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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte - Away A While Recipe Favorites


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...My favorite dessert are, for the most part, European and barely sweet. I love those made with lemon, nuts or fruit and if you wrap them in a crisp and crackly crust, I'll follow you anywhere. That being said, there are also a handful of other, less classic, desserts that can cause me to fall from grace. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte is one of them, and, when it's in the house, my fall from grace is not a stumble, it's a free fall. I can't resist this torte. I really love the peanut and chocolate combination and when it's used as it is in this Dorie Greenspan recipe, just a bite has been known to make my socks go up and down. While there are several steps required to make this torte, they are simple and quite easy to do. I don't make it a habit to rewrite recipes of this caliber. Pastry chefs are exacting in their measurements and execution, and I have no problem following them, if the flavors being proffered are to my liking. I did make a substitution here that I want to talk about a bit. It has to do with chocolate crumbs that are used to make refrigerator pies or cheesecakes. Many of the better recipes use chocolate wafer crumbs to line pie plates or spring form pans. If you live in an area where they are available, no harm, no foul. If they are not available, most of you already know you can use Oreo cookies, sans filling, as a replacement. The problem is that there is rarely a conversion table to tell you how many cookies are required to do that. I did a quick test to determine quantities of each that are necessary for an equivalence conversion. As it turned out the magic number is eleven. Eleven Oreos, stripped of their filling, equal 1 cup of crumbs when ground. It takes about 20 famous chocolate wafers to yield that same amount. Greenspan's recipe uses Oreo cookies to make crumbs. I had none in the house, so I had to fall back on my supply of chocolate wafers. It was a novel twist. I hope you'll try this recipe. It makes a perfect dessert  for a special occasion. You'll find the recipe here.

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                One Year Ago Today:                                                        Two Years Ago Today:
                    Coconut Bread                                                                     Beef with Broccoli



                Three Years Ago Today:                                                 Four Years Ago Today: 
                 Pumpkin Ginger Bread                                                 Cinnamon Candy Apples

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Arista - Tuscan Pork Roast - Away A While Recipe Favorites



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...A few weeks ago I was notified that my blog had been randomly selected as the winner of a Foodie Blogroll giveaway and that I would receive an autographed copy of Judy Francini's new book, Secrets from My Tuscan Kitchen. When the book arrived I spent an evening paging through it and selecting recipes I wanted to try. Arista - today's recipe - is a Tuscan pork roast similar to the Tuscan Pork Loin, already on my blog. I wanted to compare it to my own. A glance through the ingredient list left no doubt that the pork would be flavorful. A glance at the directions raised a concern. I thought the specified roasting time would produce a dry roast. I was right on both counts. The roast is wonderfully flavorful. It's stuffed with a mixture of garlic and rosemary and basted with wine and olive oil as it cooks. The recipe calls for an hour and forty minutes of roasting. That's way too long for our taste. I pulled the roast from the oven when my meat thermometer read 140 degrees F. At that point the roast had been in the oven for a bit over 60 minutes. I tented it with foil and let it sit for another 15 minutes before slicing it. It was wonderful. There is one other change I'll make the next time I prepare this. The roast is cut, book fashion, almost in half to create a bed for the herb rub. In the future, I cut the roast into thirds to create a larger surface for the herbs. I used a dry French vermouth and a good olive oil for basting the roast. I served it with Parmesan mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. If you like well flavored foods, I urge you to give this recipe a try. It's easy to do and inexpensive in the great scheme of things. Manga! The recipe can be found, here.

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                One Year Ago Today:                                                        Two Years Ago Today:
               Smoky Bow Tie Pasta                                                        Pumpkin Date Nut Bread



                Three Years Ago Today:                                                 Four Years Ago Today: 
                Regency Ginger Crisps                                        Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hot Milk Sponge Cake - Away A While Recipe Favorites



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is such a lovely cake that it is a shame it is not made more often. It is the easiest of all the sponge cakes to make and the addition of baking powder and milk guarantee a tightly crumbed cake that will also be light and moist. There are, however, a few tricks that will assure the cake is all it was meant to be. Success will be guaranteed if the eggs warm are warm and whipped to the proper consistency. They are properly whipped when they become a very pale yellow and thicken like a softly beaten cream. At that point, they should form a ribbon when the batter falls back on itself. The beaters and bowl in which the eggs are beaten should also be warm. Years ago, good cooks took it a step further and placed the primary mixing bowl inside another that was larger and filled with several inches of hot tap water. They would stir the eggs until they were warm to the touch before proceeding to beat them. While I have nothing but admiration for those women, I do not do that. I'm happy if my eggs are at room temperature and the bowl and beaters are warm. The cake is sweet and really does not need a frosting, but when the spirit moves me, I'll ice it with a milk chocolate butter cream. Actually, I think the cake is best when eaten out of hand or accompanied with a serving of macerated berries. If you have never made this cake I hope you will give this recipe a try. It makes a really nice cake. You can find the recipe here.

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                One Year Ago Today:                                                        Two Years Ago Today:
        Winter Apple and Cherry Shortcake                                        Mocha Pudding Cake



                Three Years Ago Today:                                                 Four Years Ago Today: 
        Turkish Potato and Chickpea Stew                                                Pasta Nudi

Monday, October 20, 2014

Asian-Style Braised Chicken - Away A While Recipe Favorites



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If you enjoy food with an Asian flair, you are in for a treat. This week's Frugal Friday feature is for a simple, soy braised chicken that is light, absolutely delicious and as easy on the pocketbook as it is the waistline. The dish can be made with bone-in or boneless legs or thighs. If you use boneless chicken thighs, cooking time can be cut from 25 to 10 minutes and the dish can be on the table in near record time. You will want to avoid overcooking the bok choy. I think you will find it helpful to separate the stalks into piles of white and green. The crunchy portion of the stalks will need to simmer for two or three minutes, but the green and leafy portions need only a dunk and should cook just until they are wilted. I like to cook the rice I serve with this dish before I actually begin to cook the chicken. That way I can get the chicken to the table while the bok choy is still crisp and its leaves are a vibrant green. Do try this chicken. It is hard to argue with a dish that is cheap, easy and delicious. It is one of my favorite weeknight meals and I think your family will enjoy it as much as mine does. The recipe for the chicken can be found here.

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                   One Year Ago Today:                                                         Two Years Ago Today:
                   Maple Date Nut Bread                                             Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Tart


               Three Years Ago Today:                                                       Four Years Ago Today: 
               French-Style Yogurt Cake                                                         Blue Cheese Dip

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