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Frozen Broccoli on a Stick

August 5, 2012

Peppermint hot fudge sauce

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Desserts,Holiday — admin @ 8:10 pm

From The Naptime Chef.

This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law who got it from her friend, Rhoda Janis, almost 30 years ago. As you all know, I love a good hand-me-down recipe, and this one has really stood the test of time. I think this hot fudge sauce is better than any other I have ever tasted because it is the perfect ratio of chocolate, butter, cream and sugars. Then, to really push the flavor over the top, I add pure peppermint extract to give it a minty candy cane-esque flavor.

If you have friends who don’t like peppermint, like my friend Meghan for example, simply use vanilla extract in lieu of peppermint. This works very well and makes the sauce even more versatile. When I make it like this I am able to drizzle it over poached fruit, berry pavlovas and even slices of bundt cake. The uses are endless, although, I’ll admit, sometimes I just eat it straight out of the jar and don’t even bother with basic vanilla ice cream.

Since this sauce requires stirring over a hot stove I make this exclusively during my daughter’s afternoon naptime. I don’t want to risk any kitchen accidents, so it is safer for her to be asleep in her crib then trying to cook with me. When I make these for holiday gifts I double the recipe to make a large quantity. This way it usually only takes me two afternoon naptimes (2 hours each) to get everything made and put in jars to giveaway. As far as I can tell, there is a hardly a simpler and more efficient way to prepare my Christmas gifts!

Rhoda’s Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce
a recipe from Rhoda Janis
ingredients
2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
¼ t. Kosher salt
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 t. pure peppermint extract OR pure vanilla extract

Yields 4 cups

Instructions

1. In a doubler boiler, or a heatproof bowl over simmering water, stir together cocoa, sugars and salt. Immediately add the cream and butter.

2. Cook this mixture over the simmering water, stirring constantly to make sure it stays smooth. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
3. Allow the sauce to cool for 5 minutes. Then stir in the peppermint or vanilla extract.

4. This will store well in the refrigerator for up to one month. If giving as gifts pour the sauce into sterilized, airtight mason jars.

Everyone should have a great hot fudge sauce recipe in their repertoire and this one won’t disappoint. I love that it can be made peppermint or plain and still taste delicious. I’ll bet it might be delicious with orange zest, too, if you wanted to give that a try.

As you can see, making this takes about 15 minutes from start to finish (obviously there was a little time lapse above). There is hardly an easier and faster way to make delicious holiday gifts for your friends and family.

My notes: I gave this out at Christmas last year to rave, RAVE reviews. Everybody loved it and has asked for more this year. Oh, and at least last year Whole Foods sold Organic Valley Heavy Cream in 1/2 gallon containers, which was a good way to save money.

January 28, 2011

Sayaingen no gomayogoshi (String bean salad with sesame seed dressing)

Filed under: Favorites,Holiday,Summer Fare — admin @ 5:09 pm

From a much-mimeographed (yes, really!) set of recipes my mom got in a how-to-make-sushi class she took many, many years ago. These beans are to die for, they are that good. Truly. AT LEAST double the recipe, but I recommend quadrupling it.

1/2 lb string beans, boiled and then cut diagonally (cutting them after boiling keeps them from getting soggy, or so say the hand-written notes)
6 Tbs. sesame seeds, ground (Can use a mortar and pestle, if you’re crazy, or a blender or food processor if you enjoy modern conveniences and want to eat sometime this year. <- my notes) 3 Tbs sugar 3 Tbs shoyu (soy sauce. tamari will work too, of course) 1. Boil string beans in water with a pinch of salt for 3-5 minutes. 2. Drain the beans and rinse in cold running water, drain well. (Handwritten: important, to keep the color.) 3. In a bowl, combine sesame, sugar, and shoyu. Add beans. Mix well.

November 24, 2010

Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes With Scallion Butter

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Favorites,Holiday — admin @ 9:30 am

from Gourmet… These are really splendid; they’re easy to make but add the perfect touch to holiday meals — and, really, any time. Of course, I love Japanese Sweet Potatoes anyway, which probably helps. :)

Serves8

* Active time:10 min
* Start to finish:1 1/4 hr

November 2007
If you’ve never had pale-fleshed Japanese sweet potatoes before, you’ll be surprised by their subtler, drier flesh, which tastes unmistakably of chestnut. A bit of miso mixed into the scallion butter stealthily rounds out the interplay of sweet and umami that will have you eating all the way through to the last flaky remnants of skin.

* 8 small slender Japanese or Garnet sweet potatoes (4 to 5 lb total)
* 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, well softened
* 1 1/2 tablespoons miso paste (preferably white)
* 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion

* Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in upper third.
* Prick potatoes all over with a fork and put on a foil-lined large baking sheet. Bake until very soft when squeezed, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
* While potatoes bake, stir together butter, miso, and scallion until combined.
* Slit hot potatoes lengthwise and, using oven mitts, push in sides to puff up potato. Serve with some scallion butter in center of each and with additional scallion butter on the side.

Cooks’ notes:

* Scallion butter can be made 4 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to warm room temperature and stir before using.
* Sweet potatoes can be roasted (but not cut) 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, covered with foil. Reheat potatoes on a baking sheet on middle rack of a 350°F oven until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Recipe by Lillian Chou

December 14, 2009

LA Times Dry-brined Turkey

Filed under: Holiday,Main dishes — admin @ 10:02 pm

(Excerpted from: The LA Times)

Roast salted turkey

Total time: 2 hours, 50 minutes

Servings: 11 to 15

Note: This is more a technique than a recipe. It makes a bird that has concentrated turkey flavor and fine, firm flesh and that is delicious as it is. But you can add other flavors as you wish. Minced rosemary would be a nice finishing addition. Or brush the bird lightly with butter before roasting.

1 (12- to 16-pound) turkey

Kosher salt

1. Wash the turkey inside and out, pat it dry and weigh it. Measure 1 tablespoon of salt into a bowl for every 5 pounds the turkey weighs (for a 15-pound turkey, you’d have 3 tablespoons).

2. Sprinkle the inside of the turkey lightly with salt. Place the turkey on its back and salt the breasts, concentrating the salt in the center, where the meat is thickest. You’ll probably use a little more than a tablespoon. It should look liberally seasoned, but not over-salted.

3. Turn the turkey on one side and sprinkle the entire side with salt, concentrating on the thigh. You should use a little less than a tablespoon. Flip the turkey over and do the same with the opposite side.

4. Place the turkey in a 2 1/2 -gallon sealable plastic bag, press out the air and seal tightly. Place the turkey breast-side up in the refrigerator. Chill for 3 days, turning it onto its breast for the last day.

5. Remove the turkey from the bag. There should be no salt visible on the surface and the skin should be moist but not wet. Place the turkey breast-side up on a plate and refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours.

6. On the day it is to be cooked, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

7. Place the turkey breast-side down on a roasting rack in a roasting pan; put it in the oven. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and carefully turn the turkey over so the breast is facing up (it’s easiest to do this by hand, using kitchen towels or oven mitts).

8. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, return the turkey to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone, reads 165 degrees, about 2 3/4 hours total roasting.

9. Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a warm platter or carving board; tent loosely with foil. Let stand at least 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute through the meat. Carve and serve.

Each of 15 servings: 564 calories; 77 grams protein; 0 carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 26 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 261 mg. cholesterol; 856 mg. sodium.