Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nutella Caramel Hazelnut Brownies

Source: bell alimento

I was looking for recipes that had Nutella as an ingredient and look at what I found? Nutella Caramel Hazelnut Brownies! Don't these look divine? The recipe is from My mouth is watering already. 

  • 2 large fresh eggs
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter - room temp.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup Nutella - melted
  • 1/4 cup Caramel Sauce- melted
  • Hazelnuts

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Into a mixing bowl add your flour, baking powder, salt & cocoa powder. Using a whisk, mix together & set aside. Into your stand mixer add the sugar & butter & mix together until creamy. Add in eggs one at a time and mix well. Add in your vanilla. GRADUALLY add in your flour mixture until it’s well combined. Batter should be thick and sticky.

Spray an ovenproof 8 x 8 dish with cooking spray. Place a piece of parchment paper (slightly larger than your dish to allow for handles) inside. It will adhere to bottom of dish. Take HALF of your brownie batter & smooth it on top of the parchment paper. Take your caramel sauce and spoon it on top of brownie mixture covering entire layer of brownie. Place the remaining brownie batter on top smoothing it out. Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until sides are firm and center is no longer giggly.

Allow brownies to cool completely before removing. Cut your brownies to your desired size using a serrated knife. Make a small indentation with your finger into each brownie. Take your melted Nutella and drizzle over the tops of the brownies. Garnish with the hazelnuts.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Stella Beer Cheese Soup

The last time my husband was home I tried to make him beer cheese soup. It was a disaster! I had to toss the entire thing out. My issue was with making the roux for the soup. I do not know what I did wrong, but the soup ended up with a texture of soaked newspaper. Anyway, this evening I found myself, yet again, with an almost empty fridge. I had: 1 Stella Artois® beer, 2 spicy, smoked-type sausages, veggies, and in my cupboard a can of Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup. Can you tell where I'm going with this? Not only did these ingredients inspire me to try to make beer cheese soup again, but also the fact that I named the recipe after my baby girl, Stella.

INGREDIENTS (serves maybe 4 people)
  • 1 celery stalk, small dice
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 smoked-sausages (your favorite kind), diced
  • 1 bottle of Stella Artois® beer
  • 1 (10 oz) can of Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth or chicken stock or water (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

In a medium stock pan melt the butter. Add the celery, carrot, onion and thyme sprig and a pinch of kosher salt and sweat over medium-high heat until vegetables are slightly tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the diced sausage and mix to combine and to heat through.
Next, add half of the beer and slightly raise the heat. Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Add the canned cheese soup and mix to combine. Bring to a simmer and add the rest of the beer. Bring to a boil again then, if soup thickness is to your liking, just keep it on very low for another 5 minutes. But if you want your soup a little more thinner, add the 1/2 cup of beef broth. Bring to a boil again, then simmer on low for 5 minutes.
Serve with cheese crostini and a cold, home-brewed Stella beer (if you can find one) or a Stella Artois®.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Zucchini Börek (Kabak Böreği)

I am secretly addicted to the show No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. I say secretly because it usually comes on at 10pm at night--when I should be asleep--and I have to take advantage of every sleep opportunity with my very active, 7 month old daughter. But I digress. A couple of months ago the Travel Channel televised the Istanbul, Turkey episode. All the food in it looked amazing; the people seemed quite friendly and very family and food oriented; and it just seemed like a very fun and intriguing country to visit. 

Towards the end of this episode, Bourdain goes to a Turkish household and has dinner with the entire family. The mom made börek, which is her specialty. It is a pie made with zucchini and Turkish cheese and lots of dill. It looked amazing and I just had to try to make it. I couldn't find a recipe online or in my cookbooks that looked like the börek that was made in the show, but I did find this one on Almost Turkish Recipes. I made several modifications to the recipe because I wanted it to look like the one I saw on t.v., and yet, it was just delightfully yummy. I don't know if this is authentic zucchini börek, but I think I love this dish a lot more than spanakopita now.

  • 20 sheets of phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1/2 cup melted butter for brushing phyllo
For the filling
  • 3 zucchinis, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dill
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Turkish white cheese or feta
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp spicy red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
First off, let me start by saying I'm not from Turkey and I have never been to that lovely country, so I kind of made up this recipe while at the same time taking ideas and ingredient amounts from other recipes. So, this is what I did:
  1. Place the grated zuchinni in a muslin bag. Twist it as tight as you can and let it drip for an hour. Twist bag again and squeeze more water out and let it drip again another half hour. 
  2. Carefully remove the squeezed-dried zuchinni and place in large bowl. Add the egg, dill and mint. Next add the cheese, paprika, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper (I added 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper) and mix to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, the mixture will be juicy. Place another muslin bag over a colander and add the mixture and let it drip out some of the juice for 15 more minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees
  5. Take the zucchini mixture and blend it in a blender (you may have to do it in batches) for about 30 seconds. You don't want it smooth, just broken down a bit and with a little bit of texture to the mixture.
  6. Brush an 8x8x3 pyrex baking dish with some of the melted butter.
  7. Brush one sheet of phyllo with butter and place it in the baking dish (there will be overhang). Keep doing this with 9 more sheets.
  8. Pour the zuchini mixture and fold any of the over hang over the mixture.

  9. Next, brush another phyllo sheet with butter and place on top. Repeat with remaining 9 sheets. Tuck in any of the overhang into the sides or fold it over.
  10. Brush the top with more butter. Make several slits on top and sprinkle some water over over the phyllo.

  11. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until golden brown.