Monthly Archive for January, 2013

Cutie Pie – A Clementine Dreamsicle

All this fuss over a simple Cutie Pie? Well, sometimes dessert is a BIG DEAL, even if it is not ornate. I am always striving for ways to make a low sugar dessert for my mom. She claims not to have much of a sweet tooth, but since being diagnosed with diabetes she has her moments where she would love to sink her teeth into dessert. I love to see the look on her face when I show up with something sweet that she can eat. While her dietary restrictions limited her to the one slice, she was quick to secure a second piece for a future day. I made sure to gobble up a very generous slice and wish I had another one to enjoy right now!

Cutie Pie

Crust Ingredients

6 TBS chilled unsalted butter, diced

3/4 cup wheat flour

1 cup almond meal

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

Filling Ingredients

2 tsps water

1/4 tsp unflavored gelatin

3 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

4 1/2 tsps cornstarch

1 tsp orange zest

1 cup 2% milk

1/2 cup heavy whipped cream

6 clementines (or cuties), peeled and sectioned

honey

Crust Directions

Coat a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray. In a food processor mix together almond and wheat flour, butter and salt. Blend until the mixture resembles course meal. Add yolk and continue to blend until dough comes together in moist clumps. Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of pans. Using a fork, pierce dough. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm. (This can be made 1 day ahead of time if kept frozen.)

To cook crust, preheat oven to 400. Bake approximately 18-20 minutes until dough is golden brown and appears slightly puffy. Set aside, allow crust to cool.

Filling Directions

Place 2 tsps of water in a small cup and sprinkle gelatin evenly over it. Allow gelatin to soften 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk yolks, sugar, cornstarch and orange zest until blended. In a medium pot, over medium high heat, bring milk to a boil. Slowly mix hot milk into yolk mixture, stirring continuously as to not risk cooking the eggs. Transfer yolk and milk mixture back to the same pot. Over medium heat whisk yolk mixture until custard thickens and boils, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add gelatin to mixture. Whisk until dissolved and custard is smooth.

Transfer custard into another bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature, approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Custard will become thick.

In a medium bowl, beat cream until peaks form. Whisk custard until smooth. Fold whipped cream into custard in three additions. Transfer filling into the cooked crust. Chill until filling sets, a minimum of 3 hours and maximum of 8 hours.

Peel clementines, remove pith. Place in a small bowl and cover with a damp paper towel so that segments do not dry out.

Place spring form pan over a large glass and push down the sides of the pan to release the tart. Decorate pie with clementine wedges. Cut the tart into wedges and drizzle with honey.

DE-Licious Disappearing Caramel Corn

This is one of my favorite childhood recipes. It has been probably 30 years since I last made this caramel corn recipe and it was JUST as amazing as I remembered it. With my friend Desi helping me this time, we shared the spoils and I was able to relive my childhood cooking adventures through her eyes. Warning- this recipe is addictive so if you are low on will power, give it all away for fear that this treat will magically disappear before your eyes.

Disappearing Caramel Corn

Ingredients

2 cups brown sugar (light or dark brown sugar is fine)

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

1/2 cup corn syrup (light or dark corn syrup is fine)

6-8 quarts popped corn (I like to have a little less caramel, so I use 8 quarts)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Pecans, walnuts or cashews (optional)

In a medium size pot, boil butter, sugar and salt for 5 minutes on medium heat. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Pour evenly over popped corn, mix well to coat and add nuts. Spread onto cookie sheet and place in an 200 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring ever 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an air tight container.

Lomo Saltado

Lomo Saltado

This is a wonderful Peruvian dish that has delicious Asian undertones. Beef sirloin strips are cooked in vinegar, soy sauce and spices, then stir fried with red onions, cilantro and tomatoes. Like many good Peruvian dishes, two carbs are necessary with this meal, rice and French fried potatoes. This was one of my favorite dishes that Rosa used to prepare. When she came ‘home’ for the holidays I couldn’t wait to make it with her. I can highly recommend this multicultural dish. One try and you’ll be hooked!

Ingredients

2 lb (approximately 6 pieces) of beef sirloin

2 tsps garlic salt

1 tsp pepper

4 TBS oil, used in 1 TBS increments per directions

4 medium sized tomatoes, vine ripened

2 large red onions, thick chopped

½ cup soy sauce

1 TBS oyster sauce (optional)

2 TBS red wine vinegar

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 ½ bags of frozen French Fries, cooked according to package directions

3 cups of uncooked white rice, cooked according to package directions

Directions

This recipe is very straight forward. That said, the two steps that can be a little tricky are (1) timing the rice and French Fries to be ready at the same time as the main dish and (2) cooking the meat in two batches as to ensure that it does not become overcooked.

Cook rice and French Fries according to package directions. If all of the Lomo Saltado ingredients are prepared to be cooked, the dish will take approximately 15 minutes to cook.

Cut the onions, first in half, once horizontally and 4 times vertical (big pieces) to end up with thick chopped onion wedges. Prepare the tomatoes similarly.

Slice the meat stir fry style, ensuring the pieces are uniform in size for even cooking. Add garlic salt and pepper.

In a large pan add 1 TBS oil on medium high heat. When the oil is very hot add half the quantity of meat. Stir regularly and when cooked, add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar and set aside covered while the second batch of meat is prepared. Cook second batch of meat, set aside and cover to keep warm.

(This is a good time to check the timing on the rice and fries. If needed, hold on finishing this next step until rice and potatoes are ready.)

In the same pan add oil and the onions, cook stirring regularly for at least 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes for another 2 minutes, then return the meat to the pan to heat for approximately one minute. Add the cilantro and serve over white rice with French Fries.