Saturday, May 25, 2013

Healthy Summer Wraps w/ Avocado & Apple

Property of Chef Madeleine Dee
Chef Madeleine Dee's Healthy Wraps with Avocado and Apple

It's getting to be perfect picnic weather again, so I'd like to share a quick, cool, & delicious wrap that is sure to please!

Chef Madeleine Dee's Summer Wraps

4 large tortillas (I used some sun-dried tomato ones)
1 avocado, halved and sliced into long strips
1 lb. deli sliced chicken or turkey
8 slices Muenster cheese
8 romaine leaves, washed and dried
1 fuji apple, sliced very thinly
Salt and pepper
Olive oil mayo
Wax paper

1. Spread a tablespoon or two of olive oil mayo on one half of each tortilla, then add 1/4 of the chicken or turkey, the romaine, the cheese, the apple, and the avocado.

2. Sprinkle the tops with a pinch of both salt and pepper, then roll the tortillas tightly over the filling (like enchiladas).

3. Wrap each sandwich in wax paper, taping the seam shut and the ends closed like a Christmas present.

4. Cut in half with a sharp knife, peel back the paper, and have a picnic! :) 

Property of Chef Madeleine Dee

This sandwich would be excellent with a big, icy glass of lemonade.

Property of Chef Madeleine Dee 
Looks pretty inviting, huh?

Property of Chef Madeleine Dee


Saturday, May 11, 2013

5-Minute Ganache Frosting

Property of Chef Madeleine Dee
Luscious ganache frosting on yellow cake. :)

It's no secret that people adore chocolate, and ganache has become a household name in recent years. It's shiny, deep, dark, and full of all the delightfully chocoholic flavors that you know and love. So, why not thicken it up a bit and make a frosting to pour over your treats or to dip your favorite bonbons into? 

You can in less than 5 minutes. 

Here's how:

Chef Madeleine Dee's Easy Ganache Frosting

2 cups semisweet or dark chocolate chips, plus extra for thickening
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Place 2 cups chocolate chips into a 4-cup plastic measuring cup with a handle. Pour the heavy cream over the chips. It should just barely cover them.

2. Microwave for 1 minute, then let it rest for 30 seconds. Microwave for 1 more minute.

3. Carefully remove from microwave and immediately whisk in the salt, blending to combine completely. Once totally mixed, add in extra chocolate as needed, whisking well after each addition, until you have a shiny, beautiful, thick frosting.

4. Pour over a tart or cake for extra decadence, or dip cooled cupcakes and other treats directly into the frosting for a shiny shell of ganache goodness.

5. Enjoy. ;)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Easy Blue Cheese au Gratin Potatoes

Property of Chef Madeleine Dee
Blue Cheese au Gratin Potatoes

Blue cheese. It has many uses, and it's very versatile. To be honest, I used to hate it. But that was before I made this scrumptious side dish. Whether you spell it "bleu" or "blue", these creamy spuds are guaranteed to hit the spot. It's a little time consuming, but it's extremely easy and goes well with just about anything. The starch from the potatoes slowly thickens the sauce during baking, so all you have to do is slice, whisk, and bake. I do insist upon using a very particular brand name product (Philadelphia Savory Garlic Cooking Creme), but I am not being paid to do so - it's just an awesome product and this side dish isn't nearly as good without it. Enjoy, my dears. Enjoy.

Chef Madeleine Dee's Blue Cheese au Gratin Potatoes
Serves atleast 8 people, unless they fill their entire plates with potatoes, which they may do

10 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes, washed and unpeeled
1.5 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1 container Philadelphia Savory Garlic Cooking Creme
2.5 cups heavy cream
Zest of 2 lemons
Cooking spray
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat your oven to 375*F and grease a rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. Slice your potatoes thinly and evenly, discarding the ends, then layer them in your greased baking dish and toss them very well with 1 tsp. salt. This will result in well-seasoned and super moist potatoes. Allow them to rest and get to know the salt while you perform the next step.

2. Bring the heavy cream, 1/2 tsp. of salt, the black pepper, and the zest of 2 lemons to a boil in a tall pot on the stove. As soon as this mixture boils and starts to rise, turn off the heat to prevent the cream from boiling over and making a mess.

*If you're watching your sodium, you can omit the 1/2 tsp. of salt here. It won't make your mouth sing as much, but it will still play a beautiful tune on your taste buds.

3. When you turn off the heat, very quickly add in the blue cheese and the Philadelphia Savory Garlic Cooking Creme, whisking until smooth.

4. Pour your smooth, beautiful sauce over the potatoes.

5. Make sure all potatoes are submerged and that they are in an even layer.

6. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and make a small slit in the center of the foil so it can vent a bit while it bakes.

7. Bake for 1 hour at 375*F, then remove the foil and bake at 400*F for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until it's golden brown on top and the potatoes are tender. Let rest for about 10-15 minutes to let the sauce thicken, then serve sprinkled with fresh chopped parlsey.

When finished, it should look like the pictures below.

Property of Chef Madeleine Dee

Property of Chef Madeleine Dee

Property of Chef Madeleine Dee

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Executive Chef and Owner of No Place Like Home in Louisville, KY. Writer, actress, chef, professional cook and professional eater.