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Orange Cardamom Cookies

Orange Cardamom Cookies

The sweet combination of orange and cardamom is what makes these cookies so special. The icing can be applied and decorated over or if you want to make things simple, drizzle the icing over the cookies with a fork and decorate with a few French Dragees.
INGREDIENTS:
2½ cups of White Lily flour
1 1/4 teaspoons of ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 sticks of unsalted butter (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 extra large egg – room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
INSTRUCTIONS:
Whisk the flour, cardamom, and salt together. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy; about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg, the grated orange peel and vanilla; beat to blend completely. Reduce the mixer to low and work in all the flour slowly. Separate the dough into two balls, place in a zip top bag and shape each one into a disk. Refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Working with one disk of dough at a time, remove from the refrigerator and let the dough stand for 15 minutes. Roll the dough out into a 1/8 inch thickness and cut out shapes. Gather dough scraps together into a ball and refrigerate for several minutes until cold. Re-roll and re-cut shapes. Repeat with the other disk of dough. Keep the shapes cold until time to bake. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, 3 inches apart, and bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes on the sheet and remove to racks to cool completely.

When the cookies have completely cooled, mix the powdered sugar with the orange juice to form a thick icing. Ice your cookies and decorate as desired.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Colcannon and Lamb

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a tradition Irish meal – potatoes and lamb! This recipe for Roasted Garlic and Kale Colcannon comes from Irish Instructional Chef – Rachel Allen. If you prefer cabbage, you can substitute the kale with cabbage for a more tradition recipe.

Lamb steaks are cut from the lamb leg. If you don’t see them in the meat case at the grocery ask your butcher to cut some for you.

ROASTED GARLIC AND KALE COLCANNON WITH LAMB STEAKS

Double Loin Lamb Chops With Champ And Redcurrant JusCOLCANNON INGREDIENTS
1 large garlic clove, papery skin still on
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 sprig of rosemary
2-1/2 lbs of russet potatoes scrubbed clean
1 lb of kale (or savoy cabbage)
1 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons of butter

COLCANNON DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the garlic clove in a ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and add the sprig of rosemary. Cover with foil and roast for about 45 minutes until the garlic has completely softened.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes, covered, in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Strain off two-thirds of the water and steam over low heat with the lid on for another 20 to 30 minutes until tender. Test using a skewer or feel with your fingers; avoid stabbing the potatoes with a knife because this will make them break up.

Cut out the tough center rib in the kale leaves then slice 1/4 inch thick ribbons. Add the milk to a sauce pan, add the kale, and cook 4 minutes or until tender.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain all the remaining water. When they are still warm peel, and mash with the butter and salt and pepper. (Rachel’s tip – hold the potato on a fork and peel with a knife if they are hot.) Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its papery shell and beat into the potatoes with enough of the warm cabbage milk to make a fluffy puree. Drain the cooked kale and stir it into the potatoes.

LAMB STEAK INGREDIENTS
Two1-1/4-pound lamb leg steaks, cut about 1-1/4 inches thick
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 small thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 shallot, minced
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock

LAMB STEAK DIRECTIONS
Rub the lamb with the cumin and fennel; season with salt and pepper. In a cast-iron skillet, heat the oil until smoking. Add the lamb and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned. Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the thyme, garlic and 4 tablespoons of the butter and cook for 5 minutes, basting the lamb with the butter. Turn the steaks and cook, basting, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 130°, 5 minutes; transfer to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Cook the shallot over moderately high heat until softened. Add the wine and simmer until syrupy. Add the stock and simmer until slightly reduced, 3 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; season with salt and pepper.

Serve the lamb steak with sauce and colcannon.

Try Chef Jake’s Pasta Recipe for your Valentine

Chicken with Roasted Grape Tomatoes & Parmesan Cream Sauce 

Great for a special Valentine, this deliciously creamy sauce is perfect served over your favorite pasta. (Chef Jake’s tip – choose a pasta with spirals to hold more sauce!) Easy and fun to make together, this entree is Valentine’s Day dinner perfect with the addition of just a simple side salad.

