Thursday, February 19, 2009

V-Day Dinner

Link Instead of going out for dinner on Valentine's Day, we decided to cook at home. We both would rather go out to dinner on a night where the restaurant isn't filled with couples that are forced to try and be romantic. and we like the food we make at home too! We got some fabulous scallops at L.Isaacson & Stein for the main course and we knew that we needed some yummy dessert so we went to Blommers chocolate shop and bought some delicious chocolate to make molten cake with....yum yum yum. Oh and of course we needed some wine so we went to Randolph Wine Cellers and picked out a few bottles. It was nice that the day we went in they had a small tasting table. Ok on to the recipe.

Scallops with Clementine's, Capers & Cauliflower Puree

1 head cauliflower trimmed and cut into florets
Salt and ground pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 dozen bay scallops, cleaned
1 lemon juiced
4 Clementine's
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley

First you want to bring a pot of water to boil with a little dash of salt. Then you can cut and clean the cauliflower into florets. When the pot is ready throw the cauliflower in and cook for about 8 minutes.

When done strain and then you should place in a food processor to puree. We don't have a food processor so we used the blender, which actually worked just fine. Once pureed you should add in 2 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Then you can set aside and keep it warm.

Now you can heat up your pan with the remaining butter and olive oil. Season the scallops with a little salt and pepper and when the pan is hot slide them in. They cook pretty fast about 2 minutes on each side. You want them to get nice and carmalized on the top and bottom.

You can now get out your plates for dinner and put a little of the cauliflower on each plate, when the scallops are done you can divide them up equally and place on top of the puree.

Now you will want to make the sauce for the top. You want to deglaze the pan with Lemon juice and then add the clementine's and capers. Heat through and then pour on top of the capers and serve.

The delicious wine that we had with our dinner

now on to the best part.....dessert.

Chocolate Explosion

Above is the chocolate that we bought at Blommers, it was so tasty. We never knew how easy it was to make chocolate molten cake. Well...except the part of flipping them out of the pan. Next time we are going to use little ramekins. We used a muffin tin, which actually was just the right size, but we had a hard time flipping them out of it.

Chocolate Molten Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more to butter the molds
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons flour, plus more for dusting

First you want to heat the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler. We don't have one so we put a glass bowl inside a pot. It worked just fine.

While that is melting you want to beat the eggs, egg yolks and the sugar in a separate bowl. You will mix this into the chocolate once it is melted and then add in the flour, until it is all combined.

You will now need to butter and lightly dust your ramekins with flour. You man want to do this twice, to make sure you can get the little chocolate buggers out of the ramekins. Now you can pour the batter into the ramekins.

You can wait to bake until you are ready to serve.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and bake them for about 6 minutes. When they are done flip them and let sit for about 10 seconds and then lift the mold off and serve! We topped ours with a little coffee ice cream and raspberries.

As you can see our cakes didn't turn out perfect, but man did it taste good!

and Chris drew this cute Valentine on the chalkboard!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Beets Eating Iceburg

Beets are so delicious and healthy for you. We have found it's nice to try salads that aren't your traditional lettuce salad. This serves about 2 people, feel free to adjust to how many people you have.

Beet, Apple and Blue Cheese Salad

1 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar- we used less, sometimes vinegar can be harsh.
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 beets sliced- we buy the packaged beets at trader joe's.
1/2 green apple- we like the tartness that they give.
some crumbled blue cheese

Combine the honey, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Whisk it together really well. Then slice your beets and apples. Toss the dressing dressing on the beets and apples and top with blue cheese.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mango Shrimp

We went to L. Isaacson & Stein fish market on Fulton Market the other day and picked up some fabulous shrimp. Sarah loves mangos, so we thought this sounded like a great combination. This was a very quick and easy meal and it was very tasty. You can really tell the difference when you have good shrimp.

Mango Shrimp

1 cup Basmati rice - 2 cups water- we used the rice cooker
16 fresh shrimp- I peeled and took tails off.
2tsp olive oil
1/4 cup green onions
1 clove garlic
2 tsp soy sauce
4 tbsp Marie Sharp's mango chutney
1 mango cut into 1/2" pieces

You want to heat up the pan with some olive oil. Then add the garlic and onion. Cook for two minutes. Then you can add in the mango chutney, soy sauce and fresh mango. Cook for two to three more minutes - heating the mango through. Add shrimp and cook for two minutes. Shrimp cooks really fast. Cook till it is no longer translucent.

Spoon over Basmati rice & enjoy!

Chris drew this menu board the night we made this!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Superbun Sunday

When Chris was at the dentist office waiting for me to get my teeth ripped out, he read a copy of the new issue of Gourmet magazine. They have a big feature on rolls and buns. So... he went and picked a copy up. All the rolls looked so yummy. We decided to make these.

Parmesan Pull-Aparts

2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2/3 cup milk (105-115 degrees)
2 1/2 cups flour + 2 tablespoons for later
1 1/4 cups grated parmigiano-Reggiano
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
1 tablespoon water

It may be helpful to have a mixer, but we didn't use one. We used old-fashioned muscle.

First you need to mix the yeast with the milk and sugar. Make sure the milk is the correct temperature. Once you mix these together you need to let the combination sit for about 5 minutes. It should start to foam. If it doesn't foam, you will need to start over. We had to do it twice, the first time we tried using honey instead of sugar and it didn't foam.

While you are waiting for it to foam you can mix together the flour, cheese and salt. Then mix this with your yeast mixture and add the other 1/3 of milk, mix on low speed. Once all mixed you can mix in 2 eggs, one at a time. Mix for about 3 minutes and a dough will start to form. It is very sticky and messy, just keep going. Then you can mix in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once all mixed form the dough into the center of the bowl and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour on top. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Let rise for about 1 1/2-2 hours. The dough should double. I noticed ours didn't double till close to the end of the time.

After the 2 hours punch down the dough (do not knead) and turn it onto a floured surface of some type. Then you should divide the rolls into 12. You can sort of roll them in your hand, but don't over work them. When you are done place them into a buttered pan about an inch a part. Then cover with a dish towel and let rise for another 1-1/2 hours.

Now you will want to turn the over on to 375 and move your rack to the middle.

Also you need to take out that last egg and whisk it with some water. Then you want to paint the tops of the rolls with a little of this mixture and then you are ready to bake for 20-25 minutes!

Flip them out of the pan and let sit for about 20 minutes or for as long as you can wait to eat one.