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Posts tagged ‘heavy cream’

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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Strawberry Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich

I have always admired Tartelette and wanted to try her macaron recipes but the ingredients are measured in metric and without a kitchen scale, I was sure to screw it up.  When we saw a digital kitchen scale for less than $20 at Costco today, I immediately grabbed it.  As soon as we came home, I prepared the macaron ingredients.  I used the exact ratio that Tartelette used for her raspberry mascarpone macarons.  Instead of making the mascarpone filling, I wanted to try something different, ice cream!  I used Wilton rose gel coloring to get the pink for the macarons and then I paired them with homemade strawberry ice cream.  It was a heavenly combination!

Macaron shells

90 gr egg whites (3 egg whites, aged in the fridge for 2 days if possible)
25 gr granulated sugar (2 tbsps)
200 gr powdered sugar (2 cups)
110 gr almonds (1 cup)
1/8 tsp Wilton rose gel food coloring

Strawberry ice cream filling

1 pint strawberries (puree)
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups cold heavy cream
1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice

Directions

Pulse powdered sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times which helps the macarons have smooth tops.

Beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy.  Add sugar gradually and beat on high speed until stiff (when you turn the bowl upside down, nothing falls).  Add the rose gel color and continue beating on high speed until well blended and stiff.

Sift flour over mixture, and fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites in three stages (don’t push down on eggs), continuing to fold until a ribbon forms.

Transfer batter to a ziplock bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Let them stand at room temperature for 45-60 minutes.

While you are waiting for the shells to harden, prepare the ice cream by combining strawberry, sugar, cream, and lemon juice in a food processor.  Pour the combination in an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instruction.

Once you are done with the ice cream, put it in the freezer while you continue working on the macarons.

Preheat oven 280˚F. Bake until macarons are crisp and firm, and you see feet forming.  This should take about 10-12 minutes.

Let macarons cool on for 2 to 3 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack.  If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.

Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 tbsp of ice cream.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Raspberry Creme Brulee

Winter this year is a lot more cold and rainy compared to the usual San Diego sunshine.  I miss the summer weather and summer fruits like cherries and berries.  When I saw raspberries at Henry’s today, I grabbed them for my crème brulee.  I got my inspiration from an episode of Barefoot Contessa making raspberry crème brulee as a holiday dessert instead of the classic crème brulee.  Crème brulee is French for burnt crème, consisting of a rich custard base topped with caramelized sugar, but its origin is unknown.  The Brits claimed that the dish was invented in Trinity College in Cambridge while the earliest reference of crème brulee came from the 1691 release of Massialot’s cookbook in France.  I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten and it turned out wonderful, light, and creamy.  This recipe makes 4 servings but you can scale the ingredients to accommodate your guests.  The raspberries add a touch of red, making it a perfect dessert for your holiday dinner.

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4-6 oz of raspberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Whisk sugar and egg yolks together.

In a saucepan, heat heavy cream and vanilla bean paste just to a boil. While cream heats, also begin heating a pot full of water for baking the crème brulee.

Gradually whisk hot cream into the egg mixture. Strain the egg mixture to remove any lumps.

Place a few raspberries in the ramekins and divide mixture evenly between them.

Pour enough water into the roasting pan to come half way up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully place the roasting pan in oven.

Bake until the custards are just set, about 30 minutes.  Remove the ramekins from oven and cool slightly at room temperature, then refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, sprinkle 1/2 tbsp of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and using a propane torch, hold it so the flame just touches the surface. Start at the center and spiral out toward the edges of the ramekins heat until the sugar caramelizes evenly.

Let the crème brulee cool for a few minutes before serving.

Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint.  Enjoy!

French Macarons with Chocolate Ganache Filling

I have waited months to reattempt this recipe.  The first time I had French macarons was at Cocola Bakery in San Jose when I was cake tasting for my wedding and saw how beautiful they look in the display.  Macarons in the U.S. pale in comparison to the ones in France.  While we were honeymooning in Paris, we stopped by the famous Laduree bakery and tried their macarons.  They were amazing.  Laduree had just about any combination you can think of.  We thought about bringing some back for our families but still had 5 days of travel before heading home.

Macarons are known as temperamental cookies and require a lot of patience.  I forgot how many failures I had.  The first time I made them, the mixture was runny and the macarons did not rise.  Another time, the oven was too hot and they all cracked.  My friend, Amy, came over for our poker party and gave me her macaron recipe and some awesome tips.  I followed Amy’s recommendation and did not age my egg whites.  Some recipes call for aging them in the fridge for up to 5 days, but I left my egg whites at room temp for a few hours.  After piping the macarons, I let them sit for 45-60 minutes to harden their shells.  I preheated the oven at 350˚F, and then turned the heat to 280˚F for baking to minimize overheating.  Everyone’s oven is different so you have to find your magic temperature.  I was so happy when I caught a glimpse of the macarons with their beautiful FEET through the oven.  FEET equal success.  I was jumping for joy!  Finally, after many attempts, the macarons came out perfect.  Hopefully, these tips will send you in the right direction on your macaron adventure.

Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour (just ground almond)
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate
½ cup heavy cream

Directions

Pulse powdered sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times which helps the macarons have smooth tops.

Beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy.  Add sugar gradually and beat on high speed until stiff (when you upside down the bowl, nothing falls).

Sift flour over mixture, and fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites in three stages (don’t push down on eggs), continuing to fold until a ribbon forms.

Transfer batter to a ziplock bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Let stand at room temperature for 45-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and reduce oven temperature to 280 degrees. Bake until macarons are crisp and firm, and you see feet forming.  This should take about 10-12 minutes.

Let macarons cool on for 2 to 3 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack.  If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.

For the chocolate ganache filling, melt the chocolate and heavy cream in a double broiler, stirring occasionally until well blended.  Let the ganache cool to room temp.

Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 tsp of chocolate ganache.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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