Posted by: DancingQueen | May 4, 2010

Honey Lemon Cardamom Chicken Over Lemons

Based off a recipe by Elise.

HoneyLemonCardamomChickenOverLemons

HoneyLemonCardamomChickenOverLemons

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Posted by: DancingQueen | April 15, 2010

Steak with Burgundy Sauce and Onions over Rice

Steak with Burgundy Sauce and Onions over Rice

Steak with Burgundy Sauce and Onions over Rice

Posted by: DancingQueen | April 3, 2010

Meringue

Delicious meringue made for my aunt.

meringue

meringue

Chicken Piccata Redux - Parmesan Encrusted Chicken w/ White Wine Caper Sauce

Chicken Piccata Redux - Parmesan Encrusted Chicken w/ White Wine Caper Sauce

I’ve always loved Chicken Piccata, yet every time I’ve made it, something’s been different.  Cheesecake Factory’s version with three chicken breads, a large scoop of smashed potatoes, and asparagus stole my heart (and fed me for 3 meals) and I began recreating it at home.  This time, I had no lemon!  And found a slightly different recipe version and technique from my usual.  I am used to a three bowl dipping structure: Seasoned Flour, Egg, Seasoned Breadcrumbs – Elise’s simple seasoned flour/Parmesan dredge really made the process go faster and cleaner.  Chicken was juicy and crispy and the sauce was great, if a bit vinegary (I used two types of capers and one was kept in balsamic vinegar, I would suggest washing before use).  I got a bit of steam when de-glazing the pan – wasn’t expecting a facial!  I also used key lime juice again (trying to use up that bottle!)

Sizzling Chicken!

Sizzling Chicken!

This is the last pizza:

The Last Pizza - Waiting to be Baked!

The Last Pizza - Waiting to be Baked!

The dough needed (kneaded!) more tender loving care, a bit more flour, and a quick hand.  The mozzarella is thinner and I added olive oil and dried oregano.  The onions were raw (and perfectly cooked through in 7 minutes) and after my burned caramelized onions on the last, I’m happy – As I put them on, I worried the raw taste would be overwhelming – in fact, there was only the sweet cooked through taste of fork-tender onions.  Gooey, bubbly, soft, and crunchy on the bottom.  A good pizza.  It was also the roundest of them all.  Oh, and it’s a slightly thinner sauce and sweeter.  I’m now officially sick of pizza for the time being.  I had flatbread for lunch and pizza for dinner — not exactly balanced.

The Last Pizza - Bubbling Goodness

The Last Pizza - Bubbling Goodness

So…having 6 personalized pizzas to test out, I’m getting a little sick of pizza.  The basics are better understood through practice and holding the dough in your hands.  Dash of flour to counteract the stickiness of the dough and certain repetitive motions to make the ball into a circular pie.  Unfortunately, I ran our of mozzarella and checked to see what was still on hand: cheddar!  Ok, not the best substitute in the world, but it still made for a delicious snack.

The 5th Pizza

The 5th Pizza

The 5th Pizza - Close Up Shot

The 5th Pizza - Close Up Shot

Posted by: DancingQueen | March 19, 2010

How to Caramelize Onions For a Delicious Topping!

The best visual recipe I have found for caramelizing onions is Elise‘s.  My basic method is similar, 3 medium/small onions cut into thin rings, a splash of EVOO, into a pan that was pre-heated to medium heat.  Stir to coat in oil, let sit, stir every 2-5 minutes, lowering the heat if any of the onions crisp or brown too quickly.  After 45 minutes they are light brown, after 60 they are nice and dark.  A note on adding to pizza: make sure the onions are mostly covered in cheese or sauce, any bits that stick up above the pizza will most likely burn.

