Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Homemade Lady Fingers

Italian favorite: Tiramisu
Homemade ladyfingers dipped in a strong coffee and 
marsala wine mixture.  Layers of light Italian custard cream with a
light whipped cream all combined together.

Ladyfinger Ingredients:
4 eggs separated
2/3 cup sugar, plus 2 TBS
3/4 cup plus 1/8 cup flour
1/2 tsp B powder
1/2 tsp xanthin gum or extra B. Powder

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.  Line two 17 x 12 sheets with parchment paper
3.  Place whites in bowl, beat to peak.
4.  In separate bowl beat yolks and sugar
5.  Add flour, Baking powder and xanthan to yolks
6.  Fold into whites

Drop into appropriate sizes 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp depending on what size you need.
Bake 8 mins
Makes 36 cookies

3/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup whipping cream
2 (8) ozs mascarpone cheese

1.  Heat on med/low sugar and yolks and cream.  Cook for 2 mins.  Remove from heat and place in cool bowl.  Let cool for 15 mins.
2.  Add mascarpone cheese, stir.  Chill

Whipping Cream:
2 cups whipping cream
8 ozs mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Whip together and chill

Coffee and Marsala Wine mixture:
2 cups strong espresso
2 TBS Marsala Wine
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Crushed chocolate covered coffee beans for garnish

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Duck Confit Potato Frittata with Creamy Chasseur

This pre-cooked Duck Confit is so tasty.  It sits in it's own juice and marinates until ready to 
be eaten.  I picked the meat off the duck legs and incorporated it into this delicious potato frittata, packed with spices, herbs and cheese.  I reserved the flavorful juice to make this creamy mushroom chasseur sauce to top the frittata.  I added a little heat for a surprise kick.  You can prepare this sauce thick or more juicy, it is your preference.   The combination of flavors will be unitedly joined.  

6 cups cubed potatoes, cooked
2 TBS duck fat
1 cup shallots, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 lb duck confit, picked (reserve juice)
1/8 cup parsley, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
1/8 cup basil, chopped
1/2 cup coconut cream
8 eggs, beaten
8 ozs shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (divided, 1/2 for topping)
1 cup chopped tomatoes (slightly squeezed to remove juice and seeds)

Mushroom Sauce:
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup shallots, chopped fine
1/2 tsp jalapeno peppers, chopped fine
2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 TBS duck fat
1 TBS butter
1 tsp flour
juice from duck confit
1/4 cup coconut cream

1.  Cook potatoes in water for approx 20 or until medium cooked.  Do not over cook.  Drain
2.   Pick meat from duck legs.  Place in bowl.  Reserve juice
3.  In large cast iron skillet heat on med/high duck fat.  Add shallots, stir and cook until soft (approx 10 mins).  Add garlic and cook for additional 3 mins.  Season with salt and pepper, stir.  Remove from burner.
4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5.  To bowl of duck meat, herbs, coconut cream, eggs, cheddar and 1/2 of the parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Toss.  Add to skillet.  Top with tomatoes.  Slightly press down.  Top with remaining parmesan cheese.
6.  Bake for approx 35 minutes or until done.
7.  To make mushroom chasseur:  In skillet add white wine.  Heat on med until reduced to about 1/2.  Add shallots, jalapeno and mushrooms and cook for additional 5 mins, or until mushrooms are cooked.  Stir duck fat, butter and flour together in small cup or bowl.  Add to mushrooms with remaining coconut cream, stir.  Reduce temperature and simmer until your preference of thickness, approx. 3-5 mins.
8.  Serve sliced frittata with mushroom chasseur sauce.  Top with fresh parsley.

Fried Oyster Tacos with Mexican Street Corn

8 garlic bulbs
1/4 cup olive oil
8 ears corn, cut in half

Slaw Ingredients:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp celery seed
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
16 ozs slaw mixture

Cilantro Sauce Ingredients:
2 heads of cilantro
1 med jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
4 cloves garlic,
1 cup sour cream
2 limes, juiced
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS cider vinegar
1/8 tsp salt

Mexican Street Corn Ingredients:
1 can creamed corn
1 cup Cilantro Sauce (see recipe above)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup cotija cheese (or Feta), reserve 1/2 for corn topping
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup cilantro
1 TBS lime juice
1/8 tsp salt

Fried Oyster Ingredients:
16 ozs oysters,
4 cups fryer oil
2 cups flour, divided in 1/2
1 TBS baking powder
1 TBS sesame seed oil
1/2 cup seltzer (cold)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small egg
1/8 tsp salt

Garlic Butter Ingredients:
2 sticks butter, melted
2 garlic cloves, roasted

Other Ingredients:
4 limes, sliced in quarters
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, for garnish
1 TBS chili powder
20 corn tortillas
1 avocado, cubed
1 red bell pepper, chopped

