Captain America Civil War: Vision’s Chicken Paprikash

captain-america-civil-war-2016-05-06

I am a fan of the comic book films. They are action-y and fun and I think they are just great to watch. While enjoying the latest Captain America flick I happened to notice a pretty significant (well, to me anyway) food scene! Imagine my surprise and joy at discovering meaningful food where I wasn’t expecting it.  Yay!

The scene is where Vision tries to recreate an authentic dish from the region of Sokovia- hometown of Scarlet Witch. It is a Sokovian version of chicken paprikash; a  traditional, Eastern European, comfort food made with chicken, paprika, onions and love.

Watch the scene here:

This scene is significant, not only because it gives me something to cook from the film but because it hints at the relationship to come between these two characters. In the comics, Scarlet Witch and Vision fall in love and get married. By cooking for her, Vision is beginning to manifest his feelings for Wanda. This is especially evident in the fact that he cooks her a dish with meaning, not just a sandwich, but an authentic comfort food from her homeland. Food has always been instrumental in communicating love, and it’s how Vision has chosen to express his beginning affections for Scarlet Witch.  I love that this film is giving their relationship some attention amidst all the drama between the Captain and Iron Man.

In order for me to get this dish right I had to imagine where Sokovia would be if it actually existed. Luckily for me there are people out there that make maps of these things. Based on what I have found, Sokovia would exist somewhere in Eastern Europe situated between Bulgaria and Turkey.

8f5eb021e11d7c0d47b795c9282b04ec

So, I researched traditional Eastern European  paprikash recipes and I found that like American Chili, there are several variations of the dish based on geographic location and family tradition and preference. However, I did find some common denominators and went for it.

The dish calls for bone in chicken, most using a whole, quartered chicken. I happened across some great looking chicken thighs at the butcher shop and used them. The thing to remember here is that this dish relies on bone-in chicken for some of its flavor.  I sprinkled them  with a bit of salt and pepper.  Next I dredged it in my flour and seasoning mixture and browned it in a skillet over medium heat.

100_1168

Once browned, I removed the chicken from the pan and added the onions; sautéing until tender and adding more paprika. Once soft,  I added the chicken back in the pot and added in the chicken broth. I brought the mixture up to a boil and then simmered, covered for about 35 minutes.

100_1295

 

I served this dish over egg noodles but I ate bread with the leftovers. I really enjoyed this dish. It was perfect for a cold, rainy night. After making it I could completely understand why Vision chose this to make for Wanda. It is comfy and homey, like a warm hug He was attempting to give her a sense of comfort, of home and doing that for someone definitely sends a message of love. Overall, making this dish has given a small gesture in a one minute scene a huge amount of depth, while at the same time gives me the warm fuzzies about the film because it chose to include such a romantic token in such an action-y film.

100_1305


Vision’s Chicken Paprikash

3-4 pounds Chicken pieces (I used bone in thighs)

1 Medium Onion, Chopped

4 Tbsp Hungarian Paprika

1/2 Cup Flour

2Tbsp Oil

2 Cups Chicken Broth

  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper
  2. Mix flour and half the paprika
  3. Heat oil over medium heat.
  4. Dredge chicken in flour mixture and brown on both sides.
  5. Remove chicken from pot, add onion, and sauté until tender.
  6. Add the rest of the paprika and salt and pepper to taste, cook for one minute.
  7. Add chicken back into pot and add broth.
  8. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 35 minutes or until chicken is done.
  9. Serve over rice, egg noodles or with crusty bread.

100_1303

This entry was posted in Film.

