The Next New Big Dessert Trend

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I saw this article in the “Orlando Weekly” paper and it sparked my interest. I thought I would share a small piece of what I read with my fellow foodies. It;s not Italian ice, it’s not a Hawaiian shaved ice and it’s definitely not a sno-cone. Shaved snow is made from giant blocks of flavored frozen milky ice, heaved onto a rotating spit and shaved into gossamer-thin layers. The end product looks almost like frozen cotton candy; the soft ribbons are both creamy and icy, with a lightness that is ideal in steamy weather. Covered with all sorts of sweet toppings, it makes for a summer treat that will cool you down without weighing you down.
Bigger cities have been touting shaved snow as the next dessert trend – on a level with frozen yogurt or cupcakes – for the last few years, with purveyors like Snow and Tell and Flurries popping up. In Orlando, it’s still centered in the Asian communities, but luckily, we’re rich in Asian restaurants. Here is a location that will shave you some:

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Bubbles & Ice
813 N. Mills Ave., 407-895-8833,noodlesandricecafe.com
Shaved snow fits right into their mostly-chilly dessert list, and this is the only spot we know of that flavors and freezes their own ice blocks.

My Recipe For Greek Fusilli Salad

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Having an English mother and an Italian grandmother, the culinary worlds just seem to shine through in many of my dishes. La Molisana pasta, which is made from 100% pure Durum Wheat Semolina, is the star ingredient in this salad. All you need for this salad is 1 package of Fusilli pasta, or your favorite short cut pasta, 1 pound. First cook the pasta then drain, rinse, and cool.  Then add 1 pound of Genoa Salami diced into 1/2 inch chunks, 1/2 a cup of diced roasted red peppers, 1/2 of a diced red onion, 8 ounces of good Feta cheese cut into 1/2 inch chunks, 1 pint of grape tomatoes, 1 yellow bell pepper diced into 1/2 in chunks, 1 thawed frozen package of artichoke hearts cut into 1/2 inch dice, 1-1/2 tablespoons of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and finally 1/2 a cup of the best and fruitiest, E.V.O.O that you have. Toss this all together and your Greek Fusilli Salad is complete.

Recipe For My Homemade Meatloaf

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Growing up in the ’70s, I remember one of the most traditional made dinners we had, was a meatloaf. My mom had her version #tastethelove, my friends’ moms had their version, and my grandmother had her version. They were all delicious but so very different. I think that’s what makes this dish so common throughout households but so individually unique. Meatloaf is a blank canvas to use whatever flavor profile you’d like. Traditionally meatloaf was made with ground beef, but that’s not the case any more. Ground chicken, turkey, pork, all of these are used in meatloaf today. I like to use a combination of meats in mine, it just adds so much more flavor. For mine, and because it’s such a hit in my house, I always make a large one using 3 pounds of ground meat. I start with 1 pound of lean ground beef, like sirloin, and add 2 pounds of ground pork. So to start, I begin with the veggies. 2014-07-13 16.40.54 2014-07-13 16.41.032014-07-13 16.50.22 Above are all the veggies that go into this delicious meatloaf. I start with roasted garlic, around 4 cloves. The other important thing you want to remember is to dice all the veggies in a small dice and close to the same size. What I have above are 2 cloves also of raw garlic. I use both roasted and raw in this recipe. They offer 2 totally different flavors. 1 1/2 diced onions, 3 ribs of celery, 1/4 cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes, and finally 1/4 cup of roasted red peppers. I have the peppers already in a large bowl along with the roasted garlic because I do not saute them. So now I start sauteing the other veggies in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.. 2014-07-13 16.55.51 As the veggies start to soften I sprinkle in some Kosher salt, and black pepper. I also add 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme leaves. I saute this until the veggies are just soft and then I take them off the heat to cool.In the bowl with the roasted red peppers and garlic I add 2 beaten eggs. 2014-07-06 15.07.32 To that I add 1-1/2 cups of Italian style bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of half and half, 3 tablespoons of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of ketchup and I mix this all together. This is what that should look like. 2014-07-13 17.07.29 Now I add the cooled veggies. 2014-07-13 17.08.46 Now it’s time to add the meat to this. I do this first so I don’t over mix the meat, 2014-07-13 17.33.48 After everything is combined and all that goodness is mix throughout the meat I form the meatloaf and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I try to form the meatloaf where it is even all around so it will cook evenly. 2014-07-13 17.39.44 I bake this in a 350 degree oven for 1 and 15 minutes, to an 1 hour and 30 minutes. Then I let it rest on the counter covered in foil for another 15 minutes. You want to make sure that the meatloaf is cooked completely through. Use a meat thermometer and make sure it reads at least 155 degrees before letting it rest on the counter. There will be some carry over cooking time. 2014-07-13 18.52.31 Now you have to have some gravy to go with this right? I think so. The gravy is simple. 2014-07-13 18.26.18 In a sauce pot I add 4 tablespoons of butter, with 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme. This was also the flavors I used in my lumpy mash potatoes, so I’m echoing them through the gravy as well. To the melted butter I whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour. 2014-07-13 18.31.33 After the flour and butter are combined and you’ve cooked out the raw flour taste. I slowly whisk in some chicken broth. Have the stove on med heat. Then I add a couple of dashes or so of Worcestershire sauce and a dash of browning seasoning. A sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste. Once all of this comes up to a boil that’s as thick as the gravy will get. Take the gravy off the heat so it doesn’t burn. Now as you’re plating up this beautiful dish and you take your first bite, that’s when you taste the love. 2014-07-13 19.18.45

