Showing posts with label Cream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cream. Show all posts

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ham and Scalloped Potato Muffins #MuffinMonday

A scalloped potato casserole-inspired muffin, with sliced potatoes, lots of cheese, cream and smoked ham. Perfect for breakfast, snack or even lunch. 

For the last couple of weeks our house has been a bustle of creativity and laughter, both in and out of the kitchen. Favorite dishes were cooked, touristy places were visited, a gingerbread mosque was baked and erected, many a cocktail was imbibed and a thousand backgammon games were played amongst the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree and our ancient rag-tag manger scene, which includes such witnesses to the Miracle Birth as a headless wise man, a longhorn and a small rhinoceros, along with the usual shepherds, cows and sheep.

Now the busy bathrooms and crazy kitchen are empty. The forlorn tree, stripped naked of its finery but for the occasional missed wisp of golden tinsel, has trailed fallen needles all the way to the curb of rejection. The dog circles just me now, every hopeful. And the baby Jesus and his eclectic entourage are back in the doll stroller box from Christmas circa 1995, which is their home for 50 weeks of the year.

I look around at the now reassembled living room, furniture back in its accustomed places and I am working on being grateful rather than sad. As much as it would give me joy to keep our daughters with us always, I am grateful that they are exceptionally capable of looking after themselves and are avidly pursuing their dreams.

Trying to look on all the bright sides of this situation, another bonus is that I can cook and bake exactly what pleases me. Last week a post from a friend and fellow blogger Kelli from Kelli’s Kitchen arrived in my email inbox with a recipe for one of my favorite casseroles, scalloped potatoes. Her version is a family favorite, cheesy and creamy but with the welcome addition of ham. If that divine top baked to a golden crunch doesn’t sell you, the tender, cheesy potatoes inside should do the trick. Do go have a look. My thoughts turned, as they do, to the possibility of a ham and scalloped potato muffin but I figured it wouldn’t be very popular with the sweet muffin crowd in residence. So I waited a week. (As it turns out, most of them didn't buy the PR for dried plums vs. prunes anyway. Hey, I tried.)

Totally worth the wait. These guys are delicious. All potato-y and cheesy and that ham? The perfect addition, for sure.

A good savory muffin is great consolation. And you can be sure I have saved some ham to make the original casserole as well.

6 oz or 170g smallish new potatoes
2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/2 cup or 120ml whipping cream
1/4 cup butter or 60g, melted and cooled
7 oz or 200g extra sharp cheddar, grated
2 1/3 oz or 65g Parmesan, grated
1 cup or 150g baked smoked ham, chopped

Put a pot of water on to boil with a teaspoon or so of salt, as you would to boil pasta. Fill a bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes and set it aside.

Slice your potatoes and pop them in the boiling water.

Cook for about 4-5 minutes, until they are just done. Pour the cooked potato slices into a colander and drain. Transfer them to the bowl of ice water till cool.

Return them to the colander to drain again.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it liberally with oil or non-stick cooking spray.

Combine your flour, baking powder, salt and mustard powder in a large mixing bowl.

Set aside 6 slices of the cooked potato and a couple of small handfuls each of the cheddar, ham and Parmesan for topping the muffins before baking.

Just a little pile of each for topping.

Add the rest of the cheddar into the dry ingredient bowl and stir.

Now add the rest of the sliced potatoes into that bowl. Use a spoon to break the slices into pieces as you stir to combine. Finally, mix in the Parmesan and the ham.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk, cream and cooled butter.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stop when they are just combined.

Divide your batter between the 12 greased muffins cups.

Top with reserved Parmesan cheese and ham pieces. Cut your potato slices in half and insert one half slice of potato into the batter in each cup.

Now try to get some reserved cheddar cheese to sit on top and around each potato slice. We aren’t looking for perfect here. Just some cheese on the potato.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove to continue cooling on a wire rack.

Since the cheese melts out a little while baking, you may have to run a knife around the outside to remove them, depending on how well you greased the pan.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lapin au Cidre – Cider Braised Rabbit

Lapin au cidre is a specialty from Normandy and, as in most of the Norman dishes, apple and cream feature prominently. The dual apple role is played here by calvados, an apple brandy, supported by a dry alcoholic apple cider. The addition of sour cream or crème fraîche creates a luscious sauce you’ll want to eat with a spoon. 

