Monday, August 31, 2009

Video: Watch How Chocolate Molds are Created and Chocolates Manufactured

From Denny: I always wondered how those chocolate molds were manufactured and this video from the Discovery channel shows you the quick process. Get a load of those huge chocolate bars that must weigh 20 pounds or more being dropped into the heating vat to melt the chocolate goodness. I wonder if they feed you all those delicious chocolates you saw on the conveyor belt at the end of the factory tour! :) Can't wait for the holidays after watching this yummy video...

how chocolate is made, food video

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Recipe: Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches with Arugula and Balsamic Aïoli

Cover of "Weber's Way to Grill: The Step-...Cover via Amazon

From Denny: Featured recently in our local newspaper was this recipe from the Weber's Grill cookbook. The heat is in triple digits across America and we could use some "brain food" as our brains feel cooked! And I sure love Portobello mushrooms - the texture is almost like a steak with a lot less calories! :) Enjoy!

And make sure you are drinking lots of water in this summer heat - even when you don't feel thirsty - if you wait until then you may suffer serious heat stroke.

From:Weber’s Way to Grill: The Step-by-Step Guide to Expert Grilling”

Serves: 6


1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tbls. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. minced garlic


3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tbls. finely minced shallot

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

6 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned, stems and black gills removed

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

6 Kaiser rolls, cut in half

2 ozs. arugula, trimmed, rinsed and dried


1. In a small bowl, combine the aïoli ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients. Place the mushroom caps, gill sides down, in a large baking pan. Brush the mushroom caps generously with the marinade and turn the caps over. Spoon the rest of the marinade over the gill side. Allow the mushrooms to marinate at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat.

4. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and reserve the marinade. Lightly season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the mushrooms, gill sides down, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until they begin to soften, 4 to 6 minutes.

Brush the cap sides of the mushrooms with some of the remaining marinade from the pan. Turn the mushrooms over and then grill them until they are tender when pierced with a knife, 4 to 6 minutes.

5. Grill the rolls, cut sides down, over direct medium heat until lightly toasted, about 30 seconds.

6. Spread aïoli on the toasted buns and top each one with some arugula and a mushroom. Serve warm.

Way to grill portobello mushrooms: Cut away the stems and any curled edges around the rims. With a spoon, gently scrape away the dark gills that might be holding dirt. Use a vinaigrette to marinate and baste the mushrooms. Finish grilling the mushrooms with the stem sides facing up so that the juices are held inside the caps.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Recipe: Emeril Lagasse’s Beer Battered Fried Trout Tacos With Spicy Horseradish Coleslaw

Chef Emeril Lagasse at a book signing

Emeril Lagasse’s Beer Battered Fried Trout Tacos With Spicy Horseradish Coleslaw

From Denny: Louisiana in the summer is all about quick and easy, usually seafood. Chef Emeril Lagasse came down from New England, was embraced by the New Orleans food establishment when he was a young man and taught how to really cook.

Down South folks are willing to mentor to help someone develop. Nor do they get angry when the student is ready to mentor his own, starting up his own restaurants. Emeril has previous shows and recipes stashed at Food Network and now teaches on the green network. He's one busy guy! Below is one of his recipes he developed where he really captures the essence of Louisiana food.

To make the recipe you require two other recipes first: the Cajun seasoning and the coleslaw recipe so I'll put these up first.

Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning

From: “New Orleans Cooking” by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch

Makes: 2/3 cup


2-1/2 tbls. paprika

2 tbls. salt

2 tbls. garlic powder

1 tbl. black pepper

1 tbl. onion powder

1 tbl. cayenne pepper

1 tbl. dried oregano

1 tbl. dried thyme

Directions: Combine all ingredients. Emeril sells this product in your grocery store too if you don't want to mix up your own.

Spicy Horseradish Coleslaw

From: Chef Emeril Lagasse
Serves: 6

2-1/2 cups shredded green cabbage

2-1/2 cups shredded red cabbage

1 cup shredded carrots

2 tbls. finely sliced green onions

1-1/2 cups peeled, seeded and diced cucumber

2 jalapeños, stem and seeds removed, minced

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tbls. plus 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

3/4 tsp. salt, or to taste

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tbls. sour cream

3 tbls. freshly grated horseradish or 1-1/2 tbls. prepared horseradish

1-1/2 tsps. Creole or coarse-grain mustard


1. Combine cabbages, carrots and green onions in large mixing bowl. In a small bowl toss the cucumbers and jalapeños with the lemon juice and add to the cabbage mixture.

