Friday, October 25, 2013

GOOEY BUTTER CAKE from Family Cookbook

A friend of mine was looking for a Gooey Butter Cake recipe and I went to my mother's recipe as found in the family cookbook...


8 oz Cream Cheese
4 c Powdered Sugar
1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1 stick melted oleo

Mix and put in jelly roll pan sprayed with pam.  Mix 1 8 oz. cream cheese, 2 beaten eggs, 4 cups powdered sugar.  Spread on top and bake 350 degrees for 15-30 minutes.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Creme Fraiche (Garde Manger, CIA)

I took this recipe from:
 pg. 382
The Culinary Institute of America

This was from a class I took a couple years ago and new it was there because we made it in class.  In one of my online food groups in which I am a part of a person was exclaiming that they could not find any Creme Fraiche so I went and typed this up for their benefit, with this work being done, I decided to share it here.

Creme Fraiche 
(yield 12 servings, 4 oz/113 g each)

pg. 382
The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen "Garde Manger",
The Culinary Institute of America

32 fl oz/960 ml Half-and-Half
1 packet direct set Creme Fraiche Starter Culture

  1. Warm the Half-and-Half to 72 f/22 c.
  2. Stir in the starter culture.
  3. Cover and allow to set (incubate) for 24 hours, until a very thick curd forms.
  4. Serve immediately or transfer to a storage container, cover, and refrigerate up to 1 week.

Chef's note: 
 Creme Fraiche is made by fermenting heavy cream that has a butterfat content as high as 60% with a lactic acid and the appropriate bacterial cultures.  The flavor of a newly prepared  Creme Fraiche is sweet, and has a loose, almost pourable texture.  As it ages, the flavor becomes more pronounced and tart, and it thickens to the point at which it can nearly hold a spoon upright.  It is important to the garde manger as a base or spread for canapes, in salad dressings, and served with fresh fruit.
Variation: Lime flavored  Creme Fraiche - add fresh lime juice to taste.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My first attempt at making a panini....

So last week my boss gave me a Panini Press and I was excited to get to making some good sandwiches.  But what to make?  What bread should I use?  After some research of looking high and low on the internet and talking with friends in Facebook groups dedicated to food.  I had some up with a combination which sounded good to me and it was not one which was suggested.
What I ended up making was somewhat of a hybrid Turkey Club Sandwich.  I bought some seasoned herb bread, put down a layer of sun-dried tomato pesto, sharp cheddar cheese, shaved ham, bacon, more cheddar, shave smoked turkey, and then more cheddar where I then layered more sun-dried tomato pesto on the top bread piece.
Sprayed my panini press with pan release spray and also sprayed the sandwich top and bottom and then pressed into into the panini press.  After about 5-6 minutes, I then released the press lid and it looked well cooked.

While this was my first attempt this can be considered a learning experience.  Next time I will change the way my sandwich is placed in the press to change the way the press lines are orientated.

My next attempt will be on Saturday and I am planning to make a Caprese Panini.  Fresh Herb Bread, Fresh Hand Stretched Mozzarella, Fresh Basil along with Basil Garlic Infused Olive Oil.....

What panini's would you make or like????

Sunday, October 14, 2012

PAELLA A LA VELENCIANA (Spain): Chicken and Seafood Rice

Tonight a friend of mine from Jersey was asking me about Paella.  Last spring, I cooked some paella dishes and here are the recipe in this blog post.

Chicken and Seafood Rice

Yield:  4 Portions

12 oz.
Pork, lean, diced
4 ea.
Chicken legs, cut into thighs and drumsticks
3 oz.
Olive oil
2 ea.
Garlic cloves, chopped
6 oz.
Onion, small dice
6 oz.
Red pepper, small dice
6 oz.
Green pepper, small dice
3/4 lb.
Rice, short grain
1/2 tsp.
Saffron, crushed
1/4 tsp.
1/2  cup
Chicken stock, hot
2 lb.
Clams, fresh littleneck, cleaned
2 lb.
Mussels, fresh, cleaned
2 lb.
Shrimp, 16/20, P&D
1 lb.
Chorizo link, cooked, sliced
8 oz.
Tomato concasse, small dice
4 oz.
Carrots, small dice
4 oz.
Peas (garden)
4 oz.
Scallions, sliced
2 ea.
1.                  Brown the chicken and pork in the olive oil. Remove and reserve.
2.                  Sauté the garlic, onion, and peppers in the reserved oil.
3.                  Add the rice, saffron and salt. Stir until the rice is coated with oil.
4.                  Add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan and place it in a 400- degree F.          oven. Cook the rice mixture for 8 minutes.
5.                  Place the clams and mussels on top the rice. Check the rice periodically and add more stock or water if necessary. Replace the cover and return the pan to the oven for 5 minutes.
6.                  Add the shrimp, chorizo, tomato concasse, carrots and peas. Return the pan to the oven and cook paella until the shrimp is cooked through and all the ingredients are very hot.
7.  Garnish the paella with the scallions and strips of roasted red pepper. Drizzle with juice of 1 lemon. Cover the paella pan and allow the paella to rest for 10 minutes. Wedge the remaining lemons and serve with the paella.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

La Mia Casa - Vegan Friendly Menu (final)

La Mia Casa
Vegan Friendly Menu

Friday, October 12, 2012

Executive Chef/General Manager
Harrison Graden Sr.

Sous Chef
Corey Schaefer

Garde Manger
Jason Mather

Kendall Atkins

Kyle Baumann

Brittany Gould

Ware Washer
Cal Bell

Server Captain
Tim Constentino

Noelle Perkowski
Chris Harris
Jon Todd

Chef Instructors
Ellen Piazza
Robert Hertel

STLCC - Forest Park Campus
5600 Oakland
St. Louis MO 63110

Flexitarian, Pescaterian
& Vegan

Diet is not a four lettered word, it is what we eat and not what we do!

