Hollandaise Sauce in a Blender

Hollandaise Sauce in a Blender

Hollandaise Sauce in a Blender!

Hollandaise was once the most temperamental of sauces…but that was before blenders made it quick, easy, AND delicious!

Makes

8-12 servings

Prep time:

5 minutes

Total Time:

10 minutes

Good For:

Dinner, Breakfast, Side

Inroduction

About this Recipe

I’ll be honest. I hadn’t had Hollandaise sauce until a couple years ago…when I was inspired by my own writing to try it out, LOL. In The Lost Heiress, Brook is facing down a moody chef at Whitby Park, and he chides her for interrupting him when he’s making Hollandaise, the most temperamental of sauces. Which I chose by looking up “most temperamental dishes” or something like that. Back in the day, one whisked this sauce by hand, and you literally couldn’t stop or it would separate.

Well, thank heavens for blenders! Seriously. You can now make this “most temperamental of sauces” in half a blink, just by tossing it into a blender instead of using a whisk. Woot!

The recipe I first tried called for a tablespoon of lemon juice, and I found that to be WAY to sour for my family’s taste. I dialed it back to a teaspoon, and my husband said, “Yeah, little more than that, please.” So my instructions say to start with 2 teaspoons, but add more to taste. (I liked it with only 1 teaspoon, LOL.)

It’s also very important to note that the temperamental soul of the sauce is still there. You MUST drizzle–don’t pour all at once!–that melted butter into the egg base WHILE the blender is running! If you don’t, you’ll end up with a mess. (Ask me how I know.)

Serve over eggs benedict, aspargus, chicken, pork, or anything else that needs a jolt of salty, rich deliciousness! This recipe makes A LOT, so you’ll have plenty to try on a variety of things. 😉

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 10 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons – 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Dash of cayenne
  1. Melt the butter in a spouted measuring cup.
    .
  2. Put egg yolks and lemon juice in a blender. If using unsalted butter, add ½ teaspoon salt to it. Blend on medium high speed until the egg yolks lighten, about 30 seconds.
    .
  3. Turn blender to lowest setting. While running, slowly dribble in the butter. After butter is added, taste for salt and lemon juice, adding more of either if needed.
    .
  4. Transfer to a container you can pour it from and keep it warm (not hot) until you’re ready to use.

From the Books

Hollandaise Sauce is specifically mentioned in The Lost Heiress, when the Brook interrupts the chef while he’s making it and he’s none too happy about it.

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Belgian Beef Stew (Carbonnade Flamande)

Belgian Beef Stew (Carbonnade Flamande)

Belgian Beef Stew (Carbonnade Flamande)

This melt-in-your-mouth beef in a thick, hearty gravy will have your taste buds dancing and pairs perfectly with crispy fries!

Makes

4-6 servings

Prep time:

1 hour

Total Time:

4 hours

Good For:

Dinner

Inroduction

About this Recipe

Okay, I admit it. I went searching for Belgian recipes solely that I’d have some things to tie in with A Song Unheard and The Number of Love, my books that feature Belgian siblings Lukas and Margot. I found some lists, paged through until some things caught my eye, and decided to experiment. Boy, am I glad I did!

 

Carbonnade Flamande is a Belgian beef stew made with a Flemish Sour Ale…but it’s not beef stew like I know it. It’s more like stewed beef in a thick, hearty gravy. And it has bacon. Need I say more?

Well, I will, LOL. I found this to be a combination of beef stew and French Onion Soup in some ways, but with a rich, complex sauce more like a gravy than soup broth. You don’t fill a soup bowl with it. You instead do a serving size like you would if you were eating pot roast. It would in fact be fantastic served over pasta or rice.

Traditionally, however, this Belgian Beef Stew would be served with Belgian fries…which are French fries, but the twice-fried variety. If you’re looking for a recipe for those, I already have one up in my Fish and Chips recipe! I used that same recipe for these and they turned out perfectly and paired perfectly too.

Curious about the sour ale? I’d never heard of it before, but we went hunting and found Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale, a red ale that has a certain kambucha thing going on. Definitely sour! My husband enjoys a nice hearty ale but had to sip this one for HOURS, it’s so sour. I don’t like much alcohol. I took a sip and puckered my lips. It really does remind me of kambucha, which I don’t love either, LOL. I was dubious, but it works really well in the stew! The brown sugar cuts the sour, and it adds a depth to it that had my husband labeling it one of the most complex-tasting and rich dishes I’d ever made, “restaurant worthy.” The beer is expensive though, making this a rich dish in more than one way.

