May 2011

The gourmet girls met once again on Wednesday, May 11 for a wonderful meal and a fun-filled evening.  Our appetizer was detained and our rolls were out of town, so we enjoyed a fabulous four-course meal.  Andrea started us off with a Rainbow Chopped Salad.  Lynley chose something simple and "make-ahead" since her pre-wedding schedule was a little crazy.  She shared her favorite recipe for roast in the crock-pot.  After many years of adding, taking away and tweaking, this one is her favorite, and we can see why!  Jodi favored us with a fun side of Caramelized Green Beans from the new Our Best Bites Cookbook (this recipe can also be found on their blog).  And I finished off the evening with Make Ahead Chocolate Souffles.  My friends Matt & Summer Beecher (who are also "foodies") had Rob and I over for dinner the previous week and served these.  I loved them so much I decided to try them myself.  They're so nice because I made them in the morning and stuck them in the freezer.  Then after a long teaching day, I pulled them out of the freezer, baked and served!  Yes, Lara is in the pictures but we excused her from cooking since her wedding was in just seven days!
Lynley, Jodi, Lara, Andrea, Bridget

Jodi, Lynley & Lara

Bridget & Andrea

Somehow Lynley got Fashion Night and Gourmet Night mixed up
Lynley's Rockin' Roast Beef

One Large Rump or  Chuck Roast
1 package dried onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup white wine
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 cup water
2 cups potatoes
2 cups mushrooms
2 cups carrots

Combine the onion soup mix, cream of mushroom soup, one cup wine, beef bouillon cubes, and the cup water in crock-pot until well mixed.  Season the roast with salt and pepper, then sear in olive oil in a very hot pan until a dark crust is present.  Place the roast in the crock-pot and slow cook the heck out of it.  I usually cook it 6-8 hours.  One hour before serving cut up potatoes, mushrooms, and carrots and add to crock-pot.  Serve hot and enjoy the wine!

Make-Ahead Chocolate Souffles
(America's Test Kitchen, TV Show Cook Book, p. 536)

Serves 6-8  Note: yolk whipping time in step 3 depends on type of mixer; a stand mixer will be 3 minutes and hand-held mixer about 8. If using 6-oz ramekins, reduce cooking time to 20-22 minutes (see tip in cookbook for making foil collars p.536)

Ramekin Prep:
2 T unsalted butter softened
2 T granulated sugar

8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped coarse
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 T grand mariner (I omitted)
1/2  t vanilla extract
1/3 t table salt
6 large egg yolks
8 large egg whites
1/3 cup (2.33 oz) white sugar
1/4 t cream of tartar
2 T powdered sugar
1. For ramekins, grease inside of eight 8-oz ramekins with softened butter, then coat inside of each dish evenly w/ sugar
2) For souffles: melt chocolate and butter together in med bowl set over suacepan filled with 1 inch barely simmering water, stirring frequently until smooth, remove from heat and stir in grand mariner, vanilla and salt; set aside
3) Using electric mixer, whip yolks and sugar at med speed until the mixture triples in volume 3-8 minutes. Fold the yolk mixture into chocolate mixture. Thoroughly clean and dry mixing bowl & beaters
4) Using clean beaters, whip egg whites at med-low speed until frothy 1-2 minutes. Add cream of tartar, increase speed to med-high and whip until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted 1-2 mins. Add powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form 2-4 mins (do not over-whip). Whisk the last few strokes by hand, scraping bowl of any un-whipped whites.
5) Vigorously stir one quarter of whipped whites into chocolate mix. Gently fold remaining whites into chocolate mixture until just incorporated. Carefully spoon mixture into prepared ramekins almost to rim whipping excess from rims with wet paper towel, if making foil collar (see note in cookbook)
6) To store: cover each ramekin tightly w/ plastic wrap then foil and freeze for at least 3 hours or up to 1 month (do not thaw before baking)
7) To bake and serve: adjust an oven rack to lower-mid position & heat oven to 400F. Unwrap ramekins and spread out on baking sheet, bake until fragrant, fully risen, and exterior is set but interior is still ab it loose & creamy about 25 mins (to check interior, use two spoons to pull open top of one and peek). Serve immediately (may dust w/ powdered sugar)

Our dessert guest, Todd

1 comment:

The McBrides said...

I have got to try those souffles, they looks SO good, i need to get my hands on some ramekins!