Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pineapples and Pork

Last February our family went to Phoenix to celebrate a big B-day. We all went out to a Traditional Brazillian Steak House (which I never experienced). I had grilled pineapples that literally melted in my mouth, ahhhh. I have had a craving for them over the past few days and decided to try to grill them on my own. Tonight is Grilled Ginger-Sesame Pork Chops with Pineapple & Scallions. This is the sweet and sour yin and yang of food. If it turns out as well as I think it will, I will post the recipe tomorrow.

Have you had a recent craving?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blueberry Shortcakes and Dinner Tonight

Cooking is my therapy and probably just as expensive if not more. I get a secret thrill when friends and family marvel at my meals and it can make or break my day. I love tasting my friends creations and swapping recipes. At a recent auction for my son's school, Carl and I and 2 other couples decided to bid on a 7 course dinner with wine and dessert, by a well known chef. It went for about $1,000.00 but was worth every penny. Photos and course descriptions in a future post.

Dinner Tonight is Southwestern Shrimp Soft Tacos.

Recipe for Blueberry Shortcakes (absolutely divine).

For the biscuits:
8-1⁄2 oz. (2 cups) sifted all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder, sifted to remove lumps
3⁄4 tsp. table salt
3 Tbs. sugar; more for the glaze
1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
1⁄2 tsp. freshly grated (or ground) nutmeg
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1 cup buttermilk; more for the glaze

For the blueberries:
6 cups (about 2 lb.) blueberries, picked over, rinsed, and patted dry
1⁄4 cup sugar; more to taste
1 Tbs. water
1⁄2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1⁄4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Fresh lemon juice to taste

For the whipped cream:
1-1⁄2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Make the biscuits:
Set a rack in the center of the oven; heat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease it with shortening or cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, lemon zest, and nutmeg. With a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently stir in the buttermilk until the dough just holds together with no large, dry lumps. Spoon the dough onto the baking sheet in six equal mounds. Brush the tops with buttermilk; sprinkle with sugar. Bake until the peaks have begun to brown and the bottoms are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack. While still slightly warm, slice them open with a serrated knife.

Make the blueberry filling:
Set aside 2 cups of the berries. In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, combine the remaining 4 cups of blueberries, sugar, water, lemon zest, and nutmeg (if using). Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently until very soft and juicy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and add lemon juice and more sugar, if necessary. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat the blueberry sauce until very warm and stir in the reserved blueberries.

Whip the cream and assemble the shortcakes:

Chill a mixing bowl and beaters for 30 minutes. In the bowl, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until medium peaks form and the beaters leave tracks on top of the cream.

Put the bottom half of each biscuit on a plate. Spoon on about 1/2 cup of the blueberry mixture and a few dollops of cream. Cover with the biscuit top. Spoon on more blueberries and top with another dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately, passing any remaining blueberry mixture at the table.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to the original reason I started

Guess what movie I saw? Julie and Julia, excellent, which made me decided to start blogging about cooking again. So hopefully I haven't lost all my readers by taking such a long break but will be ready to roll soon.

I leave you with this recent dessert I made. Untill dinner tomorrow........