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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Coeur A La Creme

 

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Coeur à la Crème is cream cheese and whipped cream #dessert with a fruit topping that’s traditionally made in the shape of a heart. I’d compare this dessert to being a French style cheesecake. Coeur à la Crème, by its name alone, seems as though it would be so hard to make, it turns out is easier than a traditional cheesecake.

I saw this dessert made by Ina Garten, who I love, and knew I had to recreate this dish, but in a style of my own. At the time, I didn’t have the correct mold.  Ina Garten made this dessert using a mesh sieve, so that’s what I used as well. Since then, I have bought a traditional Coeur à la Crème mold. Let me show you what one looks like.

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Let me walk you through how easy this dessert is to make.

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Vanilla Sugar Jar

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 24 hours
Equipment: Stand Mixer with whisk and paddle attachments, mesh sieve, heart-shaped mold, a large piece of cheesecloth, 1 large mixing bowl, 3-quart sauce pot, large serving platter

Ingredients:
12 ounces of softened cream cheese
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups of confectioner sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, seeded
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large piece of cheesecloth

Ingredients For Blueberry Sauce:
1 pint fresh blueberries
1.2 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup blueberry jam
1 sprig of fresh mint

Directions:
To start, add the softened cream to an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Let that mix on low speed for a couple of minutes. Next, add in the confectioner sugar and cream that together until the sugar is incorporated. A good tip is to have the mixer on very low speed while mixing in the sugar, otherwise, the sugar will spray all over the place.

Next, it’s time to change to the whisk attachment before adding in all the flavorings. Add in the lemon zest, vanilla bean seeds, (tip: add the empty vanilla pod to your sugar container and you’ll have vanilla sugar for future recipes), pure vanilla extract, and heavy whipping cream. Again, start the mixer on low speed, then crank it up to high. Whisk all the ingredients together until they have the consistency of whipped cream.

Using a mesh sieve or the traditional Coeur à la Crème mold lined with cheesecloth as seen in the above pictures, transfer the flavored whipped cream to the sieve. Make sure you have a large enough piece of cheesecloth ( you can purchase cheesecloth at you local grocery store) to cover the top of the flavored cream too.  Place the sieve with the covered flavored cream mixture inside a larger bowl to allow the excess liquid to drain, as seen in the pictures above. Transfer to the refrigerator and let set up for 24 hours. Discard the liquid.

Directions For Blueberry Sauce:
Add the blueberries to a sauce pot, reserving a good handful back for garnish.  water, sugar, and fresh lemon juice.  On medium heat, stirring all the ingredients together, watching until it comes to a bubble. Turn down to a simmer and let cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the blueberries start to burst and the juice thickened slightly.   I remove about 1/4 cup of the semi-cooked blueberries, place them into a small bowl cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator along with the reserved fresh blueberries.

Add the cooked blueberries and blueberry jam to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. Place into a plastic container with lid and chill overnight in the refrigerator. That’s the blueberry sauce. The semi-cooked and fresh blueberries will give our sauce a variety of different textures.

The next day, remove the flavored cream from the frig.  Unfold the cheesecloth from the top of the mold. Place a large serving plate over the top and invert the whole dessert onto the plate. Carefully peel off the rest of the cheesecloth from the cream. You’ll have a white silky dome-shaped dessert with little specks of vanilla resting like a soft pillow on your serving plate.

Next, take the blueberry sauce, semi-cooked blueberries, and fresh blueberries out of the frig. If the sauce is too thick, add 1 maybe 2 tablespoons of very hot water to thin out the sauce, and stir well. Using a spoon, spoon the sauce over the top the dome-shaped cream and let the sauce fall down all over the sides. Spoon over the semi-cooked blueberries on the top of the sauce and let them fall all down the sides as well. Finally, take the fresh blueberries and sprinkle them all around the outside rim of the dessert. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

You could use whatever berries you like for the topping. Raspberries would be delicious.

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

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My grandmother made pancakes she always added ricotta cheese to the batter.  She didn’t necessarily always make them from scratch. She’d take help from the store when she could. Why measure all the ingredients you’ll need when there are great box mixes available for pancakes and all that work is done for you.

Don’t get me wrong, if you have the time to make the batter yourself that’s awesome. I take a little help from the grocery store whenever I can. Truth is adding a few extra ingredients to the box mix makes a huge difference. I’ll show you my tricks in making the fluffiest and tastiest pancakes ever with my Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.