Flexitarian as defined by Web MD: A relatively new term, flexitarian comes from a combination of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian.” Following a flexitarian diet means eating more plant-based diet and less meat.

Pescaterian as defined by Urban Dictionary: A person who eats fish but no other kinds of meat. Commonly referred to as "vegetarian".

Vegan as defined by Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines.  Most vegans also avoid use of all products tested on animals, as well as animal-derived non-food products, such as leather, fur, and wool.

The Antipasto
A traditional Italian meal starts with something to nibble on, called antipasto, which translates into English as “before the meal.” 

“Mock” Caprese Salad (Vegan)
A refreshing salad made with a marinated tofu, fresh Roma Tomatoes, Basil, and drizzled with Olive Oil and Balsamic Reduction and dusted with Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper and Parma Parmesan Cheese.

The Primo
In Italy, pasta is a first course, or primo, served as an appetizer, not as the main event.  Soup, rice, and polenta are the options for the primo.

Green Onion & Wild Mushroom Risotto

This dish is packed with the fresh flavor or Green Onion and given a “meaty” texture with the pungent flavor of wild mushrooms to entice your palate

The Secondo
The main course is called il secondo, or the second course. Chicken, meat, or fish are usual choices, and portions are generally small.  These main courses are usually fairly simple, especially if a rich pasta or rice dish precedes them.

Pan Seared Marinated Tofu Picata

Flavorful and fresh this dish is composed of pan seared marinated tofu that is lightly coated with a seasoned flour and garnished with a flavorful and colorful mix of bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, capers and lemons.  With just a drizzle of lemon juice and balsamic reduction and olive oil vinaigrette.


Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary

This dish is cooked "al cartoccio" or “en papillote,” which steams the foods in their own flavorful juices and when brought to your table is sure to create a delicate and aromatic dish when opened as a present on a holiday!

The Cortorno
A platter of vegetables usually accompanies the main course. This word contorno loosely translates as “contours” and refers to the fact that the vegetable course helps shape and define the meal.

Roasted Vegetable Medley 
with Balsamic Lemon Vinaigrette
A delightful medley of beets, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, onion and roasted garlic roasted and drizzled with a Balsamic Lemon Vinaigrette.
Cannellini Beans with Garlic and Sage
High in fiber these beans are a great source of protein and other great nutrients.  Creamy and flavorful these are sure to please!

The Dolce
A dolce (or sweet) ends a traditional Italian meal.

Grapefruit Compari Sorbetto

Served with a Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce and a Cranberry Orange Biscotti dipped in White Chocolate 

This refreshing desert is sure to awaken and tantalize your taste buds with a combination of sweet and sour, cleansing your palate to continue your day!

Sweet Basil Lemonade
Fresh Brewed Iced Tea
(Regular and Decaffeinated)

Served with Lemon Wedges, Natural Sugar, and Stevia

Carrot Cake: Family Recipes

My mother made this a lot around holidays or when out of town relatives were visiting.  It was oh so good!  Particularly with whipped topping...  (she used the baby food and was very very moist!)


1 1/4 cup salad oil         
4 eggs                   
2 cups sugar                  
2 tsp. baking powder         
1/2 tsp. baking soda      
1 tsp. salt   
2 cups flour          
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots (can use 4 small jars baby carrots or 2 junior jars)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Combine oil and sugar, mix well.  Stir in rest of ingredients alternating dry and wet with 4 eggs.  Bake in 10 inch tube pan.  Bake in a floured and grease bunt pan in a slow oven at 325 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes.  Cool upright in pan.  When cool cut out of pan to release cake.  You may put icing on cake.  Cream cheese icing is pretty good.  See cookbook section for icings.  Very rich!  Cake is good plain.  It is very moist.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Roast Chicken with Pan Gravy

Roast Chicken with Pan Gravy 

Servings: 10 
Categories: Main Dish 
Source: Culinary Fundamentals Copyright: Prentice Hall

5 each Chickens
Salt, as needed
Black pepper, as needed, freshly ground
5 each Thyme sprigs
5 each Rosemary sprigs
Vegetable oil or butter, as needed

4 ounces Onion, diced
2 ounces Carrot, diced
8 ounces Celery, diced

Pan gravy
2 ounces Flour
1/2 ounce Tomato paste (optional)
1 pint Chicken Stock, hot

1. Remove the wing tips from the chickens and reserves. Season the exterior and the cavity of the chickens with salt and pepper and place one sprig of thyme and rosemary in each cavity. Rub the skin with oil and truss each chicken with twine.

2. Place the chickens, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Scatter the wing tips in the pan.

3. Roast at 400°F for 40 minutes, basting from time to time. Scatter the mirepoix around the chicken and continue to roast another 30 to 40 minutes or until the thigh meat registers 180°F. Transfer the chickens to a holding pan, cover loosely, and allow them to rest while preparing the pan gravy.

4. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop and cook until the mirepoix on the stovetop and cook until the mirepoix is browned and the fat is clear. Pour off all but 1 once of the fat. Add the flour and cook out the roux for 4 to 5 minutes. (Optional: Add the tomato paste to the roux and cook out 2 minutes more,) Whisk in the stock until completely smooth. Simmer the gravy for 20 to 30 minutes, or until it reaches the proper consistency and flavor. Degrease and adjust seasoning. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and keep warm for service. Cut the chickens into portions and serve with pan gravy.