Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cooking Class/Creamy Chicken Beggar's Purse/Sauce Bernaise

Today my friend, Pam and I went to a wonderful cooking class at the Mary C. O'Keefe Museum in Ocean Springs, MS.  The class is by IP(Imperial Palace) Culinary Arts Cafe.  You can have a look here:  This was so much fun and the food was delicious. The Chef was cute and the wine was great!  It was really a wonderful day.

My lovely friend Pam and Chef Jeremy Williams

Creamy Chicken Begger's Purse
9 layers phyllo sheets cut into 4" squares
1/2 cup melted butter
One bunch blanched green onion(blanch in boiling water for 20 seconds and cut the white part off)
Using a pastry brush, brush each layer of phyllo and stack one on the top o the other, then cut all 9 layers  into 4" squares.

Chicken Mushroom Leek Filling
2 Tbs leeks, diced small
2 Tbs butter
1 chicken cutlet, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp Tarragon
20 chives, for purses
pinch of creole seasoning
Preheat ocen to 350 degrees.  Saute the leeks and chicken in 1 TBS butter until translucent and cool in the frig.  Saute the mushrooms in the other tablespoon of butter.  Cook the mushrooms separate from the chicken.  When the mushrooms are cooked, fold them into the chicken along with the other ingredients.
Place about 1 TBS of chicken mixture in the middle of a square of phyllo; pull the edges up to form a begger's purse and tie with green onion that has been blanched.
Place the purses on a baking sheet and bake in oven for approx. 5 minutes.

Ready to go into the oven!

Oh I wish you could taste this! It was one of the best things I have ever tasted.  It was served on top of Sauce Bearnaise.

Sauce Bearnaise
1TBS minced shallots
2Tbs fresh Tarragon leaves, chopped, and their stalks, chopped and roughly bruised
2 TBS wine or Tarragon vinegar
1 TBS chopped chervil, optional
2TBS white wine
1 tsp peppercorns(preferably white), crushed or bruised
3 egg yolks
1TBS water
16 TBS unsalted butter, soft, cut into 1/2" dices
Freshly milled white or black pepper
1/ to 1/2 lemon , juiced
Combine vinegar, wine, shallots, black pepper, and 1 1/2 tsp tarragon in a small saucepan.       
Cook over medium heat until reduced to 1 TBS, 5-10 minutes.
Add egg yolks and 1 TBS of water to reduce vinegar mixture.
Whisk until thick and pale, about 2 minutes.
Set pan over moderately low heat and continue to whisk at reasonable speed reaching all over bottom and insides of pan, where eggs tend to overcook.
To moderate heat, frequently move pan off burner for a few seconds, then back on.
As they cook, the eggs will become frothy and increase in volume, then thicken.
When the bottom of the pan is visible in the streaks left by the whisk and the eggs are thick and smooth, remove from heat.
By spoonfuls, add soft butter, whisking constantly to incorporate each addition.
As the emulsion forms, add butter in slightly larger amounts, always whisking until fully absorbed.
Continue incorporating butter until sauce has thickened to consistency desired.
Season with salt, remaining 1 1/2 tsp chopped tarragon and if desired, pepper.
Add a few droplets of lemon juice if necessary.

Fresh Tarragon
I will be back tomorrow with the dessert, it was lovely to look at and oh so good!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes and Happy Birthday Gwyn!

Magnolia's  Vanilla Vanilla Cupcake

Magnolia's Chocolate Vanilla Cupcake

First I want to tell Gwen Happy Birthday! I Love ya!  I don't know what I would do without you because you are a great blessing to me. Thank you so much for everything you do!

If you have never tried a Magnolia Bakery cupcake-then you should definitely make these. Or better yet visit them.  Here is a link to the store  If you have had these before, then you know already how good they taste.  I have the book "The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook" which is full of wonderful recipes, including the famous "Banana Pudding" recipe. I am posting the recipes here since you can easily find them all over the internet already.  But, I am going to tell you how many calories are in these little treasures.  I have spent several hours working on this today and I believe I have come up with pretty accurate results.  I used to use a program called Master Cook (which I believe is no longer in use) and it was a wonderful recipe/nutrition calculator.  I now have a Mac and cannot find a suitable program.  I have used old fashioned math along with an online search for nutrition analysis. I am counting calories these days and wanted to know that I could fit in an occasional indulgence, as long as I just eat 1 !

Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temp
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 24 cupcake tins with cupcake papers.  Combine flours and set aside.
In a large bowl, and mixer on medium, cream butter until smooth.  Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Beat until all ingredients are incorporated, but do not over beat.  After the ingredients are completely mixed, spoon the batter into the cupcake papers, about three-quarers full.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in the tins for 15 minutes.  Remove from tin and cool completely before frosting.  Calories 134 per cupcake.

Vanilla Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Place butter in large mixing bowl.  Add 4 cups of the confectioners sugar and then the milk and vanilla.  On medium speed, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.  Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. until the icing is thick enough to spread well.  You may not use all of the sugar.  If desired, color the icing with a few drops of food coloring. Use and store the icing at room temp.  It can be kept at room temp in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Calories 187/per 24 cupcakes.

Chocolate Buttercream
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 tbs milk
9ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
To melt the chocolate, place a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for about 5-10minutes.  Stir until completely melted and let cool to lukewarm.
In a large bowl, mixer on medium, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes.  Add the milk and beat until smooth.  Add the melted chocolate and beat well.  Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes.  Gradually add the sugar and beat on low until creamy and a spreadable consistency.  Calories 203/per 24 cupcakes
I hope you love these as much as I do!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

TWD: Swedish Visiting Cake

I loved this cake from start to finish.  I loved using my wrought iron corn bread skillet, I loved how easy it was to make, I loved how fast  it was whipped up and I loved the taste! What else can I say? You should try it!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Confection's of a Closet Master Baker-Golden Eggs

I know that I had promised to post this yesterday, and I had every intention of doing so, but that didn't work out.  This is the first recipe in the book and in my opinion it was a great one to start out with. Gesine (pronounced Geh-see-neh) called this a magic recipe and I agree with her, it is magic in that it tastes like a fried doughnut while it is not fried, it is baked. They have my favorite spice in them-nutmeg, 5 eggs and a lot of butter. This recipe alone is worth the price of the book, but I can tell you that the rest of the recipes look to be as good a this one.  I look forward to making them all.  If you buy the book, make sure you read the story that leads up to each recipe, you will be glad you did.