Cool Salads For A Hot Summer Day

I am sure you have been asking the same question I have: WHEN WILL THIS HOT WEATHER END? This summer is the hottest summer on record for the whole country and when it comes to lunch and dinner we want something that is light and refreshing. I have been making a lot of salads for both lunch and dinner and added two new refreshing items to my site.

Not only are Summer Rice Salad and Roasted Salmon Salad light and refreshing but also very easy to prepare. You can make them the day before to allow the flavors to blend and to give you time out of the kitchen the next day.

Summer Rice Salad
Summer Rice Salad

 

Roasted Salmon Salad

Roasted Salmon Salad

Enjoy and Stay Cool

camille@camillecooksforyou.com

Posted in Accompaniments, Ahh Haa Moments, Asparagus, Capers, Cilantro, Corn, Entree, Food For Thought, Luncheon Salads, Peas, Radishes, Rice, Salad, Salad Dressing, Salmon, Seafood, Sides, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tequila Shrimp with Carolina Gold Rice and Black Beans

Tequila Shrimp with Caroline Gold Rice and Black Beans with Bacon

I made this shrimp dish featuring Carolina Gold Rice after a friend in South Carolina sent me a bag. The gold in the name implies that the rice is golden in color but this is not so. I am guessing the name is comparing it to mined gold. Precious? Distinctive maybe? I don’t know, but one thing for sure is I have become addicted to this rice so much that I have replaced my old stand-by converted rice with this delicious creamy grain. I made the rice following my original Rice Pilaf recipe and the end result was much creamier and more delicious than the standard converted rice. When I say creamier I mean creamy and not sticky. I can’t find this rice in the local grocery stores here but it can be ordered on-line.  http://www.ansonmills.com  (Carolina Gold Rice is milled from organic heirloom grains.)

I like to use Goya Sazon Seasoning because it gives the rice a delicious flavor and a beautiful saffron-like color.

Serves 4

1½      Pounds Large Shrimp (U-15s), Peeled and Deveined

1          Teaspoon Southwest Spice Rub

2          Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

2          Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

2          Tablespoons XVOO

2          Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced

½         Medium Spanish Onion, Thinly Sliced

¼         Cup Finely Shredded Carrot

¼         Cup Tequila

1          Pint Grape Tomatoes, Cut in Half Lengthwise

1          Small Packet Goya Sazon Seasoning

½         Teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt

1          Tablespoon Cold Unsalted Butter

Carolina Gold Rice

Black Beans with Bacon

In a small bowl mix the Southwest Spice Rub with flour. Sprinkle the mixture on the shrimp being sure to evenly coat the shrimp with the mixture.

In a large sauté pan heat the butter and XVOO over medium high heat until hot and the butter stops sizzling. Add the shrimp and sauté until nicely browned on each side. Do not cook the shrimp through. Remove the shrimp from the pan and, in that same pan, add the garlic, onion and shredded carrot. Sauté the mixture until the onion starts to soften and takes on a little color. Deglaze the pan with the tequila. (If your adventurous, flambé the tequila.) Slightly reduce the tequila. Add the tomatoes, the salt and the Goya Seasoning. Sauté the mixture over medium heat, until the tomatoes are cooked and softened, about 20 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking.

Once the sauce is finished, add the shrimp and cook until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes. To make the sauce richer and more delicious, add 1 tablespoon of cold butter to the pan and toss until butter is melted and incorporated into the sauce.

Serve with Carolina Gold Rice and Black Beans with Bacon.

Carolina Gold Rice

camille@camillecooksforyou.com

Posted in Accompaniments, Ahh Haa Moments, Bacon, Black Beans, Entree, Food For Thought, Rice, Shrimp, Side Dishes, Sides | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Give Me S’More Of That Tart

S'Mores Tart

It’s summer time and the weather is fine for a cook-out. And what better dessert is there at a cook-out than S’Mores? How about a S’Mores Tart? You can have all of the deliciousness of S’Mores but in a different form.

For a BBQ with a guest list of 100 people, I made several desserts including Cherry Pie, Apple Pie, Carrot Cake and this yummy S’Mores Tart. The tart was a hit since it took everyone by surprise.  This was several years ago and I am still getting complements and requests for the recipe.

Here is the recipe for S’Mores Tart. It’s super easy (Yes, I always say that) and you can make it a day in advance. In fact you can make the components two days ahead of your cook-out, just don’t put it together until the day of your event.

