recipes

Holiday 13 December 2016

Wrap Up the Season With Buttery, Homemade Candy

(Family Features) Homemade candy is a year-round treat, but it’s especially delicious during the holidays. Stir up sweet family traditions in the kitchen this season with a few simple tools and the perfect candy ingredients. Gather a heavy saucepan and wooden spoon, along with plenty of real butter, pure sugar and high-quality chocolate.
These recipes are easy to make, from melt-in-your-mouth caramels to crunchy, nutty toffee. If your candy-making technique could use a refresher course, visit butterisbest.com for a short video demonstration of the Pistachio Toffee recipe, along with helpful hints for using a candy thermometer and testing candy temperatures.

Sweet Tips for Candy Success

  • No substitutions — real butter, not margarine or spreads, gives candy the best flavor and texture.
  • Don’t double up — make only a single batch of candy at a time. Extra ingredients may prevent the mixture from cooking properly.
  • Temps on target — the bulb of the candy thermometer should be completely covered by liquid, but don’t rest the thermometer on the bottom of the pan.
  • Be patient — candy takes a long time to cook — don’t rush it by turning up the heat.
  • Measure up — measure all ingredients before beginning a recipe.
  • Keep it fresh — store finished confections in an airtight container in a dry location. Use wax paper to separate layers of candy.

For more holiday recipes and tips for cooking and baking with butter visit butterisbest.com.

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Chocolate Cherry Fudge

Makes 3 dozen pieces

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup chopped slivered almonds
  • 1 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  1. In heavy saucepan, combine butter, cream and sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil, stirring frequently, 8 to 10 minutes, or until mixture reaches 234°F (soft ball stage).
  2. Remove from heat; add chocolate and marshmallow creme; stir until smooth.
  3. Add, almonds, cherries and almond extract; mix until well blended.
  4. Pour mixture into 9-inch square pan lined with buttered foil. Refrigerate until cool; cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

 

Eggnog Fudge

Makes 3 dozen pieces

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup eggnog
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 10 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup chopped pecans,
  • 1 teaspoon rum or rum extract
  1. In heavy saucepan, combine butter, eggnog and sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, and continue to boil, stirring frequently, 8 to 10 minutes, or until mixture reaches 234°F (soft ball stage).
  3. Remove from heat; add chocolate and nutmeg; stir until smooth. Add marshmallow creme, pecans and rum; mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into 9-inch square pan lined with buttered foil. Cool completely; cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

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Sea-Salted Caramels

Makes 3 dozen pieces

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Butter sides and bottom of heavy 3-quart saucepan. Add butter and melt over low heat. Add sugars, corn syrups and cream; mix well. Raise heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil until mixture reaches 248°F (firm ball stage).
  2. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour caramel immediately into 9-inch square pan lined with buttered foil. Cool at room temperature until caramel begins to set, sprinkle with sea salt; cool completely.
  3. Use foil to lift caramel out of pan. Butter a large chef’s knife and cut caramel into 1-inch squares. Wrap caramels individually in plastic wrap or store in airtight container in refrigerator.

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Pistachio Toffee

Makes 3 dozen pieces

  • 1 1/4 cups shelled pistachios, divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place pistachios in single layer in pan; toast 3 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and coarsely chop; set aside.
  2. In heavy saucepan, combine butter, sugars, water and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium, and continue to boil until mixture reaches 300°F (hard crack stage), stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in 3/4 cup pistachios; mix well and pour into jellyroll pan lined with buttered foil. Spread mixture into large rectangle. Cool completely.
  4. In microwave-safe container, microwave chocolate 30 seconds; stir. Continue microwaving in 10-second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted and smooth, but not hot. Using spatula, spread over toffee, covering it completely. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pistachios and gently pat into chocolate.
  5. Place pan in refrigerator for 5 minutes, or until chocolate has set. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

Source: America's Dairy Farmers

Main Dishes 27 March 2017

Modern Spins on Spring Traditions

(Family Features) From Easter to Passover to the Kentucky Derby and beyond, there is a lamb dish for nearly every spring occasion.

While many traditions rely on lamb as a centerpiece, it doesn’t have to be prepared like grandma’s overcooked, tough and often tasteless roast. Today’s home cooks are forgoing the jar of mint jelly and using fresh mint in pesto and salsas, while serving their lamb medium-rare to preserve its tender juiciness.

If a rack of lamb is your preferred cut for spring celebrations, the American Lamb Board offers six simple steps for the perfect entree. For those who opt for roasting a boneless leg of lamb that is tender and full of flavor, try using these step-by-step instructions for a succulent lamb roast. For a real showstopper, turn off the oven, fire up the grill, butterfly a leg of lamb, season well and grill to desired doneness.

Toss grandma’s jar of mint jelly and brighten up your feasts with fresh condiments like this Mint-Pistachio Pesto or a Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Sea Salt. For more tips and spring celebration-worthy recipes, visit americanlamb.com/spring/.

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Mint-Pistachio Pesto

Recipe courtesy of the American Lamb Board

  • 1 cup shelled, toasted, unsalted pistachios
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  1. In food processor, pulse all ingredients until mixed but still somewhat chunky.

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Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Sea Salt

Recipe courtesy of the American Lamb Board

  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 1/2-3 pounds boneless leg of American lamb, trimmed and butterflied
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons
  1. In food processor, grind salt and rosemary leaves together until mixture is texture of coarse sand.
  2. Season lamb generously with rosemary salt, working it into all crevasses; it should take about 2 tablespoons. Set lamb aside at room temperature at least 30 minutes before grilling, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
  3. Heat charcoal or gas grill. Pat lamb dry, if needed, and rub lightly with olive oil to coat.
  4. Grease grill grates with oil and place lamb on hottest part of grill. Cook with grill covered, turning once, until brown and crusty.
  5. Move lamb to cooler part of grill and continue cooking until instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 130° F for medium-rare, 15-25 minutes total. Transfer lamb to platter, cover with foil and let rest at least 10 minutes before cutting into thick slices against the grain.
  6. Halve lemons and brush cut sides lightly with oil. Place cut-side down on grill until deeply charred, 2-3 minutes.
  7. Arrange lamb slices on large platter or directly over salad. Serve with charred lemon halves for squeezing and additional rosemary salt.

Source: American Lamb Board

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