Sunday, September 11, 2011

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: September 2011 - Peanut Butter Stuffed Hot Fudge Cupcakes

So...I got this recipe off Tasty Kitchen...and I made them for my birthday because I am a chocolate/peanut butter FIEND...

...and they were SO GOOD, that when Septembers Iron Chef was announced, and the secret ingredient was "Peanut Butter"...I knew EXACTLY what I would be making.

Peanut Butter Stuffed Hot Fudge Cupcakes


For the Cupcakes -

1 whole Egg
3/4 cups Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup PLUS 1 TBS Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Butter, melted
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 TBS Sour Cream
1-1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Dark Cocoa Powder
1-1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cups Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce (recipe follows)

For the Buttercream -

1/2 cup Butter, softened
2/3 cup Peanut Butter
3 cups Powdered Sugar (I found I needed LESS than this to get the creamy consistency I was'll have to play with both the amounts of powdered sugar and milk depending on how thick and/or creamy you like your buttercream frosting)
1 TBS milk (have more on hand)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 pinch Salt

For the Hot Fudge Sauce -

1 cup Sugar
1 cup Dark Cocoa Powder
1 pinch Salt
2 TBS flour
1 cup Boiling Water or Scalding Milk
1 TBS Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract


For the Cupcakes -

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth and no lumps remain. Add milk, cream, butter, and vanilla, and mix until combined. Stir in sour cream.

3. Sift dry ingredients together and add to wet mixture,. Mix until batter is smooth, then swirl in fudge sauce. Line a muffin tin (12-count) with liners and using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to each cup. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool before frosting.

For the Buttercream Frosting -

Cream butter and peanut butter together in a bowl of an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar with mixer on low speed and gradually add milk and vanilla extract. Add a pinch of salt and mix until frosting is smooth. If too thick, add more milk; if too thin, add more sugar.

Put frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a tip. Poke a hole in the cupcake with the pastry tip and fill the cupcake. Then use the remaining frosting to frost the cooled cupcake.

For The Hot Fudge Sauce -

Combine sugar, cocoa, salt, and flour in a bowl or a pot over a double boiler. Bring water or milk to a boil in another saucepan or in the microwave. Gradually add hot liquid to sugar mixture. Stir constantly until mixture thickens.

Once it has reached desired thickness, remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Drizzle over cupcakes and store the rest of the sauce in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

By Shannan Johnson

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: September 2011 - Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

One of the things I love about Angel Anderson's recipes is that they are simple. 
They require just a few ingredients that everyone has, and a few easy steps...and viola!! 
A masterpiece that ALWAYS comes out super tasty!! How does she do it? 
I really don't know...but man, oh I glad she does!!

 Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
1 yellow cake mix
1cup peanut butter 
1 stick butter (softened)
2 large eggs
Press into 9x13 pan...reserving 1 cup
stir and cook over low heat:
2 tablespoons butter
1pkg semi sweet chocolate chips ( 2cups)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
When chocolate is smooth pour over crust mixture in pan. 
Sprinkle reserved crust on top and bake at 325 oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
by Angel Anderson 

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: September 2011 - Udon Peanut Butter Noodles

This delightful dish was presented by Sherie McKenna...and I absolutely loved it. It was fresh nd easy...and had a surprising spicy kick, thanks to the chile oil. YUM!!!

Udon Peanut Butter Noodles


1 (9 ounce) package dried Udon Noodles
1/2 cup chicken broth
1-1/2 TBS minced fresh ginger root
3 TBS soy sauce
3 TBS peanut butter
1-1/2 TBS honey
2 tsp chile oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole rotisserie chicken, skinned and boned, meat pulled into large chunks
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro


1. Bring a large pot with lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Drop the udon noodles in a few at a time and return to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain; return to the pot.

2. While the udon noodles are cooking, whisk the chicken broth, ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, chile oil, and garlic in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a bol, whisking until the peanut butter has melted. Pour the sauce over the noodles. Add the chicken and red bell pepper; toss until the noodles are evenly coated in the sauce. Sprinkle with green onions, chopped peanuts, and cilantro to serve.

By Sherie McKenna

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: May 2011 - Garlic Sauteed Spinach

Our lovely new friend Bonnie brought a wonderfully simple, delightfully tasteful dish this that REALLY highlighted the theme...

...a simple and flavorful sauteed spinach.

It's perfection lies in it's simplification...another winner adapted from the Barefoot Contessa.

Garlic Sauteed Spinach

  • 1-1/2 pounds baby spinach leaves
  • 2 TBS good olive oil
  • 2 TBS chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 TBS unsalted butter
  • Lemon
  • Sea salt (optional) 

1. Rinse spinach well in cold water to make sure it's very clean. Spin it dry in a salad spinner, leaving just a little water clinging to the leaves.

2. In a very large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute, but not until it's browned. Add all the spinach, the salt, and the pepper to the pot, toss with garlic and oil, cover the pot, and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn the heat on high, and cook spinach another minute, stirring with a wooden spoon until all the spinach is wilted.

3. Using a slotted spoon, lift the spinach to a serving bowl and top with the butter, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkling of sea or kosher salt.

4. Serve HOT.

Courtesy Bonnie

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: May 2011 - Tomato-and-Spianch-Stuffed Chicken Roulade

Terri was our "hostess with the most-ess" this was her first time and she did fantastic!!

She also made a REALLY delish dish, which I thought was in top runnings for both Taste AND Presentation. It was REALLY beautiful, and REALLY yummy.

I had seconds...(shhhh...don't tell).

Tomato-and-Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Roulade

  • 4 6-ounce chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 1 cup whole baby spinach, divided
  • 1 cup shredded lowfat cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 large tomato, cut into 4 slices
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 TBS olive oil

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Fresh or dried basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1. Preheat oven to 325.

