Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa Stop Here!

As kids we left Santa cookies but maybe all he wanted was some crispy bacon and a terrific twist on french least that is what I'm hoping because maybe this will be the secret key to getting my list answered : ) While I feel french toast in all it's forms should definitely not be left to a certain time of year (or day really) the Portugese and Brazilians will typically be feasting on it around Yule time while the Brazilians enjoy it on Easter.

No matter when you like your french toast it's best made with day old french bread so it can soak up all the eggy-goodness.

Chocolate French Toast

For every 3 pieces of toast you will need:
1 Egg, Slightly Beaten
2 Tsp Dutch Processed Cocoa
1 1/2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla
Caramel Sauce, for topping, my favorite is Martha's

1. Mix all ingredients together. Let bread soak in mixture on both sides.
2. Heat a griddle with a small amount of butter on it, once heated toast bread on both sides until egg mixture is no longer runny and a crispy crust has formed.
3. Before serving drizzle with caramel sauce.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Not so shameless self promotion....

I say not so shameless because it's not really self promotion (ok maybe a little), just wanted to point you all in the direction of a really cool blog that just did a feature on Mom and I making cheese :)

Check us out on Cheesemaking Help, News and Information. Earlier this fall I got interested in making mozzarella cheese and found a fantastic kit, from there the rest is history (or read-able on the blog!)

Short post but wanted to share!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baby it's COLD outside!

Sorry, been inspired by some of my favorite Christmas tunes lately : ) In all seriousness the cold weather makes me want two things: warmth and comfort. So why not encapsulate those into one dish, and one that's not soup because as much as I love soup I'm just not one of those folks who can eat soup 24/7.

Southern Seafood Mac 'n Cheese
1 cup Celery, chopped
1 cup Bell Pepper (green and red), chopped
1/4 cup Parsley
1 clove minced Garlic
1/4 cup Onion
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Tabasco
1 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
6 tbsp Lemon Juice
2 lb Crab Meat
1/2 lb shredded Fontina Cheese
1/2 lb shredded Swiss Cheese
1 cup Panko
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
1lb pasta shells

3 cups milk
1 1/2 sticks of Butter
1/2 cup Flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp Nutmeg, freshly ground
2 tsp White Pepper

1. Saute onion, celery and bell pepper and garlic in a tsp of olive oil in a small skillet until onion is tender, remove from skillet then set aside.
2. Heat milk over medium high in a sauce pan. While milk is heating, heat butter in a large skillet. When butter begins to bubble, add flour, whisk until well incorporated.
3. Pour milk into butter, whisk until thick.
4. Remove from heat and season with black pepper, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, tabasco and salt. Add 1.2 of cheese and set aside.
5. While mixing up sauce, cook pasta to al dente. Strain pasta and toss the seafood, parsley and sauteed veggies with the pasta.
6. Prepare a 13x9 pan by spraying/greasing it then pour pasta/seafood mixture into pan. Slowly pour the cheese sauce over the pasta so it is even then layer the top with bacon, bread crumbs and remaining cheese.
7. Bake in an oven at 350F until the top is bubbling and browned.

While many folks have pushed this summers Gulf Oil spill out of their minds those of us on the Gulf have not. As the commercials say, oil hasn't been spotted in a while but unfortunately people aren't flocking to the tourist locations and even less are buying Gulf seafood, so I will make my plea to those of you who can, go buy some, it's delicious (and safe)! As a good Gulf coast girl I have to make my plea here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Need a glimmer of summer as the really cold weather sets in?

I know I do, as much as I truly adore the changing of the seasons (all seasons) and as much as I try to cook seasonally sometimes I can't help it and I just crave things...these Eggplant Napoleons are a perfect example of something I just outright craved no matter what the season.

These were super easy to put together, they are basically layered in whatever order you prefer (as noted in the photo above).

To make these lovely (and healthy) treats:

Eggplant Napoleons
1 Large Eggplant
2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
2 Yellow Tomatoes, diced
Fresh Basil
Fresh Mozzarella
8-12oz Fresh Pesto
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Panko or other bread crumbs
1 Egg, beaten

1. Slice the eggplant into rounds, you don't want them too thick but don't cut them paper thin either, these will be the base so you want them to have enough size to hold up all the other ingredients. Once they are all sliced, salt them and lay them on paper towels to drain, leave 10 minutes.

2. Pat eggplant dry then dip in egg and bread crumbs then fry until golden brown in vegetable oil. Allow eggplant to cool on papertowels.

3. After they are sufficiently cooled, stack with alternating layers of tomato, mozzarella, pesto and basil. Salt and pepper to taste.