On the Hunt for deliciousness
As I mentioned in my preview post,  I am hosting Sunday Supper this week with my talented friend, Tara, from Noshing with the Nolands. Our theme is On the Hunt, so we are sharing recipes with ingredients that are hunted or foraged, including wild game like venison, boar and rabbit or vegetarian options like mushrooms, truffles, wild berries or even edible wildflowers and greens. And to make sure that our urban members could also take part, the recipes can even include a special ingredient that you have to source online or hunt down at specialty markets!

I grew up with a father and uncles and cousins who loved to hunt so game wasn’t unusual fare but if you didn’t hunt for it, you didn’t eat it. When we were living in Paris though, many moons ago, it was fun to go to the market or grocery store and see frogs’ legs right along side the chicken and rabbit as prominently displayed as the beef. The rabbits were either whole, minus the heads, or more commonly, only the thigh/leg pieces were offered. Those are what I tended to buy. We called them bunny haunches and I’d sing “Little Bunny Fufu” as they simmered. I know, I know, I have a perverse sense of humor. A thousand years as a Girl Scout will do that to you.

One day I opened my mailbox to find a big promotional envelope inviting me to join a recipe club. For a number of francs that escapes me now, I could get recipe cards by mail each month. The envelope contained sample cards, which I was free to keep even if I didn’t join. We never know how long we’ll live any place, so I didn’t sign up but I have used the sample cards many times through the years.

The reverse has the recipe and says in tiny letters: Cette fiche extraite de la collection Mes Recettes Préférées est un échantillon
Or This record extracted from the collection My Favorite Recipes is a sample.

1 large carrot
1 stalk celery
3 shallots
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
6 rabbit thigh and legs (Mine weighed about 2lb 10 oz or 1.2 kg)
1/3 cup or 80ml calvados (Substitute cognac if you don’t have calvados.)
1 cup or 240ml dry apple cider (I used Strongbow Original which is still available in Dubai.)
1/2 cup or about 125g crème fraîche or thick sour cream
Several sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To serve: Good handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Peel the carrots, shallots and the garlic. Chop them finely, along with the celery.

Heat the butter and oil in pan large enough to fit all of the rabbit pieces in one layer without too much crowding.

Brown the rabbit pieces on both sides in the pan. Once they are browned, add the vegetables. Don't forget the shallots like I did. I added them later, after the calvados. You add them now, okay?

Fry them for a few minutes and then add the calvados. You are supposed to flame it at this point but I couldn’t get mine to light for a photo.

Add in the cider and season with salt and pepper.

Add in the thyme and bay leaves. Cover the pot and cook over a low flame for about 50-60 minutes.

At the end of the cooking time, add in the crème fraiche and mix well.

Cook for a few more minutes with the lid off so that the sauce can reduce in volume and thicken slightly.

Taste the sauce and add more salt or pepper if needed. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and sing a round of "Little Bunny Fufu" to serve.


Have a look at all the fabulous On the Hunt recipes my Sunday Supper friends are sharing today! And scroll down for details on how to join us for the Twitter chat this evening that Tara will be hosting.

Spread it on Thick

Nibbles and Sides

The Main Event

Sweet Treats

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Coffee Ice Cream #IceCreamTuesday

Coffee ice cream is the perfect blend of sweet and strong, especially this one from the master of all-things-coffee, Patricia McCausland-Gallo and her book, Passion for Coffee.
Food Lust People Love: Coffee ice cream is the perfect blend of sweet and strong, especially this one from the master of all-things-coffee, Patricia McCausland-Gallo and her book, Passion for Coffee.

The summer I was eight, my family moved from Trinidad to Caracas, Venezuela. We lived for a little while in a hotel while we waited for our rental house to be ready for move in. It became a ritual for my mom to take us for a treat each afternoon at a nearby pastelería that also served ice cream. She could get a café con leche and my sisters and I would get ice cream. I always chose coffee. Always. I am not much of a sweet eater, despite all the baking that goes on around here, but coffee ice cream is my all-time favorite.

Last week I shared a savory recipe - Rump Steak with Wine-Balsamic Coffee Glaze
from Patricia’s wonderful coffee-centric book with the promise of the coffee ice cream soon and here it is! 

