Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chocolate Croissants and Caramel Cups

While holiday two weeks ago, sister and I very quickly got into a morning breakfast ritual of coffee and chocolate croissants followed by the splitting of a mother-loaded omelet. We would slather our croissants with butter and Nutella. Very good.

Because I have really missed those croissants, Hubby took me to Panera Bread this past weekend for a breakfast of chocolate croissants. It was awful! I could not even finish it. Who in the &*^% screws up chocolate?!?!?!?! If it were not for Panera's egg souffles, I would totally quit that place because, in my book, if you can not get chocolate right, you should not be allowed to serve food to the public.

This morning I attempted to make my own chocolate croissants and they actually tasted better than the ones on the ship! Big giddy up!! However, they do not look as pretty. So I am going to need to make more batches to get the pretty department down pat. Once they look good, I will post photos and the recipe.

I did make some caramel cups for a meeting a had last night. I am not usually a fan of fillo cups, however, I found that the combination richness of the caramel and dark chocolates more than made up for the bland cups. See what you think:

Caramel Cups
2 cans of condensed sweetened milk (do not use fat-free version)
2 boxes of Athens Mini Fillo shells (in frozen section)
Package of Dove's Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Promises

Peel labels off the condensed sweetened milk cans. Place both cans in a saucepan and cover with water. Boil cans continuously for three hours. Add water as needed throughout cooking time to ensure cans are always covered in water. At the end of cooking time, pull cans out of water and set aside to cool until warm enough to handle. Take Fillo shells out of freezer and let them thaw for about 10-15 minutes. Open cans and scoop caramel into fillo cups. Cut 4-8 Dove squares into four pieces and place each piece on top of caramel.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pesto Amended

I've moved my tiny basil garden to another spot in the yard, where there is a tad bit more shade than the previous location. Apparently, they are quite happy there as evidenced by the abundance of huge fragrant leaves. Big leaves call for making a batch of pesto. Instead of pulling out my recipe, I just decided to make the batch based on my mood. And I must say that this pesto batch was fabulouso.

Right now I am going through a phase in where I am over Parmesan cheese and more into Pecorino Romano cheese. Romano cheeses, in general, are sharper. Pecorino is made from sheep's milk and has more of a salty & tangy taste. I usually buy a big block of it at Costco's and use it in pasta, salads and pesto. I am eager to try the Caprino Romano, which is made out of goat's milk, but have not found it in the local stores yet. If anyone knows where I can get this without having to order it online, please email me.

Anyhoo- back to the pesto. This time I substituted Parmesan for Pecorino and pine nuts for pecans. We have the motherload of pecans in the freezer from my in-laws, so why buy pine nuts when I can use pecans? Turns out that I like the taste of the pecans much better than the pine nuts. The pecans gave it an earthier taste while the Pecorino brought a saltier flavor (I did not add salt). I also added more garlic cloves (3) and used less olive oil.