Weekend Fun

Egg Drop Soup

March 19, 2011

Egg Drop Soup

Egg drop soup is a traditional Chinese soup that literally means “egg flower soup.”  The basic recipe is very simple. 


4 Cups Chicken Stock

2 Lightly Beaten Eggs

2 Minced Green Onions

¼ Teaspoon White Pepper

½ Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Sesame Oil

In a saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil.  Add the salt, pepper and sesame oil.  Cook for about a minute.  Very slowly pour in the beaten eggs in a steady stream.  Gently stir the eggs in a clockwise direction until shreds form.  Serve in individual bowls garnished with minced green onions.  Serves 4

Whoopie Cake

March 18, 2011

Whoopie Cake


½ Cup (1 Stick) Softened Butter

1 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar

1 Egg

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Buttermilk (or Sour Milk)

Whoopie Filling (Below)

Heart Shaped Pan

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease and flour heart pan.  If you don’t have a heart pan you can use whatever cake pan you like and improvise. 

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla.  Beat until well combined.  In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add half the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix until dry ingredients are almost incorporated.  Stop mixing and add the buttermilk.  Continue to mix until all ingredients are almost incorporated.  Stop mixing and add the remaining dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until center springs back when gently pushed.  Remove cake from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. 

To assemble cut cake in half and spread bottom layer with filling and sandwich with the top layer.  Yummy!  Serves 8

Whoopie Filling


6 Tablespoons Softened Butter

1 ½ Cups Sifted Confectioners’ Sugar

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

1 Jar (about 7 ounces) Marshmallow Cream

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy.  Add sugar and salt to the butter and mix well.  Add marshmallow cream and vanilla.  Blend well.  Use immediately to fill pie or refrigerate covered up to 1 week.  Bring back to room temperature and lightly beat before using.  Makes about 2 ½ Cup of filling.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

March 17, 2011

Corned Beef & Cabbage


1 ¾ Pounds Onions – Divided

2 ½ Pounds Carrots – Divided

6 Pounds Corned Beef Brisket

1 Cup Malt Vinegar

8 Ounces Stout Beer

1 Tablespoon Mustard Seed

1 Tablespoon Coriander Seed

½ Tablespoon Black Peppercorns

½ Tablespoon Dill Seed

½ Tablespoon Whole Allspice

2 Bay Leaves

3 Pounds Cabbage

2 ½ Pounds Small Red Potatoes

½ Cup Coarse Grain Mustard

½ Cup Dijon Mustard

Divide onions and carrots and chop enough to fill 1 cup of each, reserving the rest.  In a heavy duty 4 gallon pot, place the corned beef, chopped onions, carrots, malt vinegar, stout beer, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, dill seeds, whole allspice and bay leaves.  Add enough water to cover the corned beef and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 3 hours or until meat if fork tender.  While the corned beef is cooking, cut the reserved onions into eight wedges and the carrots into 2 inch chunks.  Slice each head of cabbage into 8 wedges.  Add onions, carrots and red potatoes to the cooked corned beef, with the cabbage on top. Cover and return to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes and cabbage are fork tender. 

To serve, cut corned beef against the grain into thin slices and accompany with the cooked vegetables.  Dijon mustard and coarse grained mustard complement the corned beef as optional condiments.  Serves 12

Sfingi or St. Joseph’s Day Zeppole

March 16, 2011


St. Joseph’s Day Zeppole


Ricotta Cream Filling

One 15 Ounce Container Ricotta

¾ Cup Confectioners’ Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

¼ Cup Mini Chocolate Chips

1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Candied Citron Or Orange Peel


1 Cup Water

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Unbleached Flour

4 Large Eggs

Vegetable Oil For Frying

Candied Cherries – Cut In Half For Garnish

2 Tablespoons Chopped Unsalted Pistachios For Garnish (Optional)

Confectioners’ Sugar

In a medium Bowl, whisk the ricotta, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips and candied fruit.  Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. 

To make the puffs, bring the water, the butter and the salt to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from the heat, add the flour all at once and stir well with a wooden spoon until the flour is completely incorporated. 

Return the saucepan to medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly and turning the dough often, until the dough begins to leave a thin film on the bottom of the saucepan (about 3 minutes).  This dries the dough so the puffs will be crisp.  With a rubber spatula, scrape the dough into a large bowl.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Continue to beat until smooth – about 2 minutes more. 

