Friday, July 30, 2010

Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola

This was surprisingly heavy for what looks like a side dish. And I've discovered that gorgonzola is a little on the strong side for my personal palate. But it certainly makes a pretty presentation in the ramekins. And I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of grittiness that I was able to achieve with the polenta. Way to go, cheese!

Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola
Courtesy of Real Simple


1 1/2 cups instant polenta
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds pounds cremini or button mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Heat oven to 350° F. Bring 4 1/2 cups water to a boil. Whisking constantly, slowly add the polenta. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and the butter. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the Gorgonzola.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add half the mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes. Add half the shallot and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil, mushrooms, and shallot. Season the mushrooms with the pepper, thyme, and the remaining salt.

Butter an 8- or 9-inch baking dish or eight 6-ounce ramekins. Stir 2/3 of the mushrooms into the polenta and transfer to the prepared dish or ramekins. Top with the remaining mushrooms and Gorgonzola. Bake, uncovered, until the Gorgonzola has melted, about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Artichoke and Arugula Pizza with Prosciutto

So so so good. It was also easy since there was minimal prep. Yum yum yum.

Artichoke and Arugula Pizza with Prosciutto
Courtesy of Cooking Light


Cooking spray
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
2 tablespoons commercial pesto
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained
1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups arugula leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Position oven rack to lowest setting. Preheat oven to 500°F.

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray; sprinkle with cornmeal. Unroll dough onto prepared baking sheet, and pat into a 14 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread the pesto evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over pesto. Place baking sheet on the bottom oven rack; bake for 5 minutes. Remove pizza from oven.

Coarsely chop artichokes. Arrange artichokes on pizza; top with sliced prosciutto. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Return pizza to the bottom oven rack; bake an additional 6 minutes or until crust is browned.

Place arugula in a bowl. Drizzle juice over arugula; toss gently. Top the pizza with arugula mixture. Cut and serve.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Peanut Butter and Pretzel Terrine

SO tasty and delicious. And super easy to make. It's especially tasty with the dark chocolate peanut butter cups. YUM!

Peanut Butter and Pretzel Terrine
Courtesy of Real Simple

3 pints vanilla ice cream, softened, divided
20 mini peanut butter cups, chopped
3/4 cup pretzels, broken

Line a loaf pan with parchment, leaving an overhang. Press half of softened vanilla ice cream into the pan, top with peanut butter cups, remaining vanilla ice cream, and broken pretzels. Freeze until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

To serve, remove from pan and slice.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

A good friend asked me to help her find a recipe for coconut milk ice cream to go with a dish she was making, and I found this one. Since Jonathan loves coconut milk, I had to give it a try. While it's not really my cup of tea, it's quite good.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 (13.5-ounce) can regular coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk yolks and sugar together until pale yellow, 1 to 2 minutes. Add light and regular coconut milk and whisk again until well combined.

Transfer coconut mixture to a medium pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Be sure not to let the mixture boil. Remove pot from the heat and stir in vanilla.

Transfer contents of pot to a bowl and chill until cold. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions then transfer to a container with a lid and freeze until firm, about 2 hours more.

Malted Chocolate Ice Cream

A while back, we went to Bistro On The Brandywine for lunch. We had a delicious meal and then decided to have a little dessert. I was in the mood for some ice cream, so I tried some of their chocolate. It was easily the best chocolate ice cream I'd ever had and asked the waitress if it was homemade. She said it was and that they actually added some Ovaltine to their recipe, giving it a malted flavor that I couldn't quite place until I was told that was what it was.

I decided I had to try this myself, and it was a huge success, if I do say so myself. I'm really enjoying tinkering with the Simple Chocolate Ice Cream recipe that came with my ice cream maker.

Malted Chocolate Ice Cream


1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process preferred)
1/2 cup Ovaltine (I used the chocolate malt version)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1-1/2 cups whole milk
3-1/4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Place the cocoa, Ovaltine, and sugars in a medium bowl; stir to combine. Add the whole milk and use a hand mixer on low speed or whisk to combine until the cocoa, Ovaltine, and sugars are dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. If not freezing immediately, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Turn machine on; pour mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 25 to 35 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.