Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sweet Tea

This is a little something I learned while I lived down in the south. I don't normally enjoy iced tea, but this is fabulous and so refreshing on a hot day.

Bring 3-4 cups of water to a boil. Add a pinch of baking soda to the water and add 3 family sized tea bags. Remove from heat and cover. Allow to sit for at least 10-15 minutes. Pour into gallon pitcher and add sugar. Then fill with cold water. Refrigerate. *the soda takes out the bitterness and darkens the tea....this small amount doesnt change the taste. Enjoy!!

I found this recipe at http://www.grits.com/tea.htm

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Veal Saltimbocca Alla Romana


This is my absolute favorite meal!! I had it for the first time in a little bistro in La Jolla called La Dolce Vita. If you are ever in San Diego, it is a must. I've never made it before but found this recipe on Food Network and decided I am going to give it a try next time Dan and I have an "at home date".

4 (5-ounce) thinly sliced veal cutlets (scallopini)
4 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
8 fresh sage leaves, plus more for garnish
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
Lemon wedges, for serving

Put the veal cutlets side by side on a sheet of plastic wrap. Lay a piece of prosciutto on top of each piece of veal and cover with another piece of plastic. Gently flatten the cutlets with a rolling pin or meat mallet, until the pieces are about 1/4-inch thick and the prosciutto has adhered to the veal.
Remove the plastic wrap and lay a couple of sage leaves in the center of each cutlet. Weave a toothpick in and out of the veal to secure the prosciutto and sage. Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to combine. Dredge the veal in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.
Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter and in a large skillet over medium flame. Put the veal in the pan, prosciutto-side down first. Cook for 3 minutes to crisp it up and then flip the veal over and saute the other side for 2 minutes, until golden. Transfer the saltimbocca to a serving platter, remove the toothpicks, and keep warm.
Add the wine to the pan, stirring to bring up all the delicious flavor in the bottom; let the wine cook down for a minute to burn off some of the alcohol. Add the chicken broth and remaining tablespoon of butter, swirl the pan around. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the saltimbocca, garnish with sage leaves and lemon wedges; serve immediately.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Tunnel of Fudge Cake


This was always my dad's favorite cake as I was growing up. The original recipe called for boxed icing mix but has since been discontinued.

3 1/2 Sticks butter or margarine, softened (14 oz)
1 3/4 c Sugar
6 Eggs
2 3/4 c Powdered sugar
2 1/4 c Flour
1 c Unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c Chopped walnuts (8 oz.) **
1 1/2 tb (to 2 Tbsp.) milk

"In 1966 a chocolate cake called the Tunnel of Fudge Cake, made with a boxed frosting mix, won the Pillsbury BAKE-OFF Contest. Although the frosting mix was discontinued, Pillsbury continued to receive so many requests for the cake that the company developed a scratch recipe to simulate the original. Here it is:"

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan or 10" angel food tube pan. Dust with flour; tap out excess.

2. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating until well blended. By hand, stir in flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, and nuts; mix until well blended. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.

3. Bake 58 to 62 minutes. Since this cake has a soft tunnel of fudge, ordinary doneness test cannot be used. Accurate oven temperature and baking time are critical. Let cake cool upright in pan on a rack for 1 hour; then invert onto serving plate and let cool completely.

4. To make glaze, in a small bowl, combine remaining 3/4 cup powdered sugar, remaining 1/4 cup cocoa, and milk. Mix until well blended. Spoon glaze over top of cool cake, allowing some to run down sides. Store cake tightly covered.

* Nuts are essential for the success of this recipe. ** Since this cake has a soft filling, an ordinary doneness test cannot be used. Accurate oven temperature and baking times are essential.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Deluxe Divine Chicken Divan

Rachael Ray rocks! I saw her show 30 minute meals again today and have to try this. I'll let you know how it turns out. Sounds delicious and easy.


1/3 cup sliced almonds, a couple of handfuls
1 quart chicken stock
1 lemon, zested
2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 cups white rice
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds chicken breast cutlets, 8 cutlets
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full
2 tablespoons plus about 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of pan
1 1/3 pounds, a large bunch, asparagus spears, trimmed of tough ends
6 or 7 large button mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup half-and-half
1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons, a couple sprigs, fresh tarragon, leaves chopped
2 scallions, chopped
Toast almonds in a small skillet until golden. Set aside.

Bring 2 3/4 cups chicken stock, the zest of 1 lemon, thyme sprigs and a tablespoon of butter to a boil in a medium pot with a tight fitting lid. Add rice to water, stir. Return the water to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cove the pot. Cook 18 minutes or until tender, remove from heat. Remove the thyme sprigs, the leaves will have fallen off in the rice.

While the rice cooks, season chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Dredge chicken in about half cup of flour then discard the rest. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, and 1 tablespoon butter to the large skillet. To the hot butter and oil, add the cutlets and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove the meat to a large platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

Bring an inch or 2 of water to a simmer in a shallow pan and season with salt. Add asparagus and cook 4 minutes until just tender but green. Remove and add to chicken platter to keep warm.
Return chicken skillet to the heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Melt butter, add the mushrooms and saute for a couple of minutes. Whisk in 2 rounded tablespoons flour. Cook the flour 1 minute then whisk in 1/3 cup white wine, a couple of glugs. Cook off wine, 30 seconds, then whisk in 1 1/4 cups of chicken stock (remainder of the quart) then the half-and-half. When sauce bubbles, stir in mustard and tarragon and let sauce simmer and thicken 2 to 3 minutes. Stir scallions into rice and fluff with fork. Make a bed of rice on each dinner plate. Top with a serving of steamed asparagus then 2 cutlets of chicken. Cover the chicken with the tarragon sauce, allowing the gravy to spill over edges into asparagus and rice. Sprinkle the plates with toasted nuts. Wow! Can you believe you made this?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Malibu Rum Cake

I got this recipe from Nicki and just adapted it a little. It was so moist and delicious. Gotta try it. And it is so easy!

For the Cake
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 box yellow cake mix (see note below)
1 3 3/4 ounce box Jell-o Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie Filling
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water (or you can use pineapple juice)
1/2 cup vegitable oil
1/2 cup Malibu Rum

For the Glaze
1/4 pound butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Malibu rum
Whipped Cream (Optional)

NOTE: if using yellow cake mix with pudding alredy in the mix omit instant pudding, use 3 eggs instead of 4 and 1/3 cup oil instead of 1/2.


Preheat oven to 325 FGrease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan & Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan. Mix cake ingreadients together & Pour over nuts. Bake for 1 hour & Cool.
For the Glaze, melt butter in sauce pan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes, stiring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in rum. Prick the top of the cake. Spoon and brush glaze evenly over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat until glaze is used up. Decorate with whipped cream if desired. Or serve with ice cream.

Nicki's recipe calls for Bacardi Rum (80 proof) and white sugar instead of brown. I'm gonna try that way next time.