Chocolate Mousse

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Photo & recipe credit: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chocolate-Mousse-107437

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
  • Garnish: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Special Equipment

  • an instant-read thermometer

PREPARATION

    1. Heat 3/4 cup cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until hot. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 160°F on thermometer. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla.
    2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a glass bowl in a microwave at 50 percent power 3 to 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Whisk custard into chocolate until smooth, then cool.
    3. Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk one fourth of cream into chocolate custard to lighten, then fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly.
    4. Spoon mousse into 8 (6-ounce) stemmed glasses or ramekins and chill, covered, at least 6 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving.
Cooks’ notes:
• Mousse can be chilled up to 1 day. • To vary the flavor, you can replace the 1 teaspoon vanilla with 2 teaspoons instant-espresso powder (dissolve it in the hot cream) or 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or 2 tablespoons Cognac (either one whisked into strained custard).

Tom Colicchio’s Sandwich Tips from ‘wichcraft

Photo and content credit: https://www.delish.com/restaurants/a1141/tom-colicchio-sandwich-recipes/

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Tom Colicchio’s Top Three Sandwich-Making Tips

1. “Always use good ingredients, including the bread. Quality artisan bread keeps well in the freezer. Just thaw it and toast it and you have bread that is as good as fresh from the bakery. But beware: Once thawed and toasted it won’t last as long as freshly baked bread.”

2. “Think of balancing flavors. If all the ingredients you are using are rich or heavy, consider using a little vinegar or some spicy peppers as a flavor accent.”

3. “Build them well. If you aren’t going to eat the sandwich for a few hours (like when you are brown-bagging your lunch or packing a picnic), use bread that will hold up well even after it soaks up some of the juices from the ingredients. Try a crusty baguette or ciabatta.”

Boston Creme Pie by Trisha Yearwood

Photo and recipe: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/boston-cream-pie-3623273

boston creme pir

Ingredients

Filling:

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg plus 3 egg yolks, at room temperature

2 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake:

Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the pan

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

 

Directions

  1. For the filling: In a medium saucepan off-heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the whole egg and the 3 yolks, and then stir in the milk. Turn the heat on to medium high and cook the mixture, uncovered, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the cake. Be sure to place the plastic wrap directly onto the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
  2. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and mix until completely combined. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  5. For the topping: To make the chocolate ganache, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Add the chocolate chips to the cream and stir until completely melted.
  6. To assemble, slice the cake layer in half horizontally. Spread the custard filling onto one layer, then top with the second layer of cake. Spread the ganache over the top of the cake using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Store covered in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Cook’s Note

If you don’t have cornstarch, substitute all-purpose flour. One tablespoon cornstarch equals 2 tablespoons flour.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/pumpkin-spice-latte-3363265

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Directions

Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a medium microwave safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole. Microwave until the milk is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy, about 30 seconds.

Pour the espresso or coffee into a large mug and add the foamed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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Photo and recipe credit: http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/recipes/a1870/homemade-chicken-noodle-soup-3996/

INGREDIENTS:
1 Whole Chicken
3 qt. low-sodium chicken broth
6 carrots
4 stalk celery
3 medium onions
5 black peppercorns
1 clove garlic
10 sprig parsley
2 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 leeks
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
3 c. medium egg noodles
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the stock: Place the chicken and chicken broth in a large stockpot and set it over medium heat. Roughly chop 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs, and 1 onion and add to the broth. Add the peppercorns, garlic, 2 sprigs of parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and enough water to just cover the chicken. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is very tender—about 1 1/4 hours—skimming the surface periodically. Remove the chicken and place in a large bowl. Strain the broth through a very fine sieve into a large, clean bowl or stockpot. Discard the vegetables.
  2. Make the soup: Skim any fat off the top of the strained broth and discard. Slice the remaining carrots, celery, onions, and leeks into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and set aside. Remove and discard the skin and bones from the chicken, cut meat into 1/2-inch pieces, and set aside. Chop the remaining parsley leaves and set aside. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook until the onions are translucent—about 7 minutes. Add the chicken, the reserved broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender—about 1 hour. Stir in the egg noodles and parsley and cook until the noodles are tender—about 10 more minutes. Serve hot.

Honey-Bourbon Toddy

honey-bourbon-toddy
Recipe and photo credit: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/honey-bourbon-toddy

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 6 tablespoons bourbon or Apple Bourbon (see below for recipe)
  • 2 3×1/2′ strips lemon peel
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Stir honey and water in a 2-cup measuring cup until honey dissolves. Add bourbon (or better yet, Apple Bourbon, in which case you’ll use 1 Tbsp. honey). Divide between 2 Toddy glasses. Twist a strip of lemon peel over each drink, then add to glass. Stir each with a cinnamon stick and serve.

  • To make Apple Bourbon, combine a 750-ml bottle of bourbon, 4 cored, sliced Fuji apples, and 4 cinnamon sticks in a pitcher. Cover; chill for 3 days. Strain and sip of use in recipe above.

Fresh Pea Soup with Ham

pea soup

Recipe & Photo Credit: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fresh-pea-soup-with-ham

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 small fennel bulb—thick stalk discarded, bulb thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen peas (1 pound), thawed
  • 1/2 cup diced smoked ham hock (from one 11-ounce ham hock) or smoky ham
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • Pea tendrils or baby arugula, for garnish

How to Make It

Step 1

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the fennel, onion and garlic and season with salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are tender but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the milk and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas and simmer until tender, 7 to 8 minutes.

Step 2

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Strain it through a fine sieve set over a large bowl. Season with salt.

Step 3

In a small bowl, combine the ham with the shallot, chives, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Spoon the ham salad into the center of 4 bowls. Ladle the warm soup into the bowls, garnish with the pea tendrils and serve immediately.