It’s people like Chef Lisa Brisch that makes me a better recipe writer, cooking instructor and just a better cook, period. Lisa is one of the instructors that I work with at Sweet Basil Gourmetware and Cooking School in Scottsdale. Right before Easter this year, I happened to be setting up for my class when hers was finishing up. She had prepared something I had never heard of; a Carrot Soufflé. The minute I tasted it, I immediately decided to add it to my Easter Brunch line up. Let me tell you the ending to this story. I could’ve easily dropped all of my other entrees and sides and just made 8 casseroles of Carrot Soufflé because my family literally drew straws to see who would take home the leftovers. Unfortunately, there were none. They practically fought over who would get the last morsel of this unbelievable side. Even if you think you’re not crazy for carrots, this dish goes beyond flavors you can imagine, and it’s as light and billowy as it gets. So, Lisa, I hope you don’t mind, but I want the world to taste this delicious treasure, because recipes like this are just too good to enjoy once a year for an Easter buffet. Just a word of warning. Have plenty of copies of the recipe handy. Your dinner guests won’t even finish the first bite without asking for it. Check out some of Lisa’s classes at www.sweetbasilgourmet.com.
What if you captured all of the delicious decadence of a chocolate brownie and transferred it to a cookie? A cookie that is so chewy, chocolaty and crinkly that it will win the hearts of crispy cookie lovers and soft baked cookie lovers alike? Well, head to the kitchen, because here it is! I discovered this delicious recipe for Chocolate Brownie Cookies in one of my go-to magazines, Cook’s Country, a spin-off publication of Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen. I love these cookies right out of the oven, but now I know to make an extra batch to freeze. Because, you know, you will have one of those nights when you must satisfy your chocolate craving and lucky you! You’ll have just what you need in an airtight container in the freezer! Enough said. Trust me on this. You’re going to get lots and lots of brownie points when you share!
It’s the universal law of food. Everything always tastes better at someone else’s house. I don’t know why that is. It just is. So when we were visiting long-time family friends in
Nayarit, Mexico a few years ago, we spent the first part of the meal gobbling up a scrumptious Pan-Seared Pork Chop Casserole and the remainder of the time sitting at a tiny wooden table writing down every detail of every delicious morsel. The pork chop casserole has been a regular weeknight meal in the Montez Family for decades and makes for a deliciously flavorful fall dish. Unfortunately, it went the way of many recipes scribbled down in the “gotta-have-this-recipe-right-now” moment. It got forgotten about and lost in life’s shuffle. That is, until this weekend when un-cluttering and re-organizing the kitchen cabinets were on the agenda. Wahoo! Long lost and now loved again. You’ll be lickin’ your chops over this one!
It was always the elegant “signature dish” reserved for special occasions like weddings or a New Year’s Eve celebration. Beef or Salmon Wellington with its beautiful puff pastry encasement was truly the fine dining darling of the 1960’s.
But take away the fête factor, and you have a fabulous weeknight or Sunday supper that turns a fresh piece of salmon into something really wonderful–especially if you give it a quick grill before enrobing it with dough. This recipe also included the ingredients for a classic Duxelles–that magical blend of butter, garlic, shallot and finely chopped mushrooms. That’s the second layer of deliciousness. The third is a layer of fresh, tender baby spinach. Slice through the layers of delicate puff pastry and enjoy the show!
We love our chocolate desserts! But as the weather heats up, who wants to turn the oven on if we can have a no-bake treat to satisfy our chocolate craving? This one is easy and awesome, two qualities every dessert should be required to have! Enjoy every bite, Chocoholics!
In Julie Child’s Menu Cookbook from 1978, she speaks about how French bread “begs to be cooked this way.” Sliced thin, brushed with butter and baked to golden brown, the “croutes” became a hard toasted bread perfect for appetizers. The modern day version is crostini, toasted sliced baguettes used for popular plates like Bruschetta and mascarpone, prosciutto and fig on crostini Hors d’oeuvres.
For this recipe I’m taking a cue from Julia:
“Suppose the boss is coming for dinner—a formidable personage whom you want to impress and whose taste in food runs to the conservative. What to serve? For someone like that I immediately think of beef.”
This recipe for Filet with Sautéed Mushrooms combines the use of beautifully baked toasts sprinkled with grated cheese and then topped with thin slices of flavorful filet topped with a small mound of sautéed mushrooms and onions. If you invite your boss to your next party and serve up these, you just might get a raise!
(This is a great summertime light meal and all steps can be made ahead and assembled when ready to serve. Serve mushroom mixture warmed.)