Posted by: DancingQueen | March 17, 2010

Lemony Lime Cake with Keylime Curd on St. Patrick’s Day

Lemon and Keylime Curd Cake

Lemon and Keylime Curd Cake

So…this cake just kind of happened to be brought into this world due to a series of unlikely happenstances.  Firstly, awhile back, I found out (much to my amazement) that my mother loves Lemon Bars.  LEMON BARS.  LEMON BARS!  Now, I have absolutely nothing against lemon bars or lemons, or anything like that, but my mother is practically a spokesperson for eating dessert first.  Many a time she returns from a ladies lunch at Cheesecake Factory with half a slice of cheesecake and as she puts it away she tut-tuts at the shame of all those ladies going out and being surrounded by hundreds of slices of the most delicious desserts and eating salad.  Honey, if your dressing-covered salad fills a basketball sized bowl, you’re not doing your behind any favors.  She is such an advocate for desserts to have chocolate that I knew I had to see this for myself.  The next event to transpire was my grandmother handing me a box of “almost” expired lemon cake mix.  Why she didn’t just make a cake, I don’t know.  The box sat in the pantry at eye level whispering recipes to me (blackberry? coconut?) but it wasn’t until I came across Smitten Kitchen’s Layered Lemon Love Cake dedicated to a mysterious “happy birthday really gay dave and creepy uncle steve” that I knew, I would add keylime juice and make a lemon-keylime cake with keylime curd.  I wish  I would have iced it thought.

I tweaked the box (1 cup water, 1/3 cup keylime juice and a dash of vanilla instead of 1 and 1/3 water), instead of two 9″ pie pans, I poured it into a spring-form pan (probably would have been better in two pans, wish I had two the same size), omitted the zest, and substituted 4 tablespoons of keylime juice for the lemon juice in the curd recipe (of which I halved all the ingredients since I was low on eggs – in the future, I will make the right amount and whisk less!)

Alas, the cake was allowed to rest for 20 minutes before cutting, 3 minutes of cutting and curding, and 1 minute of licking the crumbs and curd from the spreader before laughing at myself ‘this cake is never going to see frosting’ and with that, I cut a slice, poured a ice cold glass of milk and enjoyed every last crumb.

A Lemony Lime Slice of Lemon Cake with Keylime Curd

A Lemony Lime Slice of Lemon Cake with Keylime Curd

Posted by: DancingQueen | March 9, 2010

Jonathan Milder and the the Suited Foodie Dancer

And now for something a bit different.  I saw Jonathan Milder on Food Network ages ago and was both amused and amazed by the quirky curly haired foodie research librarian that Food Network employs.  If I would have known such a position existed (or was to exist), I would have most likely preferred it to ballerina or businesswoman when picking grown-up careers as a child.  But then, a pink Chanel suited woman with ballet flats who worked in food would perhaps merge all three (tweed, pink and ballet shoes, and suit).

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

My parents are New Yorkers and my father loves a good pizza.  I do too.  I had been eying Pete’s recipe (pizza recipe) for homemade dough over at Pete Bakes! for awhile and finally figured I’d give it a try last night.  I rolled up 6 balls, tucked them to bed in lightly oiled parchment paper in the fridge and then tucked myself in to bed.   My father had also received a lovely pizza baking set (Bialetti Casa Italia) that had cob webs on it in the laundry room which I dusted off.  The set contained: Pizza Stone, Serving Rack, Pizza Cutter, and Pizza Peel (the wooden thing they use to get pizzas into and out of an oven).  The stone was large and heavy, the rack was not used, the cutter wasn’t sharp enough, and the pizza peel I found next to useless (partially because I lacked cornmeal).  But, in the end (and with a heap more flour), 4 of the 6 balls turned into pizzas and found their way into happy tummies.  Each ball made a very thin 5 to 6″ pie and in my oven, at 550 – I added a few more minutes for slight char – 10-12 min – cooking two pizzas on the stone at a time.  I used store bought mozzarella, parmesan (not self-grated), and Bertolli Italian Sausage sauce.  I’m not proud of this fact, but I wasn’t sure if my first attempt at pizza would go in in flames and didn’t want to risk good ingredients (notice no basil either).

I’m happy I didn’t make this for a crowd as I can eat one pizza ball by myself.  End result?  They were good, rustic and homemadey, but I still want a proper pizza made by New Yorkers – which I surely will get later this month.  All my pizza did was make me crave garlic rolls.

Homemade Pizza: Round 2

Homemade Pizza: Round 2

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