Yields: 4 silver dollar pancakes (approx. 6-inches in diameter)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: approx. 5-6 minutes per cake or until both sides are lightly golden brown
Total Time: 25 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick sautèpan, indoor griddle pan, rubber spatula, large mixing bowl, whisk

Ingredients:
1 cup of pancake mix (box mix that only requires water)
3/4  cup of water
1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, room temperature
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
1 stick of unsalted butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 200-degrees F.
The box mix calls for 1 cup of dry mix to 3/4 cup of water.

Starting with the wet ingredients, add the zest of one lemon, water, pure vanilla extract, and room temperature ricotta. Mix together really well until there are no lumps, and the water has a milky appearance.

Next, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix until the batter just comes together. DO NOT overmix. Set the bowl aside while preparing the non-stick pan.

Preheat a large sautépan (or griddle) on medium heat. Once the pan is hot lower the heat to medium-low, wait about 2 minutes. Next, add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.

Swish the butter around until it has completely coated the bottom of the pan. Using a 1/4 cup full (or a ladle equivalent) of batter at a time to the pan.

Allow the pancake(s) to cook properly. Do Not rush or flip too early. Let the under-side cook to a beautiful golden brown in color. When bubbles start forming on top and around the surface (batter side), they’re ready to flip. This process takes about 5-6 minutes, times may vary slightly.

NOTE: It’s always a good idea to make a tester pancake first so you know exactly what temperature the pan needs to be set on. This also gives the pan a chance to heat up evenly. After the small tester pancake is complete, start with the actual pancakes you are going to be serving.

Repeat this process adding an additional tablespoon of butter, to the pan, for each pancake you make or until all the batter is finished.

Note: While making the remainder of the pancakes, place the pancakes on a baking sheet into the oven to keep warm. Also, use REAL maple syrup, it makes a big difference.

 

 

 

 

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Balsamic, Cilantro-Lime, And Lemon Vinaigrettes

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I used to think there was no way I could ever make my own dressing. I learned that’s so not true. Watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks taught me how easy to make your own vinaigrette. I thought I’d share my three favorites with you, Balsamic, Cilantro-Lime, and Lemon Vinaigrette.

I mix all the ingredients for the Balsamic and the Lemon, right in their own 8-ounce jelly jar. The Cilantro-Lime takes an additional step of first processing the cilantro leaves. It’s simpler, for this vinaigrette, to be made in the food processor and then transferred to a jelly jar.

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Agave nectar, honey, or granulated sugar are a few of the sweeteners you can use when making your own vinaigrettes.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields 8 to 10 ounces of vinaigrette
Equipment: Food processor, blender, or an immersion blender, four 8-ounce jelly jars, small bowl

1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (3 juicy lemons)

Ingredients For Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Yields: 8 ounces
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard (substitute spicy mustard)
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar (substitute honey)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup of good balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (optional)

Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
Yields: 10 ounces of vinaigrette
1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon of garlic, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of shallots, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of Agave nectar (substitute granulated sugar)
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
1 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Ingredients For Lemon Vinaigrette:
Yields: 8 ounces of the vinaigrette
2 tablespoons of shallot, minced ( optional)
1 tablespoon of garlic, freshly grated (optional)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Directions For Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette:
Start by placing cilantro leaves into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add 2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O. (the remaining olive oil will be added through the feeding tube) and pulse the leaves until they’re finely minced. Remove the processed cilantro and transfer to a small bowl. Back in the food processor add the ginger, garlic, shallots, fresh lime juice, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, Agave nectar, and low sodium soy sauce. Pulse all the ingredients just enough to combine everything.

Once combined, add the processed cilantro leaves back into the food processor. Place the lid and feeding tube on. Turn the processor to the ON position and slowly add the remaining *E.V.O.O. through the feeding tube until combined. Remove the lid, add the red wine vinegar and using a spatula, stir once. This recipe yields 10 ounces of vinaigrette so you’ll need 2 jars. Transfer the vinaigrette to the jars, place the lids on tight and give a good couple of shakes to combine everything.

Directions For The  Balsamic And Lemon Vinaigrette:
Add all the ingredients for both of the vinaigrettes into their 8-ounce jelly jars. Finish with the *E.V.O.O. Place the lids tightly on the jars and shake really well.

Notes:
1). I prefer my vinaigrettes to be one part acid to two parts oil.
2). Place the dressing in the bottom of the bowl first. Right before serving the salad, add the lettuce/greens, toss to coat.
3). It’s important to wash and then dry the leaves really well so the dressing will adhere to the leaves.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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