Twin Peaks: Diner Cherry Pie

Back in 2011 when I was pregnant with Squirrel, I was put on bed rest for the last couple months of my pregnancy. So, I did what any sensible person would do, and I binge watched old television shows. I started with shows that I missed out on when I was a teenager because I was out doing fun stuff, (just kidding, I was really home reading); specifically, a super popular show from the 90’s called Twin Peaks.

thIH4S1BBQ

Twin Peaks is the early 90’s masterpiece created by David Lynch and Mark Frost. It centers around the murder investigation of  small town homecoming queen Laura Palmer. FBI agent Dale Cooper heads the investigation and as time goes on the focus of the show is not only to catch the killer but the other goings-on of  the strange townsfolk in Twin Peaks. The show walks the line between picturesque small town life and the sinister things that occur just below the surface.

laura

One recurring theme in the series is Dale Cooper’s love of the local Cherry Pie. He claims the cherry pie from the double R diner is “where cherry pie goes to die”.  Cherry Pie appears in some way in every episode. In the 90’s people were gathering to watch this show and serving cherry pie and coffee as refreshments!

9597665abd8eae1b3bbc499196d5d682

At the risk of sounding like I am reading too much into this, I feel like the cherry pie is a sugary sweet reminder of the “all-American” illusion that the town of Twin Peaks (and Laura Palmer, herself) tries to project. It is this bit of Americana that exists to contrast how bizarre the people of Twin Peaks really are. A place where the pretty, popular, Prom Queen (a picture of American idealism) was involved in some very crazy things. By placing the pie in every episode it not only makes the townsfolk seem that much more disturbed but also serves to remind us of how Laura Palmer is definitely not the girl we thought she was.  Regardless of the reason behind its prevalence in the show it seemed definitely worth making!

During my research I looked into what the typical diner cherry pie consisted of. I also looked at footage and photos from the show to give me a better idea of what I was trying to achieve. It seems that the Double R served a standard, double crust cherry pie. Based on this I knew I could go the route of just using a can of filling poured into a crust and call it a day, however, the real life diner that served as the Double R in the series claims that theirs are made on site everyday from scratch (reviews claim otherwise but who knows?).

Now,  I am not a from-scratch-pie-crust kind of girl. I am actually terrified of pastry dough; working with it intimidates me on a base level.   So I took the easy way out and bought some store bought pie dough that I only had to fit over the pie plate and cut to fit. If you’re the ambitious type that isn’t scared of pie dough then I say go for it! However, if you’re more like me than using the kind out of a box is fine too.

For the filling, I decided to go at least one step beyond canned but, wanted to keep it simple and diner-ish. I looked at several pie filling recipes dating back decades that I could mix, match and adapt to fit what I was looking for.

It’s cherry season so I totally wanted to use fresh cherries! I bought a cherry pitter, which ended up being the best thing ever but, I have used other stand-ins (like an unbent paperclip) in the past with no problems. After washing and pitting the cherries I mixed them up in a bowl with the sugar and the cornstarch and let them sit for a while to let the juices start to flow.

100_1246

I then heated the mixture over medium heat until it started to thicken. My cherries took a little while to get going with this and so I used a potato masher a few times to really get the juice to start coming out.  Eventually my cherries got really juicy and I was a little worried about when or if the thickening would happen but I did notice it got a little thicker and so I moved on to filling my pie shell.

100_1251

I used a ladle to get the cherries out first with minimal juice so that my pie would be filled with fruit and not a soggy juicy mess due to too much juice. I then added the juice a bit at a time to fill in the gaps around the fruit until the shell was filled.  Later, I used any leftover juice in my ice cream maker to make some cherry chip ice cream! Once the shell was full I just rolled and cut the pre-made pie dough to make the top crust and baked.

100_1252

I waited for it to cool a bit before cutting (again, because I was scared excess juice might somehow ruin the crust)

100_1253

Once I tasted it, I totally understood Dale Cooper’s infatuation with cherry pie. It was delicious, and sweet but, not too sweet. The crust had a good texture and really worked well with the sweetness of the filling. Delicious. Overall, this pie would have fit in perfectly as a staple in the Double R Diner; served best with a hot cup of coffee.

