Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pomma-Panna Cotta

Pomma-Panna Cotta - ButterYum

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  On to the New Year!
Our family typically stays in on New Year's Eve.  We enjoy a variety of yummy treats and watch the ball drop in Times Square from the comfort of our home.  

Whether you're entertaining guests, or enjoying a quiet night in, this pomegranate topped panna cotta is sure to please. We'll enjoy this dessert one last time before we start what Hubby calls our "Mass Reduction Plan" on Jan 1.  Don't be fooled by the impressive presentation - this recipe is deceivingly simple to prepare.  Each layer needs to chill for 3 hours, so plan accordingly. 

Happy New Year!

Pomma-Panna Cotta
serves 6-8

Panna Cotta Layer:
2 tablespoons water
1 1/4 teaspoon gelatin
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar

To make panna cotta layer:
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and allow the gelatin to soften for 10 minutes.  In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat milk, cream, and sugar together just until it starts to boil.  Remove from heat and add the softened gelatin mixture; stir until completely dissolved.  Stir in vanilla and distribute evenly into serving dishes.  Chill for 3 hours before making the pomegranate layer.

Pomegranate Layer:
1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon sugar
fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish

To make pomegranate layer:
Bring water to a boil.  Add gelatin and sugar; stir to dissolve completely. Add pomegranate juice.  Cool mixture for 15 minutes before pouring on top of panna cotta layer.  Chill for another 3 hours.  Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and serve.

Note: If using bottled pomegranate juice, don't shake the bottle - the sediment that settles at the bottom of the bottle can make the juice cloudy.  Also, don't be tempted to unmold this panna cotta recipe - it's very soft and is supposed to be served in a pretty glass.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tiny Gingerbread Cake Houses - Redux

mini gingerbread houses, Snowy Village Cakelet Pan Williams-Sonoma ButterYum
Nordic Ware Village Pan - ButterYum
Remember these cute little gingerbread cake houses from last year?  They were so much fun to make.  I was hoping to be able to find time to remake them before Christmas (and get some better photos), but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.  At any rate, the pan is by Nordicware.  I absolutely love it.

Here's wishing you all a Merry and Blessed Christmas.

mini gingerbread houses, Snowy Village Cakelet Pan Williams-Sonoma ButterYum

mini gingerbread houses, Snowy Village Cakelet Pan Williams-Sonoma ButterYum

mini gingerbread houses, Snowy Village Cakelet Pan Williams-Sonoma ButterYum

mini gingerbread houses, Snowy Village Cakelet Pan Williams-Sonoma ButterYum

mini gingerbread houses, Snowy Village Cakelet Pan Williams-Sonoma ButterYum

mini gingerbread houses, Snowy Village Cakelet Pan Williams-Sonoma ButterYum

Monday, December 13, 2010

Recipe Review - Financier Style Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes

Financier Style Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes from Rose's Heavenly Cakes - ButterYum
 Moist and addictive, these little two-bite pound cakes are delicious and very easy to put together, but there were a couple of things about the recipe that puzzled me.  First, the recipe calls for 3/8 teaspoon of baking powder - such an odd amount.  Second, the recipe is scaled to make 10 financiers, but the financier mold only makes 9 cakes.  Rather than throw the extra batter away, I divided the batter into 9 portions instead of 10, which caused the little cakes to dome up a bit above the top of the mold, so I cut the domed tops off and turned the little cakes upside down.  Overall, we liked the flavor and texture, and really appreciated the moistness compared to last weeks slightly dry chocolate velvet fudge cake.

Most of the recipes featured by The Heavenly Cake Bakers are not shared online, but they can be found in the book Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Onion Butter

Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Onion Butter - ButterYum
Who's interested in a guaranteed crowd-pleasing, drippy, cheesy, delicious hot sandwich recipe?
(Anyone? ...Anyone?)

Onion Butter Mustard Spread - ButterYum
The thought of hot ham and cheese sandwiches is pretty awesome, but add this amazing onion butter concoction and wow, they'll knock your sock off.  You can use any bread, ham, and melting cheese you like, so why not give them a try.

Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Onion Butter
makes 16 dinner roll or 8 kaiser roll sandwiches - recipe doubles well

8 large or 16 small rolls
1/2 pound ham, any
1/2 pound cheese, any that melts well

Onion Butter:
8 tablespoons salted butter (yes, salted)
1/2 cup finely minced onion
3 tablespoons prepared mustard (dijon, spicy brown, grainy... ooooh)
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

To make the onion butter, combine ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat gently just until the butter is melted and all the ingredients are well combined.  Cool to a spreadable consistency.

To prepare sandwiches, place roll bottoms, cut side up on a sheet pan.  Spread 1/2 the onion butter evenly onto the halves, top with 1/2 the cheese, next add all the ham, now add remaining cheese, and end with the rest of the onion butter.  Replace roll tops, cover pan with foil, and heat in a 300F oven for 10-15 minutes until the sandwiches are heated through and the cheese melts.

Note:  Sandwiches can be assembled up to 2 days in advance, but store them in an airtight container to control the smell of raw onions in your fridge.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Recipe Review - Chocolate Velvet Fudge Cake

Chocolate Velvet Fudge Cake from Rose's Heavenly Cakes - ButterYum
I needed a quick and easy chocolate cake recipe to bring to a gathering yesterday, and this week's Heavenly Cake Baker's selection fit the bill.  This is a very simple bundt cake to prepare - mixes together in minutes.  Overall, the texture was lovely and the flavor was good, although a bit on the dry side when eaten alone - a generous dollop of Morello Cherry Whipped Cream took care of that.

The recipe calls for a silicone bundt cake pan, but others used traditional bundt pans with success.

Oops, see where my cake stuck to the pan a little?

Nothing a sprinkling of powdered sugar can't fix.

Most of the recipes featured by The Heavenly Cake Bakers are not shared online, but they can be found in the book Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  

Morello Cherry Whipped Cream
24 ounce jar of Dark Cherry Morello Cherries in Light Syrup (Trader Joe's), juice reserved
1/2 - 1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon arrowroot 
2 cups heavy cream, whipped

Drain cherries from their light syrup, reserve cherries and put the light syrup and 1/2 cup sugar in a med sauce pan; reduce the syrup to half it's original volume. Whisk in arrowroot until thickened.  Remove from heat and add reserved cherries and almond extract; puree with an immersion blender to desired chunkiness (blender or food processor may also be used).  Refrigerate or chill over an ice bath before folding into whipped cream.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

Sloppy Joe Sandwiches - ButterYum
This recipe comes straight from my Mother-in-law's Central Pennsylvania recipe file.  Folks living in that area frequently refer to ground beef as "Hamburg".  I don't know why they do that, but my sister and I have always been tempted to say, "The word is hamburGER - Hamburg is a city in Germany!!!!"  And although correct, it wouldn't be very nice so we keep our lips sealed.

At any rate, this is a classic recipe that's easy to throw together on a busy weeknight, especially if you have cooked ground beef or turkey in the freezer.  I brown 5-10 pounds at a time, in small batches.  For every pound of ground beef or turkey, I start off by sauteing 1 chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic in a bit of olive oil; add the ground meat and kosher salt and pepper to taste.  I drain, cool, and divide into 1 pound portions in freezer safe containers - great for quick meals like these sloppy joes, meat sauce, lasagna, soup, nachos, tacos, etc.

Sloppy Joe Sandwiches
makes 4-6

1 pound cooked and seasoned ground beef or turkey
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon celery seeds

Combine ingredients in a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Heat to desired temp; stirring occasionally.  Serve on hamburger buns.