S’Mores Tart

Makes Six 4″ Tartlets or One 11″ Tart

For the Crust

1 1/2   Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

1/4      Cup Sugar

1/3      Cup Unsalted Butter, Melted (5 1/3 Tablespoons)

Fort the Chocolate Filling

½         Cup Granulated Sugar

1          Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt

¼         Cup Cornstarch

2          Tablespoons Instant Espresso Powder

5          Large Egg Yolks (Save the Egg Whites for the Italian Meringue)

2          Tablespoons Instant Espresso Powder

1½      Cups Half and Half

1          Cup Heavy Cream

8          Ounces Dark Chocolate Chips (60 to 70% Cacao)

2          Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

1           Recipe Italian Meringue

For the Crust

Preheat oven to 350º

Mix the cracker crumbs,, sugar, and melted butter together and press into six 4″ tartlet pans (or one 10″ tart pan) with removable bottoms. Place tart pans on a half sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until graham cracker crust is a golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer tart pans to a cooling rack. Cool completely before filling.

For the Chocolate Filling

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, salt, cornstarch and espresso powder. Add the egg yolks and whisk to combine. The mixture will be very thick and paste-like. Slowly whisk in the half and half and cream.

Bring the mixture to a full boil over medium heat, whisking continuously to prevent scorching. Boil for 30 seconds then remove from the heat and add the chocolate and vanilla. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Transfer to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap on top to prevent a skin from forming. Cool completely and refrigerate until ready to use.

To Finish the S’Mores Tart

Fill each graham cracker crust with some of the chocolate filling to just below the edge of the crust. Decoratively top each tart with some of the Italian Meringue by either using a pastry bag fitted with the French tip or dolloping some onto each tart as in the photo. Use your imagination on the design.

Lightly burn the Italian Meringue topping with a kitchen torch or place the tarts under a hot broiler 6 inches from the heat source and lightly burn the meringue. Don’t take your eyes off the tartlets. They burn quickly.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove the tartlet rings before serving.

Enjoy!!!

camille@camillecooksforyou.com

Posted in Accompaniments, Ahh Haa Moments, Chocolate, Dessert, Desserts, Food For Thought, Graham Cracker Crust, Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate, Italian Meringue, Sugar, Tarts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tequila Lime Semi-Freddo with Tequila Berry Compote

Tequila Lime Semi-Freddo with Tequila Berry Compote

Tequila Lime Semi-Freddo w/ Tequila Berry Compote

Many years ago a chef friend gave me a recipe for Margarita Lime Parfait. It had a bit of tequila in it to give it a twist. He had just come back from a cooking stint in San Miguel, Mexico, and made up a recipe to include locally made tequila. It was good but it didn’t satisfy my love of Semi-Freddo or Gelato, or tequila for that matter. It was somewhere between an ice and a sorbet. I redid the recipe and came up with this wonderfully delicious, cool and refreshing recipe for Tequila Lime Semi-Freddo with Tequila Berry Compote.

Summer is the best time for berries and right now the berries are abundant and perfectly ripe. They make a perfect accompaniment for the semi-freddo.

The recipe does not make a huge quantity, therefore it is pretty easy to handle. It is even easier if you have two mixers. I am lucky enough to have a standing mixer and a handheld mixer so the steps move along quite quickly.

Remember to have the egg whites at room temperature. If too cold they will not fluff properly. Also, the bowl you use for the whites must be perfectly clean and dry and must be beaten just before incorporating into yolk mixture. You cannot beat them too far in advance as they will deflate.

You can beat the creme fraiche (or whipping cream) just before you start the recipe. This way you will have a crucial step ready to go. After whipping, refrigerate until ready to use.

Click on the recipe title or picture and it will bring you to the recipe page.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to give advice.

camille@camillecooksforyou.com

Posted in Accompaniments, Ahh Haa Moments, Berries, Dessert, Desserts, Fruit, Fruit Desserts, Semi-Freddo | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Cranberry-Orange Bread

Cranberry-Orange Bread

Cranberry Orange Bread

I couldn’t sleep so I decided to make something for tomorrow morning. I am getting ready for a trip and want to empty the refrigerator and freezer before I leave and I found a bag of cranberries. This is a perfect baking task for my night of insomnia. I’ve been making this quick bread for nearly 25 years and could make it blindfolded. Perfect for this sleepless night. I don’t have to think about what I am doing since it comes so easily with this recipe.

Makes 1 Loaf

2          Cups All-Purpose Flour

1½      Teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2      Teaspoons Baking Soda

1          Cup Granulated Sugar

1          Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt

¼         Teaspoon Nutmeg, Freshly Grated

½         Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

4          Tablespoons Cold Unsalted Butter

1          Cup Whole Milk

1          Large Egg

1          Tablespoon Grated Orange Rind

2          Cups Fresh Cranberries, Coarsely Chopped

½         Cup Dried Cranberries, Coarsely Chopped

Preheat oven to 350° with the rack in the middle of the oven.

