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Monday, September 27, 2010

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Ooooomm cookies - my first icing attempt to celebrate the end of my yoga teacher training.
The Daring Bakers September 2010 Challenge by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?! with small additions

Taste 4 (out of 5)
Difficulty 2 (out of 5) 

For the cookies
- 200 g unsalted butter, at room temperature (1435 cal)
- 400g all purpose flour (1455 cal)
- 200g sugar (775 cal)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten (70 cal)
- 1 tsp / 5 ml vanilla extract (10 cal)
- 1 tsp ground orange zest 
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract (5 cal)
For the icing
- 3/4 cup confectioner’s / powdered sugar (350 cal)
- 1/2 large egg whites (10 cal)
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp lemon extract
- 2-3 drops of beet juice for coloring
Total 4110 cal, 40 cookies, 100 cal / cookie
For the cookies
1. Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavorings you’re using. Beat until just becoming
creamy in texture. Don’t over mix, otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during baking, losing their shape.
2. Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms.
3. Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.
4. Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5 mm / 0.2 inch
5. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 mins.
6. Once chilled, peel off the upper parchment (it can be used to line the baking sheet).
7. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.
8. Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30 mins to an hour. It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.
9. Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
10. Preheat oven to 180C  / 350F . Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15 mins depending on the size of the cookies. Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.
11. Leave to cool on cooling racks. Once completely cooled, decorate as desired. If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, undecorated
cookies can last up to a month.
For the icing
12. Beat egg white with lemon juice until combined. It’s important that the bowls/spoons/spatulas and beaters you use are thoroughly cleaned and grease free.
13. Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites. 
14. Beat on low until combined and smooth.
15. You might need to adjust the amount of icing sugar - use more for writing and less for flooding. To thin the icing add a few drops of water at a time until you reach the consistency you need. For writing, drag a knife through the surface of the Royal Icing and count to 10. If the surface becomes smooth between 5 & 10 seconds, the icing is at the correct consistency. 
16. Add the coloring, just a few drops with a fork or a toothpick. Since I used a liquid (juice) to color, I had to add a little more confectioner’s sugar to thicken the icing.
17. Use immediately or keep in an airtight container. Royal Icing starts to harden as soon as it’s in contact with air so make sure to cover containers with plastic wrap while not in use.
18. Fit the piping bag with a size 1 or 2 tip for writing. Gently squeeze the piping bag and start moving in the direction you want to write.
19. Once fully decorated, allow cookies to dry for 24 hours in a cool and dry area.  Stack cookies in an airtight container, with parchment or wax free paper in between the layers. Store in a cool and dry area with the container’s lid firmly sealed. Will last for about a month if stored this way.
- Very nice cookies. I followed the instructions with the rolling, and I am not quite convinced that it’s easier to roll the dough, refrigerate, cut, refrigerate, etc. I think it might be still ok to just roll the dough without the parchment paper, cut it, and refrigerate it when already cut right on the cooking sheet while the oven preheats. I guess I’ll try that next time. 
- I did not have tip 1, and found it a little clumsy to write with tip 2, but this was my first icing attempts, so maybe that’s the real reason that the cookies don’t look too fancy.
Blog-checking lines
The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “
What the Fruitcake?!”. Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Apple Butter

Well, not really a butter, more like a baby food ;-), but absolutely yummy for the young and the young at heart :-P
The Daring Cooks September 2010 Challenge by by John of Eat4Fun with small adjustments
Taste 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty 2 (out of 5)
- 1.2 kg apples makes about 1 kg after peeling and coring (480 cal)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (205 cal)
- 1 tsp ground orange peel
- 1 tsp lemon concentrate
Total 685 cal, 400 g apple butter, 25 cal / tablespoon
1. Wash apples well and remove stems. Cut apples into quarters or eighths and remove cores and peel.
2. Cook the peeled apples slowly in a large saucepan. Use enough water to cover the apples and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook until apples are very soft (falling apart).
3. Drain water from the pot, add the sugar, the orange peel and the lemon concentrate to the saucepan. and mash the apples. It is very easily done using an immersion blender. 
4. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. This process can take about 2 hours. When cooking down the apples, you want to leave the lid ajar or use a splatter screen. This will allow for evaporation. Another trick is to support the lid by laying two wooden spoons across the top of the pot.
5. To test for doneness, spoon a small quantity onto a clean plate; when the butter mounds on the plate without liquid separating around the edge of the butter, it is ready. Another way to test for doneness is to remove a spoonful of the cooked butter on a spoon and hold it away from steam for 2 minutes. It is done if the butter remains mounded on the spoon.
6. Pour contents into desired storage container or multiple containers. 

- Loved the butter - it’s perfect as a spread, especially on my beloved apple bread
- When I drained the water from cooked apples I saved it, and used for chili :-). It could also be great for the dough of the apple bread.
Blog-checking lines: The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Mushroom Quiche

A great quiche for any occasion and the dough is simply perfect.
Not available in English
Taste 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty 2 (out of 5)
For the dough
- 2 cups all purpose flour (910 cal)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 170 g sour cream (365 cal)
- 75 g margarine (535 cal)
- pinch of salt
For the filling
- 1 tbsp canola oil (120 cal)
- 2 large onions (120 cal)
- 2 cloves garlic (10 cal)
- 500 g chopped mushrooms (125 cal)
- 2 tbsp milk (15 cal)
- 2 tbsp white wine (25 cal)
- 2 eggs (140 cal)
- 4 egg whites (60 cal)
- 170 g sour cream (365 cal)
- 200 g shredded cheese (805 cal)
- salt and pepper to taste
Total 3595 cal, 6 individual quiches or 2 9” quiches, 600 cal / individual quiche
1. Mix all the dough ingredients and knead until uniform. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. 
2. Roll the dough and line the pie pans (this dough should be enough for 2 9’’ or 6 individual pie pans).
3. In a large frying pan saute chopped onions and the crushed garlic with 1 tbsp of oil, until the onions brown. Add the mushrooms and saute for 10-15 more minutes. Pour wine and milk and season with salt and pepper. You can also add dill and / or basil if desired. Saute for 5 more minutes. 
4. Lightly beat the eggs and mix with the sour cream and the cheese. Pour over the sauteed mushrooms and transfer the filling into the pie pans. 
5. Bake at 375F for about 50 minutes until the filling is firm and golden brown.
- A very good quiche, and presentable too. Better warm, but can be also served cold. 
- The dough is very easy to make and is pretty tasty: not too crunchy and not too gooey. Even fills a bit like a puff pastry in the finished quiche. It also does not stick to the pie pan. One of the better pie doughs I’ve tried so far. 

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Petit Fours

My first attempt at petit fours
The Daring Bakers August 2010 Challenge by Elissa of 17 and Baking with small adjustments and without the ice cream

Taste 4 (out of 5)
Difficulty 3 (out of 5)
Brown Butter Pound Cake
- 275 g unsalted butter
- 200 g sifted flour 
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 185g light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Jam
- 250 g of jam (I used sour cherry)
- juice of 1/2 lemon (optional, if your jam is too sweet)
For Chocolate Glaze
- 250g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup/ 250 ml heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup, Golden syrup, or agave nectar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour or line with silicon an 11”x13” pan or deep cookie sheet.
2. Place the butter in a 10” (25cm) skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns.) Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Beat the brown butter and light brown sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.
5. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
6. Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 11”x13” pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
7. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
For Chocolate Glaze
8. Stir the heavy cream and light corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add the dark chocolate. Let sit 30 seconds, then stir to completely melt the chocolate. Stir in the vanilla and let cool until tepid before glazing the petit fours.
9. In a blender mix the jam with the lemon juice (if using the lemon juice). 
10. Once the brown butter pound cake has completely cooled, cut it in half, spread the jam on top of one half and place the other half on top.
11. Make the chocolate glaze and while it cools trim the sides of the cake to make it perfectly rectangular and then cut into 1.5”x1.5” petit fours.
12. Place each petit four on a fork and with a spoon pour a glaze over it. Put the coated petit fours on the parchment lined cookie sheet and let cool in the refrigerator until the glaze is firm.

- Thanks, Elissa, for the great challenge. I wanted to make petit fours for a while, and this was a perfect opportunity. I did not make the ice cream though, because I had an overdose in the last months challenge :-). 
- I used a 9”x11” pan and did not realize I needed to half the cake horizontally, so my petit fours turned out quite big (more like grand fours). Next time I will simply use a bigger pan (11”x13” or something similar), because I am really bad at cutting cakes horizontally.
- The cake tastes really good all by itself. I am just wondering if so much butter is needed, and how the browning of butter impacts the taste. Next time I might try using less butter, for calories’ sake.
Blog checking lines The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Pelmeni - Russian Dumplings with Meat and Cabbage

The Daring Cooks August ‘10 Challenge called them Pierogi, but I believe that the original Russian name is Pelmeni :-)
Adapted from August 2010 Daring Cooks Challenge by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen
Taste 3 (out of 5)
Difficulty 5 (out of 5)
For the dough
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp salt
-  3/4 cup lukewarm water
For the filling
- 250 g cooked meat, minced or cut very finely
- 100 g sour kraut, drained
- 1/2 onion, diced and fried
- 1 cloves garlic
- 1 medium egg
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper
If frying the dumplings
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 3 tsp butter
Total: 30 dumplings
1. Combine all the ingredients for the filling (it’s best to use one’s hands to do that) put into the bowl, cover and set aside in the fridge until you have to use it.
2. Place 2 cups flour in a large bowl or on a work surface and make a well in the center. Break the egg into it, add the salt and a little lukewarm at a time (you might need from 1/2 to 1 cup water). Bring the dough together, kneading well and adding more flour or water as necessary. Cover the dough with a bowl or towel. You’re aiming for soft dough. Let it rest 20 minutes.
3. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out thinly (1/8” or about 3 millimeters) cut with a 2-inch (5 cm) round or glass (I used 4-inch/10 cm cutter and got around 30 of them and 1 full, heaped teaspoon of filling is perfect for that size). Spoon a portion (teaspoon will be the best) of the filling into the middle of each circle. Fold dough in half and pinch edges together. Gather scraps, re-roll and fill. Repeat with remaining dough.
4. Bring a large, low saucepan of salted water to boil. Drop in the pelmeni, not too many, only single layer in the pan! Return to the boil and reduce heat. When the pelmeni rise to the surface, continue to simmer a few minutes more ( usually about 5 minutes). Remove one dumpling with a slotted spoon and taste if ready. When satisfied, remove remaining pelmeni from the water.
5. Serve immediately preferably with sour cream or fry. Cold pelmeni can be fried.  Boiled Russian pelmeni can be easily frozen and boiled taken out straight from the freezer.
- I have to admit that dumplings are not one of my very favorite foods, and in addition it always seemed way too much work. So I was glad to see this challenge, because it without it I never would have tried making dumplings from scratch :-).
- Maybe my dough was too hard, but it was just extremely difficult to roll out and it kept shrinking. As a result I think it was too thick compared to the amount of filling I managed to squeeze in. The only good thing about my dough was that it did not stick to the surface and the pin even without the flour. 
- Frying the dumplings in butter certainly helped improve the taste, but added an extra 1/2 hour and quite a few calories. 
- Overall, I probably spent 5 hours on these 30 dumplings, which makes it 10 minutes per dumpling (kneading the dough, rolling the dough, filling the dumplings, boiling and frying in batches, preparing the filling). And 2 days later my wrists still hurt from all the rolling :-). And I think the best part is the filling, anyway, which is really quick and easy to make. So why not just meatballs, and save all the extra work and calories from the dough? 
Blog-checking lines 
The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

Should I have ice cream or cake? hmmm.... No need to choose any more!
The Daring Bakers July 2010 Challenge by Sunita with small adjustments

Taste 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty 5 (out of 5)
For Swiss rolls (dough)
6 medium sized eggs
- 1 cup/ 8 oz/ 225 g caster sugar 
- 6 tbsp/ 1.6 oz/ 45g all purpose flour 
- 5 tbsp/ 1.4 oz/ 40g natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
- 2 tbsp/ 1 fl oz/ 30ml boiling water
- 1/2 tsp baking soda with 1 tbsp apple cider mixed until bubbly
- a little oil for brushing the pans
For Swiss rolls (filling)
- 2 cups/ 16 fl oz/ 500 ml whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp/ 2.5 oz/ 70 g caster sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, squeezed in a blender and pressed through a sieve to remove the seeds
- 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
For vanilla ice cream
- 2 1/2 cups/ 20 fl oz/ 625 ml whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup/ 4 oz/ 115 g granulated sugar
For raspberry ice cream
- 2 1/2 cups/ 20 fl oz/ 625 ml whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup/ 4 oz/ 115 g granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, squeezed in a blender and pressed through a sieve to remove the seeds
For chocolate ice cream
- 2 cups/ 500 ml whipping cream
- 1 cup / 8 oz/ 230 g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp/ 1.5 oz/ 24 g natural unsweetened cocoa powder
For hot fudge sauce
- 1 cup/ 8 oz/ 230g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp/ 1.5 oz/  24g natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp/ 1 oz/ 15g corn flour/ cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups/ 12 fl oz/ 355 ml water
- 1 tbsp 1 oz/ 14g butter
- 1 tsp/ 5 ml vanilla extract
For Swiss roll
1. Preheat the oven at 400F/ 200C. Brush 2 baking pans ( 11 inches by 9 inches ) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake. Or just half the recipe like I did and make only 1 swiss roll.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.
3. Sift together the flour and the cocoa, add in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water and the baking soda mixed with cider.
4. Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.
5. Place a pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch.
6. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.
7. Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.
8. Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, seam side down. Repeat the same for the next cake as well.
9. In a large bowl beat the cream with vanilla sugar and lemon till very thick. Add the raspberry puree and mix well until uniform color.
10. Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes.
11. Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of 1/2 an inch should be fine).
12. Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down.
For vanilla ice cream
13. In a mixing bowl, whip the cream and then add the vanilla extract and the sugar and continue beating.
14. Pour into a freezer friendly container and freeze till firm around the edges. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.
For raspberry ice cream
15. The same as vanilla ice cream only at the end add the raspberry puree and mix well. 
For chocolate ice cream
16. Grind together the sugar and the cocoa powder in a food processor.
17. In a saucepan, add all the ingredients and whisk lightly.
18. Place the pan over heat and keep stirring till it begins to bubble around the edges.
19. Remove from heat and cool completely before transferring to a freezer friendly container till firm around the edges. 
20. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.
For hot fudge sauce
21. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, corn flour and water.
22. Place the pan over heat, and stir constantly, till it begins to thicken and is smooth (for about 2 minutes).
23. Remove from heat and mix in the butter and vanilla. Keep aside to cool .
24. Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices, 10 slices per roll ( approximately 2 cm each ).
25. Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap.
26. Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).
27. Soften the vanilla ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm ( at least 1 hour).
28. Add the fudge sauce over the vanilla ice cream, cover and freeze till firm ( at least an hour).
29. Soften and spread the raspberry ice cream over the fudge. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze (at least an hour).
30. Soften the chocolate ice cream and add over the raspberry one. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set.
31. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water. The bowl will come away easily.
32. Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing, depending on how hot your region is. Slice with a sharp knife, dipped in hot water.
- First of all, I want to thank Sunita - this was the first time I’ve attempted an ice cream cake. And it’s the first time I managed to make a pretty good ice cream without an ice cream maker (all my previous attempts were much more like icicles than ice cream). 
- I made half the recipe, and it still produced 12 decent servings (and I don’t even want to start counting calories per serving). 
- The original recipe had 1 layer of fudge and 2 types of ice creams, and I had the fudge and 3 layers of ice cream, so my ice cream overflowed. I should have just stuck to the original recipe and used 2 ice cream layers. 
Blog checking lines- The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.-

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chicken with Pecan Cream & Mushrooms

A June 2010 Daring Cooks challenge - a really original twist on pasta sauce. 
Taste 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty 2 (out of 5)
For Pecan Cream:
- 3/4 cup / 180 ml coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
- 1 cup /240 ml water
- 1 cup / 240 ml milk 
- 3/4 tsp salt, more as needed
- 1/2 lb / 225 g pasta
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 tsp olive oil, more as needed
- salt & pepper to taste
For Sauce:
- 1 tbsp deglazing liquid (water, broth, wine; optional)
- 1 tsp olive oil, more as needed
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml finely chopped shallots
- 1/2 lb / 225 g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- chopped pecans, (optional garnish)
Total 4 servings
1. Prepare pecan cream. Grind pecans in a food processor for about a minute or so until smooth, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Add water, milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt; process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Set aside pecan cream.
2. Cook pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Drain, rinse, and keep warm.
3. If desired, pound chicken to ¼ inch (6 mm) thickness to promote even cooking. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken; sauté 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set aside cooked chicken on a clean plate, cover to keep warm.
4. Add deglazing liquid to pan if using and stir up any browned bits. If needed, add another teaspoon of oil (or more) to pan for sautéing the shallots and mushrooms. Sauté the shallots and mushrooms over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and starting to brown. Add fresh thyme to the pan. Stir in pecan cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 minutes till reduced slightly.
5. Slice chicken into thin strips. Divide the noodles among serving plates. Add a scoop of the mushroom pecan sauce on top of noodles. Lay sliced chicken on top. Garnish with fresh thyme and/or a pinch of chopped pecans if desired.

- A great recipe - I never would have thought of making a pecan sauce for chicken, but it turned out really yummy! Thanks to Margie and Natashya for the brillian idea :-)
- The sauce turned out too salty for me (but I barely use any salt at all, so maybe I’m not a good indicator for others). I added milk to dilute the saltiness - the original recipe did not have any milk, only water. It was still too salty, but the milk added a nice creamy texture. Next time I’ll reduce the salt and keep the milk.
Blog-checking lines
The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by
Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Trout Pâté

Looks fancy, tastes great and is really easy to make.
The Daring Cook’s June 2010 challenge, hosted by Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny
Taste 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty 1 (out of 5)
- 1/2 lb / 8 oz / 240g trout filet, skinned and cut into thick chunks (355 cal)
- 1/4 lb / 4 oz / 110g raw shrimp, deveined, shelled and tailed (150 cal)
- 1/2 cup / 120ml heavy cream (415 cal)
- salt and black pepper to taste
- chives for garnish
Total 920 cal, 6 servings, 155 cal / serving
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
2. Put the trout and the raw shrimp in a food processor and pulse. Gradually pour in the cream and keep pulsing until you obtain a smooth mixture that is easy to spread, but not too liquid (you may not need to use all the cream). Season with salt and pepper.
3. Butter a 6x3 inch (15x7,5 cm) loaf pan or three 3/4-cup ramekins. Spoon in the trout mixture and spread it evenly. 
4. Prepare a water bath: place the loaf pan in a larger, deep ovenproof dish (such as a brownie pan or a baking dish). Bring some water to a simmer and carefully pour it in the larger dish. The water should reach approximately halfway up the loaf pan.
5. Put the water bath and terrine in the oven, and bake for 35 minutes. The pâté should be cooked through and firm in the center.
6. Remove the pan from the water bath and let cool. Carefully unmold onto a serving platter. Decorate with chopped chives. Cut into thick slices and serve at room temperature, with crusty bread.
- This was my first pate, so I followed the pâté recipe from the Daring Kitchen very closely. The primary change was omitting whole shrimps. It turned out much much easier than I thought, and very tasty. Thanks a lot to Evelyne and Valerie for this challenge :-)
- For the bread I made a baguette from my absolute favorite Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day master recipe
- I was really pleasantly surprised to see how easy it was to unmold this pâté - leaves a lot of room for experimenting with pans of different shapes.
- If you have leftover heavy cream, place it in a food processor and beat on High speed until it firms. It becomes something like the British double clotted cream. A great addition to your baguette and pâté ;-)
Blog-checking lines: Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

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