Sunday, November 11, 2012

Recipe #202: Nutella Truffles

I'm not a big sweets person, but when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make these.... since Nutella AND truffles are both exceptions to my sweets rule.  I had to adapt this recipe a little since the chocolate mixture wasn't firming up as quickly as I needed it to, as well as using more hazelnut than the recipe calls for... but I think we have a winner!  Credit to!


10 ounces semi chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate morsels)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur 
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped (I used almost twice this amount)
1. In a double boiler over barely simmering water, combine chocolate, butter, heavy cream and Nutella. Heat until chocolate is melted. Stir until you have a smooth mixture.  (If you don't have a double boiler, Google some home options.  I used a glass Pyrex bowl over a pot, with a knife allowing some of the steam to vent)

2. Remove from chocolate mixture from heat and allow it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Whisk in vanilla and Frangelico. Pour mixture into a shallow dish (example: 8x8 pyrex dish) and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 2 hours. If you refrigerate longer than two hours, the mixture will be too hard to work with. If this occurs, allow the mixture to sit at room temperature until they are pliable enough to work with.  (Note, I had to put them in the freezer for a bit since they weren't firming up fast enough.)

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small scoop (2 teaspoons) or a melon baller, scoop out chocolate mixture, roll into one inch balls, and place on prepared baking sheet. Continue with remaining chocolate mixture. Roll balls in chopped hazelnuts. Refrigerate truffles until ready to serve.  (Note- I used a scooping tool to scoop out a ball and drop it into the hazelnuts, roll that around and then put it in a little baking cup.  I then put them in the freezer to harden more)

Recipe #201: Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

I have no idea why it took me this long to make stuffed cabbage, but here it is.  This is a very simple recipe, but that doesn't matter- it came out exactly how I want cabbage rolls to taste!


Potatoes made with cream, cheddar cheese, dried chives, and butter


1-1.5 cups cooked white rice (I used Uncle Ben's instant rice)
8 cabbage leaves
1lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 (10.75oz) can condensed tomato soup (a third if you want even more sauce)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Bring a large, wide saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add cabbage leaves and cook for 2-4 minutes or until softened; drain.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, onion, egg, salt and pepper, along with 2 tablespoons of tomato soup.  Mix thoroughly.

Divide the beef mixture evenly among the cabbage leaves.  Roll and secure them with toothpicks or string.  (Or piece together broken pieces of leaves to imitate a wrapping, as I had to do for some)

In a large skillet over medium heat, place the cabbage rolls and pour the remaining tomato soup over the top.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring and basting with the liquid often.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Recipe #200: Beef Wellington (Individual)

Welcome to recipe 200!  I've been searching for the perfect recipe for such an event... something different, special, and a little more involved than usual.  Wow, what rich amazing flavors!!  I found this recipe on it seems that beef wellingtons are often a larger tenderloin that is cut up, but I liked how this one used individual steaks.  I am posting the recipe exactly as has it listed, with my comments in red (as I did a bit of adapting and changes).


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
6 (6oz) beef tenderloin filets (I just used two 6oz filet mignons!)
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms (Cut them pretty small...)
3/4 cup red wine
2 cups beef consomme (less than 2 cans)
1 (3oz) jar foie gras pate (I completely skipped this- see my changes how I made up for it)
1 (17.25 oz) package frozen puff pastry, thawed (Thawing takes 30-40 minutes, keep this in mind)
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (More if you skip the foie gras- read on)
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Season the filets with salt and pepper, then fry on each side until browned to lock in the juices.  Remove from the skillet and set aside to cool slightly.

Add the mushrooms, wine and 1c beef consomme to the skillet; cook and stir over medium heat until mushrooms are tender.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl, reserving the consomme.  Mix the pate with the mushrooms, adding a little consomme if needed to achieve a spreadable texture.  Divide the mushrooms among the filets and spread on the top.  Refrigerate about 30 minutes.  (MY CHANGES!!  Instead of adding pate, I left the mushrooms and consomme in the pan, and added flour slowly, stirring, until the sauce thickened enough to hold somewhat of a form that I could top on the filets.  I covered both filets with this topping and put them in the fridge, then added the rest of the can of consomme to the pan.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Lay the puff pastry out on a clean surface and cut out two 5-6 inch rounds for each steak.  Place a steak with its topping onto a round and bring the edges up around the sides.  Cover the top with a second piece of dough, overlapping the edges and pressing to seal into a package.  Repeat for other steak(s).  Place the Wellingtons onto a baking sheet, and brush the tops with beaten egg.  (NOTE:  The Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets I bought came as a package of two.  I finagled them to fit around the steaks with enough left over to drape some over the top.  I don't see how one box of this stuff could cover 6 6-oz steaks, so keep that in mind.)

Make for about 12 minutes, for rare, 16 minutes for medium, or 20 minutes for well done.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

While the steaks are cooking, make the sauce.  Melt 3tbsp butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until browned.  Stir in the green onions, and cook for about a minute.  Gradually stir in another cup of consomme; continue to cook and stir until the sauce thickens.  Reduce heat and stir in the wine.  Continue to simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and parsley.  Season with pepper to taste.

To serve, cut each Wellington in half and spoon some sauce onto the plate.  (I probably overdid the sauce, since I kept the same sauce amount for 1/3 of the steaks, but it's too good to not pile it on!)