Sunday, 8 April 2018

Chicken Bacon Ranch Lasagna

Are you all sugared out?  Come onnnnn - I know you're not really.

Just in case you are though, let's swing that dial from sweet to MEGA-savoury.

Just a heads up - there's a TON of bacon.  Like 2 1/2 cups.  TWO AND A HALF CUPS.  Whew.  I think one of my ventricles just seized.

Now - I'm a traditionalist.  Lasagna is supposed to be a red meat sauce, cottage cheese, noodles, mozzarella, and Parmesan.

Period.

So I danced around this recipe for AGES before I finally got up the courage to just give it a try.

OMG.

I HATE myself for waiting so long.

Now - fair warning.  These pictures are BRUTAL.  BRUTALLY BAD.  There might have been a lightbulb out in the kitchen.  Plus it was probably dark at 4:00pm when I started putting this together.

They do no justice whatsoever to this delicious recipe.  Don't let that deter you.

First, you're going to start the sauce.


In a medium pot, melt the butter and whisk in the flour.  Allow the mixture to cook until the flour is slightly golden.


Slowly start adding the milk, whisking until thickened.


Add the cream.


And the ranch dressing mix.


And the crushed bullion cube and cook, whisking constantly until thickened.


Next to assembly.  Make sure everything is ready to go.  Mise en place.  Cooked noodles, shredded rotisserie chicken, shredded cheese, cooked chopped bacon.


Start by putting a little sauce in the bottom of the pan.  Top with three noodles.


Chicken.


Bacon.


Sauce and cheese.  Repeat two more times.


Bake for 45 minutes.


OMG.  I could have eaten an entire pan of this lasagna and not felt an ounce of regret.

This is perfect for a Sunday Supper, or for company, or maybe just for you.  I wouldn't judge at all.

The sauce was creamy and perfect, it was so easy to put together.  I was worried the ranch flavour would be overpowering and gross - but I was crazy to worry - it was perfect!  

You could also add in regular onions, or green onions, or Victoria recommends mushrooms (barf, no thank you).  and a little extra cheese on top is always a treat!

So yeah.  Don't shy away from this one.  You'll so regret waiting.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies (Version 3)

In my last post, I talked about using Cadbury Crème Eggs IN recipes, but there are recipes that take the ELEMENTS of a Crème Egg and re-create them into something else.

This would be one of those recipes.

It's a three-layer confection that starts with a from-scratch brownie and a chocolate ganache that sandwiches a rich and creamy fondant middle.

And, not to blow the ending, I totally LOVED it.

First, start with the brownie bottom.


In the bowl of a double-boiler over gently simmering water, melt the chocolate and the butter.


While the chocolate and butter are melting, prepare the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Sift together the flour,


The cocoa powder,


With the salt.


And set aside.

Once the chocolate and butter are melted together, stir until well combined and add the brown sugar,


The white sugar,


The eggs.


And the flour mixture.


Pour the batter into a parchment line 8 x 8 inch baking pan.  Bake and let cool.


After the base layer has been baked and is cooled to room temperature, start the middle fondant layer.


In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter,


Salt,


The vanilla,


The corn syrup,


And the icing sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Then, divide the mixture into two bowls and color one batch of filling yellow.

Layer the filling on the base layer.


Pop that into the fridge to set while you're making the top layer.

Melt chocolate and butter together and pour evenly over the top of the filling layer.

Chill overnight.

Pull the brownies from the pan using the parchment, score the chocolate, and cut the brownies into pieces.


Yummo.  

The brownie is nice and chewy and the fondant layer is rich and creamy.


Try not to eat them all!

(But really, it's only an 8 x 8 inch pan.  Like how bad could it be?)

Happy Easter - Heather
  

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Cadbury Creme Egg Pie

Ahhhhh  - I love Easter.

No.  Not EASTER.  What comes at Easter.  Cadbury Crème Eggs.   ooooohhhh yaaaaaa..  You know you love them!

Let's be honest, I'm wildly satisfied just stuffing them in my face as they are, but I also terribly enjoy making things with them.  Like muffins and tarts and brownies.  And I have a couple more things up my sleeve.

Like this pie - read on.

