Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Easy & Elegant Sunday Supper

Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter and French Apple Tart
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

I have wanted to make the tagliarelle with truffle butter ever since I first saw Ina make it on the Food Network and it was just as delicious as I had anticipated it would be. This past weekend Scott and I went to New Braunfels to visit my Grandpa (he is 99 and has an iphone and ipad), so I knew we’d need to have something quick and easy planned for dinner on Sunday night when we returned and these recipes were perfect.

The Tagliarelle with truffle butter had a few challenges and adjustments. The recommended cipriani tagliarelle pasta is not available at Central Market, so instead I purchased some fresh tagliatelle. I love fresh pasta so I’m sure this was every bit as good as the original if not better. However I almost had a heart attack when I discovered that the truffle butter was not in its usual spot and fortunately the cheese lady found some hidden in the deli. The recipe calls for 3 oz of shaved parmesan, but I think 1.5 oz would be plenty and only 2 Tbsp of fresh chives as well. This made 3 servings, but I wish my dad hadn’t been there with us so I could have eaten more of it. So let’s say it make 2 generous servings, if you are serving it alone.

The French apple tart was very simple to make and tasted very light. I took a shortcut and used a puff pastry. I had made Ina’s apple and dried cherry turnovers for Valentine’s Day and only made half the recipe so I had a sheet leftover to use for the tart. The recipe calls for 4 granny smith apples but I only used 2.5 apples and less than ¼ cup of sugar and about 3 Tbsp of butter. For the glaze I used 1 Tbsp dark rum and finished off a jar of apricot preserves (so ~1/4 cup). I didn’t even strain it, just dipped the brush in the mixture and then onto the tart. Also the tart only took 45 minutes to bake.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Be Mine with Cookies & Cream Bites

Cookies & Cream Bites
adapted from Peace Meals by the Junior League of Houston
makes 30 bites

1 package Oreos (1 lb, 2 oz)
8 oz cream cheese (1/3 less fat), softened
14 oz chocolate candy coating

1. Grind Oreos in a food processor and once crumbled add in cream cheese and combine until no cream cheese can be seen.
2. Transfer mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
3. Once the mixture is chilled form into 1” balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and then chill for another 15 minutes.
4. Melt chocolate candy coating and dip balls into the chocolate using a skewer or toothpick, then dip into sprinkles and place back on cookie sheet to dry.

These cookies & cream bites were super easy to make and super rich and chocolately. They pulled double duty since Scott and I sampled some as part of our Valentine’s dessert tray and then the remainder was consumed at the monthly birthday celebration at work. Believe me when I say they didn’t last long. I'll admit I ate at least 6 Oreos before actually getting started. I was thrilled with the short ingredient list and also bought the store brand ingredients to save a little money. Next time I think I’ll buy the double stuffed Oreos. The best part was the Kroger brand candy coating came in its own microwavable tray so I didn’t have to rig a double boiler and had one less dish to clean. I used a small cookie scoop so I only made about 18-19 instead of the 30 suggested and I’m sure part of that was the upfront quality control testing.