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Archive for November, 2007

Christmas dessert party menu

Posted by moderndaygourmet on November 27, 2007

Here is what we’re having for this year’s party:

Cherry pom pom cookies
Chocolate shortbread cookies cut in holiday shapes, decorated with frosting
Mini pecan pies

Peppermint bark

Cheesecake with topping
Hungarian torte
Bread pudding with bourbon sauce
Flourless dark chocolate cake

Fruit with whipped cream (for those dieting, diabetic or just not that hungry)

Coffee (maybe a coffee bar with flavored syrups etc)
Hot mulled cider


Posted in Menus - other | Leave a Comment »

Flourless chocolate cake

Posted by moderndaygourmet on November 27, 2007

My friend Laura gave me this recipe; I think it may have come from Epicurious? I have not made it but I plan to for a party shortly. From all the reviews I have seen it is absolutely decadent. I think I may throw in some orange zest and/or Grand Marnier.


1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar

9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, diced
18 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs

1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment round; butter parchment. Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim. Combine 1 cup water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.

Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.

For ganache:
Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.

Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release sides. Cut cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream.

Posted in Desserts - cake | Leave a Comment »

Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

Posted by moderndaygourmet on November 26, 2007

These muffins are quick and relatively healthy (pumpkin has tons of fiber and some protein too). The recipe calls for using baking cups but I used nonstick muffin pans (sprayed with cooking spray) and had no problem with them sticking.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped (such as Craisins)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and next 5 ingredients (though cloves); stir well with a whisk.

Combine granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Fold in cranberries.

Place 12 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into prepared cups. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack.

This has 200 calories per muffin, 3 grams of fat, nearly 3 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of fiber.

Posted in Breads, Breakfast | Leave a Comment »

Turkey Fried Rice

Posted by moderndaygourmet on November 26, 2007

Another great Thanksgiving leftover recipe. I plan to try this with other leftover meat like chicken and pork as well. If you want to crank up the heat you can add another teaspoon of the chili garlic sauce. Also, we like our fried rice with egg in it, so I added a couple of eggs. Next time I will probably add 4 or so; 2 eggs isn’t much since this recipe makes a lot.

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Turkey Stock
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 teaspoons canola oil
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup sliced green onions
1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
5 cups cooked long-grain rice, chilled
4 cups chopped cooked turkey (light and dark meat)
2 cups leftover green peas or frozen peas, thawed
1 cup leftover carrots or frozen carrots, thawed
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cabbage, onions, and ginger to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add rice, turkey, peas, and carrots; sauté 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in soy mixture; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.

Posted in Entrees - poultry | Leave a Comment »

Turkey and leek risotto

Posted by moderndaygourmet on November 26, 2007

Cooking Light had a great issue this month with lots of ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. I made this yesterday and it was great. Even my DH, who isn’t a big risotto fan and even less of a leek fan, thought it was delicious. I made stock, which this calls for, from the turkey bones, but if you don’t happen to have any on hand you could probably substitute chicken stock or broth although the flavors probably wouldn’t be as intense. Oh, I didn’t happen to have white wine handy so I used sherry instead. Also, making this again, I would add some mushrooms, maybe 1 cup or so.

5 1/2 cups Turkey Stock
1 tablespoon butter, divided
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 cups thinly sliced leek (about 3 large)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chopped cooked turkey (light and dark meat)
1/3 cup grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring Turkey Stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
Melt 1 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek to pan; cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place leek mixture in a small bowl. Melt remaining 2 teaspoons butter and remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add shallots to pan; cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup stock and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of the stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 28 minutes total).

Stir in turkey and leek mixture; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pecorino Romano cheese, thyme, sage, and pepper.

Posted in Entrees - poultry | Leave a Comment »

Cranberry sauce

Posted by moderndaygourmet on November 26, 2007

I made cranberry sauce last week and it was really good and so easy. I can’t believe I’ve been eating the stuff out of a can all my life. As simple as this is, everyone should have homemade cranberry sauce. I even made another batch yesterday because I liked it so much I wanted more leftovers. This recipe calls for cinnamon sticks but I didn’t have any so I just used a half teaspoon or so of ground cinnamon instead.

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Discard cinnamon stick; cool completely.

Posted in Sauces | Leave a Comment »

Apricot cranberry tarts

Posted by moderndaygourmet on November 13, 2007

Another candidate for our dessert party, taken from Cooking Light.

1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425°.
Roll each dough portion into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 36 circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter. Press 1 dough circle into each of 36 miniature muffin cups. Press into the bottoms and up the sides of muffin cups. Bake at 425° for 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

Combine apricots and next 4 ingredients (apricots through juice) in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in honey and remaining ingredients. Cool. Spoon about 2 teaspoons apricot mixture into each pastry shell.

Posted in Desserts - other | Leave a Comment »

Clam chowder

Posted by moderndaygourmet on November 13, 2007

This is similar to a recipe that was published in Cooking Light but I changed it up some. I love this soup and even my husband who isn’t a big soup fan said it was great.

2 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
4 bacon slices
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups cubed red potato
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Drain clams through a colander into a bowl, reserving liquid and clams. Combine clam liquid and clam juice.

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion, celery, and garlic to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Add clam juice mixture, potato, and next 4 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth; add to pan. Stir in clams and bacon. Cook 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Posted in Soups | 1 Comment »

One Bite Pecan Pies

Posted by moderndaygourmet on November 13, 2007

I have not made this, but lifted the recipe from a message board I frequent. I think these would be great for our dessert party. 😀

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup flour
1 egg
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup finely chopped Pecans
3 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

Beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add flour; mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until chilled.

Preheat oven to 375. Divide dough into 24 balls. Place 1 ball in each of 24 miniature muffin pan cups; press onto bottoms and up sides of cups to form shells. Beat egg lightly in small bowl. Add brown sugar and vanilla; mix well. Stir in pecans. Spoon evenly into pastry shells, filling each shell 3/4 full.

Bake 25 to 30 min. or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 min.; remove tarts from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Let stand until set.

Posted in Desserts - other | Leave a Comment »

Best sandwich ever

Posted by moderndaygourmet on November 7, 2007

Okay, maybe not the best sandwich ever, and I’m sure this sandwich is a no-brainer, but I had a terrific dinner last night.

Proscuitto, mozzarella, and pesto on focaccia bread. I put them under the broiler just long enough to heat them through and melt the cheese a bit. I could have eaten several of them, they were so good, but I had to stop myself.

Posted in Sandwiches | 1 Comment »