Nov 30, 2016

Egged On





The waffle craze we discussed in our column last week leads us to talk about another popular gastronomic trend popping up all over. This one is for your protein lovers. Fried eggs on everything! Sunny-side-ups have been dressing up burgers, salads and side dishes for the last year or two. It started as a simple way to add protein to a meal and as foodies caught on they have made it so popular that there is hardly a restaurant that does NOT serve some dish with eggs on top.

Something about the runny yolk coating the food with its sauce-like consistency makes it both comfort food and up to date. People have been asking for eggs to top their dishes making the oddest mash-ups imaginable.

According to food researchers the idea of fried eggs on burgers seems to have originated in the Far East but as we know, nowadays food trends have no borders. You can get an egg-topped burger in just about any restaurant across the US. Keeping it kosher is not an issue, of course, so you will find this dish on the menu at all the local eateries as well.

Here’s our version for you to try at home:


Humpty Dumpty Berger
For those who missed this age old nursery rhyme, Mr. Dumpty was an egg!

1½ pounds ground beef

1 tablespoon soy sauce


3/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, crushed

¼ cup sliced scallions

4 eggs

1 teaspoon canola oil

4 large burger buns

mayonnaise

Lettuce

4 large slices tomato

 

In a mixing bowl, gently mix together beef, soy sauce, ¾ teaspoon pepper, salt, garlic and scallions. Divide mixture in 4 and shape into patties approximately 1" thick. Press the center of each patty to create a little indentation.

Preheat grill pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot reduce heat to medium and gently place burgers on the pan. Cook 5 minutes or until they release easily from your pan. Turn patties over and continue cooking 5 minutes longer or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center.

Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Brush with some oil and gently drop an egg into the pan without breaking the yolk. Fry until the edges are browned and the white is just set.

Warm the buns and spread with some mayonnaise. Place some lettuce and a slice of tomato on the mayonnaise. Add the patty and top with the fried egg. Cover with the top of the bun and serve.



One dish that does lend itself easily to the egg topper is a twice baked potato with cheese. It is just a different arrangement to the classic breakfast of cheese omelets with hash brown potatoes. If you’re ready to give breakfast a new look you will want to try this recipe.


Twice Baked Potatoes with Eggs
You will love how the runny yolk blends with the rest of the potato filling. 
 2 large Idaho potatoes

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 or 4 cloves of garlic, crushed

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated

2 tablespoons butter, melted

4 eggs

Fresh chives, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrub potatoes, pierce them with a fork and put them in the oven rack for 30-40 minutes until soft.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle cut potatoes in half lengthwise, scoop the interior out of each leaving about 1/4 inch shell of potato flesh and skin. Add the scooped-out potato flesh, cheese, salt and pepper into a bowl and stir well to combine.

Place the potato shells on a baking sheet and fill them with the mixture. Press the mixture with a spoon so a hole is formed to make space for the eggs. Drizzle with butter. Sprinkle chives on top and crack an egg on top of each stuffed potato.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until the egg whites are set and the yolks are a bit runny. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 17, 2016

Brown, Blonde or Red?



No, we haven’t gone into the hair care business! This is question of cake!

Brownies have always been popular and tend to be first the choice because of the universal love of chocolate. In recent years Red Velvet cakes have gained popularity and it wasn’t long before red velvet brownie recipes began to appear in food publications.

Blondies, the light colored cousin, continue to be the base for experimental flavors since they don’t contain chocolate to overwhelm other flavors. We printed a lotus cookie butter version a few weeks ago that was absolutely delicious!

Try all three and choose your favorite.


Red Velvet Brownies

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons vanilla, divided

1 teaspoon vinegar

2 tablespoons red food coloring

2 sticks margarine, at room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup flour

 

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 8 x 8 pan with baking spray with flour.

In a small bowl, mix cocoa powder, food coloring and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla to form a paste. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream margarine and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then add second teaspoon of vanilla and vinegar. With mixer on medium, beat in cocoa paste. Add flour and mix just until combined.