100_1258


Twin Peaks Cherry Pie

9 inch ready made pie crust (or use your favorite crust recipe)

7-8 cups Fresh Cherries

2 1/2 cups Sugar

5 Tbs Cornstarch

  1. Trim bottom pie crust to fit pie pan according to directions.
  2. Wash, drain and pit cherries.
  3. Combine sugar and cornstarch.
  4. Stir in cherries and let stand to let juices begin to flow (at least 30 minutes)
  5. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken.
  6. Ladle filling (fruit first!) into pie crust and then add juice until full.
  7. Cover with top crust and vent.
  8. Bake  at 375 for 45 minutes, wrap edges of pie with foil if they brown too fast.
  9. Let cool before cutting.

eba169064f58cbe4d2bca661020f8a86

 

This entry was posted in TV.

Arrested Development: Bluth Frozen Bananas

 

arrested-development I am definitely late to this party but I don’t care. This show is great! I am so happy that they revived it on Netflix. It’s weird, it’s unpredictable and it’s hilarious! It deals with the Bluth family, an incredibly dysfunctional group headed by George Bluth (Jefferey Tambor) that loses all its wealth when he goes to jail. Left holding the family together is his son Michael (Justin Bateman) and his efforts to keep the Bluth empire afloat are kinda strange and very funny.

Now, for the food. One of the Bluth’s many business interests is their frozen banana stand. This banana stand holds a place of prominence in the show especially during the first season. In fact, one of the most memorable lines from this show is “There’s always money in the banana stand.”  You’ll have to watch the series to find out the meaning behind that one! Regardless, this banana stand gets torn down and rebuilt several times over the course of the show and it got me thinking…

According to the show, the Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana is the stand started by George in 1953. It is said to be located on Oceanside Wharf Boardwalk on Balboa Island in Newport Beach. Out of curiosity I researched frozen banana stands in Balboa Island and found Sugar and Spice: The Original Frozen Banana. I figured this would give me great insight into the types of frozen bananas offered on Balboa Island and the most likely types sold at the Bluth stand.

untitled (15)

After looking over the menu, I got a very good idea for the types of bananas that George Michael was most likely selling out of the Bluth stand. So I decided to give it a shot and I was not disappointed!

First, I halved the bananas and inserted the sticks. Then I stuck them in the freezer for a few hours. 100_1234

When it was time to pull them out, I melted some milk chocolate candy melts in the microwave. I dipped my bananas and used a basting brush to make sure I got it all coated. The cold banana makes the candy melts firm up rather fast so once you dip you must work quickly!

Then, I (quickly!!) rolled the chocolate covered banana in the toppings. The ones I used were pretzels, crushed Oreo cookies, rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, and peanut butter chips. Yum!100_1237

Once rolled and covered, I stuck the bananas back into the freezer for a little while to make sure all the good stuff would stick.

100_1240

These were easy and delicious! My kids are still asking for them.

100_1241

Thinking about it, it is no wonder George Bluth built his empire around the banana stand!


Bluth Frozen Bananas:

a few bananas

1 bag milk chocolate candy melts

various toppings such as: crushed oreos, peanut chips, sprinkles, whatever you like!!

  1. Cut bananas in half horizontally. Insert wooden sticks. Put in freezer for at least an hour.
  2. Melt the candy melts in microwave safe bowl according to package decorations.
  3. Dip frozen bananas in chocolate, make sure to coat entire banana.
  4. Working quickly, roll in desired toppings.
  5. Return to freezer for an hour or until ready to eat.
  6. b67ca48444a0941ea8c203f7659ed8ca
This entry was posted in TV.

Modern Family: Sloppy Jays

modernfamily1

I feel that Modern Family is really one of the better sitcoms happening right now. It is funny, smart and heartwarming all at the same time. I love the togetherness of the Pritchett clan but I also love that they aren’t perfect; they reflect a lot of what real life family is actually about.

