Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tort Diplomat

Yummy every time !
This is a recipe of a very special cake, made of whipped cream folded into gelatined juice and mixed with fruit pieces and molded onto lady fingers.

Tuscan Onion Soup !!!

I have several styles of this onion soup that seems to be so famous here.

Rafaello Candy Balls - Coconut Candy Balls

I just had to make my own version of these !

Those Mall Pretzels !

I guess most people know about those big, chewy, soft pretzels......with either a salty topping or a sweet finish like butter and cinnamon sugar. Well, I did know they exist, but never went to buy one just because. Until one day that is, when Jeff and I were at the mall and I found those pretzels at the food court. 3 bucks each if you can believe it ! Anyway, I had made pretzels numerous times, but never thought to make them as big or as soft, and after some "web pretzel investigating" I had come up with a couple recipes I would try. They turned out kinda too puffy for my taste or expectations, but they were good.
And one day I had the luck to find a Food Network Magazine with a copy cat recipe of those soft pretzels I had bought at the mall. And YES, they did turn out almost perfect.
The first picture will be of the first attempt and then the next will be of the better version.

Creme Brulee - aka Custard

One day I remembered how good was the milk and eggs custard tasting and I gave it a try. Here it is.


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a heavy saucepan; cook over low heat 10 minutes or until sugar caramelizes, tipping pan to incorporate mixture. Pour evenly into 8 (4-ounce) custard cups.

Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until blended. Gradually add warm milk, whisking constantly; stir in vanilla. Pour mixture into prepared custard cups. Cover each with aluminum foil; place in a jellyroll pan. Add hot water to pan to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove custard cups from water; uncover. Cool in cups on wire rack. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Run a knife around edge of custard to loosen; invert each onto a dessert plate.

Note: Custard can also be made in a 9-inch cakepan. Caramelize sugar in cakepan instead of saucepan.

Beef Steak

Maybe 2 months ago I was watching a TV show about steaks, not necessarily expecting to learn anything new from it, but just enjoying a nice host trying to entertain the viewers. As the show went on, she started talking about some beef sirloin and I was just amazed by how fast and easy that looked and I thought it's a "must try" recipe for Jeff. And sure enough, He loved and still does every time I make it. One day he even said he is craving one of my steaks. That sure felt good !
-2 pieces of good quality lean beef
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-2 Tbsp butter
-Kosher Salt
-Crushed Pepper
-a cast iron skillet
-10-12 min on the stove top
-10-12 mins in the oven at 400 F.
-Preheat the oven to 400 F
-Put your cast iron skillet on the stove and heat thoroughly on high for 5 to 7 min(the skillet needs to be very hot)
-Pat dry your steaks.....choose 2 pieces of 8 to 10 oz each.
-then lightly coat with the olive oil, using your hands and toss them in a mixture of salt and pepper to coat completely.
-at this point you may grab the kitchen tongs to handle the steaks with
-now the skillet being hot, add the steaks and cook for 2 mins on each side
-when the time is over, your oven shoulod be ready
-if using butter, add one Tbsp on each piece of steak and transfer to the oven
-cook for 10 to 12 mins for a medium-well finish.............or more/less depending on your taste.
-when done, remove from the skillet to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 mins
-to your cast iron skillet add 2 tbsp of flour, 3 Tbsp heavy cream and whisk until a smooth sauce forms. Now that's your buttery peppercorn sauce. Delicious and EASY !
-This recipe goes well with Onion Rings or Sauteed Mushrooms. Or a Loaded Baked Potato....
*do not use other type of salt than kosher or fleur de sel because this type or salt has the property of drawing out the juices from the steak; besides, bigger flakes of salt are more likely to fall off the steak whereas file salt will stick to the meaat therefore resulting a saltier steak.Same goes for the crushed pepper.
*do not skip the 10 min rest at the end. Its important ! And do not worry, the steak will still be hot as the aluminum foil insulates well.
*don't replace the skillet. Cast iron that is well cured/seasoned works perfect.
*yes, the meat will smoke, but it wont set the house on fire.