Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The World's Greatest Cheese Dip.......... comes from Arkansas!

I was quite surprised to discover this bit of Food History:

Cheese Dip, as we know it today, was introduced to the world and restaurant menus in 1935 by
Blackie Donnelly, a Central Arkansas restaurateur and owner of Mexico Chiquito. In 2009, a local attorney and filmmaker Nick Rogers researched the history of Cheese Dip in Arkansas and why it's so beloved, and it all led back to Donnelly.

The World's Greatest Cheese Dip

Here's what you'll need:
A Saucepan
A Large Double Boiler
Tortilla Chips to serve.

I did not list the ingredients separately at the beginning of this recipe. They're added as needed.
Read the entire recipe carefully to have all ingredients available.

In a Saucepan on Medium High Heat:
8 TBS Butter
Heat until Melted.

4 TBS Flour
Whisk well to create a Roux or Paste.

In a Small Mixing Bowl:
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Tabasco  Sauce
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
1 Fresh JalapeƱo, Diced.
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced.
1 TBS Ketchup
1 Pinch of Salt
Whisk well.
Add this mixture to the Saucepan.
Whisk well.
Reduce Heat to Low.

Continue cooking for 2 minutes.

2 C Whole Milk
Whisk well.
Transfer to a Large Double Boiler.
Continue cooking but don't allow to Boil.

1/2 Pound of American Cheese Slices, 1 - 2 slices at a time until each addition
melts completely.
Whisking constantly.

Serve with Tortilla Chips.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Muffin Tin Mince Meat Pies .......... "easy as pie"!

I recently saw this recipe from BBC Good Food.
I love Mincemeat!
I'm making these for Christmas.

This recipe is incredible easy.
I buy Vegetarian Mincemeat from a local shop, The British Emporium.
I'll include my recipe for Homemade Vegetarian Mincemeat at the end of the recipe.

I'm posting a series of photographs to show the process.

Here's what you need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1 - 12 C Muffin Tin
Butter for greasing the Pan.
Homemade Pie Crust.
Vegetarian Mincemeat.
Confectioner's Sugar for Dusting.

They Bake for 15 - 20 minutes.

It doesn't get much easier than this.
I love the process of placing the dough over the top of the Muffin Tin and then trimming it so you don't have to cut out circles and transfer them to the Pan. It also makes it easy to fold in the corners to create the top crust.

Terry's Homemade Vegetarian Mincemeat:

I know it's not for everyone but I happen to love Mincemeat and because I'm Vegetarian, I love this recipe. It's such an iconic recipe for Christmas. I serve it as a compote and I also use it to fill cookies.
If you love the idea of Vegetarian Mincemeat, without the Suet, this recipe is perfect. It makes the perfect Christmas Gift to share with Friends and Family.
Simply fill Canning Jars and tie some decorative Christmas Fabric over the lid, with Twine or Raffia.

Vegetarian Mincemeat:

4 TBS Butter
1 C Unsweetened Apple Juice
2 Large Apples, peeled, cored and grated. (I use Jonagold).
1.2 C Dark Raisins
1/2 C Golden Raisins
1/2 C Dried Currents
1/2 C Dried Cranberries
1/2 C chopped Dried Figs
3/4 C Candied Mixed Peel
1/2 C chopped Candied Red Cherries
Zest and Juice of 1 Orange
2/3 C packed Brown Sugar
1/3 C Dark Rum + an additional 4 TBS to add at the end of cooking.
1/3 C Brandy + an additional 4 TBS to add at the end of cooking.
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground Ginger
1/4 tsp ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Salt

Place all ingredients in a large Dutch Oven and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer , stirring often for 30 minutes. Some of the liquid should begin to evaporate.
Remove from heat and fold in an additional Rum and Brandy.
Allow to cool completely in the Dutch Oven off the heat.
Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
It will keep, refrigerated, for months.

Mincemeat Pies for Christmas!

Peppermint Cheesecake

I have never been fond of Peppermint. I really don't eat anything that tastes like Peppermint.
I know that many do.
However, when I saw this recipe, it looked very tempting and I knew I had to post it on my Blog.
It looks delicious and I'm sure it is.
So........ whether you love Peppermint, or not, I think you should try this!
I will!

Rather that re write the recipe, I'm simply posting the link.
Since I'm posting the link, I can post a photograph of it.
It looks amazing.

Peppermint for Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Baked Biscuit Doughnut Treats

This recipe sort of reminds me of the French/American dessert known as the Croi-Doughnut. This turns a flaky biscuit dough into a baked Doughnut treat that adults and kids will enjoy. They can be decorated in a variety of ways.
During the Holidays we have the option to be Naughty or Nice.......... Make these and be a little bit Naughty!

Baked Biscuit Doughnut Treats

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper.
A Doughnut Hole Cutter or a Small Round Biscuit or Cookie Cutter to create a Hole in the center of the Dough.

1 Container of Refrigerated Grands Flaky Biscuits.

A Bowl with 8 TBS Butter, melted for Dipping the Dough.

A Bowl with 3/4 C Granulated Sugar mixed with
2 tsp of Cinnamon for Dipping the Dough.

Alternate Garnishes:

On a Flat Surface:
Open the Biscuit Container.
Separate the Biscuits.

Flatten them slightly with your hands or
use a small Rolling Pin.

Use the Cookie Cutter to cut a Hole in the center.

