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Archive for December, 2011

Joyeux Noel

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Eggplant Lasagna

eggplant lasagnaWow what a great recipe this one. It reminds me a lot of the moussaka dish I had back in 2004, on Santorini island.

Moussaka is an eggplant and meat dish. This lasagna I made yesterday night was done with a leftover meatballs sauce I had in the fridge, and the eggplants were on sale at my local market here.

Here is my eggplant lasagna:

1 eggplant, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup of mushrooms, cooked

1 garlic clove, roasted

1 teaspoon dry oregano

8 oz ricotta cheese

2 eggs

½ cup parmesan cheese

Tomato sauce

Slice the eggplants, deposit in a baking pan, brush both sides with oil, salt and pepper and grill in the oven until transparency. Cover a baking dish with tomato sauce, lay one layer of the eggplants over the sauce.

Mix eggs, ricotta cheese, cooked mushrooms, oregano and garlic together. Spray the mixture over the eggplants.

Cover a second layer of eggplants slices over the cheese mixture. Cover the eggplants with the tomato sauce and finish it off with parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350F, 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden in color.

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Basic dessert/meal crêpes

These thin, golden brown crêpes can be filled with your choice of delicious ingredients. The batter can easily be doubled to serve a larger group of people.

 

*In red, recipe for two persons

 


 

All-purpose flour 3/4 cup 175 mL (58ml)

 

Granulated sugar 1 tbsp. 15 mL (5ml), omit the sugar if Meal crêpes

 

Salt, just a pinch

 

Large eggs, fork-beaten 2 (1 small)

 

Milk 1 cup 250 mL (83ml)

 

Butter (or hard margarine), melted 3 tbsp. 50 mL (16ml)

 

Butter (or hard margarine) 1 tbsp. 15 mL (5ml)

 

Combine first 3 ingredients in large bowl. Make a well in centre.

 

Combine next 3 ingredients in small bowl. Pour into well. Whisk until smooth. Let stand for 1 hour. Stir.

 

 

Melt 1/4 tsp. (1 mL) of second amount of butter in 8 inch (20 cm) frying

 

pan on medium.

 

Measure 2 1/2 tbsp. (37 mL) batter into 1/4 cup (60 mL) measure. Pour into pan.

 

 

Immediately swirl to coat bottom of pan, lifting and tilting pan to ensure entire bottom is covered.

 

Cook for 45 to 60 seconds until top is set. Flip. Cook for 45 to 60 seconds

until golden brown spots appear on bottom. Remove to plate.

 

Repeat with remaining butter and batter. Fill the crepes with meat and veggies, or fruits, according to your taste.

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Christmas fudge

This fudge is the best one I have tasted yet. It is made with marshmallow and not too sweet. No stirring required here, just melting and eating!

This is a small recipe:

2 cups sugar

½ cup butter

6 oz evaporated milk (or 4 oz of water mixed with 1/3 cup of dry powder milk)

¾ cup of chocolate, any will do

8 oz of marshmallow (either in a jar or whole)

1 teaspoon of maple syrup (optional but good)

½ teaspoon of vanilla extra

¼ cup of walnuts (optional)

Grease a pan, any size and shape will do.

Melt the sugar and butter together on stove. Add the milk and water and bring it to 236F or until a soft ball formed in icing water, when dropped in a glass.

Remove from heat, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until all is melted.

Pour the mix in the prepared pan; place it in the fridge for 2 hours before cutting.

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Christmas Chocolate cookies

Some pictures do not need anything but just a taste for good food!

The secret here in these extraordinary cookies is:1/2 cup of chocolate pieces. Yes, just ½ cup, not 1 or 2 or half of the bag, but just ½ cup ok?

How many bites do you need to taste a real good cookie? Think about it, it takes just one bite. The rest of the cookie is just there to tease me.

1 ¼ cups brown sugar

½ cup of butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together, set aside

**

Add 2 eggs, mix well

**

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons of cocoa powder

½ cup of chocolate pieces

Mix together everything. Cover the bowl with a plastic sheet, refrigerate 3 hours.

