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  • Have a Spooky Halloween!

    Cheddar Witches Fingers - Cheese straws in the shape of fingers, complete with a black almond "finger nail." Delicious and totally spooky.

    Candy Apples - You don't need to go to the fair to get my favorite treat because you can make these at home. Black food coloring gives them a festive touch.

    Pumpkin Caramel Sauce - Having a not-so-scary Halloween party? Serve ice cream with this pumpkin infused caramel sauce on top.

Monthly Archives: February 2010

Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Eric and I have never met a potato dish that we didn’t like. Even so, we’re always looking for new ways to cook potatoes, and this method was definitely something new for us. The potatoes are thinly sliced, studded with shallots and thyme and then baked to perfection. The tops of the potatoes get nice and crispy while the insides get nice and tender. The shallots caramelize while baking, giving the potatoes a wonderfully sweet flavor. I was left craving a bit more of the caramelized shallots, and I’ve changed the recipe to reflect that. We used dried thyme, but I know fresh would have been better and will make sure not to forget it next time.

This dish was served as a side to espresso rubbed steak, something that we’d normally serve with a baked potato. However, I doubt we’ll be doing that again anytime soon. This dish was way more fun than a baked potato and much tastier, too!


Crispy Roasted Potatoes
Ingredients:
2 1/4 teaspoons melted butter
2 1/4 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled
2 shallots, thickly sliced lengthwise
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
coarse salt
2 sprigs fresh thyme

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 375°. Combine butter and oil in a small bowl.
-Brush the bottom of a small round baking dish (or two individual baking dishes) with some of the butter mixture and set aside.
-Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice potatoes very thinly crosswise. The thinner the potato, the crispier it will get in the oven.
-Vertically arrange potato slices in the baking dish(es) and wedge shallots throughout.
-Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt. Brush tops with remaining butter mixture.
-Bake for one hour; then add fresh time and bake for an additional 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cooked through and tops are crispy.

Serves 2

Source: Adapted from Everyday Food, December 2009


Individual Chicken Pot Pies

Comfort food comes in many forms. It can be a bowl of your favorite ice cream, a slice of freshly baked bread or a bowl of hearty pasta. For me, when it’s cold outside, chicken pot pie is my ultimate comfort food.

This pot pie did not disappoint. The interior was full of slow-roasted flavor, and the the flaky exterior provided the perfect complement to the creamy filling. There’s nothing like warming up with a pot pie fresh from the oven, especially when it’s meant just for you.


Individual Chicken Pot Pies

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
ground pepper to taste
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken (about 1/2 pound), cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk

Directions:
-In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes.
-Add flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden and has a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes.
-Whisking constantly, add broth and bring to a boil. Stir frequently until mixture has thickened, about 8 minutes.
-Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook another 10 minutes.
-Add chicken, peas and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
-Divide mixture into two 12 ounce baking dishes and refrigerate about 20 minutes, until mixture has come to room temperature.
-Preheat oven to 375°.
-Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut in half. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut four vents into the pastry.
-In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolk with one teaspoon water.
-Top baking dishes with pastry and brush on egg wash.
-Refrigerate 15 minutes.
-Bake until pastry is a deep golden color and juices are bubbling, about 35 minutes.

Source: Everyday Food, October 2009


Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Peanuts

One of the things that still amazes me when it comes to cooking is how easily I can make ice cream at home. With so many choices (and endless possibilities), I can’t imagine ever buying ice cream from the grocery store again.

This ice cream is incredibly easy to make because it doesn’t require first making a custard. You simply puree a few ingredients in the food processor, chill, freeze and voila. You’re left with pure, creamy peanut butter bliss. Add chocolate covered peanuts for crunch, and then try waiting for your ice cream to harden before digging in. I promise it won’t be easy, which is why I’m happy I like soft serve.


Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Ingredients:
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 2/3 cup half and half
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Chocolate Covered Peanuts (recipe follows)

Directions:
-Puree the peanut butter, sugar, half and half, vanilla and salt in a food processor until smooth.
-Chill mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, make the chocolate covered peanuts.
-Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
-Once churning is complete, stir in chocolate covered peanuts.

Chocolate Covered Peanuts
Ingredients:
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

Directions:
-Line a plate with plastic wrap and set aside.
-Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, stirring until smooth.
-Remove chocolate from heat and stir in peanuts, coating them completely.
-Spread the mixture on the plastic-lined plate and chill until hardened.

Source: Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, as seen on Dinner and Dessert