Friday, November 21, 2014

Bread Pudding "Dressing" #HolidayHosting

This is week two of my six-week adventure with Anolon products. The theme for the week is Signature Sides, and if there's one side dish that I absolutely love for Thanksgiving, it's stuffing. Or dressing, since I usually cook it outside the turkey these days.

But of course I had to put a crazy twist on it and turn it into bread pudding. It makes sense. Bread pudding is so much more luscious and decadent than most stuffings.

Check it out!

Still not convinced? How about this?

The RECIPE for this is on the Anolon site, waiting for you. Go, click look!

You know you want to try this!

But I'm not done teasing you. Not quite yet. I received six different Anolon products in order to create recipes using them, and  I have ALL SIX Anolon items to give away. The same ones I got. And I'm giving all six to ONE PERSON. Isn't that AWESOME???

I really loved this 9x13 pan. The color is stunning and the handles are really nice. They curve under just a bit, which makes them much easier to hang onto, even while I was wearing mitts.

Besides the giveaway I'm doing, Anolon is having their own giveaways, so be sure to stalk them during this entire promotion - I don't know exactly what they're up to, but I'm sure it will be awesome. They've got very useful products. Sturdy. And also very pretty. A pleasure to use in the kitchen.

The six items I am giving away are:

Anolon Advanced Pie Pan
You saw the APPLE PIE last week, right?

Anolon Vesta Stoneware 9x13” Baker in Paprika Red
This is the one I used for this week's post!

Yes, ALL of that to ONE LUCKY WINNER!

The giveaway will end on December 26 at midnight, mountain time. US winners only. The giveaway widget will post with each week's recipe, and I will add NEW ways to enter each week related to the week's new post, like new tweets and new pins. So make sure you come back every week and see what I've made, and ENTER TO WIN!

If you already entered to win last week, there are THREE new entries - a comment request, tweet, and pin added that are related to this week's post.

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This post is sponsored by Anolon. They supplied products for my use as well as compensation for recipe creation. They are also providing the prizes for the contest winner. Although I was paid to create a recipe, all words and ideas are my own.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thousand Island Dressing

When the book Everyday Food: Great Food Fast landed on my doorstep from the cookbook round-robin group Cook My Book, I had a feeling I'd find a few recipes I could make right away.

If a book is promoting "fast," it's a good bet that it won't include a lot of exotic ingredients. And it's a good bet that the recipes will be simple enough to make any old night.

When I paged through the book, I bookmarked a pasta recipe, one for flank steak, and one for chicken, and a few other things. But the very first recipe I tried was for Thousand Island Dressing.

I have my own recipes for that dressing, but I'm always looking for variations. My super-simple recipe is just mayonnaise and chili sauce, and I have a slightly more complicated version here. This one included a few things that I'd never thought about adding. So, what the heck.

I made one little change - I didn't have the scallions that the book called for. But I did have chives growing outside, so I used those instead. Okay, I actually made two changes. The original called for reduced-fat mayonnaise, but I don't like that, so I used regular mayonnaise.

Overall, I liked this recipe, If I was going to make it again, I'd leave out the parsley, and I might cut back just a smidge on the wine vinegar. But that's personal preference. And, although the recipe says it serves four, I think it'll easily serve more. Of course, that depends on how heavily you dress your salads.

Thousand Island Dressing

Adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast by Martha Stewart Living

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Heinz chili sauce
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, chili sauce, milk, vinegar, relish, and chives. Whisk to combine.

Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve on salad or lettuce wedges, or drizzled over vegetables.

Thousand Island dressing is also typically used on Reuben sandwiches - if you're going to use this dressing for a sandwich spread, I suggest you leave the milk out, so it's thicker and more spreadable rather than pourable.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chocolate custard pudding

What do you do when you have a dozen egg yolks? In summer, that would be a couple batches of ice cream. But once the weather gets even a little bit chilly, I lose the urge for frozen desserts and move on to non-frozen  desserts.

I decided to whip up some pudding. This is eggier than many pudding recipes, but I was determined to use all the egg yolks, and I didn't want to end up with a gallon of pudding.

To compensate for the extra thickening power of the eggs, I backed off a bit on the usual amount of cornstarch.

This is a rich pudding, but fairly light on the chocolate - it's got the flavor of dark chocolate, but not super-strong. If you're looking for a dark chocolate pudding, use two bars of chocolate instead of one.

For the chocolate, I used Green & Black's, which comes in 3.5-ounce bars. You can certainly use another brand, and if if happens to come in a slightly larger bar, it's fine to use the extra chocolate in the pudding. Or have a snack. Either is fine.

Chocolate Custard Pudding

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or use all milk)
12 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3.5-ounce bar Green & Black's 70% dark chocolate*

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk to combine. Add the milk, whisking as you add it. The idea is that you don't want the cornstarch to be lumpy before you start heating the mixture.

Add the cream and eggs yolks and whisk to combine.
Heat the mixture slowing, stirring as you go. If you heat too quickly, the mixture will clump and you'll end up with a mess. Heat slowly and keep stirring, and you'll have a smooth pudding.

If you have a few little bumps in the pudding, that's fine - you can strain them out.

Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens and it begins to bubble.

Turn the heat off and add the vanilla and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts, then pass the mixture through a strainer into a storage container.

Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Serve cold.

*Of course you can use a different chocolate, but this is the one I used. This is NOT a sponsored post. I've worked with Green & Black's in the past, but I've gone through a lot of chocolate since then.
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