2. In small mixing bowl combine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Pour vinegar mixture over cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

3. In small bowl, blend mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish and mustard. Add mayonnaise mixture to coleslaw and toss. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Emeril Lagasse’s Beer Battered Fried Trout Tacos With Spicy Horseradish Coleslaw

Serves: 6


Oil for frying

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1 tsp. baking powder

1-1/2 tsps. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tbl. vegetable oil

1 cup beer

1/2 tsp. hot sauce

4 trout fillets, about 6 ozs. each

2 tbls. Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning

6 large, soft flour tortillas

Spicy Horseradish Coleslaw

Hot sauce, if desired when serving


1. Heat oil in deep fryer or in a large saucepan to 375 degrees.
2. Sift 1 cup flour, the baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper together into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil, beer and hot sauce. Stir until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Set aside.

3. Season each fillet with 1 teaspoon of the Essence. Cut each fillet into diagonal 1-1/2-inch strips. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup flour with the remaining 2 teaspoons of Essence. Dredge the fish strips in the seasoned flour then shake to release any excess flour. Transfer to a plate.

4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Wrap the flour tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the oven to warm or warm according to manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Dredge each piece of fish in the beer batter, making sure the fish is completely coated. Allow any excess batter to drip into the bowl, and then slowly lower the fish into the hot oil. Repeat with remaining fish, working in batches if necessary.

6. Fry until fish is puffed, golden brown and crispy (4 to 5 minutes). Remove the fish with slotted spoon or tongs and drain on paper-lined plate. Place in warm oven while cooking remaining fish or until you’re ready to assemble tacos.

7. To serve: Divide the fish among the warmed flour tortillas and top with some of the Spicy Horseradish Coleslaw. Drizzle with hot sauce if desired.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Recipe: Simple Eggplant Parmigiana

Melanzane alla Parmigiana, baked aubergines wi...Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: How about a simple recipe of Eggplant Parmigiana? Light foods like this are great in this summer heat, easy and faster to digest than heavy meats.

Did you know that tomatoes are cooling for your liver? Why is that important? Cool your liver; cool your body! A win-win in this summer heat!

Same goes for foods like cucumbers and vinegars. A little (like about 1/2 teaspoon per large glass of water) white or red wine vinegar in your glass of water helps your liver handle the hot weather.

Eggplant Parmigiana

From: “Savannah Collection” by Martha Giddens Nesbit

Serves: 8


2 small eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch circles


2 cups cottage cheese

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, squeezed through a press (if using commercial spaghetti sauce)

1/2 cup olive oil, approximately

2 cups tomato sauce (recipe follows) OR commercial meatless spaghetti sauce

10 ozs. grated mozzarella cheese


1. Salt sliced eggplant and allow it to drain for about 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

2. In small bowl combine cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese and parsley. I used commercial spaghetti sauce so I squeezed 1 clove of garlic through a garlic press into the cheese mixture for added flavor. Set aside.

3. In large, nonstick skillet, heat oil and fry eggplant until lightly browned on both sides. At first the eggplant will soak up the oil, but as it cooks, the oil will release. When browned, drain on paper towels.

4. Use a 9x13-inch shallow baking dish for making a one- layer casserole or an 8x8-inch dish for two layers. Begin by spreading the spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the dish, all of it for single layer casserole or half the remaining ingredients if you’re making two layers.

Layer cooked eggplant slices over sauce then spoon cottage cheese mixture over eggplant, spreading it out as evenly as you can. Top with grated mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, beginning with tomato sauce if making a double layer and ending with mozzarella.

5. Bake in 400-degree oven for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tomato Sauce

From: Recipe is from “Savannah Collection”

Makes: about 4 cups of sauce


1/2 cup olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced (I love a lot more!)

2 (16-oz.) cans Italian plum tomatoes

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup cleaned and chopped parsley


1. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Add other ingredients.