Spread in pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool before cutting.

If you like, drizzle the brownies with white chocolate. Melt 6 ounces parve white chocolate and pour into a piping bag or squeeze bottle. Drizzle over brownies.


Triple Chocolate Brownie Bars
1 1/3 cups vegetable shortening

3 cups light brown sugar, not brownulated

2 tablespoon water

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

3 cups flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

½ teaspoon baking soda

4 cups mini chocolate chips, approximately 16 ounces

6 ounces baking chocolate, chopped

 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 12"x18" sheet pan.

Beat shortening, brown sugar, water, and vanilla in your mixer until well blended. Add eggs and combine. Stir together flour, cocoa, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to creamed ingredients, mixing just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread batter into prepared pan using an offset spatula. If the batter sticks to the spatula, wet it with hot water to make it easier to spread the batter. Bake 30-35 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch. Do not over-bake or the bars will be crumbly and dry. Cool for 10 minutes and cut into bars. Cut the brownies in half down the length of the pan. Cut each half in half again down the length of the pan. Cut each of the 4 strips into 1" bars. Place bars on a cooling rack or foil sheets.

Melt baking chocolate in a double boiler or microwave and place the melted chocolate into a parchment cone piping bag or disposable plastic piping bag. Snip off the bottom of the bag or cone. Drizzle bars diagonally with chocolate. Allow to cool and dry completely. Store airtight.


Coconut Blondies
1 cup canola oil

2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups pecans (6 ounces), toasted and cooled

2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, divided

 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle. Grease and flour a 13- by 9-inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper or foil.

Beat oil, brown sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time until mixture is glossy and smooth.

Stir in flour and baking soda. Stir in pecans and 1 1/2 cups coconut.

Spread in prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup coconut. Bake until a pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool completely.



Sep 29, 2016

Off to the Side

 

We have our favorite or traditional main dishes and we have our popular desserts but when it comes to side dishes we’re always looking for something a little different. Side dishes dress up your plate and round out the flavors of your meal.

You can, of course, go with kugels or knishes but there are so many delicious options that we would like to share with you!

 


Pasta with Peas
No need to stand over the stove before the seuda. Prepare this erev yom tov and refrigerate. Reheat, covered, over a low fire or in the oven.

12 ounces small pasta like bow-ties or shells



3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
8 shallots, peeled and cut in quarters
2 cups sugar snap peas (about 8 ounces)
2 cups snow peas

1 cup frozen peas

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, checked and chopped

½ pound pastrami, sliced thin

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm, stirring often. Drain pasta but do not rinse. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. Transfer pasta to large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon oil.

In large skillet over medium high heat sauté shallots about 5 minutes, pressing with spoon to separate layers. Add snap peas; stir until bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Add snow peas and frozen peas, stirring just until thawed, about 1 minute. Slice pastrami into thin ribbons.

Add pea mixture, pastrami parsley to the pasta bowl. Add enough cooking liquid to moisten pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 


Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad
This dish is a family favorite!

1 cup brown rice-wild rice mix
2 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon canola oil

1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins)

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/4 cup sliced scallions

1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Bring rice, salt, canola oil, and water to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 50 minutes. Do not stir. Do not uncover. Remove from stove and let sit, covered for 10 minutes. Then uncover, fluff up with a fork, and let cool to almost room temperature.

In a medium sized bowl, mix the rice, cranberries, pecans, and scallions together.

In a separate bowl or jar, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, orange zest sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, mix dressing in with the rice mixture. Serve warm, chilled, or room temperature.

 

 


Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

8 sweet potatoes

1 cup craisins

4 tablespoons vegetable or cottonseed oil, divided

2 large ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and cored and cut in ½" cubes

1 cup pecans, lightly chopped

4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

4 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pierce each sweet potato in several places with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender, about 55-60 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, place the craisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Craisins will plump and soften. Let stand for 5 minutes and drain well.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick skillet. Add cubed pears and sauté until soften and golden, about 4 minutes. Add craisins, pecans, ginger and sugar. Sauté one minute longer. Add 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl to cool.

Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining oil over low heat. Whisk in the remaining vinegar and heat through. Set aside.

Cut off ¼ of each sweet potato, lengthwise. Using a fork, gently mash some of the flesh in each potato. Drizzle approximately 1 teaspoon of the oil and vinegar mixture into each sweet potato and use the fork to combine slightly. Press the flesh down into each sweet potato and fill with the craisin pear mixture, mounding it generously. Serve warm.


This dish can be prepared a day or two in advance. Before serving, allow it to come to room temperature; then rewarm, uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.


Sep 1, 2016

Bottoms Up


My new personal favorite on the grill is boneless chicken bottoms. Moister than chicken breast, lighter than meat, grilled dark chicken is gaining popularity because you can’t mess it up! You can marinate it in something as simple canola oil, salt and pepper or more involved mixtures with long ingredient lists. Either way, dark chicken remains moist and easy to enjoy. It’s more juicy, flavorful and tender than chicken breast. Dark chicken bottoms can be grilled skin on or off. The skin may add calories but it also keeps the chicken even more moist. You can remove if before serving to keep the extra calories to a minimum. Boneless chicken thighs can be marinated from a few hours up to overnight prior to grilling.

You can also cut boneless chicken thighs into chunks and threading them onto skewers before grilling.



Marinated Boneless Chicken Bottoms
This chicken goes well with simple grilled vegetables. No need for fussy sides to complete dinner!
¼ cup teriyaki sauce


1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 cup canola oil
8 skinless, boneless chicken legs


Mix together teriyaki sauce, and honey in a resealable plastic bag. Add sesame seeds, brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic, and canola oil; mix well. Coat chicken thighs with the marinade, seal, and marinate for 4 hours in the refrigerator, redistributing the chicken in the marinade occasionally.
Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat. Wipe grates with an oil-dampened paper towel. Turn down one burner to medium.
Remove chicken from marinade and shake off excess. Grill on medium heat until the chicken is firm and opaque, about 12 minutes per side. Discard any remaining marinade.



Citrus Grilled Chicken Bottoms
Tangy citrus gives this chicken amazing flavor!
1 bunch scallions, checked and white and light green parts chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 pounds skin-on, boneless chicken bottoms

Set aside 1/4 cup sliced scallions.

Pulse parsley, garlic, citrus zests, citrus juices, soy sauce, oil, salt, and remaining scallions in a food processor or blender until a coarse purée forms. Set aside 1/4 cup marinade; place remaining marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat. Wipe grates with an oil-dampened paper towel. Turn down one burner to medium.
Remove chicken from marinade and place, skin side down, on medium heat side of the grill; discard marinade. Grill chicken until grill marks appear, about 7 minutes. Turn; continue to grill until cooked through or an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, 12-15 minutes longer.
Remove from grill and drizzle with reserved marinade and scallions. Serve immediately.



Beer Marinated Chicken Bottoms
Beer adds assertive flavor to the chicken but cooks away during grilling so you need not worry about anyone getting tipsy!
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken bottoms
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup (8 oz.) beer, any kind should do
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Juice of half a large lime


Combine the garlic, spices, cilantro, sesame oil, beer and lime juice into a medium sized bowl. Place chicken thighs in a re-sealable bag or a large bowl, pour the marinade over top and toss to coat. Seal and place into fridge for 2 hours.
Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat. Wipe grates with an oil-dampened paper towel. Turn down one burner to medium. Place the chicken thighs onto the grates. Grill for 6-7 minutes per side until cooked thoroughly.

Aug 11, 2016

Brush Up




With the growing popularity of all foods Italian, bruschetta and crostini have become go-to appetizers gracing many tables in restaurants and even at home.

The two terms have been used interchangeably but they are a bit different. Bruschetta comes from the Italian word bruscare, which means to roast over the coals. The bread used for bruschetta is typically a wide rustic loaf that is cut into large flat pieces, grilled or baked, rubbed with a garlic clove, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. The focus is on the bread and the olive oil, although you may find it served with toppings. According to some famous Italian chefs, bruschetta is always served hot. It is often associated with basil and tomato topping but you can get creative with your toppings for variety.

