Except Parfaits, perhaps the bestest dessert there is

Chocolate Souffle, need I say more? This is the first  try. I sprinkled powder sugar over the top as I thought perhaps all the sugar inside and chocolate would be a bit tart?
The second version used some vanilla ice cream to enhance the calories. The last version used the vanilla ice cream again but then balanced that with a chocolate glaze drizzle.

You know, Donkey may have been wrong.

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) unsalted butter
2 large eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup (1 oz.) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon chocolate liqueur

1. Lightly butter two 6-ounce souffle dish and dust with granulated sugar, tapping out excess. Set the ramekins on a small baking sheet.Set aside.
2. In bowl over saucepan of hot water (not boiling)or in a microwave, melt chocolate with butter.Remove from the heat and whisk until glossy and smooth. Stir in the chocolate liqueur and the salt.
3. In separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, and beat in 3 tablespoon of the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form.
4. In another bowl, beat egg yolks with remaining sugar until thick and pale yellow. Beat in chocolate mixture until incorporated. Fold in one-quarter of the egg whites; gently fold in remaining whites. Divide into prepared container. (Can be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 4 hours or freeze for up to two weeks.)
5. Place dish on baking sheet. Bake in lower third of 375°F oven for 18 minutes or until puffed and the exterior is set but interior is still a bit loose and creamy and risen about 1 inch above the ramekin. Careful not to overbake. Dust souffles with powdered sugar (or ice cream or ice cream and chocolate drizzle) and serve immediately as is. (To bake straight from the freezer, unwrap the ramekins and set on a small baking sheet or jellyroll pan. Let them sit for 20 min. while heating the oven to 400°F. Bake on the baking sheet until puffed and risen about 1 inch above the ramekin, 18 min.)

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Tomato Squash Casserole even Fran would eat

The Porterhouse steaks were still on sale at Fresh Market for $7.99/lb. We decided a second carnivore night fit out budget. Last time I made the aBatteredOldSuitcase-wide famous garlic cheese roasted red potatoes with garlic tomato/green-been veg. I needed another hook to trick, er no, convince, yeah that’s the ticket, another dish for Fran to eat veggies twice this week. Tonight I made the post titled Tomato Squash Casserole.
Here is how I made this:

For the two of use, I used:

  • One small yellow squash, (I wanted acorn squash but apparently it is not in season here now) steamed for about 10 min or until soft enough to mash.
  • I like to reduce the plum tomatoes by cooking them down in a small skillet and making them a bit thicker.
  • Mix one egg, a couple of table spoons of heavy cream but not so much that it overwhelms the egg and other ingredients.
  • 3 or 4 scallions from the end to just into the green stem, cut small. If you like onions, use more
  • Some diced green bell pepper. I like bell peppers so I used about ¼ of one.
  • I wanted to use stuffing but we didn’t have any, so I made some toast and cut it into small pieces, about 1/2” square.
  • 1/8 to ¼ cut grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mix the egg, cream, squashed squash, peeled and reduced tomatoes, scallions, green pepper, toast cubes and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Transfer the mixture into a greased or sprayed casserole dish. (I used one of my new au gratin dishes)
  • Sprinkle with rosemary
  • Cover the dish with thin sliced tomatoes
  • Sprinkle with 2-3 table spoons of Feta cheese
  • Bake for 45 min at 350 F or until slightly browned.
  • We ended up with enough for 3, but better a little to much that still wanting.

This was paired with the still on sale Porterhouse steak ($7.99/lb. at Fresh Market) and a Black Ale bottled Sept 5, 2011 with an approx. 4% ABV.

You Know How to Whistle, Don’t You?

It’s early October and if I were only 42 years younger, I would be back at school.

But I’m not and its football season, time for tailgating, beer and hot wings. Ok, we gave up our Dolphins tickets (good decision this year) and we are not tailgating any more. HOWEVER, I make these grilled buffalo wings that will knock your socks off. (I personally don’t wear them often, mostly sandals and I am not old enough to wear socks and sandals.)

Ingredients:

  • 8 small drumsticks (single serving)
  • 1 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1/2 can of Coke (I use Coke Zero as I am so health conscious)
  • Cayenne and black pepper to taste (more than 1/4 teaspoon is a lot, I use about 1/2 teaspoon of each.)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
Warm the sauce (I used the extra burner to the left, but then move it to part of the grill. The burner is too hot and it boils constantly causing the sauce to thicken too much.) Soak the wings in the sauce for 10 min, then grill on low for 10 min. Repeat 5 cycles (I CANNOT stand underdone chicken. 90+ min is fine with me.)
If you want your wings milder add more soda and don’t put the wings back into the sauce when you take them from the BBQ the last time. If you like them HOT put them back in the sauce as you bring them inside.
Choose your home-brew/wings pairing (for me it was a Big Honkin’ Stout, bottled May 28, 2011 and wings.)
Now, after the last wing your beer should be gone. At this point you may want to form your lips as if you were going to whistle, instead, breathe in, then relax and exhale, Repeat for a while, you will be fine.

Pies, Pies, Pies, Pies….

Raspberry

What do you do when left home alone for a week? It obvious isn’t it? You cook whatever you want! I decided this would be desert week (plus one “Dave’s Dinner” that I only make when Fran is not home.)

This week was pies. To not be gluttonous, I decided to make mini-pies in little 5″ pie plates. The recipes all come from Allrecipies.comand I did not change them at all. I made a raspberry, a blueberry, a raspberry/blueberry and

Granny Smith Apple

an apple pie. It was a good time to learn how to lattice the crust of a pie. (Alone time is good for experimentation and practice, practice practice.)  Double wrapped in  Darnel wrap, they froze perfectly. I defrosted at 350 until no longer frozen, then nuked the serving for that night separately.

Blueberry

Blueberry/Raspberry

Garlic and Pepper Chicken

I remember we had some peppers in the fridge and I wanted to use them before they spoiled. While driving home i thought, why not cook them up with some chicken and plum tomatoes then throw in some fettuccine to make a dinner.

A little EVO in the skillet, burner on med-hi add the chicken and peeled tomatoes (Do you score an X in the end of the tomato and toss them into boiling water until the skin curls? Works great for peelin.) along with a little garlic, salt, pepper and any other spices you think will complement the dish. I used a Cajun blackening on the chicken before tossing it in the skillet. Let the chicken cook and tomatoes reduce (I drain some of the liquid off after 15 – 20 min) before adding the sliced peppers. I wish I had some green peppers for color, but I always use what is in the cupboard and fridge.

I cooked the fettuccine for about 8 of the suggested 10-12 min then threw it on the skillet on top of everything, cover and simmer for another 10 min or until the fettuccine is done to your liking

Valentines Day Flower Bouquet

I decided to make a bouquet of Flowers for my Jersey Girl for Valentines Day last spring. (I really don’t need a reason to give Fran flowers, but this was a good excuse to practice, practice, practice)

I made a variety of flowers based on a picture I found online. This took some time and the little white flowers and red berries tried my patience. But it was worth it. I don’t think I have made any this nice since last spring.