Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chicken Piccata with lemon slices
6 thin chicken cutlets
salt and pepper
1/2C flour
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3C dry white wine
1 tsp. peeled and minced garlic
3/4C chicken stock
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 Tbsp. capers, drained
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
12 slice lemon slices
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Season the chicken with salt and pepper then dust with flour.  Heat a sauté pan, add the oil and heat.  Sauté the cutlet 2- 3 minutes on one side.  Turn and sauté the other side 1 – 2 minutes.  Transfer cutlets to warm plates and pour off any excess fat.

Add the wine and minced garlic and cook 2 – 3 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, lemon juice, capers and parsley and heat.  Return the cutlets to the pan and cook one minute, basting with the sauce.  Divide cutlets among the plates.  Add the butter and lemon slices to a pan and turn of the heat.  Whisk until the butter has thickened the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and spoon the sauce over the cutlets.
MAKES:  6 servings 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bittersweet chocolate cake
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, cut in pieces
3 sticks unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/3C water
1C sugar
6 whites
6 yolks

sifted powdered sugar
1/2C cream beaten with sugar and vanilla to taste

Preheat oven to 300F.  Line a 10-inch spring form pan with parchment and butter.  Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water, remove from water and let cool slightly.  Beat whites until soft peaks, add sugar and beat until almost stiff.  Add water to chocolate mixture.  Add the yolks one by one, stirring gently after each addition.  Fold in 1/3 of the whites to lightly the mixture.  Gently fold in the reminder.

Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and bake 50 – 60 minutes or until a thick crust forms on the top and the center does not shake when the pan is moved gently.  Cool cake briefly on a rack.  Run a knife around the inside of the pan and release the ring but leave it around the cake.  When ready to serve, sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar and cut in wedges and serve with whipped cream.
MAKES:  12 servings

Monday, April 14, 2014

Apple Pie Bars
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
1/3C sugar
1-1/2C flour
¼ tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4C light brown sugar
6 Granny Smith apples (about 3 lb.), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2C water, as necessary

1/3C toasted walnuts
1-1/2C quick cooking oats
1C flour
3/4C light brown sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, chilled

vanilla ice cream (optional)

For the crust:  Preheat oven to 375F.  Cream butter and sugar in a food processor.  Pulse in the flour and salt to form a soft dough.  Press the dough into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan.  Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.  Let cool on a rack.

For the filling:  Melt the butter and the brown sugar in a sauté pan, add the apples and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally,
until softened.  Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg and cook until the apples are caramelized and very tender and the liquid has evaporated.  Add the water and let cool.

For the topping:  Mix the oats, walnuts, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a food processor and pulse.  Pulse in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Spread the apple filling over the crust and scatter the crumbs on top, pressing them; lightly into an even layer.  Bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the topping is golden, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  Let cool and cut into 2-inch bars.

If desired, serve with ice cream.

MAKES:  2 dozen bars

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chocolate Almond Torte
½ lb. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ lb. toasted, sliced almonds (about 1-1/2C)
1 heaping cup sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature and separated
½ tsp. vanilla

1/2C cream beaten with sugar and vanilla to taste

Preheat oven to 325F.  Line a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment and butter.

Place the chocolate, almonds and sugar in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until coarsely chopped; transfer to a bowl.

Beat yolks and sugar until light yellow and very thick.  Beat whites until fairly stiff.  Fold half of chocolate mixture into yolk mixture, add half the whites and then the remaining chocolate mixture and gently fold in the remaining whites.

Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and bake one hour.  Cool slightly, remove sides of pan and dust with sifted powdered sugar.  Serve with whipped cream.

MAKES:  8 to 10 servings