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Food & Dining

Entertainment Food & Dining

October 30

Snicker Cheesecake

Makes 10 servings

GRAHAM-CRACKER CRUST:

4 cups graham crackers

1/4 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick butter, softened

CARAMEL SAUCE:

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup brandy, optional (cook off alcohol)

1 1/4 tablespoons salted butter

CHEESECAKE:

1 3/4 pounds cream cheese

5 ounces sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup flour, sifted

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites, whipped

3 frozen Snickers bars or 9 fun-sized bars (chopped while frozen)

To make crust, mix all dry ingredients, then add softened butter. Press mixture into a 9-inch cheesecake pan.

Make sauce by cooking on medium heat sugar, water and brandy, if using, until caramelized. Add butter. Spread mixture on bottom of graham-cracker crust while hot.

Make cake by mixing cream cheese until soft. Add sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour. Add egg yolks. Mix all until smooth. Fold in whipped egg whites and chopped candy. Add to graham-cracker crust and bake for 2 hours at 290 degrees. Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.
--Chef Adrian Ashton, Cafe Mileto, Germantown

Bay Scallops Dijon

Serves 4

1 pound linguine

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced red pepper

1 cup thinly slivered red onion

1 clove garlic, minced ( 1/2 teaspoon)

3/4 pound bay or sea scallops

1/2 cup white or rose wine, or 1/3 cup sweet vermouth

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine.

While the linguine is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper, red onion and garlic.

Saute, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, for about 2 minutes. Add the scallops and cook for 30 seconds for bay scallops, a minute longer for sea scallops. Add the wine, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to reduce the liquid in the pan and concentrate the flavor.

Stir in the mustard and parsley, and heat through. Be careful not to overcook the scallops. Serve over the drained linguine.

Giant Chocolate-Toffee Cookies

Makes about 18

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

16 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

five 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (such as Heath), coarsely chopped (do not use English toffee bits)

1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl; whisk to blend. Stir chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool to lukewarm.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, then toffee and nuts. Chill batter until firm, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto sheets, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about 15 minutes.

Cool cookies on sheets. Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
--From "The Flavors of Bon Appetit 2001" by the editors of "Bon Appetit," copyright 2001, used by permission of Clarkson Potter/Publishers

Giant Cookie Pizza

Serves 8 to 12

1 package refrigerated cookie dough, any variety

1 container prepared frosting

assorted candies (i.e., candy corn, gummy worms, gum drops, M&M's, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice cookie dough as if making cookies. Arrange on round baking sheet (stone) and join together with rolling pin to form crust.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden-brown. Cool completely. Frost entire cookie and decorate with candies.
--From Chris Laurich, the Pampered Chef

Grape-Nut Pudding

Serves 6 to 8

3 1/4 cups boiling water

2 cups Grape-Nuts cereal

2 eggs, separated

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped dates

pinch salt

Pour boiling water over Grape-Nuts and set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg whites until stiff and set aside. Beat yolks with spices; add nuts, raisins, dates and salt.

Mix with Grape-Nuts and fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into buttered 10-cup souffle dish. Bake 45 to 60 minutes.

Tester Reiley's comments: "The Grape-Nuts lose their telltale crunchiness, yielding a dense, almost oatmeallike pudding that is as comforting as could be. It would make a wonderful winter breakfast or brunch item, and could be a dessert after dinner if you added 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of sugar. Scoop out servings into bowls while the pudding is still very warm, then pour on just a touch of heavy cream for added luxury."

Leftover Halloween Candy Cake

Serves 18 to 20

CAKE:

12 fun-sized candy bars (8 to 8.5 ounces total)

2 tablespoons milk

1 box white cake with pudding in the mix

1 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 tablespoons flour

FROSTING:

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons butter, softened

3 tablespoons,plus 2 teaspoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the cake, lightly butter and flour a 13-inch by 9-inch cake pan. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the candy bars with the milk. Stir until the candy has melted. Cool for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, blend the cake mix, water, oil and eggs on low, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat for 2 minutes on high. Stir 2/3 cup of the cake batter and the flour into the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

Pour the remaining white cake batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the chocolate mixture on top of the cake batter. Swirl the chocolate mixture into the cake batter with a knife. Bake for 28 to 32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Completely cool the cake in the pan before frosting. To make the frosting, cream together the cocoa, powdered sugar, vanilla and butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer on high. Gradually add the milk and beat until the frosting is spreadable. Frost the top of the cake.
--Sherry Knackstedt, iVillage.com

Quick Trifle Parfaits

assorted candies

1 container nondairy topping

assorted ice cream or orange sherbet

1 package poundcake (i.e., Sara Lee, Entenmann's), cut in cubes

Mix candies and nondairy topping together. In a tall ice-cream glass, layer a scoop of ice cream or orange sherbet; a few cubes of poundcake and the assorted candy/nondairy-topping mixture; repeat until full. Garnish with a few candies on top.
--From Chris Laurich, the Pampered Chef

Southern-Style Fried Green Tomatoes

Serves 4

1 cup fine yellow cornmeal

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup buttermilk

cooking spray

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon mild vegetable oil (corn, canola, peanut)

4 large firm green tomatoes, rinsed, stem end plus a thin slice of the bottom removed, cut into 1/2 -inch-thick rounds

Place the cornmeal in a shallow pan and season heavily with salt and pepper.

Place buttermilk in another shallow pan.

Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and place the skillet over medium heat. Add half the butter and half the oil.

Dredge the sliced tomatoes, first in the buttermilk, then in the seasoned cornmeal.

When the skillet is hot, add the tomato slices. Fry until nicely browned on the bottom, about 6 minutes.

Add the remaining butter and oil. Gently turn over the tomatoes. Fry until nicely browned on the other side, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Yankee-Style Fried Green Tomatoes

Serves 4

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1 drop Pickapeppa Sauce

1 cup unbleached all-purpose white flour

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

cooking spray

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon mild vegetable oil (corn, canola, peanut)

4 large firm green tomatoes, rinsed, stem end plus a thin slice of bottom removed, sliced into 1/2 -inch-thick rounds

brown sugar

Place cornstarch in a small bowl, and using your fingers, smush in about 1 tablespoon of the milk. When smooth, add the remainder of the milk and the Pickapeppa. Set aside.

Place flour in a shallow pan and season it with salt and pepper.

Spray nonstick skillet with cooking spray and put the skillet over medium heat. Add half of the butter and half of the oil.

Dredge sliced tomatoes in seasoned flour.

When skillet is hot, carefully add tomato slices, putting a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar on each. Fry until nicely browned on the bottom, about 6 minutes.

Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan. Very gently turn the tomatoes over. Sprinkle remaining brown sugar on the already browned side and fry until the second side is nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter.

Give the cornstarch mixture a vigorous stir and, whisking like the dickens, pour it into the hot skillet. Cook, whisking until it thickens (almost instantly). Add a little salt and pepper to taste, then spoon a little of it over each of the tomato slices and serve immediately.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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