One terrific aspect of the show is the portrayal of Ed O’Neal’s character Jay Pritchett as the cantankerous grandpa. Jay maintains his relevancy by surrounding himself with younger people-his grandchildren, his step children and even his wife! Because of this, Jay is able to maintain a perfect balance of salty old man, corny dad, and understanding grandfather which makes him one of my favorite characters on the show.

Ed+O+Neill+Modern+Family+Season+3+Episode+TFqDconbLdUl

Jay’s place as the head of the family is demonstrated in a terrific episode called “Great Expectations” from Season One of the show. It is in this episode that Jay makes all the grandkids have a sleepover at his house. He calls it “Jays Night” (another reference to the fact that he has a young mentality-he didn’t call it Grandpa’s Night) . It is in this episode that we come across some yummy inspiration from Jay’s character, in his dish Sloppy Jays.

Now, of course this is a recipe for Sloppy Joes only with a name change. However, I did try to make the recipe match the character of Jay. It is simple, straight forward, and a no frills recipe. I think Jay would approve.

100_1199

It is so simple because it only involves 3 ingredients, yes, three! As with any other RWE recipe, you can feel free to tweak it to your taste but this has been a recipe that I have used for over 15 years and its always a big hit at my house.

You start off browning some burger.

100_1196

After the burger has been browned and drained you add the last two ingredients. Medium Salsa and Ketchup. I know, on paper it doesn’t sound wonderful but when mixed together into the beef it is better than any Sloppy Whoever that came out of a can. Seriously. You also save time from cutting and chopping by using the salsa because it is already in there. The salsa creates the spice and the ketchup balances with the sweet which also reminds me of Jay. Enjoy!

100_1198


Sloppy Jay’s:

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup medium Salsa (I like the chunkier kind but it’s whatever you prefer)

1/2 cup Ketchup

Hamburger Buns

  1. Brown hamburger in a skillet. Drain.
  2. Add the salsa and ketchup.
  3. Serve on buns.
This entry was posted in TV.

Blessed are the Cheesemakers: Fee’s Roast Beef

8bdbb49cf2b6d5e53d3d9b1d8011c957

To be honest, I am not really a romantic, light hearted plot type of girl. I really enjoy things a bit more sinister. However, I really loved this book! Blessed are the Cheesemakers by Sarah Kate Lynch was a great read from start to finish. Truth be told, I cried a little at the end! The novel centers around Abby and Kit, two people that happen to converge on the dairy farm of Joseph Fee and Joseph Corrigan just as the two are looking for a new cheese maker. Surrounded by a group of quirky but lovable characters  Abby and Kit attempt to mend their broken lives and start over. This book is definitely worth checking out and cooking along with. There is of course the obvious mentioned food-cheese, (which will be a featured post a little later), but also various other treats like “Bone-Bone Chicken”, Avis’ raisin bread and a delicious sounding beef roast that Fee prepares.

Fee’s roast is the focus of today’s post. I knew when I read the ingredients that this was something I had to try. I am habitually taken in by simple recipes, and this one doesn’t get any simpler!

“”That’s right,” said Fee again, bashing thyme, garlic and lemon rind together with olive oil using an ancient mortar and pestle.”-Lynch

Just like in Lynch’s novel, I gathered the basic ingredients listed and combined them with the lemon zest and olive oil and bashed. I didn’t have a mortar and pestle (it’s on my wish list though!) so I used a measuring cup and a spoon.

100_1188

It became a very delicious smelling paste so I smeared it all over the beef roast. I cut up some potatoes (white and sweet)and an onion to cook with it. I also cut up the lemon that I had zested for the paste and threw that in there as well.

100_1189

After spending some time in the oven; magic happened! My house smelled amazing, the meat came out tasting exceptional and the potatoes etc. were a delicious, roasted, bunch of amazingness! I would have posted a picture of the finished product but we started eating it immediately out of the oven! Overall, I can’t say that this dish had a hand in the fates of our beloved characters in Blessed Are the Cheesemakers but it did bring a lot of joy into my house the night I made it! Enjoy!


