Sunday, November 29, 2009

Creamy Ghirardelli Fudge

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3 cups sugar
1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
11 oz pkg Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips
7oz jar Marshmallow Crème
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped Walnuts or pecans (optional)

Place sugar, butter and milk in heavy 3-quart saucepan. Bring to full boil, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes over medium heat or until candy thermometer reaches 234°F, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until melted. Add marshmallow crème and vanilla; mix well. Stir in nuts. Pour into greased 13x9-inch pan. Cool at room temperature; cut into squares.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Meat Temperatures

*Note before resting means while meat is cooking*

USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): n/a
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 115 degrees
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 145 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 120 degrees to 130 degrees
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 160 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 140 degrees
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): n/a
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 150 degrees
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 170 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 155 degrees to 160 degrees
Ground Beef
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 160 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 160 degrees

USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 160 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 145 degrees
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 170 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 160 degrees

Ground Pork
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 160 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 160 degrees

Whole Bird, Thighs, Legs, Wings, Ground Poultry
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 165 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 165 degrees
Boneless Chicken Breasts
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 165 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 160 degrees

Chocolate Pecan Pie

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 9 inch deep dish pie crust (I prefer Marie Callender’s Frozen)
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes (or melt chocolate in microwave). Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together (do not whisk) eggs, corn syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stirring constantly, gradually add melted chocolate. Pour filling into pie crust; place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange pecans in one even layer over filling.

Bake just until set (filling should jiggle slightly when pie plate is tapped), 50 to 60 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool completely on a wire rack, at least 4 hours before serving.

Herbed Almonds

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups whole blanched almonds
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add almonds, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes.

Stir in thyme leaves. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely. Almonds can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

Great served with cheese or cheese spread!

Baked Brie with Pecans

1 small wheel of Brie or Camembert (about 9 ounces)
1/2 cup pecan pieces
3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
crackers or sliced baguette, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cheese on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate; cool about 20 minutes.

While cheese cools, place nuts on a clean baking sheet; bake until toasted and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle nuts over cheese.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat; simmer until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle warm sauce over slightly cooled cheese and nuts; serve with crackers or baguette.

Butter Pecan Sweet Potatoes

8 medium sweet potatoes (5 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel potatoes and halve lengthwise; slice crosswise 1/2 inch thick. On a baking sheet, toss potatoes with olive oil; season with coarse salt.

Transfer half the potatoes to a second baking sheet; cook both sheets until potatoes are tender, tossing occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with butter, brown sugar, pecan pieces, and cayenne pepper, dividing evenly. Bake until sugar is caramelized and hard, about 10 minutes. Gently toss; serve immediately.

Green Beans in Lemon Butter

1 tablespoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
1 pint green beans, stem ends trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
Freshly ground pepper

Fill a medium (3-quart) saucepan three-quarters full of cold water. Set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Add salt and beans. Cook until water returns to a boil and beans are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and drain.

Immediately return beans to saucepan. Add butter and zest. Toss and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl; serve warm.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pralined Pecans

2 cups raw pecans
1cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt

Boil all ingredients together on medium-low heat until mixture begins to crystalize. This is the tricky part because it's just before it starts to burn. Careful stirring at this point. You have to judge the best time to dump it onto a buttered cookie sheet.(don't let them burn) Spread nuts into a single layer.
Bake in a 250 F oven for 10 minutes. With metal spatula, turn the nuts and bake another 10 minutes. Allow to cool, and package for gift giving or set out as munchies.

Add two tablespoons butter midway through the cooking process. It adds a nice flavor.
Add 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon or either of them for a nice holiday flavor and scent.

Delicious Microwave Chocolate Pie

1 baked pie crust
¼ to ½ cup flour
3 Tbsp cocoa
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups milk
¼ cup margarine
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together flour, cocoa, sugar, and add enough hot water to mix well. Add egg yolks and milk. Cook in microwave safe bowl for 3 minutes. Stir then cook for 3
more minutes. Add margarine and vanilla. Mix well and pour into prepared crust. Can top with meringue or with cool whip.

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 T peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt

Boil sugar and milk without stirring until soft ball stage. Remove from heat. Let stand undisturbed until cool, then add salt, peanut butter, and vanilla. Beat with wooden spoon until stiff. Turn out into a greased 9 inch pan. Let sit until it hardens.