INGREDIENTS

10 grape tomatoes
olive oil
1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh garlic (minced)
3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (minced)
1½ tablespoons fresh basil (minced)
1/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
DIRECTIONS
2-3 servings of your favorite pastaPreheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the tomatoes in a teaspoon of olive oil, lightly salt and place on a sheet pan. Roast tomatoes in the oven about 10 minutes or until skin begins to split and wrinkle.  Allow them to cool slightly and remove the skins.Thinly slice the chicken breast. Heat a skillet to med/high heat and coat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil; when oil is hot add the chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, allowing the chicken slices to brown on the outside and cook thoroughly.  Remove and set aside – keeping it warm.Heat a sauce pan on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook until it softens and becomes aromatic. Add the skinless roasted tomatoes to the sauce pan; using a spoon or spatula smash the tomatoes then allow them to cook for a couple of minutes. Add the cream and increase the heat to med/med high to allow the cream to slowly boil while stirring frequently.  Cook until the cream is reduced by about 1/4. At this point it will appear to be a thin sauce, reduce the heat to a simmer.Prepare your pasta according to the package directions.

Stir in tomato paste, thyme and basil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the parmesan cheese to finish and thicken the sauce. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Stir in the chicken and serve immediately over your favorite pasta.

Holiday Ginger Raisin Cookies

Nothing smells better during the Holidays then ginger cookies baking in the oven. These cookies deliver big on flavor due to the type of sugar – Dark Muscovado. This sugar is partially unrefined evaporated cane sugar and has a strong molasses flavor so it give the cookies a deep gingerbread taste. Dark Muscovado can be found at Fresh Market in Louisville but can be substituted with dark brown sugar if unavailable.

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Ginger Raisin cookies – 36 cookies
½ cup raisins
½ cup dark rum
2-1/4 cups White Lily flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 cup Dark Muscovado sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 extra large egg
1-1/2 cups chopped crystallized ginger
turbinado sugar for rolling

Place the raisins and rum in a sauce pan on the stove top and over medium heat to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside so the raisins can soak up the rum for about 15 minutes. Drain off the remaining rum.

In a large bowl sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and salt together. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the dark muscovado sugar, oil and molasses on medium for about 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat for another minute. Scrape the bowl, beat again for another minute and turn the mixer to low. Add the dry ingredients slowly, then increase the speed to medium ad mix until everything is well combined about 2 minutes. Stir in the crystallized ginger and the rum soaked raisins. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 24-36 hours.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Scoop the dough into a 1-1/2 inch balls and roll in turbinado sugar. Place on the parchment covered baking sheet about 3 inches apart and bake for 13-15 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes and then cool completely on a rack. Store in an air tight container.

Happy Holidays from Fresh Chef Experience!

Celebrate Thanksgiving with a baked stuffed pumpkin

This deliciously adorable little pumpkin will be perfect on any Thanksgiving table! You can spice up this recipe with sausage or bacon, just make sure the meat is fully cooked.

stuffed-pumpkin

 4 oz. stale bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 oz. cheese, such as Gruyère, Fontina, cheddar, or a combination,
cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2–4 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup chopped roasted walnuts
1 pie pumpkin, about 3 pounds

 

Preheat oven to 350°. Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, herbs and nuts together in a bowl. Season with pepper and stir in 1/3 cup of cream. Set aside to rest while preparing the pumpkin. Use a very sturdy knife to cut a cap on the top of the pumpkin. Cut the cap like a Jack-o-Lantern and cut a big enough cap to make it easy to work inside the pumpkin. Scrape out the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put the pumpkin on a baking sheet or shallow pan. Set the cap aside. If the stuffing is dry, moisten with 2 the remaining tablespoons of cream and stuff inside the pumpkin until full. Place the cap on top of the pumpkin and bake the pumpkin for 90 minutes. Remove the cap and bake 20-30 minutes longer or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. The stuffing should register 165 degrees on a food thermometer. Remove from the oven, replace the cap, rest for 20 minutes and cut into wedges to serve.