Fee Corrigan’s Roast:

Lemon Zest of One Lemon

1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1Tbsp Thyme

1Tbsp Olive Oil

2-3 pound Roast

  1. Mix  first 4 ingredients together to form a paste.
  2. Spread paste on top of Roast
  3. Add any potatoes, carrots, onions to dish if desired, throw in the rest of the lemon too!
  4. Roast at 375 degrees for about an hour.
This entry was posted in Books.

Inside Out: Broccoli Pizza

 

Pixar Post - Inside Out Sneak Peek Character Lineup (2)

 

I just watched Inside Out with my kids and I really enjoyed it! It focuses on the emotions of a pre-adolescent girl named Riley and how she handles moving to San Francisco from the Midwest. All the action is interpreted by Riley’s basic emotions Fear, Sadness, Joy, Anger and Disgust (pictured above), they help Riley navigate everything that happens to her. One scene in particular that struck me was when during the move, difficulties like the moving van running late, Riley’s dad leaving to handle business, and a dark and dismal new bedroom has left Riley feeling glum and in an attempt to be positive she suggests getting pizza. Pizza. A food that is comforting and familiar wherever you get it…unless you get it in San Francisco.

Watch the full scene here:

This scene is where Riley’s attempt at familiarity ends up pushing her further into unfamiliar territory. Things that Riley thought she knew are now strange and unappealing. With all of the new things around her, Riley at first rejects them and tries to get back to her old life but eventually embraces the changes and as a result, matures. The takeaway here is that change can be good; my takeaway was that I had to step out of my comfort zone and try making a delicious broccoli pizza.

I have never made anything other than a basic red sauce-mozzarella-occasional pepperoni-pizza before so I did some research. I looked up pizza joints in  San Francisco to get some insight on the pizza trends there. I discovered that vegetarian, organic and whole foods are really popular with the people out there even when it comes to pizza. Based on the research I knew I had to do a whole wheat crust and I happened to have the recipe for a great one on hand. The toppings (other than the broccoli of course) took a little more thought. However, in the end I went with some Ricotta, Parmesan, garlic, thyme, olive oil and a Dubliner cheese. YUM!

The pizza dough recipe that I keep on hand is delicious and easy. I also thought it would fit perfectly here because it is a whole wheat dough made from real food ingredients. Something I think the folks in SanFran could get behind. It is straight from Lisa Leake’s 100 Days of Real Food cookbook and I have included a direct link here:

Recipe: Homemade Whole-Wheat Pizza

Of course, if you’re not feeling up to making your own dough, just buy a ready made crust.  No judgment here.

Once the dough is rolled and shaped on the pan it’s time for the toppings. I felt that I had to build this pizza to give it a few different layers of flavor; I really wanted to avoid a limp broccoli on plain cheese mess. So, the first thing I did was to brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I have no idea why but I felt that this would be a good solid foundation.

Next, I spread the ricotta cheese and sprinkled with Parsley. Since this pizza wasn’t going to have a traditional sauce on it I wanted to use a soft cheese at the base so that it wouldn’t be dry. Ricotta cheese is creamy and a little tangy so I thought it would work well.

100_1174

The next layer consisted of Parmesan cheese and minced garlic. I followed that with half of the Dubliner cheese and then a sprinkle of thyme. I did that because I wanted the broccoli to sit in the pizza, not just hang out on top. I also should mention that I steamed the broccoli beforehand but still left it a little crunchy so it would withstand the oven. I also laid the broccoli on paper towels to dry it because I didn’t want any water near my pizza. I topped it all off with the rest of the Dubliner.

100_1177

I took it out of the oven, my family had the same reaction as Riley, they eventually were curious enough to taste it and WOW it was delicious!! They loved it, and I can’t speak for Riley, but I will eat a San Francisco style Broccoli Pizza anytime! I am already planning on making it for my book club and for  a play date that I am hosting next month.

