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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We Got Game

Food Network

Does football bore you to tears as it does me (guilty)? Welll maybe except when my home team makes it to the Super Bowl. Therefore, I'm taking one for the team by joining the festivities this year and I’m upping the anti with a pre game warm up with some heat with these buffalo chicken sliders. I hope that victory is in the stars for your team, regardless, these might earn you a victory dance after all. Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Adapted from food network
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup hot sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot
12 small rolls, such as Hawaiian or Parker House rolls, buttered and griddled
Ranch dressing, for serving
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
Tomato slices, for serving
Green leaf lettuce, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the oil. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, the brown sugar, paprika and cayenne. Sear both sides of the chicken until golden, about 4 minutes. Add in the hot sauce to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and then place in the oven to finish off, and the chicken registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
Let the chicken cool, and then pull the meat with your hands. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, and then place back in the oven at BROIL until crusty and caramelized on top, about 4 minutes.
Sandwich Build: Place some chicken on the bottom buns, top with ranch, blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes and then lettuce. Serve.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Haute Chews: Game On!

Photograph by Con Poulos

Today’s recipe is…well, considered an actual “bar snack” but a yummy one nonetheless.
In the final days before Super Bowl Sunday (especially when your hometown team is in it), it’s so necessary to have some little meaty bites on hand to satisfy the hungry fans you’ll be having over for your super bowl party. Of course, since it is Super Bowl Sunday, these bites should be game appropriate, think bar snacks but snazzier. This appetizer is all about keeping the absolute same flavor of your all time favorite bar snack but making it a weeee bit healthier. That way ladies, fitting and feeling comfortable in your snazzy super bowl outfit will be a breeze. Enjoy!

Scarf • Helmut Lang Angora Floats Pullover • Lanvin Meli Melo Shopping Tote - Black • Rich & Skinny Mid-rise skinny jeans • Rupert Sanderson Black Leather Knee High Boot • Acne Belief Tencel Tank Top

Baked Buffalo Wings 
Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine
Cooking spray, for the baking sheet
3 pounds chicken wings, split at the joints, tips removed
4 stalks celery, cut into thirds
4 carrots, cut in half
2 bay leaves
1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup Frank's RedHot sauce (or 1/2 cup other hot sauce)
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Put the chicken wings in a deep skillet; add 3 pieces of celery, 3 pieces of carrot, the bay leaves, chicken broth, hot sauce, paprika, butter, honey and 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 18 minutes. Transfer the wings to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer; reserve the sauce in the skillet.
Bake the wings, turning once, until the skin is golden and crisp, 30 to 35 minutes. Meanwhile, simmer the reserved sauce over medium-low heat until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Discard the celery, carrot and bay leaves. Reserve one-quarter of the sauce for serving. Return the wings to the skillet and toss with the remaining sauce. Serve the wings with the blue cheese dip and reserved sauce; cut the remaining celery and carrot into sticks to serve on the side.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Not for the softhearted

Martha Stewart Living, Feb 2007

It SNOWED in Boston this weekend [we were all wondering when we would get hit ]. With 2-4 inches and no place to go, I decide to stay in and catch up on my resting project. I took the time to take in the lovely bright white view outside my window, and also to recharge.
You'd be suprise how much recharging makes you hungry though. I found myself craving something sweet, prefrably something hot and in a perfect world something chocolaty.
Mmmm, Hot chocolate.
Even though I have perfected my hot chocolate mix over the years, ways of presenting a good cup of hot chocolate is always welcome. Give thanks yet again to the queen of Living magazine for this wonderful hot chocolate presentation. And with valentine just around the corner I though this would be a perfect head start. Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate
1 quart (1l) half-and-half or whole milk
8 ounces (230g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 ounces (115g) milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
tiny pinch of salt
tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1. Warm about one-third of the half-and-half or milk, with the chopped chocolates, sugar and salt, stirring until the chocolate is melted.
2. Whisk in the remaining half-and-half or milk, heating until the mixture is warmed through. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and cayenne (if using).
3. Use a hand-held blender, or a whisk, and mix the hot chocolate until it’s completely smooth. Serve very warm.
Serve with a heart cutout marshmallow.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Haute Chews: Winter Comfort

Well, it's that awkward time of year again, when all the shops around you are filling up with blood-tingling new looks for spring. Bold colors and neon hues, nice cool materials. Aaaa spring. 
According to the thermometer though, it is still the dead of the winter (what, more snow). What's a true fashionista to do? The only thing she can do, wait patiently for the temps to achieve the ultimate spring high before savoring the fabulous new spring trends? Who said you need to wait in boredom till then. Indulge on this wintery selection while feasting on winter comfort food! Enjoy!

book: Falling Off the Bone • Sweater • Metallic Threaded Convertible Gloves, Forever 21
Citizen of Humanity Jean Skinny Jean Delave • Libby Edelman Kendra Shoes •  Céline Handbag