1.  Cut tips of each garlic bulb about 1/4 in.  Place on baking dish, cut side up.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake in oven 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and cover to keep warm.
2.  Place corn in pot of boiling water.  Cook until tender, approx 30 mins.  Remove from water and place in baking dish.
3.  To make slaw:  Mix all ingredients (except slaw mix) in a medium size bowl, mix well.  Add slaw mix and fold to incorporate well.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
4.  To make Cilantro Sauce:  Add all ingredients to blender.  Pulse until well combined.  Pour into bowl.  Reserve in refrigerator until ready to use.
5.  To make Mexican Street Corn:  In a medium size bowl add all ingredients.  Mix well.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
6.  Drain oysters and pat dry with paper towels.  In medium size pot add oil.  Heat on med/high.  Add half of the flour to separate bowl.  In medium size bowl whisk all other ingredients.  Add a small amount of batter to oil.  If it sizzles then oil is hot enough.  Start by dredging oysters into flour, then into batter, completely covering.  Drop into hot oil.  Fry for approx. 5-8 mins depending on the size of the oyster or until lightly browned.  When oysters are done, place on paper towel to absorb excess grease.  Cover to keep warm.
7.  To make Garlic Butter:  Melt butter in microwave for 20 seconds.  Add garlic and whisk.
8.  Add 1/2 garlic butter (reserve other 1/2 for corn tortillas) to corn in baking dish.  Add Mexican Street corn over top.  Top with remaining cotija cheese.  Add lime slices.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 mins.  Remove and garnish with cilantro leaves.  Sprinkle with chili powder.
9.  Brush each tortilla with garlic butter.  Place in zip loc bag.  Warm in microwave for approx. 30 seconds.
10.  Fill each tortilla with slaw, fried oyster, Mexican Street Corn, Cilantro sauce, avocado, red bell peppers and fresh cilantro leaves.  Serve with ear of corn, garlic bulb and slices of lime.

How to make just the Street Corn:

8 ears of corn, broken in half
1 stick butter, cubed
1 pkg Mediterranean Feta Cheese
1/2 cup Cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp paprika

Cilantro Sauce Ingredients:
2 heads of cilantro
1 med jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
4 cloves garlic,
1 cup sour cream
2 limes, juiced
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS cider vinegar
1/8 tsp salt

Mediterranean Street Corn Ingredients:
1 can creamed corn
1 cup Cilantro Sauce (see recipe above)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup Mediterranean, reserve 1/2 for corn topping
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup cilantro
1 TBS lime juice
1/8 tsp salt

1.  Place corn in baking dish with butter.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Bake in 375 degree pre-heated oven to brown.   Approx. 30 (rotate while baking)
2.   Blend ingredients for Cilantro Sauce in blender until well combined.  Reserve
3.  Mix ingredients for Mediterranean Street Corn in bowl.  (Don't forget to add 1 cup of Cilantro sauce to this recipe).  Pour oven corn.  Bake for additional 15-20 mins.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle additional feta cheese over top, cilantro leaves and paprika.  Serves 8

Mediterranean Duck with Lentil and Olive Tapenade

The ingredients in this recipe pairs well with the duck breast.  You have the saltiness from the anchovy combined with a blend of garlic, lemon, peppers, capers and olives tossed with baby lentils and the perfect blend of spices and herbs.  The crunchiness of the chopped duck bacon on top compliments this dish, making it very elegant for plating.  

(2) 7.9 oz duck breasts
2 oz can anchovy, drained
4 pepperoncici's
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp jalapeno
3 TBS capers
2 TBS red onion
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup black olives
1/4 cup cherry peppers
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup parsley
1 tsp rosemary
2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp course pepper, or to taste
2 cups small lentils, cooked
4 cups mixed greens
1 lemon, sliced for garnish
5 strips duck bacon

1.  Score skin on duck breast across top with sharp knife.  Slice diagonally opposite way making sure not to cut into duck.  In a medium size non stick skillet cook duck breasts (skin side down) on medium/high heat for approx. 6 minutes.  This will render down the fat.  Flip over and cook other side for an additional 2 mins.  Place skillet in oven and cook for another 4-5 minutes (or until desired temperature) in a preheated 350 degree oven.  Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
2.  In same skillet cook anchovy in duck fat on med/high heat until dissolved.  Add to medium size food processor.  To processor, add pepperoncici's, garlic, jalapeƱo, capers, onion, olives, cherry peppers, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, lemon juice and zest.  Pulse to chop into fine bits.  Add to bowl.  Toss in lentils and season with salt and pepper, to desired liking.
3.  Cook duck bacon in skillet until crispy.  Approx. 3-4 mins (med/high heat) on each side or until desired crispiness.  Keep warm until ready to use.
4.  Slice duck breasts.  Serve on bed of greens.  Top with lentil tapenade.  Garnish with chopped duck bacon and lemon slices

Poached Rum Pears and Brie Duck Breast with Hot Candied Duck Bacon

This is my take on one delicious combination.  The duck breast is perfectly cooked and served with poached pears in a sweet rum sauce.  The pears are topped with creamed brie cheese to balance all the flavors.  Then topped with hot candied duck bacon.  