In the film, the pizza represents how the familiar can sometimes be foreign to us. Riley eventually accepts her new surroundings and starts to enjoy the new normal. For me it was a challenge to see if I could create and enjoy a non-traditional pizza. I ended up cooking out of my comfort zone and it was a fun and delicious experience.

100_1185


Broccoli Pizza Recipe:

One Whole Wheat Pizza Crust-store bought or made from this recipe:

Recipe: Homemade Whole-Wheat Pizza

olive oil for brushing

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese

1tsp Parsley

2/3 Cup of grated Parmesan Cheese

2tsp Minced Garlic

1 Cup Dubliner Cheese (or more depending on what you like)

1 cup steamed broccoli

  1. Brush Pizza dough with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread Ricotta around on crust and sprinkle with parsley.
  3. Cover with Parmesan Cheese and minced garlic
  4. Sprinkle with half the Dubliner cheese,
  5. Add thyme and Broccoli
  6. Add the rest of the Dubliner cheese and Bake at 500 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

 

100_1181

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Film.

Breaking Bad: Los Pollos Hermanos Chicken Sandwich

Breaking Bad is one of my all time favorite series’. In general,  I feel like the creation of conversation is what makes something brilliantly done and I can honestly say that I have argued, discussed and talked about this show…a lot.  Each characters’ motivation, their loyalty and the idea of “fault” are just some of my favorite things surrounding Breaking Bad. It also has a lot of great drama and suspense which I love. It also makes me crave fast food chicken…which I also love. So, while hanging out this weekend, re-watching the “Mandala” episode (again) it dawned on me that I should recreate Walter’s meal from his first meeting with Gus at Los Pollos.

breaking-bad-625_625x400_61430910970

So, we begin with the research. I wanted to recreate the first meal Walter orders at Los Pollos which is a pretty basic looking chicken sandwich meal. So I begin my research with how to make a fried chicken sandwich; something with a southwest feel but still standardly fast-foodish. It breaks down to the three main parts-the chicken, the breading and the spices.

For the chicken I decided to use lime juice as a marinade. It seemed appropriately southwestern enough. Along those same lines in terms of spices I go with the standard-chili powder, paprika, onion and garlic powders, cumin and coriander. I also like a bit of heat so I threw in some ground red pepper for good measure. The spices made the breading exciting enough so that the only other ingredient I needed to add was a couple of cups of flour and a bit of confectioner sugar. Yes, sugar. While researching I read in many different places that a bit of sugar is what makes the breading at restaurants like Chick fil-a so delicious. I decided to give it a shot.

    100_1151

Now that I had a pretty clear idea on what I was going to do, I spent an afternoon in my kitchen channeling Los Pollos. I marinated the chicken for a couple hours. Once that was done I set up a chicken assembly line on the counter and got to frying. I used shortening for the frying because I felt that was more fast foodish.  I have to admit my kitchen smelled amazing from the spices. Once the chicken had been cooked 3-4 minutes on each side I set it on a rack above some paper towels to drain.

100_1167100_1168

I served it up on a potato bun and added the Los Pollos curly fries. My kids and husband actually really loved this chicken. They said it was a great combo of spicy and sweet.

100_1172

In the episode, Walter’s chicken sandwich appears to be pretty plain. I kept it the same way for authenticity but this sandwich would be fantastic with some pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo or even some avocado added to it. I actually threw together a quick sauce to put on it (because I love anything with a sauce ) made out of a couple of tablespoons of Miracle whip, ketchup and relish mixed together with a dash of paprika and chili powder for good measure. I enjoyed it.

