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Lobster Bisque

14 Sep

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The lobsters were on sale last week so opportunity knocked.

I did eat two but saved the rest including all the shells.

By the way I did have them cooked at the store, I did not eat them raw.

I remove all the legs.

Clean the bodies of any meat and the delicious roe.

Pick all the meat out of the rest of the claws and tails but save the shells.

Take the shells, bodies and legs from four lobsters and place them in 10 cups of water.

Season the water with 4 heaping tablespoons of powdered chicken consommé soup seasoning .

Let everything come to a boil and then simmer down to about 7 or 8 cups of broth.

This takes about one hour.

Strain everything into a big bowl and discard all the shells.

Make sure you strain the broth well because nothing is worse then getting a shell.

Now that your pot is empty, wash it out and use it to finish making the bisque.

Melt 6 tablespoons of butter

Add one large diced onion  and 2 cloves of minced garlic

Cook slowly till everything is soft.

Add 1/2 cup of flour and mix well about 3 minutes. Stir all the time to make sure the flour does not burn.

Add one small can of tomato paste and mix well

Add one cup of the broth to dissolve the paste then add the rest of the broth to the flour mixture.

Add 1 /1/2 cups of cream or 1/2 and 1/2 and mix well

Melt another 4 tablespoons of butter in a small pot.

Add 2 cups lobster meat cut into spoon size pieces.

Coat the lobster with the butter.

Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice, one tablespoon diced tarragon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

Add to the broth.

Season now with your salt and pepper because the lobster broth can be salty.

Instead of adding more cream, thicken the soup with the instant mashed potatoes.

I add one tablespoon for every cup of liquid.

I don’t usually use the potato flakes in bisque because I like it very smooth.

Top the bisque with larger pieces of lobster.

This is a real treat and not as fattening as a true bisque but not low calorie.

I like the chunks of lobster but if you want a velvet smooth bisque just put it into your food processor till it is smooth.

The bigger chunks look pretty on top of the soup.

 

 

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Black and White Cookies

13 Sep

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I grew up eating black and white cookies in Brooklyn, New York.

They were always a special treat and I would eat the vanilla side first then eat the chocolate side.

Now I do the same thing. You would think I was eight years old again.

After a lot of trial and error this is the best cookie around.

It is a take off from Zabras but printed  by Smitten kitchen.

1 3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup unsalted butter

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

2 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting

4 cups sifted confectioners sugar

1/4 to 1/3 cup  boiling water

3 ounces unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon light corn syrup

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Spray two baking sheets and cover with parchment paper.

Mix the sugar and butter till it is light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time

Add the vanilla and lemon extract

All the baking powder and salt

Start adding the flour a little at a time till it is all incorporated.

These cookies do grow and I like them on the smaller side so I use two tablespoons of the batter for every cookie but make sure you leave about two inches between each cookies. You can make bigger cookies or smaller depending on what you like.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes but start checking at 14 minutes because they burn quickly.

Try to get a nice golden brown bottom.

Repeat till all the batter is finished and let everything cool on a wire rack.

Making the frosting is so easy but start with 1/4 cup of boiling water till you can  have a nice thick dripping consistency. You should be able to pour the frosting on the cookie not spread it like you would frost a cake.

Fill your double boiler with water over a simmering heat.

Mix the 4 cups of sifted confectioners sugar with the 1/4 cup of hot water and add the vanilla.

Mix till it is smooth.

Add the corn syrup and this will give the frosting a nice gloss.

Remember not to add too much water or else it will be too drippy.

Frost half the cookie on the flat side of the cookie.

Melt the chocolate and cocoa together in the remaining frosting over a double boiler.

If the frosting gets too thick, you may need just a teaspoon or two more of hot water.

Frost the remaining half of the cookie

Let them air dry for at least 30 minutes

Keep in an air tight container.

Try not to stack them because you dont want cake crumbs on the frosting.

They look so pretty

If you are going to freeze this cookie do not frost them. The chocolate frosting gets cloudy when they are frozen. The taste is there but the aren’t as pretty.

Chicken Tarragon

5 Sep

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I always go for the basics when it is a chilly day and I want comfort food.

My favorite cookbook is Better Crocker’s International Cookbook.

This is her recipe with a few changes

This can be served with noodles, rice, quinoa or baked in a pie shell or just a big bowl if you do not want to eat carbs.

