Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lobster Thermidor

Sprouts was having an awesome sale on lobster. $4.99 each!! I've never cooked lobster so I searched a few websites for advice. I found several different recipes for Lobster Thermidor on allrecipes.com and recipezaar.com. None of the recipes were exactly what I wanted so I decided to make up my own based on some of the ingredients and methods I liked. This turned out so good. I would definitely make it again if the price is right for lobster.

Lobster Thermidor

2 - 4 oz lobster tails
2 Tbs butter
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 cup flour
1 cup Italian shredded cheese blend

Steam or boil lobsters for 8 minutes or until they turn red. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In the meantime, melt butter in a sauce pan and add garlic. Saute until garlic is light brown. Add chicken broth, milk, and wine. Stir in spices and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add flour slowly and blend until sauce is smooth and slightly thickens. Take lobster our of pot or steamer and let cool until you can handle them with bare hands. Butterfly the lobster tails by cutting them down the center of the top with kitchen shears. The meat will be exposed but don't completely remove it from the shells. Place lobster in an oven safe dish. Pour the sauce over the lobster and cover with cheese. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve immediately.

World Peace Cookies

I was searching through my Dorie book again and I really wanted something sweet but I didn't have any eggs. I decided to make these cookies and they were fabulous.

World Peace Cookies
Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours
- makes about 36 cookies -

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 1/3 cup storebought mini chocolate chips

1. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

3. Turn off' the mixer. Pour in the dry ingredients, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek-if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough-for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don't be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you've frozen the dough, you needn't defrost it before baking—just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

5. GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

6. Using a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you're cutting them—don't be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.

7. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes—they won't look done, nor will they be firm, but that's just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.

STORING: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Edible Image Cake

I was asked to make a cake for a surprise 70th birthday party. When I asked questions to come up with a cake design here were the requirements:

-He likes sports, especially the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Cardinals, but his favorite team is the Brooklyn Dodgers
-He reads the newspaper everyday
-He has 2 grand daughters, and would like to have their pictures on the cake
-He likes white cake but the rest of the family likes chocolate
-He likes white frosting but rest of the family thinks it doesn't have much flavor. I suggested cream cheese frosting and they liked it.
-His favorite color is blue

I can do some simple cake decorating but I've never done a photo cake. I found this website http://tastyfotoart.com/ and thought I would give it a try. My first thought was that I would do separate images for each logo and photo but at $11.95 each that would get expensive fast. Instead I designed a layout with all the photos and logos incorporated.

This is a double layer cake with white cake bottom layer and chocolate cake top layer. It is frosted with cream cheese frosting.