. Spread half the mushroom mixture evenly over bread; top with all the crab and half the green onions. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup cheese. Pour half the custard mixture evenly over cheese. Arrange another layer of bread on top (overlap slightly if desired; save any extra bread for other uses), followed by remaining mushroom mixture, green onions, and 1 cup cheese. Spoon remaining custard mixture evenly over the top. Let strata stand at room temperature about 15 minutes, or cover and chill.

    4. Bake, uncovered, in a 350° regular or convection oven until center is set (cut to test) and top is well browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Cut into rectangles or scoop out with a large spoon to serve.

    Per serving: 304 cal., 41% (126 cal.) from fat; 18 g protein; 14 g fat (6.2 g sat.); 26 g carbo (1.4 g fiber); 489 mg sodium; 150 mg chol.
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    Apricot, Wild Rice, and Bread Dressing

    PREP AND COOK TIME: About 2 1/4 hours

    NOTES: You can prepare through step 3 up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill. 
    Bake chilled dressing 20 to 30 minutes longer.

    MAKES: About 10 cups; 10 to 12 servings

    1/2 cup wild rice

    2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

    1 1/2 cups chopped celery

    1 cup chopped onion

    1/3 cup butter

    1 cup long-grain white rice

    3 cups vegetable or fat-skimmed chicken broth

    1 cup apricot nectar

    1/2 cup brandy (or more broth)

    2 teaspoons dried thyme

    1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage

    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    About 1/2 teaspoon pepper

    6 cups herbed bread-cube stuffing (8 oz.)

    1 cup chopped dried apricots

    Salt

    2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

    1. In a 2 1/2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 1/2 quarts water to a boil. Rinse and drain wild rice and add to water. Return to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice begins to split, 40 to 45 minutes. Drain.

    2. Meanwhile, put nuts in a 10- by 15-inch baking pan. Bake in a 325° (if roasting turkey at that temperature) or 350° (if using a different oven than one for turkey) regular or convection oven until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

    3. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir celery and onion in butter until onion is limp, 7 to 10 minutes. Add white rice and stir until edges turn opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, apricot nectar, brandy, thyme, sage, nutmeg, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender to bite, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in bread-cube stuffing, apricots, wild rice, and toasted nuts. Add salt and more pepper to taste. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until bread cubes are evenly moist, 7 to 12 minutes. Pour into a 3-quart casserole and cover tightly.

    4. Bake in a 325° (if roasting turkey at that temperature) or 350° (if using a different oven than one for turkey) regular or convection oven until dressing is hot in the center, 30 to 40 minutes. For a crustier top, uncover casserole for the last 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

    Per serving: 380 cal., 45% (171
     
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