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs

One can[14 ounces] of chicken broth

One tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or one teaspoon dried tarragon

4 sliced carrots

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

One bay leaf

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

One chopped large onion

2 cloves garlic

2 stalks chopped celery

Two yellow chopped squash

One zucchini chopped squash

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup half and half

3 tablespoons flour

1 egg yolk

salt to taste

Heat three tablespoons oil in a large frying pan

Season the chicken with salt and pepper

Place in the frying pan and just brown slightly on both sides.

Add the can of chicken broth, carrots, tarragon, bay leaf, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil.

Cover and decrease the heat to simmer for 30 minutes

Add the mushrooms, celery, squash, onions and garlic.

Heat to a boil

Cover and decrease heat to simmer another fifteen minutes

Take all the meat and vegetables out of the pan.

Discard the bay leaf.

Leave the liquid in the pan and add the wine.

Reduce the broth so you have about two to three cups and bring to a boil.

Mix the egg yolk, 1/2 and 1/2 and flour together

Add to the liquid and reduce the heat.

Stir till all is incorporated and the liquid turns to this velvet sauce.

Add the chicken and vegetables

Serve it with pride.

 

 

 

Fish Chowder

25 Aug

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This has to be the the most delicious meal ever.

Now that I am old I love soup so I make it a lot.

I wait for the cod or haddock to go on sale, make a big pot and freeze the leftovers.

2 pounds of cod cut into 1/2 inch to one inch pieces.

One small package of diced pancetta or 4 slices of bacon.

I prefer the pancetta.

One tablespoon butter

One diced large onion

One to two stalks of diced celery with the top greens

48 ounces of good chicken broth

16 ounces half and half

One cup of whole milk

6 potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and cooked in salted water. If the skin on the potato is thin I usually keep it on.

One cup of instant mashed potato flakes

Two big handfuls of fresh baby spinach

One teaspoon ground black pepper

2  chicken bouillon cubes, crushed

Boil the potatoes in the salted water, drain and set aside.

Heat the one tablespoon of oil and add the pancetta.

Cook till you have a nice brown color.

Take out of the pan and set aside.

Add the tablespoon of butter, celery and onion in the same pot.

Cook till everything is soft but not brown.

Add the broth, drained potatoes and pancetta and bring to a slow boil.

Lower the heat and add the cod and let it cook for five minutes.

Add the milk and 1/2 and 1/2.

Cook till everything is hot.

Add the bouillon and pepper then the potato flakes.

Stir gently to mix the flakes into the soup.

It will thicken the soup right away.

Taste to adjust your salt but with the bouillon cubes you probably will not need any more salt.

Put the spinach into the chowder just before you are serving it.

I cant believe what a big bowl I ate.

Garnish with shrimp, popcorn or croutons.

Ricotta and Pesto Naan

22 Aug

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So you know how I am always saying waste nothing?

This is a great example.

I bought a package of Naan and realized I didn’t use it.

I also had about a cup and a  half of ricotta cheese in the refrigerator.

Magic.

Such a surprising lunch.

Take the Naan out of the package.

Mix 1 1/2 cups of ricotta cheese with 1/2 cup pesto

Spread the cheese mixture on the Naan.

Cover with a good handful of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake in a 400 degree oven till the cheese is melted. About five minutes.

Top with a handful of arugula tossed in some lemon juice, olive oil and salt.

Garnish with olives.

You would easily pay ten dollars in a restaurant for this.

 

Betty Crocker Blue Raspberry cupcakes

10 Aug

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I had a Betty Crocker blue raspberry cake mix that I thought my grandchildren would like because it was blue. But, I couldn’t use it because it contained milk.

So I had to make it into an adult snack.

Make the mix according to the box directions except DO NOT USE THE WATER.

Instead I used a container of berry yogurt that was almost expired.

Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with 2 cups of mixed berries.

I used a lot of blueberries, some blackberries and just a few raspberries.

After the batter is mixed fold in the berries.

Line a jumbo muffin pan with oversize paper liners and put two full tablespoon into each cup.

Do not use more than that .

If you want to make 12 cakes use a little less in each cup.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Start checking after 28 minutes.

My first batch took 33 minutes and my second batch took 30 minutes.

Cool.

I just put more berries on the top instead of frosting.

This is a pretty good portioned snack instead of a big cake.

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

8 Aug

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Sometimes it doesn’t pay to bake from scratch.

This is one of those times.

Go to your nearest Stop and Shop and buy as many packages of the cookie mix as you can.

It is in the refrigerator section.

Follow and directions and hope you have enough for the next day.

Thank you Stop and Shop and please don’t discontinue these.