Monday, December 29, 2008
Creamy Mushroom Phyllo Triangles
courtesy Cooking Light
This elegant appetizer takes a couple of hours to make, but you can do all the preparation ahead of time. Don't fold triangles too tightly or the mixture will burst through the phyllo. Assemble and freeze up to two weeks before the party. Don't thaw the triangles before baking; just add seven minutes to the baking time.
3/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 3/4 ounce)
1 pound button mushrooms
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
24 (18 x 14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
Cover porcini mushrooms with boiling water in a bowl. Let stand 1 hour. Drain well; chop.
Place half of button mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 8 times or until finely chopped. Remove from processor. Repeat procedure with remaining button mushrooms. Add onion to processor; pulse 8 times or until finely chopped.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add button mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are tender and liquid evaporates (about 10 minutes). Stir in porcini mushrooms, oregano, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheese; stir until cheese melts. Stir in parsley.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or work surface (cover remaining phyllo to prevent drying). Cut sheet in half lengthwise; lightly coat with cooking spray. Fold each phyllo piece in half lengthwise to form a (3 1/2-inch-wide) strip. Spoon a level tablespoon of mushroom mixture onto 1 short end of each strip, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold 1 corner of edge with 1-inch border over mixture, forming a triangle; continue folding back and forth into a triangle to end of strip. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo, cooking spray, and mushroom mixture. Place triangles, seam side down, on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat tops with cooking spray.
Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
Chill the Champagne and juice in the refrigerator before the party; then mix the punch right before serving. I actually mixed everything except the champagne in separate gallon sized zip-top baggies. That way, when I needed to mix another pitcher, everthing was good to go!
1 (750-milliliter) bottle Champagne, chilled
3 cups cranberry-apple juice, chilled
1/4 cup thawed white grape juice concentrate
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
Stir together all ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher.
Serve in Champagne flutes.
1/2 pound imported Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cherry brandy, such as kirsch
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard Pinch nutmeg Assorted dippers
In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard.
Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy, mustard and nutmeg.
Arrange an assortment of bite-sized dipping foods on a lazy Susan around fondue pot. Serve with chunks of French and pumpernickel breads. Some other suggestions are Granny Smith apples and blanched vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus. Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers, dip, swirl and enjoy!
(not sure where this recipe came from, it's just in my files and happens to be our fav :) )
16 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. caramel syrup/ice cream topping
3 tbsp Grand Marnier
Slowly melt together all ingredients over a double boiler. Once all items are fully combined, serve and enjoy! Some dippers may include bananas, strawberries, pretzel sticks, pound cake, angel food cake, marshmellows, green apples.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
1 large garlic clove, pressed
Take the 2 parts of one half next to each other and slice into thin pieces 1/8" thick.
Repeat until potatoes are all sliced. Dump into a bowl of cold water.
This particular cake plate is challenging b/c the bottom also has a lip on it. Good for keeping the cake fresh, bad for the person who wants to frost. So, I lay a few bits of parchment around the edges and then put the dome on to press the parchment into the plate. This helps stabilize the paper so I can easily throw the first layer onto the plate.
1/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup whipped cream
1 package Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic Yellow Cake Mix
1 cup cranberry juice
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/3 cup Canola oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon red food coloring
A few tbsp of flour
2 8 oz packages cream cheese
For the cake:
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Tonite's assignment was to jazz up the boring, old chicken breast.
I happened across this particular recipe in my ages old "To Try" pile that has been languishing in the back of my file cabinet.
I have no idea where this particular recipe came from, so if you do, let me know! I'd love to give someone credit for this wonderfully savory chicken recipe. Not only is it tasty and looks great, but it's also a snap to make!
Parmesan Dijon Chicken
2 chicken breasts
3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp white wine
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. panko
1/2 c. fresh grated parmesan
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Combine mustard, wine and salt in one bowl and the panko, parmesan and pepper in another. Dip chicken in mustard mixture, then dredge through panko mixture. Place in greased baking dish (one w/a rack inside is preferable so the bottom gets crispy as well) and bake at 400 degrees for approx. 30-35 minutes.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Living here in RiVA for the past 5 years, I've heard pretty much all of the scuttlebutt surrounding Zu's. Words like 'dump', 'dive', 'surly', 'attitude', 'churlish' and 'fractious' have all been thrown around.
Being a Zu neophyte and having heard these stories, I was touched with a tad bit of mild apprehension about my lunch today. My anxiety was all for naught. Certainly, all of the aforementioned appellations apply. However, 'heavenly', 'delightful', 'authentic','charming', and 'intoxicating' would be appropriate as well.
Richmond, I get it. Many times I don't, but this time, I really, really do. Ours was a simple lunch, not too many folks up in the joint and one of our party almost got stabbed when she requested her entree they forgot after the rest of us had already finished. (Well, she didn't really almost get stabbed, but I feel a strong moral imperative to help hold up the fearsome urban legends swirling around MZ's). But I get it.......there's just this vibe. No other way to explain it. Oh, and the pasta! My lord.......
We ordered the white pizza, penne gorgonzola, spaghetti carbonara and the fabulous pasta w/sausage, broccoletti and ricotta. The white pizza was exploding with roasted garlic flavor. The smell overpowered the restaurant as it was being made (no complaints here however, as my enthusiasm for garlic knows no bounds).
If you haven't gone, I encourage you to go. All the things you've heard are true and make for a unique and revered Richmond experience. Get thee to Zu's, pronto!
** I would also like to add, that without any prompting or threat of physical violence, the manager took 1/2 off of my friend's dish that had been forgotten.
Richmond, VA 23220