Sunday, December 9, 2012

Apple and Caramel Cheesecake Trifle

This was our Thanksgiving dessert. All you need is a bunch of spoons and just dig in!

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium honey crisp apples, peel, cored, and diced
8 ounces caramel sauce (not syrup)
1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups heavy cream
8 ounces gingersnap cookies

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the apples. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 8 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, 5 minutes. Scrape the apples onto a plate and refrigerate until cool.

In a bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Microwave at high power for 10 seconds, just until the gelatin is melted. Transfer the gelatin mixture to a large bowl. Add the cream cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup of caramel sauce. Using an electric mixer, beat at medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.

In another bowl, whip 1 1/2 cups of the cream until firm peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture using a spatula.

Spoon one-fourth of the mousse into a medium trifle bowl. Top with one-fourth of the gingersnaps and one-fourth of the pears. Repeat the layering, ending with a layer of pears. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.

When ready to serve, prepare the cream. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream until soft peaks form. Dollop the cream over the trifle and garnish with crushed gingersnaps.

Balsamic Marianted Flank Steak

I've never been the biggest fan of turkey, so this Thanksgiving rather than cooking a traditional meal, I made steak. And yes there were potatoes as well! This recipe was adapted from Food & Wine Magazine (I LOVE when I get the magazine in the mail). I marinated the steak for a full 24 hours.

2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup extra virgin oliv oil
Salt and pepper
1 3 pound flank steak
Cherry tomatoes

In a food processor, combine the garlic, rosemary, oregano, mustard, and vinegar until minced. Add the oil, salt and pepper to taste. Add to a large zip lock bag, and add the steak. Seal well and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours (I did the full 24 hours...wonderful).

Heat the grill pan over medium heat. Remove the steak and place on the grill. Add the tomatoes (I sliced them in half) and cook until hot. Cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your desired temperature. Remove from heat and place on a cutting board. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes prior to cutting. Thinly slice the meat against the grain and serve while hot.