Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Coeur de la Creme-oh my heart

So for Easter I made Coeur de la Creme, from the Barefoot Contessa. My little friend L. helped me garnish the plate.

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • Raspberry Sauce, recipe follows
  • 2 half-pints fresh raspberries


Place the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the beater and bowl with a rubber spatula and change the beater for the whisk attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the heavy cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and vanilla bean seeds and beat on high speed until the mixture is very thick, like whipped cream.

Line a 7-inch sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels so the ends drape over the sides and suspend it over a bowl, making sure that there is space between the bottom of the sieve and the bottom of the bowl for the liquid to drain. Pour the cream mixture into the cheesecloth, fold the ends over the top, and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, discard the liquid, unmold the cream onto a plate, and drizzle Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce around the base. Serve with raspberries and extra sauce.

Raspberry Sauce: (I have much more to say about this sauce)......

1 half-pint fresh raspberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup seedless raspberry jam

2 tablespoons Raspberry Liquor (I would use 1 teaspoon if kids will be eating this with you)

Place raspberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and orange liqueur into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.

Yield: 2 cups

Trip to the Kitchen Store

So for Easter, I went to the R. house. It was a last minute invitation as I was supposed to work, but someone wanted the evening off, so after a shift change, I got the invite. I offered to bring something that was already on the menu. And the best part, I had to go to the kitchen store to get a new dish to make the dish. So, I went to one of my favorite stores Sur La Table. In NYC, it would have been Broadway Panhandler, in Fort Collins, The Cupboard. More on the dish I made

Monday, April 5, 2010

Green Olive Pesto with Black Olives

This is one of my go-to-dishes. I made a double batch and freeze one.

  • 1 pound spaghetti or bucatini
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) ni├žoise or other green olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) kalamata or other black olives, pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Cook the spaghetti al dente, according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the garlic, green olives, parsley, and basil. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and process until the oil is fully incorporated. Reserve 1/4 cup of the Green Olive Pesto for another use. Roughly chop the black olives. In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook the remaining pesto for 2 minutes. Add the spaghetti, reserved pasta water, remaining black olives, and salt and cook until the water is absorbed and the spaghetti is heated through.

Note: if you freeze this, do not freeze with black olives and be sure to bring to room temperature before you use it.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Whole Foods Makes Me Dinner

When I work a 12 hour shift, I must confess, cooking is the last thing on my mind when I get home (couch, book or tv, nice beverage). I am also interested in how to stretch every thing. So, the other night, I hit the Whole Foods on my way home. They have a dinner plate (vegetarian, meat, seafood--prices increase $1 per grade), main course and two sides. So I went with sirloin steak (cooked with a light sweet tangy sauce), Swiss Chard and Polenta with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese. The price $12, but wait there is more. This is 1/3 of what I got so I got three meals of it (the Polenta and Swiss Chard only made it two meals). So while it was not the bargain basement deal, it was worth a few dollars of hassle money per meal.