Monthly Archives: October 2010

Dark Chocolate Soufflé

Andy’s 36th birthday was a few weeks ago.  When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, he immediately answered “Chocolate Molten Lava Cake”!  Well, that answer came from out of the blue, as we had never had that kind of cake together before! So I naturally asked when he had had it last.  “I remember it from when I was a little kid.  It was very moist and had a nice creamy chocolate center, and that is what sounds really good for my birthday”.  Well, how could I argue with that and not allow him to relive this really SWEET childhood memory?!

I had never made a molten lava cake so I hit google right away to find the perfect replica.  There were plenty of well-reviewed and promising recipes available, but I put my faith in The Food Network’s Paula Deen.  Boy am I glad I did!  The dessert was ridiculously easy to make and was absolutely decadent!  Andy was more than impressed by my first molten lava cake attempt–which I am reclassifying as a chocolate soufflé because it reminded me of the soufflé we get at a local place called Clary’s.  I served it with a small scoop of frozen vanilla yogurt and a healthy drizzle of Grand Marnier on top.  Berries would have really been a nice addition–maybe next year?!  I really wish I had picture of this dessert–GORGEOUS AND DELICIOUS!  Pair this with a 20 year tawny or a muscat to finish the night with a BANG or a BUZZ!  🙂


Dark Chocolate Soufflé

5-6 Souffles

  • 6 (1 ounce) bittersweet chocolate squares
  • 2 (1 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate baking squares
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3+ tablespoons Grand Marnier or flavored liquor

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Coat the souffle dishes with pam cooking spray.  Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double broiler or in the microwave.  While you are waiting for the butter and chocolate to melt, beat the eggs together in a separate bowl.  In another small bowl mix together the vanilla and liquor.

Once the butter/chocolate mix is melted to a smooth consistency slowly add the flour and sugar and blend smooth.  Add the eggs and stir until smooth.  Stir in the vanilla and liquor.  Divide the batter evenly among the soufflé dishes and cook for 12-13 minutes.  Serve immediately!   The batter can be stored in the refrigerator if not serving right away – let warm  to room temperature and divide batter into your souffle dishes.


Ill tempered Shrimp Soup

Our fridge was pretty bare late last week and I was NOT in the mood to drive to town to hit the grocery to make dinner.  I had a bag of shrimp in the freezer, a loaf of bread, and a very well-stocked pantry and spice cabinet, so I decided to try a shrimp soup.  I found a Killer Shrimp Soup recipe on line and decided to use that as my guide.  I think it turned out pretty darn good!  Let me know what you think!!

Bon Appetit!

Ill-Tempered Shrimp Soup

6 Servings

  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 2 T fresh chopped rosemary
  • 10 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t celery seed
  • 1/2 t fennel seed
  • 1 t thyme
  • 2 c clam juice
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 c Budweiser
  • 2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 2 # uncooked shrimp with tails
  • cilantro garnish
  • avocado, chopped for garnish

Add all ingredients sans the shrimp to a stew pot and cook, covered for 2 hours.  Add the shrimp 10 minutes before you are ready to eat!  Serve with a crusty french bread and a nice pinot noir or Tank 7 Boulevard!

Bon Appetit!

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

Although it was a tough year for the garden, we actually ended up with a pretty good early butternut squash and pumpkin harvest–both of which I absolutely love!  I have several wonderful squash soup recipes, but I wanted to try something a little different this year, so I went searching my favorite sites.  I quickly found a squash and corn chowder recipe from Cooking Light that had really good reviews so I thought I would give it a try–of course, with many edits!   Serve this dish with a warm crusty french bread and a big green salad.  A glass of pinot noir is a great accompaniment to this really tasty and hearty meal!  Forget the bacon–use veg broth and add some smoked paprika to make this a very tasty and filling vegetarian stew!

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

Servings 5-6

  • 2 slices of hickory smoked bacon, chopped
  • 3/4 c green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped celery
  • 2 butternut squash, peeled cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1 # frozen sweet corn (or fresh if you are so lucky)
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1-2 T chopped fresh rosemary (or 1-2 t dried)
  • 1/2 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 32 oz chicken broth (or more, depending upon desired consistency)
  • 1 c soy milk
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/2 bag shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese sounds good)

In a big stew pot cook the bacon on medium low for a couple of minutes to render some fat.  Add the butter, 1/2 of the green onions, all of the celery and jalapeño and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Add the herbs and the corn and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the squash and stir in until the herbs and veggies are covering the squash.  Add the chicken broth and soy milk and turn the heat up to boil.  Once you achieve a nice boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for 20-30 minutes.  Remove the lid and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes.  Add the cheese and let it melt in and thicken the broth.  NOW it is ready to serve!  Add the green onions liberally to garnish.  Serve this stew with a nice wit beire or a glass of your favorite wine!

Bon Appetit!

Arugula and Asparagus Frittata

While I was spending endless days/nights in Kansas City with work, our neighbors and family would often feed my sweet hubby.  After one of my trips Andy couldn’t stop talking about some Spinach Frittata dish that he had at Celine and Doug’s house one evening.  He liked it sooo much he had Celine write down the recipe.  This was about a year ago, I finally got around to making it this week!  A few small adjustments in the ingredients, and we had a nice, light, simple and delicious dinner. I served it with a warm hunk of french bread, sweet berries, and a nice Chardonnay.  Thank you Celine for inspiring another great meal at 488!

