Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rustic Cherry Tart

Photo: Chukar Cherries
Today is National Cherry Day! (FYI: There's more than one cherry day!) I love Chukar's Cherry Pie Filling  - both the sweet and the sour - and I use both a lot when I don't have fresh cherries. Here's a recipe from the Chukar Cherries site that is just fabulous! This recipe uses the Sweet Cherry Pie Filling.

RUSTIC CHERRY TART

Ingredients 
2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cane sugar
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup very cold water
1 egg beaten
2 Tbsp large sugar crystals (course sugar)
Sweet Cherry Pie Filling

Directions 
Combine dry ingredients and cut-in cold butter using pastry hand blender. Add a few tablespoons of icy water (just enough to bind dough) and refrigerate for several hours, covered.
Divide dough into 12 equal parts.
On floured surface, roll pastry dough into 7-inch diameter circles and spoon cherry filling into center. Gather the edges of the dough toward center and pinch edges.
Brush pastry edges with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar crystals.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until centers are bubbly and crusts are golden.

HINT: Pastry works best when all ingredients and utensils are very cold. Yields twelve 3-inch tarts.

Monday, May 25, 2015

S'mores Fudge: 2 Recipes for Memorial Day

What says Memorial Day more than S'mores! The other day I posted two fab Marshmallow Fluff Fudge recipes from two different Retro Recipe Advertisements. Since it's Memorial Day, and I'm bound to be making S'mores on the Grill, I thought I'd post another option: S'mores Fudge. The first recipe actually has three distinct layers...and it sure tastes like fudge. One caveat: This fudge is sweet, but then we're talking S'mores, aren't we? The second recipe is quicker to make (and eat) and the ingredients are all mixed together.


1. S'MORES FUDGE

Ingredients
Graham Cracker Crust
4 sheets of graham crackers
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter

Chocolate Fudge Layer
1-1/2 cups milk chocolate, chopped (or milk chocolate chips)
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk

Marshmallow Layer
1 cup 'real' white chocolate chips
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Line 8 by 8 square pan with aluminum foil, with extra foil hanging over (to help lift out later).
Crush graham crackers and mix in melted butter and sugar.
Pour into aluminum foil lined pan and push down with glass cup to make even layer.
Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Melt chocolate in small saucepan over medium low heat.
Remove from heat and add half can of sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.
When smooth, pour immediately over graham cracker crust.
Melt white chocolate in small saucepan over medium low heat and add in marshmallow fluff and rest of sweetened condensed milk. Stir until smooth and consistent. Pour over chocolate layer.
Refrigerate overnight.
Next day, lift fudge out of pan using aluminum foil.
Carefully remove foil and carefully cut into squares.

2. EASY S'MORES FUDGE

Ingredients
1-12 ounce bag milk chocolate chips or 12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
5 regular sized graham crackers, broken into small pieces
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup mini-marshmallows

Directions
In small saucepan, melt chocolate. Remove from heat.
Add graham crackers until combined.
Fold in marshmallows.
Pour into greased 8x8 inch baking pan.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Cut into squares

Memorial Day 1943: Chocolate is a Fighting Food-Vintage Ads

I find a lot of Chocolate Advertisements in Life Magazine, and during WWII there were many. I've posted some before, but thought that today, being Memorial Day, I would repost these two from Nestle's."Chocolate is a Fighting Food."

Nestle's produced the D-ration chocolate that was sent to our infantry during WWII. "Chocolate supplies the greatest amount of nourishment in the smallest possible bulk. So wherever America fights, the Army uses chocolate in the form of emergency rations, selected because it contains so much quick energy."

Be sure and take time today to remember those who defended our country. 





Sunday, May 24, 2015

Chocolate Barbecue Sauces: 3 Recipes

When I was growing up barbecues at my house were mostly on holidays: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. My Dad would don his Westinghouse apron and hat and fire up the grill. I still have my Dad's apron, but not the chef's hat. Very nostalgic--and retro. Wish he were still with us. I miss him every day. He'd love these barbecue sauces (and this list of Barbecue Crime Fiction.)

If you're planning a Memorial Day barbecue, you'll want to check your stock of dark chocolate. I've posted several chocolate barbecue sauces and chocolate rubs before, but these are two of my favorites.

The first recipe is from The BBQ Report. I use a different Dark Chocolate Sauce from an artisan chocolate company, but you can always use Hershey's. The flavors will be different, but both would be good. Season your meat with some cocoa powder (unsweetened) for double chocolate goodness.

#1 CHOCOLATE BARBECUE SAUCE

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark syrup (or another)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
1/2 tsp hot sauce

Directions
In sauce pan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil, cooking until tender.
Stir in lemon juice, salt, pepper, paprika, and hot sauce.
Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes and reduce heat.
Stir in ketchup, vinegar, and Hershey’s Syrup.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

#2 CHOCOLATE BARBECUE SAUCE

From the Hershey's Website comes this amazing and much more complex Chocolate Barbecue Sauce recipe, utilizing Scharffen Berger 82% dark chocolate (Scharffen Berger is owned by Hershey's). Recipe adapted from Chef Ken Gladysz at the Hotel Hershey.

Ingredients
1 Tbsp sweet butter, soft
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Spanish onion, diced small
2 Roma tomatoes, stem removed, diced small
1 1/2 oz dark brown sugar
4 tsp ancho chili powder
4 oz apple cider vinegar
8 oz barbeque sauce
14 oz vegetable stock
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 oz SCHARFFEN BERGER 82% dark chocolate
2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper, freshly ground

Directions
Melt butter in small sauce pan over medium heat.
Add garlic and onion, sauté 5 minutes until golden brown.
Add tomatoes, stir, and sauté an additional 5 minutes.
Add sugar and chili powder, mix well, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add vinegar, reduce for 5 minutes, mixture should have a paste consistency.
Add sauce, stock, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer for 30 minutes.
Add SCHARFFEN BERGER chocolate and cilantro; allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove sauce from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
Puree sauce, transfer to a clean container and cool.
For best results, refrigerate for 12 hours before using.

#3 CHOCOLATE CHIPOTLE CHILI BEER BARBECUE SAUCE

This is a quick and easy one pot recipe! Use whatever beer or ale you have, although the chocolate stouts will add a lot of flavor.

Ingredients 
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup soy sauce
6 oz tomato paste
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup Chocolate Ale (Rogue, Boulevard, Young's, Christopher Elbow)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 ounces 75-85% dark chocolate, chopped

Directions 
In saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil.
Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add remaining ingredients to pot.
Simmer until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.