Tag Archives: whipping cream

Creamy Chicken Piccata for Two

Meal planning strategy: I haven’t cooked anything Italian in some time, there was a jar of capers languishing in the fridge and a couple of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts in the freezer, so I looked for a recipe for Chicken Piccata that used ingredients that I already had. The breasts weighed a bit over a pound so I split them horizontally into four, more or less equal sized portions, and made some adjustments to the recipe I found here since I wanted to toss the pasta in the sauce.

Chicken Piccata – serves 2, generously

200 gm fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, ~1 pound/454 gm
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided

For flouring chicken cutlets
1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
pinch ground black pepper
1 1/2-2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

For lemon sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock, or a dry white wine
1/4 cup whipping cream (optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp brined capers, drained
1 clove garlic, finely minced or 1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)

1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley or 1-2 tsp dried parsley, for garnish
3-4 thin slices of lemon, for garnish

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, stop the cooking by transferring the noodle to cold water and then, if needed to wait for the sauce, transfer the noodles to warm water.

To make chicken cutlets, cut each chicken breast horizontally into two equal sized pieces or butterfly and cut in half. If the thickness of the cutlets is uneven, put them between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat hammer to 1/4 inch thickness.

In a shallow pan or pie tin, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan. Rinse the chicken pieces quickly in water, drain well and dredge them in the flour mixture, until well coated.

Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium/medium-high heat and when heated, add the chicken cutlets. Do not crowd the pan to ensure even cooking. Cook in half batches. Brown well on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a plate with a rim to retain any juices that may be released by the breasts. Cook the other breasts in the same manner. Cover to keep warm.

Add the chicken stock or white wine, lemon juice, and capers to the pan. Use a spatula to scrape up any browned bits. Reduce the sauce by half. (NOTE: For additional lemon flavour, add the sliced lemons at this point so the lemon oil from the zest can infuse into the sauce. If your sauce volume seems low or you want a creamy sauce, whisk in the whipping cream and let reduce for a few minutes.)

Whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter (cut into 2-3 pieces), a piece at a time until each piece just melts. This may not be necessary if you’re using the whipping cream as that will thicken the sauce.

Drain the pasta well. Add the pasta to the saute pan so it can warm in the sauce, if it’s cooled down. Divide the pasta between two plates.

Plate the chicken over the pasta and serve with the sauce poured over the top. Sprinkle with parsley before serving and add a slice or two of the lemon for garnish.

I didn’t notice that I hadn’t sprinkled the parsley over the top until after I’d plated the dish. Oh well…

I set aside two of the cutlets for use in other dishes as there was too much chicken for two servings.

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Easy Japanese Dishes Pt. 3 – Japanese Hamburger Steak (Hambagu)

The last post on the theme of easy Japanese dishes features a Japanese version of the classic Western hamburger, hambagu, or hamburger steak patty. I’m including a couple of miso soups, a vegetable side dish and some pudding (or purin, in Japanese) to finish things off.

The recipe for the hamburger comes from TabiEats and the result was meant to be used in a bento box. Instead, I used it as a topping for leftover Japanese mixed rice.

Hamburger Steak Mixed Rice Bowl

Hamburger Steak Patty – for 2 patties

100 gm /~1/4 pound ground beef or chicken
30-40 gm enoki mushroom base, shredded
1/8th finely diced onion (or 1 tsp fried onions)
1/4 tsp salt
few grinds of pepper

Ground beef and shredded enoki mushroom base

Mix all the hamburger patty ingredients together well. Shape into patty to get out the air. Divide into 2 and reshape into hamburger steak patty. Make a small depression in the center as the middle puffs up during frying. Pan fry over medium heat in 1 tsp vegetable oil for a few minutes on the first side and then turn and finish.

Since the burger on its own seemed a bit dry, I borrowed a recipe for a wine reduction hamburger steak sauce from Nami’s Just One Cookbook. Halve the ingredient amounts for the sauce, from the recipe below, if you’re only making two patties.

Hamburger Steak (Hambagu) – for 4 hamburger steak patties

1-2 tsp vegetable oil
4 hamburger patties, about 90 gm each
~1 tbsp red wine
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Sauce for the hamburger steak

3 tbsp red wine
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp tonkatsu sauce (or Worcestershire sauce)

Heat a cast iron or non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the hamburger patties and fry 3-4 minutes on the first side. Flip, and add a couple of teaspoons of red wine into the pan.