2. Cover and cook, stirring often, for about 30 minutes. Use in eggplant dish, or freeze for later.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Recipe: Lime Pie with a Twist - White Chocolate!

key limes for key limeadeSee how tiny these key limes are? Intensely flavored and tart! Image by m kasahara via Flickr

From Denny: In the heat of this summer (which it seems you have heard me endlessly whining about - grin) and to be enjoyed after a good garlicky seafood dish is a citrus flavor to cut the oils, salt and heat.

We adore Key Lime Pie here in Louisiana! Louisianians often visit the Florida beaches and golf courses where we were introduced to such a sweet treat as to what they like to create with Key Limes! (We also love their soft shell crabs - yum!) Here is another twist on the classic recipe by using white chocolate.

Easy Key Lime Pie with a Twist

Yield: one (9-inch) pie


1 cup whipping cream

1 (11-ounce) package white chocolate morsels

1 tablespoon Breakstone's sour cream (you can use another full fat brand)

1 teaspoon grated Key Lime rind (these things are tiny to grip; if you have a microplane it's easier to grate them)

1/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (these tiny little limes are awesome!)

1 (9-inch) pre-baked chocolate graham cracker crust (I prefer a chocolate crust as I find the plain just a little too bland but you can choose whatever you enjoy!)

Garnish: lime slices


Over low heat in a medium saucepan you want to combine the white chocolate morsels and the whipping cream.

Cook 5 minutes or until white chocolate melts; stir constantly. Remove from heat and now add the sour cream, lime rind and juice; stir well. Note: The reason you remove it from the heat is that you don't want the sour cream to separate or the white chocolate to seize up on you.

Note: Variation - Before you pour this mixture into the crust you can add some zing with another variation: spread a thin layer of sour cream on the bottom of the crust. You could also spread a thin layer of melted semi-sweet chocolate here too! I've even placed finely chopped butter-roasted pecans here.

If you want to just proceed with the basic recipe and skip the variations, go ahead and pour the sour cream-lime mixture into crust. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Garnish, if desired with more whipped cream, finely chopped butter-roasted pecans and lime slices for beautiful presentation! Dare I say it? Lip-smacking good! :)

Feel free to subscribe to Comfort Food From Louisiana just click on the orange feed icon next to the feed count right hand side at the top of the page! Thanks for visiting!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Recipe: Fast Easy Pecan Crusted Red Snapper

Pecan crusted chickenThis is a pecan crusted chicken version, pecan crusting is versatile! Image by churl via Flickr

From Denny: This is a very simple recipe to do at home as it comes from a friendly family-style diner restaurant that has been a Baton Rouge institution for decades! The father has retired and the son, a daughter and grandson have taken over running the two locations. Frank's has long been a family favorite for their breakfast, and their homemade biscuits, have put them on the map around here!

Pecan Crusted Red Snapper

From: Frank's Restaurant (2 diners, one on Airline Hwy. in Prairieville and the other on Florida Blvd. in Baton Rouge)


10 ounces Red Snapper

2 Cups Buttermilk

1 Cup Flour

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Cup Pecot Bread Crumbs

1 Tablespoon Chopped Pecans


Dip Snapper in buttermilk and then into flour.

Add salt and pepper.

Add pecans to bread crumbs.

Dip again in buttermilk and then into pecot breadcrumbs.

Put snapper in hot buttered pan or grill.

Turn snapper 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.

Bourbon Sauce:

1/2 oz Rum

1 Tablespoon Butter

1/4 cup of Demi Glaze

Directions: Mix rum, butter and glaze together. Whip on medium heat until thick. Pour over Red Snapper.

Snapper, Pecan Crusted Red Snapper, easy, Cajun, Fish and Seafood, Frank's Restaurant, diners, Baton Rouge

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Recipes: Interesting Recipes with Figs!

Photo of Mediterranean Fig and Radicchio Salad @

From Denny: Usually, figs are not my biggest interest but I have to admit that they way they use them in recipes in Louisiana have peaked my interest considerably. The South does have a way with food!

These recipes were featured in our local newspaper's food section this week and they all looked so good I thought I'd park them all here today.

