Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pecan Coconut Torte

I got this recipe from my brother, who always makes the most amazingly bad for you desserts. It's so good! I love pecan pie, but this tops any pecan pie I've ever eaten.

1/2 c brown sugar
1 c old fashioned rolled oats
1 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 c cooled melted butter

Stir together the sugar, oats, baking powder & salt. Add the butter. Mix well. Pat into the bottom and 1/2" up the sides of a 9" spring form pan. Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes. Cool.

1/3 c honey
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c butter
1/4 c heavy cream
1 c old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c flaked coconut
1 1/4 c chopped pecans

Combine the honey, sugar & butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until smooth. Stir in the cream. In a bowl, mix the oats, coconut, pecans and a pinch of salt. Poor the butter mixture over the oat mixture and mix well. Poor into the cooled shell. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are golden. The middle will still look wet until it cools. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan. Let cool completely.

If you'd like, melt 1 oz semi sweet chocolate with 1 t butter and drizzle over the top.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stuffed Roasted Chicken

This was invented at the grocery store as I wandered around. By placing the stuffing under the skin it infuses flavor and keeps the chicken moist. The whole creative process makes me happy. I love putting on some music and going to town in the kitchen. I do have the advantage of having a wonderful herb garden pretty much year round here in California. I put the Chicken on a bed of red bliss potatoes cut in half instead of a roasting rack. Unfortunately we dug in and I forgot to get a picture.

1 4-5 lb Roasting Chicken
1 Large Shallot
10 oz Sliced Mushrooms
2 Green Onions
1T Butter
4 Cranks of the pepper mill
1t Salt
1t Honey
3oz Blue cheese
1 Lemon
4 Rosemary Sprigs (2 will go inside the chicken cavity)
1/4 cup Basil
6 Thyme sprigs
3 Oregano sprigs
Red Bliss Potato's cut in half, enough to fill the bottom of the pan, amount will depend on their size

Chop shallot and green onion, roughly chop mushrooms. Place butter in pan on medium heat and add shallot, green onion and mushrooms saute until tender. Add salt and pepper, zest the lemon, and place half of the juice into the pan. Add chopped basil, 2 sprigs rosemary, thyme and oregano. Taste and if too sour adjust with honey. Crumble blue cheese into the mix. Goat cheese would probably work also.

Prepare the chicken taking out any gibblets from the cavity. Salt and pepper the cavity, fold wings under the chicken, carefully separate the skin from the meat at the neck of the chicken, try not to rip the skin, you want to get into the leg and thigh cavities you may have to break the connective tissue to do this.

Preheat oven to 400. Stuff the chicken by taking small amounts of the stuffing and pushing it under the skin, you can easily move the stuffing down the chicken into the legs and thighs by manipulating the skin. The stuffing should be distributed evenly under the skin. Stuff 2 springs of rosemary and the other half of the lemon into the chicken cavity. Tie the legs together. Place cut potatoes in pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast for 15 minutes then turn down the oven to 325 and continue roasting for about another hour and a half to 2 hours. Baste with pan juices occasionally. I've found that the skin will brown faster with the stuffing under it so be prepared to place foil over the parts that are brown. The meat temp should be about 180 when done.

I made gravy with the pan juices by taking out all but about a tablespoon of fat, added 1T flour and mixed until smooth over medium heat. I then added about a cup of unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk which is what I had and stired until smooth.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oatmeal Carbonara

This was something I did when trying to get more protein in my diet and it was really good. The idea came from pasta carbonara. If you make a bigger pot of oatmeal you could definitely add more eggs. You can use all water or all milk but I find just the little bit makes for a richer tasting oatmeal. For every 1/4c of steel cut oatmeal you need 1c of liquid.

Steel cut Oatmeal Carbonara (one serving)
¼ c Steel cut oatmeal
¾ cup water
¼ cup milk
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
Pancetta or bacon
Optional: cheese

Place the oatmeal, water, milk and salt in a saucepan bring to boil then turn down to simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. In the mean time, cube bacon or pancetta and cook until crispy. When the oatmeal is almost together, crack 1 egg into the hot mixture and stir until cooked. Take the second egg and add just the white and stir until cooked. If you want to go lower calorie just use the egg whites. You may add cheese if you’d like. Place in a serving bowl and top with cooked chopped bacon.