100_1171


Los Pollos Hermanos Chicken Sandwich Recipe:

2-2 1/2  pounds chicken breasts butterflied and cut in half

1/2 cup Lime Juice

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 cups flour

1Tbs powdered sugar

2Tbs Chili Powder

1Tbs Paprika

2tsp Garlic Powder

2tsp Onion Powder

2tsp Cumin

2tsp Coriander

2tsp Ground Red Pepper

1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

shortening

  1. Marinate chicken in lime juice for at least 2 hours.
  2. Combine eggs and milk in a bowl.
  3. Combine flour and spices in a separate bowl.
  4. Heat enough shortening in the skillet to cover the chicken halfway.
  5. Take the chicken, dip in egg mixture, then in flour mixture and place in hot skillet.
  6. Cook chicken 3-4 minutes each side, remove from skillet and drain on rack or paper towels.
  7. Note: if outside of chicken gets too brown before inside is fully cooked lower your heat a little.

los-pollos-hermanos-logo

 

 

This entry was posted in TV.

Chocolat: Chocolat Chaude

                 100_1142



It’s February! A month filled with love, chocolate and all things indulgent. In light of all that, I decided that the novel Chocolat by Joanne Harris would be a great fit. This book is filled with all sorts of delicious treats ranging from very intricate, candy window displays to bewitching chocolate confections. While reading this novel in my snowy, rainy and cold part of the world, I couldn’t help but start to crave the chocolat chaud that was waiting in La Praline for all the visitors of Vianne Rocher. Chocolat chaud has the literal translation of hot chocolate and that is exactly what it is; not to be confused with powdery Swiss Miss packets, it is made of actual chocolate and not much else. What else could I do but make some?

 “Why can no one here think of anything but chocolates?” ― Joanne Harris, Chocolat

To begin, I had to do a bit of research. I came across a few recipes for hot chocolate and many variations on ingredients and methods. I eventually realized that I was going to have to just get in my kitchen with a basic idea and just keep messing with it until I had something worthy of La Praline.

Of course, I started with some chocolate. Real chocolate, the kind that is delicious and bittersweet and difficult not to eat straight out of the package before it can be put in a recipe. I advise using a bittersweet that is at least 60% Cacao and of the highest quality available. Chop it into small bits and set aside.

100_1130

Next, I heated the milk mixed with a dash (or two!) of cinnamon.

100_1136

When the milk becomes warm, I waited until there was a bit of steam but I didn’t let it boil, I added the chopped chocolate. Whisk until all the chocolate melts and the entire mixture starts to thicken. Warning: Your kitchen will smell amazing! It is no wonder everyone that walked through the doors of La Praline was drinking this!

100_1137

 

Once the chocolate has melted, you can serve right away for a more liquid-y hot chocolate. However, I let mine set for a bit and thicken up, giving it a deliciously thick (but still drinkable!) and indulgent texture.

100_1139100_1140

In order for me to enjoy this in true La Praline fashion, I felt that some sweet embellishments were in order. Let’s note, this is super rich! I suggest serving it in small cups.

“Anouk has hers with crème chantilly and chocolate curls…”-Joanne Harris, Chocolat

I made the crème chantilly, which was more delicious than any canned whipped cream I have ever had! I was also surprised at how easy it was! I also included the recipe for it down below; it consists of heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar mixed with a whisk attachment.

100_1133100_1135

The cool, fluffy crème chantilly and the chocolate curls-made with some of the bar chocolate and a veggie peeler-provided the BEST contrast to the warm thick chocolate. Overall, this was a terrific treat on a cold, rainy February afternoon.

100_1148


Chocolate Chaud Recipe:

6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (good quality), chopped

2 cups of whole milk

a dash (or two) of cinnamon

  1. Heat the milk and cinnamon in a saucepan.
  2. When the milk is warm (steaming but not boiling) add chocolate and whisk until smooth. continue cooking to thicken to desired consistency. Serve.

Crème Chantilly Recipe:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 1/2  Tbsp. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

  1. Combine all ingredients and whip using an electric whisk. Cream should be a soft and billowy texture but should still hold its shape when the whisk is removed. Store in refrigerator.


 

This entry was posted in Books.