After you flip, pour 2-3 tsp red wine into the saucepan and then lower the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minute, or until the inside of the patty is no longer pink. Take the lid off and increase the heat to medium-high to let the red wine cook off. When the pan is almost dry, remove the patties to a serving plate and reserve.

Combine the liquid sauce ingredients in a bowl. In the same pan in which you fried the hamburger patties, add the butter the and sauce ingredients and mix well. Lower the heat to medium low and let the sauce simmer for a few minutes to cook off the alcohol. With a slotted spoon, remove any meat bits or scum from the sauce so it’s nice and smooth.

When the sauce has thickened to your liking, pour it over the hamburger steaks.

Serve with vegetable sides and rice.

Shira-ae is a tofu ‘dressing’ made of ground sesame seeds/tahini, miso and tofu and added to shredded vegetables.

I used it to dress some blanched broccoli florettes and served it with one of the hamburger patties and a bowl of miso soup.

Two kinds of white miso soup … egg drop/egg flower and tofu or a clear soup.

To finish up … dessert. Cause you ALWAYS need to finish up with something sweet. (Ok, I like cheese and fruit and nuts too but they weren’t in my budget nor did I know any savoury Japanese afters.)

Dessert was pudding, or purin, in Japanese. Both these desserts were made with the same vanilla bean custard mixture. For the flan/creme caramel, I made a hard caramel and poured it into the bottom of the large ramekins. The smaller ramekins were turned into creme brulee and bruleed under the broiler.

Vanilla Bean Flan/Creme Caramel and Creme Brulee


Rigo Jancsi … a Hungarian Chocolate Mousse Cake

Sometimes you just get inspired by a recipe, even when you don’t have enough of the ingredients to make a full recipe. Or the right sized container to assemble it in.

There’s a sad and romantic story about the purported origin of this chocolate mousse cake, involving a gypsy violinist and the unhappily married wife of an impoverished Belgian prince. I just made it because I had a chocolate craving and was bored on a Saturday afternoon. The recipe was found on the blog “Zsuzsa in the Kitchen”, the source of many delicious Hungarian and Canadian recipes.

You may see this cake with a white whipped cream layer between the chocolate mousse and the cake top. It’s a nice visual but not found in the original version, I understand.

I was low on eggs and only had a couple of teaspoons of gelatin for the mousse so I scaled down … everything.

The cake (a half batch) was made in an eight by eight inch glass pan and then cut in half, rather unevenly, as it turned out. Mostly because I was distracted by the lumps of unmixed egg white foam in the chocolate batter. I made one third portions of both the mousse filling and the chocolate glaze for the cake top. The mousse melted in the heat of my kitchen as I incorporated the warm cream containing the gelatin into the cold whipped chocolate cream. And, since I didn’t have a pan of the right size to build the cake and mousse filling in, I piled the mounds of chocolate mousse on the slab of cake in a couple of batches, refrigerating the cake in between.

Diluted and slightly warmed apricot jam spread over the base of the cake. Chocolate mousse piled on top.

The chocolate ganache used to glaze the cake top turned out beautifully. Glossy and just thick enough to set quickly, so I could precut the cake layers before piling them on top of the mousse. Unfortunately, by this point it had set firmly enough that the two didn’t glue themselves together. It was at that point that I realized that I hadn’t trimmed the two cake layers to match.

Oh well … it wasn’t being made to serve to company.

Rushing to get the cake assembled and back into the fridge to set, led me to only cut the mousse cake into six portions, even though I HAD planned for eight. No matter, as I ate two servings, even as wonky  as they turned out, that same day. Midnight chocolate mousse cake is a decadent treat we should all indulge in periodically.

 

Mandarin Orange Trifle

I was in the mood for something sweet that didn’t involve chocolate and was fast to make. With a can of mandarin oranges from the pantry as well as a package of Savoiardi (Italian lady fingers) I came up with this creamy dessert. I didn’t have any instant pudding so I made my own using a basic vanilla pudding recipe spiked with a touch of orange extract.

And, I scaled it down to serve two in the faint hope of watching my waistline.

Mandarin Orange Trifle for Two

1 recipe of vanilla pudding (see recipe below)
1 can of mandarin oranges, drain the orange segments and reserve both the syrup and the oranges in separate bowls
4 Savoiardi biscuits
1 tbsp orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec)**

Garnish
1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped with a teaspoon of sugar until soft peaks form
reserved orange segments, about 1/3 of the can

** Omit the liqueur if it’s an issue

Set out 2 tall glasses for the assembly.

