Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Salted Caramel Syrup

These pancakes might just be a little closer to a dessert than a breakfast, but I adore them!  They are so delicious...Perfectly fluffy and decadent!


Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Salted Caramel Syrup
-Alyssa Griffeth-

Pancakes:
2 c. flour
1/4 c. dutch process cocoa powder
1/3 c. sugar
2 Tbs. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch of kosher salt

2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
6 Tbs. butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine first 8 (dry) ingredients.  In a large measuring cup, combine last 4 (wet) ingredients, then gently whisk into dry ingredients.  Using a 3 Tbs. cookie scoop, drop batter onto a hot griddle greased with butter.  Flip pancakes after a few minutes and cook the opposite side.  While pancakes are cooking, prepare caramel syrup.

Salted Caramel Syrup:
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. water

1 c. heavy cream
6 Tbs. butter
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (more if desired)
2 tsp. vanilla

In a large pot, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Heat over medium-high heat, swirling the pot occasionally to distribute heat evenly.  Continue to boil the sugar mixture until the bubbles get smaller and it becomes amber-colored.  This often takes about 10 minutes.  Watch the mixture very closely to avoid burning!  When the sugar has reached the right color, quickly pour in the cream and whisk constantly to avoid sugar crystals.  It will boil violently at first.  Add in the butter, vanilla, and salt, and stir until butter melts.  Cool slightly before serving.
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Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

I adore anything with the name "salted caramel" in it!  I've loved the sweet and savory combo for years, so I was determined to come up with a quick, easy, versatile sauce that could be drizzled over ice cream, poured in the middle of layer bars, stirred into hot chocolate, and even spooned onto pancakes! This sauce, my friends, is out-of-this-world good!  Thin enough to be pourable, but still thick and rich in flavor, I just can't seem to get enough!  I really have to force myself not to spoon it over my vegetables! Hope you love it as much as I do!



Easy Salted Caramel Sauce
-Alyssa Griffeth-

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. water

1 c. heavy cream
6 Tbs. butter
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (more if desired)
2 tsp. vanilla

In a large pot, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Heat over medium-high heat, swirling the pot occasionally to distribute heat evenly.  Continue to boil the sugar mixture until the bubbles get smaller and it becomes amber-colored.  This often takes about 10 minutes.  Watch the mixture very closely to avoid burning!  When the sugar has reached the right color, quickly pour in the cream and whisk constantly to avoid sugar crystals.  It will boil violently at first.  Add in the butter, vanilla, and salt, and stir until butter melts.  Cool slightly before serving.
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Corn Cakes with Avocado Relish

Although these sound unique, Corn Cakes are a family favorite!  They are so full of flavor, and make a perfect sweet, summery meal.  Even my kids can't resist dipping them into ranch dressing and eating them like chicken nuggets!



 Corn Cakes with Avocado Relish
-Alyssa Griffeth-


For the corn cakes:
1 16 oz. bag of frozen WHITE corn
1 c. flour
½ c. cornmeal
¼ c. red onion, finely diced
¼ c. thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. buttermilk
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying

For the Avocado Relish:
1 large tomato, cored and chopped
1 scallion, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of half a lime
1½ tsp. olive oil
1½ tsp. white wine vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced

Homemade Ranch dressing, for serving
Romaine lettuce, chopped

Thaw corn and place in food processor, pulsing several times, until the corn is slightly pureed but still chunky. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and add the flour, cornmeal, onion, basil, baking powder, and baking soda. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix well. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and butter, and stir just to combine.  Set aside.

To make the salsa, combine all of the ingredients except the avocado in a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Just before serving, mix in the avocado.

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add just enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan and heat until sizzling hot.  Using a cookie scoop (or something similar) scoop the batter into the skillet 2 tablespoons at a time, and press down to flatten slightly.  Cook the cakes in batches of 5 or 6, making sure they do not touch.  Fry approximately 2 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer the cooked cakes to a wire rack and and quickly sprinkle with kosher salt.  Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve immediately on a bed of romaine, topped with the relish, and drizzled with ranch dressing.
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Salted Browned Butter Brownies

As a good friend recently put it, these brownies are life-changing!! And she's right-- They are positively SINFUL!  If you've never tried anything with browned butter, don't be turned off.  Simply cooking butter until it is golden brown, adds such a complex, wonderful flavor and depth to any dish.  These combine several of my very favorite things-- Dark Chocolate Brownies with a simple browned butter frosting, topped off with a layer of ganache. Yum!

