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Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

img_3921Here is another easy dessert recipe.  It is Ina Garten’s Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake (Barefoot Contessa Food Network)  I loved the ease of preparation.  While she recommends a specific brand of chocolate chip cookie, I used a generic crunch chocolate chip cookie (it softens overnight).  The dessert reminds me of Tiramisu.  No baking involved!  Icebox cakes are layers of cookies and whipped cream/cream cheese in a spring form cake form and refrigerated overnight. Next day simply cut around the cake and release the sides of the cake form.  Slice and enjoy!

Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

adapted from Ina Garten, Food Network

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 12 oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 packet instant espresso coffee (like Starbucks brand instant coffee single)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 24 oz crisp chocolate chip cookies
  • shaved milk chocolate for garnish

Instructions:

In your mixing bowl, add whipping cream, mascarpone cheese, sugar, Kahlua, cocoa powder, instant espresso coffee, and vanilla extract.  With the whisk attachment mix the ingredients on low speed until combined; then increase to medium speed and whip until soft peaks form.

In the bottom of a 8 inch spring form cake pan, place a layer of chocolate chip cookies in the bottom of the cake pan.  Break cookies into smaller pieces to fill in any gaps.  Spread one fifth of the whip cream mixture over the top of the cookies all the way to the edge of the pan.  Repeat with cookies alternating with whipped cream until you have 5 layers of cookies and a fifth layer of whipped cream at the top.  Use a vegetable peeler to create chocolate shavings to top the whipped cream for garnish.  Cover the spring form pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Carefully cut around the edge of the spring form cake pan loosening the whipping cream from the edge.  Carefully open the form and remove the sides.

Cut the cake into 10 slices and serve.

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Old Fashioned Potato Salad

IMG_9625There is something about the recipes of Ina Garten – when I make them it always is very good.  This Old Fashioned Potato Salad recipe is no exception to that rule. The dressing consists of mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, fresh dill, and other ingredients that work together in harmony with the red potatoes.  My husband thought the potatoes should be cut smaller, but it has very good flavor!  I will make this potato salad again and again.  This recipe is from her Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook.  I made a smaller amount since it was just for my family, using 2 lbs of potatoes instead of 3.  I also reduced the amount of dressing because of that.

Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

adapted from Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa at Home (p 86)

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs small red potatoes
  • kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1.5 oz buttermilk
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup small diced celery
  • 1/2 cup small diced red onion

Instructions:

Place the potatoes in a large pot of water and cover with cool water.  Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to the water and bring it to a boil.  When it comes to a full boil, reduce the heat to medium low , cover, and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes.  Drain the potatoes in a large colander.  Off heat, place the colander over your empty pot and cover the potatoes with a clean kitchen towel and steam the potatoes for 10 minutes longer.

Meanwhile prepare the dressing.  Stir together the mayonnaise and buttermilk, Dijon and whole grain mustard, dill, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.

Chop the celery and onion.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into halves and quarters (or smaller if you desire).  Place them in a large bowl.  Add the celery and onion to the potatoes and pour the dressing over the potatoes. Stir to combine the potato salad.  Taste and adjust the seasonings (salt and pepper).  Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

NOTE:

Next time I will make additional dressing to add to the potato salad, because it does absorb into the potatoes as they sit.

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Wild Mushroom Soup

IMG_3767Here is another wonderful recipe that I have made that Ina Garten has in one of her cookbooks as well as on Food Network.  I am a sucker for mushrooms and so far all of Ina’s recipes that I have tried have been winners.  Mushrooms are matter of taste however, not everyone in my family loves them, but if you do, make this Cream of mushroom soup!  It is quite good!

Wild Mushroom Soup

adapted from Ina Garten

Source:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/cream-of-wild-mushroom-soup-recipe/index.html

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz fresh Shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 oz fresh Portabella mushrooms
  • 5 oz fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided use
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 tsp fresh thyme, divided use
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 leeks, chopped, dark leaves removed
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Instructions:

Clean the mushrooms and trim the stems and remove any parts that have gone bad.  Separate the stems from the caps.  Coarsely chop the stems.  Place the chopped stems in a stock pot.  Slice the mushroom caps and reserve for later usage.

To make the soup base: heat olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter in a large pot with the stems.  Add the onions, carrot, sprig of thyme and 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.  Add 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat and summer for 30 minutes.  Strain the broth, reserving the soup base.  Discard the vegetables.  If you do not have 4 1/2 cups of soup base, add some water.

In the meantime, heat a large cast iron skillet and melt the remaining butter. Cook the leeks over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the leeks begin to brown.  Add the mushroom slices and cook them until they are golden brown for another 10 minutes.  Add the flour and cook for 1 minute whisking constantly.  Add the white wine, stirring continuously to loosen any remains from the bottom of your skillet.  Add the soup base, minced thyme, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the half and half and cream, parsley, season with salt and pepper and heat the soup through over low, but do not boil  Serve with crusty French bread.

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Spicy Turkey Meatballs

IMG_5108When I hear the words “Turkey Meatballs”, I think “Diet!”  These are NOT diet!  These are yummy yummy and yummy!  They contain ground turkey, Italian sausage, and prosciutto ham! Red pepper flakes along with Asiago Cheese, gives it a kick of spice.  The recipe is from one of my favorite cooks: Ina Garten,  also known as the Barefoot Contessa.  You can find the original recipe on food network.  She recommends Rao’s Spaghetti sauce.. I did find it, but I have to say it is pricey.  More pricey than I like to spend on a sauce (10/bottle), so I used a nice Barilla Tomato Sauce with Basil.  This makes a lot.  I froze about half the meatballs to use again on a day when I don’t feel like cooking (yes that does happen!) I will be making them again!

Turkey Meatballs

adapted from Ina Garten (foodtv.com)

Serves 10

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cubed quality rustic bread, crusts removed
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 4 oz deli sliced prosciutto ham, finely chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Other ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 jars Spaghetti sauce like Barilla Tomato Basil Sauce, for serving
  • 2 lbs dried spaghetti, cooked according to package directions, for serving
  • grated Asiago (or Parmesan cheese), for serving

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

Process the bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs.  Add them back into your measuring bowl and add the milk and allow the crumbs to absorb the milk for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, use a fork to combine the turkey, Italian sausage, prosciutto, grated Asiago cheese (I processed it in the food processor after the bread), parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Add the breadcrumbs to the mixture and toss gently with a fork to keep the meat light, without pressing  down on the meat mixture.  Add the olive oil and eggs and toss gently to combine.

Using your hands, form 2 inch balls and place them on the parchment paper lined sheet pans.  Brush the meatballs with additional olive oil. Bake at 400 F for 35 minutes or until they are completely cooked through.

Add the meatballs to a large sauce pan and cover with your favorite spaghetti sauce.

Serve over cooked spaghetti and top each serving with additional grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese.

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