Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cream Cheese

A week ago after cooking dinner for my husband's friends who come over for a weekly game of Flames of War, it was suggested I make a game of this night too. Dallas has named it "Iron Lydia" and is now in charge of unveiling my secret ingredient. I get the ingredient a week before so I can start planning and grocery shop the night before.
I do a little research and then plan dishes, I don't read from any pre-written (to my knowledge) recipes. I read quick how-to's and then I wing it!
Wednesday was my first IL battle ever: Cream Cheese! This is what I came up with!
Photobucket
The Menu: Dirty dipp appetizer, cream and goat cheese stuffed shells, chocolate cream cheese w honey puff pastry roll.
Prep: Prepare your cook aparatas!

You'll need a whole lot of cream cheese! Dallas brought 4 sticks and I used all of them. I set them on my back porch where it was warm to soften them up! Also if you plan on making this dessert set out our frozen puff pastry dough so it thaws.


Appetizer "Dirty Dipp" (Okay, I lied this was a pre-fabbed recipe that I got from Beer Burbon BBQ fest last year)
1 stick cream cheese mixed with about 1 cup sour cream (or greek yogurt!) I never measure when I cook, I just "eyeballit"
Mix sour cream and cream cheese until you have a dip like consistency. I spiced mine up with "Dirt" that I bought last year from the BBBBQ fest. You can use whatever you like! Garlic, old bay, chili powder, whatever!
Serve immediately with chips.

Cream & Goat Cheese Stuffed Shells
You'll need: (I was cooking for 6, so you can cut this in half for depending on your troop size)
Jumbo shells
2 sticks cream cheese
2 containers goat cheese crumbles
2 jars whatever type of sauce you like. I used:
Photobucket

Step 1
Bring large pot of water, 2 table spoons EVOO and dash of salt to a boil.
Photobucket

MEANWHILE!
Start preparing dessert.
You'll need:
Thawed puff pastry dough. You buy this in the frozen dessert section at a grocery store. Probably near frozen pie crust!
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 (about?) cup sugar. Taste test for sweetness :)

Microwave your already soft cream cheese for about 15 seconds. You want it just hot enough to melt the mini choco chips.
Stir choco chips and sugar into your warm cream cheese until blended. Drizzle some honey onto the mixture.
Photobucket
Test for sweetness. The honey will make it taste a little tart, but don't worry, it won't taste that way once baked. If you desire, add more sugar. I added in some more chocolate chips once cooled too, so they would melt while baking.
Photobucket
Set aside for later!

Back to your boiling water!
Add in your jumbo shells, cook until Al Dente
Photobucket
Strain, coat with EVOO to prevent sticking, and set somewhere cool.
Photobucket
You dont want them to burn your hands while you're stuffing them with cheese!

While your shells are cooling, preheat your oven to 400
Begin mixing your cream in goat cheese. In a bowel mix your GC crumbles into the cream cheese.
Photobucket
Coat the bottom of a pan with your tomato sauce and begin stuffing your shells.
Photobucket
*It's important to have a layer of sauce at the bottom of the pan so your shells don't get hard while baking*
Line up stuffed shells in sauced pan until it's full! 1 layer only, and no over lapping! You want them to all cook evenly.
Cover shells with sauce
Photobucket
Place in oven and bake for 10-15 mins.

MEANWHILE!
While your shells are baking, get your dessert ready so you can pop it in the oven as soon as you take the shells out.
Spread chocolate cream cheese mixture on your puff pastry
Photobucket
Roll up! (In hind sight I should have rolled it up evenly, like a pumpkin roll or pin wheel and not started at the corner.)
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Be ready to put desert in oven as soon as you take the shells out. Bake about 10-15 mins until dough looks flaky and very light brown. Remove, and let cool.

When time is up for your shells, remove from oven, serve, and enjoy!
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

*I forgot to snap some pics of dessert coming out of the oven, the only one I got was of Dallas enjoying!
Photobucket


That's brings my cream cheese battle report to a close. Thanks to the troops for helping with the dishes after their battle at at Sidi Bou Zid.

6 comments:

  1. Lydia .... Dinner was awesome! Thanks so much!

    I can't wait to see this week's secret ingredient at work !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! Steve is a lucky man Lydia. Looks delicious. Can I start coming over for game night? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Three cheers for good food, good friends, and good fun! I often hear from couples whose differing interests are a divisive force; I think Iron Lydia is a very encouraging counterpoint and a great idea.

    ReplyDelete