In a deep heavy saucepan or deep fryer, heat about 3 inches of oil until the temperature reaches 375° F on a deep frying thermometer or until a small bit of the dough dropped into the oil sizzles and turns brown in 1 minute.  With a tablespoon, scoop up a rounded spoonful of batter and with another spoon, carefully push the dough into the oil so that it doesn’t splash.  Continue to add the dough by the spoonfuls without crowding the pan.  The dough will puff up and double in size to do not add too many at one time or they will stick together.  Cook, turning them often, until the dough breaks open – about 4 minutes.  Continue to cook 1 to 2 minute more or until crisp and golden brown.  Remove the fritters with a slotted spoon or skimmer and place them on paper towels to drain.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Let cool slightly.

With a small knife, split fritter partway open.  Spoon the cream inside, allowing it to show through the split.  Press a cherry half into the cream and sprinkle with pistachios (optional).  (If it is not St. Joseph’s Day, you can just shake these, without the filling in a bag with confectioners’ sugar and serve like donuts). 

Dust the sfingi with confectioners’ sugar.  These are best right after they are made.  Makes 12

Warm Crab Dip

March 15, 2011

Warm Crab Dip


1 ¾ Cups Cream Cheese

1 Cup Sour Cream

4 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

2 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Pound & 2 Ounces Fresh Cooked Crabmeat

1 Cut In Half Garlic Clove

Butter For Greasing

Salt & Pepper

Fresh Dill For Garnish

Crackers Or French Bread To Serve


Combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Add the crabmeat, salt & pepper and gently stir together.  Taste and add extra Worcestershire sauce if needed.  Cover and let chill for up to 24 hours. 


When you are ready to heat the dip, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Rub the cut sides of the garlic cloves over the base and sides of an oven proof dish suitable for serving  from.  Then lightly grease and spoon the crab mixture into the dish and smooth the surface.  Heat the dip through in the oven for 15 minutes. 

The dip is best kept warm when served, traditionally by using a chafing dish heated by a candle.  Either spoon the dip into such a dish, sprinkle with dill and set over the heat source or set the dip in its ovenproof dish over a fondue burner and garnish with dill.  Serve with crackers or French bread pieces.  Serves 8 to 12

Asparagus & Prosciutto Rolls

March 14, 2011

Asparagus & Prosciutto Rolls


18 Thick & Trimmed Asparagus Spears

2 Teaspoons Salt

6 Slices Imported Italian Prosciutto (such as Prosciutto di Parma)

4 Ounces Fontina Cheese – Cut Into Thin Slices

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter – Melted

Freshly Ground Pepper

Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a large shallow pan.  Add the asparagus and salt.  Cook until the asparagus are partially tender when pierced with a fork (about 4 minutes – depending on their thickness).  Do NOT overcook.  Drain the asparagus and rinse them under cool water.  Pat dry with paper towels. 

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Butter a large baking dish.  Make 6 bundles of 3 asparagus each.  Wrap a slice of prosciutto around the center of each bundle.  Place the bundles in the baking dish.  Lay the pieces of cheese on top of the prosciutto.  Brush the butter over the asparagus.  Sprinkle with pepper.   Bake 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the asparagus are tender.  Serve hot.  Serves 6

Zuppa Inglese

March 13, 2011

Zuppa Inglese



3 Cups Milk

1 Cup Heavy Cream

½ Cup Sugar

6 Large Egg Yolks

½ Cup Unbleached Flour

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

One 12 Ounce Butter Pound Cake – Cut Into Thin Slices

½ Cup Marsala Wine

2/3 Cup Sour Cherry Preserves

Whipped Cream

1 Cup Very Cold Heavy Cream

2 Teaspoons Confectioners’ Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Fresh Berries or Shaved Chocolate For Garnish

In a large heavy saucepan, bring 2 cups of the milk, the cream and sugar to a simmer over medium heat.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Remove from heat.  In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining 1 cup milk until blended.  Place the flour in a fine-mesh strainer, shake it over the egg yolks and whisk until smooth.  Beat in the hot liquid a little at a time. 

When all of the milk has been added pour the mixture into a saucepan and return it to the heat.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to boil.  Reduce the heat and cook 30 seconds more.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Use the custard immediately or transfer to a bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the surface of the cream and refrigerate.  The custard can be refrigerated up to 24 hours. 

Place a mixing bowl and beaters in the refrigerator to chill.  In a large serving bowl, make a layer of about one-third of the cake slices.  Sprinkle the slices with some of the Marsala.  Spread with half of the cherry preserves, and custard.  Top with the remaining cake slices.  In the chilled bowl, with the chilled beaters, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.  Spread the cream on top of the cake.  Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. 

