Thursday, June 4, 2009

Toasted Pound Cake with Citrus Cream

Pound Cake:
Vegetable cooking spray
1 (10.75-ounce)frozen pound cake, thawed and cut into 9 (1-inch)slices
2 T. butter, melted
1/3 c. honey, for drizzling

Citrus Cream:

8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 T. fresh orange juice
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 t. orange zest
1 t. vanilla extract
2 large oranges, segmented

For the pound cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.  Arrange the pound cake in a single layer on the prepared pan.  Brush with the melted butter and drizzle with honey.  Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly golden.  Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

For the citrus cream:  In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat all the ingredients together until stiff peaks form, about 1 minutes.

To assemble:  spoon the citrus-cream filling on the cooled pound cake slices.  Top with orange  segments and serve.

Tri-Colore Orzo

1 pound orzo pasta
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (or feta cheese)
1/2 cup dried cherries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet.  Drizzle the pasta with 3 T. olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.  

Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine.  Serve

(Next time I will mix the cooled pasta with everything but the arugula and serve it on top of the arugula.)  

Chicken or Steak with Balsamic BBQ Sauce

For the Balsamic BBQ Sauce:

1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

For the chicken or steak:

4 pieces chicken (any combination of breast or leg-and-thing pieces) or 4 pieces of New York strip or Club strip steak
Salt and pepper to taste

For the BBQ Sauce:

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.  Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15 to 20 minutes.

For the chicken or steak:

Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.  Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.  Lightly coat with some of the BBQ sauce using a pastry brush. Place the meat on the grill.  Place the remaining BBQ sauce, still in the small saucepan, over low heat or on the edge of the grill and allow to gently simmer while the meat cooks.

Cook the chicken about 8 minutes per side.  Cook the steaks starting at about 4 minutes per side until a meat thermometer reads the desired temperature, 120 degrees F for medium rare, 135 for medium(about 6 minutes per side), 155 degrees F for well done (about 9 minutes per side).  Continually brush the meat with BBQ sauce every few minutes.  Remove the meat from the grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes.  Serve with the heated BBQ sauce alongside.

Alternately, the chicken can be baked in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Place the chicken skin side up in a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the dish from the oven and spoon the BBQ sauce all over the top of the chicken.  Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.

Roman Summer Salad

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup pitted green and black olives, halved
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped (I use anchovy paste)
2  T. capers, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
8 fresh basil leaves, shredded
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
6 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound vine-ripened tomatoes (about 3 tomatoes)


Cook the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat until thick, syrupy, and measuring 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Combine the olives, parsley, anchovies, capers, garlic, basil, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl and toss to combine.

To serve, slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick rounds and place, slightly overlapping, on a serving plate.  Spoon the olive and parsley mixture over the tomatoes.  Drizzle the reduced balsamic over he salad and serve.