Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Dinner

Last evening I prepared a wonderful Christmas Dinner for myself and my friends, Hank and Susan. For starters, we had Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms (using the recipe for crabcakes from Tyler Florence from previous post), Field Greens Salad, Horseradish Encrusted Prime Rib (see previous recipe from January, 2010), homemade Mashed Potatoes, steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise, Yeast Rolls, and for dessert Chocolate Rum Swiss Roll.

Everything was so very delicious and I think the dessert choice was especially perfect as it is a very light and flavorful chocolate roll. The recipe is compliments of Martha Stewart.

Chocolate Rum Swiss Roll

Serves 8 to 10


Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1/4 cup sifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pan
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for pan
Pinch of salt
3 large whole eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled completely


1/4 cup water
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons light rum
1 1/4 cups heavy cream


Unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder


1. Prepare oven and baking sheet: Heat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in bottom half. Coat a 12 1/2-by-17 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray. Dust with cocoa powder and tap out excess.
2. Combine dry ingredients: Whisk together cocoa powder, flour, and salt in a bowl.
3. Combine eggs and sugar: Bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over (not in) simmering water, whisk eggs, yolks, and granulated sugar until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Raise speed to high; beat until mixture is pale and thick, about 4 minutes more.
4. Add dry ingredients: Sift cocoa mixture over egg mixture; using a large rubber spatula, carefully fold. When almost incorporated, pour melted butter down side of bowl; gently fold to combine.
5. Bake: Using an offset spatula, spread batter evenly into prepared sheet. Bake cake until golden brown and springy to the touch, 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, dust a clean kitchen towel with cocoa powder. Run a knife around sides of cake. Invert onto prepared towel, and remove parchment.
6. Roll into log and cool: While the sheet cake is still warm, gently roll, starting from one short side, into a log, incorporating the kitchen towel. Let the cake cool completely, rolled. (This will give the cake a "shape memory," so it will be easier to roll again with filling.)
7. Meanwhile, make rum syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the water and 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; add rum, then let cool completely.
8. Fill cake and reroll: Unroll cake. Brush entire surface generously with cooled rum syrup. Whip cream and remaining tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form; spread over cake leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Roll cake to enclose filling (without towel), starting at a short end. Wrap the towel around rolled cake, securing with clips or clothespins to help retain the shape.
9. Chill and serve: Refrigerate 30 minutes (or up to 3 hours). Dust with cocoa powder, cut into slices with a serrated knife, and serve. Pin It

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's Tradition

It's Christmas morning and as I've done every year since I can remember, I made the infamous Breakfast Brunch. It's probably the only time of the year that I make this but it is oh, so delicious and is quick and satisfying for everyone.

It's too late to make it this Christmas morning but there are many other special occasions throughout the year. Make it a new tradition for your family!

Breakfast Brunch

Yields: 12 Servings

3/4 cup milk
4 large eggs
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces Pillsbury crescent rolls
16 ounces sausage meat

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray bottom of 9 x 13 pan with vegetable cooking spray. Press crescent rolls into bottom and up sides about one-quarter inch of pan. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over crescent rolls. Cook sausage. Drain. Crumble sausage over cheese. Mix milk and eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over cheese and sausage layer. Bake 12-15 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Let stand 5 mnutes. Cut into squares and serve. Pin It

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Taste Test

I'm entertaining dinner guests Christmas night and tonight I am taste testing cocktails to serve. Probably not a good idea to cram this all in one night!! But alas, that is indeed what I've done!

First up is the Spiced Apple Cider Martini.

Spiced Apple Cider Martini

Yields: 2 Servings

4 ounces spiced apple cider
4 ounces vodka
2 ounces brandy
2 ounces triple Sec
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in blender for 5 seconds. Pour mixture into shaker of crushed ice. Shake and pour into 2 martini glasses. Garnish with thin slice of apple (soaked in lemon water to preserve color) and a cinnamon stick.

I have to say this one is yummy but I can't help but think it should be heated and drank from a mug. It tastes just like spice apple cider but, obviously, with a kick!

So, onward to the next concoction . . . the Poinsetta.


Yields: 2 Servings

1 oz Cointreau or triple sec
6 oz cranberry juice

Chill all of the ingredients beforehand. Pour the Cointreau and cranberry juice into a chilled Champagne flute. Stir well. Top with Champagne.

Obviously, the Poinsetta has won! I love this cocktail. It's light and airy and perfect for my Christmas dinner. I'll be serving Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms, Field Greens, Prime Rib with Horseradish Crust, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise, Yeast Rolls, and for dessert Chocolate Rum Swiss Roll and coffee!! Yum, yum - I cannot wait.

Look for photos from the dinner!
Pin It

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tyler Florence's Crabcakes

One of my favorite celebrity chef's is Tyler Florence. I've had the pleasure of meeting Tyler on two separate occasions. Once was in Birmingham at a Southern Living Bake-Off on April 2, 2003. I know that was the specific date because he autographed my copy of "Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen". He wrote "Patti, keep on cooking", then signed and dated it. The autograph probably wouldn't have happened if my friend Michelle hadn't been with me. She is more bold than myself so took my book with her's up to the stage to get his autograph. I was too scared - can you believe that? Yep, I was.

The second occasion where I met Tyler was at a book signing (I should have figured there would be one in Atlanta). My neighbor at the time, Belinda, and I took off work specifically to be at the book signing and meet Tyler, once again. You see, Belinda had the honor of hosting Tyler and his film crew in her home once. Yes, she wrote in for his show, Food 911, about the perils of baking a duck and she was picked. A few months later Tyler and his crew descended on my neighborhood during the middle of the week to film the episode about how to cook an awesome duck. I only wish I had been there but, unfortunately, outsiders were discouraged from filming.

But, at the book signing, he recognized Belinda and we all chatted for a bit before he had to move on to the other fans waiting patiently to have their cookbooks autographed. I have to say I'm thrilled to have met him not only once but twice. What more could a foodie want?

Back to the point of this post - sorry, I get carried away sometimes! Tonight I decided to make Tyler's Crabcakes from the above mentioned cookbook. It's my favorite crabcake recipe and honestly is the only one I ever make. The only alteration I do is I bake mine instead of pan frying them. They are to die for!!

Crab Cakes (slightly adapted)

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 pound lump crabmeat, preferably Dungeness, picked over for shells
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 green onion, finely chopped, white and green parts
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons red chili paste, such as sambal
juice of one lemon
1 egg white
sea salt and ground white pepper

Place crabmeat in bottom of small bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Gently fold all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into six crabcakes. Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with PAM. Place in refrigerator overnight or until crabcakes have set.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place crabcakes in heated oven, cooking 25-30 minutes or until browned.

Serve with your favorite mustard, cocktail or aoili sauce! Pin It

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

My favorite rendition of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and baby, it truly is!! Temp this morning was 22 with a "real feel" temp of 18 degrees. Brrr!!!! Pin It