Thursday, May 7, 2009

A beautiful tropical cake to celebrate your mom!

Recipe of the day
Charlie Paladin/Wayne, executive chef at Justin Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles, California, uses Hawaiian-grown and manufactured chocolate in this torte, and the winery's Obtuse port-style wine for the sauce.

Chocolate Macadamia Torte with Vanilla Port Sauce
MAKES: 10 to 12 servings
PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 hour, plus at least 4 hours to chill

3/4 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 large egg yolks
Macadamia crust (recipe follows)
Vanilla port sauce (recipe follows)

1. In the top of a double boiler, combine chocolate, cinnamon, and 3/4 cup cream. Stir over simmering water just until chocolate is melted and smooth. Add egg yolks and whisk over simmering water until mixture reaches 140[degrees]. Adjust heat to keep mixture between 140[degrees] and 150[degrees], and continue to whisk for 3 minutes. Nest pan in ice water and stir often until mixture is cool, about 15 minutes.

2. In a deep bowl with a mixer at high speed, whip remaining cream until it holds distinct peaks. Gently fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture, then pour into cool macadamia crust. Cover airtight (don't let cover touch filling) and chill at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

3. Remove cheesecake pan rim, cut torte into wedges, and accompany with vanilla port sauce to taste.

Per serving without sauce: 407 cal., 69% (279 cal.) from fat; 4.3 g protein; 31 at (15 g sat.); 33 g carbo (1.9 g fiber); 59 mg sodium; 97 mg chol.

Macadamia Crust
MAKES: 1 crust; 10 to 12 servings
PREP AND COOK TIME: About 25 minutes, plus 45 minutes to cool

1 cup unsalted roasted macadamias (see notes)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine, cut into chunks

1. In a food processor, whirl macadamias until finely chopped. Pour into a bowl. In food processor, whirl flour, sugar, and butter until fine crumbs form. Add macadamias and whirl just until dough sticks together. (Or mince nuts with a sharp knife and put in a bowl with flour, sugar, and butter; rub with your fingers until mixture sticks together, then pat into a ball.)

2. Press mixture evenly over bottom and about 1 1/4 inches up sides of a 9-inch cheesecake pan with a removable rim.

3. Bake crust in a 350[degrees] oven until golden brown, 12 to 18 minutes. Set on a rack and cool at least 30 minutes.

NOTES: To remove salt from salted macadamias, pour nuts onto a towel; enclose and rub, then lift nuts from towel. If making crust up to 1 day ahead, wrap airtight and store at room temperature.

Per serving: 168 cal., 64% (108 cal.) from fat; 1.8 g protein; 12 g fat (3.7 g sat.); 14 g carbo (0.2 g fiber); 44 mg sodium; 11 mg chol.

Vanilla Port Sauce
MAKES: 1 cup
PREP AND COOK TIME: About 15 minutes, plus 15 minutes to cool

1 1/2 cups port
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean (about 7 in.)


1. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan, combine port and sugar. With a small, sharp knife, slit vanilla bean open lengthwise. Scrape seeds from pod; add seeds and pod to the port mixture.

2. Boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Let sauce cool at least 15 minutes; discard vanilla pod. Serve warm, cool, or chilled.

NOTES: If making up to 2 days ahead, cover and chill; sauce thickens when it's cool.

Per tablespoon: 59 cal., 0% (0 cal.) from fat; 0 g protein; 0 g fat; 15 g carbo (0 g fiber); 2.1 1 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
Sunset March, 2000 by Andrew Baker
COPYRIGHT 2000 Sunset Publishing Corp.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Cinco de Mayo Meaty Empanadas

Recipe of the day
Serving appetizers with a Southwest flair is a hit at any gathering.

Makes 12 appetizer servings
PREP: 30 MIN., COOK: 35 MIN., CHILL: 1 HR.

¾ pound ground beef
¼ pound sweet Italian sausage
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 ½ cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 ½ tablespoons Cajun seasoning
½ cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 (7.5-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil
Toppings: salsa and sour cream

COOK ground beef and sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until mixture crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and set aside, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet.

SAUTÉ onion in hot drippings 5 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms; sauté 2 minutes.

RETURN beef mixture to skillet; stir in tomato sauce and Cajun seasoning. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Cool completely. Stir in cheese. Cover and chill thoroughly.

ROLL biscuits into 4-inch circles on a lightly floured surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon beef mixture in center of each circle; brush edges with egg. Fold edges over, pressing with a fork to seal. Place on baking sheets, and cover with a damp cloth. Chill up to 2 hours, if desired.

POUR oil to a depth of ½ inch into a Dutch oven. Fry empanadas in hot oil, in batches, 30 seconds on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels; serve with desired toppings.
source: Southern Living Magazine, May 2005
Copyright Southern Progress Corporation May 2005

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with this flavorful starter

Recipe of the day

Makes: 6 servings

4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ red onion, sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño, seeded
2 garlic cloves
1 dashsh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
½ spoon salt (optional)
¼ spoon chill powder
¼ spoon pepper
6 cups water
30 unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
1 large avocado, diced
Garnish: lime slices
Lime-flavored tortilla chips

PROCESS first 10 ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Cover and chill sauce up to 1 week.

BRING 6 cups water to a boil; add shrimp, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Drain and rinse with cold water. Chill up to 24 hours, if desired.

PEEL shrimp, leaving tails on; devein, if desired.

STIR avocado into sauce; spoon sauce evenly into 6 chilled martini glasses or small bowls. Arrange 5 shrimp around edge of each glass; garnish, if desired. Serve with lime-flavored tortilla chips.
source: Southern Living magazine, May 2005
Copyright Southern Progress Corporation May 2005

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