Monday, November 29, 2010

Mom's Chocolate Fudge

Mom's Chocolate Fudge
Servings: About 40 pieces

5 cups (one jar) Marshmallow Fluff
1/4 c. (half of one stick) butter
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. English walnuts, chopped

Line a 9x9 baking dish with aluminium foil, leaving some of the foil hanging over the edges. Spray foil-lined pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the marshmallow fluff, butter, evaporated milk and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture boils (make sure not to mistake air bubbles for a boil), boil slowly for 5 minutes, or until mixture reaches soft-ball stage on a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat and add vanilla, chocolate chips and walnuts. Stir until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Let cool overnight, then remove from pan by pulling out the foil and cut into pieces.

NOTES: This recipe is a holiday tradition in my family. My mom must make a dozen batches of this a year, but I only make it occasionally. It's especially well-suited to modification based on your preference - leave out the nuts, add chopped, dried fruit like cherries or raisins, add miniature marshmallows or cookie bits - it's completely up to you. This fudge stores well so long as it's in an airtight container. It makes an excellent gift and is great for holiday gatherings.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup
Servings: 4
Weight Watchers Points: 0 per serving

1 (4 lb) sugar or pie pumpkin
Cooking spray
2 garlic cloves, peeled
4 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half through its “equator” (that is, not its stem) and scoop out any seeds and fibrous membranes.

Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray; set pumpkin halves cut-side down on it. Stick a garlic clove under each half. Bake until pumpkin is soft and tender, about 1 hour. Cool on baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Scoop soft flesh from shell and into a large blender or food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Add garlic cloves as well as 2 cups of broth. Process or blend until smooth, scraping down inside of canister as necessary.

Pour purée into a large saucepan; stir in remaining broth, sage, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.

NOTES: We haven't tried this recipe yet.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trout with Rosemary, Lemon and Garlic

Trout with Rosemary, Lemon and Garlic
Servings: 4
Weight Watchers Points: 5 per serving

4 trout fillets, with or without skin
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp.
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Prepare a baking or roasting pan by lining it with foil and spray with cooking spray. Preheat broiler.

Mix together all remaining ingredients except fish into a well-blended paste.

Place fish skin-side down (if it has skin) on baking sheet, then spread seasoning over flesh. Broil fish at second rack away from heat for 5 minutes or less, just enough to sear flesh but not burn herbs.

Lower fish to 3rd or 4th rack and lower oven heat to 325 degrees. Bake for 10 additional minutes, or until fish is cooked through in the thickest portion.

NOTES: The mixture applied to the fish keeps the flesh very moist, and the combination of rosemary, lemon and garlic is one of my favorites. The best part of this dish, though, is how easy it is - just mix the topping, slather it on the fish, and you're pretty much done. We serve this with some home-made tartar sauce.