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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 the berry 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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Homemade Vinaigrette Recipes- Lemon, Balsamic, And Cilantro Lime

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I used to think there was no way I could ever make my own dressing. I learned, that is so not true. Watching cooking shows and reading cook books showed me how easy it really is. I thought I’d share my three favorites with you. They are my lemon, balsamic, and cilantro lime vinaigrette. I mix all the ingredients, for two of the dressings, the lemon and the balsamic, right in their own 8 ounce jelly jar. The cilantro lime takes an additional step.The leaves need to be processed first. It’s simpler, for this vinaigrette, to be make in the food processor and then transfer it to a jelly jar.

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All I do is to place the leaves in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I turn it on and pulse the leaves until they are very finely chopped. I remove the processed cilantro from the food processor and transfer it to a small bowl. Then I add the rest of the ingredients back in to the food processor with the exception of the red wine vinegar. I then give all those ingredients a quick pulse just enough to combine everything. once combined I add the cilantro leaves back in to the food processor and give it one or two more pulses. Right before transferring the vinaigrette to the jars ( 2 jars for this vinaigrette because in makes about 10 ounces. I add in the red wine vinegar. I like adding it at the very end because it gives a slight sharpness to this particular dressing.

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I want to mention that my lemon vinaigrette can vary a little. I may or may not add grated garlic and diced shallot if my salad has a whole lot going on. But for just simple greens and nothing else, that’s usually when I utilize those ingredients. For something like a watermelon and feta salad, I’d omit those two ingredients. That’s what’s so great about making your own dressings. Depending on how or what you’re planing on using them with, you have the option to play around with the ingredients.

The first two dressings I add all of the ingredients to the jar, finishing up, by adding,really good extra virgin olive oil. I prefer my vinaigrette to be one part acid to two parts oil. I give the jars a really good shake. Next, I take the bowl that I’m serving the salad in and place the dressing in the bottom of the bowl first. Right before I’m ready to serve the salad, I’ll add the lettuce in and then toss. It’s important to wash and then dry the leaves really well so the dressing will adhere to the leaves.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields 10 ounces of the vinaigrette
Equipment: Food processor, or blender, or immersion blender, and 8 ounce jelly jars

Ingredients: Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of Agave nectar ( same,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 fresh chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup of E.V.O.O.

Ingredients: Lemon Vinaigrette
Yields: 8 ounces of the vinaigrette
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot ( optional)
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic (optional)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (3 juicy lemons)
1/2 cup of E.V.O.O.

Ingredients For Balsamic Vinaigrette
Yields: 8 ounces
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard ( spicy mustard is an option)
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar ( can 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)

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Tuna Tapenade

2014-07-09 19.30.16This recipe is one I love because it can be done in advance. It’s great to serve as Hors d’oeuvre for parties or just if you want to have it as a meal. We have this at my house any time we’re in the mood for tuna.

Tapenade is an olive spread that is served on bread. In this recipe, I’ve made the star the tuna. This one is made with Italian style tuna I just found in my local grocery store. Of course, you could use regular tuna and that would be delicious.  Let me tell you how I did this.

Start with red onion, celery, and garlic. In a food processor, fitted with the metal blade, pulse until the ingredients are finely minced. I like to give them a head start before adding the other ingredients.

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There are quite a few ingredients that go into this recipe, so let me just show you those now.

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At this point, I’ve already added the onion, celery, and garlic, next, the tuna. Italian tuna can be expensive so I decided to mix one 6-ounce jar of Italian tuna packed in water,  drained, and 2 small packages (total 6-ounces) of chunk light tuna packed in spring water to the food processor.

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To the tuna, Mascarpone cheese, capers drained and rinsed, lemon zest, the juice of half a lemon, chopped and pitted Kalamata olives, flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Pulse all of these ingredients together until smooth.

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When the Tapenade has reached a smooth consistency, it’s done. Taste to make sure you’re happy with the seasoning.

Transfer the Tuna Tapenade to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

If you like a spicier version, at the beginning of the process, you could add some cayenne pepper or add a Fresno chili at the beginning, that would be delicious too. I like to serve this on some toasted or grilled ciabatta bread.

I like to top the Tuna Tapenade with roasted asparagus and even a few julienned roasted Piquillo peppers for a little sweetness.

Toasted Ciabatta Bread

Tuna Tapenade

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yields: 16 appetizers
Equipment: food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients:
12-ounces of Italian style Tuna packed in water drained (substitute Starkist tuna packed in spring water)
half a red onion, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4-ounces Mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons caper, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 loaf Tuscan Garlic Ciabatta Bread, sliced, (yields 16 slices) substitute plain Ciabatta or a good French baguette

Spicy Tuna Tapenade:
Add 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or a Fresno chili, seeded

Directions For Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Slice the Ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet topped with a rack. Brush the top surface of each slice of Ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Note: Each oven may vary slightly in temperature, watch the bread closely to prevent from burning.

Directions:
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, start with half a red onion and 3 ribs of celery and 3 cloves of garlic. In a food processor fitting with the metal blade pulse until the ingredients are finely minced. I like to give them a head start before adding the other ingredients.

Next, the tuna. Italian tuna can be expensive so I decided to mix one 6-ounce jar of Italian tuna packed in olive oil, drained, 6-ounces of Starkist chunk light tuna packed in spring water to the food processor.

To the tuna, add Mascarpone cheese, drained and rinsed capers,  lemon zest, the juice of half a lemon, chopped and pitted Kalamata olives,  chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper. Pulse all of these ingredients together until smooth.

When the Tapenade has reached a smooth consistency, it’s done. Taste to make sure you’re happy with the seasoning.

Transfer the Tuna Tapenade to chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

If you like a spicier version, at the beginning of the process, you could add some cayenne pepper or add a Fresno chili at the beginning, that would be delicious too. I like to serve this on some toasted or grilled ciabatta bread.

To serve, I like to top the Tuna Tapenade with roasted asparagus and even a few julienned roasted Piquillo peppers for a little sweetness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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