Prepare a 9x5x3” loaf pan by spraying evenly with baking spray.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your finger tips until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  In a small bowl lightly beat milk, egg and orange rind with a fork and pour over dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.  Gently fold in fresh and dried cranberries.

Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake the bread for 1 to 1¼ hours or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the bread.  Cool the bread on a wire cooling rack for 20 minutes.  Use a thin bladed knife and loosen bread edges from pan.  Invert onto wire rack, re-invert and cool completely.

To store, wrap with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and refrigerate for 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.

Any questions? Give me a shout by leaving a comment on the blog or emailing me at

camille@camillecooksforyou.com

Posted in Ahh Haa Moments, Bread, Breakfast Bread, Cranberries, Cranberry Breakfast Bread, Dried Cranberries, Dried Fruit, Food For Thought, Quick Bread | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pickled Beets

I love beets and I especially love them pickled. Even more than eating beets I love roasting and pickling them. The process couldn’t be easier or more rewarding. Pickle Red or Yellow Beets but remember to not roast or jar together as the red color will overtake the yellow.

Once done they can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. Use them as a side dish or in the Roasted Beets, Fennel and Orange Salad.

Click on to Pickling in the header on any page throughout the site for more pickling recipes.

Pickled BeetsMakes Two 1 Quart Jars

10-12 Medium Sized Roasted Beets (Yellow or Red), Cooled, Peeled and Sliced

½         Red Onion, Thinly Sliced into Rings

4          Cups Apple Cider Vinegar or White Balsamic Vinegar

1          Cup Granulated Sugar

1          Teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt

½         Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Place sliced beets and onion rings into a large bowl. Combine the vinegar and sugar in a separate bowl and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the beets and gently toss to combine. Let the beets stand in the bowl for 30 minutes.

Transfer the beets to jars, loosely packed, and pour the liquid over the beets to cover completely.

Cover with lids and refrigerate. Beets will last at least several weeks in the refrigerator as long as they are covered with the liquid.

Roasted Beet, Orange and Fennel Salad

Roasted Beet, Orange and Fennel Salad

Posted in Accompaniments, Beets, Food For Thought, Recipes To Share, Salad | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mousse Au Chocolat de La Vieille Maison

Mousse Au Chocolat

As we get ready for our trip across the pond to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary, I am going to prime the pump by making my favorite French Dessert, Mousse Au Chocolat.

My first experience with making this luscious, decadent, creamy smooth, delicious dessert was at my first cooking job in a Mobile Guide 5 star restaurant in Florida. La Vieille Maison was the premier French Restaurant in South Florida, oh so long ago, and I was lucky enough to be hired as the first woman to cook in La Vieille’s kitchen. La Vieille Maison was without a doubt the finest restaurant I ever worked in and the learning experience set the cooking stage for my future. Working with the two most famous chefs in South Florida at that time, Chef Christian and Chef Yves, opened many doors in the business to help me become successful as a chef and caterer. I loved working there and felt extremely  fortunate to be taken under the chefs wings. Chef Christian and Chef Yves were willing to teach me as much as possible and with their guidance and generosity in sharing their knowledge, I truly fell in love with this crazy business. I will always cherish my memories of cooking at La Vieille Maison.

I wonder if I will find Mousse Au Chocolat as good as this in France.

From this recipe you can also make Gateau Mousse Au Chocolat (Chocolate Mousse Cake).

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Bon Appetit

Mousse Au Chocolat

Serves 8

12       Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, Shaved, or Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips

½         Pound Unsalted Butter, Cut into 1” Pieces

2          Tablespoons Instant Espresso Powder

8          Large Eggs Separate

1          Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract

2          Tablespoons Dark Rum

½         Cup Superfine Granulated Sugar, Divided

1          Cup Heavy Cream

White Chocolate Whipped Cream and Chocolate Shavings to Garnish

Melt the chocolate, butter and espresso powder in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir to combine thoroughly. Set aside to cool.

In a large heat proof bowl beat egg yolks with vanilla and dark rum. Whisk over simmering water until eggs are warm and thick. Egg mixture should form a ribbon as it is lifted with the whisk and falls onto itself.   It will be the consistency of a sabayon. Set aside to cool.