In a small bowl, combine 6 tbsp of the syrup, from the can of oranges, with the liqueur.

NOTE: I decided on TWO layers of biscuits, pudding and orange segments, topped with whipped cream and garnished with orange segments for each glass, so I divided the orange segments, by eye, into SIX relatively equal portions. The pudding was divided into FOUR x 1/4 cup portions.

Break one of the biscuits into 3-4 pieces depending on the size of your glass, and place the pieces in the bottom of the glass. Drizzle one tablespoon of the syrup over the biscuits. Let sit for 3-5 minutes until all of the syrup is absorbed by the biscuits.

Pour 1/4 cup of the warm vanilla pudding over the biscuits.

Arrange one portion of the drained orange segments evenly over the pudding.

Break a second biscuit into 3-4 portions and place over the orange segments.  Sprinkle with the syrup as you did earlier and let sit a few minutes to allow the biscuits to absorb the syrup.

Pour 1/4 cup of the warm vanilla pudding over the biscuits.

Repeat for the 2nd glass. If you have any pudding left, divide evenly among both glasses.

Arrange one portion of the drained orange segments over the pudding in each glass.

Refrigerate overnight or for at least an hour before serving to let the pudding set and so that the biscuits will soften.

Just before serving, whip the cream and sugar. Spoon over each glass and garnish with the reserved orange segments.


Vanilla pudding – serves 2

1 cup cold milk, divided
4-6 tbsp sugar *
1 tbsp cornstarch
a pinch of salt
1 egg yolk, lightly whisked
1 tbsp butter or margarine (if using salted butter or margarine, omit the salt)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp orange extract (optional)

* I’m going to use the lesser amount next time.

In a microwave safe measuring cup, scald 3/4 cups of milk. Reserve the rest of the milk

In a sauce pan, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add the rest (1/4 cup) of the milk and whisk. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly until the pudding starts to thicken and bubble.

 

Remove the saucepan from the stove and spoon a tablespoon of the hot mixture into the lightly whisked egg yolk. Whisk together. Add another couple of tablespoons of the hot mixture to the egg yolk mixture and whisk together. (You are tempering the egg yolk so that it doesn’t curdle when added to the remaining hot pudding mixture.) Add the egg yolk mixture into the pudding in the saucepan and whisk together.

Return the saucepan to the hot element on the stove and keep whisking until the mixture is boiling. Cook for an additional minute.

Remove the sauce pan from the heat and turn off the element. You’re done cooking the pudding.

Whisk in the butter or margarine and the vanilla extract, as well as the orange extract, if using.

Spoon into two serving bowls and refrigerate.

Coconut Mango Panna Cotta and Defrosting Update

A picture of some lovely ripe mangoes (88 cents each) in the most recent Food Basics flyer led me to consider making either mango creme caramel or a mango panna cotta. I decided on the latter since it didn’t involve turning on the oven. In the current heat wave, even with the A/C on, that’s an important consideration.

I was able to get a couple of cups of a smooth and tasty mango puree from two mangoes. And, using a can of coconut milk in place of whipping cream let me get some extra flavour into the creamy dessert while reducing the calorie count.

Based on the proportions of gelatin and mango puree I found in a recipe on line, I came up with a recipe. And then I had to adjust THAT since my panna cotta didn’t set enough to turn out cleanly. The recipe below is a bit awkward but uses amounts of coconut milk and mango puree that minimize wastage or leftovers. Once I get through all this test batch of panna cotta, I’ll play with reducing the recipe to something that’s more practical for a single person.

Coconut Mango Panna Cotta – serves 6 or 7 1/4 cup portions

1 can (400 ml / 1 2/3 cup) coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup mango puree*
4 1/2 tsp gelatin (1 1/2 pkts Knox gelatin)**
2 tbsp room temperature water (or orange juice)

Mise en Place … after finishing this bowl of soup, I’m going to make my mango puree

* Two good sized ripe mangoes, diced and pureed in a stand blender, with as much juice as gathered while cutting and peeling the mangoes, should give you about 2 cups of mango puree. Taste the puree and, if needed, add a tablespoon or two of additional sugar before using.

** If using some other thickening agent, ie agar agar or sheets of gelatin, use enough to set 3 cups of liquid.

Scald the coconut milk. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Let cool until just warm to the touch. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt.

In a small bowl, empty the gelatin and stir in the orange juice and 2 tbsp of warm coconut milk. Stir/whisk until the gelatin is evenly moistened and then pour into the warm coconut milk. Whisk through. Add the mango puree and again, whisk until everything is evenly mixed together. (If desired, pass the mixture through a fine sieve to make sure there aren’t any mango fibres or undissolved bits of gelatin.)

Divide among as many small ramekins as desired. Portion size may vary from 1/4 to 1/3 or even 1/2 cup. Tap the bottom of the container, very gently, on a flat surface to release any bubbles in the panna cotta. If using fragile glasses, you may not wish to risk breakage so skip this step.

Refrigerate for a minimum of two hours, but preferably overnight, before serving.

NOTE: If you wish to turn out the panna cotta, lightly oil the ramekin with a neutral tasting oil. Otherwise, just pour into a pretty cup, let it set, and serve directly out of the cup.

Freezer Defrost Status: Before and After … as of July 1st, this is my upstairs freezer.

Technique: No Churn Ice Cream (Cranberry Sauce)

I’ve posted this recipe/technique of making ice cream, without an ice cream maker, before. However, I thought I’d give it another look before the holidays, when an easy make-ahead dessert might be just what you want. Especially if you have some leftover cranberry sauce. You may even want to make some cranberry sauce just so you can make this.

All you need is whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk (though you CAN use sweetened cream of coconut as well), alcohol (about 1 tbsp per batch) and flavourings. And at least six hours in the freezer.

Small Batch No Churn Ice Cream – recipe makes ~ 3-4 cups of ice cream, more depending on the bulk of add-ins

3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp alcohol**
1 tbsp flavouring**

** If using an extract with an alcohol base, like vanilla extract or limoncello, as I have in the past, one tablespoon of the extract is all you need.

Variations:

Fruit – fruit purees or preserve, shredded coconut, curd (lemon, lime, orange, raspberry etc), fruit liquer ie Kirsch, Cointreau/Grand Marnier
Chocolate – cocoa powder, chocolate or fudge sauce, Nutella, chocolate liquer ie Bailey’s, Bols, De Kuyper, chocolate bars
Coffee – espresso powder, coffee liqueur ie Tia Maria, Kahlua, Patron for a tequila base
Nuts and seeds – coarsely or finely chopped, peanut butter, Nutella, sesame seeds (tahini), chocolate bars
Cheesecake – softened cream cheese or mascarpone may be combined with the sweetened condensed milk for a denser ice cream

Special Category:

Seasonal favourites – pumpkin pie, egg nog, cranberry sauce

Cranberry Sauce No Churn Ice Cream Ingredients – 3/4 cups whipping cream, 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1 tbsp brandy, 1/2 cup home made cranberry sauce, plus another 1/4 cup cranberry sauce to swirl through the ice cream.

Reader Challenge:

Replicate your favourite chocolate bar (ie Thin Mints, Cadbury creme egg), cookie (ie Samoas, Oreos) or other dessert (ie tiramisu, apple pie) in ice cream form, like the Ferrero Rocher chocolates I made a while ago. Share a link to a picture on your own site.

Small Batch No Churn Ice Cream – Deconstructed Ferrero Rocher and Lemon Curd & Limoncello Cheesecake

ETA (07/21/2017): Replaced both the Ferrero Rocher and lemon curd scoop pictures.

For ice cream lovers without an ice cream maker or a large amount of freezer space, and a love for different flavours of ice cream, a small batch of no churn ice cream may be the solution. Especially as this type of ice cream is so VERY rich and a 1/2 cup serving is enough to satisfy most people. I picked two very different flavours of ice cream to cater to different cravings.

For Chocolate Hazelnut/Nutella Lovers – Deconstructed Ferrero Rocher Ice Cream

I wanted to buy some of the actual chocolates, chop them up and stir them into a Nutella flavoured ice cream but they didn’t have any at the grocery store so I was forced to use the elements for a ‘deconstructed’ version.

Deconstructed Ferrero Rocher Ice Cream – makes ~3 cups

3/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
50 gm coarsely chopped hazelnuts (filberts), reserve a teaspoon or so of nuts for decorating the top
1/2 cup Nutella
1 tbsp rye whiskey vanilla extract
1/4 cup (or more) fudge sauce** (or Nutella if you don’t have any fudge or chocolate sauce)

** I used Martha Stewart’s recipe

In a large cold bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

In a second large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk with the Nutella until smooth. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts.

Fold the stiff cream into the sweetened condensed milk/Nutella/nut mixture.

Spoon half the ice cream mixture into a freezer safe container. Smooth the surface. Dot several half teaspoons of fudge sauce over the surface of the ice cream. Add the rest of the ice cream mixture. Drizzle some more fudge sauce over the ice cream

Sprinkle the reserved nuts over the top.

NOTE: Next time, I won’t line the container with saran wrap as it fell into the ice cream and got all messy. I was TRYING to keep the container neat.

Cover the container tightly with a lid or a sheet of foil and place into freezer for a minimum of 8 hrs or overnight.

For Citrus Lovers – Lemon Curd & Limoncello Cheesecake Ice Cream

I wanted the bright citrus hit of lemons so I used my home made lemon curd to flavour the ice cream. The Limoncello I made a few years ago provided the liqueur in the recipe, and, because it just wasn’t rich and creamy enough with the whipping cream, in an adaptation of an earlier blueberry version, I added cream cheese to make it similar to a cheesecake.

Lemon Curd & Limoncello Cheesecake Ice Cream – makes ~3 1/2-4  cups

3/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 oz/85 gm cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 tbsp Limoncello
1/3-1/2 cup lemon curd, divided

In a large cold bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

In a second large bowl, whip the cream cheese until smooth and then beat in the  sweetened condensed milk and the Limoncello.

Stir in a few tablespoons of the lemon curd.

Fold the stiff cream into the cream cheese/sweetened condensed milk/lemon curd mixture.

Spoon half the ice cream mixture into a freezer safe container. Smooth the surface. Dot several half teaspoons of lemon curd over the surface of the ice cream. With a wooden skewer or chopstick, marble the curd through the ice cream.

Add the rest of the ice cream mixture and flatten the top. Dot some more lemon curd over the top of the ice cream and marble through as before.

Cover the container tightly with a lid or a sheet of foil and place into freezer for a minimum of 8 hrs or overnight.

Cannoli with a Cannoli Cream Filling

I’ve made cannoli several times and not had any issues. Of course, on this attempt, everything that could go wrong did. I really HAVE to get a good thermometer for deep frying and I should have a better fryer as well. It’s just that I hate to fry and do so SO rarely, that I don’t really want the added expense. But throwing away those burnt cannoli shells, that took me ages to make, is depressing.

Most turned out though and I filled them with a different ricotta filling than I’ve used in the past. This one uses whipped cream to ‘lighten’ the ricotta. 🙂

Making cannoli shells – you can make the shells differing shapes (oval and rectangular) and sizes, but the oval shape is best for displaying the filling on the ends in the most attractive fashion. Blunt edged cannoli shells, whether shaped from positioning small shells on the metal tubes horizontally, instead of lengthwise, or from using rectangular shells, just aren’t as pretty looking.

 

 

Rectangular cannoli shells – I used the mini oval pattern as a rough guide for cutting rectangular shells

 

Cannoli Cream

1/2 cup whipping cream
1 15-ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese, strained
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Place the cream into a small bowl and set aside.

In the same mixing bowl, add the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Fold in the whipped cream and chocolate chips.

Chill the cream for at least 2 hours before filling the cannoli shells.

Stove-top Coconut-Raisin Rice Pudding

I haven’t made one of these simple recipe posts in ages. Perhaps I’ve been overwhelming everyone with all the pictures and information. I’ll try to do better in the future.

I’m eating out of the freezer these days so I’m not doing much cooking.

One of the goodies I found was a two serving container of leek and ground pork mapo tofu, so I made a pot of long grain rice to serve it over. I used half the rice for a comfort dish … rice pudding. The cold rice was combined with some odds and ends in the fridge … coconut milk and whipping cream. After the fact, I realized that I could have used some of the sweetened condensed milk in my fridge in place of the sugar in the recipe. Something to remember for the next time.

Coconut-Raisin Stove-top Rice Pudding

Coconut-Raisin Stove-top Rice Pudding – serves 4

2 cups cooked rice**
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup raisins
1 inch cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
ground cinnamon for garnish

** 1/2 cup raw long grain rice cooked in 1 cup water with a pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the cooked rice, coconut milk, cream, milk, sugar, raisins and cinnamon stick. Place the saucepan on the stove-top and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, for 25 minutes or until the rice is still somewhat loose. (Remember that it will thicken as it cools.)

Remove from the stove and take out the cinnamon stick and discard.

Stir the vanilla and almond extracts into the rice pudding.

Serve warm (or cold) with a pinch of ground cinnamon over the top.