Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun



 



Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

December 9th, 2021 · Comments Off on Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

Every Christmas holiday we like to make cookies, and Monique picked these Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies out from the Kraft Philadelphia Holiday Cookbook, as found on pages 40-41. In the cookbook it lists the chocolate as 4 squares Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, but did not list the weight or volume, so I went with the whole block of chocolate from the package, which was 4 ounces. I found an updated recipe on the Kraft Heinz “My Food and Family” recipe website, and it confirmed my suspicions that the chocolate amount was correct, the online recipe lists “1 pkg. (4 oz.) BAKER’S Unsweetened Chocolate”. They have also updated the recipe from 1/4 cup raspberry jam to 1/3 cup.

Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies Cooling

The procedure and baking is quite straightforward and easy to prepare, you can have cookies ready to eat in under an hour. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. In a separate large microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate until you can blend the chocolate into the butter. Then whip in 1 package (8oz) softened cream cheese. To this you add 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry, forming a solid dough ball. Place the dough in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.

Portion out 1-inch balls (I used a 1/2 tablespoon measure and weighted it on my electronic scale, they were 0.6 ounces each). I weighted out the dough balls and rolled them in granulated sugar, then positioned them on the ungreased sheet pans 2- inches apart. Then pressed my thumb in each dough ball forming a slight indentation, then filled each with about 1/4 teaspoon of raspberry jam. Baked in the oven for 10 minutes, then cooled 1 minute on the sheet pan, and transferred to a wire rack to cool completely. My portions yielded just under 5 dozen cookies, the recipe says you should have around 4 1/2 dozen.

Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies just out of the oven

Bon appetite!

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Aged Eggnog

December 8th, 2021 · 2 Comments

Eggnog is a traditional Christmas delight, served from bowls or pitchers at parties and dinners during the holiday season, always a delight to enjoy cold, and in some cases warmed. In grocery stores, eggnog starts filling the dairy cases a few weeks before Thanksgiving, seems every year it shows up earlier, might have even seen it for sale just around Halloween this year.

Aged Eggnog
Aged Eggnog in glass milk bottles

But why not make your own eggnog holiday beverage delight? I found Alton Brown’s Aged Eggnog Recipe several years ago, and have made it many times, I can’t remember how many, but at least 3 or 4 holiday seasons. The recipe includes 24 ounces (3 cups) of liquor, and while the original recipe calls for 1 cup each of cognac, Jamaican dark rum, and bourbon, I’ve altered the exact liquor every time depending on what I have on hand. This time around I used 1 cup spiced rum, 1/2 cup cognac, 1/2 cup Southern Comfort, 1/2 cup brandy, and 1/2 cup dry sherry. The fresh grated nutmeg makes a big difference in the flavor profile, I also used 6 whole eggs which replaced the original recipe calling for 12 egg yolks.

It’s best to make it at least two-weeks before serving to give it time to age, or ferment a bit. I made this batch on Monday (12/6/2021) afternoon, or 20-days before Christmas. But Alton says he allows it to mellow for several months, or longer. It’s also great just after mixing it together, as we did, with the extra that would not fit into the glass bottles, I filled two glasses that we downed fairly quickly.

Bon Appetite!

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Announcing my Third Cookbook

December 7th, 2021 · Comments Off on Announcing my Third Cookbook

It’s been hard keeping this news under wraps, but I’m excited to share that I’ve written my third (3rd) cookbook! Get ready for more details and a cover reveal next Tuesday!

Here’s a photo of one of the recipes in the cookbook.

Gumbo
Gumbo

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French Onion Mashed Potatoes

December 1st, 2021 · Comments Off on French Onion Mashed Potatoes

Several months ago I was Googling for French Onion Soup recipes, and a couple weeks ago the Google Discover feature on my phone pulled up a recipe that piqued my interest, but it wasn’t a soup recipe. In my daily discover results it found a French Onion Mashed Potatoes recipe, Jessica Merchant featured this recipe on her How Sweet Eats blog on November 2, 2021. When I saw the recipe and the photo, I knew it was going to be hit for Thanksgiving dinner.

I printed the recipe and nestled it on my cookbook holder in the kitchen until I made it on Thanksgiving day last week.

French Onion Mashed Potatoes
French Onion Mashed Potatoes

These are the best mashed potatoes, and the most requested recipe I’ve had in a long time for a holiday meal. Everyone enjoyed them so much, the next day while we were eating leftovers and packing up what food family wanted to take to their individual homes, the French Onion mashed potatoes were gone, we didn’t even get any to take home.

I’ll be making these again, probably way before Thanksgiving next year.

Bon appetite!

CCR

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Marinating Beef Brisket for Pastrami

November 24th, 2021 · Comments Off on Marinating Beef Brisket for Pastrami

Brisket marinating, future pastrami
Beef brisket marinating for pastrami

On my birthday weekend we got inspiration from Guy Fieri and the ‘Finger Lickin’ Food‘ Season 23, Episode 9 of Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives, where he featured a segment on and Atlanta, GA Wrecking Bar Brew Pub Restaurant. I was impressed with how they made their own in-house pastrami using beef brisket and brining/marinating it for several days. This got me hankering for a pastrami melt sandwich and since I’ve never made my own pastrami I was inspired to find a recipe for getting my own.

This lead me to a search for a smoked pastrami recipe and I found one in Steven Raichlen’s book ‘Project Smoke‘, on page 72. He has an online version of the recipe ‘Home-Smoked Pastrami‘, from his Barbecue Bible series. The recipes differ a bit, I’m using the one from the book that calls for 12-days of brining in a solution of water, kosher salt, pink curing salt, a halved onion, and whole garlic cloves. The image was taken about mid-way through the brining process, I’m scheduled to smoke the meat on Sunday, 11/28. Not sure what wood I’ll use, but the recipes calls for 14 hours in the meat smoker.

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