How to Make Homemade Chocolate Truffles

Recipe and photo credit: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chocolate_truffles/

chocolate-truffles-bite-horiz-a2-640

Basic truffle ingredients

  • 8 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (high quality, 62% cacao or higher), well chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Optional base flavorings:

  • Mint leaves (1 bunch, stems removed, chopped, about 1 cup)
  • Cinnamon and cardamon (1 cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom pods)
  • Amaretto (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Almond extract (1 teaspoon)

Truffle coatings

  • Cocoa powder
  • Finely chopped walnuts
  • Finely chopped almonds

Method

1 Heat cream to a simmer: In a small, heavy saucepan bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer (stir and scrape down the sides with a spatula every few minutes).

If you are using one of the other recommended flavorings, stir it in with the cream (and ignore vanilla in the next step). If adding mint or other solids, after the cream simmers, remove from heat and let seep for an hour. Then strain away solids, and return the cream to a simmer and proceed with recipe.

2 Make chocolate base: Place the chocolate in a separate bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate, add the vanilla, and allow to stand for a few minutes then stir until smooth. (This chocolate base is called ganache.)

3 Refrigerate for 2 hours: Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator for two hours.

4 Roll into balls and chill overnight: Use a teaspoon to roll out balls of the ganache. Roll in your hands quickly (as it will melt from the heat of your hands) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

rolling truffles in cocoa powder

5 Roll in cocoa powder: Roll in cocoa powder or chopped nuts and serve, or place back in the refrigerator until needed.

 

Chocolate Pecan Pie with Bourbon

Recipe and photo by: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chocolate-pecan-pie-bourbon

Chocolate Pecan Pie August 20

Ingredients

CRUST

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water

FILLING

  • 2 cups (about 7 ounces) pecans
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

How to Make It

Step 1

In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the ice water. Knead the dough 2 or 3 times on a lightly floured surface and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2  

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch round. Fit the dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1/2 inch, fold the edge under itself and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate until firm.

Step 3    

Preheat the oven to 375°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the pecans for about 8 minutes, or until fragrant; coarsely chop. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, melted butter, bourbon and salt until blended. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Step 4   

Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for about 55 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set. Tent the crust with foil halfway through the baking time if the edge is browning too quickly. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Make Ahead

The pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day. Rewarm at 325° for 15 minutes.

Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard-Walnut Vinaigrette

Recipe and photo credit: https://food52.com/recipes/28744-roasted-potato-salad-with-mustard-walnut-vinaigrette

Potato Food 52

Serves 6 to 8 people

Salad:

  • pounds mixed marble potatoes, or other small potatoes
  • cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • bunch basil, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • bunch scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced crosswise

Vinaigrette:

  • cloves garlic, peeled
  • tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • tablespoons lemon juice
  • tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • tablespoons roasted walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Wash and dry potatoes, then spread evenly between baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to evenly coat potatoes. Sprinkle with freshly-ground black pepper and sea salt, then roast, shaking the pans occasionally, until potatoes are tender and browning (about 45 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes).
  3. Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette. Place garlic cloves on a cutting board, sprinkle with a generous couple pinches of sea salt, and chop and mash with the side of your knife until the clove breaks down into a salty paste.
  4. Add garlic paste to a small bowl along with mustards, lemon juice, and vinegar. Whisk to emulsify. Add olive and walnut oils and whisk vigorously to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional sea salt and pepper.
  5. When potatoes are done, transfer to a large bowl. Add scallions and dressing, and toss to coat. Using the back of a mixing spoon or the end of a wooden spatula, roughly smash some of the potatoes to break the skins. You’re not making mashed potatoes, but breaking the potatoes down will allow them to soak up more of the vinaigrette.
  6. Allow dressed potatoes to sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes to one hour. Just before serving, stir in walnuts and basil.

Tofu Breakfast Scramble

Photo and recipe credit: https://food52.com/recipes/27236-tofu-breakfast-scramble

Tofu Breakfast Scramble

Ingredients:

  • tablespoon olive oil
  • cup onion, diced
  • clove garlic, minced
  • cups diced vegetables (you can use whatever you have on hand)
  • One 14- to 16-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
  • tablespoons tahini
  • tablespoon low-sodium tamari
  • tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the onion until it’s soft and cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes. Add your vegetables of choice, and cook till they’re tender.
  3. While the vegetables cook, crumble the tofu with your hands, so that there are still some visible pieces, but it’s broken up quite thoroughly. Whisk together the tahini, tamari, mustard, and turmeric.
  4. Add the tofu to the skillet, along with the tahini mixture. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly and cook till the tofu is warmed through, about 4 minutes or so. Add the nutritional yeast and mix it in well. Finally, add the spinach and cook until it’s just wilted. Divide the scramble onto four plates and top each with parsley.

Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze

Recipe and photo credit: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/30578/filet-mignon-with-rich-balsamic-glaze/

All Recipes Filet

Ingredients:

  • 2 (4 ounce) filet mignon steaks
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper over both sides of each steak, and sprinkle with salt to taste.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place steaks in hot pan, and cook for 1 minute on each side, or until browned. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add balsamic vinegar and red wine. Cover, and cook for 4 minutes on each side, basting with sauce when you turn the meat over.
  3. Remove steaks to two warmed plates, spoon one tablespoon of glaze over each, and serve immediately.

Tip:

  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Catfish Piccata

Recipe and photo credit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/catfish-piccata-recipe-2107222

Catfish August

Ingredients

  • 4 6-ounce catfish fillets
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon (1/2 zested and juiced, 1/2 cut into wedges) 
  • 3 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

Directions

  1. Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Put the flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge the fish in the flour, shaking off the excess. Heat 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook, turning once, until opaque, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
  2. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring, until just golden, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and add the wine, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  3. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, until the wine is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, toss the greens with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide the fish among plates. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the sauce in the skillet and stir until melted. Pour the butter sauce over the fish. Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over high heat. Add the capers and parsley and fry until crisp, about 1 minute; sprinkle over the fish.
  5. Serve with the salad and lemon wedges.

Photograph by Antonis Achilleos

Korean Grilled Chicken by Bobby Flay

Recipe and Photo credit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/korean-grilled-chicken-recipe-1921151

Bobbly Flay Korean Grilled Chicked

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Korean chili paste (recommended: Kochi Chang)
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 (3-pound) chicken, butterflied, cut into parts
  • 4 (6-inch) flour tortillas, warmed

Directions

Whisk together the soy, vinegar, honey, chili paste, ginger and garlic in a bowl and divide the mixture in half. Add 1 half to a large baking dish, then add the chicken, turning to coat. Cover and let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours. Add the green onions, sesame oil, black pepper and sesame seeds to the remaining half of the mixture. Reserve it as a dipping sauce for the finished chicken.

Light a grill, making sure to include a zone of indirect heat.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and put it over the charcoal, skin side down. Grill until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Relocate the chicken to the indirect heat zone, lower the cover and grill until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the grill to a cutting board and carve. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter and serve wrapped in tortillas, if desired, with dipping sauce on the side.