Figs are a great source of fiber, those all important must-have antioxidants, build and maintain strong bones calcium, iron to keep you from feeling tired, potassium and magnesium!

Check out what the first-century Roman writer and naturalist Pliny the Elder wrote that “figs are restorative, they increase the strength of young people, preserve the elderly in better health and make them look younger with fewer wrinkles.” Sign me up on that program! Who said I was lukewarm on figs? You must be mistaken... :) I wonder if eating figs for your health will become a raging trend like Twitter? Hmmmm... time will tell about this "super" fruit!

The food writers over at advise about figs: "When you buy fresh figs, treat them carefully because they are very perishable. The fig skin is fragile and scars easily. If the skin on some figs is scarred from coming in contact with the tree’s leaves while the fruit is growing, don’t worry. Such marks don’t affect the flavor or nutritional value of the fig.

Fresh figs should be kept refrigerated until ready to eat. Dry figs (unrinsed) will keep in the refrigerator uncovered for five to seven days, but no longer.

If you are freezing the figs, they can be rinsed, patted dry and frozen in a plastic freezer bag for up to six months.

Some people prefer to peel figs before eating. Others, say, “Why bother?”

Whichever style suits the palate, now is the time to turn over a new leaf — a fig leaf, naturally — and try figs fresh, out of hand, or preserved and find out if Pliny the Elder was right."

If you are lucky enough to know someone with a fig tree or can get your hands on a lot of this short season fruit, then by all means, can up some of the crop to enjoy all year long!

Johnny Wilbert’s Fig Preserves

From: John W. “Johnny” Wilbert Jr. of Plaquemine
Yield: about 7 half-pints


2 quarts fresh figs

1 quart raw sugar or light brown sugar if raw sugar is unavailable

1 lemon, sliced thin


1. Wash figs gently. Cut stems, leaving ø inch of stem on each fig to prevent breaking up.

2. Place figs, sugar and lemon slices in a 4-quart casserole dish. Cover with lid.

3. Microwave on full power for 55 minutes, stirring gently after the first 20 minutes, the second 20 minutes and then 10 minutes later. Stir again after the final 5 minutes of cooking.

4. Cool until you can handle the figs. These can be ladled into prepared canning jars immediately or frozen to process later.

5. To preserve, wash canning jars in the dishwasher. Then boil jars in a large pot for 15 minutes. Wash the jar lids and rings and bring to a boil in another large pot of water.

6. Once canning jars are sterilized, fill the jars with the cooked figs and juice to within 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch from the top of each jar. With a clean paper towel, wash the top and rim of each jar to remove any figs or fig syrup that could prevent the jar from sealing. Place a lid and ring on each jar.

7. Put the filled, capped jars in a large kettle and completely cover with water. Boil jars for another 15 minutes to process.

8. Remove from water and place on paper towel-covered counter. Cool. Lids will make a pinging sound as they seal. Check seals to make sure they are tight before storing jars in a cool, dry place.

Now here are two salad recipes to enjoy! Remember: fruits and veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuces all work to cool your liver - and when you cool your liver in this heat you end up cooling down your body. Tastes good AND you feel better in 100 degree heat! Though these recipes don't call for it I often add these coolers to beat the heat when making salads.

Fig and Spinach Salad

From: Tommy Simmons, food writer and food section editor @
Serves: 4


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Steen’s cane vinegar

1 Tablespoon Zatarain’s Creole mustard

2 teaspoon light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 bag fresh spinach leaves, stems removed

4 ounces crumbled feta or blue cheese, depending on taste preference

1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans

8 to 10 fresh figs, rinsed, dried and sliced, plus 2 sliced figs for garnish

Mint sprigs for garnish, if desired


1. In a jar, combine olive oil, cane vinegar, Creole mustard, brown sugar and salt. Shake well to mix.

2. In large salad bowl, toss spinach leaves, crumbled cheese, pecans and sliced figs. Drizzle with enough dressing to coat and toss gently.

3. Garnish with additional figs and a few mint leaves, if desired.

Testing note: I’ve also thrown in five or six sliced green grapes on occasion.