It’s also time intensive, fair warning. None of the steps are hard, but definitely read the recipe to know how many hours you need for marinating and then simmering. I got started around noon and just got it on the table at 5. That’s not all active time, of course! But be prepared to go back to do the next step all along the way.

All that to say, it has its drawbacks, but it’s definitely worth it! We highly enjoyed it and plan to make it again!

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1 pound chuck roast, trimmed and cubed
  • 1 11.2oz bottle of Flemish Sour Ale
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup beef broth
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine beef, beer, garlic, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt in a large Ziploc bag or bowl and marinate for at least two hours or as much as overnight.
    .
  2. When you’re ready to begin cooking, remove the beef, reserving the marinade, and pat it dry with paper towels
    .
  3. Using a dutch oven or big pot, heat the olive oil and then fry the beef until it’s browned on all sides and cooked through, around 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and put on a plate for later.
    .
  4. Using the same pot or pan, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and add to the beef, leaving the grease in the pan.
    .
  5. Add the onions and a pinch of salt to the bacon grease and fry until they’re tender and brown, about 10 minutes.
    .
  6. Add the flour and stir to coat the onions, cooking for a minute.
    .
  7. Add the beef broth to the pan, whisking and scraping the bottom to create a nice gravy. Add the reserved marinade, the beef, the bacon, and the thyme to the pan.
    .
  8. Simmer for at least an hour, up to two.
    .
  9. Add the brown sugar, the parsley, the mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
    .
  10. Serve with fries.

Notes:

This is more stewed beef than beef stew—consider it beef in gravy rather than a soup. It would be great over rice or pasta but is traditionally served with a side of twice-fried fries.

From the Books

This traditional Belgian dish would have been a favorite of the De Wilde siblings, Lukas (from A Song Unheard) and Margot (from The Number of Love). While they’re from the French portion of Belgium instead of the Flemish side, dishes like this would have been enjoyed all through the country, and I know the recipe would have traveled to England with their family too!

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Ziti

Slow-Cooker Chicken Ziti

Slow-Cooker Chicken Ziti

Is there anything better than noodles in a hearty red sauce with ooey-gooey cheese? How about making it in a slow-cooker with chicken?

Makes

8 servings

Prep time:

5 minutes

Total Time:

4 hours

Good For:

Dinner

Inroduction

About this Recipe

This recipe comes to us courtesy of Danielle Grandinetti, who is not only a membef of my Patrons & Peers group, but also a fabulous novelist! When I asked my ladies for recipes she promised me some Italian goodness from her family’s wealth of recipes to tie in with Shadowed Loyalty. Because, hello! The Grandinettis are not only Italian, they’re even from Chicago! They totally would have been near-neighbors to the Mancaris. 😉

 

Of course, like all good Italian cooks, Danielle soon realized the problem: she doesn’t have written recipes for this stuff, she just makes it. 😉 So our lovely friend made it again for us so that she could actually measure out the ingredients she uses for this delicious Crock-Pot dish and write it down.

I, of course, love a great slow-cooker meal…but if by chance you didn’t plan so far ahead (which I also sometimes do), you could absolutely make this with shredded chicken from a leftover whole chicken, or just brown your chicken breasts in a pan first and then combine and pop into a 350-degree oven until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Whichever way you cook it, this will be a crowd-pleasing family favorite!

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomato
  • 1 15oz can of diced tomato
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons basil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 15oz can chicken broth
  • 1 lb chicken breast (or chicken breast tenders), thawed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1 ¾ cup shredded mozzerella
  • 1 ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
    1. Combine tomato and seasonings in crock pot, stir.
      .
    2. Add chicken and broth. Cook on high for 3 hours (or longer to sure chicken is cooked).
      .
    3. Stir in pasta and water, cook on high for 15 minutes, stir. Cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until pasta al dente.
      .
    4. Turn off heat. Stir in cheeses. Serve.

    Notes:

    Cooking time may change for gluten free pasta, or other types of pasta.
    If using dairy-free cheese, make sure it is a kind that melts well.

