Thursday, February 26, 2009

Orange Cake

3 large eggs 

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup olive oil
Zest of 1 orange, minced
1 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 orange
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 cups sugar

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch cake pan, then dust with sugar and flour.

Beat the eggs with the sugar to pale yellow ribbons. Beat in the milk, oil and orange zest. In a small bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture a tablespoon at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 1 hour. Remove cake from oven, let cool slightly on a rack, then invert and cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup: Use a sharp paring knife to cut the orange rind off the orange used for zest and the remaining orange, leaving the bitter white pith on the orange. Cut the skin into very thin strips and reserve. Cut away and discard the white pith, remove the orange supremes, and reserve.

In a large saucepan, combine the orange juice, sugar, and thin orange strips. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until a thick syrup. Strain the syrup and reserve the orange strips, along with 1/2 cup of the syrup. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the top of the cake, then pour the warm strained syrup all over the cake so that it soaks through.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup syrup in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and reduce to a few tablespoons. Use a spatula to spread the thick glaze over the top of the cake. Place cake on a serving platter, and arrange the reserved orange strips and orange supremes on top of the cake.

Hash Brown Casserole

2 lbs. frozen hash browns

½ cup melted butter

1 can cream chicken soup

1 pint sour cream

½ cup chopped onion

2 cups grated cheddar

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 cups crushed cornflakes

¼ cup butter

Defrost Hash browns

Combine next 7 ingredients and mix with has browns.

Put all in a 3 quart casserole.

Sauté cornflakes in butter and sprinkle on top.

Cover and Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Italian S'mores

3 bars semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 cups best quality chocolate sauce

1 cup cabernet sauvignon

1 bag large marshmallows, roasted

15 to 20 biscotti

In a sauté pan over medium heat, mix solid chocolate, chocolate sauce and cabernet. Mix well.  Place 1 roasted marshmallow on a piece of biscotti.  Top with as much chocolate cabernet sauce as desired (1 or 2 tablespoons), or just dip into sauce.

Viennese Crescents

1 cup butter

¾ cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 cup ground pecans

Confectioners’ sugar

Cream the butter and add the sugar and vanilla and beat to fluffy.  Add the flour and nuts and mix in.  Chill the dough for at least an hour.  The more it’s chilled the less it spreads during baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

Shape dough into tiny crescents using 1 teaspoon of the dough for each cookie.  Place them on an ungreased sheet pan in rows, leaving 1 inch in between for spreading and bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Let cool 5 minutes.  Dredge them in confectioners’ sugar.

Rum Balls

1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ cup dark rum

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 ½ cups finely crushed vanilla wafers

1 cup finely chopped, toasted pecans


Into large bowl, sift together 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, the cocoa powder and allspice.  Stir in the rum and corn syrup.  Stir in the vanilla wafers and pecans, and mix well.  Place in the refrigerator to firm up slightly, about 30 minutes.  (The mixture may appear crumbly and dry; this is O.K.)

Place remaining ½ cup confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl or dish.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out portions of the chocolate mixture and press into 1 inch balls.  Using your hands, roll the balls in the confectioners’ sugar, coating evenly.

Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, placing wax paper between layers to prevent sticking.

Southern Fried Catfish

Vegetable Oil

6 catfish fillets, 4 ounces each

¾ cup cornmeal

¼ cup All-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Heat oven to 275 degree F.  Heat oil (2 to 3 inches) in 4-quart dutch oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix cornmeal, flour salt in large bowl.  Stir in milk, eggs, pepper sauce and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until well blended.  Coat fish with cornmeal batter, shaking off excess.

Fry 2 fish fillets at a time in oil for 5 to 8 minutes turning over half way through the cooking time cook until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Keep warm on cookie sheet in oven while frying remaining fish

Pizza Dough

1 package active dry yeast or fresh yeast

1 teaspoon of honey

1 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing


In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and hone in ¼ cup warm water


In a food processor, combine the flour and the salt.  Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining ¾ cup of water and process until the mixture forms a ball.  (The pizza dough can also be made in a mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Mix on low speed until the mixture comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and starts to climb up the dough hook.)


Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes loners.  The dough should be smooth and firm.  Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a cool spot for about 2 hours.  (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled).


Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 oz. each.  Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball.  Repeat 4 or 5 times.  Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute.  Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 1 hour.  At this point, the balls can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 days.



Vegetable oil, for frying

1 pound of prepared pizza dough

¾ cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon




Pour vegetable oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches.  Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep fry thermometer registers 375 degree F.


Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to ½ - inch thickness.  Using a floured 2 inch cookie cutter, cut out doughnut rounds, using a floured 1-inch cookie cutter, cut a hole in the center of each doughnut.  Gather the dough scraps and re-roll to cut out more doughnuts.


Whish the cinnamon and sugar in a medium bowl to blend.  Set the cinnamon-sugar aside.


When the oil is hot, working in batches, fry the doughnuts until they puff but are still pale, about 45 seconds per side.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to paper towels to drain.  Cool slightly.  While the other doughnuts are still warm, add to the bowl of cinnamon-sugar and generously coat each 2 times with the cinnamon-sugar.  Serve warm.                 

Rum Cake

Cake: 1 cup chopped nuts
1 – 181/2 oz. package yellow cake mix
1 – 3 ¾ oz package vanilla instant pudding
4 eggs
½ cup cold water
½ cup Wesson oil
½ cup rum

Glaze: ¼ lb butter
¼ cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour bundt cake. Sprinkle bottom with nuts. Then mix rest of cake ingredients together and pour over nuts. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Prepare glaze in sauce pan by adding butter, water and sugar, bring to roiling boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat add rum.

Prick cake after removing cake from pan and spoon glaze over cake.