I have had this recipe up my sleeve for AGES, but just like these tarts, I was confounded by the recipe.  Although I like to pretend that I'm a total whiz in the kitchen and I know EVERY.THING.

'cept I don't.

But I read through the recipe a couple of times and thought, "yeah, there's no way that's going to do anything at all".

This is what you need.  Peabody said that 10 ounces of mini creme eggs came to about 22 eggs, but I wound up with about 30 eggs.  Or maybe I can't count.  But I weighed the eggs with my scale. 

I'm weird like that.


Unwrap the creme eggs and place them in the upper pot of a double boiler and melt the eggs.

Mix one package of gelatine (which, yes, is the same as gelatin) with 1/2 cup cold water and let stand for about 1 minute.


Turn the heat on and stir the gelatine until it is completely dissolved, then remove from the heat.

Add in the other 1/2 cup water.


Stir in the vanilla.


Then mix in the marshmallow fluff.


And the melted Cadbury Creme Eggs.

Then put in the fridge to thicken.  The recipe says that it should only take about 20 minutes - but it took a couple of hours.

And it will look like this when you pull it out.


But when you stir it up, it'll look like this and be gloopy like pudding.


Then, whip 2 cups of whipping cream until stiff peaks form and fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.


And pour into a pie shell.  I bought a pie shell, but it didn't hold all of the filling - I should have just used my deep-dish pie plate and made my OWN pie shell.

Put the pie back in the fridge and let set up.  It'll take a few hours.  Maybe don't fill it as much as I did.  haha

The rest that didn't fit in the pie, put it in a big darn bowl, let it set overnight and then grab the big darn bowl and a spoon and put on your favorite chick flick, scary movie, action film or whatever floats your boat and eat.  I don't judge.


Then serve.


The pie filling was light and fluffy and actually tasted like chocolate soft-serve ice cream - you know, the high end GOOD stuff.


The day after I made this pie, Dusty and Nate came for dinner and I asked if they would just give some of the leftover filling a try.  As they were prepping for their wedding and not ALLOWED to have treats like pie.

I know.  I don't understand them either.  And yes - I wrote this post like a zillion years ago.  What?  I've been busy!

So, with the honest intentions of just getting them to TRY the filling without shoving pie down their throats, I gave them each a spoonful.

Then Dusty wouldn't leave. me. alone. about it for the rest of the night.

So I fed her pie - even though her wedding was only a couple of months away....


I really do think they love me.

Make sure the pie crust isn't tooooo full and let it set overnight.  It'll be so much better set the next day.  And you could also use a bigger, deeper pie plate and make your own crust.  It'd probably be worth it.

To get this delightful recipe - follow the link!

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Gnocchi with Spinach in Parmesan Cream Sauce

Let's say one night you're having meatloaf.  Or a meat pie.  Or hamburgers.  Or cabbage rolls.  And you need a different side than the regular old mashed potatoes, or French fries, or potato salad, or mac and cheese.

I would say that you should absolutely make this Gnocchi with Spinach in Parmesan Cream Sauce.  It's kind of like mac and cheese, except for totally mature and grown-up like.

It's creamy, and rich, and extra good for you cause, spinach.

Never you mind about the cream.

And don't worry about the ridiculously long name.  It's actually super quick to put together!


In a pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic - cooking until fragrant.


Then add in the flour.  And cook until golden.


Slowly whisk in the cream.


While you're waiting for the cream to thicken, cook the gnocchi according to package directions.


Once the gnocchi is cooked and drained, toss into a hot pan with a little melted butter.  Cooking, stirring often to brown and caramelize the gnocchi.


Once the cream mixture has thickened, stir in the Parmesan cheese.


Back to the gnocchi.  Toss the spinach into the pan and stir it around until its wilted.


Then stir the gnocchi and spinach into the pot with the cream sauce.


Stir in some cooked, chopped bacon.


Serve immediately.


Try not to eat it all by yourself.


I completely loved this.  I wanted to dive headfirst in the sauce.  I even loved the spinach - again, the sauce.  

The sauce, the spinach, the bacon, the gnocchi.  It all played together beautifully. 

You could even throw some sun-dried tomatoes in there.  Or use cheese tortellini instead of gnocchi if your heart so desired.

And I don't want to hear any complaining about how you "don't like" gnocchi.  You're GOING to like it after this!