Sunday, December 11, 2011

WWSD - What Would Stacey Do? - December 2011

Diva:  Erin

Drinks:  Tiffany
Selection of wines.

Appetizer:  Aven
Cauliflower and Carmelized Onion Tartlettes

1 large head of cauliflower (~2 lbs)
2 large thinly sliced yellow onions
4 T butter
2 pkgs puff pastry dough
6 oz. pancetta (omit for vegetarian version)
2 T dijon mustard
2 eggs
8 oz. mascarpone cheese (2 pkgs.)
½ c whipping cream
pinch nutmeg
1 c grated gruyere
½ c grated parmesan cheese
salt and white pepper

makes 24 tartlettes

Melt butter in saute pan.  Chop cauliflower and toss with half of the melted butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast at 425 for 40 minutes or until tender, turning once.  Add onions to remaining butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for 40 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally.  While onions and cauliflower are cooking cut and arrange puff pastry in muffin tins. Spread a dollop of mustard on pastry and lay pancetta inside.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake pastry for 20 minutes.  While pastry is baking whisk eggs with mascarpone, white pepper and nutmeg.  Stir in gruyere.  When cauliflower is cool enough to handle cut into small pieces.

To assemble tarts spread a layer of onions on top of pancetta, arrange cauliflower on top of onions, pour as much egg and cheese mixture as will fit in shells over veggies and sprinkle with parmesan.  Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, until filling is set and top is golden. 

(Adapted from Bon Appetit March 2007)

Soup:  Mariah
Broccoli Cheese Soup

3 T unsalted butter, plus 2 T cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 c yellow onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
½ tsp salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Pinch nutmeg
½ tsp minced garlic
½ tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 T all-purpose flour
3 c chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed and separated
½ c heavy cream
1 ¼ c shredded medium Cheddar
Croutons, for garnish, recipe follows

In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food
processor and return to the pot.)  Add the cream and bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.  Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.

1 c 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubed French bread
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp Essence or Creole seasoning, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the bread in a medium bowl and toss with oil and Essence. Spread
evenly on a small baking sheet and bake, stirring twice, until light
golden brown on top, about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool
slightly before serving.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2½ T paprika
2 T salt
2 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 T onion powder
1 T cayenne pepper
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

(From New New Orleans Cooking by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch.)

Salad:  Colleen
Red Cabbage Slaw

1 ½ heads read cabbage shredded
dried cranberries
chopped pecans

equal parts mayo and apple cider vinegar
sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

Mix, refrigerate for a couple of hours and serve.

Side Dish:  Stacey
Brussels Sprouts Gratin

2 T butter--cut into pieces, plus more for buttering the dish
kosher salt
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, outer leaves and stems removed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated white cheddar cheese
½ cup breadcrumbs

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and butter a glass baking dish (double this recipe if you use a 9X13 dish).  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until just tender--about 10 mins.  Drain the sprouts and coarsely chop.  Transfer the sprouts to the prepared baking dish and toss with the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste, then spread out evenly.  Pour the cream on top, sprinkle with the cheese and breadcrumbs and dot with the butter pieces.  Bake the gratin until bubbly and golden brown--about 15 mins.  Enjoy!!

(From Food Network Magazine, November 2010)

Entree:  Lovina
Gratineed Chicken in Cream Sauce (Poulet à la Fermiere)

4 pounds chicken thighs
3 T butter
8 carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 leeks, chopped
1 c dry white wine
2/3 c chicken broth
1½ T Herbs de Provence
2 pounds small potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces (I used organic French fingerlings)
1 c sour cream
½ c heavy cream
salt and fresh ground pepper
2 c frozen baby peas, thawed
1 ½ c coarsely grated Gruyère

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. In a large (6 or 8-quart) ceramic dutch oven (with tight fitting lid), heat butter over medium high and brown the chicken in batches (about 4-5 minutes each side).  Transfer to a plate and cover. Spoon out all but 2 tablespoons fat from pan. Add carrots, onions and leeks and saute over medium heat until soft and beginning to brown. Add wine to deglaze the pot, stirring and scraping up brown bits over high heat, until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add broth, Herbs de Provence, and chicken (skin sides up) along with any juices from plate. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and salt and pepper to taste and simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Stir in sour cream, heavy cream, peas, and salt and pepper to taste, then turn chicken in sauce to coat. Sprinkle dish all over with Gruyère and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until browned and sauce is bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes.

(Adapted from

Dessert:  Hallie
Bread Pudding

1-pound loaf French or Italian bread, cut into cubes (about 15 cups)
3 c milk
¼ c heavy cream
½ c coffee-flavored liqueur
1 c granulated sugar
1 c packed light brown sugar
¼ c cocoa powder
1 T vanilla extract
2 tsp pure almond extract (I skipped this and doubled the vanilla)
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Place the bread in the baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, and liqueur.
In another bowl, combine the granulated and brown sugars with the cocoa powder and mix well. Add this to the milk mixture and whisk to combine.
Add the vanilla and almond extracts and the cinnamon to the beaten eggs. Combine the egg mixture with the milk mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread cubes; let stand, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes, or until the bread has absorbed most of the milk mixture. Bake the pudding for 1 hour, or until set; a knife inserted into the center of the pudding should come out clean. Serving the pudding warm, or refrigerate it and serve chilled.
Serve it warm or cold, with whipped cream or a dessert sauce.

For the mint cream drizzle I whipped heavy cream with creme de menthe-- DON'T ADD SUGAR. I just dumped the booze in 'till it tasted good. The booze kept the cream from getting truly whipped, but it drizzles nicely.

(Adapted from Paula Deen)

Peppermint Popcorn
Preheat oven to about 200

Use air popped corn- microwave varieties have oil on them and might interefer with the process.
2 batches of air popped corn put in a deep roasting pan
Crush about 6 candy canes, or a bag of red and white starlight mints
Melt a bag of white chocolate chips, or about 2 bars of white chocolate
pour the melted white chocolate over the popcorn
mix the crushed candy with the popcorn/white chocolate
throw the pan onto the oven for a minute or so then mix again.
Let it cool and break it up.  Sprinkle on top of bread pudding for a little crunch.