Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

I love traditional pumpkin pie, but this pumpkin chiffon pie is sooo much better. I rarely make changes to our Thanksgiving menu, but after eating this pie, the family unanimously agreed that they wanted it for Thanksgiving. This is a riff on a recipe by Paula Deen. She used Cool Whip which I don't like, but you could substitute it-just don't tell me about it. The pecan-graham cracker crust (which is what really takes it over the top) ocurred when I happened to have some extra chopped pecans from another recipe.

 Prep Time:10 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time:10 min
 Serves: 8 servings

 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust, prepared according to package& baked, or Pecan/graham cracker crust
 32 jumbo marshmallows or 1 large pck mini marshmallows
 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 8oz container of heavy whipping cream, beaten.
 1 tbl bourbon
 1/2 tsp vanilla

Pecan/graham cracker crust
3/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans (toast pecans first, then chop)
3/4 cup graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted

Mix all ingredients and press into pie plate.  Bake 10-12 minutes at 350.  Let cool COMPLETELY!

Place marshmallows in a large bowl and microwave on high 3 minutes.  Stir marshmallows and heat a few minutes more if not completely melted. Add the pumpkin puree.  Stir in the spice and salt. Taste and add more spices if you like (remember that chilling dulls the flavors). When the mixture is completely cool, fold in the whipped cream. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Caramelized-Pineapple Baked Alaska


Papa Joe made this Friday night for guests.  He said that it was easy and delicious.  So here it is--an easy retro dessert from Food and Wine Magazine.  I think that it would be good to add a layer of pound cake (Sara Lee makes a good one.) at the bottom of the ramekin.  Sprinkle the cake with some rum and proceed.  I also think that you should sprinkle a little rum on the pineapple chunks. Papa Joe substituted canned pineapple chunks for fresh which really took a lot of the work out of it.

  1. 1 pint coconut or vanilla ice cream
  2. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  3. 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (12 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch dice
  4. 3 tablespoons dulce de leche
  5. 4 large egg whites
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. 4-6 tbls confectioner's sugar
  1. Preheat the broiler and position the rack nearest the heat. Peel the cardboard carton off the ice cream and cut the ice cream into 4 round slices. Pack the slices into four 6-ounce ramekins, transfer to a baking sheet and place in the freezer.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Add the diced pineapple and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the dulce de leche and cook, stirring, until the pineapple is lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of dulce de leche and transfer the pineapple to a plate. Place the plate in the freezer to cool the pineapple.
  3. Put the egg white in a clean mixing bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water and, using an electric mixer with clean beaters, beat the egg white and salt at high speed until firm peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
  4. Spoon the cooled pineapple over the ice cream along with any juices. Cover the ramekins with the meringue and broil just until lightly toasted, about 45 seconds. Serve right away.

MEATBALLS IN CHIPOTLE SAUCE Albóndigas al chipotle

I saw this on Patti's Mexican Table, and made it last week.  It was delicious.  I added a whole chipotle, chopped, and, at first, I thought it was going to be too picante (spicy hot), but noooo. It was perfect.  The simmering, and of course the rice, calmed things down to the perfect level of spiciness. I used 1 pound of beef and froze enough for another meal. 

Serves 6 - 8 

 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons white onion, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, or to taste
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, optional
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 to 3 fresh cilantro sprigs, or to taste

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat with the eggs, minced garlic, breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hands or a spatula. 

Place tomatoes in a saucepan and cover with water; simmer over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until cooked through and mushy. 

In a blender, add the cooked tomatoes along with 1/4 cup of their cooking liquid, 2 garlic cloves, white onion, the sauce from the chipotle chiles in adobo and, if desired, one whole seeded chipotle chile. Purée until smooth. 

Pour the oil into a large soup pot and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, pour in the puréed tomato mix. It will sizzle and jump, that is ok! Let it simmer, with the lid ajar, anywhere from 6 to 8 minutes, or until it has changed its color to a deeper red, thickened in consistency and lost its raw flavor. Add the chicken broth and salt to taste and reduce heat to medium low. 

Place a small mixing bowl with water to the side of the soup pot with the simmering tomato broth. Wet your hands and start to make the meatballs, one by one. They should be anywhere from 1 to 2". Gently place the meatballs in the simmering tomato broth. 

Once you have shaped all the meatballs, add the cilantro sprigs to the pot, then simmer over medium-low heat for 25 to 30 minutes. 

Serve hot with a side of avocado slices avocado, some warm corn tortillas and, if desired, frijoles de olla or white rice and plantains.