2. Place chicken on work surface, smooth side down. Top with 1/4 cup spinach, 1/4 cup cheese, and 1 tomato slice. Fold in ends and roll tightly. Place seam side down on a platter. Repeat with remaining chicken.

3. Whisk together egg whites and broth. divide flour onto two large plates.

4. Coat rolled chicken with flour, then dip in egg whites, and back into flour. Shake off any excess. Set chicken on baking sheet lined with wax paper.

5. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Brown each roulade, then placed on unlined baking sheet. bake for 20 minutes.

6. While chicken is baking, prepare topping. In a small saucepan, combine tomato, spinach, vinegar, broth, and herbs. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Slice each roulade horizontally into 1-inch slices and place on a plate. Top each portion with warm tomato mixture and serve.

Courtesy Terri Metts

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: May 2011 - Spinach Dip

I love that we had two delicious spinach dips at Iron hot (by Angel) and one cold (by Rachel). They were both different...and delicious.

Rachel easily took the Presentation prize...her spread was gorgeous. I just love dips in bread bowls...they look great, and after all the dip is get to rip apart and eat the bread!!!

Spinach Dip

  • 1 pkg. Knorr Vegetable Soup mix (peas removed)
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 pkg. 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • French bread bowl, hollowed out (save inside and cut into cubes)
  • Veggie sticks and/or pita chips
1. Combine sour cream and mayo. Add vegetable soup mix, without peas, stir to combine. Add spinach and mix well.

2. Store dip in refrigerator until ready to serve.

3. For service, spoon dip into hollowed out bread. Serve with additional bread chunks, assorted veggie sticks, and/or pita chips

courtesy Rachel Quinton

Iron Chef Pembroke Pines: May 2011 - Spinach, Artichoke, and Ricotta Lasagna

I was very unhappy with my Iron Chef entries last month...and that was a first for me. I don't think I had ever cooked anything truly bad before. Maybe unique...but not bad. And the sad thing was that it was a REMARKABLE secret ingredient...lemon was soooo good. And everyone's food was delicious, and amazing...and mine...


...mine sucked.

Anyway, I swore that this month I wouldn't make the same mistake and would stick to something that I am experienced at making and KNOW...without a shadow of a GOOD. No new recipes...just a tried-and-true family favorite. Maybe something like "Quick Italian Spinach Pie" or "Florentine Soup".

But then I saw this ad in my Sunday coupon insert from Sorrento was an add to download their FREE lasagna cookbook, titled For the Love of Lasagna. There was a picture of a BEAUTIFUL slice of Spinach Lasagna...

And I just HAD to have the cookbook (if you are unaware about my cookbook needs, see this post.)...because I HAD to make that lasagna.

So I went on the website, ,  and downloaded my free copy. All you needed was the code, which is LOVE1. 

It's an appropriate password...because that's just what I did...fell in LOVE. 

I've never seen such gorgeous and unique lasagna creations!! There is the recipe I made for Iron chef...but oh so many with names like: "Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce", "Eggplant Ricotta Lasagna with Arrabiata Sauce", "Portobella and Pancetta with Parmesan Lasagna", and "Chicken, Roasted Fennel, and Cauliflower Lasagna".

And then there are OTHER "Gnocchi with Italian Sausage,Mozzarella, and Rappini", or "Linguine with Herbed Ricotta and Eggplant".

And finally...ohhhh finally...there are desserts..."Chocolate Pistachio Cannoli Lasagna" and "Strawberry Grand Marnier® Lasagna".

And the pictures are gorgeous. And it's an no cluttering your already burgeoning bookshelves!! So I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend you download this cookbook.

And then make THIS lasagna's what I made for our Spinach-themed Iron Chef...

...and it completely redeemed me by winning 1st place in taste!!


Spinach, Artichoke, and Ricotta Lasagna
  • 8 oz. Sorrento® mozzarella, shredded
  • 15 oz. container Sorrento® ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups onions, G-inch dice
  • 10 oz. package frozen chopped
  • spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry
  • 4 cups béchamel sauce (see pg. 39)
  • 12 sheets no boil lasagna noodles
  • 3 cups artichoke hearts in brine,quartered
  • 3 oz. Parmesan, shredded, about 1 cups

Preheat oven to 400˚ F.

1. Mix ricotta and egg in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Sauté the onions in the oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper.

3. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1-1/2 cups béchamel on bottom of pan and top with 4 sheets lasagna noodles.

4. Layer with 1/2 of the ricotta, 1/2 of the spinach mixture, 1/2 of the artichokes, 1 cup béchamel, 1/2 of the mozzarella, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan.

5. Continue layering with 4 more noodles, the rest of the ricotta, spinach mixture, artichokes, mozzarella, 1 cup of béchamel, and 1/2 cup more of Parmesan.

6. Finish with the last layer of noodles, 1 cup of béchamel, and ½ cup of Parmesan.

7. Cover with parchment and then aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes until slightly bubbling. Remove foil and parchment and continue to bake until top is browned, about 10 minutes more. Cool 10 minutes before serving to allow lasagna to set up.

Optional: Serve each slice atop a generous spoonful of basic tomato sauce.

Béchamel Sauce

  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 shallots or 1 medium yellow
  • onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • G cup all purpose flour
  • 3H cups whole milk
  • I tsp. nutmeg, grated

1. Melt butter until foaming in medium saucepan on medium.

2. Add shallots or onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent,
about 4 minutes.

3. Stir in flour and cook for about 2 minutes making sure not to brown.

4. Whisk in milk slowly and bring mixture to boil. Stir in nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.

courtesy Sorrento and Shannan Johnson