…tasty bites to stimulate your taste buds..

Posts tagged ‘butter’

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vu has been craving for chocolate chip cookies so I decided to take on the cookie challenge.  Let’s just say that cookies are not my forte.  When I was still in pharmacy school, I failed miserably trying to bake chocolate chip cookies for a potluck.  A classmate of mine, O, took a bite of my cookies and said he felt sorry for whoever would marry their creator.  Then he kept on going without realizing that I had heard the entire commentary.  When O was done, I quietly took ownership of those cookies.  All of our friends roared with laughter as O’s face turned beet red and he started apologizing profusely for his comments.  I laughed it off and admitted that I was not born a baker.  Ever since, I am still intimidated by cookies.  Today, I am using a bit of help from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc At Home.  I altered the recipe a bit, using less butter and sugar to cut down on the calories.  They turned out quite delicious, one of the best chocolate chip cookies ever!  Quite moist and chewy! Too bad O is not around to taste them.

Ingredients

2 1/3 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 stick of butter, cut into small cubes
¾ cup of brown sugar
½ cup of granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz of chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.

Add both sugars and beat until well combined.  Add the eggs one at a time and then mix in the vanilla, scraping the bowl as necessary to blend everything.

Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine.

Mix in the chocolate chip.

Use an ice cream scooper, take about 2 tablespoons per cookie and transfer the dough onto a baking sheet.  Leave about 2 inches between the dough because it will spread.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. Cool the cookies for 2 minutes.  Enjoy them with a glass of milk.

Take a bite of this!

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Inspired by an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay with a lobster mac and cheese challenge, I decided to test out my own recipe for dinner.  With Vu’s love of mac and cheese and my craving for lobster, it was a perfect combination.  I went the unconventional route and added mascarpone cheese to my recipe.  Yes, mascarpone cheese!  Who says you can only use mascarpone cheese for desserts!  The sauce was creamy and delightful!  The lobster meat was tender and sweet, elevating the dish to a new level.  I would proudly serve this dish at a dinner party.

Ingredients

1 tbsp butter
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 lb lobster, should yield 1-1 ½ lb of meat
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 ½ cup heavy cream
1 ½ cup half and half
2 bay leaves
1/2 yellow onion, cut into fourths
a pinch of nutmeg
1 cup of mascarpone cheese
a pinch of salt
a pinch of pepper
½ pound of Barilla medium shells conchiglie
½ cup of panko (Japanese bread crumb)
½ cup of butter
½ cup of shredded Gruyere cheese
Chives for garnish

Instructions

In a large stockpot, add 1 cup of water, and steam the lobster for 5 minutes.  Let the lobster cool down before you separate the meat from the shell.  Cut the lobster meat into small pieces.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add in the garlic.  Sautee the lobster meat and season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper for 5 minutes on medium heat.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375˚F.  In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the shell pasta until al dente, 6-8 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

For the béchamel sauce, in a small saucepan, melt the butter on low heat and whisk in the flour, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, half and half, bay leaves, onion, and nutmeg and bring the mixture to a simmer over 10 minutes.  Strain and discard the solids.

Return the cream mixture to the sauce pan and gently stir in the mascarpone cheese until everything is well blended.  Whisk in the butter and flour mixture and continue cooking for 10 minutes on low heat.  Add in the pasta and lobster meat and season to taste.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and butter and stir to moisten evenly.

In a casserole dish or individual cocotte, add the pasta mixture, top with Gruyere and bread crumbs, then bake for 10 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown and the cheese has completely melted.

Remove from the oven and let it cool.  Garnish with chives before serving.

Enjoy!

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