Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blackberry Panna Cotta topped with White Chocolate Cream Mousse

Blackberry Panna Cotta
2 c blackberries simple syrup
3 c heavy cream
2 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 c white sugar

White Chocolate Mousse
8 oz good white chocolate broken up
1/2 c heavy cream for ganache
3 c heavy cream for whipping

Day 1 - make Panna Cotta.
  1. Put blackberry syrup in a large saucepan on low heat.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin powder on top and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
  3. When gelatin is all wet an wrinkly, begin to whisk.
  4. Add sugar and whisk until all is dissolved.
  5. Add cream and vanilla and heat gently. DO NOT BOIL or even simmer. When warm and all well combined, remove from heat.
  6. Pour into 12-14 - 6 oz cups or ramekins (about 1/3 to 1/2 full.)
  7. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Day 2 - make White Chocolate Cream Mousse
  1. In a large microwave safe bowl combine chocolate pieces and 1/2 c heavy cream.
  2. Microwave in high for 30 seconds at a time, whisking between until chocolate is melted and combined with cream. 
  3. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl (or power mixer bowl with a whisk attachment) pour 3 c COLD heavy cream. 
  5. Whisk by hand or with mixer at medium speed for several minutes until cream forms soft peaks. (Do not over mix or you will make butter!)
  6. Put about 1/2 of whipped cream into the chocolate-cream mixture and whisk gently to combine. 
  7. Add chocolate & cream mixture back into whipped cream bowl and whisk gently to combine. Do not over mix.

Portion cream onto tops of cups or ramekins of Panna Cotta.

Chill for two hours before serving.

Bacon wrapped, bleu cheese filled, pitted dates

1 lb bacon
40 pitted dates
2/3 c crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to  400°
1. Cut bacon strips into halves (you may need more than a pound if its think cut - you need twenty full length bacon strips total.) In a large skillet, cook bacon in batches over medium heat until partially cooked but not crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain; keep warm.

2. Carefully cut a slit in the center of each date; fill with blue cheese. Wrap a bacon piece around each stuffed date; secure with wooden toothpicks.

3. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bacon is crisp. 

Yield: 40 pieces

I had these first at a local restaurant, the Federal Taphouse. They call them, "Devil on Horseback". I call them better than sex.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blackberry Simple Syrup

4c fresh blackberries
4c white sugar
4c water

Put all ingredients in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. 

Stir continuously mashing the fruit as you stir. Use a potato masher to help breakdown the fruit. (The idea here is to extract the juice from the pulp and seeds.)
Heat until mixture begins to just boil and remove from heat.
Set aside and allow to cool.
Pour through a fine strainer to separate pulp and seeds from syrup.
Put the syrup in a quart (or two pints) and refrigerate for up to three weeks or freeze in a muffin tin for longer storage.

Ready for the freezer.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cheese, Onion & Sweet Pepper Cornbread


1 c onion - diced into 1/4" pieces
1 c sweet green pepper - diced into 1/4" pieces
olive oil for sautéing

Cornbread - see recipe here. Replace black beans with onion & pepper topping.

Instructions. Topping instructions
1. heat a skillet on high heat. When hot add a coating of olive oil.
2. Immediately add onions & peppers
3. Saute on high until onions begin to brown and peppers are softened.
4. Remove from heat.

Follow corn bread recipe instructions using onions & peppers in place of black beans.

Serve with pico de gallo, salsa, guacamole, or fajita filling.