Sunday, May 29, 2011

....A Honey of a Cake

3 Cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon, Ground
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ginger, Ground
1/4 tsp Allspice
3 Eggs
1 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Strong Brewed Coffee, Cooled
1 Cup Honey

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and Flour a 9x13 Pan. In a medium bowl, whisk Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Salt, Ginger, and Allspice. Mix Eggs and Sugar until Fluffy. Gradually Beat in the Oil, Coffee, and Honey. Add the Flour mixture to the Batter in 3 additions, mixing until just combined after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, bake until the Cake springs back when lightly touched in center and toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out barely clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour and 5 minutes. Serve warm or store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. 'It's delicious when freshly baked, but it becomes moister and richer the next day.'

It was a little drier than I had hoped but the spices were good, I think I could have made the cup of Coffee stronger. Also, I didn't have a chance to try it the next day, I made this for Mother's Day and then passed the rest along to the Monday Night Dinner Group as I headed off to New Orleans. Chicken Marsala

Mama Recipe 
(Adapted from Miss Ro)

2-1/2 lbs Chicken, Thinly Sliced 
(Chicken Tenders work well too)
1/2 Cup Flour
2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Butter 
1 Medium Onion
1 Can Beef Broth
1 Cup Marsala Wine (Dry)
1½ lb Mushrooms, Sliced
1/4 Cup Parsley, Chopped

Mix Flour and Garlic Powder.  (Optional:  cut meat into 2”square pieces).  Dredge meat into Flour and place on waxed paper.  Brown Chicken in Oil and Butter mixture in frying pan.  Lift  Chicken to large (3qt) glass casserole.  Pour Marsala Wine over Chicken.  Add Onion into frying pan with Oil from browning Chicken, and sauté til golden.  Add Beef Broth and thinly sliced Mushrooms and simmer together 5min.  Pour this mixture over the top of meat.  Sprinkle with Parsley. Can do ahead of time and refrigerate (add 15 min cooking time).  Bake at 350ºF for 30 min.  Thicken sauce with flour if desired. Halibut & Pancetta Stew

Es Made this for Greg's mom for Mother's Day, I was mostly the Sous Chef but it was am amazing entree, and those Veggies didn't cut themselves!

(what the recipe looked like by the end)

2-1/2 lbs of Halibut, Cut in 2 in strips
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/4 lb Pancetta, Cut into 1/2 in pieces
1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
2 Stalks Celery, Finely Chopped
1 Medium Carrot, Finely Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Very Finely Chopped
1/4 tsp Thyme
1 Tbsp Flour
2 - 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
2/3 Cup Amber Ale
1/2 Lemon, Zested and Juiced
1 Medium Parsnip, Diced
1 Medium Sweet Potato, Diced
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Head Escarole, Chopped

Pat the Halibut dry and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp Salt and 1/4 Pepper. In a large pan heat 1 Tbsp of Oil and 1-1/2 tsp Butter over a medium-high heat. Lightly brown both sides of the half Fish (do not cook through). Repeat with remaining Tbsp of Oil and 1-1/2 tsp of Butter. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. In the same saute pan, add the Pancetta and cook until browned. Pour off all but 2 Tbsp of fat in the pan. Add the Onion and remaining 1/2 tsp of Salt and 1/4 tsp of Pepper, cook stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the Celery and Carrot, cook stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Stir in Garlic and Thyme, cook for 1 minute. Add the Flour and stir for 3 minutes.

Slowly stir in the Broth, Ale, and Lemon Juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the Parsnip and Sweet Potato and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Add the Cream and Escarole and cook stirring until Escarole is slightly wilted.

Return the Halibut and any juices to the pan. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer gently unto the Halibut is barely cooked though, 4 to 6 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Garnish with Lemon Zest and serve immediately.

We served it with a Cheesy Asparagus Risotto and Sauteed Yellow Squash, Zucchini, and Red Onion.

Our other Sous Chef: Dara a Calzone

I used cheater dough, Pillsbury Pizza Dough straight out of the can. It's pretty good, a little sweeter than that homemade dough in a previous entry.

Lightly brushed with Olive Oil it's filled with Zucchini, Bell Pepper, Tomato and Feta.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 New Orleans

I didn't cook any of this but it was a great week of architecture and wonderful food.

 Transportation: The Streetcar and Our Feet.

Jaques Imo's: Grilled Mahi Mahi with Spicy Green Tomatoes

Jaques Imo's: Mashed Sweet Potatoes and a Corn Dish (I forgot what they called it)

Crescent City Brewhouse: Crab Stuffed Shrimp with Asparagus

Crescent City Brewhouse: Grilled Redfish, Fried Oysters, Potatoes Au Gratin, with Asparagus.

 Central Grocery Co.: The Original Mufaletta, Zapp's Spicy Creole Tomato Chips and Barq's
City Park: Raw Crawfish

Sunday, May 8, 2011 Choclate Chip Banana Bread

1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
3 Ripe Bananas
1/2 tsp Vanilla
3 tsp Buttermilk
(if you don't have it use 1/4 Milk and 1 tsp Lemon or Lime Juice and then use 3 tsp from this mix)
2 Cup flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 C Chocolate Chips
Cream Sugar, Butter, Bananas, Vanilla and Buttermilk. Add Flour and Baking Powder. Dissolve Baking Soda in small amount of Water, add to other mixture. Add Chocolate Chips. Bake @ 350 for 1 hr. 10 min. (watch it closely you don't want it over done and every oven is so different!)

 Served hot with Vanilla Ice Cream is Heavenly!

(Recipe from JLM & BJS) Mediterranean Couscous

1/2 Required Liquid Chicken Broth
1/2 Required Liquid Water
1/4 tsp Sea Salt

1 can Artichoke Hearts Drained & Chopped
1 Tomato Diced
1/2 cup Feta
1/2 cup Chickpeas
1/2 Grey Squash (or Zucchini or Yellow Squash)
2 tbsp Lemon Juice

Cook couscous to package directions (using the above liquid directions and salt). Then stir in everything else.

(Recipe from MMCB) Artichokes

I got these directions from it came out pretty well, I think it could have stayed in a little longer, some of the leaves weren't as tender as they could have been. Maybe I don't have the right steamer. I dipped the leaves in olive oil lemon juice and some salt & pepper.

Fill the pan with just enough water to cover bottom. Bring to a full boil over high heat. While water is heating, trim and discard the stems and tough outer leaves of artichokes.

When water is boiling, place steamer insert in pot and set artichokes in steamer, stem-side down. Cover pot with lid and allow artichokes to steam for approximately 20 minutes, until tender.


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