Combine the cooled chocolate and egg mixtures. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment and set on medium low speed, beat the egg whites until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add the sugar less two tablespoons. Beat until stiff but not dry. Mix one quarter of the egg white mixture into the chocolate and egg mixture to loosen it up slightly. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites. In a clean bowl of an electric mixer beat the heavy cream on high until it just begins to foam. Add the sugar and continue to beat the cream until thick and soft peaks form. Very gently fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. Divided the mousse into individual serving dishes or glasses and top each with a dollop of White Chocolate Whipped Cream and chocolate shavings.

Bon Appetit

 

camille@camillecooksforyou.com

Posted in Accompaniments, Ahh Haa Moments, Chocolate, Chocolate Mousse Cake, Cream, Dessert, Food For Thought, Mousse Au Chocolate, White Chocolate, White Chocolate Whipped Cream | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Easter Brunch

The Leg of Lamb is ordered (smittysmeatsandwines.com) and so is the Ham (honeybakedham.com) now all I have to do is the grocery shopping and begin the preparations for our Easter Brunch.

This year we will be having 10 people for Easter Brunch. Our guests will begin to arrive around 11 am at which time we will break open the champagne for the Mimosas and vodka for the Bloody Marys. We will nosh on Frittata, Quiche, Hot Cross Buns and Sweet Rolls. Around 1 pm I will serve the main dishes buffet style: Leg of Lamb, Honey Baked Ham and several dishes to compliment the mains.

I better get to work. Lots to do.

Easter Frittata

Easter Frittata

Vegetable Quiche

Vegetable Quiche

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Roasted Leg of Lamb

Roasted Leg of Lamb

Roasted Beet, Orange and Fennel Salad

Roasted Beet, Orange and Fennel Salad 

Asparagus Mimosa

Asparagus Mimosa

Easter Brunch 2016

Frittata with Ricotta, Italian Sausage and Ham

Vegetable Quiche

Hot Cross BunsSweet Rolls

Bloody Marys and Mimosas

Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb with Tomato-Cucumber-Mint RelishTzatziki Sauce and Lamb Sauce

Honey Baked Ham with Cranberry-Citrus Compote

Potatoes Au Gratin

Asparagus Mimosa

Roasted Beets, Orange and Fennel Salad with Feta Cheese

French Rose’ Wine

Dessert

Coconut Cake with Coconut Custard Filling and Coconut Butter Cream Icing

Homemade Pineapple Semi-Freddo

Coconut Cake with Coconut Custard Filling

Coconut Cake with Coconut Custard Filling

Coconut Cake with Pineapple Gelato

Posted in Accompaniments, Ahh Haa Moments, Appetizers, Asparagus, Beets, Brunch, Cheese, Cheese Sauce, Coconut, Cranberry Citrus Compote, Custard, Dessert, Desserts, Egg Dishes, Eggs, Fennel, Food For Thought, Lamb, Lamb Sauce, Lamb Stock, Meat, Quiche, Recipes To Share, Ricotta Cheese, Salad, Sauces, Semi-Freddo, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vinaigrette, Vinaigrettes and Dressings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oven Braised Corned Beef with Irish Beer and Irish Whiskey

Here is my original recipe for Braised Corned Beef with Irish Beer and Irish Whiskey. An  awesomely delicious and super easy dinner to prepare. I’ve posted this recipe each St. Paddy’s Day to refresh your memory and to inform the newcomers visiting my site.

This year, besides cabbage, I will be making Beer Braised Brussels Sprouts. Something different for my quests and a little twist on the norm. And most importantly, don’t forget the Irish Soda Bread.

Click on to the Recipe Titles or Photos and you will go directly to the link.

Braised Corned Beef with Irish Beer and Irish Whiskey

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Beer Braised Brussels Sprouts

Beer Braised Brussels Sprouts

Erin Go Bragh!

camille@camillecooksforyou.com

Posted in Accompaniments, Ahh Haa Moments, Beer, Bread, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Corned Beef, Food For Thought, Hints and Tips, Liquor, Recipes To Share, Side Dishes, Whiskey | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cookies For Company

Companies coming and what better dessert to have than cookies. You can make all of these delicious cookies in a single day or in two afternoons, store in tins or freeze and have them ready when you are in need of dessert. Coffee and cookies; nothing better.

Click onto the Recipe Name or Photo and it will take to the recipe link.

Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cranberries and White Chocolate

Oatmeal with Dried Fruit

Your cookie monsters will be happy.  Enjoy!

camille@camillecooksforyou.com

Posted in Chocolate, Coconut, Cookies, Dried Fruit, Food For Thought, Oatmeal, White Chocolate | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment