Friday, April 6, 2012

Cream Puffs

I am in no way a pastry chef.  I'm shocked that these cream puffs even turned out as good as they did.  In fact, when I was making cream puffs my arm almost fell off from stirring the dough, I was left virtually armless.  My hand, cramping...going numb...and I thought for sure this recipe was going to be a dud.  

Tenacity and perseverance paid off though and the finished product was a golden cream puff with the perfect custard filling and a delicious chocolate drizzle.  But don't expect these again anytime soon.  I now need a pain reliever and a sedative.

Cream Puffs
cup water
cup butter or stick margarine
cup all-purpose flour
Custard Filling
cup granulated sugar
tablespoons cornstarch
teaspoon salt
cups half-and-half
egg yolks, slightly beaten
tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
teaspoons vanilla
Chocolate Glaze
tablespoon powdered sugar
cup chocolate syrup
  • Heat oven to 400°F. In 2 1/2-quart saucepan, heat water and 1/2 cup butter to rolling boil. Stir in flour. Reduce heat to low; stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat.
  • Beat in eggs, all at once, with spoon. Continue beating until smooth. Drop dough by level tablespoonfuls about 1 1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets to make 36 puffs.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool away from draft, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in half-and-half. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into egg yolks, then stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and the vanilla.
  • Pour filling into bowl. Press plastic wrap on filling to prevent a tough layer from forming on top. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until cool.
  • Cut puffs horizontally in half. Fill puffs with filling; replace tops. Sift powdered sugar over tops. Cover; refrigerate until serving. Serve drizzled with chocolate topping. Store remaining profiteroles covered in refrigerator.

Sexy Chicken

I love hearing the sizzle of a pat of butter when it hits a hot pan.  I love seeing the steam rise from a loaf of bread fresh from the oven.  I love the sound of a knife tapping its blade against a cutting board.  

Cooking, for me, is a sensory delight.  Truly.  It's where I can create and engage in my love affair with food.  It's where I combine a delicate balance of flavors and texture and where magic happens.  

I created this fantastic Sexy Chicken.  It's so easy and fast.  And a beautiful dish perfect for a special occasion or just to have on a Tuesday night.

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.) or tenderloins
Pepper to taste
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings
1 red pepper, sliced into very thin strips
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
½- ¾ cup Caesar Dressing (you can use fat free)
1 cup Finely Shredded Italian Cheese Blend, Or you can use mozzarella or parmesan.
Hot cooked noodles or rice  
Heat large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with pepper; cook 5 min. on each side or until cooked through.  Remove chicken once cooled.
Add vegetables, sauté until softened.  Add chicken, broth and dressing; cover. Cook on medium heat 6 to 8 min.
Spoon vegetables onto platter; top with chicken, sauce and cheese.  Serve with noodles or rice.