Mediterranean Fig & Radicchio Salad

From: Royal Rose Radicchio Web site,
Serves: 6 to 8


2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or cane vinegar)

2 teaspoons honey

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 head radicchio, torn

1 head frisée, torn

6 to 8 fresh figs, cut in halves

1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped

1/4 loaf crusty French bread, torn into pieces

1 roll creamy goat cheese, such as Montrachet


1. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey and oil. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In large bowl, toss radicchio and frisée, then arrange on individual plates.

3. Top with figs, olives, torn bread pieces and bits of goat cheese.

4. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Testing note: If you can’t find individual heads of radicchio and frisée in the produce department, substitute a lettuce mix that contains radicchio and frisée.

figs, Fruits and Vegetables, Twitter, Pliny the Elder, salads, canning

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Video and Recipe: Fried Shrimp with Crab Etouffee Topping


Ingredients for Fried Shrimp Norman:

1 pound Large or Jumbo Shrimp

Crab Etouffee (see recipe)

1 package Fish/Shrimp Fry (or Corn Flour)

½ cup All-purpose Flour

1 Tablespoon Tony’s Creole Seasoning

1 Tablespoon Sea Salt

Canola Oil

1 egg

½ cup milk


Make Crab Etouffee according to recipe, but use less water or stock. Etouffee should be a thick consistency.

Peel shrimp leaving the tail on. Slice deep through the top of the shrimp to both devein the shrimp (take out the black vein) and butterfly it for frying. Set aside in a bowl.

In a mixing bowl, prepare the Fish/Shrimp fry by blending ½ cup All-purpose flour, Sea Salt and Tony’s Creole Seasoning.

In another small mixing bowl, crack the egg and stir in ½ cup milk. This is the egg wash.

Take each shrimp and coat in the egg wash.

Move shrimp to the Fish Fry mixture and coat with corn flour.

Fan out the tail for a pretty presentation (be careful – there is a sharp point on the tail of a shrimp that can pierce your hand or finger). Place a clean platter.

Heat oil. Fry Shrimp a few at a time until golden brown or floating on top the oil. Remove the shrimp to a paper towel lined platter to blot excess grease.
Serving Suggestions for Fried Shrimp Norman:

To serve, arrange 6-8 shrimp with tails up on a plate.

Spoon the Crab Etouffee over each of the tails or just place in the center.

Adding a small mound of white rice is optional.

To eat and enjoy, take a shrimp and scoop up a dollop of Crab Etouffee and take a big bite of some deliciously good groceries.

Crab Etouffee

Ingredients for Crab Etouffee:

½ lb Fresh Crabmeat (claw or white)

¼ cup of Flour

5 tablespoons butter

2 cups Cajun Trinity with minced garlic

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 cup white rice

1 teaspoon Tony’s Creole Seasoning

Chopped green onions or Parsley for garnish


To begin, in a medium saucepan – boil 2 cups water. Add 1 cup rice. Stir. Cover and turn down the heat to medium low (#3) for 20 minutes.

Next in a large deep skillet melt 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté the Cajun Trinity and minced garlic. Set aside in a bowl. In the same skillet make a roux. Melt 4 tablespoons butter on medium heat (#6). Gradually add in ¼ cup of flour stirring constantly. For an Etouffee, continue to stir until golden brown caramel coloring.

Carefully add the Cajun Trinity back to the skillet. Add Rotel tomatoes and 4 cups water. Stir well and simmer on (#4) for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning or scorching.

Fold in the crab meat. Season with 1 teaspoon of Tony’s Creole Seasoning. Simmer another 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Serving Suggestions for Crab Etouffee:

Serve Crab Etouffee over rice in a deep plate. Garnish with chopped green onions or fresh chopped parsley for color and a side of garlic French bread.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Video: Vertical Lasagna On a Budget

From Denny: I'm a big fan of these segments on CBS and Food Network where chefs demonstrate how to entertain wonderfully on a shoestring budget. This idea of taking horizontal cut squares of lasagna and then doing something different where you stand the curved edge noodles on their sides is much more asthetically appealing! And, since I've always liked to play with my food, these cheesecake lollipops that get dipped in a pot of melted chocolate, well, what can I say? Totally DIVINE!

"On this week's Chef On A Shoestring, Domenic Charomonte, Executive Chef at Match Restaurant, prepares Organic Salad, Summer Chicken Lasagna, and Cheesecake Lollipops under $35."