Reprinted with permission. Metric conversions are my own. Any adaptations are in parentheses. The method is rewritten in my own words with some modifications.

Ingredients for 1 hefty pint or about 2 1/3 cups of ice cream
1 1/2 cups or 355ml heavy cream
1 1/2 cups or 355ml 2% milk
2/3 cup or 130g granulated sugar
1/4 cup or 50g brown sugar
3 egg yolks (I used four by accident.)
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules (I used espresso powder.)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Equipment needed:
Ice cream maker

Whisk the cream, milk, brown sugar, white sugar, egg yolks, coffee, and salt together in a large heavy-bottomed pot, off the stove.

Put it on the stove and cook over the mixture over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until you are sure the brown sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened. This takes about seven or eight minutes.

Remove from the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Add ice and some water to a large bowl and set another bowl inside of it.

Strain your thickened mixture into the inside bowl and stir until it is cool.

Cover the surface of the mixture with cling film and refrigerate until it is completely cold.

Transfer your mixture to an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

When the ice maker is done, put the ice cream into an airtight container and put it in the freezer.

Freeze to desired hardness and serve. For best consistency, freeze overnight.

Food Lust People Love: Coffee ice cream is the perfect blend of sweet and strong, especially this one from the master of all-things-coffee, Patricia McCausland-Gallo and her book, Passion for Coffee.


Food Lust People Love: Coffee ice cream is the perfect blend of sweet and strong, especially this one from the master of all-things-coffee, Patricia McCausland-Gallo and her book, Passion for Coffee.

Pin this Coffee Ice Cream! 

Food Lust People Love: Coffee ice cream is the perfect blend of sweet and strong, especially this one from the master of all-things-coffee, Patricia McCausland-Gallo and her book, Passion for Coffee.

Or check out her inspired ice cream today. It's made with Crème Brûlée Stout!

Crème Brûlée Stout Ice Cream | Pastry Chef Online

Plus, my friend, Kirsten from Comfortably Domestic, has a low fat option today: Strawberry Colada Frozen Yogurt. Isn't the color just gorgeous?!

Strawberry Colada Frozen Yogurt | Comfortably Domestic

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Meyer Lemon Butter Sauce Prawns with Linguine

Meyer lemons, thought to be a cross between Eureka or Lisbon lemons and mandarin oranges, are only available for a few months at the beginning of the year. They work well in both sweet and savory dishes, especially seafood.

If you’ve been reading this space for a while, you know that last year, for the very first time, I found myself living somewhere I can buy Meyer lemons.  I brought a bag of six home and spent a great deal of time creating recipes that would let them play an important role. After all, they were not cheap. And, to reiterate, I only had six. This dish was one of our favorites and it’s just perfect for today’s Sunday Supper Valentine Recipes for Two theme.

1 lb or about 450g prawns or shrimp, cleaned and peeled
Sea salt
1 Meyer lemon
6-8 cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 shallots
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Olive oil
2/3 cup or 155ml dry white wine
1//2 cup or 120ml cream
7 oz or 200g linguine
Generous handful arugula (rocket) or fresh spinach

Thinly slice half of your Meyer lemon.  Juice the other half and set the juice aside.

Split each prawn in two down the middle with a sharp knife and give them a light sprinkle with sea salt.

Mince the shallots and garlic.

In a large non-stick skillet, pan-fry the lemon slices over a medium heat in a drizzle of olive oil.

When the slices are nicely browned, removed them from the pan and set aside. Add in two tablespoons of the butter and let it melt and sizzle.

Now toss in the prawn halves and cook them until they are all curly and just pink through.

Remove them from the pan and set them on the browned Meyer lemon slices.

Add in the last two tablespoons of butter, then the minced shallots and garlic. Turn the fire down and sauté them until they are soft and translucent.

Meanwhile put water on to boil for the linguine.

Add the wine and lemon juice to the shallots and garlic, along with the cherry tomatoes.  Stir well.

 Cook until all of the liquid has almost evaporated, keeping an eye on it and stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile put your linguine in the boiling water with a teaspoon or two of salt. Cook according to package instructions but set your timer for about one minute less than the prescribed time. When the linguine is almost done, toss in the greens, allow them to wilt.

Drain the whole pot through a colander.  Set aside.