Crostini means "little toasts" and is typically made with a smaller slice of bread, such as a baguette.

In the US the word bruschetta has erroneously come to refer to the topping instead of the bread.

 

Double Mushroom Bruschetta


For the bruschetta:
12 (1/2-inch thick) pieces of focaccia or thickly sliced rustic bread


1 large garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise

Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling


For the topping:
2 tbsp. light olive oil

6-8 ounces porcini mushrooms, thinly sliced

10 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

3 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 1/2 tbsp. butter



Preheat the oven to 400 F. Set the bread slices on a baking sheet. Bake the bread 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Cool the bread a few minutes, and then rub the top side of each slice with the cut side of the garlic. Drizzle the toasted bread with olive oil.

In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add sliced porcinis and creminis, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add parsley and butter; season. Cook mushrooms until tender, about 2 minutes. Divide among toasts.

 

Tomato Basil Crostini
For the toasts:
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced thick


Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


For the topping:
1 red tomato


1 yellow tomato

1 small clove garlic, crushed

2 oz. salted fresh mozzarella, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

3 large fresh basil leaves, checked and thinly sliced

 

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Set the bread slices on a baking sheet. Bake the bread 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Cool the bread a few minutes, and drizzle the toasted bread with olive oil.

Dice tomatoes. Transfer to bowl, add garlic and mix. Add cheese; season. Stir in basil. Divide among toasts

http://www.thepeppermillinc.com/Browse/Product/3656/86/Roasted-Pepper-Olive-and-Mozzarella-Bruschetta
 
Roasted Pepper, Olive, and Mozzarella Bruschetta


For the topping:
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup minced olives, such as Kalamata and Cerignola
1 cup bottled roasted red (thinly sliced or diced)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8-10 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

for the bruschetta:
1 loaf of crusty Italian bread, such as Ciabatta sliced into 8-10 thick slices
1 whole garlic clove, skin removed
4-5 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil (about 1/2 teaspoon per slice)

To toast the pine nuts, place in a dry skillet over medium heat. Gently shake the pan handle to ensure even toasting, for about 1 minute, or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine olive oil, olives, roasted peppers, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Stir until well combined. (This topping can be made up to a day or two in advance and placed in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before applying to bruschetta.)
Grill bread slices on an outdoor grill or on a grill pan over high heat until lightly charred and crispy. You could also place them under the broiler. Rub each toasted slice with the raw garlic clove and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil.

While the bread is still warm, top a slice of cheese; then olive mixture. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.

 

Aug 4, 2016

Doing Dairy



With the start of the 9 days approaching, we are all looking for dairy dishes to please our families. Many milchig recipes call for 3 pots, four mixing bowls and hours spent in the hot kitchen. Those are definitely not the ones we want to try! But while we prefer to spend time enjoying the sunshine and warm summer weather we are not ready to give up on taste and creativity. Recipes that are short on preparation time but long on flavor are our favorites.


Pecan French Toast Casserole
For the French toast:
1 loaf challah, sliced thin

2-3 tablespoons butter for pan



8 large eggs

2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt


For the pecan topping:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 

Maple syrup for serving

 

Generously butter a 9"x13" oven-to-table baking dish. Arrange slices in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Be sure to spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare pecan topping. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Set aside.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pecan topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve immediately with maple syrup.

 


Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Cheddar Potato Skins
4 Idaho potatoes

 

1 large onion, diced

2 tablespoons butter

32 ounces fresh or frozen checked broccoli florets

1 teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup milk

2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Scrub potatoes well. Using a paring knife, peel potato skin into strips, taking some flesh with the peel. Strips should be about 1 ½ inches wide. You should have about 24 strips.

Cut potatoes into cubes and set aside.

Place peeled strips on a sheet pan, skin side up. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil or spray with cooking spray. Roast until edges are crisp, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven.