     

    Optional Toppings:

    Grated parmesan cheese
    Fresh basil
    Cayenne pepper flakes

    From the Books

    This classic chicken and pasta dish could have graced the table of any of the families in Shadowed Loyalty. They would have had to make it via stovetop and oven rather than in a slow-cooker or Crock-pot, but the results would have been the same…and would have brought those Capecce boys home for dinner, for sure!

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    Best Ever Macaroni and Cheese

    Best Ever Macaroni and Cheese

    Best Ever Macaroni and Cheese

    A creamy, cheesy mac and cheese that will please the pickiest eaters. The only mac & cheese recipe you’ll ever need!

    Servings

    8-10

    Prep time:

    5 minutes

    Total Time:

    35 minutes

    Good For:

    Dinner, Side

    Inroduction

    About this Recipe

    I admit it. I never grew out of my love of macaroni and cheese…and I passed the love right along to my kids. We have tasted and sampled and tried making a variety of recipes over the years, and the results ranged from gross and globby to…this. Perfection in a pan. Based on a recipe from Martha Stewart and then tweaked to our tastes, this one is now the ONLY recipe I ever make.

    The History of Macaroni and Cheese

    And really, I feel no need to apologize for my love. Perhaps Kraft has made it a “kid’s dish,” and maybe we think of it as being fairly modern, but in actually, the oldest surviving recipes for Macaroni and Cheese date back to the early 1700s! It’s believed that it was originally Parisian, though the facts are a bit murky there. What we know is that English and American colonial housewives were writing down their “receipts” for pasta layered with cheese and butter for well over three hundred years.

    In fact, macaroni was so popular a dish that the word itself began to be used to mean “stylish,” like we see in the song “Yankee Doodle.” (Did you wonder why someone was sticking a feather in his cap and calling it a pasta? There you go!”

    This Recipe

    This mac and cheese uses ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. I know some people will wrinkle their nose at the American cheese, but it’s used here because it melts better than the alternatives, for that creamy sauce you crave. I highly recommend buying Kraft or another brand whose ingredients are cheddar and whey and milk, not the cheaper versions that use oil to thin the cheese. The other secret is the minced onion. My kids don’t like onions as a rule, but it lends a flavor here that takes the dish to the next level.

    This is the recipe my kids regularly ask me to make for birthdays and special occasions. The first few times I made it, it took me 45-minutes to an hour, just trying to balance all the steps and chop the onion and cheese…these days I can get it on the table in under 30 minutes.

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    • 3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • ½ t salt
    • Dash of pepper
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1 lb American cheese, cubed or torn up slices
    • Shredded cheddar to garnish, if desired
    1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; reserve a half cup of the cooking water and then drain the rest. (The water will keep the macaroni from absorbing the sauce too much.)
      .
    2. For cheese sauce, in a saucepan melt butter; cook onion in butter until tender but not brown. Whisk in the flour, salt, and pepper to form a paste. Add milk all at once; cook and whisk until thick and bubbly, then 2 minutes more. Add cheese and stir until melted.
      .
    3. Add cooked macaroni and reserved pasta water to the sauce, stir to combine. Transfer to oven-safe dish, top with shredded cheddar if desired. Bake at 350 until bubbly.

    From the Books

    You can bet that macaroni and cheese, classic dish that it is and capable of feeding a crowd, would make an appearance on the table of the Ocracoke Inn from Yesterday’s Tides, and I like to think that my characters would favor a recipe like this one. It also would have been enjoyed by the pasta-loving characters in Shadowed Loyalty, and quite likely by my colonial family in Ring of Secrets too!

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    Duck Gumbo

    Duck Gumbo

    Duck Gumbo

    A Louisiana favorite starring fresh duck makes a perfect recipe for hunters.

    Servings

    8-10

    Prep time:

    30 minutes

    Total Time:

    2 hours

    Good For:

    Dinner

    Inroduction

    About this Recipe

    I asked my ladies of the Patrons & Peers group to share any recipes that would tie in well with my books, and this one was actually a particular request of mine. In ages past, duck hunting was the primary draw of visitors to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Ocracoke in particular. Knowing that member Candice and her husband are avid duck hunters in Texas and that this duck gumbo recipe is one of her favorites, I knew I wanted to share it with you!