Watch CBS Videos Online

vertical lasagna, cheesecake lollipops, shoestring budget, food on a budget, CBS

Friday, August 21, 2009

Video: Bobby Flay's Fancy Food Finds

From Denny: I don't know how I missed this cool video discussing the latest food trends like, drumroll, pahleez! chocolate tortilla chips, yum! Chef Bobbly Flay, reporting on what he discovered at the Fancy Food Show, gives you some great ideas on how to pair or use as an ingredient many of these new trendy tasty snack chips.

"TV host and chef Bobby Flay showed off some of the great new foods featured during New York City's Fancy Food Show."

Watch CBS Videos Online

Bobby Flay, Fancy Food Show, New York City, food trends, chocolate

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Recipe: Oreo Cookie and Chocolate Ice Cream Calypso Pie

oreosOreo Cookies Image: Ah, childhood pleasures of licking the filling off the cookie and then dunking it in a cold glass of milk... by penguincakes via Flickr

From Denny: Severe thunderstorms in my area today and had to stop posting for the day. Apologies for getting this out so late at night...

This recipe is quite the calorie buster and a definite show-off for the holidays or entertaining! It comes from the Southern Recipe Restoration Project that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is sponsoring. There are a lot of interesting easy recipes you can do with Oreo cookies and this cookie crust for this intriguing special pie is just one of many.

From: Ashley Leckey, a Tallahassee native and University of Georgia graduate who has lived in Atlanta since 2004. This recipe comes from her jack-of-all-trades grandmother, Cele Marcoux, who was an editor at a newspaper, had a line of luxury ties, worked in a dental lab and was even a nurse in the Army. Now that's job experience!

Marcoux often flavored this recipe with her own homemade liqueur and used the sauce recipes supplied below too.

Hands on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours
Serves: 12


1/2 cup butter (1 stick), divided

18 Oreo cookies, crushed

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1 quart coffee ice cream (or 1 quart vanilla bean ice cream plus coffee-flavored liqueur to taste; see link below to separate recipe)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans


Melt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter. Mix crushed cookies with melted butter; press into bottom and up sides of a 10-inch pie plate and chill.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate and remaining butter. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and salt. Add the evaporated milk gradually, blending well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and almond extracts.

Set aside to cool to room temperature. When the shell is chilled and the sauce has cooled, set out the ice cream to soften slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Fill the pie shell with the ice cream. Put the pie in the freezer until ice cream is firm again.

In the meantime, beat the whipping cream until it just holds a peak. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Spread the fudge sauce over the ice cream layer, then mound the top with whipped cream and sprinkle with pecans. Store in the freezer until ready to serve. Remove and let sit a few minutes before slicing.


Per serving:
482 calories (percent of calories from fat, 63), 5 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 35 grams fat (17 grams saturated), 72 milligrams cholesterol, 261 milligrams sodium.

Coffee-flavored Liqueur

Hands on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: Makes 1 gallon


4 cups granulated sugar

6 1/2 cups water, divided

1 cup instant coffee

1 (375 milliliter) bottle 190-proof grain alcohol, such as Everclear (some of us might prefer a better quality vodka)

2 vanilla beans


In a saucepan, combine sugar and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil; simmer for 20 minutes. Cool. Meanwhile, mix instant coffee with 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Cool. Combine both mixtures; add alcohol and remaining 2 cups water. Pour into four 16-ounce bottles and add 1/2 vanilla bean to each.


Per ounce: 48 calories (no calories from fat), trace protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, no fat, no cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium.

Copycat Chocolate Fudge Sauce

Hands on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Serves: Makes 1 1/4 cups


1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a heavy saucepan, stir together sugar and cocoa. Add milk and syrup and stir until blended. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil; continue stirring and boiling for 8 minutes. Remove from heat; add chocolate and butter and stir until melted, then add the cream. Return to the heat and boil an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool; store in the refrigerator in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. To serve, uncover and heat the jar in a saucepan of warm water for a few minutes (or in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds).


Per tablespoon:
73 calories (percent of calories from fat, 45), trace protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 4 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 9 milligrams cholesterol, 21 milligrams sodium.

