Sunday, March 25, 2012

Delightful Dinner

 Cook these for a delightful dinner!

Pommes De Terre a la Boulangere: Potatoes a la Bakery

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 onions, sliced
2 pounds potatoes, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 1/2 cups beef stock (buy "Unsalted" if you can
find it)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Melt half the butter with the olive oil in a saute pan, and gently fry the onions until soft and lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Spread half the onions in the bottom of a 13x9 casserole. Lay a layer of sliced potatoes on top, season with salt and pepper, and scatter with thyme leaves. Build another layer of onions, then a final one of potatoes, and finally pour over the stock. Cover the pan with foil, and bake until all the liquid has been absorbed, 2 to 3 hours, removing the foil for the last hour if you like a crisp top.

 Baked Provencal Tomatoes

3 medium tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 heaping tablespoon bread crumbs
1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
Olive oil, for drizzling

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the tomatoes in half at the waist. Lay them cut-side up in a baking dish, and season with salt, and pepper. Mix the bread crumbs, parsley, and garlic in a small bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the tops of the tomatoes, and then drizzle over a little olive oil. Bake the tomatoes until hot and slumping, about 20 minutes.

Make a simple spring salad with a lettuce mix, granny smith apples, goat cheese and cranberries topped with your favorite dressing!  I am bead lover so don't forget the baguette with homemade herb butter.

Herb Butter

1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons minced green onions
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill (1/4 tsp dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mash together with a spoon until well-combined. Put back in fridge if not serving immediately, but re-soften in the microwave for 5-8 seconds before serving.

 Finish the evening off with a bite of this goodness!

Chocolate Pots De Creme with Cherry Whip

4 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1/4 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cherry jam or preserves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a kettle of water to a boil over medium heat. Break the chocolate into a heat-proof bowl.

Heat 1 1/2 cups of the cream and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk just until and sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Put the yolks in a small bowl; while whisking, add a small amount of the warm chocolate mixture to temper the yolks. Whisk the yolk mixture into the chocolate until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a liquid measuring cup for easy pouring.

Put 4 (6-ounce) ramekins into a high-sided baking dish. Evenly fill the ramekins with the chocolate mixture. Carefully fill the pan with the hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins and transfer the pan to the oven.

Bake until custards are set but still jiggle slightly in the center, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully transfer the custards to a rack and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the custards at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.

When ready to serve, whisk the cherry jam in a small bowl until loosened and thin. In another bowl with a clean whisk, whip the remaining 1/2 cup cream and 1 teaspoon sugar until firm peaks form; gently fold the whipped cream into the cherry jam until just combined and streaky. Serve the pots de creme chilled, topped with a dollop of cherry whipped cream.