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Monthly Archives: November 2018

Desserts do not need to be Complex

Everyone loves dessert. Whether it is chocolate, fruits, pie, cake or ice cream, most people has a sweet tooth. Many would like to eat their dessert before dinner. Sometimes, I think that is a good idea.

Dessert can come in many forms. The very first dish I cooked by my self at 8 years old were Chocolate Chip Cookies. I did not follow this path becoming a pastry chef. I love to make desserts as long as they don’t require too much precision. A lot of baking require precise measurements and adjusting to the weather around you. With the following recipes, you don’t have to be exact on your measurements just close. It won’t make a drastic difference in the finished product.

This is my mother’s cheesecake recipe. However, it is not your traditional cheesecake. It has the consistency of a pie. To me, it is the best cheesecake I have ever eaten, but I may be bias. This recipe is very adaptable. I have added White Chocolate and Key Lime to change up the flavor. I have also made a King Cake Cheesecake out of it. The best version will always be the original.

My Mom’s Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 375℉

For the Crust

2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 stick Margarine, melted
1/2 cup Sugar

Mix graham cracker crumbs, margarine and sugar. Press into a 9-inch pie pan.

For the Filling

16 ounces Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
2/3 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Blend all ingredients for filling in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into pie crust Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.

Raise oven temperature to 425℉.

For the Topping

8 ounces Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Sugar

Mix topping a small bowl and smooth over cooled cheesecake. Bake again at 425℉ for 10 minutes. Cool before putting in refrigerator. This dish is best served cold.

This fancy dessert is easy to make. When translated Creme Brûlée means Burnt Cream. The burnt aspect is the thin coat of caramelized sugar on the top of the dessert. It is a great contrast to the creaminess of the custard. It is easy to add different flavors to the custard, giving you many different variations.

White Chocolate Creme Brûlée

4 ounces White Chocolate Chips
4 large Egg Yolks, at room temperature
1/3 cup Sugar
2 cups Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Additional Sugar for caramelizing

Preheat oven to 300℉.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until smooth. IN a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring heavy cream to a simmer. Add white chocolate to simmering heavy cream. Turn off heat and whisk until white chocolate is completely melted. Add white chocolate mixture to egg yolk mixture whisking continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Whisk until smooth. Add vanilla and whisk in. Pour into 4 ramekins. Place ramekins in a 13×9-inch baking pan. Add enough waters cups sit in 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water. Bake until set, about 45 minutes. These can be served either cold or at room temperature.

Before serving, sprinkle additional sugar on top. Broil for 4-5 minutes to melt the sugar or until desired level of caramelization. If you have one, it is fun to use a small torch to melt the sugar.

While not a classic Louisiana dessert, this recipe has special meaning to me. Everyone in my family likes peanut butter. My brother Lyle, who passed away in 2015, would eat peanut butter directly from the jar with a spoon. As a high school state wrestling champ, he was always to eat foods to keep his weight. He would eat the peanut butter as his dessert. I guess that is where I get it from. I also eat peanut butter from the jar.

Peanut Butter Ice Box Pie

12 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
16 ounces Creamy Peanut Butter
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
8 ounces tub Whipped Topping, divided
1 prepared Chocolate Graham Cracker Pie Crust

In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Mound filling into pie crust and then smooth the top. Freeze for 10 minutes and then top with remaining whipped topping. Chill for at least 4 hours or freeze for at least 1 hour before serving.

Add a little flavoring to the cheesecake and Creme Brûlée. You will be amazed at the results and your new creation.

Quick Kabobs for Father’s Day

June 18th is Father’s Day. I would love to honor my father with some of his great recipes. However, he did very little of the cooking in my family. The day of the week that my father, Larry, cooked was Saturday. For breakfast, we would have pancakes. For dinner, he would cook hamburgers on the Barbecue pit. These are still traditions in my family.

I thought the best way to honor him and all fathers by featuring recipes from the one cooking device that tends to be used more by males than females, the grill. Everyone knows how to cook burgers and steaks on the grill. The following recipes are two different Kabobs and a great South Louisiana grilled fish recipe.

These Shrimp and Garlic Kabobs are addicting. The key to this dish is the boiling of the garlic. Failure to do that will result in the garlic not softening up enough to eat.

Shrimp and Garlic Kabobs

12-16 large Garlic Cloves, peeled
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh Basil, chopped
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black pepper
Pinch of Sugar
2 pounds large Shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail left on

Drop the whole garlic cloves into boiling water and boil for about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl combine olive oil, tomato sauce, vinegar, basil, minced garlic, salt, cayenne, black pepper, and sugar and stir to mix. Add shrimp and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade and reserve any of the marinade left in the bowl.

Thread the shrimp and whole garlic alternately on skewers. Put the skewers on a heated grill over medium heat. Grill, turning skewers several times and brushing them with the reserved marinade for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink.

Here is a vegetarian Kabob. It is great as an appetizer or side dish at a barbecue. The dressing gives it a wonderful flavor.

Vegetable Kabobs

3 small Zucchinis, each about 6 inches long, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
4 small Yellow Squash, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 large Red Onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large Red Bell Peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large Green Bell Peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bottle ( 12 ounces) Italian Salad Dressing
2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning

Thread the vegetables alternately on skewers. Put the kabobs in a large shallow bowl and pour in the salad dressing. Let sit, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Turn severel times.

When ready to grill, drain off the marinade and sprinkle the skewers with Creole seasoning. Put the kabobs on a preheated grill, close the lid of your pit and cook 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat. Turn the kabobs, close the lid and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the vegetables are just slightly soft.

Redfish are abundant in South Louisiana. By leaving the skin and scales on the fish, there is no preparation to the meat that needs to be done. This recipe also works well with Red Snapper, Drum and Grouper.

Grilled Redfish on the Half Shell

6 (7 ounce) fillets of Redfish, skin and scales on, with pin bones removed
1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
4 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Sea Salt
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 large Lemons, halved

Rinse the fish fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Place the fillets on a baking sheet, season with the Creole seasoning. Top the fillets with the sliced garlic and drizzle with half of the olive oil. Use your fingers to distribute the oil and seasoning evenly over the fish, then set the fish aside to marinate while you heat up the grill.

Fire up the grill to a medium-high setting. ( If you use charcoal, the coals should be mostly white.) Place the fillets skin side down the hot grill. Cover the grill and cook the fish without moving for 7 to 10 minutes, until it is cooked through; it will flake easily when tested with a paring knife. ( You can also cook the fish on an oiled baking sheet in a 475℉ oven for 6 to 8 minutes.

Using a metal spatula, transfer the fillets to serving plates and top with the sea salt and parsley, a little extra olive oil and lemon juice.

Just one question, why are mother’s taken out to eat on Mother’s Day but men usually grill on Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day!