Hearty Beef and Vegetable soup
Adapted from Falling of the bone: Jean Anderson
makes 6 servings

3 Tbs bacon drippings (or vegetable oil)
11/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut in 1-inch cubes
2 lg yellow onions, halved lengthwise and each half sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 medium celery ribs, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch (included some top)
4 lg garlic cloves, smashed and skins removed
2 lg whole bays leaves (preferably fresh)
1 quart (4 cups) beef, vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (141/2 oz) diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 cup cold water (about)
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper or to taste
4 medium all purpose potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 pound peeled baby carrots
2 cups packaged slaw mix (from super market produce section)
1/4  cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

Heat drippings in a large heavy Dutch oven over moderate high heat until ripples appear on bottom of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Brown beef in two batches in drippings, allow about 10 min per batch and lifting each to a bowl as it browns. Add onions, celery, garlic, and bay leaves to pot and saute, stirring often, until limp, 6 to 8 min.

Return beef to pot along with any accumulated juices, add broth, tomatoes, water, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Adjust heat so liquid bubbles slowly, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Add potatoes, carrots, slaw mix, and if liquid seems skimpy, add a little more water. Cover and simmer until meat and vegetables are tender, 40 to 50 min. Discard bay leaves, taste for salt and pepper, and adjust as needed.

Mix in parsley, ladle into heated large soup plates, and serve with chunks or crusty country bread.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snickers Pie

Calling all candy bar lovers! The Snickers bar is now a pie, and i can hardly hold in my excitement. It goes without saying that this is one pie you won’t want to miss (and did I mention there's a gooey caramel chocolate layer !) Best of all, its easy to make and satisfies your sweet tooth as well as your inner child. Enjoy!

Sinckers Pie   
Serves 8

20 Oreo cookies, broken into rough pieces
4 tbls unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup water
4 oz cream cheese room temp
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbls unsalted butter, room temp
7 oz (about 26) soft caramel. unwrapped
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
Bittersweet chocolate for shavings

For the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse cookies in food processor until coarsely ground, about 15 pulse, then continue to process to fine, even crumbs and pulse to incorporate.

Transfer crumbs to 9 inch pie plate. Use bottom of measuring cup to press crumbs into even layer on bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake until crust is fragrant and set, 10- 15 minutes.

For the filling: Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the hot crust and let it sit  until softened, but not fully melted, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate crust until chocolate is set about 15 -20 minutes.

Place the sugar in a medium saucepan. Add one-third cup water, and stir with the sugar until it is the consistency of wet sand. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook the sugar until a thermometer inserted reads 240 degrees. (The sugar will form a firm ball when a little is dropped into a bowl of cold water).

While the sugar is cooking, begin whipping the egg whites on medium until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Continue beating 
on medium high until the whites form stiff peaks, but be careful not to over-beat.

When the sugar is ready, immediately remove it from the heat, and pour it into a heat-proof measuring cup to stop the cooking process. With the mixer speed on low, carefully begin pouring in the sugar, on the side of the bowl, watching that the sugar does not touch the wire beaters and splatter. Once all of the sugar is added, increase the mixer speed to medium, and continue beating until the meringue cools and is very fluffy and has a nice shine. Set aside.

Using stand mixer fitted wit a paddle attachment, cream your cream cheese, heavy cream, peanut butter, and butter, together on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Fold in about 1 1/2 cups of your meringue. Set aside. 

Cook caramels and water in small sauce pan over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels melted and smooth, 8 - 10 minutes. Stir 1 tablespoon caramel in the peanut butter mixture. Spread hot caramel evenly over chocolate layer in chilled pie crust. sprinkle with peanuts and refrigerate until caramel is just set, about 10 minutes. 

Dollop peanut butter mixture on top of caramel and spread into even layer. Refrigerate pie, uncovered until chilled and set, about 2 hours. Sprinkle chocolate shavings over top. Serve. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Little Black Dress Chocolate Cake

This month Sucrèe will be kicking off, Haute Chews. A new segment of Sucrèe, which will bringing you fabulous fashion inspired by the food in cookbooks, by chefs, or just our personal cravings. Join our melting pot of culinary and couture delights, and let the cravings and coveting begin!
Lanvin Brocade Dress  • Tracolla Zucca Fendi Black Clutch

The 'Little Black Dress' Chocolate Cake
5 extra-large eggs
10 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
16 ounces top-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, espresso powder or orange zest
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment. Butter sides with ½ tablespoon of the butter.
Using electric mixer, beat eggs with salt until tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. Melt chocolate and remaining 10 tablespoons butter slowly over low heat in medium saucepan; stir until smooth. Fold chocolate mixture into egg mixture until completely incorporated. Add vanilla.
Pour into pan. Bake in preheated oven 18 minutes. Center will be quite soft. Cool 30 minutes.
Place raspberries on top and sprinkle with some powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mini Cheesecakes in a Jar

photo from Living

Just made a New Year resolution. Watching your weight is it?. The hell with it. These mini cheesecakes in a jar are way too cute to turn your head the other way.  Cuteness aside, its cheesecake heaven, layers of preserves, a crumb topping, all in amazing packaging, and they’re just a few bites. Who can resist! 

