Tonight I made two experimental foods and invited over a couple I can always use as guinea pigs . . . a nameless, blogless people who are game to try many of my creations at least once. They declared both to be worthy of repetition!! Yeah!!!
I guess I’ve had a lasagna fixation since I catered the rehearsal dinner last week (lasagna was the main dish) b/c I kept thinking how interesting it would be to make the mushrooms and chicken in the fridge into a lasagna. So I made a white lasagna with chicken, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts (I know, you think I have some sort of chicken, mushroom and artichoke heart fetish or something, and maybe I do — but I really like the combo). I made a white sauce with some riesling (we drank the rest with dinner), milk and Parmesan. The cheese layer used ricotta, feta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses with an egg and some parsley — the feta was sadly swamped and I couldn’t really taste it distinctly. If I make it again I would probably want to add more feta. Still, it made for a good dinner. I have two really deep 10 x 13-in dishes so I made it in one of those with three layers of cheese & meat sauce and a fourth layer of noodles on top — nice, thick lasagna!
White Lasagna with chicken, mushroom and artichoke (after reheating in the mircowave):
The second thing I made was a mental experiment that got out of hand. I still had some extra ricotta (when you buy it at Sam’s in a 3 lb container, it’s easy to have extra!) and I also had some phyllo dough and I started by thinking I could make some lovely little cheesecake bites in phyllo dough and then I started thinking, oh, and I could make it chocolate cheesecake . . . but even though I’m not from TX, I can’t seem to keep myself from making everything *large* so I started mixing up my batter and then I looked at my nearly full Pampered Chef bowl and thought — man, this will make something like 100 cheesecake ‘bites’ . . . um, let’s think of something else . . . so I whipped out the Pampered Chef springform pan (which had a couple of rust spots on it 😦 ) and started putting together a graham cracker crust but I wanted it chocolate-y so I added cocoa.
I was doing this at 3 PM with my dinner guests coming at 6:30 so I really should have thought ahead (reading a recipe or two might have helped too!) — I didn’t give myself much time for it to cool, etc. It was no longer warm when I served it, but it was kind of gooey, which at least one of the guests prefers — he doesn’t like true cheesecake and said he never would have thought it was cheesecake if I hadn’t told him b/c the texture was nothing like it. I sat down and tried to remember what I did, so this may, in fact, be totally wrong . . . I think if I were to make this again, I would use one less egg — it ended up with something between cheesecake and molten lava cake texture . . . Molten Cheesecake?? But it tastes mighty fine.
Man, I wish I had the camera tonight . . . The Husband and Kids are back, so I *do* have the camera now:
1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed
1/4 c. sugar
5-6 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa (this is totally a guess, I just opened the container and shook some into my bowl)
~ 1/4 c. whipping cream
1 1/2 – 2 c. chocolate chips (I used a partial bag of dark and a partial bag of semi-sweet)
3 c. ricotta cheese
1 c. sugar
(try 3 if you make this recipe!)
Stir together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the 9-in springform pan, bringing the crust up the side slightly. Bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, stir together the whipping cream and chocolate chips until melted and smooth.
In a medium bowl, beat together the cheese, sugar and egg until well mixed. Stir in chocolate mixture and beat 1 min. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325 F for 50-60 minutes. Cool completely.
I thought about making a ganauche to go over the top of this, but it was clearly soft already so I skipped that (it did form a ‘crust’ top). If I were prepared, I would have whipped the rest of the cream to serve with it, but instead I was on the phone talking to the Husband so I didn’t 😉 I’ll try to reserve at least one piece of this until Saturday night when the Husband returns with the camera and I’ll update the post then! Done! 🙂 I *still* didn’t add the whipping cream garnish for the Husband but he really liked it with his glass of milk, which is a *must* for him with a sweet chocolatey dessert.
Filed under: Artichokes, Cake, Chicken, Chocolate, Dessert, Main Dish, Mushrooms, Pasta, Wine | 2 Comments »