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Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

In sweets on June 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Layer upon layer of delicious!

Oooohhh summery sweetness! Does anything scream “summertime” louder than strawberries and cream? I don’t think so. I got tired of seeing strawberry shortcake everywhere, so I mixed it up a bit. This is such a lovely dessert, it travels well, it keeps well, and it’s easy to make. Sure, the recipe looks long, but it really doesn’t take that much time, and the cream can be made the day before. So can the cake, really.

So here ya go – relieve a craving.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Vanilla Cream

1 cup (225 ml.) whole milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 Tbsp. (100 g.) sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks

2 Tbsp. (30 g.) unsalted butter

3 ounces cream cheese
1 Tsp. Vanilla

Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a saucepan; bring to boil; remove from heat.

Beat the whole egg, then the yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not begin to cook.

Return the remaining milk to boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, continuing whisking.

Continue whisking (this is important – you do not want the eggs to solidify/cook) until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla.

Pour cream into a stainless steel/ceramic bowl. Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Chill immediately and until ready to use.

Angel Food Cake

3/4 cups egg whites, room temperature

3/4 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup sifted cake flour

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 the sugar and the cake flour. Set aside.

Beat egg whites until frothy, the add cream of tartar and salt. Beat well, then begin to add the remaining 1/2 of the sugar gradually.

Beat egg whites to soft peaks, then add the vanilla and beat for a few seconds to mix.

Sift the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites and fold together. Take your time, man! Do not deflate the egg whites!

Spoon batter into an ungreased 9 inch cake pan, and smooth the top a bit.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Cool until you can touch it, then de-pan and cut into bite-sized chunks. I know you’ll sneak one or two, but don’t eat too many. We still need to make the trifle here. Let the pieces sit overnight to dry out a little.

Whipped Cream

Combine 1 cup heavy cream and 1/3 cup powdered sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. It helps if you chill the bowl and whisk attachment for a little while first.


See? My goof.

Slice 1 quart of strawberries, reserving a few for the top. I goofed and only saved three. Don’t do that.

Choose a pretty, clear bowl – you want the layers to show because they’re so beautiful!

Cover the bottom of the bowl with cake.

Top with strawberries.

Top with the entire recipe of vanilla cream.

Top with more strawberries.

Top with more cake.

Top with more strawberries, if you have them.

Top with whipped cream.

Garnish with strawberries.

Serve in big, sloppy, creamy piles!

Don't you just want to plop your face into it?


Shrimp Veracruz

In Seafood, Vegetables on June 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm
shrimp veracruz

Summer isn't hot enough. This dish makes it hotter!

One of my favorite Latin dishes is shrimp Veracruz, but I never order it because when I eat Mexican food, I’m always after salty chips, sour cream, and tons of cheese. This dish, however, is actually healthy! Really! And it’s soooo good.

As always, it’s customizable too. Mr. Gorilla doesn’t really like things spicy, so I only used one jalapeno, and I took out the seeds. If you want more heat, use as many jalapenos as you dare, and leave the seeds in. Go ahead, I dare you. If you think you’re such a tough guy, use Habaneros instead. But really, don’t go over the top with the spicy. There is such a beautiful melange of flavors here, you really don’t want to overpower it with heat. Melange. Like that?

Shrimp Veracruz

1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, pressed

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded, chopped

1 cup vegetable broth

6 Roma tomatoes, chopped

cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, oregano to taste

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon water

1/3 cup cilantro


Combine shrimp, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl, toss to coat. Don’t use your hands if you have a paper cut. You’ll see. Let it soak while you’re chopping the other stuff, about 15 minutes. Unload the dishwasher if you have extra time, showoff.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute onion and pepper for 3 minutes. Add garlic, then saute until tender.

Add the jalapeno, broth, tomatoes, spices, and simmer on medium-low for about 10 minutes. Taste it every so often, and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Dump in the shrimp, juice and all. Mix the cornstarch and water, and add that too. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the shrimp are done.

Stir in cilantro, reserving a few sprigs for garnish.

Serve over rice.

I told you it was good!

Pesto Salmon in Phyllo

In Fish on June 18, 2010 at 11:50 am

So easy, and quite impressive-looking!

Okay, guys. This one is not only delicious, but easy too. And it’s a great way to disguise the fact that you’re serving cheap frozen salmon. Nobody will know the difference. I swear. This dish looks very impressive on a plate, like you’re at a spa or a country club something, but nothing could be easier.

The hardest part is getting the hang of working with phyllo dough. Just keep your hands and the counter dry, and you won’t have a problem. Take off rings, trim fingernails, and be vewy, vewy gentle. And honestly, if you do get a hole in a sheet, it will be covered by another sheet, so it’s okay.

The combination of the pink salmon, white cream cheese, and green pesto looks beautiful in cross-section. I served mine with roasted asparagus to enhance the colors of the dish, but serve it with whatever you want. A tomato salad might be nice.

