27 January 2014
17 January 2014
Ah yes, the bland old cheese ball. You love to dig into one with some nice crackers, but you don't want to admit that you actually ever made one. You never show up at a pot luck with a cheese ball. You never take a cheese ball to a wine and cheese.
Well, Michelle Buffardi is going to change all that. Crack open Great Balls of Cheese and you will find and illustrious collection of hand crafted cheese balls. Yes, there are some fine recipes, but the truly wonderful aspect of the book is the cheese ball design. Seeing is believing. There is the owl on the cover.
The is a lovely kitty cat, and many more uber-creative balls. There is even a requisite football. Since the Super Bowl is upon us, make this game day extravaganza.
1 1⁄2 pounds sliced bacon
1 medium jalapeño, cored, seeded, and finely chopped (if you want extra heat in your cheese ball, retain some of the seeds)
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, plus 1 tablespoon, for decorating
1 tablespoon chopped scallions
Crackers, for serving
Cook the bacon: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lay the bacon slices in a single layer on 2 baking sheets.Bake until crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels and let cool. Reserve 2 tablespoonsof the bacon grease from the pans, and discard the rest. Once the bacon has cooled, coarsely chop andset aside.
Cook the jalapeño in the reserved bacon grease in a small skillet over medium heat until soft, about 5minutes. Using a stand mixer or a bowl and a spatula, mix together 1 cup of the chopped bacon, thesautéed jalapeño, cream cheese, 1 cup of the cheddar, and the scallions until combined. Form themixture into a ball and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Before serving, form the ball into an oblong football shape and roll in the remaining chopped bacon tocoat. Decorate the top of the football cheese ball with the remaining 1 tablespoon cheddar to resemblelaces.
Serve with crackers.
So,the next time you need to take something to that boring old pot luck, whip up a zippy cheese ball. You will be the belle of the ball.
13 January 2014
Quick Confetti Pickles1 English cucumber
1 medium-size yellow squash
4 Tbsp. canning-and-pickling salt, divided
1 long, slender medium carrot
2 pink, purple, or red icicle radishes or 10 standard-size radishes
4 dill sprigs
1 cup cider vinegar (5% acidity)
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dill seeds1. Wash vegetables. Score cucumber and squash lengthwise with a fork, leaving furrows in the peel on all sides. (This makes scalloped edges when vegetables are sliced.) Trim stem and blossom ends of cucumber and squash; cut into 1⁄8-inch slices. Place in a colander in sink; sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. salt, and toss gently. Let drain 30 minutes.2. Meanwhile, peel carrot, and cut carrot and radishes into 1⁄8-inch-thick slices. Toss together with drained cucumber and squash.3. Place 2 dill sprigs in each of 2 clean (1-pt.) jars or nonreactive containers with lids. Pack vegetables in jars, leaving ½-inch headspace.4. Bring vinegar, next 3 ingredients, remaining 2 Tbsp. salt, and 2 cups water to a boil in a 1½-qt. stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Pour hot vinegar mixture over vegetables to cover. Apply lids. Chill 24 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.
09 January 2014
King James Biscuits
7 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons rose water
1 cup sugar
5 cups pastry flour
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon aniseeds
1. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg yolks, rose water,and sugar for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour and mix for 2 minutes. Add another cup of flour and mix for 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add another cup of flour, and mix for 2 minutes. In a seep rate bowl, whip the egg Whitestone soft peaks. Add another cup of flour, the caraway, aniseed, and the egg whites to the batter and mix for 2 minutes. Add the remaining cup of flour and mix till smooth and elastic. (If the dough is too thick for your mixer, knead in the last addition of flour.)2. Preheat the oven th 350. Drop the dough, 2 tablespoons at a time, onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until light golden brown
06 January 2014
1 pound ham (left over or purchase thick slab), trimmed and diced
1/2 cup chopped onion3 stalks celery, chopped
2 dill "sandwich-sliced" pickles, chopped
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pickle juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the ham, onion, and celery in a food processor. Pulse 20 to 25 times to mince. remove to a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients. chill. taste and adjust the salt and pepper before serving.
2. Serve on sandwiches, crackers, or cheese biscuits or mix into the yolk mixture of deviled eggs.
03 January 2014
Chicken with Walnut Sauce
1 chicken, about 1.6kg, jointed into 8 pieces25g butter5 tbsp olive oil2 onions, peeled and finely sliced300ml dry white wine400ml chicken stock2 tsp sugar2 bay leaves3cm cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp ground)Freshly grated nutmeg3 large eggs120g walnut pieces8 garlic cloves, peeled and choppedA pinch of saffron strandsJuice of 2 limesA handful of parsley (or a third mint, two-thirds parsley), finely choppedSea salt and freshly groundBlack pepper
Have the chicken joints ready to cook. Heat the butter and three tablespoons of olive oil in a flameproof casserole or large frying pan (large enough to later hold the chicken pieces in a single layer). Brown the chicken in batches on both sides, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Don’t crowd the pan, fry the chicken in small batches, removing the pieces to kitchen paper as they are done.
Add another 1 tbsp. of oil to the pan and cook the onions over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened but not brown. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, in a single layer. Add the wine, stock, sugar, bay leaves, cinnamon and a generous grating of nutmeg. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil the eggs for 10 minutes. Drain, cool under cold running water, then peel. Cut around the centre of the egg and separate the yolks from the whites.
Lightly toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat, shaking the pan. Add the remaining olive oil, then the garlic, and cook for a minute. Put the walnuts and garlic, egg yolks, and a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid into a food processor and whiz to a smoothish paste. Stir this into the pan with the saffron and lime juice. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or so, until the sauce has thickened. Check the chicken is cooked by piercing the thickest part with a knife to see if the juices run clear. If not, cook for another 5 minutes and check again. Finely chop the egg whites and sprinkle them with the herbs over the chicken.
A different spin on your usual baked chicken!
Thanks, Ann, for asking that eternal question: Which came first? The chicken or the egg cookbook.