Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 2015 Newsletter

FEBRUARY 2015 Newsletter
Food For Thought:
I travel along the highway...early morning, Reminiscing the past couple of days spent with you. The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your love embracing me. Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind. I travel along the highway.., anticipating... The next time that we spend together... The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your love embracing me. Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind. I travel throughout the day...early afternoon, Anticipating the times that we will spend together... The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your love embracing me. Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind. I travel into the evening, darkness arrives, Anxious to lie in your arms, your voice saying, "My Angel"... The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your love embracing me. Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind. I travel into the days... that lie ahead, Longing to spend my days and nights with you. The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your love embracing me. Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind. Paula 2010

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RECIPES:
My recipe was inspired by Paschal Manale's and Paul Prudhomme.
Creole BBQ Shrimp
Adapted from Pascale’s Manale, New Orleans
Yields: 4 servings
Here’s a dish with a big misnomer, since the shrimp don’t go anywhere near a barbecue. This very rich dish was created at Pascale’s Manale restaurant in New Orleans, made there with heads-on shrimp and baked, not barbecued, with plenty of butter. A casserole of these will go fast.
8 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. fresh snipped rosemary
2 teaspoons Louisiana-style hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, deveined, shell on (I use Royal Reds)
1/2 Amber beer
3 lemons (2 to squeeze and one sliced into thin rings)
Salt, to taste
1. Heat a large sauté pan (large enough to hold the shrimp in one layer) or a 9x13 baking dish. Add the butter, oil, garlic, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary and hot pepper sauce; stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the beer. Add the shrimp and toss in the sauce, and even them out in one layer. Squeeze lemons over the entire area. Sprinkle with salt, cover with sliced lemons and place in a preheated 375° oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are just done, tossing them once.
2. Serve in soup bowls with the sauce and crusty Italian bread on the side.
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Made these sandwiches for Super Bowl Sunday last year and they are SO good! Enjoy!
Italian Beef Sandwiches
1 (3 to 4 1/2 lbs) beef roast, trimmed
1 can (12 ounces) beer (you choose the flavor), or use 1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 envelope dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 12-oz. jar sliced Pepperoncini peppers, with the liquid
Spicy Mustard or Dijon Mustard
Hard Rolls, Ciabatta Rolls, French Bread, etc.
Preparation:
Pour beer or beef broth into crock pot. Drain liquid from pepperoncini into crockpot. Stir in the salad dressing mix until well-blended. Place about half of the peppers in the crockpot. Trim fat from the roast; place in crock pot on top of peppers. Top roast with remaining peppers. Cook Italian beef on low 8 to 10 hours Remove cooked roast from crockpot; cool slightly. While still warm, pull roast with two forks to shred. Toast split rolls, add 2 slices Provolone cheese. Spread with Dijon or Spicy Mustard. To serve, ladle small amount of warm liquid from crock over split roll or bread, top with shredded beef, then follow with more beef liquid as desired. Serve with additional peppers on the side and small bowl of the au jus for dipping your sandwich.
Serves 12 to 16
Serve with forks and a stack of napkins.
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Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Croutons
from Splendid Soups and Spectacular Sides
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup quartered button mushrooms ( I used Baby Bellas)
1/2 cup diced carrot
2 tsp minced garlic (I used 4 large cloves, minced)
1 1/2 cups diced red potatoes (I used, unpeeled red potatoes)
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp dry sherry (I used 1/2 cup Dry Vermouth)
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken ( I cut and sautéed 3 chicken breasts in 2 Tbsp. Olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dry)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp. dry)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt & pepper, to taste (I didn't find it necessary to add any more salt or pepper)
Puff Pastry Croutons
Melt butter over medium high heat in the pot you will use to make the soup.
Sauté onion, celery, mushrooms, carrot and garlic for about 4 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook about 3 minutes more. Whisk in the flour and cook a couple of minutes to
get rid of the raw taste. Deglaze pan with sherry. Stir in broth, chicken,
thyme, bay leaf, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil,