Ladies i wish i could take credit for these mini's, but really the credit goes to the queen behind Living, ( as spotted in the latest issue). The greatness of these minis are that they only take a half an hour to make and can be baked ahead of time, that way you wont be annoyed that you could get a perfect sliced piece of cheesecake (we all know how messy that is.) Just pass them out to party guests or bring them with you to your next potluck dinner. 

So, tally up those brownie points, or should i say cheesecake points (double points for their cute packaging in weck jars). And ladies, don’t forget to lick the spoon! 

Mini Cheesecake Jars

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 yolk, room temp
  • 3 oz sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp cherry topping or fruit preserves
  • 1/2 cup finely ground graham crackers
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Make the cheesecakes: beat cream cheese with mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes more. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and yolk, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Raise speed to medium. Add sour cream, vanilla extract, and 1/8 tsp salt. Beat for 3 minutes.
  2. Divide batter among six 6-oz jars, filling each 2/3 full. Transfer jars to deep baking dish; add enough boiling water to dish to reach halfway up the sides of the jars. Cover dish with foil; cut 8 slits into top to vent. Bake until sides are set and center still jiggles, about 20 - 25 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate overnight to set.
  3. Meanwhile, make the graham topping: stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Top each cheesecake with 1 tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp preserves. Divide graham topping among jars (about 1 heaping tbsp each.)
make ahead: cakes can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Just top with preserves and graham topping  before serving. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rooster Ragu with Spaghetti (kokora makaronatha)

This is my first post for 2012 and I would like to extend warm wishes for a healthy and happy new year to all! Kaih Hronia! I hope you all had a fabulous New Year's celebration and are ready to fire up those ovens!
The days leading up to New Year's Eve were very tiring but in a satisfying way. As is expected, I as did like most and procrastinated to the very last possible minute, with a "quick" run to the supermarket, holding my mile-long shopping list for the big bash. Fortunately, Lady Luck was on my side and I got everything done without long waits at the checkout line nor any holiday "what-do-you-mean-you-ran out-of-butter?!?" drama that usually accompanies these days.
My whole kitchen was filled with pots pans and every other cooking gadget imaginable was spread over my small granite counters . This though, is the magic my friends, to be able to create on a empty canvas such textures and flavors utilizing every square inch of your brain, ahem, kitchen, ultimately ending up with a disastrous mess which in my opinion is a infinitessimal price to pay for such a lavish (and scrumptious) reward to share with friends and family (racking up the brownie points!).
photo from
New Year's Eve for me was spent at home hosting a party. I cleaned the kitchen (several times and of course with 5 inch heels), cooked for days, and then dined and drank with family and friends...right into the wee hours of the first day of the year. Perfection! 
What better way to send the old year out the door and welcome the new year in, if not with a delicious plate of food and dessert, and good company that provided laughs and memories. Helloooooo 2012!
As tradition has it in many parts of Greece, on New Year's Day, family gather and cook pasta with rooster in red sauce. Rooster is braised for a few hours in a rich tomato sauce and flavoured with spices, and is served with thick spaghetti. Did she say rooster? Yes i did, and I assure you that it is a culinary experience that one can not afford to miss.
So for my first 2012 recipe I present you with rooster ragu atop thick spaghetti or, "Kokora Makaronatha." Enjoy!

Kokora Makaronatha

1 (2kg or 4 pounds) rooster, ( or chicken) cut in serving portions 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cinnamon quill
3-4 allspice berries
A pinch of ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup of red wine
1/4 cup cognac 
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1kg (2 boxes ) of thick spaghetti with the hole in the middle 
grated kefalotiri cheese or parmesan
salt & freshly ground pepper

Warm the oil and butter in a wide casserole over medium to high heat and brown the rooster portions in batches. Remove and place them in a platter. Turn the heat down and toss in the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Put the rooster portions back in and sprinkle with the spices. Wait 1-2 minutes for the spices to give off their flavours. Add the tomato paste and sugar and pour the wine and congac in, slowly. When the alcohol evaporates, scrape out the bottom of the casserole with a ladle. Add the tomatoes and just enough water to cover the meat. Put the lid on and simmer the rooster until it becomes tender, approximately for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2hours. Season to taste from time to time and remove the from the heat when the tomato sauce reduces. Meanwhile boil the spaghetti in salted water. Drain and sprinkle with a few drops of olive oil. Transfer in a deep platter and put the rooster portions on top. Pour over the rich tomato sauce and sprinkle with plenty of grated cheese.

if using chicken reduce cooking time about 30 minutes.
thick spaghetti with the whole in the middle is found at Greek markets. If you can't find them substitute with regular thick spaghetti.