Dip the Doughnuts and the Holes in Butter and then in the Cinnamon/Sugar Mixture.
Place them on the Sheet Pan.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Remove the Pan to a Rack to Cool Completely.
You can Ice them and add Sprinkles if you choose.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Raclette, a new individual way of preparing it.


It's been around since Medieval Times in the Mountainous Regions of Switzerland and France.

Raclette is a dish indigenous to parts of Switzerland. The Raclette Cheese Round is heated, either in front of a Fire or by a Special Machine, then scraped onto Diners' Plates; the term Raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning "to scrape", a reference to the fact that the melted cheese must be scraped from the unmelted part of the Cheese onto the Plate.
Traditionally the melting happens in front of an open fire with the big piece of Cheese facing the heat. One then regularly scrapes off the melting side. It is accompanied by small firm Potatoes, Gherkin Pickles (French Cornichons),  Meat, such as thin slices of Ham or Prosciutto and Pearl Onions.

A modern way of serving Raclette involves an Electric Table-Top Grill with small pans, known as Coupelles, in which to melt slices of Raclette Cheese. Generally the Grill is surmounted by a Hot Plate or Griddle. The Cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed Potatoes, other Vegetables and Charcuterie. These are then mixed with Potatoes and topped with Cheese in the small, wedge-shaped Coupelles that are placed under the Grill to melt and brown the Cheese. Alternatively, Slices of Cheese may be melted and simply poured over food on the plate. The emphasis in Raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable Eating and Drinking, the meal often running to several hours. French and other European Supermarkets generally stock both the Grill Apparatus and ready-sliced Cheese and Charcuterie selections, especially around Christmas. Restaurants also provide Raclette evenings for parties of diners.

We first experienced Raclette in France with our friends. We returned home and bought a Raclette Grill. We've also had some of our best Raclette in Borough Market, London.
The following photographs are from London's Borough Market. It's one of our favorite places to visit in London.

It's a very social event to share Raclette.

This version is quite different. It make individual servings. We make this when it's just the two of us and not a group of friends of family.

Boil Whole Potatoes.
Slice off the top.
Hollow out the potato.
Filled with French Fry sized pieces of Raclette Cheese and a few Pearl Onions.
Wrap the exterior with Bacon. (I use a vegetarian bacon that's been brushed with some Olive Oil for mine)
Stand them up in a Roasting Pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes.
Transfer to a serving Platter.

Serve Garnished with Sliced Cornichons and Pearl

Peace in the Kitchen!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Camembert Baked in Puff Pastry

Here's a great appetizer for the Holidays.

Place the bottom half of Camembert Cheese onto the Circle of Pastry.
Top it with Cranberry Sauce and Pecans.

Add the Top Round of Cheese.

Begin by cutting into fourths.

Make 4 additional cuts.

Trim the edges with a drinking glass or small glass bowl.

Start folding the Petals over the Cheese
and brush with the Egg wash.

Continue folding and brushing each Petal.

Sprinkle lightly with Sea Salt.

Camembert Baked in Puff Pastry

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
A Sheet Pan lined with Parchment Paper.

1 Round of Camembert Cheese
2 TBS Whole Cranberry Sauce
2 TBS Chopped Pecans
1 Large Circle of Puff Pastry
1 Large Egg beaten
Flaked Sea Salt

Slice the Cheese  through the center into two Rounds.
Put the bottom half on in the center of the Puff Pastry.
Spoon the Cranberries and Pecans on top.
Top it with the other half of the Cheese.

From the outer edge of the Cheese Round, slice the Pastry into quarters and then into eighths.
Place a round glass at the ends of each section of the Pastry and trim to make them round.

Begin folding one flap over the Cheese and Brush with Egg Wash.
Continue folding all of the flaps and brushing with Egg.
Sprinkle lightly with Sea Salt.
Bake 30 minutes, until Golden Brown.

Transfer to a Serving Patter and garnish the top with additional Cranberry Sauce and Pecans.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The 12 Days of Christmas Cookies

I created this Cookie for the Annual Dallas Morning News/Central Market Holiday Cookie Contest that I enter every year. I try to enter original recipes. The concept for this cookie is a basic Dough with 12 added Holiday ingredients. It's a very colorful and flavorful cookie. It's filled with a variety of ingredients.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper or Silpat.

The 12 Days if Christmas Cookies


16 TBS Butter, room temperature
1 C Granulated Sugar
2/3 C Brown Sugar
2 TBS Pure Maple Syrup
1 Large Egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 1/3 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt

The 12 Days of Christmas additions:

1 C Pink Yogurt Coated Pretzels
3/4 C Green Mint Baking  Chips
1/2 C White Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Green M&M Mini Baking Bits
1/2 C Red M&M Mini Baking Bits
1/2 C Dried Cranberries
2 1/2 C Powdered Milk
1/3 C Rolled Oats
1/2 C Slivered Almonds
1/4 C Crushed Candy Canes
1/3 C Graham Cracker Crust (use a pre made Pie Crust)
1/4 C Flaked Coconut

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Maple Syrup
Mix for 3 minutes.
Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.

Mix for 5 minutes on Medium Speed.
Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.

Reduce Speed.
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Mix for only 1 minute, just to incorporate.
Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.

Carefully fold in the remaining 12 ingredients by hand. Try not to crush them into small pieces.
Transfer Dough to a large bowl, cover with Plastic Wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Use a 1 3/4" Cookie Scoop and drop the dough 4" apart onto the Sheet Pan.
Bake 10 minutes.
Remove pan to a rack to cool 5 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Peace in the Kitchen!