Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Baking’

Citrus Torte finished with Marsala Cream...Yum!!!!

Citrus Almond Torte

Yep as you can see I am cooking for pleasure again, well wait I think I need to rephrase that.  I am always cooking for pleasure.  Most days of the week I can’t believe I get paid to cook in the environment I do.  Getting into the food service profession as a career finally has been the best decision I have ever made in my life.  Back to what I mean by cooking for pleasure.  At Westmont I do my best to be as creative and stickler for quality as possible, but given the size of the portioning and ingredients given to work with, plus the time allotted I at times find myself producing a product I am less then proud of.  Still I do the best I can.  

  For a long time I had no one to cook for but myself leaving me severely unmotivated.  Given the clean up and effort I just could not bring myself to do it.  It is for that reason I started having weekly dinner parties here at the Lisanti Palace.  For starters it brings back the grandiose family sit down dinners I grew up accustomed to as a youngster and second it allows me to try out possible recipes for my my restaurant I hope to open someday.  Look for a blog on that really soon.  

These dinners have allowed me to try out all sorts of items, from entree’s to appetizers to sides to even dessert.  Some of the recipes are family secrets and I wont give them here.   Others I have taken from different sources and tweaked them to my liking.  Those are the ones I will post here on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Please don’t feel disgruntled and instead respect the integrity of recipes passed down through my family from Naples, Italy for generations for as long as anyone in my family can remember. 

I know the last five recipes or so have been desserts, but that is an area that has always been weak for me and one I am slowly getting a handle on.  Also the dessert category of Recipe D’Jour was lacking and I wanted to beef it up before the eventual redesign I am working on for this entire blog (that too is another blog for another day).  This Citrus Almond Torte is one that is rather simple to create, wont break your bank and can be made in a reasonable amount of time.  Did I mention it is rather tasty as well. 

Serving Size: 8-10
Total Cost: $11.50
Prep Time: 35mins
Cook Time: 45mins
Cool Time: 1hr 30mins

Ingredient List:

  • Torte
    • Butter – 4oz (room temperature)
    • Sugar – 3/4 Cup
    • Large Egg – 1
    • Egg Yolk – 2
    • Almonds – 1 cup (toasted, ground)
    • All Purpose Flour – 1/2 Cup
    • Orange Juice – 2 Table Spoons
    • Lemon Juice – 2 Table Spoons
    • Orange Zest – 1 Table Spoon
    • Lemon Zest – 1 Table Spoon
    • Coriander – 1 Tea Spoon
    • Salt – Pinch
    • Egg Whites – 2
  • Marsala Cream
    • Chilled Whipping Cream – 1 Cup
    • Confectionery Sugar – 2 Table Spoons
    • Marsala Wine – 2 Table Spoons
  • Orange Sauce
    • Orange Juice – 1 Cup
    • Corn Starch – 1 1/2 Table Spoons
    • Sugar – 1/4 Cup
    • Orange Zest – 1 Table Spoon

Step 1: Get Your Ingredients for the Torte Together – Take two eggs and separate the yolks from the whites, you will need both parts at different times so do not throw away either.  Zest both your lemon and orange.  Use actual fruit for your juices needed.   Whip egg whites till stiff but not dry, make sure if your using an electric mixer beater is clean.  Preheat oven to 375 F.  Butter and lightly dust with flour an 8inch springform pan.

Step 2: Mix Ingredients – Beat butter in a large bowl until fluffy.  Cut the butter into small manageable pieces to make process easier.  Gradually add sugar till blended. Add the whole egg, then the yolks one at a time beating well after each addition.  At low speed beat in almonds, flour, orange juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, orange zest, coriander and salt.  Be sure to scrape down bowl as many times as necessary in order to have a conform mixture.  Fold egg whites into batter in two equal parts.

The finished batter.

Step 3: Bake in Oven – Pour batter into your springform pan, place in oven preheated to 375F for 40 minutes or until you can put a tooth pick inside its center and it comes out clean.  Cool at room temperature for an hour and a half.

Torte after coming out of the oven.

