Creamy Pesto Pasta Primavera With Shrimp (BLW Contributor)

winekindasseur

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On a recent Rachael Ray Show with guest Emeril Lagasse, they made a pasta primavera with saffron cream featuring one of my favorite vegetables, asparagus. Asparagus is in its seasonal prime right now and looking its glorious best; skinny smooth stalks and tight heads with no signs of flowering or wilting. And if the sight of gorgeous asparagus isn’t enough, Rachael gives it even more sex appeal by cutting it on a bias! The audience swoons…

When I attended public school back in the Jurassic Period, we had enough time in the day to take elective classes in art and music. During the ceramics chapter, my art teacher tasked us with making our favorite food out of clay. Amid an abundance of kiln-fired pizza, popcorn, hot dogs, and hamburgers on display at the end of the week was my realistically sculpted, painted green stalk of asparagus. It turns out I…

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How to Grill A Perfect Steak

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Recounts, Reflections, and Other Writings

It’s March, which means multiple things. March Madness is about to begin (finally), spring break is on the horizon, and the weather is warming up. Or… staying warm since we never had a real winter this year. With warmer weather comes the inspiration to be outside with nature, and what better way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors than caking your hands in the remnants of charcoal and coating your being with the scent of smoke?

Grilling is an art and takes more than just practice to perfect. There are multiple steps that don’t even include the meat. If you want the most tender, most flavorful steak, the majority of your time will be in preparation and not in actually having the meat on the grill.

What you will need:

  • Anywhere from 2-3 hours
  • A charcoal grill
  • Woodchips (recommended, not required)
  • A bowl or plastic container
  • Gallon-sized freezer bag
  • Olive oil
  • Steak seasoning…

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Nutella Stuffed Pancakes Recipe

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Lorna Robertson

Pancakes make up a large part of my diet. Whether they are thin crepes dusted with sugar and spritzed with lemon, small and squat scotch pancakes with fresh berries and syrup or big fat and American style filled with juicy blueberries – I’ll take the lot. Quite why you’d want to reserve pancakes for just one day is beyond me! These little beauties came about after the remains of a jar of Nutella called to me in a way that only Nutella can. While Nutella smothered on top of a pancake is a glorious thing – an oozing centre is the ultimate indulgence. I’ve flavoured mine with orange zest and vanilla but they work just as well plain.

Ingredients
Makes four large pancakes or eight small
400 self raising flour
100g caster sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3 large eggs
1 orange
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
150ml whole milk

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Corn, Bacon and Parmesan Pasta Recipe – Oh, my!

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Oh, hi, I am ready for summer now. What did I miss? Because the first half of this summer was so busy — a manuscript due, a redesign set off into the world, a birthday, and a zillion other bits of happy work/life chaos — I’m in this funny position of looking up for the first time mid-July and realizing that no mysterious person has arrived while I was buried in winter recipe testing and font fine-tunings and filled my freezer with popsicles, put a bowl of heirloom tomatoes on the counter, ready for their caprese closeup [realistically, this doesn’t happen even if I had been paying attention, but let me enjoy this rose-colored Pinterest fantasy just the same] and beach? Hadn’t seen it since May. I have about seven weeks left to catch up, except I know at least five of those will be buried under recipe testing and book edits, which basically means it’s now or never to do all the summer things I haven’t yet. Beach? Check. Swimming? Check. Grilling? Check, check, check. Scheduled 7-hour flight with 4 adults and 5 children to a faraway beach town in the name of vacation? I’m scared but: check! Do everything I can with sweet summer corn while it lasts? Let’s get to work!

Check out the whole recipe via corn, bacon and parmesan pasta — smitten kitchen

Happy National Pastry Day!!! – Tell us what’s your favorite pastry?

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 George eating an Eclair out of the Garbage

 

Calamari Fritters Recipe

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Ingredients

200 gm flour

Salt

Paprika powder

Black pepper

600 gm squid, cut into 5mm/ 1/4 inch rings

For Chilli Mayo:

2 Tbsp of mayonnaise

1 red chilli, sliced

1 teaspoon of capers

1 teaspoon of cut gherkins

Juice of 1/2 lemon

A pinch of paprika powder

Directions

Season the flour with salt, pepper and paprika powder.

Mix the squid with flour until they get fully coated.

Fry in the deep fryer for 2 minutes.

Serve with chilli mayo.

For chilli mayo
:

Mix the mayonnaise with red chilli, capers, gherkins and lemon juice and give it a good stir.

Season with Paprika powder.

Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

Chocolate Mousse Pie Recipe

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Instructions

For the chocolate cookie crust:

  • Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  • Place the cookies in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until the pieces are about the size of peas. Stop the motor, add the melted butter, and continue to process until the crumbs are fine, about the size of coarsely ground coffee (you will need 1 1/2 cups). (Alternatively, place the cookies in a resealable plastic bag, press out the air, and seal. Using a rolling pin, smash into uniform fine crumbs. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the melted butter, and mix until evenly combined.)
  • Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and, using the bottom of a cup or your fingers, press firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake until fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before making the filling, about 40 minutes.