    One of the defining features of gumbo, a traditional Louisiana dish, is that it mixes multiple meats together into a spicy stew. This gumbo not only has duck breast, but also sausage. Then, of course, the veggies and thickened sauce. As with many thicker soups and sauces, it’s crucial to create the roux first to give your soup a thick, smooth base.

    Recipe courtesy of Candice and Steven Woods

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    For the roux

    • ½ cup flour (can substitute with gluten free flour)
    • ½ cup of avocado oil (can use any other oil or bacon drippings, note that coconut oil isn’t preferred)

    For the gumbo

    • 12-24 duck breasts (about 6 big ducks, ex. Mallards, for a total of 12 big duck breast, or 10 small ducks, ex. Teal, for a total of 20 small duck breast – you can always combine the two.)
    • 24 oz Andouille sausage (2 packages, Cajun holler is our preferred brand)
    • 6 sticks celery
    • 1 medium sweet onion
    • 3 bell peppers, red and/or green
    • 3 cloves garlic, diced
    • 4 cups beef broth
    • ¼ tsp dried thyme leaves
    • 3 Bay leaves
    • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (our favorite is Crystal Louisiana’s)
    • Nature’s Seasons seasoning blend
    • Browning seasoning
    • Rice (white, brown, cauliflower – whatever you prefer)
    1. Make the roux. For the roux add flour and cooking oil to your pot. Stir constantly for 20-30 minutes until a rich amber color forms. This is the base of your gumbo and what gives it richness.
      .
    2. Once the roux has reached is dark amber color, slowly add in 4 cups of broth, ensure the thickness stays.
      .
    3. Once roux is done, tenderize and cut duck into bite sized pieces. In a pan, add just enough oil to cover the pan then add duck, browning seasoning and natures seasoning to taste. For us its about 1/2 to 1 tablespoons of browning seasoning and 1-2 tablespoons of nature’s seasoning. Cook until duck is medium rare. Remove duck and place in pot with roux.
      .
    4. Cut andouille sausage into round bite size pieces. Add browning seasoning, and natures seasoning to taste, about the same amount as the duck. Cook until sausage in the pan is done and add to the pot.
      .
    5. Add chopped celery, onion, bell pepper, browning seasoning, and natures seasoning (to taste). sauté veggies in the pan. Add 3 cloves of garlic chopped, then cook for 30 more seconds. Add to pot.
      .
    6. Once everything is in the pot add water until liquid just covers everything in the pot.
      .
    7. Bring to a boil then let simmer for at least 1 hr.
      .
    8. Enjoy over cooked rice (add in extra hot sauce too!)

     

    Notes:

    If using wild ducks be cognizant of birdshot, it can chip a tooth in a heartbeat if you’re not careful.

    You can make it your own. Try experimenting with different seasonings and the amounts and types of onions and peppers to see what you like the best. This is just what we like best.

    From the Books

    With Grann from Yesterday’s Tides cooking, being from Louisiana as she is, you can be sure gumbo would have been on the menu at the Ocracoke Inn; and duck gumbo would have been a staple, given that duck hunting was the primary tourist draw of the island in the early twentieth century.

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    The Best Pizza

    The Best Pizza

    The Best Pizza

    Traditional Neopolitan or New York style crust topped however you please.

    Servings

    2 Large Pizzas

    Prep time:

    1 hour

    Total Time:

    24-72 hours

    Good For:

    Dinner

    Inroduction

    About this Recipe

    Well over a decade ago, I made it my mission to master pizza making. I wanted to be able to turn out pizzeria-quality pies from my kitchen, and I wanted to be able to do it on demand. I wanted the results to be consistent and to make my picky kids declare it delicious.

    Happily, after years of trial and error, I managed to do just that. This pizza recipe has a delicious New York or Neopolitan style dough that works up perfectly every time, and is SO flavorful from the long rest time in the fridge. And that’s the secret: you MUST make this dough ahead of time and let the flavors develop. At least 24 hours, but up to 72. After it’s done its slow rise in the fridge, you can freeze it if you make a double batch or end up postponing your pizza night. When you’re ready to make them, just let it defrost in the fridge overnight. When it’s time to stretch the dough, be generous with the flour! Put each dough round into a bowl of flour and turn it to coat it fully on all sides before you begin working it.