Just before serving, garnish with fresh berries or shaved chocolate.  Serves 10 to 12


March 12, 2011


Sangria has been important to Spanish culture for many centuries.  This wine punch has gained international popularity and is easy to make at home.  Versions of Sangria have held a planting of the Iberian Peninsula’s vineyards around 200 BC.  As Spain’s soil and weather are particularly well suited for growing grapes, the nation has maintained an abundance of red wine and its subsequent wine punch variations.  Interestingly, there is no one recipe for Sangria, as the ingredients of this wine punch are based on availability, season, and a number of other factors. 

Sangria requires a light, young Spanish red wine.  The most common of these come from the La Rioja, Castilla-La Mancha and Catilla-Leon regions.  It is also necessary to include fresh fruit.  Spain’s popular locally grown fruits include oranges, lemons and melon.  Any fruit can be used, however, one might find bananas, apples, grapes or any number of fruits in Spanish Sangria.  Sangria is meant to be light and refreshing so a certain amount of juice and sugar are generally added for a more refreshing taste.  Sangria is to be served ice-cold and generally is prepared in large pitchers and served to guests as an accompaniment to a meal or tapas in the summer time

Sangria is to be served ice-cold as a hot-weather refreshment. Generally, it is prepared in large pitchers and served to many guests as an accompaniment to a meal or tapas in the summer time.


1 Cup Orange Juice

¼ Cup Lime Juice

1 Bottle Red Wine

½ Cup Brandy

¼ to 1/3 Cup Sugar

Ice Cubes

Orange Slices

Lime Slices

In a 2 quart pitcher stir together orange and lime juices.  Add wine, sugar and brandy.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Cover and chill for 3 to 24 hours.  Serve over ice.  Garnish each serving with orange and lime slices.

Veal Parmigiana

March 10, 2011

Veal Parmigiana


2 Cups Marinara Sauce

1 Cup Plain Dried Bread Crumbs

½ Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

1 Large Egg

2 Tablespoons Water

6 Veal Cutlets (1 ½ Pounds)

3 Tablespoons Butter

¼ Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cup Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese – Shredded

Prepare Marinara Sauce.  On waxed paper, combine bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.  In a pie plate, beat egg and water.  Dip cutlets in egg mixture, then in bread crumbs; repeat to coat each cutlet twice.  In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add cutlets, a few at a time, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side, using tongs to transfer cutlets to platter as they are browned. 

Return cutlets to skillet.  Spoon sauce evenly over cutlets.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and top with mozzarella.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook just until cheese has melted – about 5 minutes.  Serve over your favorite pasta.  Serves 6

Marinara Sauce

This sauce is very versatile!


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Chopped Small Onion

1 Finely Chopped Garlic Clove

1 Can (28 Ounces) Plum Tomatoes

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil (use dried if this is what you have)

½ Teaspoon Salt

In a medium sized saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook.  Stir until onion is tender – for about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, basil and salt.  Heat to boiling, break up tomatoes with side of spoon.  Reduce heat and partially cover and simmer.  Stir occasionally until sauce has thickened slightly – for about 20 minutes.  Use to coat 1 pound of pasta for 4 main-dish servings.  Makes 3 ½ cups.


March 9, 2011



7 Egg Yolks

1 Cup Sugar For Egg Yolks

3 Cups Mascarpone Cheese

4 ½ Tablespoons Water

1 ½ Tablespoons Powdered Gelatin

3 Egg Whites

¼ Cup Sugar For Egg Whites

1 Cup Heavy Cream – Whipped

2 ½ Cups Cooled Espresso Coffee

½ Cup Kalhua

20 t0 24 Ladyfingers

1 Cup Chocolate Shavings

In a mixer whip yolks and sugar until thick and pale in color.  Add the mascarpone and whip until well combined.  Pour water into a small bowl and then pour the powdered gelatin over it.  DO NOT STIR.  Allow the gelatin to absorb all of the water which will take about 15 minutes.  Next place the bowl on top of a small saucepan containing simmering water to create a double boiler.  Immediately turn off the heat and allow the gelatin to dissolve completely.  In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites to a soft peak and gradually add the sugar.  Next slowly pour in the dissolved gelatin.  Whip to a stiff and glossy peak.  Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone and egg yolk mixture and the fold in the whipped cream. 

In a separate bowl, combine the espresso and kalhua.  Soak 1 ladyfinger at a time in the espresso mixture.  In an 8 x 10 inch pan, arrange the soaked ladyfingers close together in neat rows until the bottom of the pan is completely covered.  Pour ½ of the “mousse” over the ladyfingers and smooth with a spatula.  Sprinkle ½ of the chocolate shavings over the mouse.  Create another layer and chill until set. 

Serves 10 to 12

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