Pesto Salmon in Phyllo


2 salmon fillets (fresh or frozen – nobody will know, I swear!)

4 tablespoons cream cheese

4 tablespoons pesto

8 sheets phyllo dough

4 leaves basil

cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350. Use convection if you have it.

Unroll the phyllo dough, and make two piles of four sheets each. Spray in between the layers with cooking spray and smooth them together gently. I SAID GENTLY!

Place a piece of salmon near one end (not AT one end. Near.), and top with half the cream cheese, then half the pesto, then half the basil.

Like this. See? I used frozen fish because I suck at skinning salmon. Suck.

Fold the short end (on the right) up and over the fish, then fold up the sides. Roll the whole shebang down towards the other end until you have a neat little packet. It will be cute, so be prepared. Do it again on the other one.

Place both packets on a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the dough is golden around the edges. It will be beautiful, trust me.

So happyyyy togeeeetheeerrr.......

Pork Bone Soup

In Pork, Soups/Stews, Vegetables on June 16, 2010 at 11:37 am

...aka "What To Do With Leftover Roast"

SO, you made the pork roast, right? And you saved the bone, right? You better have saved the bone. There is no waste in Kitchenella’s kitchen! So, you have this big ol’ pork bone and a container full of leftover meat hanging out in the freezer. Well kids, this is what you do with it. It’s perfect for a busy day because we rely on our old soup buddy the slow-cooker. Actually, I was at home the whole day this was cooking, and it was torturous. The aroma permeated the house. Try working out with the smell of pork coming from the A/C vents.

Pork Bone Soup

In a slow cooker, combine the bone and whatever meat you have left. Add about a cup of chopped onion, a couple of chopped carrots, and a rib or two of chopped celery. If you have some rosemary, throw that in.In fact, chop up a bit of whatever vegetables you have lying around and throw it in. The more the merrier.

Pour in a cup of white wine, a cup or so of vegetable stock, and water to cover. Season with salt, pepper, a dash of cinnamon, oregano, and whatever else you think might taste good. Soup is free-form. It’s like Australia – there are no rules.

Cover and cook on high for about 8 hours, or until you’re ready to eat. If you want noodles, cook them separately and mix them in after. Then they won’t come out all mushy.

Taste the soup before you serve it – it may need more seasoning, it may not. Serve it with fresh bread, which tastes really good dipped in.

Now you’ll have leftover soup in the freezer.

Coconut Lime Shrimp

In Seafood on June 14, 2010 at 11:16 am
coconut lime shrimp

Better than a restaurant!

So, okay. I was grocery shopping at a store that I normally don’t go to, and they had whole coconuts for $1.50. Really? I seem to remember them being like, five bucks. I guess there’s a coconut surplus. Anyway, I love coconut, so I bought one without any clear idea as to what I was going to do with it.

I got it home, where it sat on the kitchen counter for a few days until I caved and decided to break it. The breaking actually went pretty uneventfully, and I was able to separate it from the shell without a problem, which never happens. I even peeled it alright. Then I grabbed a chunk to chew on, threw the rest in a bag, and stuck it in the fridge where it remained for about a week. I simply forgot it was there.

One day, I opened the fridge and wondered what the heck was taking up so much room – aha! – the coconut. What in the world am I going to do with it? So, believe it or not, I got out the peeler and actually shaved my own coconut. Really. Mr. Gorrilla’s dad was here, and he couldn’t believe it. Neither could I. I mean, really. But I figured I would be more likely to use it up that way, and I was right. It wasn’t two days before I was grinding it up to make coconut shrimp because I love it and it’s easy and delicious. Right? Right. Try it – you can use pre-shredded coconut though.

Coconut Shrimp


1/2 pound shrimp, peeled/deveined

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup flour

1 egg, beaten

2 cups GROUND coconut (run the shredded coconut through the food processor)

1 tablespoon bread crumbs

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 red bell pepper sliced thin

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 can coconut milk

dash fish sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

red curry powder to taste

2 tablespoons chopped basil, several whole basil leaves


Combine shrimp, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, saute the pepper and onion for about 5 minutes, keeping everything moving.

Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, and curry powder, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a separate pan, (yeah, this is a two-frying-pan meal), heat oil for shallow frying over medium-high heat.

Drain the shrimp. Combine the coconut and breadcrumbs in a bowl (the breadcrumbs help the coconut stick better).

Dredge each shrimp in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in coconut. Drop the shrimp in the oil and fry until golden, about 3 minutes. Work individually, and don’t crowd the pan. I said don’t! Drain the shrimp on paper towels until they are all done.

By this point, your sauce should be nice and thick. Stir in the basil. Now you can taste it, but try not to melt where you stand. We don’t need a puddle of cook all over the kitchen floor.

Spoon the sauce over rice, and place the shrimp decoratively over the sauce. Now, isn’t that lovely?