Valentine's Day: Two Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Once again, I'm a tad late to the chocolate party, but had to wait for my chocolate taster daughter to visit. This dark mousse from the New York Times article was adapted from the molecular gastronomist Hervé This. The Times recipe sprinkles the mouse with fleur de sel, which I didn't use here.
It's an interesting concept...two ingredients, chocolate and water, which usually don't play well together. But this works. Quite amazingly, actually. You need lots of elbow grease; we took turns whisking.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Two Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

From The New York Times


285 grams bittersweet chocolate (about 10 ounces), roughly chopped


Create an ice bath in a large bowl using ice and a little cold water. Fit a smaller bowl in the ice bath.
Place chocolate and 1 cup water in a small pot and heat over medium. Whisk until mixture is melted and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Immediately pour melted chocolate into the bowl in the ice bath. Vigorously whisk chocolate mixture by hand until thick, 3 to 5 minutes. The chocolate should be fluffy and form a mound when dolloped with the whisk. Stop whisking when the consistency resembles whipped cream. Dish into ramekins and either serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. If the consistency is off (if you've beaten it too long and it gets too firm), just melt and start over again. 
We dolloped some whipped cream on top.
For a lighter mousse, use 265 grams of bittersweet chocolate or just add more water.


Cajun Shrimp and Rice Casserole

I know everyone's got Super Bowl fever, but let's not forget Mardi Gras is coming up soon and I couldn't resist making something to celebrate the event. This dish is spicy, cheesy, Cajun and comforting. You make it all in one large skillet and then pour it into a casserole to bake. We loved it!

Cajun Shrimp and Rice Casserole
From Noble Pig

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup finely diced shallots
3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided
1 pound large shrimp, deveined and peeled (41/50)
1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
12 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
4 oz shredded Gruyere cheese
4 oz  shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can (15.5 oz) chili beans, drained
4-1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice
1 jar (2 oz) pimentos, drained
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large, deep, nonstick skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Saute shallots and 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning until softened, about 2 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until just pink, about another two minutes. Add flour and stir until fully incorporated. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly, breaking up any little lumps. Bring to a slight boil and cook for one minute
Slowly add all three cheeses, stirring and making sure they are fully incorporated. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, cayenne, chili beans, rice and pimentos. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish.
Melt 3 Tablespoons butter and mix with Panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the top. Bake for 20 minutes

Update on the move. I'm in. Look familiar?


Super Bowl Eats II: Seasoned Pretzels

Honestly, these are addictive! They will become a family favorite for certain. Just wait 'til you taste 'em...you'll be making these not only for your Super Bowl party, but just for snacking. Love the flavors and so easy to make.

Seasoned Pretzels

From Sally's Baking Addiction

1 bag of those big hard pretzels (anywhere from a 12 - 16 oz bag is fine)
3/4 cup oil (I used vegetable oil))
1 generous teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 packet Hidden Valley dry ranch seasoning
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cayenne if you want some heat

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

Break the pretzels into pieces. Place them in a large zipped-top bag. Add the oil and the spices. Shake it all together very well. You want every piece coated very well, so shake, let sit, then shake again. If you find there aren't enough spices coating the pretzels, add more spices to your taste. 

Spread the pretzels onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes, making sure to stir the pretzels around two or three times during baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Pretzels stay fresh covered tightly at room temperature for 3 weeks.

PS: I'm in the middle of a move, so you may not be hearing from me on your blogs for a week or so,


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