Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

American Chop Suey Dunkin Style!

I kept reading about American Chop Suey on the Blog Sphere and wondered exactly what it was, some Americanized Chinese Food?  I Googled it and found that it is basically Spaghetti with Elbow Macaroni.  

Some people added Celery, some Mushrooms, everyone seems to have their take on what it good.  

I did my usual and looked at a bunch of recipes to get some ideas and took it from there.  It is a very satisfying meal on a cold rainy evening.  I served with Garlic Bread!

Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (I hate the green ones)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground beef (I used Free Range, Grass Fed which is a bit leaner)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
kosher salt
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 good quality red wine
1 pinch sugar
1 lb elbow macaroni
5-6 Crimini Mushrooms, ends removed and sliced


In large pot over medium heat using 1 tablespoon of of oil, start your ground beef cooking, about 1/4 of the way thru add your onions, red bell pepper and garlic, cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is done, about 7 minutes until no longer pink.

Toss herbs and pepper over the meat mixture, add salt to taste, and stir until well mixed. 
Add canned tomatoes with their juices, tomato sauce, tomato paste, mushrooms, and wine. Add sugar to taste. Simmer gently while you prepare the pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over high heat. Add macaroni and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain the macaroni and add to the meat mixture, mix well and serve hot.
I added some freshly grated Parmesan on top before serving.

Serve hot with Garlic Bread

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

I have not baked in some time and was dying for Chocolate Cake, I cruised the Interwebs a bit and found this recipe from Barefoot Contessa for a Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, YUM!

It is a very moist cake and full of Chocolaty goodness, a bit on the labor intensive side, but worth it!

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows

  • Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
    Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

    In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

    Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

    Chocolate Frosting:

    • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
    • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
    Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.

    Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.

    Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

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