Monday, November 23, 2009

The Easiest Tiramisu Ever

Not Traditional, but So What!

If you have ever made tiramisu before than you know it is a little time consuming. It involves making a
zabalione which requires a bit of time beating the eggs over low heat in order to ensure that they are safe to eat (no salmonella!). The traditional way to prepare it also requires fresh whipped cream made from scratch- which takes time and not to mention adds more calories. So when I came across this quick, easy and light recipe from Supreme Dairy Farms (located right here in RI!), I knew I had to try it.

The Supreme recipe uses ricotta cheese in place of the mascarpone and no eggs which is not traditional at all for a tiramisu. I would have tried the recipe just as written, but I happened to get a great deal on mascarpone cheese at Whole Foods and it was sitting in the fridge just waiting for a reason to be used! So I obliged.

The other great thing about this recipe is that it can be made ahead and can even be frozen. I actually made this 2 weeks ago and popped it in the freezer. So I am all set to bring it over my brothers house for Thanksgiving, and he is none the wiser. He doesn't need to know that I didn't slave over it like I usually do... (Unless he reads this post, Hi Bro!)
Happy Thanksgiving everyone ;)

The Easiest Tiramisu Ever
adapted from Supreme Ricotta Cheese

24 ladyfingers
3⁄4 cup espresso or strong coffee, cooled
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 -8 3/4 oz container mascarpone cheese
1 cup fat-free or p
art skim ricotta cheese, well drained
1 -6 oz. container fat-free vanilla yogurt
, well drained
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 tablespoons amaretto liquor or brandy or coffee liquor
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup cocoa powder or 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange rind

Preheat oven to 375°, arrange ladyfingers on baking sheet. Bake until toasted, about 5 mins. Mix the teaspoon of sugar with the espresso and dip ladyfingers in it quickly turning to coat each side.

Arrange half of the ladyfingers in a 2 or 2 1⁄2 quart oval or rectangular serving dish.
In a small bowl, mix mascarpone, ricotta, yogurt, sugar and liquor; beat thoroughly until smooth. Spread half of the mixture on the ladyfingers in the serving dish. Sprinkle with half of the chocolate. Repeat layers of ladyfingers, dipped in espresso, mascarpone mixture and chocolate. Cover with foil and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Dust with cocoa powder or fresh grated orange rind
before serving.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta

Golden and Delightful!

This is a delicious and hearty autumn entree. Butternut squash gives this pasta and chicken dish a new and unexpected twist.

Most people think of butternut squash as a side dish served with baked chicken or turkey, but it is the star in this entree. It has a slightly nutty flavor and the smooth and silky texture make this dinner a winner!!!

Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta
by Mixed Salad Annie
Serves 4

1/2 bag of egg noodle pasta
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish
6 fresh sage leaves, minced and 2 whole sage leaves for garnish
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cooked rotisserie chicken breasts, diced*
1 small/medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons oil in a large dutch oven or large saute pan. Add the butternut squash in a single layer and cook without moving for about 5 minutes. Add sugar and stir; cook 4 additional minutes. Add salt, pepper and broth. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes longer or until tender. Remove from pan, making sure to get all the juices and squash from the bottom of the pan; set aside.

In the same now empty pan, over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon butter and tablespoon of oil. Add shallot, sage and nutmeg; cook 1-2 minutes. Add chicken* and the butternut squash and stir to combine.

Remove pan from heat; add cooked pasta, 1/2 cup reserved cooking water, lemon juice, parsley, cheese, 3 tablespoons pine nuts and more salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine, adding additional pasta water if necessary.

Place in a large serving platter and top with reserved tablespoon parsley, reserved pine nuts, reserved parmesan cheese and 2 whole sage leaves.

*If you would like to use raw boneless skinless chicken breast halves in place of the cooked breasts...
After sauteing shallots and sage leaves, add 1 lb. diced boneless skinless chicken breast halves; sauté 5 minutes or until done. Continue with the rest of the recipe.