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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hazelnut Squares

I just finished making these from the December issue of Bon Apppetit, page 122, called Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Caramel Squares. Only mine are drizzled, not dipped. They were not difficult at all to make and are delicious!

The only special equipment you need is a candy thermometer to make the caramel layer. You combine butter, sugar, honey, orange peel and cream and cook till it reaches 230 degrees.

You make the cookie crust (forgot to take a picture of this), then make the caramel sauce, adding chopped hazelnuts, spread mixture over cooked cookie crust and bake another 10 minutes.

And viola!

Add to a festive Holiday plate and you're ready to go. Here's the recipe:

Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Caramel Squares

The Crust:
2 cups flour
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/3 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into cubes

Mix in food processor till consistency of meal. Press into 13X9X2 metal pan, lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

The Caramel:
2/3 cup sugar
6 tbsp heavy whipping cream
2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
6 tbsp butter
1/3 cup orange blossom honey
1/4 chopped candied orange peel (I did not use this)
5 ounces hazelnuts

Mix all ingredients excepts hazelnuts in heavy saucepan. Boil till reaches 230 degrees, about 6 minutes. Add nuts and spread immediately onto cookie crust. Bake another 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool about 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

The Chocolate:
Melt 8 oz bittersweet chocolate in bowl over simmering water. Dip corner of cut cookie into chocolate, or drizzle with chocolate.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brussels Sprouts

I really like Brussels Sprouts! My husband, not so much. But, recently I found Brussels Sprouts still on the stalk --- $3.99 at the Dekalb Farmers market---so of course I had to buy it because it looked so cool! This would make a great centerpiece (if you have the right device to hold it up). I called on my Facebook friends for recipes and my neighbor Joe Bickley had a great recipe.

I made it last night and it was great! And the colors will make for a beautiful addition to the Holiday table. I used some of the pine nuts I've been saving that I brought back from Paris.

Here's the recipe:

1 lb Brussels Sprouts
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp peanut oil
1/4 pine nuts, toasted
1/4 golden raisins, plumped in warm water
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt/pepper to taste

Slice Brussels sprouts and saute in butter and oil, seasoning with a little salt. Saute for 8-10 minutes, til tender. Add remaining ingredients and toss.

I served them with pork sauteed with apples, prunes, and mustard.

Thanks, Joe!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Leftover Turkey

Thanksgiving has come and gone and we still have a ton of leftovers. One of my clients also had leftovers and asked me if I could come up with a way to use leftover turkey. I suggested Turkey Pot Pies and I included that in yesterday's cookdate for them.

Here's how I did it:

3 carrots - sliced
1 white potato - large dice
1 onion - chopped
3 stalks celery - chopped
1 cup frozen green peas
2 cups chopped leftover turkey - large dice
3 tbsp flour
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup half and half
salt and pepper to season
1 tbsp fresh thyme

Blanch carrots for 4 minutes. Blanch peas for 1 minute. Cook potato till tender in water used to blanch. Saute onion and celery till tender. Add blanched carros, peas, potatoes and turkey. Stir in flour, cooking about 1 minute. Stir in wine till smooth. Add chicken broth, simmer till sauce is thickened. Add half and half. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.Roll out pastry dough large enough to cover insides of crock completely (you can use frozen pie crust too). Fill with turkey pot pie filling. Roll dough to make top. Seal and slit for venting. Cook at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, till dough is browned.

I'll be making these for us too since we have turkey leftovers still. I made stock over the weekend and have 5 quarts in the freezer now. I hate to waste food! Hopefully we'll get through our leftovers by the end of the week. I might be ready for a hamburger!