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Creamy Mushroom Soup by The Pioneer Woman


Miyagi Oyster Mushroom Bisque Recipe

A few weeks ago I received a dozen and a half miyagi oysters from Real Good Fish as part of my my seafood subscription. Because miyagi oysters are delicate and small, I generally just serve them on the half shell, but this time I decided to make bisque. Bisque is a creamy soup traditionally made from seafood and in particular broth from seafood shells. 

Searching around online I found a recipe for oyster bisque from Chef Greg Atkinson in Seattle that called for cooking the oysters in the shells. While I have gotten better at shucking oysters with practice, this appealed to me greatly! It’s a stunning recipe but I only had half the amount of oysters required so I could only make a half batch. The second time around I was inspired to make a bisque with both oysters and oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms look a bit like oysters in color and shape. They have a very mild earthy flavor that reminds me of oysters as well. 
My recipe uses less heavy cream than the original and I puree the mushrooms as well as the bits of onion along with the oysters. The resulting soup is rich and complex and the luxurious topping of whipped cream really takes it over the top. This is a soup worthy of a special occasion. Maybe New Year’s Eve? Next time you find yourself wiht some oysters, I hope you’ll give it a try. 
Miyagi Oyster Mushroom Bisque
Adapted from a recipe by Greg Atkinson
Serves 4
Ingredients
1 1/2 dozen live miyagi oysters 
2 cups water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup minced white onion
1/2 pound chopped oyster mushrooms
Pinch freshly ground pepper
Pinch grated nutmeg, or to taste
1/2 cup dry sherry 
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
2 Tablespoons freshly chopped herbs such as parsley, chives or tarragon
Instructions
Scrub the oysters to clean off any mud or shell chips. Bring 2 cups of water to a full rolling boil in a 1-gallon Dutch oven or pot over high heat. Put the oysters in the pot, cover, reduce the heat to medium and let them steam until they open or become very easy to pry open with an oyster knife, about 8 minutes. 
Remove the steamed oysters from their shells and put them and their liquor in a blender. Strain the liquid in which the oysters were steamed into the blender as well.
Rinse or wipe the Dutch oven and add the butter, heat over medium-high heat and add the onions, Cook for about 2 minutes or until softened then add the mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to dry then add the sherry. pepper and nutmeg and cook until the sherry has evaporated and the mixtures sizzles in the pan. Add 1/4 cup cream and bring this mixture to a boil. 
Transfer the mushroom mixture into the blender with the oysters and blend to make a very smooth purée. Return the mixture to the pot, add the milk and heat through. 
Whip the remaining 1/2 cup cream. Garnish each serving of soup with a dollop of whipped cream and chopped herbs.
Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I received the oysters from Real Good Fish I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post. 

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Chocolate-Ribboned Peppermint Ice Cream by Bridget


How to Make a Caramelized White Chocolate Mocha

I love to work with good quality white chocolate. Though it is sweeter and contains more sugar than its darker counterparts, the vanilla and dairy flavors of a high quality, ultra-creamy white chocolate are hard to beat and work exceptionally well in many recipes. White chocolate is also unusual in that it can be caramelized quite easily. Since it contains more sugar than most other forms of chocolate and has no cocoa solids, those sugars can be caramelized to deepen the flavor of the white chocolate and create something exceptionally delicious – even if you’re not usually a white chocolate fan.

This Caramelized White Chocolate Mocha is one of the easiest treats that you can make with caramelized white chocolate, though I recommend my Caramelized White Chocolate & Cherry Ice Cream when you’re ready to take your white chocolate cookery to the next level.

How to Caramelize White Chocolate

Start with good quality white chocolate that is made with pure cocoa butter, not other vegetable fats. High quality white chocolate is easy to work with and will always have the best flavor.

Place the white chocolate in a nonstick skillet and melt it over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring regularly, until it begins to turn a golden color. Continue stirring until the chocolate is almost the color of peanut butter. If it appears to sieze up a bit as you cook it, don’t worry because it will smooth out again as it sits. The finished chocolate will be almost the color of peanut butter.

Assemble the Drink

Once you have your caramelized white chocolate, all you need to do is combine it with hot milk and coffee to make the mocha. I typically use espresso for this drink, but strong coffee will work, too. All the sweetness of the drink comes from the caramelized white chocolate, which has a wonderful caramel flavor and subtle dairy sweetness that reminds me a bit of sweetened condensed milk – but far more delicious.

The drink is quite rich and the recipe below makes two smaller servings. If you’re feeling indulgent, feel free to pour everything into a big mug and treat yourself! I topped mine with whipped cream, but the drink is just as good without anything on top.

