Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

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Truly the most decadent frosting ever.  I have been looking for a rich whipped cream frosting.  It is thick in consistency, so holds up especially well if you pipe it onto cupcakes.  You can use almond or vanilla flavoring.  I will definitely make this again as my family loved it.

1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 (8 oz) tubs of mascarpone cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or 3/4 tsp almond extract

Mix the mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar and almond extract until well blended.  Whip the heavy cream until stiff.  Fold the mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream.  Frost your cake, and keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.

Grilled Squid with Ponzu Sauce

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I could not believe how tender this squid was.  We cooked it in a panini maker, and it took only 4 minutes to cook.  I like the grill lines that the panini maker puts on whatever you are cooking.  You can grill it on the barbeque or on the stovetop in a grill pan.  Serve with ponzu sauce.  Enjoy!

1 squid
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon
Salt, pepper, to taste

To clean the squid, hold the body firmly, grasp the head and twist to pull the head away from the body.  Be careful not to break the ink sac.  The internal body and tentacles should separate and from the head.  Cut the tentacles off just below the eyes.  There is a small beak in the center of the tentacles.  Just squeeze it to remove it.  Discard the head and ink sac.  At the top of the body is a clear piece of cartilege.  Pull it out and discard it.  Rinse everything thoroughly inside and outside. 

Season the squid with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Drizzle olive oil over the squid.  Set the panini maker to sear or high heat.  Once it is heated, spray with Pam, and add the squid.  Grill for 4 minutes in the panini maker (6-8 minutes on barbeque or grill pan).  Do not overcook.  Slice in thin rings.  Serve with ponzu sauce.

Ponzu Sauce Ingredients:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 T rice vinegar
1/3 cup dashi broth (see package directions)

Make the dashi broth according to package directions.  Add soy sauce, lemon juice and rice vinegar.  Mix everything together.  Store in refrigerator.

Liz's Quinoa Black Bean Corn Salad

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Liz Olschefski made this salad for us while we were vacationing in Hawaii. It was so refreshing, light and delicious....a meal in itself. It was a nice accompaniment to the bbq steaks her husband cooked to perfection.

2 T lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Cilantro, chopped (to taste)
1 cup corn, pre-cooked
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/4 tsp cumin
1, 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix oil, lemon and cilantro. Cook quinoa according to package directions adding the cumin to the water. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Rinse the black beans. Add all ingredients to the quinoa and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Chill before serving.

Sesame Miso Ramen (Miso tan tan)

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I have been experimenting with sesame tan tan broths, trying to recreate a ramen that I had in Honolulu.  Denny loved this one.  It is a hearty soup with a seasoned ground pork topping, very satisfying and a meal in itself. 

4 cups of chicken stock (can use a combination of pork and chicken stock)
2 T black bean chili sauce
2 T Asian sesame paste
2 T miso
1 T soy sauce
1 T sugar

Meat topping:
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 T minced garlic
1 T minced shallots
1 slice Thai red chili (or sprinkle some red chili flakes to taste)
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt, pepper to taste

Other ingredients:
Chopped green onions
Ramen noodles

Cook ramen noodles according to package directions.  Drain, and set aside.  In a large saucepan, heat the soup ingredients and simmer for a 15 minutes.  In a separate pan, saute the garlic and shallots in canola oil, add the ground pork.  Cook until the pork is no longer pink.  Add the meat seasoning and cook for a few minutes more.  In an individual serving bowl, add the noodles then the meat topping.  Pour the broth over all and top with green onions.

Note:  The recipe calls for Asian sesame paste which is made from ground roasted sesame seeds.  You can find it at a Japanese or Chinese market. Tahini is also a sesame paste, but is made from hulled seeds rather than whole roasted seeds, so does not have the same flavor.

Here's my growing family at Jack London Square:

Bill's Chocolate Cookies

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Delicious!  You have to try Bill Lemire's chocolate cookies.  Not only is he a great dentist, sailor, biker and the husband of my best buddy, Corinne, he bakes!  These cookies are rich and chocolatey.  You won't be able to eat just one.

2 cups plus 2 T flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
Sanding sugar for rolling (Turbinado)

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Beat butter and sugar on medium speed with mixer until light and fluffy about 2 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture; beat to combine.  Form dough into a flattened disk, wrap with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour.  Heat oven to 350 degrees, shape dough into 1-1/4 inch balls.  Roll each ball into sanding sugar.  Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake 10-12 min, rotating sheet halfway through.  Transfer to cooling rack for 5 min.