Monday, December 31, 2007

Potatoes & Ham



Simple Sunday supper for us last night--all on one plate. A bowl of potatoes cubed & fried in olive oil, butter, pepper & onion flakes along with some delicious cubed ham baked for Saturday supper. Added a simple salad of iceburg lettuce & avacado with only a squeeze of lemon juice and a Gala apple for dessert & it was a wrap for our evening meal. Easy & delicious comfort food.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Gingerbread!!!!


Actually, Gingerbread & Lemon Curd Trifle with Blackberry Sauce to be exact. My first attempt at home made gingerbread & my first trifle & it was a hit today. Tangy, lemony & creamy all at once. Great flavor combinations and a thumbs up from everyone at the table. This was a creation of Bobby Flay shown earlier this month on Food Network & one I will make again. The only changes I made from the original were to use pomegranite liquer instead of framboise & egg substutue & it didn't hurt the outcome at all. I assembled the trifle yesterday & refrigerated until it's unveiling at the table today.
Gingerbread Cake:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
3 cups ap flour
2 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp minced crystalized ginger
10 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup molasses
1 cup boiling water
2 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
Lemon Curd Filling, recipe follows
Blackberry Sauce, recipe follows
Position rack in center of oven & preheat to 350 degrees F.
Spray 1 half-sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; spray paper. Sift flour & next 6 ingredients into medium bowl. Mix in crystalized ginger. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in brown sugar. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Gradually beat in molasses, followed by 1 cup boiling water. Mix in grated lemon peel. Gradually mix in dry ingredients. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the pan sides. Turn out onto a rack & peel off paper. Cool & cut into 1-inch cubes.
To assemble:
Using a trifle bowl, start with an even layer of gingerbread cubes, top with 1/3 of the lemon curd mixture, and 1/3 of the blackberry sauce. Repeat 2 more times. Top with remaining whipped cream. Cover & refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
Lemon Curd Filling:
2 (11-ounce) jars prepared lemon curd
2 cups heavy cream, sweetened with sugar & vanilla, beaten to soft peaks
Place lemon curd in a large bowl. Fold in half of the whipped cream until combined. Refrigerate if not using immediately. Reserve remaining whipped cream for the top of the trifle.
Blackberry Sauce:
2 pints fresh blackberries, or 1 bag frozen blackberries, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
2 tbsp framboise (raspberry liquer)
1 tablesponn fresh squeezed lemon juice
Place blackberries, sugar & salt in a medium saucepan & cook until the berries are soft & the sugar has melted. Transfer to a blender & blend until smooth. Poor through a strainer into a bowl. Stir in the framboise & lemon juice. Set aside until ready to use.
Next time I will make half the gingerbread recipe as I had plenty left over after assembly -- which is not a bad thing! If you make the original cake recipe, you will need a VERY large bowl.