Bon Appetit!

Arugula and Asparagus Frittata

Servings 4

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 c grated parmasean regianno cheese
  • 3-4 finely chopped shallots
  • 1 c chopped asparagus
  • 2 c arugula
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • pam cooking spray

Warm EVOO in a non-stick saute pan (suited for oven use).  Add a quick spray of high heat pam cooking spray.  Sprinkle in the chipotle pepper flakes to heat the oil.  Add the chopped shallots and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Add the Asaparagus and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the Arugula and cook for 3 minutes or until the arugula is wilted down nicely.  Take the pan off the burner and let cool for 2-3 minutes.

Grate about a cup of Parmesan Reggiano and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs.  Add salt and pepper to the egg mix.  Add the egg  mix to the onion/argula/asparagus in the saute pan.  Cover with the grated cheese.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the dish is cooked through.  Serve warm or cold.  ENJOY!

Smoky HOT Black Bean Dip

This is one of my all time favorite munchies!  So quick and easy to make and a DELICIOUS appetizer served with wheat thins or whole wheat tortilla chips.  Spread on sandwiches, tortillas, or just about anything you want to JAZZ up a bit!

WARNING:  Don’t forget the beano!!  🙂

Smoky HOT Black Bean Dip

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 red bell pepper gutted
  • 1-2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1-2 t cumin seeds
  • 1-2 T chopped garlic
  • 1-2 T EVOO

Throw all ingredients into a food processor and blend until good consistency for how you intend to use it.

Walnut Cranberry Crusted Tilapia

We started Andy’s birthday celebrations early this year!   So I decided to whip together something completely new AND my own!  So I started searching the fridge and freezer for ingredients.  We had a big birthday party last weekend for the Mr. so there really wasn’t much of substance found.  I did come up with enough to start a healthful and flavor packed dinner though!  We started the evening with steamed artichokes and a flemish sour ale.  The main course was this awesome fish served with a BIG arugula salad.  To top it off we had a fabulous 2005 Jayson Napa Valley Red, one of my very favorites!  To end the meal we had artisanal chocolate from KC based Christopher Elbow, dulce de leche and strawberry balsamic.  Wow, what a great night of laughs and love!   I hope you enjoy this fish as much as we did!

Happy 36th Sweetie!

Walnut Cranberry Crusted Tilapia

  • 1/2 c walnuts
  • 1/4 c craisins
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes (or more–to taste)
  • 1 t kosher or sea salt
  • 1 T Chili Powder
  • 1-2 T Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 t peppercorns (red, green, and black are best)
  • 1 1/2 # Tilapia
  • 1-2 T Vegetable Oil

Put the walnuts, craisins, chipotle pepper flakes, salt, peppercorns, flour, chili powder in a food processor.  Blend until the craisins and nuts are a consistency that will coat the fish well.  Put the breading mixture on a big plate and coat each piece of fish with a generous layer.  Let sit while the pan heats up.

Meanwhile heat the  oil (it is best to use veg oil, not EVOO with this dish)  in an appropriate non stick pan.  Heat the pan to medium.  Add the fish and cook for about 2-3 minutes/side.  The breading should turn a nice dark brown and SUPER crispy–be careful not to burn it!  If the fish needs more time to finish cooking through, turn off the heat, put the lid on the pan and let it sit for 3-4 minutes or until cooked.

Rice would be a nice accompaniment with this dish, but NOT necessary.  Just a big GREEN salad is PERFECT–don’t forget a great glass of wine!

coconut rice pilaf

This rice dish KILLS me!  It is so incredibly delicious and the leftovers (if you actually have any :)) make a great ‘morning after’ breakfast or lunch!  We usually use this rice with our Thai Curry Cod Recipe, but it is a fantastic accompaniment with almost any Thai/Asian dish.

Coconut-Cilantro Rice Pilaf:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1 cups long-grain white rice or brown rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon + ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons + chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced

Heat the oil in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, hot pepper, and black pepper cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the rice and coconut milk  and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and lime juice– bring to a light boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, 20 to 22 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, stir in the cilantro.  Enjoy alone or topped with your favorite tofu, fish or chicken recipe.

Thai style cod with hot curry broth

Thai style cod only curry. Fantastic!

Love, Love, Love this dish!  This Thai masterpiece is on pretty regular rotation here at our pad.  It is super quick, healthful and packed full of exotic flavors.



*Available in the Asian section of most supermarkets

**Steam or microwave 5 cups of washed baby spinach for 2 minutes

In a medium saute pan, heat the coconut oil and pepper flakes over moderate heat.  Add the chopped onion and shallots and saute until soft, but not browned–about 5-7 minutes.  Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the veg broth, 2 T lime juice, coconut sugar, toasted sesame oil, and 1/2 c coconut milk.

Arrange the seasoned (salt and pepper) fish in the pan and squeeze lime juice over the fish.  Gently shake the pan so the fish is coated with the sauce and continually spoon the sauce (with the shallots) over the top of the fish. Cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 7 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook the fish!

Arrange a pile of steamed greens on top of mashed sweet potatoes and carrots. Top with the fish fillets.  Leave the sauce in the pan.   Turn up the heat and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 5-10 minutes.  Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings if needed. Ladle the sauce over the fish and top with the cilantro and green onions or browned and crispy shallots.

This is my thai style cod curry.