Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sausage, Spinach OR Collard Green Pasta.

3 links sausage.

7 cloves garlic, minced fine.

1 lb frozen Collard Greens or Spinach.

1/4 cup olive oil.

1 T butter.

1 t broth base of your choice, chicken, beef, vegetable.

 Pasta, your choice, 1lb

Place Collards or Spinach in microwave safe bowl and cook for 10 minutes.

Let cool and squeeze out all the water and set the vegetable aside.

Bake sausage on oven at 350 for 45 minutes.

Cool sausage and slice into small pieces.

Add to frying pan with the olive oil, butter and garlic.

Saute for 5 minutes.

Cook pasta

Add 1/2 - 3/4 cup pasta water to frying pan with 1 t of the broth base.

Add the Collards or Spinach and heat.

Drain pasta, add to frying pan and toss to coat.

Top with 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese over each portion.

Serves 4

Shrimp Scampi

12 large shrimp, cleaned and shell removed.

4 T butter

1/4 cup olive oil

7 cloves garlic, chopped fine

2 large shallots, chopped fine

1/2 oz lemon juice

3/4 cup white wine, dry

3/4- 1 cup pasta water

8 oz pasta, spaghetti, angel hair, linguine.

Add butter and olive oil to small pot.

Simmer for about 7 minutes.

Add wine and lemon juice and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Boil water for pasta..

Cook pasta per package directions.

At the last 5 minutes of cooking time add shrimp to butter, shallot and garlic mix.

Add 3/4 - 1 cup pasta water to above.

Drain Pasta, toss with butter and garlic mix.

Top each portion with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Serves 2

Could also serve over rice.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rum Baba

Rum syrup

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup dark rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Baba

1/3 cup raisins
1 tablespoon good dark rum
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1/4 ounce fast-rising active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour


Make the rum syrup:

Place the sugar, lemon juice and 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan.

Cook over high heat until the sugar dissolves. 

Pour into a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup/bowl and allow to cool.

Add the rum and vanilla, set aside.

Make the Baba: 

Combine the raisins and rum in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat the milk until warm.

Stir in the yeast and sugar and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

With the mixer on low speed, first add the eggs, then the flour, and butter.

Raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes.

Scrape down the bowl and beater to form the dough into a ball.

It will be very soft. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow it to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Drain the raisins (empty the rum remaining into the prepared syrup) and fold them into the dough with a spatula.

Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top, cover the pan with a damp towel, and allow to rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Cut out 2 rounds with wax paper and place one on the bottom of an 8 inch spring from pan and spray bottom and sides with no stick spray or you can butter it.

Preheat the oven to 375°F

Cover top of cake with the other wax paper round sprayed with no stick spray.

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then tap it out of the cake pan onto a baking rack set over a sheet pan OR a plate covered in wax paper.

Pour all of the rum syrup very slowly onto the warm cake, allowing it all to soak in thoroughly.

Once cooled wrap in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature, can be made one day ahead if desired.

Serve with whipped cream on the side.


Makes about 12

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar

Egg Wash
1 egg with a ½ tablespoon of water, mixed well.



1 1/2 lb (3 cups) ricotta
Pinch cinnamon

6 Tbsp confectioners sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cold water


1/4 cornstarch
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
2 egg yolks, divided
2 cups milk, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix flour and sugar into the bowl.

Cut in the butter until the mix resembles small peas.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon with each addition.

Blend in a little water and work with your hands till it clears the side of the bowl.

Knead until smooth using bread hook on an electric mixer or turn onto flour board and knead with hands until smooth.

Wrap in wax paper and chill in refrigerator 1-2 hours. If too hard put in microwave for about 45 seconds to soften.

Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured board


Put balls of dough in greased muffin pans and press dough down and up the sides to form a mini tart. Could also line the pans with muffin papers and do same.

Fill prepared pastry sections

Be sure to save some to make the strips for the top. Place one strip across and one strip lengthwise to form a cross like shape.

Brush with egg wash.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, bake about 45 minutes.

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