Step 4: Make Marsala Cream – Beat whipping cream and confectionery sugar till soft peaks form.  Mix in Marsala. Refrigerate if holding

Step 5: Make Orange Sauce – Whisk orange juice and cornstarch in bowl till cornstarch is completely dissolved.  Melt butter in heavy sauce pan over medium flame.  Whisk in sugar, orange zest and orange juice cornstarch mixture.  Whisk until sauce boils and thickens, should take around five minutes.  Remove from flame and cool.  Refrigerate if holding more then a few hours.

Step 6: Serving Options – When serving this Citrus Torte you have several options.  First and the simplest way is to cover the top of the torte with powdered sugar and then if desired serve either the Marsala Cream or Orange Sauce or both on the side.  Second you can use the Orange Sauce as the topping of the Torte.  To do this just drizzle entire Torte in Sauce till you get the desired covering (pictured below).  Finally you can use the Marsala Cream to actually Ice the Torte as shown in the opening picture and then serve the orange sauce on the side or if you are plating it by the slice I like to drizzle the sauce over the middle of the slice after it has been placed on its side.

Torte Served with just the Orange Sauce.

 

Read Full Post »

Cheese Cake slice with orange slice roses

Hows that for a fatty slice of goodness? Yum!

American Style Cheese Cake

This is sort of a family recipe although not in the same respect as my grandmother’s Italian recipes that have been passed down orally through my family for generations.  I believe my father,who actually makes some of the best cheese cakes despite an overall average at best culinary proficiency,  picked this recipe up from a cook book years and years ago and has perfected it.  We have an actual family recipe for an Italian cheese cake, but that will have to wait for another installment of Recipe D’Jour .

In an effort to allow me to cook fine meals (I love the work I do at Westmont, but considering the quality of ingredients purchased, amount of time and help allotted and immense size of portioning there is only so much I can do in terms of emanation) and try out potential menu items for my at the moment fictional restaurant I am playing around with the idea of opening  by the time I am 35.  Currently it is moving from the dream to the planning/feasibility stage, but that is another blog for certainly another day.  I began having dinner parties with a wide array of invitees.  These parties usually feature an entree and dessert.

Most times I have my guests bring the dessert.  This week I had this woman coming who’s parents have a winery in Paso Robles and promised to bring their best vintage of syrah.  She mentioned at a previous dinner event that she had a soft spot for cheese cake.  I think we all know how much I appreciate good wine and I have been looking to make this cheese cake for sometime.  Thus my motivation is your gain with a new recipe here on surfingruinedmylife.net.

Serving Size: 8-12
Total Cost: $17.50

Prep Time: 30mins
Cook Time: 1hr
Cool Time: 6hrs

Ingredient List:

    • Crust
      •  Graham Cracker Crumbs – 2 Cups
      • Butter – 8 Tablespoons
      • Cinnamon – 1 Teaspoon
    • Filling
      • Cream Cheese – 24 oz (Block)
      • Sour Cream- 16 oz
      • Heavy Cream 8 oz
      • Eggs – 4 (large)
      • Sugar – 1 1/2 Cups

Step 1: Combine all ingredients for the filling –  Using an electric mixer combine all ingredients for the filling making sure your end product is a uniform thick cream.

The filling ingredients before mixing.

The filling after being well blended.

Step 3: Make the crust – Cut butter up into small chunks and combine with the graham cracker crumbs till you have a uniform consistency through out.  Crust should feel greasy and not be crumby.  Take crust and flatten it into the bottom of a round 10″ springform pan.

The crust flattened into the springform pan.

Step 3: Pour filling into springform pan – Slowly pour cheese cake filling made in step 1 into the spring form pan on top of the crust.

Step 4: Bake cheese cake  – Preheat oven to 350 F and place springform pan into it.  Bake for around 55 minutes to an hour or until top is  golden brown in color.

Step 5: Cool – Cooling is an arduous task for this particular dessert.  If it is cooled too fast the cake will fall and crack.  After cake is fully cooked turn off oven and let the cake sit in the cooling oven for around an hour.  Remove cake from oven and allow to cool at room temperature for another hour.   Cover cake with plastic wrap.  Be sure to make a hole to allow for heat to escape and place into the refrigerator.  refrigerate for around four to six hours before serving.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy! – Remove the side of the springform pan and enjoy.

