Friday, December 30, 2011

Modified Aruba Radisson's Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling and Chocolate Ganache icing. Version II

 This recipe has some minor modifications from the original Aruba Radisson Cake, the mousse and Ganache are scaled back, less waste and the 8 oz chocolate to cup of heavy cream stated in the original recipe is omitted and the stabilizer of gelatin and water is added to the mousse mixture.

Also, the 3 layers are now a 5/6 layer cake that easily could fit into a NY/NJ deli dessert case.

Chocolate Cake

15 oz flour

3.5 oz cocoa powder, dark is best.

21 oz sugar

.5 ounces Baking Powder

3/4 oz Baking Soda

7 oz shortening, Crisco or Butter

Cream butter and sugar, then add rest to mixing bowl.


9.5 oz of milk

6 eggs

Mix well scraping down sides.

Get ready 3  8 or 9" baking pans.

Butter or no stick spray bottoms and sides and coat with flour.

Pour batter into pans and bake at 325 for about 45 minutes.

Cool for 15 minutes in pans.

Remove from pans and place on plates that have wax paper over them and continue cooling.

Once cooled fill the cake with the below.

The layers will be high enough to easily cut them in 1/2 and you then can have a 5/6 layer cake.

Chocolate Mousse Filling for Cake

8 ounces semi sweet chocolate

2 ounces sugar

1/4 cup water

4 egg yolks

2 cups heavy cream

Melt the chocolate in a microwave.

Combine the sugar and water in a pan and boil, stirring often until the sugar is dissolved.

Beat the egg yolks until creamy in a mixer with a whip attachment until fully.

Pour the water and sugar mixture into the bowl slowly, which the mixer is running.

Transfer to a 2 QT container.

Beat heavy cream until fluffy.

Add the cooled chocolate.

Combine all items, the egg and water mixture and the heavy cream


Mix 2 oz hot water with 1/4 ounce unflavored gelatin and add to the above. (if the mousse seems thick you can omit this step.)

Lay our our cakes, 3 of them and fill evenly with the mixture. Once stacked on top of each other move on to the Ganche.

Chocolate Ganche for the Icing

2 cups heavy cream

12 oz semi sweet chocolate

Add to a microwave safe bowl and melt, let cook until able to spread and frost cake. It the Ganche is not too warm to spread place it in the refrigerator until cooled.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years 2011/2012 Dinner Menu

New Years 2011/2012 Dinner Menu


Baked Stuffed Clams a la Lyle

Olive Tapenade with freshly baked Ciabatta Bread

Spinach and Artichoke Dip served with toasted Pita Chips

Zucchini Poppers with a Sour Cream Dip



Salami, Prosciutto, Roasted Red Peppers, Marinated Portobello Mushrooms, Capari Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, Imported Provolone and Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheeses


Chicken Oscar, traditional way, topped with crabmeat, asparagus and Béarnaise Sauce.

Caramelized Onion stuffed with Mashed Potatoes


All prepared "in-house"

Rum Baba’s
Pasticcini Di Napoli's
White Chocolate Cheesecake
Pastry Chef’s New Years Eve Surprise

Midnight Toast

Veuve Clicquot

Kay Spang's Cheese Fondue

10 oz. Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. Milk
1/4 C. Dry white wine
1 C. Miracle whip
1/4 t. Lemon juice
1/4 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
Pepper to taste

Melt cheese in double-boiler, whisk in remaining ingredients

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Baked Stuffed Clams ala Lyle's

Yields approximately 3 1/2 dozen for medium shells.


1 lb. Butter
1 lb. Onion
1 lb. Celery
1/2 lb. Flour
1 lb. Chopped clams (about 5- 6 oz cans, drained)
3/4 C. Clam juice (reserve liquid from canned clams)
Worcestershire sauce to taste
7 oz.+ Bread crumbs as needed to make consistency of paste
1 t. Paprika
3 1/2 dozen

Monday, December 26, 2011

Bleu Cheese Dressing

Yields approximately 2 Cups


12 oz. mayonnaise
8 oz. Bleu Cheese (or less as desired to taste)
dash of sugar
2 t. lemon juice
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Water for consistency

Crumble Bleu cheese.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Braised Boneless Pork Ribs


3 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
3 tablespoons oil, divided
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups chicken stock


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pat the ribs dry and season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the ribs on all sides, working in batches if needed.

Remove the ribs and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the Pan and reduce the heat to medium.

Add the onions, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, to remove the raw flavor, about 3 minutes.

Deglaze  the pan with the vinegar, and then add the and bay leaves.

Add the ribs back to the pan and add enough stock to reach halfway up the sides of the ribs.

Bring the pan to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven.

Braise until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

During the last half hour, uncover to allow the liquid to reduce and the pork to brown.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chopped Chicken Liver Pate

1 to 1 1/2 lb. chicken livers
1 large sweet onion, peeled and whole
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

Combine livers, oil and onion in baking dish.
Bake at 350 F. for 60 minutes.
Transfer baked mixture to a food processor, adding some liquid from baking pan to achieve a smooth paste like mixture.
Salt to taste.

Refrigerate. Serve with Melba toast and finely chopped hard boiled egg and minced onion for toppings.

Following baking, may be frozen for use later.