Salted Browned Butter Brownies
-Alyssa Griffeth-
Brownie Layer:

1 c. butter
8 oz. good-quality semisweet chocolate (I use Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips)
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
5 extra-large eggs
1/3 c. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. all-purpose flour

Browned Butter Layer:

1/2 c. salted butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache Layer:

4 Tbs. butter
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch glass pan with heavy-duty foil and spray foil with cooking spray.

For the brownies, place butter and chocolate in a glass bowl and cook on 50% power for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.

Add the 2 cups of sugar to the chocolate mixture and mix well. Whisk in vanilla, then add eggs 1 at a time until mixture is glossy and smooth. Whisk in salt and cocoa powder, then add flour and stir until it disappears (do not overbeat).
Spread in pan and bake until a pick inserted in center comes out with crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool to room temperature (or place in the freezer like I do!).

For the browned butter frosting, place the stick of butter in a small saucepan and set over medium-low heat.  Stirring constantly, melt the butter and cook until it slowly turns a golden brown color.  This will take about 10 minutes.  As soon as the butter is the color of caramel, remove from heat and immediately whisk in the remaining frosting ingredients.  Quickly pour over the brownie layer and set aside.

To make the ganache, melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.  Pour the warm glaze over the brownies and gently spread with a spatula.  Top with a light sprinkle of kosher salt. Chill brownies for at least 1-2 hours before serving.

To serve, lift foil from pan, place on a cutting board, and cut into squares.  Serve cold.
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Ranch Dressing

I know this is a silly "recipe" to post, but it's my favorite simple, homemade ranch dressing.  It's a million times better than a bottle of ranch, but faster than chopping up a bunch of herbs for homemade dressing.  I also love that it doesn't contain sour cream, which adds too much tang for my personal taste.  This consistency is perfect for dipping veggies, but if you need it slightly thinner for a salad, just add a tiny bit more milk.


Restaurant-Style Ranch Dressing
-adapted from Kneader's Bakery-

Heaping 1/2 c. mayonnaise (light is fine)
7 oz. container Greek yogurt (I prefer the 2%)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

Whisk ingredients together. Serve as a salad dressing or dip for vegetables. Refrigerate any leftovers.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Southwest Open-Faced Sandwiches

These little southwest-style sandwiches are so fun and flavorful!  They are the perfect addition to any party or luncheon-- I love how simple they are to serve to a crowd, but they also make a quick and delicious weeknight dinner.

Southwest Open-Faced Sandwiches
-Lion House Entertaining-

1 loaf French bread, cut into 1″ thick slices
1 small can chopped olives
½ teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup mayo
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1 lb. deli turkey, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 ripe avocados, sliced
¾ cup Colby Jack cheese, shredded
¾ cup pepper jack, shredded

In a bowl, combine olives, chili powder, cumin, and salt; set aside 2 T. of this mixture. Add the mayo, sour cream, and green onions to the remaining olive mixture.

Place bread on an ungreased baking sheet and spread 1 T. of the mayo mixture on each slice. Top w/slices of turkey and tomatoes. Spread w/another T. of mayo mixture. Top W/ avocados and cheeses. Sprinkle w/the reserved 2 T. of olive mixture.

Bake @ 350 for 15 min.
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Turkey Pesto Sandwiches

Turkey Pesto Sandwiches
-Alyssa Griffeth-
2 tubes/cans refrigerated French Bread dough
2 Tb olive oil, divided
3 Tb grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 lb. deli sliced turkey
salt and pepper
2 medium red bell peppers
2/3 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup prepared basil pesto
1/4 tsp Lemon Pepper seasoning
2 cups romaine leaves, washed
Place dough, seam side down on a large cookie sheet. Use serrated knife to make 4 diagonal cuts, 1/2 in deep, on top of each. Using a pastry brush lightly brush dough with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 26-30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Immediately remove bread to cooking rack and cool completely.
 
 
Slice bell peppers into 1/2 inch strips ant toss with remaining 1Tbs. of oil. Place bell pepper slices in a frying pan and cook until tender.
Combine mayo, pesto and lemon pepper. To assemble sandwich, cut bread in half horizontally. Spread half of the presto mixture over cut side of bread bottom, cover with lettuce leaves. Arrange turkey evenly over spinach; top with bell pepper strips. Spread remaining pesto mixture over bottom half. Cut each loaf into 4 sections.
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