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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's Cooking Roz ?- Red Velvet Cakes

Everyday -Anytime Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake  Christmas Theme

Red Velvet Cakes are one of those deserts that one can dress up, as well as  dress down. It is so versatile as far as decor goes. It's hard to make a red velvet cake look bad.

One layer, two layers, three layers as demonstrated above in upper left hand corner. You may omit icing altogether and with an outstanding recipe it will not only taste good,but to any one's surprise it will still look great! Personally, I prefer the Bundt Pan look with a cream cheese icing thin enough to glaze around the center, flowers or no flower adornment in the center.

My point is this, I always saw this classic in decorated in cookie cutter fashion. So I tried to come up with a various ways to uplift the aesthetics without destroying the taste. Cream cheese icing is not typically fond of keeping its shape very well, its best to keep simple embellishments.

Occasionally I will add a red velvet cake to  my portfolio with a different twist on the glam.
Follow Roz to see what other ways to rock this cake throughout the year.

There are countless recipes worldwide, I will post my recipe during the holiday season. As mentioned previously, using pure vegetable oil and a few other tips will make the difference in your Red Velvet cake as plain as night and day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What's Cooking Roz?- Roz is cooking with Persimmons this week

Honey -Orange glazed  Persimmon Tartlets
This week I am experimenting with persimmon recipes,my own creations , so I will play on the safe side first. Then ,try a wild and out persimmon treat. You never know until you try it, surprise your taste buds I always say.
Persimmons are in season, they are the brightly orange tomato looking fruit. Which are available between  October through January, sometime February. They are often overlooked when it come to Holiday deserts. Persimmons are also surprisingly quite delicious when prepared in savory dishes too. The trick to using persimmons is to make sure they are ripe when adding them desert recipes. Ripe persimmons are tasty just eaten raw; or  halved topped with cream cheese.They are a wonderful addition to muffins, cakes , breads and pies. However if not ripened they are just about inedible, too tart, cottony like texture.

Sharon fruit, kaki , hachiya hence aka persimmons can be cooked, but only after ripening.Otherwise the fruit can be bitter. They are also a good source or vitamin A ,as we might have guessed from the orange color and some vitamin C.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gumbo Flavor of the Month Series-Let's Make a Pot of Gumbo Ya'll!

Shrimp and Louisiana Smoked Sausage Gumbo

I we have covered the basics or the essentials of cooking Gumbo. The rest of the process is a cinch, this recipe is simple.
It's fun to create your recipes as well, you will find recipes all over the Internet and most cooks and restaurants have their own secret. Have fun with it keep it classic or put a twist on a pot , you never know what will come of it, maybe a blue ribbon or two. Always make your roux before cooking your gumbo,saves a lot of time.

Shrimp and Louisiana Smoked Sausage Gumbo

1 chicken ( 2-3 lbs) *see note
 Creole seasoning or salt and pepper
3-4 tbsp. oil for frying
3qts. water or /chicken stock
1 1/2 lbs. fresh okra
1 large bell pepper,chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large onion,chopped
3-4 cloves of fresh garlic ,minced
1 16oz can of stewed tomatoes
1-2 lbs of Smoked Louisiana Hot Links , sliced
3-4 bay leaves
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tbsp. file

Cut chicken into to pieces or use party-wings(thawed out). Dredge seasoned chicken in flour, and fry until golden brown. Set aside.

Meanwhile saute okra in about a tsp. of oil until all ropiness is gone.Set aside. In a heavy  Dutch oven combine all of the ingredients except the  File ,shrimp, and chicken stock.Cook stirring occasionally to keep from sticking to pan for appx.15 mins.

Louisiana Hot Links
Add enough stock just to cover dutch oven half-way for now, ( its best to add liquid as needed to get the thickness and full bodied flavor.Bring to a slow boil.Then simmer about an hour, add shrimp, cook 10mins- taste.
 At this point the soup has not merried yet, add additional seasonings to your preference. Add your file last to your pot after all your tasting is done, some prefer file added at the table in your bowl, I like it both ways.
Discover your secret ingredient, experiment, I have my secret ingredient, sorry I can't share.
Serve over steamed white rice.
Bon Appetit!

* Use party wings to save time and for presentation aesthetics, fresh not frozen if possible

Seafood Gumbo  Perfect for Christmas Dinner