Heat butter in a 6 quart stockpot. Sauté onions over medium heat until slightly browned, stir occasionally to keep them from burning. Add broccoli and cubed potatoes. Add onion powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add 6 cups water and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until broccoli and potatoes are tender.

Add milk and puree soup using a hand blender. Stir in 1 ¾ cups cheddar until melted. Taste and add salt or pepper as desired.

Turn potato skins over and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheddar.

Divide soup among 8 soup crocks or heat-proof bowls. Top with 3-4 potato skins and place all the crocks on a sheet pan.

Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

 


Mediterranean Tilapia

4 tilapia fillets

3 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

1 medium green pepper, diced

10 pimento-stuffed olives, sliced

2 tablespoons capers, diced

 

Dredge tilapia in flour, coating both sides. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet until extremely hot. Place fillets in hot oil and sear 2-3 minutes until a crust has formed. Flip the fish and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Remove from pan and place the fillets in a 9"x13" glass or ceramic baking dish.

Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. Add all the diced vegetables and sauté until just softened, approximately 5-6 minutes.

Spoon the sautéed vegetables over the tilapia and bake for 10-15 minutes or until fish just begins to flake. Serve hot.

 

Jul 28, 2016

Chocolate Celebration!




July 28th is National Milk Chocolate Day. Not to be confused with chocolate milk; which is lucky enough to have its own dubious holiday! 
 

Milk chocolate accounts for over 85% of the chocolate eaten in the United States. It is the solid chocolate made with milk, milk powder or condensed milk.

In the 1870s, Swiss candy maker Daniel Peter used condensed milk to develop solid milk chocolate which had only been available as a drink. Mr. Peter had formed a strong friendship with his neighbor, Henry Nestle who had developed a process to make baby food in which he used what was then called "milky flour." He used Nestle’s processes to help create solid milk chocolate as we know it today.

Made of cocoa solids - cocoa paste and cocoa butter - mixed with dry or condensed milk and sugar, milk chocolate is one of the most common types of chocolates available around the world.

Not all milk chocolate is created equal. In the US chocolate is required to have only 10% cocoa solids while in Europe the percentage is as much as 25%, no doubt explaining the superior taste of imported chocolate.

In addition, some chocolate is formulated to hold its shape on grocery store shelves while other bars, known as "couverture" are meant to melt easily. This chocolate contains more cocoa butter and will be shiny and smooth as it melts and hardens. We prefer this type of chocolate for truffles, chocolate cheese logs and other chocolate confections.



Milk Chocolate Ice Cream Sauce 

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces milk chocolate couverture, chopped in chunks


Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate, stirring, until it's melted and smooth. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.


Milk Chocolate Mousse

8 ounces milk chocolate couverture, plus more for grating
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Set aside to cool a little.
Whip the cream with an electric mixer on high for about a minute. Turn the mixer to low while adding the sugar, then turn back to high and whip to stiff peaks.
Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and add the vanilla.
Next, temper the eggs by adding a little of the melted chocolate. Then pour the eggs back into the bowl of melted chocolate and stir to combine. Fold in three-quarters of the whipped cream (refrigerate the remaining whipped cream for serving). Spoon the mousse into serving glasses or bowls and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Serve the mousse with dollops of whipped cream and garnish with grated chocolate.


Milk Chocolate Truffles
1 pound milk chocolate couverture, finely chopped

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder

2 tablespoons coffee liquor

 

1 cup (about) unsweetened cocoa powder

 
Stir first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler set over simmering water until smooth. Remove from over water. Whisk in coffee liquor. Cool 15 minutes. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cocoa powder on a plate. Use a small ice cream scoop to portion chocolate mixture onto prepared sheet, forming 1-inch mounds. Dust your hands with cocoa powder; roll chocolate truffles between your palms, forming smooth balls, then roll in cocoa powder to coat lightly. Return to sheet.

Cover with foil; chill truffles until firm, at least 2 hours. Let stand at room temperature until slightly softened before serving.

Truffles can be made in advance and frozen until needed. Return to room temperature before serving.