Mexican Candy Pralines

1 T butter
2 c brown sugar
1/2 c evaporated milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 c pecans, chopped

Cook butter, sugar, milk, and salt until mixture forms soft-ballstage, stirring constantly. Add nuts; beat until creamy. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Easy Plump Possum Pie

1 plump possum
2 pie crusts
2 nice taters
3 big carrots
2 cans mushroom soup

Place plump possum feet down and face up in first pie crust. Chop taters n carrots and place them around the plump possum. Pour the mushroom cans over the plump possum. Put second pie crust over the plump possum and squeeze edges down real tight. Bake until plump possum stops grinning and hair is crunchy.

The delightful delicious delectable dish definite defeats duck and all the other birds one other might offer up on Thanksgiving day.

NOTE: My precious husband, Kent, asked that I publish this recipe on his behalf. Beverly Thomas, a life long friend, commented today that for her daughter's wedding many of the recipes were taken from this site. From time to time people tell me they print the recipes gathered here. I think Kent wanted to be a blessing to others, too! :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Easy Berry Cream Pie

1 10 oz. package fresh or frozen blackberries or strawberries (thawed if frozen)
*3 tablespoons blackberry or strawberry jam
1 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip whipped topping (or fresh whipped cream, if desired)
1 9 in. store-bought graham cracker piecrust

Place the berries in a bowl and mash until broken up. Add the jam and mix until combined. Spoon the blackberry mixture into the crust. Top with Cool Whip and serve.
Note: use the flavor of jam as the fruit

Monday, November 2, 2009

Three Seed French Bread

4 tsp fennel seeds
4 tsp poppy seeds
4 tsp sesame seeds
1 (11 oz) can refrigerated French bread dough
1 egg white, beaten
Melted butter

Combine seeds in a shallow dish. Brush dough loaf with egg white. Roll top and sides of dough loaf in seeds. Place, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Cut and bake dough loaf according to package directions. Brush with melted butter after bread is removed from the oven.

NOTE: The initial cost for the seeds to make this brad is money well spent. You can continue to enjoy the seeds in other dishes or make more bread soon!

Creamy Lemon Tartlets

2 (2.1 oz) pkgs frozen mini phyllo pastry shells
1 cup whipping cream
2/3 c lemon curd
½ tsp almond extract
Garnishes: fresh raspberries, blueberries, mint sprigs, lemon zest or slices

Bake pastry shells according to pkg directions; cool compleely (about 20 min).
Meanwhile, beat whipping cream, lemon curd, and almond extract @ medium speed with an electric mixer until thickened and soft peaks form. Spoon mixture into pastry shells. Chill tartlets 1 hour. Garnish, if desired.

Boiled Shrimp

2 (3 oz) pkgs Zatarain’s Shrimp & Crab boil in bag
1 large lemon, halved
1 samll onion
3 Tbsp salt
4 lbs unpeeled, large raw shrimp

Bring first 4 ingredients and 4 qt water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Cover and boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Add shrimp; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. (Shrimp will turn pink and shells will loosen slightly) Drain, discarding lemon, onion, and seasoning boil bag.

I prefer to serve them hot. You may prefer to peel and chill before serving.

Frogmore Stew

¼ c Old Bay Seasoning
4 lb small red potatoes
2 lb smoked sausage, cut in to 1 ½ inch pieces
12 ears frozen corn on the cob
5 lb unpeeled large raw shrimp
Old Bay Seasoning
Cocktail Sauce

Bring ¼ cup Old Bay seasoning and 5 qts water to a rolling boil in a large covered stockpot. Add potatoes; return to a boil and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

Add sausage and corn and return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add shrimp and cook 3 – 4 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Drain. Serve with Old Bay seasoning and cocktail sauce.

Pecan Cheesecake Pie

1/2 (15-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs, divided
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cups chopped pecans
1 cup light corn syrup

Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pie plate according to package directions. Fold edges under, and crimp.

Beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture into piecrust; sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.

Whisk together corn syrup and remaining 3 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla; pour mixture over pecans. Place pie on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350° on lowest oven rack 50 to 55 minutes or until pie is set. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour or until completely cool. Serve immediately, or cover and chill.