Tip- makes a great filling for Beef Wellington

Monday, December 19, 2011

Susan's Baked Macaroni & Cheese

This recipe is true comfort food. My mother is not a very good cook. When my brother and I were young, she always put this together flawlessly.

Preparation Time 1 hour

Serves 6

1 T. salt
1/2 lb macaroni
1 small onion, minced
2 T. butter
1 T. flour
1/4 t. dry mustard
3/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2 C. milk
1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 C. bread crumbs
4 t. butter

In large kettle, bring to boil 3 quarts water with 1 tablespoon salt. Start heating oven to 400F.

Grease 1 1/2 quart casserole.

Drop macaroni into boiling water; boil, uncovered, stirring often with fork, about 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, mince onion (about 4 teaspoons); put in saucepan over low heat with 2 tablespoons butter. When butter is melted, stir in flour, mustard, salt, pepper.

Slowly stir in milk; cook until smooth and hot, stirring often. Slice about 3/4 of cheese right into sauce; stir until cheese is melted.

When macaroni is done, drain into colander; turn into casserole. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni, add remaining cheese in cubes, tossing lightly with fork so that all macaroni gets nicely coated.

Dot top with remaining butter and sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Bake uncovered, 20-30 minutes.

Recipe By: Good Housekeeping Cook Book 1955


Sunday, December 18, 2011


1 lb lasagna noodles, cooked
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 lbs ricotta, (prefer Sorrento for creaminess)
1 lb shredded whole milk mozzarella
4 eggs

Add all but the noodles to a bowl and mix well.

Layer a baking pan with enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Lay lasagna noodles in the pan. Cover noodles with sauce, and then ricotta mixture; repeat layering.

Finish with a layer of noodles and then sauce.

Bake at 350 F. covered for about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Let cool at least 20 minutes so it is set.

For sauce, depending upon your tastes
Marinara Sauce
Meat Sauce

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pasta Meat Sauce

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. oregano
16 oz. (or more tomato puree)
16 oz. (or more whole tomatoes)
1 bay leaf
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 T. sugar (or more to taste)
salt & pepper to taste

Simmer onions, beef, and garlic.
Drain grease.
Add all other ingredients and simmer uncovered for at least 4 hours or more depending upon your preferred thickness.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

General Tso’s Chicken

Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal, 2 to 3 as a main entree

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast sliced into 1-inch cubes
1 cup cornstarch
 Peanut or vegetable oil for frying, plus 1 tablespoon for stir-frying

2 cloves garlic, minced.

1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, for garnish
Scallions, green parts thinly sliced, for garnish

2 cups chicken stock, or substitute water
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup sugar

1. In a large bowl, coat the chicken in cornstarch.

2. Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock, tomato paste, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and sugar.

3) Mix 1/2 cup cornstarch with hot water and add to sauce gradually and stir until thickened.  Set the sauce aside.

3. In a large bowl or deep plate, toss the 1 1/2 cups cornstarch with the salt and pepper. Coat the marinated chicken in the cornstarch and shake off any excess before frying.

4. Heat the 3 cups of peanut or vegetable oil in large frying pan. Working in 2 or 3 batches, add the first batch of chicken cubes and fry until golden brown on the outside and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.

5. Drain the oil into a heatproof container and save for discarding. Wipe the pan with a paper towel to remove any brown bits, but don’t wash.

6. Reheat the pan  over medium-high heat. Add another 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the base and sides. Add the garlic and stir-fry until just fragrant, about 20 seconds. Pour in the sauce mixture and stir until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes.

7. Return the chicken to the wok and stir well to coat with sauce. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Garnish with white sesame seeds and scallions. Serve with white rice and vegetables.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cream of Mushroom Soup


Makes 8 servings

7 tablespoons butter
8 cups chopped mushrooms (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced leek (white part only)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken broth
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup heavy cream, heated
Fresh lemon juice, as needed
Salt to taste
Freshly ground white pepper, as needed

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon

Difficulty: Difficult
Cook Time: Over 120 min


One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
18 to 24 white onions, small
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Oven BBQ Brisket

1 5 lb Brisket, trimmed of most fat
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
3 large onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon Worcester Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Corn Starch

Place all items large rectangle baking pan.

Cover with foil and bake at 325 for 4-5 hours or Crock Pot for 8 hours on low.

Strain sauce with a gravy strainer into a pan.

Add Corn Starch to warm water and mix well.

Add the above mixture to the sauce and heat until thick.

Pour mixture over and serve.

Tomatoe Soup

8 oz celery
8 oz carrots
8 oz onions
6 oz flour
2 quarts chicken stock  (I use 2 quarts of water then add chicken base to the pot)
1 28 oz can tomatoes, whole, diced does not matter
1 large can tomato puree
8 oz heavy cream OR 1/2 and 1/2

Add celery, onions and carrots to food processor and mince.

Place vegetables in large pot with the oil and sweat for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Add flour, mix well and continue stirring for 5 minutes so the flour is cooked.

Add in chicken stock and both types of tomatoes.

Blend well, I use an immersion blender to puree all the vegetables and tomatoes but you could use a blender or food processor but may need to do a few batches to get the same result.

Simmer for 45 minutes on the lowest setting.

Add heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2.

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