Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bailey's Caramel Shake

It's been a rough week.

Yes, it's only Tuesday-- but it still feels like a week best remedied by a combination of Bailey's and calories.  I don't have any specific measurements for this recipe mainly because people have such varying tastes for their milkshakes.  Some people like them thicker, some like them thinner.  Some prefer more chocolate, some less.  Some people prefer just a faint flavor of the liquor, some might choose to empty out their bottle.  No comment on where we fell on that scale!  This was such a nice treat that although simple, I still felt the need to blog about it!  As we head into some (hopefully) warm spring and summer weather, this shake is the perfect cap on a long day.

Bailey's Caramel Shake
2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
milk (amount depending on how thick you want your shake-- it's always easier to add more)
chocolate syrup
Bailey's Caramel to taste

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Barefoot Contessa's Homemade Chicken Stock

I am completely and utterly in love with this soup.

I'm not sure if it was the rustic look of all of the ingredients thrown together in the pot, the unbelievable smell of the fresh herbs simmering on the stove, or the comfort of being able to put it together while working with my mother in the kitchen, but I LOVE this soup!  The stock was so rich and dark that it almost looked more like a beef broth.  I'm pretty sure that just the idea of this soup could instantly cure any ailment and it will certainly be my new 'go to' chicken soup.

(This chicken stock will last for 5 days in the refrigerator and 6 months in the freezer.  It is a great one to make ahead and keep on hand to use as needed.)

Homemade Chicken Stock
3 (5 pound) roasting chickens
3 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds
4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in half
20 fresh parsley sprigs
15 fresh thyme sprigs
20 fresh dill sprigs
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Place the chickens, onion, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, salt, and pepper in a 16-20 quart stockpot.  Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Skim any foam that comes to the surface.  Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours.  Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander, discarding the solids.  Pack in quart containers and refrigerate.  When the stock is cold, remove the surface fat and refrigerate again. (Makes 6 quarts.)

Source: Back to Basics, Barefoot Contessa

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto

When looking over the list of ingredients for this pasta dish, there was no doubt in my mind that it would be an instant favorite.  I found the recipe when browsing through the new "Food Network Magazine" and was intrigued by the use of prosciutto as the base of the sauce.  Just as the recipe promises, the entire meal was ready within 25 minutes-- start to finish.  I paired it up with a nice crusty French bread and enjoyed every last bite!  One adjustment that I did make was to increase the amount of sauce made. My husband tends to be a 'sauce guy' and I knew he'd want more of a saucy finish with this meal.  The sauce had a nice, rich flavor and I would definitely increase it again when making this in the future.

Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto
1 pound meat-filled tortellini
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces prosciutto, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (I used petite peas)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the tortellini and cook as the label directs.  Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and prosciutto and cook until crisp, 3-4 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about one minute.  Ladle in about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and simmer until reduced by about half, 3-4 minutes.  Add the cream and simmer until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes.  About 2 minutes before the tortellini are done, add the peas to the boiling water and cook until just tender.  Drain the tortellini and peas and add to the skillet, tossing to coat with the sauce.  Stir in the parsley and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Source: Food Network Magazine, April 2010