Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Tart

Below is the recipe for a chocalate caramel tart that is sereved at The Swan and Dolphin Resort here in Orlando at Walt Disney World. Believe me you will enjoy this! This serves four.

Ingredients for Sweet Dough:
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Eggs (slightly beaten)
1 Cup Butter

Ingredients for Chocolate Tart Filling:
1/2 Cup Chocolate Bar (chopped)
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Ingredients for Caramel Cream:
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Whipped Cream

Method of Preparation for Sweet Dough:
With an electric mixer, cream the butter and powdered sugar. Slowly add the eggs in three stages, scraping the bowl between each stage. Store the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour before using. Line a tart ring with the sweet dough and bake in a 350° oven for approximately 10 minutes until the dough is golden brown.

Method of Preparation for Chocolate Tart Filling:
Heat the cream up to a boil and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Mix with a rubber spatula until all the chocolate is melted and combined. Pour the mix into the baked tart shell up to the top. Let it cool down and set completely before garnishing.

Method of Preparation for Caramel Cream:
In a hot pan, cook the sugar until it melts and reaches a light amber color. Slowly add the heavy cream to the caramel stirring constantly. Any lumps of caramel can be boiled out of this mix. Cool down the caramel mix and then fold in the whipped cream. Spoon the caramel cream on to the top of the tart as a garnish.

Place the garnished tart in the center of a serving plate. Decorate the plate with chocolate, caramel and chopped nuts of your choice. Serve.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Key Lime Pie

For crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice

For topping
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.

Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Make filling and bake pie:
Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

Make topping:
Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream.

Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Coriander and Cumin

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder arm (round-bone) chops, trimmed boned, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 bamboo skewers, soaked in water 10 minutes

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Whisk first 7 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Add lamb; toss to coat evenly. Let stand 5 minutes. Thread lamb on skewers, leaving 1/2-inch space between each piece.

Grill or broil lamb until crusty brown outside but still pink inside, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Arrange skewers on plates and serve.

Burgers with Mozzarella and Spinach-Arugula Pesto

8 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 10 cups packed)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
Large pinch of dried crushed red pepper
4 cups (packed) fresh arugula leaves, divided (about 5 ounces)
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 3/4 pounds ground beef (20% fat)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 hamburger buns, split horizontally
6 1/3-inch-thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

Rinse spinach; drain briefly, then place in large glass bowl. Microwave spinach, uncovered, on high just until wilted, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Combine garlic, lemon peel, and crushed red pepper in processor; blend until garlic is finely chopped. Add spinach, 2 cups (packed) arugula, pine nuts, and lemon juice; process until coarse puree forms. With machine running, gradually add oil in thin stream and blend until almost smooth. Mix in cheese. Transfer pesto to small bowl; season with salt.

Do ahead: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill.

Combine ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 6 tablespoons spinach-arugula pesto in large bowl; mix lightly with fingertips or fork just until incorporated. Form meat mixture into six 3/4-inch-thick patties. Place patties on platter.

Do ahead: Beef patties can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill burgers to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Grill buns, cut side down, just until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Build burgers with pesto, patties, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and arugula. Cover with bun tops.

Summer is almost here!

Like many of you I cannot wait. This coming weekend marks the beginning at least in my opinion the start of summer, and the many grilling weekends to come. Memorial Day is the first official day to (if you have not already) break out the grill and throw big cuts of meat and veggies onto the hot coals or hot burners. I just like last year I am going to start posting lots of grill based recipes, along with great summer dessert recipes.

I hope you enjoy.

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