Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In like a Lion

This week was Sarah’s turn and she planned a really great meal. She adapted her recipes from Martha Stewart, who lets face it is the best. She does not disappoint, and nether did Sarah. We ended the evening watch Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifinakis. Hilarity.

Jiffy Corn Muffins
Butternut Squash with Brown Butter
Mixed Mushroom Soup
Jam Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Jiffy Corn Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Buy Jiffy cornbread mix. Follow directions on the box.

Butternut Squash with Brown Butter
Serves 4
*adapted from Martha Stewart
2 tbs. unsalted butter
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup low-sodium canned vegetable broth
1/4 cup water
1 tbs. dark brown-sugar

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown. Add squash; sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender when pierced with a fork, about 16 minutes.

Add broth, the water, and brown sugar; cook until liquid has evaporated and squash is nicely caramelized, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.

Mixed Mushroom Soup
Serves 4
*adapted from Martha Stewart
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbs. olive oil
2 leeks, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced and rinsed
Coarse salt and ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb assorted fresh mushrooms, such as white button, cremini, oyster, and shiitake (stemmed), rinsed and chopped
1/2 tsp fennel seed
2 bay leaves
1 tbs. tomato paste
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup marsala wine (optional)
4 cups vegetable broth

Soak porcini mushrooms in 1 cup warm water until softened, about 20 minutes. Lift porcini from liquid and coarsely chop; strain liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve and reserve.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks; season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, porcini, and chopped mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 7 minutes or until mushrooms just begin to brown. Add fennel seeds, bay leaves, tomato paste, and tomatoes, and cook for 3 minutes. Add marsala (if using), porcini liquid, and broth.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Jam Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
Makes 12
*adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs whole milk
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
12 raspberries, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-cup muffin pan, or use liners. Combine flour, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture in two parts, alternating with 1/2 cup milk.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, whisk together confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, gradually add cocoa mixture, scraping down side of bowl as necessary. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat frosting until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds.

Using a paring knife, cut a 1-inch-deep piece from the top of each cupcake (do not discard). Fill each hole with 1 teaspoon jam and replace cutout pieces. Frost cupcakes and top with raspberries.

Beer and Wine served
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