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Valentines food recipe #1
Wednesday. 2.7.07 12:46 pm


HERBED CREPES WITH SMOKED SALMON AND RADISHES



IT TAKES SOME TIME AND IS A LITTLE COMPLICATED FOR SOMEONE NOT TOO FAMILIAR IN THE KITCHEN. HOWEVER, IT IS A DELICIOUS GOURMET APPETIZER!!


All but the most experienced of crêpe chefs will admit that the first crêpe in a batch is often not of the best quality. The level of heat under the skillet needs to be fine-tuned as you go. With that in mind, our recipe makes enough batter for 2 crêpes, even though you'll only need 1 for this hors d'oeuvre. If the first crêpe comes out well, freeze the extra, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, to use another evening.

Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 1 hr

click photo to enlarge
For crêpes
1/3 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vegetable oil plus additional for cooking crêpes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

For filling
1 oz cream cheese (1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons), softened
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon
2 medium radishes, cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks (1/4 cup)

Make crêpes:
Blend milk, flour, egg, and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender until smooth. Add chives and dill and pulse 1 or 2 times to just combine. Chill batter, covered, 30 minutes.

Stir batter to redistribute herbs. Lightly brush a 10-inch nonstick skillet with oil, then heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Holding skillet off heat, pour in half of batter (1/4 cup), immediately tilting and rotating skillet to coat bottom. (If batter sets before skillet is coated, reduce heat slightly for next crêpe.) Return skillet to heat and cook until crêpe is just set and pale golden around edges, 10 to 15 seconds. Loosen edge of crêpe with a heatproof plastic spatula, then flip crêpe over carefully with your fingertips. Cook until underside is set, about20 seconds more. Transfer crêpe to a plate. Make another crêpe in same manner, brushing skillet again with oil.

Prepare filling and assemble hors d'oeuvre:
Stir together cream cheese, lemon juice, zest, and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.

Put 1 crêpe, browned side up, on a work surface, and spread with all of cheese mixture. Arrange salmon in an even layer over bottom half of crêpe (side nearest you), then scatter radishes over salmon. Beginning at bottom, tightly roll up crêpe, then cut roll crosswise into 4 pieces, trimming ends if desired.

Cooks' notes:
• Crêpes can be made (but not filled) 1 day ahead and chilled, layered between sheets of wax paper and then wrapped in plastic wrap.
• Cheese mixture can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.
• Crêpe can be rolled with filling (but not cut) 1 hour ahead and kept, wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature. Cut into pieces just before serving.

Makes 2 servings.
Gourmet
Gourmet Entertains
January 2004

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The way to my heart..
Wednesday. 2.7.07 5:10 pm


I love chocolate and this cake would win me over!!!

CHOCOLATE HEART LAYER CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE-CINNAMON MOUSSE

Look for the heart-shaped cake ring at cake and candy supply stores, or call Jane's Cakes and Chocolates at 800-262-7630. You can also use a buttered and floured 8-inch round cake pan with 2-inch-high sides.
click photo to enlarge
Cake
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar

Mousse Base
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

Mousse, Cake Assembly, and Glaze
2/3 cup cherry jam
2 tablespoons kirsch (clear cherry brandy)

4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon chai-spiced tea leaves or Lapsang souchong smoked black tea leaves (from 1 tea bag)
5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

For Cake:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place 8x8x2-inch heart-shaped cake ring on sheet of foil. Wrap foil up sides of ring. Brush foil and inside of ring with 1 tablespoon butter; dust with flour. Place on baking sheet.

Sift flour, cocoa, and salt into medium bowl. Combine eggs and sugar in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from over water. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until thick and billowy and heavy ribbon falls when beaters are lifted, about 5 minutes. Sift half of dry ingredients over; fold in gently. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients. Transfer 1/4 cup batter to small bowl; fold in 3 tablespoons butter. Gently fold butter mixture into batter; do not overmix or batter will deflate. Transfer batter to ring.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cake with foil to rack; cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.)

For Mousse Base:
Bring whipping cream and cinnamon sticks just to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat; let steep 1 hour at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate cinnamon cream overnight.

For Mousse, Cake Assembly, and Glaze:
Blend jam and kirsch in small bowl. Cut around sides of cake; lift off ring. Using metal spatula, loosen cake from foil and transfer to rack. Using serrated knife, cut cake horizontally in half. Using tart pan bottom, transfer top cake layer to work surface; turn cut side up. Spread half of jam on cut side of both cake layers.

Strain cinnamon cream into large bowl; beat until soft peaks form. Stir finely chopped chocolate in heavy small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Quickly fold warm chocolate into whipped cream (chocolate must be warm to blend smoothly). Immediately drop mousse by dollops over bottom cake layer; spread to within 3/4 inch of edge. Gently press second layer, jam side down, atop mousse. Smooth sides of cake with offset spatula. Chill assembled cake on rack while preparing glaze.

Bring cream, 1/4 cup water, corn syrup, and tea to boil in small saucepan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; steep 5 minutes. Strain into another small saucepan; return to boil.

Remove from heat. Add coarsely chopped chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool glaze until thickened, but still pourable, about 30 minutes. Place rack with cake over baking sheet. Slowly pour glaze over cake to cover, using spatula if necessary to spread evenly. Chill until glaze is firm, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Place cake on platter and serve.

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FREE Valentines E-cards
Wednesday. 2.14.07 11:19 am





Hi everyone and happy valentines day. If you are like me you would be sending your valentines E-cards TODAY. I am so last minute. In the process I found these free e-card sites and thought I would share them.

BLUE MOUNTAIN
123 GREETINGS

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