Thanks for visiting Romancing The Chocolate!

chocolate dessert, coffee liqueur, Copycat Chocolate Fudge Sauce, ice cream pie, oreo cookies, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cook, University of Georgia, baking and confections, home, easy recipes, ice cream

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Recipe: Fast and Easy Sloppy Joe Biscuit Pot Pies

Key west - Sloppy Joe's at 3 AMKey West, Florida bar called Sloppy Joe's Image by bfraz via Flickr

From Denny: School season is fast approaching and busy moms need some easy recipes with little hassle to keep from being overwhelmed and over tired. Pillsbury always comes up with easy ideas at their site.

Normally, I'm not the biggest fan of frozen mixed vegetables. The only veggies that seem to do well in the freezer in my mind are things like peas or beans like lima beans and other normally dried beans. Okra doesn't do too badly either. Potatoes? Forget it! :) Seriously though, frozen veggies should work just fine here as the chili sauce will overpower any possible "freezer taste." The mustard and brown sugar will also help the flavor tremendously.

As to frozen biscuits that's your choice. I like to control what kind of fat, preferably that without cholesterol, that goes into my food so I make my own, cut them out and then freeze individually on a tray. When rock solid frozen I then place them in freezer baggies and they can last a good year if that were actually possible in our house! :)

This recipe is simple, fast and tailored to individual portions so if you want to spice up (for adults) or down (for young children or picky eaters) it can be done quickly. To make it more Cajun I'd add extra garlic powder and Cajun seasoning like Tony Chachere's (low sodium version).

Meat already has a lot of salt in it naturally, especially chicken as the sellers plump up that chicken you buy in the supermarket with injections of salt water. Sweet, huh? The up side is that salt does kill bacteria so in that sense it can be a good thing. Just watch how much salt you add to any recipe with chicken in it.

Fast and Easy Sloppy Joe Biscuit Pot Pies


Serves: 2


1/2 pound lean (at least 80%) ground beef
(Denny: you could substitute ground turkey or chicken)

1/4 cup chopped onion (from a medium onion)

3/4 cup frozen mixed vegetables (add some fresh chopped celery too)

1 teaspoon packed brown sugar

1/2 teapoon dry ground mustard

3/4 cup chili sauce

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 Pillsbury Grands Frozen Buttermilk Biscuits (from 25-oz. bag)

2 teaspoons milk

1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Spray an 8-inch skillet with cooking spray. Add ground beef and onion and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until
beef is thoroughly cooked. Drain.

3. Stir in frozen mixed vegetables, brown sugar, mustard, chili sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender.

4. Spoon beef mixture into 2 (1-1/2-cup) ungreased ovenproof bowls or ramekins. Top each with frozen biscuit. Brush each biscuit with milk, sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden brown.

Photo: Key West, Florida bar called Sloppy Joe's Image by bfraz via Flickr

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Recipe: Fresh Peach Ice Cream

Peach Ice Cream (2007)Image by karlo via Flickr

From Denny: It's been too hot to run the computer today so am late getting out my posts. Was able to get out a few this morning and the rest had to wait until it got cooler. Will be glad when fall comes! :)

In this heat all I think about are cooling foods - and ice cream sure is a treat! Enjoy this wonderful recipe as he gives lots of tips in this recipe. It's as if he is standing next to you, walking you through the recipe.

Fresh Peach Ice Cream

From: Ray Sonnier of Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Yield: 1 gallon. This is rich but good!


2-1/4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 Tablespoons flour

6 extra large eggs

3 cups whole milk

2 cups half-and-half

1 (13-ounce) can evaporated milk

1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups chopped fresh or frozen peaches

1 cup sugar


1. In mixer, combine sugar, salt and flour. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Blend well. Add milk, half-and-half and evaporated milk. Blend well.

2. Boil water to add to outer pan of double boiler. Add custard to inner pot. Heat water to boiling and stir custard as it heats up until thickened. Stir often with whisk to prevent lumps. Add whipping cream and vanilla, stir and cool in cool water in sink. Stir periodically to prevent skimming.