Cheese Cake,

Yummy, yeah I cracked mine, cooled it a little too fast, but I needed it for a dinner party that was happening less then six hours from when I finished the cake. I would recommend cooking it the night before. Cracked or not it still tasted amazing.

 

Read Full Post »

Chocolate Strawberry Tart

 mmm…Chocolate and even better Strawberries!!!  I know I have for years put my nose up to baking, but these days I find when I am really stressed out I bake. For whatever reason baking relaxes me.  I think it is because of how much focus it takes to get the recipe correct.  When you cook you can throw a little bit of this and that and save the dish, but when you bake it has to be exact to the umpteenth degree and if you mess up there is no saving it.  It is that level of focus that allows me to take my mind off of whatever problems I am having at that time.

I made this dessert back in mid July to impress a date.  Dinner ended up being so filling, Egg Plant Rollatini with Angel Hair Pasta in my families age old Marinara Sauce with Garlic Bread, that we never made it to dessert, instead moving right on to a nice bottle of Prosecco on the beach while basking in the beautiful lighting of a full moon.  It was quite the spread, although I would later find out from that unappreciative bitch that as she put it “my cooking was trash”.  Whatever (see yesterdays blog The State of Lisanti Land Address all about Whatever).

Anyway this Tart is bound to impress any female you decide to bake it for.  I mean it has a splendid strawberry walnut crust filled with a rich chocolate strawberry filling topped with fresh strawberries.  It’s a girls best friend.  Pair it with a bottle of Moscato D’Asti or a Champagne or Prosecco and you are bound to have a good night.  Maybe that is where I blew it, not taking the tart with me to the beach.  In hindsight I am glad I did not cause that chick was definitely not worth it.  Its rather tasty and somewhat simple to make although a bit time consuming.

Serving Size: 8
Total Cost: $13.75
Prep Time: 1 hr
Bake Time 25 mins
Rest Time: 2 hrs

Ingredient List:

  • Crust
    • All Purpose Flour – 1 cup
    • Sugar – 3 table spoons
    • Salt – ¼ tea spoon
    • Walnuts – 1 ½ oz
    • Unsalted Butter – ½ cup (chilled)
    • Egg Yolk – 2 yolks
    • Strawberry Jam – 1/3 cup
  • Filling
    • Whipping Cream – ¾ cup plus 2 table spoons
    • Semisweet Chocolate – 6 oz (chopped)
    • Strawberry Jam – 1/3 cup
    • Strawberries – 2x 1 pt basket (hulled and halfed)

 Step 1: Mix ingredients for your crust: In a food processor mince walnuts till they are a sand like composure.  In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and processed walnuts.  Add in butter.  Make sure to break the butter up into tiny pieces before addition to the mixture.  Mix by hand or with an electric mixer (I used an electric mixer) till it resembles a coarse meal.  Add Yolks and Strawberry Jam and mix until moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Your meal like conformity of dry ingredients and butter.

Your rough dough after adding jam and egg yolks

Your dough disk pre-cooling

Step 2: Form Crust: Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter a 9” diameter pan with removable bottom if possible, you can use a fixed bottom pan if it is all you have, I did.  Roll out your chilled dough between two sheets of wax paper to around an 11” diameter.  Remove top sheet of wax paper. Turn you dough upside down so that the wax paper on the bottom is now on the top and firmly press it inside the pan till it fits snug.  Remove paper and trim the edges of your crust so that it just comes over the pan.  Fold edges  just over the top of pan.  Freeze crust for 15 minutes.  Bake 25 minutes or till golden brown.  Spread another 1/3 cup of Jam over the crust and bake another 4 minutes till jam sets. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature.

Crust pre-baking

Step 3: Make Filling: Heat cream in heavy small saucepan on a medium flame until bubbles appear around edge of pot.  Remove from flame and add chocolate.  Stir till completely melted and blended with cream.  Cool until mixture is beginning to thicken, stirring occasionally.  It should still be pourable, probably around 40 to 50 minutes.  Pour Chocolate filling into crust. Refrigerate for at least two hours till filling solidifies.

Chocolate filling poured into my very sad looking crust. I suck at crusts still, but they are getting better.

Step 4: Arrange Strawberries: Cut the tops off of all berries and then half them.  This can be down while you wait for step three to finish.  Arrange on top of tart as shown in the picture or whatever way your little heart desires.  Enjoy.

Now Tell me that does not look to die for. Still think this wont get you laid?

Just in case you were wondering what the Lisanti Land kitchen where all of these master pieces get cooked up in looked like here it is. Pretty gnarly huh?

 

Read Full Post »

Berry Apricot Tart

Well we have not had a fresh recipe up here in quite some time.  All I can say is that writing, cooking and photographing the recipes is very time consuming.  Not to mention that sometimes I cook them anywhere from two to ten times.  I don’t post anything that I am not 100% confident on making myself.   To make up for it here is a recipe for a scrumptious dessert I just recently made on Monday.  Its very seasonal correct (Alice Waters would be proud).   After all what could be more summer like then an Apricot Berry Tart?

Serving Size: 6
Total Cost: $12.50
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 1hr 
 

Ingredient List:

  • Crust
    • Flour – 1 ½ cups
    • Sugar – ¼ tea spoon
    • Salt – pinch
    • Butter – 6 table spoons (3/4 stick)
    • Ice Water – 2 ½ table Spoons
  • Filling
    • Flour – 2 table spoons
    • Sugar – 4 table spoons
    • Apricots – 8 (Halved & Pitted)
    • Raspberries – 1 cup
    • Strawberries – 8 (Quartered)
    • Butter – 2 table spoons
    • Almonds – 2 table spoons (crumbed)

Step 1: Make The Dough for your crust – Combine the flour, salt and sugar, whisk together.  Add in the butter making sure you break it into little chunks and then work it into the flour mixture till you have little balls.  Pour in the ice water, adding it as needed to get desired conformity of the dough.  Remember it is better to slowly add the water because you cant take it out once it goes in.  If you do end up using too much water, just add a bit more flour.  Kneed dough with hands till you have a nice ball. Cover in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator anywhere from one hour and no more then 24.

This is what your crust dough should look like prior to rolling.

Step 2: Prep The FillingHalve and pit the apricots and quarter the strawberries.  Preheat oven to 400 F.  In a bowl mix flour and 2 tablespoons of sugar

Your prepped fruit for the filling.

Step 3: Make the TartRoll out dough in a circle about 11” in diameter.  Put flour/sugar mixture from step 2 in center and spread out over dough leaving about an inch all around the perimeter. Arrange the apricot halves, cut side down.  Add the strawberries, cut side down.  Add the raspberries.  Pour three tablespoons of sugar over filling.  Fold crust around fruit.  Put in baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake in oven for total cooking time of 1 hour.  After the first ten minutes, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, pull out tart from oven and brush the melted butter around the crust.  Sprinkle sugar on crust, add crushed almonds on top and put back in oven for fifty minutes or until crust starts to brown.

Filling before folding up crust.

Ready go bake.

Read Full Post »

mmmm...waffles

mmmmmmm....waffles....Almond Flour Waffles!!!!

I love waffles, I mean who doesnt?  I will tell you who, my old roommate Brennan didn’t.  Apparently he was eating waffles when he found out his grandmother died as a little kid and has not eaten them since.  Talk about bad associations. I feel the same way about pecan pie.  On a family vacation to Virginia Beach on our last night my parents got this pecan pie from Denny’s. Now, I love Denny’s as far as cheap eats go and a nostalgic Jersey dinner feel you cant go wrong.  I dont know what happen with this particular pie, but all I know is the whole drive back to NJ I was vomiting and spitting out my asshole.

I dont know if you can blame the pie since no one else in my family got sick, quite frankly I most likely ate too much of the damn thing.  Anyway enough with bad food experiences and on to good ones.  Isnt this a great way to start out a blog for a recipe to cook?  These Almond Flour Waffles are absolutely scrumptious and they are gluten free.  These days gluten has become the enemy of human existence  even though we have been eating for over 300 years. They are tasty, fun and easy to make.

Total Cost: $9.75
Feeds About three people, two waffles per person

Ingredient List:

  • Almond Flour – 2 cups
  • Eggs – 6
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon – 3/4 teaspoon
  • Baking Soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Vanilla – 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Honey – 3 tablespoons

Step 1: Mix IngredientsIn a large bowl whisk together all ingredients.  It helps to do all the wet ingredients first and then add the dry ones.  Whisk till you have a nice batter

Ingredients pre-mixing.

Your finished batter

Step 2: Add Batter to Waffle IronPreheat waffle iron till it is hot.  Pour enough batter into iron to make one waffle, I would say fill the tray about 3/4 of the way.  These waffles grow well.

Step 3: Add ToppingsUse syrup, fruit, powdered sugar, butter, chopped almonds or whatever floats your boat and enjoy.

Read Full Post »

mmm...wonderful Potato Knishes

Potato Knishes

Potato Knishes are one of my favorite side dishes.  Nothing pairs better with a big thick hot dog, kielbasa or corn beef sandwich.  I used go to this grimy but renowned deli in New York City called Katz Delicatessen (I believe there was a myspace blog on it at one point).  They made a killer corn beef sandwich and their round knishes were almost as big as my head.  The sandwiches are great too.  Enough about Katz though, find the blog on Myspace if your still jones’in for more on that.

 

Jewish Russian immigrants first brought the knish to the United States circa 1900.  Back in the New York/New Jersey area you can get knishes just about everywhere.  They are sold frozen and even sometimes fresh in the average supermarket.  Here in California I found them nearly impossible to come by, especially here in Santa Barbara.  After an exhausting search I gave up looking and decided to learn to make them myself.  I must say my knishes did not come out too shabby either.  Here is my now perfected potato knish recipe.

Total Cost – $6.87

Feeds about 6-8 People (yields about six medium sized Knishes)

Ingredient List:

  • Potatoes – 6 (I used russets, but the variety does not matter)
  • Vegetable Oil – ¼ cup
  • Salt – 1 ½ teaspoon
  • Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Flour – 3 cups
  • Pepper – ½ teaspoon
  • Butter – ½ cup
  • Onion – 1 diced
  • Cold Water – ½ cup
  • Egg – 1

 

Step 1: Cook Potatoes Peel potatoes and cut into even chunks.  Place chunks into a pot of boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes or until soft.  Strain in colander.

Step 2: Mash PotatoesAfter straining put potatoes back into boiling pot from step 1 and mash them up with a potato masher, fork, ricer.  Measure out 1 cup of the mashed potatoes for your dough.  Leave the rest in pot for the filling.

Step 3: Make DoughIn a bowl, add the baking powder to the flour. Whisk them together. Add about one-third of the flour mixture to the mashed potatoes put aside in step 2 and mix. In sections, add in all the flour.  Break the three cups into individual one cup portions to accomplish this successfully.  Next, make a small well in the center of the bowl. Pour the cold water right into well. Knead the dough with your hands till you have a nice firm ball. Finally place a wet cloth or towel on top of the dough, and let it sit for 30 minutes to proof.

Your finished dough prior to proofing.

Step 4: Make Potato FillingMeanwhile, cut and peel the onion. Dice it into small pieces. Then melt the butter in a pan on high flame. Add the onions and sauté until they are soft, but not yet brown. Pour the onions into a mixing bowl (separate from your now proofing dough). Add 1 ½ cups of mashed potatoes, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper to bowl. Combine everything together. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Your Potato/Onion mix filling.

Step 5: Roll Out Dough and Form Knishes – Place flour on a flat surface and a rolling pin. Take a handful of dough and flatten it down on floured surface. With rolling pin roll out the dough, flipping it over occasionally, so it is one-quarter of an inch thick.

Rolling out the dough.

  • Round Knishes – Create a circular cut out from the dough rolled. A small bowl can be used as a template.  Place filling in the center and pull all sides into center over filling and pinch closed into a tepee like top.
  • Square Knishes – Create a square cut out from the dough rolled.  Place filling into the center of square and fold over short sides.  Next fold over long sides and mold with a little water to close up edges and corners.

A Round (Left) and Square (Right) knish.

Step 6: Bake KnishesPlace finished knishes onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper or treated with nonstick baking spray.  Beat one egg and brush it over the tops of each knish.  Bake at 425F for twenty to twenty five minutes.  Check for doneness when egg turns a golden brown color.

 

Read Full Post »

Tell me this does not look amazing, even a blind man can see how exquisite they are.

Apple Cobbler Cups

This is a dessert that I am going to take credit for inventing although Im sure some one has done it prior.  What I mean by a Chris Lisanti original is that I got the idea for it with out any previous musings.  What is an Apple Cobbler Cup you ask?  Only the greatest dessert ever that is easy to make and can be ready to eat in less then three hours.  Basically they are personalized apple cobblers with an oatmeal cookie crust about the size of a cup cake.  If your stuck on what to bring to the table this holiday season The Apple Cobbler Cup just may save the day.  Trust me all your friends and family will think your quite the savvy cook and since just about no one reads this blog you can even take all the credit for it.  I wont be mad; I promise.  I made these guys for Thanksgiving and it stole the show.

Total Cost  – $8.50
Feeds – 24 people

Ingredient List:

  • Granny Smith Apples – 4 (cut into Small bite size triangular pieces)
  • Lemon Juice – 5 oz
  • Sugar – 2 ½ Cups
  • Cinnamon – 1 Tablespoon
  • Butter – 16 oz
  • Flour – 1 1/3 Cup
  • Baking Powder – 2 ½ Teaspoons
  • Raisins – ¾ cup
  • Nutmeg – Teaspoon
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Vanilla – 1 Teaspoon
  • Salt – pinch
  • Oat Meal Cookies – 1 ½ Cup (crumbed)
  • Almonds – ½ cup Roasted

 

Step 1: Prep ApplesPeeling your apples is your call.  Personally I like to leave my skin on.  If you decide to leave skin make sure to clean the apples thoroughly.  Also any type of apples can be used I prefer Granny Smiths, but if you notice in my sample picture I used Macintosh Apples because that is what I had in my fridge at the time. Cut apples into bite size triangular pieces, keep in mind it is going into a cup cake shell.  In a medium mixing bowl add the lemon juice and mix with about a cup of cold water and ½ cup of sugar.  Place cut apples inside bowl, cover and let soak in refrigerator for at least three hours.  I leave mine over night.

Step 2: Mix all Dry Ingredients – In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, baking powder, Raisins, Salt.  Drain Apples from Lemon water in step 1 and add them to mixture as well.  Blend together.

Step 3: Mix Wet IngredientsIn a small mixing bowl combine Egg, Vanilla and Milk.  Add to mixture from step 2 and blend till you have a batter like consistency.

Your finished mix.

Step 4: Melt ButterIn a small boiling pan melt 16 oz of butter (3 sticks).  Grease two pans of 12 count cup cakes with butter or cooking spray.

Step 5: Fill Cup CakesCrumb up 1 ½ cups of Oatmeal Cookies (about 8-10) and fill each cup with just under 1 inch of cookie crumbs.  This will be your bottom.  Equally disperse the butter throughout all 24 cups.  Top off all cups with completed apple mixture from step 3. Leave about ¼ inch of space in each cup for growth.

Filling your cups.

Step 6: BakePreheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Bake for around 55-60 minutes.  Top should look cake like when down. Let cool in fridge for about an hour before serving.

This is what your baked cups should look like.

Step 7: Prepare AlmondsEither smash up ½ cup or so of almonds or use prepackaged pieces.  Melt 2 oz of butter with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a small roasting pan.  When melted add almonds, stir then bake at 350 degrees F for eight to ten minutes till Almonds are browned.  Keep a close eye because they can burn up pretty fast.  Add to the top of your cobbler cups to finish them off.

The Roasted Almonds

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »