Classics · Fish Course · lent

New England Baked Scallops

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A classic New England dish that an turn any weeknight dinner to date night !

Ingredients

24oz of Bay scallops

1 cup crushed Ritz (or similar) crackers

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Garnish: Lemon slice, chopped fresh chives or parsley

 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325º, and set a rack to the second-to-top position.

Wash the scallops and pat dry.

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Arrange scallops in a 8- by 8-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, garlic salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the scallops evenly with the breadcrumb mixture. Pour the butter over all, then sprinkle evenly with the lemon juice. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

 

Turn the heat up to “broil” and, with the oven door ajar, brown the top for an additional 2 or 3 minutes (keep a constant eye on the dish to avoid burning). Serve hot!

 

Cake

Chocolate Orange Charlotte

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This is a special farewell and birthday cake all rolled into one.  The post-doc in our lab is leaving after 6 years and another labmate was celebrating the big 3-0 birthday, so the cake had to be special.  Chocolate and Orange pair wonderfully; infact, it is my mother’s favorite and incorporated it into her birthday cake last year.  The recipe requires several ingredients,  but I used store-bought short-cuts to help me.   I hope this cake stuns your table as much it did mine !

Ingredients:

Store chocolate cake mix (and eggs and oil, all the things that you will need to make the batter)

Orange marmalade

Chocolate mousse mix and milk to make the mousse

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2 dozen soft lady fingers ( you will not need all of them, but having extras is good)

Cannoli Filling (refer to either Chocolate Cannoli Cupcakes or Cannoli Cup recipes I have)

Method:

Bake the cake according to the package directions.  I used some of the batter to make 6 cupcakes  and saved the rest of the batter to make 2, 9″ rounds.  Allow to cool completely.  The cake layers can be made upto three days in advance.  Make sure to wrap and store the layers in a cool dry and dark place.

Heat an entire jar of orange marmalade in a saucepan.  Once the jam thins, strain through a sieve to separate the rinds from the jelly.  Save the jelly.  I put the rinds in my morning oatmeal.

Make the chocolate mouse according to package directions.

Level off both cake layers and place one layer of the cake on the bottom of a springform pan.

Line the edges of the pan with lady fingers

Brush the surface of the cake with the orange jelly and also the surface of the lady fingers which are exposed (i.e facing the inside of the cake)

Fill with mousse and top with the second cake layer.

Pour the remaining orange jelly on the top layer and let it seep into the cake.

Add the cannoli filling on the top.

Decorate the top with mini chocolate chips and pistachios.

Chill the cake for 30 mins and then remove the springform ring.

Wrap the cake with a piece of ribbon and secure with a toothpick.

Serve chilled !

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Classics · Cupcakes · Italian

Chocolate Cannoli Cupcakes

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This summer, I have been on a Cannoli kick.  I guess it started with the Cannolis we had for our rehearsal dinner.

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Then we were out in Boston getting some more at Cafe Vitorria.  As a result, whenever I wanted make something, the “Cannoli” flavor kept coming up.  So here is a super easy recipe for Cannoli cupcakes.  I also used the ingredients to build a my Chocolate Orange Charlotte.

Ingredients:

Store bought chocolate cake mix

1 15oz container of Ricotta Cheese ( I used part-skim, feel free to use full fat)

4 tbsp of vanilla frosting (I used this, because it was lying around in the pantry)  OR 4tbsp  powdered sugar.  Sweeten to your liking.

1 tsp of almond extract

2tsps of ground cinnamon

mini chocolate chips and pistachios (unsalted-shelled) for garnish

Method:

Make batter and bake cupcakes as per package directions.  I baked 6 cupcakes and used the rest of the batter to make 2 9″ round cakes for my Chocolate Orange Charlotte.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely

In the meantime, mix the entire container of ricotta cheese with 4tbsp of frosting (or 4tbsp of powdered sugar) with almond extract and cinnamon

Fill into a piping bag attached to a star-tip (this is what I did; frost as you like) and pipe onto your cupcakes. You will not use the entire frosting for 6 cupcakes, I saved it for my cake recipe.  You will probably use the whole thing if you are making 12 cupcakes.  This frosting will make a great Cannoli Dip with graham crackers or you could use it for my other favorite recipe “Cannoli Cups

Sprinkle with mini-chocolate chips and pistachios (other toppings could be orange peels, almonds or nothing at all)

Serve and watch your friends devour !

