Sunday, December 21, 2014

Final Dinner Party Of The Season

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions, Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs, Brownie Mint Pie, Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice-Cream,
For fun I made up some Christmas Crackers also known as Bon-Bon's to use for name place cards.  To make these I cut a card board tube into 3.5".  I then stuffed them with candy, small bottles of Jack Daniels for the men and Vintage key bottle openers for the women.  Each also contained a scratch off lottery ticket that the most you could win was $10,000.  I then wrapped them in gold glittery paper, finishing each cracker with ribbon.  No one at the party won anything but me.  I won $3.00.

Brie with caramelized onions wrapped up in a puff pastry, whats not to like?  All this creamy goodness.  You will find yourself unable to stop with just one more bite and another until next thing you know you have eaten half of what you made.

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions
1/2 Package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
1 (8 ounce) wheel brie cheese
1 sweet/yellow onion, chopped and caramelized
1.  Preheat oven to 350'. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or any baking dish your desire to use.
2.  Slice the wheel of Brie in half, horizontally, so that the halves are two, flatter wheels of Brie. 
3.  Lay the puff pastry on the cookie sheet.  Place half of the Brie, rind-side down, onto the pastry dough.
4.  Spoon caramelized onions evenly over the top.  Place the other half of Brie, rind-side up, over the caramelized onions.
5.  Fold the puff pastry up and over the Brie, sealing so it is bundled up.  Flip entire Brie over so seal is on the bottom.  
6.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown.  Serve warm with crackers.  Recipe from:

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions, Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs, Brownie Mint Pie, Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice-Cream,
Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs
Makes 12 halves
For the brine:
6 eggs
1 can pickled beets
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 Tablespoon vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh rosemary for garnish
Hard boil your eggs and remove the shells.  
To prepare your brine, pour a can of pickled beets into a large mason jar or bow.  Add cider vinegar, sugar, peppercorns and salt.  Stir mixture.  Carefully lower the hard boiled eggs into the brine, cover and let sit for a t least 12 hours, up to 2-3 days.  The longer you leave them in the brine, the more sour and pink they'll end up.  I like just the rim of pink and slight pickled flavor, so I let mine sit about 16 hours.
When brining time is finished, cut each egg in half and scoop out yolks. Place yolks in a medium sized bowl, along with the mustard, mayonnaise, curry, vinegar, and olive oil.  Mix until smooth.  You can add a little of water to the mixture, if it's too stiff.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Using a pastry bag or a plastic bag with the corner cut off, pipe the yolk mixture back into the pink eggs.  Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and season with salt and pepper.  Recipe from:

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions, Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs, Brownie Mint Pie, Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice-Cream,
Shrimp and Mushroom Sauce
Serving: 6
3 Tablespoons Olive oil
3 medium tomatoes, diced
5 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 pound of mushrooms
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sweet chili sauce
1/2 cup sour cream (not low fat)
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon sea salt
1.  In a large heavy bottom skillet, combine your diced tomatoes and pressed garlic with 3 Tablespoons olive oil and simmer uncovered over medium heat until tomatoes are soft and release their juices (10-12 min).  Remove your tomatoes and set aside.
2.  In the same skillet over med/high heat, caramelize your diced onions and sliced mushrooms then add the tomato mixture back into the same pan.
3.  Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1 Tablespoon chili sauce.  Stir to combine.  Add in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and stir to combine.
4.  Bring your sauce to a simmer over med/high heat and add in the shrimp.  Turn the shrimp a couple times in the sauce while cooking and simmer until shrimp is cooked through.  Don't overcook or your shrimp will turn rubbery.  
5.  Let the sauce cool down a little bit (it will thicken little as it cools).  Recipe from:

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions, Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs, Brownie Mint Pie, Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice-Cream,
Garlic No-Knead Bread
6 cups bread flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon instant or active-dry yeast, (I use Fleischmann's RapidRise Highly Active Yeast)
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cup cool water
1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt.  Mix the garlic with water and add to flour mixture and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated; the dough should be wet and sticky.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature.  When surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.
2.  Lightly flour your hands and work surface.  Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with more flour.  Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball. 
3.  Generously dust a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with enough flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran to prevent the dough from sticking to the towel as it rises; place dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran.  Cover with the edges or a second cotton towel and let rise for about tow hours, until it has doubled in size.
4.  After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425'.  Place a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven, in the oven as it heats.  When the dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven.  Remove top towel from dough and slide your hand under the bottom towel;  Flip the dough over into pot, seam side up,  Shake pan once or twice if dough looks unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
5.  Cover and bake for 40 minutes.  Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes, until the crust is a deep chestnut brown.  The internal temperature of the bread should be around 200'.  You can check the is with a meat thermometer, if desired.  
6.  Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Many years ago I received a magazine and this recipe was in it.  The first time I made it we had gone to Holden Beach.  Whats not to like with all this gooey chocolate topped with Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice-Cream.  At the time I thought, why would you serve Cherry Chocolate Chunk with Brownie Mint Pie.  I must say D-E-L-I-S-H!!!

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions, Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs, Brownie Mint Pie, Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice-Cream,
Brownie Mint Pie
1 deep dish ( 9" pie crust)
1 (4.6 ounce package Andes Creme De Menthe Thins, chopped
1 (19 ounce)  package brownie mix, I use Ghirardelli Triple Fudge Brownie Mix
Chop mints and set aside. 
Preheat oven to 350'.  
Prepare brownie mix according to package directions.  Stir in Andes mints.
Pour into pie crust and bake 45 minutes or until done.  Cool slightly.
Serve with fudge topping, and Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice-cream.

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions, Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs, Brownie Mint Pie, Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice-Cream,
Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice-Cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/8 cup granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup grated chocolate
1 large jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
a few drops of red food coloring if desired
In a mixing bowl, mix milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.  Turn on the ice-cream machine, pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until just about thicken.  Add cherries and chocolate.  Let mixture thicken.  Place in freezer for about 2 hours before eating.
My table awaits...

Another great evening with friends Helen, Don, Carleen, Daniel, Stone and I.

Lucy joined in the evenings festivities and was so excited to get some attention from Carleen as she was being told how lovely she looked in her Christmas dress. 

Christmas 2014