Mini Chocolate Truffle Cakes



These Mini Chocolate Truffle Cakes are a chocoholic's dream come true!
From the dense, fudge-like cake to the silky ganache topping, every bite is pure delight.

Cake Ingredients

14 ounces dark chocolate-broken into pieces
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
5 eggs separated
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Use a 9 x 13 pan

Glaze Ingredients:

4 ounces dark chocolate-chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream (almost boiling)

Tip: To make cake easier to cut freeze until firm. Also, cut in squares, if you prefer.

PBS American Masters series with James Beard, Julia Child and Jacques Pepin

There is a series running on PBS called American Masters.  They are currently featuring American cooks such as James Beard, Julia Child and Jacques Pepin - OK I know he is French, but he is an American citizen -  I am enjoying it thoroughly since these are the cooks who inspired me when I was learning to cook.  I still have the books they published and refer to them often.
Give it a try - I think you will enjoy!









VIEW: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/


https://youtu.be/5UAZqcQ_8W8

Betty's Quiche

Quiche Lorraine - essentially a fancy sounding French name for what the Brits would call a bacon and egg pie! Still, the combination does produce an elegant dish that is at home for brunch, lunch or supper. Even better - you can make it ahead and even freeze it. Doesn't get much more versatile than that.

Ingredients:

1 prebaked pie shell, 9 to 10 inches
4 slices bacon cooked till quite crisp and crumbled
1 large onion, sliced about 1/4" inch thick and cooked until softened in bacon fat
6 ounces Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
a few gratings of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


Combine eggs and cream either in a food processor or mix well with a whisk.
Put onion, drained of fat, in bottom of pie crust, top with bacon pieces.
Add cheese and pour in egg/cream mixture.


Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes or until pie seems fairly firm when shaken.

Variations:

Cooked broccoli and cheddar cheese
Smoked salmon, Swiss cheese and asparagus.



WATCH THE VIDEO


Betty in our home pub
This is a revisit to the ubiquitous Fish ‘n Chips. The traditional recipe calls for dipping the fish in batter and deep frying it. Truly delicious but containing about a week’s worth of calories and fat in one serving! Great for a treat about once a year but, if you would like to enjoy this combination more frequently, try my non-traditional recipe.

Non-Traditional Fish ‘n Chips for Two

Ingredients:

8 ounces fish filets (I used flounder)
About 20 Ritz crackers, finely crushed
1 egg
Olive oil spray
2 baking potatoes
Olive oil
Cole slaw for serving


Preheat oven to 375° convection, or 400° conventional oven. 
Peel and cut potatoes into French fries. Place in a non-stick baking pan and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the fish. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Beat the egg well to mix and spread crushed Ritz crackers on a piece of waxed paper. Dip the fish in the egg and then in the cracker crumbs to coat on both sides. Place on prepared baking sheet. When potatoes have started to brown, place fish in oven and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
Serve with cole slaw, if desired.

NOTE: If you are using a thicker fish such as cod or halibut, increase cooking time to about 10 minutes or until it appears done when flaked. 

WATCH THE VIDEO



Mushroom Croustades

These lovely mushroom croustades are from a cookbook that is about 55 years old!  

While many of the other recipes in the book seem outdated, these tartlets have stood the test of time and have remained in my repertoire to this day.

Both the filling and the tart bases can be made ahead and frozen which makes them perfect for impromptu entertaining.

Enjoy!

Croustades:

24 slices fresh, thinly sliced white bread
2 tablespoons very soft butter

Filling:

4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/2 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese to finish.

Watch the video



Sad news from Bridge Kitchenware

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Sad message from our favorite kitchen supply store...Bridge Kitchenware.

April 9, 2017
UPDATE on Bridge Kitchenware
After 71 years of operating a retail store, Bridge Kitchenware is transitioning to a Website only operation on April 9, 2017. 98% of the items found on the bridgekitchenware.com website will be shipped directly by the manufacturer, and are not available in the East Hanover location.

I have partnered with several manufacturers and am looking for more unique and quality products for you. I will still be working out of the East Hanover location by Appointment only. Appointments are available on Thursday's and Sunday's and must be made at least 24 hours in advance by emailing info@bridgekitchenware.com

I still want to offer the best quality merchandise at a fair price and keep my family business open. This was a tough decision to arrive at, but having a retail store and juggling the needs of my family has been challenging. As of tomorrow April 10, I will start working at Paul Miller Audi in Parsippany, NJ as a Audi Brand Specialist.

I will no longer be available during the day to answer customer calls, but please leave a message and let me know when would be a good time to get back to you. Email will be the best way to get in touch with me going forward.

The BridgeVintageChina ETSY operation will continue out of its East Hanover location, orders will be shipped on Thursdaymornings. Orders must be received by Wednesday mornings to be included in Thursday shipments.

