Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Shephard's Pie

1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Ground Lamb
1 Onion, chopped
1/2 c. Frozen Peas
Olive Oil
Worshistire Sauce
4 Tbs. Butter
2 Tbs. Flour
1 c. Beef Broth
4 c. Potatoes, peeled and cubed
Splash of milk
3/4 c. Cheddar Cheese
salt and pepper

Boil potatoes. When cooked, mash with 2 Tbs. Butter and a splash of milk. Reserve.

Brown beef and lamb with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Remove excess liquid. Add chopped onion and cook until onion is tender.

In a seperate pot, mix 2 Tbs. butter with flour and whisk in beef broth. Add a few splashes of Worshistire Sauce to taste. Once gravy thickens, add it to the cooked meat. Then, add frozen peas.

Transfer meat mixture to a baking dish. Top with mashed potaoes, then cheeese. Place under a broiler until all of the cheese has melted.


1 1/2 c. Flour
4 Tbs. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
4 Eggs
1 1/3 c. Milk
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
Oil for frying

Mix wet ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Then, whisk in dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Allow batter to chill for 45 minutes.

Heat a little bit of oil in a small frying/omlette pan. Make sure that oil is very hot, then add 1/4 c. of batter to the pan. Turn the pan to make sure that the batter is coating the entire bottom of the pan. Cook until little bubbles appear, then flip. Cook for a minute more. Repeat until all batter is used.

Fill crepes and enjoy!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fried Ravioli

Fried Ravioli

2 c. Ricotta
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 c. oil for frying
marinara sauce for dipping (optional)

I have made ravioli using both fresh dough, and in a pinch, prepared wonton wrappers. I have to say, the wonton wrappers turned out really well. I would use them again if I needed to. Either way, prepare the dough into large squares. Mix together the cheeses with salt and pepper to taste.

Wet the dough square using water and a pastry brush.Place 1/2 tsp. of filling into each of the quadrants on the dough. Place a second square on top of the filling. Press down firmly along edges to seal the dough and form 4 squares. I then used my pastry tool to cut out the four ravioli.Repeat until you have enough ravioli.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the ravioli into the water, a few at a time, to cook the dough a bit. The ravioli will float when they are done. Repeat in batches until all ravioli is cooked.

Heat oil in a pan. Add ravioli, a few at a time, turning them after a minute. They will turn golden after only a minute or two, so make sure you pay attention! Remove from pan and place on paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve immediately with marinara sauce for dipping.


½ cup flour
¼ cup sugar
½ stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
½ tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Sift together flour and baking powder in a bowl, and set aside. In another bowl add egg and sugar. Mix (using a mixer) until the mixture has at least doubled in size and has become thick, about 5 minutes. Fold in the flour mixture, then the butter.
Butter the molds and add about ½ tsp. of batter to each one. Bake until the edges turn light brown, about 6-10 minutes, depending on your oven. Immediately remove the cookies from the pan and let them cool. Enjoy! (Makes 12 full sized or 24 mini-madeleines)
Sometimes, I add 1/2 tsp. of orange water to the egg mixture if I will be serving the madeleines with tea. Or, I dip them halfway in melted chocolate and allow them to cool for dessert.

Chocolate Silk Pie

Chocolate Silk Pie

1 1/4 c. Chocolate Teddy Grahms
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbs. sugar

Put Teddy Grahms into food processor and chop until they are crumbs. (I love using my mini food-prep!). I saved some crumbs for decorating the pie later.In a bowl, add the crumbs to the melted butter and sugar.Mix well and put into a 9" pie dish. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes, the allow to cool.


2 1/2 c. milk
4 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 oz. semisweet chocolate

Heat milk and chocolate over low heat in a nonaluminum pac. Whisk until chocolate is melted, 7 minutes. In a bowl add egg yolks and sugar. Whisk until pale yellow.
Add salt and cornstarch, then vanilla, and whisk until well mixed. Add chocolate to yolk mixture and whisk constantly until blended. Return mixture to heat and cook over medium-heat for 8 minutes, until the mixture bubbles. Remove from heat and stir for one minute, until smooth.Pour filling into cooled cookie crust and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

Whipped Cream Topping
2 c. heavy cream
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat all of the ingredients until stiff peaks form. I then piped the whipped cream onto the top of the chocolate filling. For decoration, I added the reserved crumbs, as well as shaved semisweet chocolate.

Rustic Italian Penne

2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
3 c. spinach
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 c. artichoke hearts
1 1/2 c. fresh mozzerella, cubed
2 c. penne
1-2c. marinara sauce
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Tbs. Butter

Cook penne according to package instructions. Set aside.
Sautee garlic in Butter and Olive Oil for 2 minutes. Add chicken and brown until cooked, about 5 minutes. Take chicken out of pan and set aside. Add spinach and artichoke hearts and sautee until cooked, about 10 minutes. Add penne and marinara sauce to mixture.

Allow mixture to cook for another minute to combine. If sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta cooking water.
Remove from heat and stir in mozzerella. Top with fresh basil.

Lemon Curd Pie

1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 Tbs. cold water
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. unsalted butter, cubed

Stir together egg yolk, water and vanilla. Set bowl aside.

Stir toether flour, sugar, and salt in bowl. Add butter and beat on medium-low speed, until butter pieces are no larger than peas. Add the egg mixture and beat, 2 minutes.

My dough was too sticky to roll at this point, so I covered it and refrigerated it for 30 minutes.

I then floured a work surface and rolled out the dough to 1/8 inch thick. I put the dough in an 11" tart pan, trimming off the extra dough. I then put the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line pastry shell with parchment paper. I don't have pie weights, so I put raw rice on top of the paper.

Bake for 25 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Lemon Curd

3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks
3/4 c. fresh lemon juice
3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbs. grated lemon zest
12 Tbs. unsalted butter, cubed
In an nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat, combine eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest, and butter. *I used about 7 lemons to get the 3/4 cups of juice.*

Cook stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through sieve.

Put the curd into the cooled tart shell and refrigerate. I let mine set for about 3 hours. I then piped fresh whipped cream (recipe below) onto the top.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sponge Cake

Unsalted butter and flour for preparing the pans
1 cup cake flour
Pinch of salt
6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare your baking pans. I always butter mine, add parchment paper, butter the paper, then flour the paper.

Pass the flour and salt through a fine-mesh sieve over a small bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until thickened and pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

To a clean bowl add the egg whites. Whip on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating, until the whites have formed soft peaks. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar at a rate of about 2 Tbs. every 15 seconds. After all of the sugar has been incorporated, beat the whites for 1 minute more, until they form stiff peaks.

Add about one-third of the egg whites on top of the yolk mixture. Then, fold the mixtures together. Pile the remaining egg whites on top of the mixture and fold them in.

Fold in the flour mixture in 4 additions until the batter is light and foamy.Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly. Bake the cakes for 18 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then remove from pans. Discard the parchment. Let cool completely on the racks, about 45 minutes.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Mastering Series: Cakes