Weekly recipes for March 27, 2013
Homemade Marshmallow Candies
Total time: 1 hour, plus setting time. Servings: About 3 dozen
candies, depending on size.
2 packages gelatin
3/4 cup water, divided
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups colored sugar
Butter for greasing a baking sheet, if cutting out shapes
1/2 cup chocolate chips
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle the gelatin over one-fourth cup of water and let stand until the gelatin is softened. If piping chick-shaped candies, fit a piping bag with a large, round tip (preferably one-half inch) and place the colored sugar in a bowl. If cutting out shapes, butter the baking sheet and line with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, combine the remaining water with the sugar and corn syrup, and cook until the sugar reaches 245 degrees using a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.
With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the mixer so it doesn't splash against the whisk. Slowly increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the marshmallow lightens in color, about 6 minutes, then beat in the vanilla. For piped marshmallows, continue beating on high speed until the marshmallow firms and stiffens in texture (similar to a stiff meringue); the marshmallow should not be overly stringy and will have lost some of its sheen, and the marshmallow should break off as the beater is removed, 10 to 16 minutes. For cut marshmallows, continue beating until the marshmallow is fluffy and doubled in volume, 8 to 10 minutes.
To pipe marshmallow chicks, start by piping the body: Hold the piping bag over the colored sugar and begin piping the marshmallow out onto the sugar so it is about 1-inch in diameter and approximately one-half-inch thick. Continue piping the body so it is about 2 1/2 inches in length, then slowly release the tip from the marshmallow, pushing the marshmallow up to form a tail. To form the chest and head, pipe on top of the body, starting from the front of the body and piping over half of the back. Continue piping, but reversing direction, to form the head, slowly releasing the tip to form the beak. Spoon the colored sugar over the formed marshmallow to coat completely. Remove the marshmallow to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
To form cuttable marshmallows, using a lightly greased offset spatula, immediately spread the mixture onto the buttered parchment-lined sheet, spreading the marshmallow so it covers the pan in an even layer. Set aside, uncovered, 2 to 4 hours to set. When the marshmallow is set, cut out shapes using lightly greased cutters. Gently press the marshmallows in colored sugar to evenly coat.
Form the eyes: Place the chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup or bowl and microwave in 10-second increments, stirring occasionally, until melted. Use a toothpick to dot the melted chocolate over the marshmallow candies to form eyes (and noses, for marshmallow bunnies).
Each of 36 candies: 82 calories; 0 protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 1 gram fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 18 grams sugar; 2 milligrams sodium.
Orange and Mint-Stuffed Lamb with Sweet-and-Sour-Cabbage
Start to finish: 4 1/2 hours (1 hour active). Servings: 8.
1 small head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves only
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup grated manchego cheese
1/2 cup toasted cashews
Ground black pepper
3 1/2 pound boneless leg of lamb
3 slices stale or crusty bread
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage, onion, red wine, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of a roasting pan large enough to fit the leg of lamb. Set aside.
To make the pesto, in a processor, combine the orange zest and juice, the mint, olive oil, cheese, cashews, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Process until completely blended, then reserve 1/2 cup.
Place the leg of lamb on a cutting board. Starting on a long side, cut the meat in half horizontally, but do not cut all the way through. Leave about 1 inch of meat uncut at the other side. Open the meat like a book, then place a piece of plastic wrap over it. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the meat to an even thickness of about 2 inches.
Season the meat all over with salt and pepper. Spread the pesto over the cut side of the meat. Starting at one of the long sides, roll the lamb into a log with the pesto in the center. Use kitchen twine to tie the lamb in several spots to prevent it from unrolling. Place the lamb over the cabbage mixture in the roasting pan. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the bread until it is reduced to soft crumbs. Stir in the mustard, then pat the mixture over the outside of the lamb. Roast for 3 1/2 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender. Allow the lamb to rest for 15 minutes, then slice it across the roll. Serve alongside the braised cabbage from the bottom of the pan and the reserved mint pesto.
Retro Cream Cheese Mints
Start to finish: 30 minutes, plus drying. Makes 7 dozen.
8 ounce block cream cheese
2 pounds powdered sugar
Flavorings or extracts of your choice
Gel food coloring (optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and about a quarter of the powdered sugar. Using the dough hook, begin mixing. As the mixture comes together, add the remaining powdered sugar, a quarter at a time, mixing well between each addition. The dough also can be mixed by hand; treat it as though you are kneading bread dough. The mixture with be quite stiff.
Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the flavoring or extract of your choice. Alternatively, you can divide the dough and make multiple batches, each with a different flavor. Once the flavoring is mixed in, add food coloring, mixing until evenly colored. As with the flavoring, the mixture can be divided and different colors can be used for each batch.
Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the superfine sugar. Press the pieces into candy molds or press with a fork or the bottom of a glass to make a decorative impression on the tops. Place on waxed paper and allow to dry, uncovered, overnight. If keeping longer than a few days, place in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper and freeze for up to 1 month.