Nov 282016

The last recipe I posted was Praline Cookies, which got me thinking. Many people do cookie exchanges for the Christmas Holidays. So this week, I will post a couple of cookie recipes that are sure to please.

8 ounces Semisweeet Chocolate Chips

4 tablespoons Salted Butter

2/3 cup Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

2 large Eggs

3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed

1 teaspoon Vanilla

12 ounces 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat semisweet chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring between each, until almost melted: do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix flour mixture until just combined. Stir on 60% bittersweet chips.

Drop by heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until cookies are shiny and crackly, yet soft in the centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets  for 10 minutes; then transfer to racks to cool completely.



Nov 232016

Here is a great dessert or a snack with coffee. It is a quick and easy cookie.

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Butter, melted

1 1/4 cup firmly packed Light Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 1/3 cups All-Purpose Flour

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1 1/2 cup Pecan Halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the egg, butter, sugar and vanilla, stirring well. Add the flour and salt and stir to mix well. Add the pecans. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.


Nov 212016

Recently, I posted a recipe for Steak au Poivre. One fish that I think acts like a steak is a nice piece of Tuna. So, here is an au poivre recipe with tuna.

4 Sashimi-grade Tuna steaks, 8 ounces each

Kosher Salt to taste

Cracker Black Pepper to taste

Olive Oil, enough to coat the bottom of a large skillet

1 cup Brandy

1/2 cup Green Onions, chopped

2 cup Heavy Cream

Chopped Parsley, for garnish

Season tuna with salt and pepper. Coat the bottom of a heated skillet with olive oil, and sear tuna steaks in skillet for 1 minute on each side. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Deglaze hot skillet with brandy, then add green onions. When brandy is reduced almost completely, add heavy cream and reduce to desired consistency. Ladle sauce over tuna. Garnish with chopped parsley.



Nov 162016

Here is a great appetizer for Thanksgiving or any time. It is a different twist on a stuffed egg.

6 hard boiled Eggs

1/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 tablespoon chopped Pimentos, drained

2 to 3 tablespoon Mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Creole Mustard

2 teaspoons grated Onions

Hot Sauce to taste

Creole Seasoning to taste

Smoked Paprika

Cut the eggs in half and carefully remove the yolks. Put the yolks in a bowl with the cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise, mustard, and onions and blend. Season with hot sauce and Creole seasoning. Fill the egg whites with equal amounts of the mixture and garnish with a sprinkling fo paprika. Keep chilled until serving.



Nov 142016

Here is another different side for Thanksgiving. You can also call these Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes.

3 pounds small to medium Sweet Potatoes, unpeeled

1/2 cup light Brown Sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon, divided

1/4 cup Golden Raisins

3 tablespoons Butter, divided

1/4 cup Milk

2 teaspoons Vanilla, divided

1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour

1/3 cup chopped Pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour or until tender. Cut a thin slice off the top of each potato. Carefully scoop pulp into a bowl, leaving 1/4-inch thick shells. Mash pulp; add 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, raisins, 1 tablespoon butter, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, mixing until smooth. Spoon mixture evenly into potato shells. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and combine with the flour, remaining brown sugar, pecans, remaining vanila, and remaining cinnamon. Crumble evenly over potatoes. In a 350 degree oven, bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the topping is browned and potatoes are thoroughly heated.


Nov 112016

Sweet Potatoes are a holiday staple on my family’s dinner table. Here is a new twist on the sweet potato.

3 pounds Sweet Potatoes, washed and pricked several times with a fork

3 Golden Delicious Apples, peeled, cored and sliced lengthwise

1/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice

1 cup lightly roasted Pecan Halves

8 tablespoons (1 stick) Butter

1/2 cup firmly packed light Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Honey

2 tablespoons Dark Rum

1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground Ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground Mace

Bake the sweet potatoes in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until tender. Let cool and peel. Cut the potato crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Toss the apples in the lemon juice. Arrange the sweet potatoes and apples in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with roasted pecans.

In a saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, honey, rum, cinnamon, ginger, and mace. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Spoon the syrup over the potato and apple mixture. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, basting occasionally with the syrup. Then place the pan under the broiler, about 4 inches from the fire, until the edges of the potatoes and apples are slightly brown.



Nov 072016

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. This week, I will feature two non traditional side dishes for the big turkey day. The first is mirlitons au gratin. This is a quick and easy dish that can be prepared in advance, then cooked off before dinner.

3 large Mirlitons

7 tablespoons Butter, divided

2 cup Yellow Onions, chopped

1 teaspoon Garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning

2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, in all

1/2 cup unseasoned Breadcrumbs

Boil the mirlitons in a pot of salted water for 30 minutes, drain, and cool. Cut each in half and scoop out pulp, leaving shells intact. Mash pulp, set aside. In a large skillet, heat 5 tablespoons butter. Sauté onions and garlic until soft. Stir in mirliton pulp and Creole seasoning, cook 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat, stir in 1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stuff filling into shells. Top with 1/2 tablespoon of the remianing butter, breadcrumbs, and the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.



Nov 032016

This is my favorite steak preparation. The au Poivre is translated with pepper. This creamy sauce is a great addition to any steak, but I think it works best with a filet.

4 Filet Mignons, 7 to 10 ouncese each

Creole Seasoning to taste

1 tablespoon Butter

1/2 teaspoon Garlic, chopped

1/4 cup Brandy

1 tablespoon Cracked Black Peppercorns

1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

Lightly season the filets with Creole Seasoning. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and turn the pan to distribute and melt quickly. Put the steaks into the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes per side, for medium rare. If the steaks are thick, cook them on their sides as well as their faces. Remove the steaks from the pan and hold them in a warm oven (175 degrees). Add the garlic to the pan and cook until just beginning to brown. Add the brandy to the pan and bring to a boil. (Be careful: it may catch on fire, which is alright for the flavor but can be dangerous). Use the brandy and a spoon to dislodge and dissolve the browned bits of meat in the skillet. Add the cream and the peppercorns. Bring to a light boil and cook, agitating the pan to mix the ingredients, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until reduced by 1/3. Place the steaks on warm plates and spoon on the sauce.