CHOCOLATE DIPPED STRAWBERRIES
There are many ways to celebrate Valentines Day. Some like to go out for a special evening, others have a night in with loved ones or a group of friends. We vote for a night in and spending the evening cooking. A quick and easy dessert to make is chocolate dipped strawberries. We produce them every year, so if you’re not culinarily inclined you can pick up a box (and pretend you cooked).
- 1 box of fresh large strawberries, rinsed and dried
- 1 bag dark chocolate chips
- optional toppings white chocolate
- place a heat safe glass bowl, on top of a pot of water (bowl should sit halfway into pot)
- fill the pot with water and place the chocolate chips in the glass bowl
- bring the water to a boil while stirring the chocolate chips occasionally
- once the chocolate is completely melted, turn off the heat and dip the strawberries into the melted chocolate
- set strawberries aside on baking sheet
- if adding toppings add while chocolate is still soft
- to make chocolate stripes, melt the white chocolate, drizzle with spoon
- refrigerateor set aside until serving
EASY TIRAMISU AT HOME
Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert, and a family favorite at Mangia. It may appear to be an intimidating dessert to try at home but it’s actually a very simple, rustic, no-bake dessert. Tiramisu is traditionally made in a large pan or bowl and scooped to serve. But we like to serve it in individual ramekins – it’s great for parties whether it’s a sit down dinner or a standing cocktail party, each guest gets a perfect portion of this rich, creamy dessert.
Chef’s tip: Use a light hand with the sugar – this dessert has deep, rich flavors and the sugar should not overpower the creaminess of the marscapone, espresso or the hint of cocoa. Although many of us have seen the large square slices of tiramisu, a freshly made tiramisu is more rustic and soft. We like to chill the marscapone mixture slightly before layering over the espresso soaked lady fingers – if it’s a little messy it’s OK.
- 2 eggs separated
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 8 oz. marscapone cheese (Italian style cream cheese)
- 1 package lady finger cookies
- 4 shots of espresso or 1 cup of strong black coffee
- 2 tbsp. dark rum (optional)
- ⅛ cup of valrhona dark cocoa powder
- Separate the egg whites and yolks, place yolks in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the egg yolks, gently stir in the sugar.
- Fold in the mascarpone cheese to the yolk and sugar mixture until completely incorporated, set aside.
- Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until completely stiff and glossy.
- Fold egg whites into the marscapone mixture, do this in about three small batches, gently folding, chill for 10-20 minutes
- Add the rum to the espresso (optional)
- Dip the lady finger cookies into the espresso and line the bottom of the ramekin, scoop a generous layer of marscapone mixture, repeat these steps until each ramekin is full and place in the refrigerator until serving.
- Before serving sprinkle a thin layer of cocoa powder over the top of each ramekin.
RASPBERRY LINZER TART
Crust and Piping:
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup crumbled vanilla sponge cake
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. grated orange zest
Raspberry Filling: (or use store bought jam)
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- ½ – 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- Mix butter and sugar until creamy in standing mixer, about 10 mins.
- Add eggs, almond flour, baking powder and vanilla extract, mix for another 5 mins.
- Separate the batter in two parts, mix half with the vanilla sponge cake and orange zest
- Press the batter and sponge cake mixture into tart tin with removable bottom, set aside.
- Place the rest of the batter into a pastry bag, set aside.
- Cook down the raspberries on a medium heat in a low sauce pan, add sugar to desired sweetness, add the cornstarch to thicken.
- Fill the tart tin with a layer raspberry filling and sprinkle the orange zest onto the filling.
- Use the batter in the piping bag to create a lattice design.
- Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown.
VEGAN CURRIED CAULIFLOWER SOUP
4 Oz. Grape seed oil
1/3 cup diced leeks
1/3 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced onion
2 tbsp. minced garlic
3 tbsp. minced ginger
2 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. sea salt
3 each diced potato
2 heads rough chopped cauliflower
½ -¾ gallons hot vegetable stock
4 green apples, juiced
sea salt to taste
3 tbsp. olive oil
Heat a heavy bottom soup pot with the grape seed oil over medium heat
Once the oil is been on for 45 seconds add the leeks, celery, onion, garlic, Ginger, curry powder & sea salt (1tbsp.).
Cook the base ingredients for 5 minutes over medium heat. (Do not allow any color, just develop the aroma and allow the vegetables to become translucent.
Add the potatoes, cauliflower, and cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes; again NO color should be developed. Watch for the vegetables to begin to break down, this is good. If it is a bit dry add a small amount of Vegetable stock to prevent any color or browning of the pot.
Add the hot vegetable stock to the vegetables and bring to a simmer.
Discard any foam or additional oil from the top of the liquid.