I appreciate all of my customers, and want to continue the best in customer service that you have been accustomed to over the past 71 years. I also need to support my family as well. This decision wasn't an easy one, but I am trying to make it a Win-Win for everyone involved."

Best regards,
Steven Bridge
Bridge Kitchenware
198 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, East Hanover, NJ 07936
Phone: 973-884-9000

Betty Hosts A Brunch



Brunch or breakfast seems to be one of the more difficult meals to prepare for guests. Perhaps because the ingredients need such precise timing.
We recently had friends over for brunch and with some pre-planning, everything got on the table perfectly cooked.

The menu consisted of Eggs Benedict, with a crab cake in place of the usual Canadian bacon, spinach salad, a choice of juices, coffee and cake.

To pull this off, I started the day before.

1. Set the table and arrange flowers.
2. Poach eggs. Yes, you can do these a day ahead. Simply drop them in a bowl of ice water the minute they are cooked and refrigerate.
3. Prepare and cook crab cakes. I broiled them on a sheet pan, cooled and covered them and refrigerated.
4. Slice English muffins.
5. Separate egg yolks for Hollandaise sauce. (Freeze whites for another use.)
6. Squeeze lemon juice, add water, cover and refrigerate.
7. Clean and stem spinach.
8. Slice mushrooms.
9. Prepare salad dressing.
10. Take a nap!

The morning of the brunch, it was a simple matter to make coffee, toast the muffins, reheat the crab cakes and eggs, toss the salad, pour juice, and make the Hollandaise just before our guests were expected.
Dessert was easy - my sister brought it!

Recipes for the crab cakes, spinach salad, and Hollandaise are all here on the website together with how to perfectly poach eggs.

Meet Nina (a/k/a Molly)

In honor of our dear Annie- we have rescued young Nina (to be renamed Molly). She was living in a home nearby where life changes made it difficult for her to receive the love and attention she deserves. Meet Nina (Molly):





Tortellini with a Twist


This is a recipe I found on a website called The Smitten Kitchen.  I was looking for something special for our daughter and son-in-law when they returned from a trip to Paris. 

It's always a slight challenge to prepare a single meal to satisfy everyone when one is a vegetarian!  This fills the bill.  Along with that, it takes only about 20 minutes to prepare!


3-4 thin slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 10-14 oz. package cheese tortellini
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup water
6 oz. creme fraiche
Freshly grated parmigiana
Few drops fresh lemon juice

View the video:



Betty's Hibachi Birthday!


Late January,  we celebrated my birthday with a hibachi lunch at a wonderful local Japanese restaurant: Domo 7 in Chester, New Jersey. 

Attending... was our group of ten who celebrate individual birthdays together...the birthday 'boy or girl' pays! 


Here is the video Rick produced:






Coconut Shortbread Cookies -Valentine Special

Mom, sister Ruth , Me (light dress) Gran
The first thing I learned to bake was Scottish shortbread - not surprising since I grew up in Scotland!  My mother's recipe was 1 lb. flour, 1/2 lb. butter, 1/4 lb. sugar.  We made it entirely by hand, having no mixers or food processors in those days.

Because it seemed that the shortbread was different in every household, it was said that it was the temperature of the baker's hands that caused the difference.  It more likely had to do with the fact that people experimented!

I've been adding lots of things to my basic recipe - ground nuts, orange zest, espresso powder, so when I discovered coconut flour at our remodeled supermarket it immediately said "Shortbread" to me.  Some toasted coconut would add more flavor and texture, and a little chocolate couldn't hurt!

And that is the genesis of this recipe. Enjoy!

1/2 lb. butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flaked coconut, lightly toasted
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup coconut flour


View the video:



Lauren's SHRIMP CAKES


Here is my daughter Lauren's terrific recipe for shrimp cakes:

Ingredients:

2 slices bacon, chopped 2 lb. shrimp
2 slices sandwich bread
1/4 c. milk
1 c. chopped scallions
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro ( optional)
1 5 oz. can water chestnuts
4 t. cornstarch
1/2t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
2 c. panko, more as needed
Dipping sauce:

 3/4 cup mayonnaise
 1 1/2 t. soy sauce
 1/2 t. finely grated lemon zest
 1 t. lemon juice

Stir together dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and chill. Pulse bacon in processor until finely chopped. Pat shrimp dry, then add to bacon and pulse until shrimp is coarsely chopped (make sure not to puree). 

Soak bread in milk until very soft. Squeeze out excess mil and add wet bread to processor and pulse until just combined. 

Transfer shrimp mixture to large bowl and stir in scallions, cilantro, cornstarch, salt, sugar, pepper until well combined. Spread crumbs in a pie plate. 

Using a tablespoon measure or small ice cream scoop drop a mound of shrimp mixture on crumbs. Coat well, and saute.

Lauren and Betty