2 duck breasts
6 strips duck bacon
1 TBS jalapeno, chopped fine
1 TBS brown sugar (for bacon)
4 TBS butter
2 TBS dark rum
2 TBS brown sugar (for sauce)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp corn starch
1 15 oz can pear halves (no or low sugar), reserve 1 cup juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp course pepper
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
5 ozs brie cheese, creamed (warm)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1.  In medium size non stick skillet heat on med/high heat.  Place seasoned duck breast (skin side down).  Cook to render down the fat (approx. 5 mins).  Turn over and cook for additional 2-3 mins or until desired temperature.  Remove and let sit.
2.  Add bacon to skillet and cook in same fat.  Season with salt and pepper, if desire.  Add jalapeƱos and 1 TBS sugar.  Cook until done on both sides (bacon will caramelize).  Approx. 2-3 mins on each side, or until desired crispiness.  Remove and cover to keep warm until ready to use
3.  In same skillet add butter, rum, sugar, cinnamon, corn starch and pear juice.  Stir and heat for approx. 2 mins.  Add pears and cook, rotating on both sides for approx. 5 mins.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from Skillet and cover to keep warm.  Add walnuts and continue cooking sauce for additional 5 mins or until starts to thicken.  
4.  To serve:  Slice Duck Breast on an angle about 1/2 inch thick.  Top with Pear then with warm creamed brie.  Drizzle sauce around duck and sprinkle chopped hot candied bacon slices on top.  Garnish with parsley.
Serves 4 

Espresso Brownie Cheddar Cheesecake

Chocolate and Cheesecake!
Yes, who could resist these combinations?  Not me!  
When I was creating a coffee cheesecake I just knew it had to be with a rich chocolate base.  These little babies are so irresistibly incredible.  Each bite will make you go for another.  This cheesecake recipe is infused with a secret ingredient that I hate to disclose, but I will.  
Cheddar Cheese! 

Brownie Ingredients:
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup strong espresso coffee
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Cheesecake Ingredients:
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
8 ozs ricotta cheese, whole milk 
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 TBS
2 med eggs, beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS flour
1/4 cup choc. covered espresso beans, ground

Glaze Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk chocolate, melted
1/4 cup strong espresso coffee, brewed
1/4 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, crushed

1.  To make Brownie:  In large bowl add butter, sugar, vanilla, coffee and eggs.  Mix well.  Add remaining ingredients to small bowl, mix well.  Add to wet ingredients.  Mix well.  
2.  To make cheesecake filling:  Add all ingredients (except espresso beans) to food processor.  Pulse all ingredients together and combine well.  Fold in espresso beans.
3.  Grease 6 (4 inch) mini springform pans.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4.  Pour approx. 1/4 cup brownie mixture to bottom of each pan.  (Reserving approx. 6 TBS) Spread across bottom of pan.  Pour approx 1/2 cup cheesecake mixture over top of brownie mixture, using up all of the mixture.  Carefully spread across leveling out.  Add 1 TBS of brownie mixture in center of cheesecake.  With a knife swirl brownie mixture into cheesecake creating a marble effect.
5.  Bake in oven for approx 30-35 mins or until done.  Cool
6.  To make Glaze:  Microwave chocolate for approx. 1 minute in safe bowl or until melted, stir.  Add strong coffee, stir.  Drizzle over top of little cheesecakes.  Sprinkle crushed espresso beans.  
Makes 6 (4 inch) mini cheesecakes.  



1 can pears, chopped
1 cup pear juice
2 TBS butter
3 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
2 TBS rum, optional

1.  Add all ingredients into saucepan.  Heat on med/high for approx. 8-10 mins, or until starts to thicken.  Let rest until ready to use.

2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
4 Slices Three Bakers gluten free bread
5 ozs cream brie
2 eggs, beaten
powdered sugar for garnish

1.  Heat oil and butter in non stick pan on low/medium heat.
2.  Spread brie cheese on two slices of bread.  Top with remaining slices, pressing lightly, to seal.
3.  Beat eggs in small bowl.  Dip bread into beaten eggs, flip to coat over side.  Saute on each side until golden brown, approx. 2 mins each side.