Caprese Eggs Benedict

Caprese doesn’t always refer to salad. In this dish, Eggs Benedict loses it’s bacon and borrows the Mediterrean flavors from a Caprese salad.

Start with buttered and toasted English muffins. I like to use Wolfermans Sourdough.

Top with Buffalo Mozzarella..

Add tomato slices…

And poached eggs…

 

Top with a lemony Basil Hollandaise sauce that you can whip up in your blender.

Mmmmm…now that was seriously good!

 

Recipe:

Serves 2
2 English Muffins split in half
4 slices of Buffalo Mozzarella
4 slices of tomato
4 eggs, poached (see video below)

 

Basil Hollandaise:

if you can operate a blender, you can make this sauce! And in only 5 minutes.
Makes 3/4 cup
3 egg yolks
Juice of 1 lemon (at least 2 T.)
Salt and Pepper
6 fresh basil leaves
8 T. butter (1 stick), melted
Combine the yolks, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a blender at high speed for a few seconds. Remove the top and slowly add the butter in droplets with the motor still running. Add basil and process for a few more seconds. Serve immediately.

 

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Orange Creamsicles

Summer may be months away, but you’d never know it by looking at the thermometer. It’s sunny and warm and only March! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. As a matter of fact I’m celebrating by making Creamsicles!

Blood oranges, vanilla custard, and Cara Cara oranges are layered to make these Creamsicles..

Blood Orange Layer:
Mix together
2 cups Blood Orange juice
1/3 cup honey

Vanilla Custard Layer:

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and milk just to a simmer. In a bowl, whisk together yolks, sugar, and vanilla for 2 minutes until doubled in volume.
In dribbles, pour a little of the warm cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Once you’ve incorporated about half of the warm cream, pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take only 1-2 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Strain and cool completely.

Cara Cara Orange Layer:

2 cups Cara Cara orange juice

Layering:

You can use Dixie cups, Popsicle molds, styrofoam cups, even silicone cupcake molds to form the creamsicles. You will also need wooden Popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks.
Pour at least 3 tablespoons of juice or custard into your mold for the first layer. Freeze for about 45 minutes before adding the second layer. Make as many layers as you like in varying thicknesses. Insert your stick in the center when the creamsicle is partially frozen.
Allow to set up in the freezer overnight.

Unmold by peeling off styrofoam or paper cups. If using molds, they can be dipped in warm water for a few seconds to loosen.

Tastes like summer!

 

Lamingtons or Coconut Bars?

Depending on where you live, these pillowy little cake squares dipped in chocolate and unsweetened coconut have two names. In Ohio they are known as Coconut Bars, and have been a Cleveland tradition for decades. Go into almost any bakery and even some grocery stores and you will find them prominently displayed alongside the cookies and brownies. But try asking for them outside of Cleveland and you’ll be met with a blank stare. They don’t exist. That is unless you live in Australia, where Lamingtons, as they are named, are a popular national dessert! Now if you live somewhere between Cleveland and Australia and want to experience their loveliness, this recipe, adapted from David Lebovitz, makes them accessible to everyone. They are delicious and addictive.

Preheat oven to 350F

Cake:

6 large eggs at room temperature

3/4cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/3 cup (175g) cake flour

2-1/2 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Chocolate Icing:

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1-1/2 ounces unsalted butter

3/4 cups whole milk

2 T. unsweetended cocoa powder, Dutch process

2 cups powdered sugar

3 cups desiccated (unsweetened) coconut

Makes 16 individual squares

Butter a 9 inch square pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, lightly beat the eggs, salt and sugar together. Once incorporated, turn mixture to high and whip for 5-10 minutes until the eggs are very thick and form a ribbon when you lift the whisk. Fold in vanilla.

Sift the flour onto the mixture and using a whisk, fold into the batter. Once incorporated, gently fold in the butter.

Pour into cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges pull away slightly from the pan. Allow to cool on a baking rack.

Unmold the cake onto a cutting board and remove the parchment paper. Trim the ends and either cut the cake into 16 squares or use a cutter.

Refrigerate or freeze the cake while you make the icing. They will be easier to dip into the chocolate when cold.

To make the icing, melt the chocolate, butter, and milk in a bowl placed over simmering water. Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. If too thick, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of boiling water.

Prepare to dip the squares. Place coconut in a small cookie tray. Place a cooling rack over a large baking sheet to set the squares after dipping. It’s a bit messy so I like to keep a bowl of water and a towel to keep my hands clean.

Remove cake from the freezer or refridgerator. Working 2 at a time using your hands, dip in chocolate to cover all sides, then sprinkle with coconut. Remove carefully using 2 small forks and allow to set on a cooling rack.

 

 

 

 

 

Hamantaschen Cookies

These delectable little pastry “hats” are traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim, but they are so good, they really should be eaten year round. Buttery pastry filled with a dried fruit and nut jam, they are a special treat. This slight twist on the traditional filling contains apricots, prunes and walnuts. Serve them warm or at room temperature.

From Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies

Makes about 27

Pastry

2 cups sifted all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

1 stick unsalted cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 egg

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

1-1/2 Tablespoon orange juice

Sift together dry ingredients and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. With a fork, lightly mix egg, orange juice and zest in a small bowl. Pour into food tube and pulse until dough begins to come together. Cover in plastic wrap, flatten dough slightly and refrigerate overnight.

Filling

12 oz. (2 cups) dried pitted prunes

6 oz. (1 cup) dried apricots

1 cup water

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup honey

3/4 cup walnuts , cut into medium size pieces

Cut the dried fruit into small pieces. The prunes can be cut in half but the apricots should be diced. Place in a small saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook until fruit is very soft, 10-15 minutes. Check occasionally and add a little water as needed. Once fruit is soft, add lemon juice and honey. Cook, stirring constantly for about 5 more minutes. Allow to cool, then stir in the nuts. Set aside.

Shaping and Baking

Preheat oven to 400F

Line 2 cookie sheets with Silpat or parchment paper. Work with half the pastry at a time; refrigerate the other half. Flour your surface and rolling pin and roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Work quickly or the dough will become sticky.

Turn it over to keep both sides floured. With a 3 inch cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut the dough into rounds. Do not make them smaller than 3 inches.

Holding one disc in your hand, place a rounded teaspoon of the filling onto the center.

Fold up 2 sides of the dough and pinch together at the top where they meet. Fold up the third side and pinch together to form a triangle.

Place cookies 1-1/2 to 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets and bake 12-15 minutes until lightly colored. Cool on a rack or serve them warm.

Leftover filling makes an excellent conserve for morning toast. It will keep refrigerated for at over 2 weeks.