Form 24 balls, roll each in sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes at 350F.

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Pizza for two

Youtube is my best friend. I love watching videos on cooking and I just learn something today that will change my life for now on.

How to make the best pizza ever!

And simply put, everything has to do with: the temperature of the oven, plain and simple. Blast it to its hottest point and then, make your pizza. Bake it for 12 to 15 minutes and that is the secret!

This pizza was started from scratch, tonight, at 4hpm. By 5hpm, it was ready to eat… and I am talking here a pizza with yeast, as yeast in bread. Wow.

My recipe (I love very thick, very soft edge crust, stuffed with cheese inside the fold of the dough):

one cup of warm water

2 teaspoons of sugar

2 3/4 teaspoon  of instant yeast

Test the water with the tip of your finger, it should be lukewarm to the touch.  Add the sugar, mix it to dissolve the sugar and add the yeast on top of the water.  Let the yeast activates by forming a kind of white foam on top of the water, about 5 to 8 minutes.

******

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of oil

Oregano, salt and pepper

Mix together the flour, the salt and the oil, and add the yeast mixture.

Make a dough with your hands, drop on the counter and form two balls of doughs, using just a bit of flour to prevent it to stick too much here.

pizza dough, before first rise

Drop a bit of oil in a pan, place both balls of dough in the pan, and drop a bit more of oil on top of each of the balls.  Cover with a plastic sheet or a towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.

Punch down the dough, form a circle the size you want your pizza to be, and place it in a baking pan, either a round one or what you have handy around the kitchen, that goes in the oven. Do not let it rise a second time. Proceed with the topping of the pizza.

Now, for the rest, your imagination will take over but here is what I did for this one: in order given, I put on top of my pizza dough : pizza sauce, a bit of cheese, red onion and cabbage, a bit of cheese on top and a sprinkle of spices. I finished it off by putting some oil on top of it all, just to give it a ‘bam’.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

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Pound Cake


…Pound cake refers to a type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.

The traditional recipe makes a cake much larger than most families can consume, and so the quantity is often changed to suit the size of the cake that is desired. As long as the ratio is preserved, the resulting cake will be identical to that using the traditional recipe. Hence, any cake made with a 1:1:1:1 ratio of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar is also called a pound cake, even if the quantity used is smaller or larger than an actual pound.

I love pound cake, very easy to do and the variation added to the base of the recipe could be limitless (nuts, dry fruits, cheese, sweet alcohol drink, honey, jam, cream, etc…).

The best pounds cakes I have tested over the years are the ones made with brown sugar and a touch of lemon or orange flavor, which is a real ‘French pound cake’ to me. If the cake is well balanced in the ratio, there is no need to ice this beauty as the flavor develops inside the wall of the cake. Some icing sugar might be dusted on the top of the cake if desired.


Now for this Orange ricotta pound cake here, I used my homemade ricotta cheese. You will need 4 cups of milk and 1 cup of buttermilk, to make about 1 ½ cups of ricotta cheese.

¾ cup butter (ratio 1)

1 ½ cups flour (ratio 2)

2 ½ teaspoons of baking soda

1 teaspoon of salt

1 ½ cups homemade ricotta cheese

1 ½ cups of sugar, plus 1 tablespoon (ratio 3)

3 eggs (ratio 4)    

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 orange, zested

2 tablespoons of instant coffee granules (optional)

Icing sugar (if desire)

 

Heat oven to 375F, butter and flour a cake pan.

Mix together butter, 1 ½ cups of sugar, eggs, vanilla. Mix together in a separate bowl the flour, baking soda, salt, coffee and add this to the first mix of eggs.

Add the cheese and taste your mix to adjust. This step is important because the cake mix needs the right amount of sugar here, add more if needed.

Pour into the cake pan. Dust the top of the unbaked cake with the 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Dust with icing sugar or leave it as is.

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