Simmer the soup for 20-25 minutes (vegetables should be very soft and broken apart)
Just before the soup is done, add the apple juice and a touch of fresh olive oil to finish
Puree in small batches in a blender until silky smooth
If needed pass the soup through a fine mesh sieve to remove and unblended items.
Check seasoning and enjoy
For almost all vegetable puree soups the key for a beautiful outcome is to sweat the vegetables slowly with oil & salt until they breakdown and turn very soft. It is imperative to constantly stir to avoid burning during this step. With this method the soup will cook quicker with better favor and texture. Be careful to not add all the stock at once, because the vegetables are cooked they will require less liquid to finish cooking. I also use a Vita Mix to puree soup. The blender incorporates air and makes the soup very light and delicate.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE TARTS
Sweet Pastry Dough
½ cup confectioners sugar
½ cup butter
1 ¼ cup flour
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 tbsp vanilla
Chocolate Ganache Filling
1 cup cream
½ cup dark chocolate 72% Belgian chocolate
2 tbsp trimoline
¼ cup white chocolate
6 tbsp soft butter
Sweet Pastry Dough
Mix butter and sugar for 10 minutes in a stand-up mixer
Slowly add flour to butter, sugar mix, allowing to fully incorporate each serving
Add eggs and mix for another 2 minutes
Add vanilla extract
Roll dough to ¼ inch thick and cut a large round with about an inch radius to the mold
Place dough in mold with flour on the edges, press dough lightly to fill the mold and trim off any remaining dough
Bake at 350 until golden brown
Chocolate Ganache Filling
Bring cream to a boil, add the dark and white chocolate, and trimoline
Bring heat to medium and use hand blender to blend, should be a thick but not stiff mixture
Allow to cool slightly then mix in butter until fully incorporated
Scoop cooled chocolate ganache filling into chilled tart shells
Allow to set in fridge for 15 minutes, top with candied hazelnuts and strips of dark chocolate
CHICKEN ALLA CACCIATORE
• Whole 3 ½ lb. organic chicken
• ¾ cup flour (to dredge chicken)
• Sea salt & white pepper
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 1 large red onion (thin julienne)
• 1 peeled celery rib (thin julienne)
• 1 peeled medium carrot (thin julienne)
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 red pepper (thin julienne)
• ½ cup Gaeta olives
• 1 cup diced San Marzano canned tomatoes, no juice
• 1 sprig thyme / 1 sprig rosemary / 1 bay leaf (bouquet garnish)
• ¼ cup chopped parsley
• ½ cup white wine
• 2 ½ cup brown chicken stock
• 3 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 tbsp. minced rosemary
• Rinse chicken, dry and cut into 6 pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks)
• Season chicken with sea salt and white pepper.
• Lightly dredge chicken in flour, then brown pieces over medium high heat in ¼ cup olive oil.
• When the chicken has browned on both sides, remove from pan.
• Add vegetables, and lightly sauté for 4-5 minutes.
• Add garlic and herbs, sauté for 2 minutes.
• Add tomatoes to the pan and sauté 2 minutes.
• Deglaze with white wine, then arrange the chicken pieces among the vegetables in the braising pan. Add chicken stock.
• Bring liquid to a simmer over medium high heat and spoon sauce over pieces.
• Cook in oven, covered, at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.
• Remove chicken breasts but continue to cook dark meat for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered.
• Finish with 1 tbsp. olive oil and minced rosemary, sprinkled on top. Serve immediately with polenta or haricots verts (optional).
Roasted Vegetable Panzanella Salad
• 3/4 lb. day-old country bread or baguette, cut into 1½ inch cubes
• 1 medium red onion, sliced very thin
• 4 oz. tomato juice
• 6 oz. water
• 1 lb. roasted plum tomatoes
• ¼ lb. red peppers, cut into 1 inch cubes
• ¼ lb. zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes (seeds removed)
• ¼ lb. yellow squash cut into 1 inch cubes (seeds removed)
• ¼ lb. eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
• 1 clove of garlic, minced
• 3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
• 3 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar or Chianti vinegar
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
• Cut plum tomatoes in half and season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
• Place on a cookie sheet with a rack, and roast tomatoes (cut side up) in oven at 300 degrees for 60 minutes. Cool before cutting into 1½ inch cubes.
• Mix zucchini, squash, peppers, and eggplant with a touch of olive oil, salt, pepper, and half of the garlic.
• Place on a cookie sheet and roast in oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
• Place cubed bread in a medium bowl*
• Pour tomato juice and cold water over bread and mix well with your hands. Cover the bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
• Drain any excess liquid from the bread.
• Add vinegar, remaining garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil to the bowl.
• Add tomatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini, squash, and herbs to the bowl; mix together.
• Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour; serve chilled.
*If bread is too dry to cut, pour tomato juice and water over bread so it can be softened. If needed, add a little bit more water. Allow the bread to rehydrate for 20 minutes.