When the shallot/garlic pan is almost dry, add the prawns and Meyer lemon slices back into the pan. Give it a good stir.

Pour in your cream and stir again.

Season with some extra salt and a few good grinds of fresh black pepper.

Divide your pasta into two bowls and then share the creamy, lemony butter sauce with prawns over the top.


If you are looking for special Valentine’s Day inspiration, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got dishes for two galore today!  Many thanks to our host this week, Susan from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen, who just happens to have the perfect red Valentine kitchen.

Alluring Appetizers:
Exquisite Entrees:
Decadent Desserts and Drinks:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tilapia with Mushrooms, Artichokes, White Wine, Lemon and a Completely Unreasonable Amount of Cream

Calling all heathens.  You know who you are.   We are about to have a biblical lesson.  Not a Bible lesson exactly but I want to talk about fish.  And listening to your mother, because she is probably right.

Who remembers when we didn’t know what tilapia was?  Never heard of it and then, seemingly, it was ubiquitous.  On every fishy crushed ice spread in every grocery store.  And bags and bags of frozen filets in the freezer section as well.  When tilapia first came to my attention, my mother and I were discussing it and she told me that tilapia was most likely the fish that the apostles were catching in Sea of Galilee.  How does she know these things?  She goes to church, people.  And apparently pays attention during the sermon.  After just a little research, I discovered she was so right!  In fact, in many regions, they call tilapia St. Peter’s fish.  I think that is kind of cool.

This dish is one of my summer favorites because my sister, Marta, always makes it when we are home for the long school break.  Upon finding lovely fresh tilapia filets in my local Carrefour supermarket, I wrote and asked her for the recipe.  Her instructions included the method and the ingredients but no amounts so I will try to quantify it for you.  But I imagine if you put a little more of this, or a little less of that, this will still be just as delicious.   I am pretty sure I put way more mushrooms than she would but they looked lovely and fresh that day.

1lb 10oz or 750g button mushrooms
6 filets of tilapia
Sea salt
Black pepper
3/4 cup or 170g butter
Drizzle of olive oil
1/2 cup or 120ml lemon juice
2 cans or jars of artichoke hearts (not marinated) - drained weight about 5 3/4 oz or 165g each
1 cup or 240ml dry white wine
2 cups or 480ml heavy cream
Optional:  flat egg noodles to serve this over.

Rinse the tilapia to make sure all the scales are gone.  I also tidy up the margins with a sharp knife because I am like that about fish.  You don’t have to.   Give the filets a good sprinkling of sea salt and a couple of good grinds of fresh black pepper.

Clean and slice your mushrooms and squeeze your lemons, if you are using fresh juice, which I highly recommend.

Drain your artichokes.  I had jars of the tiny ones so I didn’t cut them but you can half or quarter larger ones if you’d like.

Melt your butter in a large saucepan, preferably non-stick and add a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from burning.

Gently cook the fish in the butter, for a few minutes on each side.

No one said this was a diet dish. 

Remove the filets to a plate when just cooked through and cover them.

Tip your mushrooms and artichokes into the saucepan and sauté until the mushrooms have given up most of their moisture, stirring occasionally.  I put the lid on and turned the fire down because I wasn’t in any hurry but this shouldn’t take more than about 5-7 minutes.

Add in the lemon juice, white wine and whipping cream.  Give it a good stir and lower the flame to a simmer.  Cook until it thickens slightly, stirring occasionally.

(If you are serving this over egg noodles, this would be a good time to cook them according to package instructions.  If they are ready a little before the fish, drain them and put them back in the pot with a good glug of olive oil to keep them from sticking together.)

Slide the fish back into the sauce, making sure to add back all the juices that have accumulated on the plate as well, and carefully redistribute the filets around the pan.

Heat gently until the fish is warmed through and then serve.

I was serving this for a dinner guest so I put the noodles in a dish, added the tilapia and ladled the sauce over the whole thing.  It occurred to me afterwards that a light sprinkling of chopped parsley would have looked pretty but never mind.  The dish tasted delicious.  Kind of a stroganoff of tilapia, if that makes any sense to you.

Give each person a healthy serving of noodles, topped with mushrooms and artichokes and one filet.


I’m on a touring holiday right now with my mom so if I don’t answer comments right away, please know that I am still delighted when you leave them and will respond as soon as I have internet access again.