    Next: Cheese. Use whole-milk mozzarella as your main cheese. Skim mozzarella doesn’t melt the same and will burn too quickly under the high heat necessary to crisp up the crust to perfection. I usually put down a light layer of whole milk mozz and then fill in with a 6-cheese Italian blend.

    I usually make my own sauce too, so that’s part of the recipe, but if you’re running short on time, a jar of marinara or pizza sauce works just as well. If you make your own, remember to do so early in the day so it has time to cool. If hot, the sauce will melt the dough.

    The final trick: preheat your pans along with your oven, especially if you’re using stones (recommended)! A hot pan gets the bottom of the crust crispy at the same rate as the top, eliminating the problem of uncooked, soggy dough in the middle of your pizza.

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    Recommended Equipment

    For the dough

    • 3 cups (398 grams) all purpose or bread flour
    • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (247 g) water
    • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
    • 1 ¼  teaspoons salt
    • ½ tablespoon olive oil

    For the crust preparation

    • Olive oil
    • Garlic powder
    • Italian seasoning
    • Grated parmesan

    For the sauce

    • 1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ¼ teaspoon ground oregano
    • ¼ teaspoon basil
    • ¼ teaspoon marjoram
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    For the toppings

    • 4 cups whole-milk mozzarella
    • 2 cups 6-Cheese Italian blend
    • Other toppings of choice, like pepperoni, bacon, prosciutto, ham, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc.
    1. 24-72 hours before, make the dough. Pour water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or, if mixing by hand, into a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar, and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Add the olive oil and then knead for 4-6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Get out 2 quart-sized zipper bags and add a small amount of olive oil to each one, rubbing until the oil is covering the bag. Put a dough section into each bag, seal, and store in the fridge for at least 24 hours, or up to 72. After 24 hours, the dough can be frozen if you’re making ahead.
      .
    2. At least a few hours before you’re making the pizza, prepare the sauce. Stir all sauce ingredients together in a medium sauce pan and simmer on low for 30 minute – 1 hour, until sauce thickens. Cool completely.
      .
    3. Prepare your parchment paper. This makes transferring pizzas to the oven easy and keeps your stones clean. Trace out your pizza stones or pans on the paper and cut to size.
      .
    4. An hour ahead of time, preheat the oven. Preheat to 450°F with the stones or pans in it. Preheating the pans or stones is crucial for getting a crust that isn’t soggy and cooks evenly, especially if you’re using baking stones.
      .
    5. Stretch your dough. Get out a medium mixing bowl and put some flour in it. Take the dough from one of the bags and put it in the flour, turning to coat thoroughly. Turn out onto one of your pre-cut pieces of parchment paper. Shape into a rough circle with your hands, then form a crust by pressing with the fingers of your dominant hand while providing a wall with the palm of your other hand. Turn the dough, pressing in the crust line while you go. Once you return to your starting place, you should have an even circle. Now begin spreading the dough, using the tips of your fingers and starting in the center, then pressing outward with the fingertips. Flip the dough over. Pressing your palm into the center, stretch your fingers outward. Do this all the way around the pizza. If it’s still not big enough, give it a spin-toss in the air to stretch it more, or flip it over and stretch again. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
      .
    6. Season your crust. Drizzle some olive oil onto the edges of the crust, spreading with a pastry brush or paper towel. Sprinkle garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and some grated parmesan over the crust edge.
      .
    7. Top your pie. Pour some cooled sauce onto the pizza, spreading to a thin layer—you don’t want it too thick. You should have enough sauce to make 2 batches of this pizza; you can freeze the leftover for next time. Add cheese and whatever toppings you want.
      .
    8. Bake. Use a pizza peel to transfer the parchment paper and pizzas onto the preheated pans. Bake the pizzas for 8-10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Watch them carefully! Depending on your oven, they could take as few as 6 minutes. When done, remove carefully from the oven, let them sit for a minute, then slice. Enjoy!

    From the Books

    In Shadowed Loyalty, Sabina and Lorenzo enjoy a few slices of cheese pizza from Pompei’s, a pizzaria still in operation today! Though these days “Chicago pizza” means deep dish, not so in the 1920s. They still would have been eating the classic Neopolitan crust that is now deemed “New York style.”

    My characters in A Royal Tea enjoy a good pizzaria pie too!

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