Archive for August, 2013

Quick Nutella Tart with Frangelico

August 24, 2013

_nutella-tart_07-01-31_09This super-simple cream pie has rich chocolate flavor with hazelnut tones enhanced with a shot of Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur). Rather than an Oreo crumb crust, you can use a blind-baked paté brisee crust. For a really decadent dessert, top with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

Nutella, chocolate hazelnut spread, has been on the market since 1963 though the actual Ferrero recipe, from Italy, has been around since the 1940s. The American Nutella is hazelnut/cocoa flavored sugar, not a quality product, but still okay for Nutella nuts … enthusiasts. I’m a purist about some things and chocolate hazelnut spread (more of a butter) is one of them.

The recipe follows for making your own Nutella. It is very simple and you can adjust the sugar content to personal preference. There is no milk, wheat or other fillers in this recipe, just roasted hazelnuts, cocoa powder and sugar. It’s important to roast the hazelnuts before grinding because any water left in them will produce a mush rather than a butter. Roasting also helps to remove the skins of the nuts. No need to add vegetable oil because the hazelnuts will make their own oil when processed. It’s just like making peanut butter. Hazelnut oil is fragile and will breakdown at room temperature within a couple months so its best to refrigerate as soon as made (will keep up to 6 months refrigerated). You may substitute melted bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips for the cocoa powder. Start with 1/4 cup melted chocolate and add more if needed. For more information just Google: Freddy Guys Hazelnut Farm of Willamette Valley, Oregon. This recipe is adapted from a recipe of Barb Foulke’s, owner of Freddy Guys.

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Baked Salmon Patties

August 24, 2013

Baked Salmon PattiesFor years fish has been labeled “brain food” and more recently nutritionists  have added “rich in Omega3” and “heart healthy” to the labels. It’s all true!  Fish is a good source of protein, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6,  and Omega3 oils. The benefits of eating fish, in particular baked or broiled  salmon, three times per week include lowering: the risk of heart disease, blood  pressure, macular degeneration, ADHD in children, grumpy teenage syndrome,  dementia in seniors, and a whole host of other ailments and diseases. A recent  Purdue University study found that nearly 30% of the Americans studied have  un-measureable levels of omega3 fatty acids in their systems, placing them at  greater risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, behavioral and  learning problems.

So listen up folks! Adults and children need to eat fish every week. If you  think you don’t like fish, start off with fish sticks or fish burgers until you  develop a taste for it, then move on to tuna sandwiches, baked and broiled  salmon, halibut, and next thing you know the world will be your oyster.

This recipe is for canned salmon which is easy on the pocket book as well as  tasty.  Baking rather than frying further reduces the fat content and ensures even doneness.  If you must have a sauce, try non-fat Greek yogurt with tarragon, a dash of  Worcestershire sauce and salt.  Bake in mini muffin tins for tasty party hors d’oeuvres.

Salmon Cakes

Ingredients:  – makes 4 servings

  •  1 can (14.75 oz) salmon and its juice
  •  ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  •  ½ cup milk
  •  2 Tbsp. minced onion
  •  2 Tbsp. minced green bell pepper
  •  1 lemon, juice ½ and cut the other half into wedges for garnish
  •  2 to  3 dashes of Tabasco sauce or chili sauce of choice
  •  Fresh ground black pepper, about ¼ tsp. or 6 to 8  grinds
  •  1 egg, beaten

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly butter 4 mini-tart tins or muffin tins or use the cooking spray of your choice.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Use your hands and mix just until everything is well combined.
  3. Press into prepared tins.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove cakes from tins, serve with sauce if desired.

For more of JoAnn’s recipes go to:  http://EzineArticles.com/2338790

Liver and Onions Italian Style

August 2, 2013

Liver & OnionsIn the 1970s there was a terrific diner in the hard-hat area of San Francisco that served grilled calves liver steaks about 3/4 inch thick with gobs of sautéed onions, horseradish sauce and mashed potatoes.  I still remember the succulent caramelized flavor on the outside and the moist, tenderness on the inside of that medium-rare liver steak.  This was he-man food for construction crews.  It definitely wasn’t that shoe-leather that Mom cooked with heavy gravy that could only be masked with lots of French’s mustard.  But after all, liver is a good source of protein and iron and easy on the pocketbook so back in the day liver for dinner once or twice a month was not uncommon.

Over the years I’ve developed this flash method of sautéing liver and onions with a bit of lemon juice, a splash of Worcestershire sauce and some sage. It’s very similar to the Tuscan and Venetian style of preparing liver.  The acid of the lemon removes the gaminess of the liver and the Worcestershire sauce adds a little kick.  Served with polenta and garnished with garlic chives this is lighter in calories yet still filling.  The secret to tender liver is thin slices, flash-fried and rested while the onions sauté and you make polenta.  Dinner is ready in 30 minutes easily.

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