 

Dinner · Mexican · Poultry

Chicken Tacos with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

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This is the first time I cooked with tomatillos.  I was always intrigued by this green looking, tomato-like, husked vegetable.   This is a simple dinner, but takes a little bit of time and you certainly would prefer to make it on a cooler day when you can utilize the oven.

Ingredients:

3 small tomatillos, quatered

1 green frying pepper, sliced

1 fresno chili, de-seeded and sliced

1 small onion, quatered

2-3 cloves of garlic

5 chicken tenders

1Tbsp of taco seasoning (our a homemade blend of chili powder, cumin and oregano)

olive oil

salt and pepper

Hard or soft taco shells and all other taco fixings your family enjoys

Method:

Take the first five ingredients, spread then in a single layer on a foil-lined sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 20-30 mins at 375F.  You want the vegetables to get slightly charred, but not burnt.

Allow the vegetables to cool and then blend in a food processor to your desired consistency.  You now have your salsa.

While the vegetables are roasting, season chicken with olive oil, salt and taco seasoning.

Saute chicken, till cooked through.  Allow to cool slightly and then shred the chicken.

Take a 1/4 cup of the salsa and mix with the shredded chicken, you now have youe taco filling.

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Heat up your taco shells, pulls out the lettuce and cheese (and all your other favorite taco toppings) and build away !

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Cake · Dessert

Happy Birthday America!

Here are two desserts perfect for any summer bash ! The first one is a Raspberry Vanilla Cake and the second is a No-bake Strawberry cheesecake pie with Chocolate cookie crust.  The best part is that you can make the filling and use it both recipes.  So if you have two parties to go to you have two delicious desserts ready ! Here are the links to the recipes !

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https://quetesaveur.com/2017/07/04/raspberry-vanilla-cake/

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https://quetesaveur.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/no-bake-strawberry-cheesecake-pie-with-chocolate-cookie-crust/

Dessert

No-bake Strawberry cheesecake pie with Chocolate cookie crust.

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This recipe was “thrown” together because I had a lot of filling left over from the Raspberry Vanilla Cake I made (https://quetesaveur.com/2017/07/04/raspberry-vanilla-cake/)

For this recipe you will need:

A store bought cookie crust, I bought chocolate you can use whatever you like.

Then it gets really technical, so pay close attention ! You will beed to put the filling into the crust and top it with sliced strawberries.  Real hard !!!!!!!

Chill, slice and eat !

P.S: for another variation on this recipe check out this link.  I made this pie for 4th of july a few years ago !

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https://quetesaveur.com/2013/07/03/red-white-and-blue-cheesecake-pie/

 

Cake

Raspberry Vanilla Cake

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A lovely light summer-y cake.  It is a vanilla cake which makes it appealing to most people and you don’t have to use raspberries, you can use any summer fruit you want.  Here goes !

Ingredients:

Store bought White cake mix

1 pint of heavy whipping cream

1 cup whole milk

1 package of cheesecake flavored pudding mix

1 package of white chocolate pudding mix

1 jar of seedless raspberry jam

2 pints of fresh raspberries

Method:

Cake: Bake the cake accordingly to package instructions in two 9 inch baking rounds and cool completely.

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Filling:

Mix the both packages of pudding mix with 1 cup of whole milk.  This mixture will be very thick.

Meanwhile, whip up the heavy whipping cream to soft peaks.

Slowly fold the whipping cream into the pudding mix, adding about a 1/4 cup of whipping cream at a time.

Assembly:

Level the two cake layers and save the “cut-off” cake.

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Spread the entire jar of jam between both layers of the cake.

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Add the whipped pudding filling on top of the jam, only on one cake layer.  Use as much of the filling you like, just make sure you have enough to frost the outside of the cake.  I don’t like a lot of filling, so I actually had enough of the filling left to make my no-bake cheesecake pie (https://quetesaveur.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/no-bake-strawberry-cheesecake-pie-with-chocolate-cookie-crust/).

Add cut up fresh raspberries on top of the cream.

Top it off with the other cake layer, jam side facing the raspberries

Frost the outside of cake.

Crumble the leftover cake pieces and use them to cover the side of the cake.

Decorate the top with more fresh raspberries.

Cut and eat !

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