Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chocolate Cherry Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Was going through my dry goods cupboard making a grocery list and came across a tin of Cherry Pie Filling that I forgot I had and figured no time but the present to make something with it.

Now since I am not that proficient at making pie crusts I decided I would use it in a cake and what better combination  than Chocolate and Cherries?

I present to you my Chocolate and Cherries Cake.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 cup All Purpose flour – sifted
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 18 ounce can Cherry Pie filling
  • 9×13 Cake pan

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. In a large non reactive bowl mix together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In another large non reactive bowl mix together the remaining ingredients except the cherry pie filling.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and, using a rubber spatula, mix the ingredients together until smooth. Add the cherry pie filling and mix until a batter forms.
  5. Spray the cake pan with a vegetable oil spray and dust with flour.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…..

                           Bon Appetit

Lancashire hot pot

 

Sundays, before life got even more hectic than usual, used to be a day of fix breakfast for my wife and let her spend a few hours in front of the “tely”, that’s U.K. English for television, watching Coronation Street which for those not in the know is an English television series that has been on the air forever and appears to be not going anywhere soon. It was on this show that I first came across this recipe and I was thoroughly enthralled so much so that I went in search of the ultimate version. 

After searching the Internet and various cook books and talking to relatives in the U.K. I was soon to discover that in fact there IS NO definitive recipe. In fact the only thing the various and sundry recipes had in common was Lamb and Potatoes and even then the debate raged on about “which cut of lamb to use”, neck-leg-kidney,  or “what potatoes were the best”, white or Yukon gold, or even whether or not to use Lamb stock or Chicken stock.

Now I rarely make this recipe because I am supposed to avoid red meat (I have Hemochromatosis which is a fancy Doctor term for excess Iron stored in my liver)  so to me it does not make much difference which part of the Lamb to use  with the exception of the Kidney—- I’m not a big fan of Kidney— nor does it matter which potato although I am partial to Yukon Gold . All that matters to me is that the dish comes out flavorful and satisfying.

So I now present to you my take on Lancashire Hot Pot which by the way is the one my late Father-In-Law just loved and being that he was from Manchester England I take it as a very big compliment.

Ingredients:

Approximately two pounds of lamb- cubed

Two and a half pounds of potatoes sliced like you were making Scalloped Potatoes

One large white onion- diced

1/4 cup all purpose flour— more or less ( I like a nice thick sauce )

2 Carrots- thinly sliced

Healthy dash of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Three finely chopped garlic cloves

Two cups chicken stock

Three tablespoons butter

Two tablespoons Canola Oil

Tin foil (or for you Brits—- Aluminum foil lol)

Putting it all together:

Heat the Canola oil in a large skillet and saute the onions until translucent – about two minutes

Remove the onions from the heat and set aside

Add the Lamb, butter, Worcestershire and garlic to the skillet and fry, in batches if necessary, until it is medium rare (Lamb is the best when served Medium)

Remove the Lamb from the heat and set aside

To the liquid in the skillet add the flour and make a Roux

Add enough Chicken stock to get the Roux to the consistency you want

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

In a large greased casserole dish spread a layer of potatoes followed by carrots and the Lamb mixture

Repeat until all the ingredients are finished

Pour the Roux over the contents of the casserole and give it a bit of a shake to distribute the Roux throughout the casserole

“Bung” (another Brit term—- thanks Jamie Oliver) it in the oven for approximately an hour and a half

Dish it out, tuck in, and be in heaven………….

So there you have it……. another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time…………..

                                                           Bon Appetit 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seafood Chowder

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Woke up this morning and even before I opened my eyes I felt a disturbance in the force. Okay it was more like something was up and when I did venture a peek I found I was right……. it was dark, gloomy and the threat of rain was in the air AGAIN!!— it’s only been like this for three days now and I mean seriously— it’s August— we are supposed to have great weather so get with it mother nature.

 Sorry crummy weather makes me cranky and what better way to combat crummy weather than to create a dish that chases the gloomies away and fills your tummy with happy happy joy joy feelings….  where are these movie quotes coming from?

Anyways, my go to gloomy day vanisher is SOUP and one of my all time favorites is Seafood Chowda or Chowder for those outside of New England. There is just something about a good flavorful bowl of soup that makes everything right in the world….. okay maybe not everything but it comes darn close. So without further ado and no more movie quotes I bring to you my version of Seafood Chowder.

Ingredients:

One bag 32-40 shrimp cut in half – 32-40 refers to the number of shrimp per pound so these would be about medium in size

15 to 20 Sea Scallops

Two to three fish fillets cut in one inch squares- I use Tilapia because it is a nice white but firm fleshed fish

Two Celery stalks chopped

One medium white onion – diced

Two pounds baby yellow potatoes – quartered

Six cups chicken stock

1/2 cup All Purpose flour

1/4 cup butter

Cilantro for garnish

Two tablespoons Canola oil or whatever oil you like to use

Three tablespoons Old Bay seasoning – this is a seafood seasoning so if you use a different kind then go for it.

Putting it all together:

In a large stock pot heat the oil and the butter and saute the onions until transparent- about two minutes

Add the flour and whisk until the oil and butter has clumped (that’s one of those fancy culinary terms) together with the flour and onion

Whisk in the chicken broth a little at a time – I say a little at a time because then you can control how thick the broth will be

When you first whisk in the chicken broth it will appear thin but don’t worry it will thicken as it heats

Add in the celery, potatoes and Old Bay and stir until well incorporated

Top with water until the potatoes are just covered – maybe a quarter inch or so

Bring to a boil, cover and then lower the heat to simmer

When the potatoes are just about fork tender add the fish

When the fish is firm add the shrimp and scallops and simmer until they are done (shrimp will be pink and the scallops firm)

Ladle the finished soup into a big bowl and sprinkle with Cilantro

If this flavorful dish does not chase away the gloomies then the only thing I can say is “go back to bed and yank the covers up over your head” because nothing is going to help.

Now you have another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond” to add to your culinary repertoire and I sincerely hope you enjoy it

So until next time………..

 

                                                      Bon Appetite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Reuben

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Every once in a while I feel like doing something simple that is not too difficult but still tasty .

That something is the Sandwich and with a nod to the Sandwich King Jeff Mauro I like to “Make any meal into a sandwich, and any sandwich into a meal” and this particular sandwich does just that.

Ingredients:

–          1 Butterflied Chicken breast

–          2 Pieces of Swiss cheese

–          Russian salad dressing

–          Cole slaw

–          1 Butterflied chicken breast

–          Chicken dry rub (see Rubs and Marinades)

–          All purpose flour

–          2 Tablespoons Olive oil

Method:

–          Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan

–          Season the chicken with the dry rub and dust with the All purpose flour

–          Cook the chicken in the olive oil until done. Approximately 10 minutes

–          Toast the bread and spread some Russian dressing on the bottom piece

–          Lay the Swiss cheese on top of the Russian dressing

–          Add the chicken

–          Top with Coleslaw and the other piece of Rye bread

There you have the Chicken Reuben and in case you’re wondering why I use Coleslaw—- simple I can’t stand Sauerkraut and this sandwich is so versatile that it can be served with pretty much any side you wish.

If you decide to try this recipe I hope you find it as “simple but tasty” as I do.

Bon Appetit