3. Use 3 cups of fruit. Peel and cut peaches into small pieces in a bowl. Add 1 cup sugar and microwave for about 2-1/2 minutes. Skip the microwaving if fruit is very ripe, but I would let fruit and sugar sit for about 1 hour.

4. Pour custard and fruit into freezer container with paddles inserted. Refrigerate or cool in ice water for several hours if possible.

5. Freeze until firm.

Note: This recipe works well in a 4-quart ice cream freezer. I adapted this recipe as best I could remember for a smaller freezer — my mother had a 1-1/2-gallon freezer.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Recipe: Fast Easy Barbecue Bacon Chicken Breast

From Denny: How many times have we all wished for a wonderful meal in just minutes from ingredients already in the house? I've made this same recipe many times and loved it both for its simplicity, ease of making and speed to the table.

Barbecue Bacon Chicken Breast

From: Jeanne Besser

Note from Jeanne Besser: Crystal Ellis of Marietta writes, "Here's a great-tasting easy main dish created from my refrigerator. Kids love it!" This is truly a meal most of us can cull from our reserves, but that still makes a substantial dinner. I added the step of crisping the bacon under the broiler, but if you like softer bacon, you could skip this.

Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4


1 (1 1/2-pound) package boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 strips thin bacon, cut in half

9 ounces ( 1/2 bottle) honey barbecue sauce (or your favorite flavor)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with foil. Sprinkle chicken breasts with pepper to taste. Place 2 bacon strip halves horizontally to cover chicken breasts. Top with barbecue sauce and fold foil over to make a packet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken is just done. Increase heat to broil. Open foil and broil until bacon crisps, 1 to 2 minutes. Top with cheese. Put back in oven and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until cheese melts.


Per serving: 420 calories (percent of calories from fat, 34), 43 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, 16 grams fat, 128 milligrams cholesterol, 952 milligrams sodium.

Barbecue sauce, easy recipe, quick recipe, kid friendly recipes, Cook, Cheese, Home, Cheddar cheese, Barbecue, Bacon, Chicken

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Recipe: Super Easy Key Lime Cake Goes Well With Seafood

Photo by m kasahara @ flickr

From Denny: Since we love seafood so much in the South, well, you need something citrusy to chase the garlic taste. Another food popular in Louisiana is cream cheese icing and this cake has a cream-cheese key lime icing. Key limes from Florida are awesome! This simple recipe is just the ticket, enjoy!

From: Mae Hogg


1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix

1 1/3 cups vegetable oil (I like canola as it is a neutral oil that doesn't influence other flavors)

4 eggs

3/4 cup orange juice

1 (3 ounce) package lime Jell-O

1 (1 pound) package plus 1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

8 ounces cream cheese

3 Tablespoons lime juice


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs, orange juice and lime Jell-O. Pour into 3 greased and floured (8-inch) cake pans.

2. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

3. Let cool 10 minutes, then remove from pans. Let cool completely.

4. To make icing, combine powderedsugar, butter, cream cheese and key lime juice.

5. Ice between layers and on top and sides of cake. Enjoy!

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Video: Learn Easy Pickling of Fresh Veggies to Help Your Wallet

From Denny: Looks like grandma's pickling of bountiful summer's produce is back in fashion with today's economy. Chef Tyler Florence of Food Network shows us how it's great fun easy to do! Beautiful little food gifts you can give at Christmas time too. Get ready for Christmas in August - now that's planning ahead. :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Video: Fast and Easy Jamaican Jerk Steak

From Denny: Here's a fast and easy little meal for the weekend you can whip up in just minutes. Remember two things: don't overcook this cut of meat as it will be tough, so about 3 to 4 minutes per side on the stove top grill. Then slice thinly at a 45 degree angle for tender slices, enjoy!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Video: Making the Best Burger from the 21 Clubs Famous Chef

From Denny: It's still summer and Labor Day weekend is coming up quickly! Take some tips from this famous chef at the 21 Club about their famous burgers. And invite me over to your place, pahleez! :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Video: How to Pair Beer with Your Foods

From Denny: Food and Wine Magazine gives us tips on how to pair which foods with which beers. There is a wide range of assortment to suit your tastes too. Great advice!

beer and wine, gourmet tips, Food and Wine Magazine, Today Show, NBC, food
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