Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Romantic Valentines Day Chocolate Mousse

OMG Valentines' Chocolate Mousse.
This is so easy to make .....just watch the short little video and you'll be on your way to Valentine's Chocolate nirvana!  I promise...I REALLY promise!

Romantic Valentines Date Night Dinner

Let's face it...sometimes it can be much more romantic to dine at home....so here is a beautiful dish, super easy, delicious and guaranteed to impress that special someone!  Go for it, take charge, seduce your sweetheart with Individual Pork Wellingtons!!!!  
Take 3 minutes and watch the video to see just how simple this dish is to make!

Ingredients: (For Two) prep 20 minutes bake 20-25
1 small onion thinly sliced
¼ cup sweet vermouth
½ cup low sodium chicken stock
4 T. fresh oregano chopped
2 pieces pork tenderloin, each 2 inches thick
1 sheet puff pastry
4 ounces  mushrooms
2 small cloves garlic
¼ cup white wine
¾ cup chicken stock
4 T. butter divided
Pre heat oven to 425
In large nonstick pan over high heat brown onions stirring constantly about 10 minutes
Add vermouth and reduce until almost gone
Add chicken stock and oregano, reduce until sauce is thick
Remove from heat and let cool
In a preheated non stick frying pan sear both top and bottom of the pork tenderloin over high heat
Remove pork and set aside fry pan for sautéing the mushrooms
Cut the puff pastry in a two circles large enough to cover the pork tenderloins.
Place ½ of the onion mixture on each puff pastry
Top each with one tenderloin
Bring the puff pastry up around the sides and bottom of the tenderloins.
Turn over and place on a non stick baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, the puff pastry will be nicely browned.
Let the tenderloins rest for 5 minutes before serving with the mushrooms and sauce
When the tenderloins have been on the oven for 15 minutes start the mushrooms
Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in 2 T. butter over medium high for 5 minutes
Add ¼ cup wine and reduce by half
Add ¾ cup chicken stock and reduce by half
Add 2 tablespoons butter and fresh oregano, mix butter in well.
Place one tenderloin on each plate and surround with ½ mushrooms and sauce.

Serve and enjoy.
Here is the video...it give you complete step by step instructions making this dish super easy!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cardamom Bread My Grandmother's Way

When my grandmother passed away I was in to cooking but not bread baking so much and had never watched her make the sweet bread/coffee cake that I grew up eating at her house. So when my mom was going through her things and found the recipe for her Cardamon Bread and gave me a copy I was stoked and thought all I had to do was pop in the kitchen and get started!

NOT.....first I had to figure out how to convert the fresh cube of yeast into those little packets of dried yeast....hey this was before I even owned a computer so I actually had to go to the library!  But even then the bread just didn't turn out like Mormor's.  Then I had a bit of an Epiphany....I had never seen my grandmother EVER measure anything with a measuring cup...she would use her hand or a tea cup and I suddenly realized that's probably how she measured ingredients for the cardamom bread too!

OK so while making it again I just tried to remember the sweetness, and moistness and intensity of cardamom that Mormor's bread had and...YES after more sugar, more butter and more cardamom I had a moister dough that baked up JUST LIKE HER"S!!!!

I have made this many times since and have taken great care to convert the measuring by eyeball to actual standard measurements because I want my family to be able to enjoy Mormor's Swedish cardamom Bread for generations to come!

I want to share the how to video which I made at the Sears Kenmore Kitchen in Chicago with you as a tribute to the sweetest grandmother on earth!  Mormor you always made me feel special, loved and that I could do no wrong.  Thank you for being the bright spot in my childhood!

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 packets quick rise yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water

Heat milk on medium heat to scalding. (Do not boil) Stir in the butter and sugar until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour into a mixing bowl and cool to lukewarm. Mix in the large egg and then yeast mixture.
Blend in salt and 2 tablespoons cardamom. Add 2 cups of the flour. Then gradually add more flour until a soft dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead dough for 7 to 10 minutes until smooth. I do this step in food processor with dough hook for 10 minutes. The dough should remain soft, so do not add too much flour.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 45 minutes to an hour; the dough should have doubled in size.
At  this point you will make simple braided bread. Punch down the dough, divide in half, and then divide each half into 3 equal parts. Roll the dough pieces into ropes, braid them, and tuck the ends under. This is the way my daughter Marina likes it best!
Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm area for about 40 minutes to an hour so the dough can have a second rising.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Whisk together the egg yolks and cream and brush over the dough. Bake for 25-30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes of baking, if the top is browned, tent with aluminum foil.
Remove from oven and let cool completely. Whisk together powdered sugar and water for the glaze Drizzle the glaze over the pastry.