Mozzarella and Ham Panini

Photo and recipe credit: https://www.marthastewart.com/336513/mozzarella-and-ham-panini#Grilled%20Sandwich%20and%20Panini%20Recipes%7C/853311/grilled-sandwich-and-panini-recipes/@center/856055/lunch-recipes%7C336513

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large loaf Italian bread (8 ounces)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces shaved deli ham
  • 2 ounces baby spinach (2 cups, loosely packed)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Split bread horizontally. Layer one side with mozzarella, ham, and spinach, beginning and ending with mozzarella, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Close sandwich. (Mozzarella being in direct contact with bread on both sides will hold sandwich together as cheese melts.)
  2. Brush a large baking sheet with some of the oil. Place sandwich on sheet; brush top with remaining oil. Place another baking sheet on top (cover bottom of sheet with aluminum foil, if necessary), and press down very firmly.
  3. Bake panini, pressing down top baking sheet once or twice during baking, until cheese has melted and sandwich is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into 4 pieces, and serve with Cherry Tomato Salad.
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Raspberry Cheesecake

Recipe & Photo Credit: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/raspberry-cheesecake-recipe-1942041

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Ingredients

For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
  • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
  • 1 cup red jelly (not jam), such as currant, raspberry, or strawberry
  • 3 half-pints fresh raspberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees F and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.

To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss the raspberries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: Measure your springform pan. The bottom of mine measures 9 inches, but it says 9 1/2. I put the springform pan on a sheet pan before putting it in the oven to catch any leaks.

Creme Brulee

Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/19165/creme-brulee/

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Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Beat egg yolks, 4 tablespoons white sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.
  3. Pour cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to boil. Remove the cream from heat immediately. Stir cream into the egg yolk mixture; beat until combined.
  4. Pour cream mixture into the top pan of a double boiler. Stir over simmering water until mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove mixture from heat immediately and pour into a shallow heat-proof dish.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to broil.
  7. In a small bowl combine remaining 2 tablespoons white sugar and brown sugar. Sift this mixture evenly over custard. Place dish under broiler until sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to burn.
  8. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until custard is set again.

Triple-Layer Piña Coladas

Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a43153/triple-layer-pina-coladas-recipe/
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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 oz. rum
  • 1 1/2 c. pineapple
  • 3 tsp. agave syrup
  • 3 tbsp. coconut cream
  • 3 oz. lime juice
  • 1 c. ice
  • 12 strawberries, chopped
  • small peach, chopped
  • Strawberries, for garnish
  • Toasted sweetened coconut, for garnish

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill blender with 1/3 of the rum, pineapple, agave nectar, coconut cream, lime juice, and ice. Set aside. Repeat two more times, first adding strawberry, and then peach.
  2. Blend mixture and pour into serving glass in layers starting with base mix, then strawberry mix, and lastly peach. Make sure to chill each layer before adding the next.

Crispy Fried Chicken

Recipe & Photo Credit: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/crispy-fried-chicken/

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 3 teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 broiler/fryer chickens (3-1/2 to 4 pounds each), cut up
  • Oil for deep-fat frying

Directions

  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 2-2/3 cups flour, garlic salt, paprika, 2-1/2 teaspoons pepper and poultry seasoning. In a shallow bowl, beat eggs and water; add salt and the remaining flour and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then place in the bag, a few pieces at a time. Seal bag and shake to coat.
  • In a deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry chicken, several pieces at a time, for 5-6 minutes on each side or until golden brown and juices run clear. Drain on paper towels.
Nutrition Facts

2 pieces: 469 calories, 14g fat (4g saturated fat), 130mg cholesterol, 1738mg sodium, 50g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 2g fiber), 33g protein.

Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe

Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.liquor.com/recipes/traditional-mai-tai/

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INGREDIENTS IN THE TRADITIONAL MAI TAI COCKTAIL

Units:
  • 34 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 14 oz Rock candy syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water)
  • 14 oz Orgeat almond syrup
  • 12 oz Orange curaçao
  • 2 oz Premium aged rum
Garnish:
Glass:

HOW TO MAKE THE TRADITIONAL MAI TAI COCKTAIL

  1. Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with crushed ice.
  2. Shake vigorously until the shaker is well-chilled and frosty on the outside.
  3. Pour (unstrained) into a double Old Fashioned glass.
  4. Garnish with half of a juiced lime and a fresh mint sprig.

Beer-Battered Onion Rings

Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/beer-battered-onion-rings-51259730

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INGREDIENTS

    • 2 large yellow onions (about 2 pounds total)
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
    • 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
    • 1 1/2 cups Anchor Steam beer
    • 2 cups sparkling mineral water
    • 1 large egg
    • 4 to 6 cups vegetable oil (or more depending on vessel), for frying

Special Equipment Needed:

  • deep fry/candy thermometer, 2 heat-safe cooling racks, 2 rimmed baking sheets

PREPARATION

    1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Set two cooling racks over two rimmed baking sheets.
    2. Cut onions crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices and separate into rings. Reserve small inner rings for another use. Add 1 cup flour to a large bowl. Toss rings in flour and let sit 30 minutes.
    3. When ready to fry, whisk together remaining 2 cups flour, cornstarch, garlic and onion powder, cayenne, sugar and salt in a large bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together the beer, water, and egg. Gradually whisk the dry mixture to the wet mixture.
    4. Heat an inch of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until it registers 350°F on a deep fry/candy thermometer. Working in batches to prevent crowding, dredge the onion rings in the batter and immediately drop into the oil. Cook onion rings, turning once, until golden, about 3 minutes total. Transfer cooked rings to the cooling racks set over the baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt and keep warm in oven while frying remaining batches.