then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through
and the mixture has slightly thickened. Stir in the corn, peas, parsley and lemon juice.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons.
Puff Pastry Croutons
1 ***** frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
1 Tbsp water
kosher salt
grated Parmesan (about 1/4 cup)
paprika (about 1 tsp., I used Smoked Paprika)
Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking ***** with parchment or Silpat.
Roll pastry out on floured surface to 1/4" thick. Beat egg with water and brush over dough.
Sprinkle with salt, Parmesan and paprika. Cut in 1 1/2" squares and transfer to baking *****.
Bake 15-20 minutes or till puffed and golden brown.
A favorite at the restaurant! ENJOY!
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Chicken Pomodoro Pasta w/Eggplant Parmesan!
Pomodoro Pasta and Eggplant Parmesan
This was a big hit at the Valentine's Dinner, Spirit of Athens Luncheonand our weekend dinner feature this week where I served it recently. I did also serve it with a Grilled Chicken Breast, cut on the bias, topping the Pomodoro Pasta and a Baguette for sopping up that wonderful sauce! The flavors of the sauce are SO fresh!
Paula's Pomodoro Pasta
12 oz. angel hair pasta, cooked
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup onion or shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
1-28oz. can Italian Plum tomatoes with basil (I prefer San Marzano) hand crush tomatoes before adding to sauce
1 Tbsp. chicken base
crushed red pepper to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup basil pesto
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In large skillet, saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add Balsamic and wine to deglaze. Add next 5 ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese. Reserve 1 cup of sauce for Eggplant.Toss with Angel Hair Pasta and serve. Garnish with additional basil and shaved Parmesan cheese.
Eggplant Parmesan
1 eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/4" slices
Salt
2 eggs mixed with 1/2 cup milk
Self Rising flour
2 cups Panko bread crumbs seasoned with 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2" oil in skillet for frying
reserved pomodoro sauce
1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Place eggplant in colander and season with salt. Let stand 20-30 minutes.
In 3 shallow dishes...place flour, egg mixture and bread crumb mixture. Dredge each slice in flour, egg wash & bread crumbs. Fry in preheated oil until golden, turning once. Place on parchment lined baking pan. Top each with dollop of sauce and sprinkling of shaved Parmesan. Bake in 350 preheated oven for 5 minutes to melt cheese. Serve immediately.
I'm not Italian, nor do I claim to cook like my Italian friends...but if it's really good and pleasing to friends and family, I'm willing to share it!
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I'm not much on Chocolate but this is by far the Very Best Cake and Icing "EVER" known to man. This icing is great on brownies and on top of any homemade ice cream.
Layer Yellow cake with Homemade Fudge Icing
Make the icing first~ What you'll need:
3 cups sugar
3 1/2 blocks unsweetened baking chocolate
2 5-oz. cans evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
In a large, heavy 'pan' over medium-low heat add the sugar, chocolate, milk, butter, and vanilla all at one time. Cook slowly until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring frequently. Do not let this boil. It is important to make sure that the sugar is completely dissolved and no texture remains.
For the Cake layers~ What you'll need:
1 cup butter (room temp= unsalted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs (room temp)
3 1/2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 3/4 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Now let's make and assemble this baby!!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 8” cake pans with shortening and set aside.
1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Crack all the eggs in a separate bowl and add the eggs all at once and beat until well mixed.
2.Add the flour and water alternately, beginning and ending with flour. *Note: It is normal for the batter to appear curdled. Don't freak out!!
3. Mix in the vanilla.
Now, pour approximately 3/4 cup batter into each greased prepared pan. Smooth the batter to the edges of the pans. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until layers are barely golden on top. Remove from oven and turn out onto cooling racks.
If you don't have enough pans, clean the pans, grease them and repeat baking. When next set of layers go into the oven, begin icing the cake.
Place a still-warm layer on a cardboard round set atop a cooling rack inside a baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup icing on the layer spreading it gently to the edges. Top with the next layer and repeat.
When all layers have been stacked and iced, spread remaining icing over top and sides of the cake. If the icing becomes thick, return the pan to "very low"heat until it returns to spreading consistency.
Use 8-10 pans.

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