Tuesday, October 30, 2012

(ATK) Boston Cream Pie

Okay. Whenever you have some time (like lots of time), make this because it is delicious. So freaking delicious. Especially the creamy inside with the deep dark chocolate and the fluffy cake...yeah, heaven, that's right.
I'm much more of a decadent dessert lover than anyone else in my family...so this was awesome!
Photo Credit to americastestkitchenfeed.com
Boston Cream Pie
Serves 8-10
Pastry Cream:
2 cups half-and-half
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 and chilled
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

For the Pastry Cream: Heat half-and-half in medium saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Add flour to yolk mixture and whisk until incorporated. Remove half-and-half from heat and, whisking constantly, slowly add ½ cup to yolk mixture to temper. Whisking constantly, return tempered yolk mixture to half-and-half in saucepan.

Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, whisking constantly, 8 minutes.

Increase heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously, until bubbles burst on surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla until butter is melted and incorporated. Strain pastry cream through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl. Press lightly greased parchment paper directly on surface and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Heat milk and butter in small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and cover to keep warm.

In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip eggs and sugar at high speed until light and airy, about 5 minutes. Remove mixer bowl from stand. Add hot milk mixture and whisk by hand until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated.

Working quickly, divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until tops are light brown and toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes.

Transfer cakes to wire rack and cool -completely in pan, about 2 hours. Run small plastic knife around edge of pans, then invert cakes onto wire rack. Carefully remove parchment, then reinvert cakes.

To Assemble: Place one cake round on large plate. Whisk pastry cream briefly, then spoon onto center of cake. Using offset spatula, spread evenly to cake edge. Place second layer on pastry cream, bottom side up, making sure layers line up properly. Press lightly on top of cake to level. Refrigerate cake while preparing glaze.

For the Glaze: Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk gently until smooth, 30 seconds. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

Pour glaze onto center of cake. Use offset spatula to spread glaze to edge of cake, letting excess drip decoratively down sides. Chill finished cake 3 hours before slicing. Cake may be made up to 24 hours before serving.

Recipe Source: America's Test Kitchen

Sunday, October 14, 2012

(ATK) Easier Fried Chicken

This is delicious. Fourteen hundred pans, a lot of time, but so freaking delicious! It made me feel like I was a little bit healthier, too because they're baked, but they aren't really. Worth it though! Please enjoy!
Photo credit to americastestkitchen.com
Easier Fried Chicken
Serves 4-6
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
salt & pepper
Hot sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 1/2 pounds bone in chicken pieces, trimmed
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups peanut or vegetable oil

Whisk 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, dash hot sauce, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and pinch cayenne together in large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, 2 teaspoons pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 3/4 teaspoon paprika and remaining cayenne together in large bowl. Add remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk and mix with fingers until combined and small clumps form. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, pressing mixture onto pieces to form thick, even coating. Place dredged chicken on large plate, skin side up.
Heat oil in 11" straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat to 375 degrees {good luck! I just guessed!} Carefully place chicken pieces in pan, skin side down, and cook until golden brown on second side 2-4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Bake chicken until breasts register 160 degrees and legs/thighs register 175 degrees, 15-20 minutes.
Remove and eat and try not to eat it all at once. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

(ATK) Asparagus Gratin

Another America's Test Kitchen recipe. Again, not quick, and it creates a big mess, but so delicious!! Great for a side dish! Beautiful and elegant.
Asparagus Gratin
Photo Credit to americastestkitchen.com
Asparagus Gratin
Serves 8
2 pounds thin asparagus
2 1/2 cups water
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ounces (1/2 cup) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler. Line broiler-safe baking dish with paper towels. Trim 1 1/2 inches from stem end of asparagus and reserve ends. Bring water to boil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus ends and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove asparagus ends and discard. Add asparagus stalks to skillet, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender, 2-4 minutes. Transfer asparagus to paper towel-lined baking dish. Pour asparagus water into liquid measuring cup; reserve 1 cup.
Melt butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about one minute. Whisk in reserved asparagus water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in Monterey Jack and 1/2 cup Parmesan until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

(ATK) Fish Cakes

We borrowed a cookbook from our neighbors, the Buchanons. Thank you!! Holy cow, I am in love with this cookbook for lots of different recipes. This is one of them, delicious! Just a warning, any recipe that comes from this cookbook is NOT easy. Or quick...but sometimes, you just need a ridiculous recipe that is SO yummy! This doesn't take a ton of time, but it takes a little planning because you have to let the cakes refrigerate for a little while.
Photo Credit to mycolumbianrecipes.com

Fish Cakes
Serves 4
1 pound cod fillets, cut into 1" pieces
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 large egg white
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
Lemon wedges

Pulse half of cod fillets in food processor until they form mix of equal parts finely minced and coarsely chopped pieces, about 4 pulses. Transfer processed cod to large bowl and repeat with remaining cod. Sprinkle bread crumbs over fish.
Whisk egg white, shallot, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together in bowl. Using rubber spatula, gently fold mixture into cod and bread crumbs until mixture just holds together.
Divide cod mixture into 4 equal portions and shape each into round cake, about 3 inches across and 1.5 inches high. Transfer to plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Spread flour in shallow dish or pie plate. Dredge fish cakes in flour, shaking off excess. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully lay chilled fish cakes in skillet and cook until well browned on both sides, 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking. Carefully transfer fish cakes to platter and serve with lemon wedges.