Caramelized White Chocolate Mocha
1/4 cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips*
3/4 cup milk (pref. whole)
1/3 cup strong coffee or 2 oz espresso

In a nonstick skillet, melt the white chocolate over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring regularly, until the chocolate begins to turn a golden color. Cook until chocolate is golden and resembles peanut butter.
In the microwave, heat up the milk for about 60 seconds (just below a simmer). Pour milk and espresso into the skillet with the white chocolate and cook over medium heat, whisking until the chocolate has completely dissolved. Divide into two mugs to serve.
Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Serves 2

*You must use real white chocolate, made with only cocoa butter and not other vegetable fats.

The post How to Make a Caramelized White Chocolate Mocha appeared first on Baking Bites.


Bay Area Chocolate Gifts

The Bay Area is a wonderful place for chocolate. We have bean to bar manufacturers as well as talented confectioners and pastry chefs all crafting wonderful treats. Today is the deadline for 2 day delivery, so if you’re looking for gifts to arrive in time for Christmas, here are some of my top picks: 
Recchiuti is famous for their burnt caramel truffle, fleur de sel caramels and their wonderful s’mores kit. This year I got a chance to try their Dark Hot Chocolate. Please note, this is not cocoa, it’s real chocolate pistoles, made with a custom South American blend. What are pistoles? It’s the French name for a Spanish coin; the chocolate coins melt into a rich, yet mellow and smooth drink when dissolved with water or milk (or a combination). Or you can add some to your coffee, as my mother-in-law likes to do. It’s won raves from many publications and is a great winter time treat for kids or adults, just under $20.
One of my favorite local confectioners is Charles Chocolate. I’m crazy about their triple chocolate coated almonds and their sweet salty cashew bar, this year I tried two more recent additions to line of chocolate bars, the Toffee Coffee dark milk chocolate bar and the Caramelized Crisped Rice bittersweet chocolate bar. The Toffee Coffee bar has chunks of almond toffee and coffee beans in it, the toffee flavor really comes through deliciously. The Crisped Rice bar has caramelized crisped brown rice that might remind you of a Nestle Cunch bar but it’s much darker and with just a light crunch.The bars are available in mini versions for about $3 each. 
Kika’s Treats makes all kinds of things, including outstanding Salted Crunch Caramels and Salted Nutty Caramels. They also make a line of chocolate covered cookies including different flavors of shortbread and graham crackers. The Caramelized Graham Crackers coated in chocolate are a favorite of mine and you can get them coated in dark chocolate, milk chocolate or 70% Dandelion chocolate. You’ve never had graham crackers like these before, they are thick, crisp and crunchy, and positively irresistible. Each box is $8-10.
Earlier this year I got a chance to try the chocolate panettone From Roy studded with Guittard chocolate. I had never had a panettone as luxuriously airy yet moist, rich and delicious. From Roy recently received an investment in cash and is expanding, offering panettone year round and in a variety of different flavors. It’s made with an Italian starter made from wild yeast and takes 40 hours to make! Last week I ordered one for a friend, but I’m sorry to say they are now sold out. The cakes are $50, but lofty and worth every penny.
Another choice for chocolate lovers would be a book on chocolate, and this year there are two I strongly recommend, neither are cookbooks per se, but both include some recipes.
Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution this compact volume starts by explaining just what bean to bar means and how chocolate is made. It has a lot of Bay Area connections including pages devoted to Scharffen Berger and Guittard, both “chocolate pioneers” and a profile of Dandelion Chocolate.

Along the way there are wonderful features on pairing chocolate with cheese, tea, spirits and more plus recipes including a few from locals Michael Recchiuti and Alice Medrich.

This book is perfect for anyone who loves chocolate and wants to know more about the American chocolate makers, and is looking for new ways to enjoy chocolate. 

Making Chocolate from Bean to Bar to S’more, written by Todd Masonis, founder and CEO of Dandelion Chocolate. It’s a gorgeous coffee table volume that covers everything form how to temper chocolate, how to source cacao and even the equipment used to process chocolate.

The recipes come from Dandelion’s in-house pastry chef, Lisa Vega. Vega gives away the secrets to recipes for cookies, brownies, cakes, drinks and more.

This book is for chocolate aficionados, especially those who want to try their hand at making it or just want to learn more about it. It’s also good for those who want to use different percentage chocolate in recipes. The recipes don’t call out specific brands. 

Disclaimer: I purchased each of the items featured in this post, with the exception of the hot chocolate. The books were review copies and this post includes affiliate links. I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post. 

How to Cut and De-Seed a Pomegranate (Video)

All photos by Greg Seber

Pomegranates are one of the best parts of fall and winter months. Won’t you agree? Love the fruit!

Recently, at a private cuisine and culture presentation and lunch event I did for a group of home economists in our house, I was asked if  there was any special technique I used to cut and de-seed a pomegranate. Well, of course there is! I am a pomegranataholic and I better know how to get those ruby red arils out of the fruit as quickly as possible!

How to Cut and De-Seed a Pomegranat | AZCookbook.com by Feride Buyuran continue reading

The post How to Cut and De-Seed a Pomegranate (Video) appeared first on AZ Cookbook.


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