For the chocolate mousse:

  • Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Place the chopped chocolate and 1/4 cup of the cream in a large heatproof bowl. (Place the remaining cream back in the refrigerator until ready to use.) Nest the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until smooth and combined with the cream. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, wipe any moisture from the bottom of it, and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (make sure the bowl and whisk have no trace of oil or fat on them, or the whites won’t whip properly). Mix on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute; transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. (Alternatively, you can whip the whites by hand in a large bowl for about 3 minutes.)
  • Clean and dry the whisk attachment and mixer bowl. Place the remaining 3/4 cup of cream in the bowl and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. (Alternatively, you can whisk the cream by hand in a large bowl for about 3 minutes.)
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate, then gently stir in the rest (try not to deflate the whipped cream). Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate-cream mixture just until there are no longer large blobs of whipped cream or egg white (do not overmix). Spoon the mousse into the cooled pie crust and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate uncovered until set, at least 2 hours.

For the whipped cream:

  1. 
When ready to serve, place the bowl of the stand mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, and cream to the bowl and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes. (Alternatively, you can whisk the cream by hand in a large chilled bowl for about 3 to 4 minutes.) Spread or decoratively pipe the whipped cream from a pastry bag evenly over the pie.
  2. To garnish, hold the piece of chocolate with a paper towel in one hand and use a vegetable peeler to shave the desired amount over the top of the pie.

Credit: Chow

Happy Cake Day!!! – Almost-Famous Molten Chocolate Cake

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Almost-Famous Molten Chocolate Cake

ALMOST-FAMOUS MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients

For the Cakes:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 tablespoons melted, 4 tablespoons at room temperature)

1/2 cup natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa powder, plus more for dusting

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the Fillings and Toppings:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Caramel sauce, for drizzling

1 pint vanilla ice cream

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the cakes: Brush four 1 1/4-cup brioche molds (or use 10-ounce ramekins or jumbo muffin cups) with the 2 tablespoons melted butter. Dust the molds with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Bring the milk and 3/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat; set aside.

Combine the vegetable oil, 4 tablespoons room-temperature butter and the sugar in a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl and beater as needed. Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and the vanilla; beat 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl. Add 1 egg and beat 1 minute on medium-low speed, then add the remaining egg and beat 1 more minute.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture, then the hot milk mixture. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the molds, filling each slightly more than three-quarters of the way.

Transfer the molds to a baking sheet and bake until the tops of the cakes are domed and the centers are just barely set, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack; let the cakes cool until they pull away from the molds, about 30 minutes.

How To Assemble the Cake:

Make the Filling: Microwave the chocolate, cream, butter and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate starts to melt, 1 minute, 30 seconds. Let sit 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Reheat before using, if necessary.

Use the tip of a paring knife to gently loosen the cakes from the molds, then invert the cakes onto a cutting board.

Use the knife to cut a 1 1/2-inch circle on the top of each cake, cutting almost to the bottom.

Hollow out the cake with a spoon; save the scraps. Wrap the cakes with plastic wrap and microwave until steaming, 1 minute.

Drizzle plates with caramel, then unwrap the cakes and place on top. Pour about 3 tablespoons filling into each cake.

Plug the hole with a cake scrap. Save or discard any remaining scraps.

Top each cake with a scoop of ice cream. Spoon more chocolate sauce on top, spreading it thin so it hardens into a shell.

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Bacon, Onion and Rye Breard Stuffing Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  1. One 9-inch-long loaf seeded rye bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  2. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, halved and thinly sliced
  4. 1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  5. 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  6. 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  7. 1/2 pound piece of slab bacon, sliced 1/2 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  8. 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  9. 1 egg
  10. 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  11. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toast the rye bread cubes for about 15 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until lightly golden and dry. Transfer the bread to a large bowl.
  • In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery; cook over moderate heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape into the bowl with the bread.
  • Wipe out the skillet. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the bowl with the bread. In a medium bowl, whisk the chicken broth with the egg. Pour over the bread mixture and add the kosher salt and pepper. Toss until the bread soaks up the liquid. Scrape into the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Bake the stuffing for about 30 minutes, until hot throughout. Remove the foil and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the top is lightly golden. Serve hot or warm.

Credit: Food & Wine

Sweet Honey Baklava Recipe

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Baklava-Recipe-16

This honey baklava is flaky, crisp and tender and I love that it isn’t overly sweet. It’s basically a party in your mouth. I am a huge fan of baklava and this is the BEST baklava recipe I have ever tried. Hands down. You will love the hint of mellow lemony flavor which offsets the sweetness and compliments the cinnamon. It’s truly delicious. Store-bought baklava has nothing on this and trust me, I’ve been around the block when shopping for baklava!

Any baklava is a little tedious to make, but I’ve shared all of my best tips and advise to ensure you are successful in making yours. You will love that this recipe can be made several days in advance of your shindig and keeps beautifully at room temperature for at least a week.

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) pkg phyllo dough; thawed according to package instructions
2 sticks (1/2 lb) melted unsalted Butter
1 lb (about 4 cups or 3 3/4 cups chopped) walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon?)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup honey
Melted chocolate chips & chopped walnuts for garnish, optional.

Directions:

1. Thaw phyllo dough according to package instructions (this is best done overnight in the fridge, then place it on the counter for 1 hour before starting your recipe to bring it to room temp).
2. Trim phyllo dough to fit your baking sheet. My phyllo dough package had 2 rolls with with a total of 40 sheets that measured 9×14 so I had to trim them slightly. You can trim one stack at a time then cover with a damp towel to keep from drying out.
3. Butter the bottom and sides of a 13×9 non-stick baking pan.

Check out the rest of the recipe at Nastaha’s Kitchen