Recipe For My Lumpy Mash Potatoes

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When I was a kid I hated mash potatoes. I hated everything about them. The texture, the taste, just everything about them. As I got older, that all changed. I became a parent and cooked almost every night. So I learned how to make some improvements on foods I didn’t like as a child. I wanted my daughter to try and honestly, wanted her to like everything. Especially her veggies. That mission was accomplished. I can remember though, the texture of mash potatoes was just awful, now I love them creamy and smooth. Funny thing is, Steve doesn’t like them smooth, he likes the potato feel in his mash potatoes, so I came up with my lumpy mash potatoes. I start with a large pot of cold water, and throw in 5 large Yukon golds into the pot. Bring the potatoes up to a boil, add a good amount of salt. Let them continue boiling for about 10-15 minutes until just fork tender. Then I strain the water out, put the potatoes back into the pot and set a towel over the top so they will continue steaming for another 5 minutes or so. They will be perfectly cooked. Then the skins of the potatoes will come right off. I dice them up into small chunks.

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Now for the roasted garlic. I take 1 whole head of garlic, slice it just taking the top of the head off. Place it a small piece of foil, and drizzle the top with olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper. With the oven at 425 degrees I roast the garlic for around 35-40 minutes. This is what it will look like.

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The garlic becomes sweet, and comes right out of their jackets. In another large pot I melt 1/2 a stick of unsalted butter. To the melted butter I add 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped thyme. I add 4 ounces of room temperature cream cheese, and 4 ounces of Mascarpone cheese, 1-1/2 cups of half and half, and the roasted garlic into the pot. I have all this on a very low heat until everything becomes nice and smooth. I add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Then I take the mixture off the heat and add the diced potatoes right in.

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With a potato masher I just go to town and start mashing. If I wanted silky smooth potatoes I would have used my food mill. That recipe is in an earlier blog. But this recipe is going to be just for Steve. The warm potatoes start to absorb the liquid as I start the mashing. This potato recipe is kind of unique because it still has the creaminess of what you know mash potatoes to have, but yet, because they are not whipped or put through a food mill they still have little bits of potatoes throughout. Finally I add 4 tablespoons of fresh chopped chives. There you have it, lumpy mash potatoes.

 

Recipe For My Herb Roasted Chicken Salad


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This salad is light and refreshing. My herb roasted chicken starts out like this. I take 1 stick of room temperature butter and put it into a bowl. I then grate 2 cloves of garlic, the zest of 1 lemon,1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves, 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped tarragon leaves, 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped rosemary, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. I mix this all through the butter. Now for 2 large chicken breasts, bone in skin on, I lift up the skin and spread this butter mixture all underneath so it covers the whole underside of the chicken skin. I place the two breast on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil on the top of the skin, and a sprinkle of Kosher salt and pepper. I bake them at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until the internal temp is 165. I then take the chicken out of the oven and let them rest covered for another 10 minutes. At this point I remove the cover and let the chicken cool until I can handle it to shred the chicken off the bone. When the chicken has cooled and I’ve removed it from the bone I start assembling this very easy salad. What I think makes a great salad is a lot of different colors and textures. So here’s what I do. I get myself a large serving plate and fill the bottom,with Mesclun greens, which are a mix of small young salad leaves, very Provencal, using them as a bed for all the deliciousness that goes on top. I add wedges of heirloom tomatoes, different colors and some thinly sliced red onion for some heat. To that I add the shredded herb chicken. I also sprinkle on some dried fruit, I used cranberries and then some sliced fresh fruit, for this I used strawberries. I also tossed in some shelled edamame. I finally shaved some Parmigiano- Reggiano over the top. I mean really, can’t you just taste the love that went into this salad. As for my dressing, I had a great store bought creamy Caesar and some croutons in my pantry that I also sprinkled on top. This is my idea of a great salad that won’t leave you dissatisfied.