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Recipes

New England Blueberry Cake

2/3 c. softened butter
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c. orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. wild (small) blueberries
(if frozen, do not thaw)

To sprinkle batter:
1/3 c. granulated sugar + 1 Tbs. Cinnamon

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, juice & vanilla in gradually. (Batter will look curdled.) Combine flour, baking powder & salt separately; add to batter and mix just until blended. Gently stir blueberries in by hand. Spread batter into a greased pan (see below). Mix the sugar & connamon together; sprinkle liberally over cake. Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with no wet batter (moist crumbs are fine).

Pan sizes & cooking times: For a 9x13 cake, approx. 20 minutes. For a taller, more attractive presentation, use a 9x9 pan, 4 mini-loaf pans, or 4 mini- springforms, and bake approx. 35 - 40 minutes. Cool, and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar.

NOTES: This is a favorite recipe of Grandma's from my childhood. The taste is similar to a scone or biscuit. Increase the sugar in the batter if you prefer a sweeter treat.

Lobster & Scallop Cakes

Yield: approx. 24 two inch cakes

2 oz Flour
2 oz Melted butter
1 lg shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 each red, yellow and green bell pepper, small diced
1 1/2 cups milk
1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. Basil
1/2 tsp. Thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb. lobster meat, chunked
1/2 lb. Scallops, rough chopped
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
oil for pan frying

Melt butter in heavy bottom pan and whisk in flour to make roux. Continue stirring and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Add shallots, garlic and peppers and cook about 5 minutes, continuing to stir. It is important to not let the roux burn.

Add milk in several additions while stirring to incorporate. Look for a "wet cement" consistency. Bring to a boil to maximize thickening, then turn down the heat to medium and continue to stir until pasty flour texture is gone, about 15 min. The thick béchamel sauce will cleanly pull away from sides of pot. Add seasonings and stir to incorporate.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. When cool to the touch add the llobster and scallops and mix in thoroughly. Mixture should be covered and refrigerated until ready to finish & serve.

Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in heavy skillet. Portion the cakes to the size you prefer - we use a small ice cream scoop - and roll in bread crumbs. Flatten slightly and gently place in hot pan. Fry over medium high heat for about 2 minutes. Turn over and brown on second side 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately or hold in warm oven.

Aigo Buido Soup

(Spanish Carmelized Onion, Garlic
and Almond Purée)

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups garlic cloves

2 Tbs olive oil
4 medium sweet onions (such as Vidalias), peeled and sliced thin

2 cups sliced or slivered almonds
2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup heavy cream

2 cups stock (chicken, vegetable or beef)
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Toss garlic cloves in 1 Tbs oil. Wrap in a foil packet and roast in 350º oven for 1 hour (until soft and golden).

Toast almonds on cookie sheet in oven for 3-4 minutes, checking periodically, until light to golden brown. Purée almonds together with bread crumbs in food processor. Add 1/2 cup cream and process to thin paste.

Heat remaining oil in heavy soup pot. Carmelize (sauté over medium high heat until well browned) onions. Purée onions and roasted garlic in food processor until smooth. Return mixture to pot; add in almond paste. Add stock and bring to simmer over medium heat. Stir in remaining cream and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Notes:
Chopped chives, warm croutons or a drizzle of flavored or plain olive oil make a nice garnish.

Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cake

2 cups half-and-half
2/3 cup sugar
2 oz Amaretto

2 lbs dark, milk or mixed chocolate, chopped

6 eggs

1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 300º. Brush a 10" springform pan with butter, line the bottom with buttered parchment, and sprinkle the sides with about half of the almonds. Wrap the pan in foil in case of any leaks.

Bring the cream, sugar and Amaretto just to a boil and pour over the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl. Let sit for a few minutes, let mix at low speed for several minutes. Add the eggs in all at once, and mix just until fully incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared springform pan and top with the remaining almonds. Bake until the cake reaches 180º in the center, about 1 1/2 hours. The cake will still look wet and slightly loose in the very center, but the edges will be set, slightly puffed, and have small cracks.

Let cool, then chill for 6 hours or overnight before removing pan sides.

Notes:
This cake is wonderful with many different flavors and with or without nuts; replace the Amaretto with Kahlua and add instant coffee powder for a cappucino cake; or use Grand Marnier, Sambuca or Crème de Menthe instead for a different taste altogether.

Baked Brie & Apricot

1 sheet puff pastry
6 oz apricot preserves
1 /3 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
8 oz or larger round of Brie cheese
fresh cracked black pepper
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 450º. Let puff pastry thaw while preparing the other ingredients.

Combine the apricot preserves, cranberries and rosemary.

In center of puff pastry, mound the apricot mixture. Set the Brie on top and pepper it well.

Trim the corners of the puff pastry, if necessary, so that you have a circle 3 - 4 inches larger than the cheese. Use cutters, if desired, to make shapes out of the leftover puff pastry to decorate the top.

In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a fork. With a pastry brush or your fingers, spread egg white onto the edges of the puff pastry and fold in, wrapping the cheese completely. Use the egg white like "glue" to seal all the edges to each other.

Flip the Brie in pastry over, seam side down, onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Brush the top with egg white. If decorating with shapes, stick them on now & brush them with egg also.

About 45 minutes before you are ready to serve, bake the Brie in pastry for about 20 - 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes or so before cutting, or the filling will run out. Serve with crackers or bread.

Notes:
This is a wonderful recipe to customize. Any kind of jam, preserves or chutney will work well, with many types of herbs (thyme, sage, etc.) or even add some fresh fruit; sliced or slivered almonds on top would be great, too.
If you don't care for the rind on Brie, and some people don't, you can trim it off before assembling.
Be sure to seal the edges up of the puff pastry up well so that the filling doesn't leak out while cooking. You can use your fingers to smooth the edges into the rest of the pastry.

Cornbread

2 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup sour cream
1/c cup milk

Mix dry ingredients together (first set). In separate bowl, whisk egg and sugar together for 2 minutes. Add butter into egg mixture gradually, in 3 additions. Mix sour cream and milk together, then add to liquid mixture in 2 additions.

Combine dry & wet mixtures, stirring just until fully blended.

Grease muffin cups or line with paper liners, or a 9x13 baking pan for a bread like finish. Portion batter into muffin tin and bake at 400º for about 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 12 standard size muffins.

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