Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bittersweet Chocolate Soufflé with Earl Grey Custard Sauce

No Picture, because you really do have to eat it immediately.

6 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea leaves (from 3 tea bags)

1/3 cup whole milk
8 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 large egg yolks
5 large egg whites

For sauce:
Whisk egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl to blend well. Combine milk, cream, tea leaves, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture; return to same saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens enough to leave path on spoon when finger is drawn across, about 8 minutes (do not boil). Immediately strain sauce into small bowl. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, at least 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

For soufflé:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter 6-cup soufflé dish; coat dish with sugar. Combine milk and 5 tablespoons sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves and milk comes to simmer. Remove from heat; add both chocolates and stir until melted and smooth. Whisk in egg yolks.
Using electric mixer, beat whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into warm chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Transfer mixture to prepared dish.
Bake soufflé until just set in center and top is puffed and cracked all over, about 32 minutes. Serve soufflé immediately with custard sauce.

Notes: I cut back on the sugar in the sauce, and it was still really sweet. It was also super thick straight out of the fridge (more like custard), so bringing it back to room temperature might be good. It would also probably be good with mint tea or orange zest.

When you fold, it shouldn't be completely homogeneous; mine was still marbled and had small lumps of egg whites. It sorted itself out in the oven pretty well. I made a half batch in a 5-cup pyrex dish, and that baked about 20 minutes.

Lasagna Primavera

8 ounces Lasagna Noodles, cooked and drained
2 T Olive Oil
1 whole medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 whole bell pepper, diced
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 zucchini, cut up
1 carrot, grated or thinly sliced
1 stem of broccoli, cut into very small pieces
1 can diced tomatoes
½ cup white wine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
1 (15oz) tub ricoota
1 egg
½ cup grated parmesan
1 pound mozzerella

Saute onions and garlic in oil for a minute. Add diced pepper, carrots, and broccoli and saute for another minute or so. Add squash and mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Pour in wine, add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and stir. Pour in tomatoes and liquid. Stir to combine and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in chopped parsley.

In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

Spread a little of the vegetable/tomato sauce in a lasagna pan. Layer noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, mozzarella, and about 1/3 of the vegetables. Repeat twice more, ending with vegetables. Sprinkle with Parmesan or mozzarella .

Bake at 350 degrees, covered in foil, for 20 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until browning and bubbly. Allow to set up before serving.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Aztec Quiche

1 1/4 c grated Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 c grated mild cheddar cheese
1 9-inch deep dish frozen pie shell
1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
1 c half and half
3 eggs beaten lightly
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cumin

Spread Monterey Jack cheese and half of cheddar over bottom of pie shell. Sprinkle chilies over cheeses. Stir together in a bowl the half-and-half, eggs, and seasonings. Pour carefully into pie shell. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar. Cover pie with foil, and put in freezer. To prepare for serving, thaw pie and remove foil. Bake uncovered in a preheated 325 degree oven for 40-50 minutes. 6-8 servings.

NOTES: This froze well in a 5-liter Rubbermaid container. In fact, after it was frozen, I could stack another pie on top and they'd both fit nicely.

Served nicely and would be good for brunch.

Source: Once-a-Month Cooking

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

1 c. cabbage, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
1/2 can of bean sprouts
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 c. mushrooms, cut into thin pieces
(snow peas and shrimp would also be good)
2 T. sesame oil
2 T. soy sauce
2 tsp. lime juice
garlic, ginger, and cayenne to taste
1/3 pkg. Rice or cellophane noodles
1 pkg. spring roll wrappers*

Set the rice noodles to soak in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes, or until soft. Meanwhile, stir fry all other ingredients (except for wrappers) until done. Drain the noodles thoroughly, then assemble as follows:

Set a wrapper to soak in a shallow dish of hot water (make sure it's submerged). When it is soft, remove and let drip dry for a few seconds, then set on a plate and immediately put the next wrapper to soak.

Break off a small handful of noodles and place towards the bottom of the wrapper.

Add about 2T. of vegetables, well drained (I just squeezed them out in my hand).

Fold up the bottom and press to seal, then the sides, then roll up.

Place on waxed paper, making sure they don't touch. At this point, you can eat them as is, or deep fry them in hot oil for about a minute per side. I actually found it easier to keep one submerged with my spatula and cook for around a minute total.

Makes 20 rolls. (I fried 10, and froze the other 10 between layers of waxed paper.)

Serve with dipping sauces such as Hoisin or sweet and sour.

*I used Vietnamese (rice) spring roll wrappers. This recipe would also work with Thai (wheat) wrappers, but obviously you wouldn't soak them; just wet the edge to seal.