Decadent Chocolate Cake

A while back I cooked a decadent chocolate cake and it was delicious. I wanted to share the recipe that I received from Chef John at Foodwishes.com.

This cake probably comes in second to the chocolate cake my wife made for my birthday recently. It is very rich, and very firm. It is very similar to a chocolate cheesecake. Here is what you need:

For Cake:
One 9 inch cake pan.
18 ounces semi-sweet chocolate-Preferred 62% cacao but I used less
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
One tablespoon plus one teaspoon sugar
One tablespoon plus one teaspoon flour
Five large eggs(room temperature)

Take your 9 inch pan and butter all the surface area with your fingers. This should create a very thin film on the pan. Take teaspoon of flour and dust the inside of the pan until coated with flour.

In a boiler safe mixing bowl, add 10 tbsp of butter and 18 ounces of chocolate.

In a double boiler simmer about 6 cups of water. When simmering turn heat down to low.

Place chocolate and butter over boiler and allow to melt, stirring occasionally. 

Once it has all melted, turn off heat and set to side until needed.

In a mixing bowl or mixer bowl add one tablespoon of sugar and five eggs.

Mix eggs and sugar until it creates a thick white mixture

Add one tbsp flour. Still well.

Mix about 1/4 of egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Stir until mixture is incorporated. Add chocolate mixture into rest of egg mixture. Fold until you have a light batter.

Place mixture in baking pan and shake to evenly distribute. Place into a 425 degree oven for 14 minutes. The top should still 
jiggle slightly. Allow to cool to room temperature then cover and place on freezer for about and hour.


Raspberry Sauce:
1 ½ pounds of raspberries
3 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
Water to thin out sauce

Rinse raspberries and place into a sauce pan. Add lemon juice, sugar, and one tbsp water. Cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and raspberries are broken down. Don't simmer! 

Put sauce through a mesh strainer and strain well. You should have a nice thin sauce. Allow to cool to room temperature then put in fridge for about 45 minutes.

Once everything is cooked, take it out, slice, place and eat. Awesome? I do believe so yes.








Cream Cheese Wontons


When going to a Chinese or Japanese restaurant, one of my favorite items to eat is the crab Rangoon that is basically a fried piece of cream cheese. As I was enjoying one, I asked myself the question, "how hard could they be to make?" I decided to try my hand in these, and found out they are not that difficult. Here is what I did:

Yum

8 egg roll wrappers
1 block of softened cream cheese
1/2 pack imitation crab meat
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp water
1 quart vegetable oil

In a bowl place softened cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix well. Add imitation crab meat. Mix well. Place back in fridge and chill for about 30 minutes.









Remove cream cheese mixture from fridge. Now, I got so excited I didn't take pictures of how I stuffed the Rangoon but I'll describe what I did. Take the one egg and crack in a bowl. Add one tsp of water. Beat the egg, which will be your egg wash for the wrappers.

Take a basting brush and baste the egg wash in a square all around the edges of the wrapper. Place about two tsp of the cream cheese mixture in the center of the wrapper.

Take one corner of the wrapper and fold over the mixture to where it meets the other corner.  It should look like a triangle. Then fold the left side to the middle where the stuffing is, then the right side. Finally take the top folded corner and fold over the other two. When finished it should look like a little envelope.

Take preheated vegetable oil(about medium-high or 350 degrees) and place egg rolls in, about four at a time. Cook until golden brown on each side, which only takes about 4 minutes per side.

Remove from oil and place on paper toweled covered plate. Finish cooking the rest.

I will say these are just as good and perhaps better than the ones I've had in the restaurant. Give this one a try, they are delicious!

Spicy Crab Salad Recipe

Now that I'm stuffed like the cliff swallows from Capistrano, I wanted to share how I made my crab salad that I used to stuff(and top) on my sushi. This crab salad is delicious, and our daughter Kelly loves it with sushi. This is what you need:

1 package imitation crab meat(the stick is better but I just  had the chunks)
2 heaping tbsp mayonnaise(creamier better)
Sriracha to taste
Panko bread crumbs(optional)
About 1 tbsp water



 In a mixing bowl put two heaping tablespoons of mayo.
 Put about 3 teaspoons of sriracha sauce with the mayonnaise. I like more, but this is for my family so I cut back the heat a little.
 Add one tablespoon of water and mix contents together. Set aside or refrigerate when needed.
 Take the crab meat and shred into long fine strips or dice(my method). Place crab meat into ANOTHER mixing bowl. That way you can measure how much of the yummy sauce to put over it.
Pour sauce over crab and mix well. Adjust sriracha or mayo for your own consistency.











I did't try this, but with the panko bread crumbs I would toast them in a saute pan for a few minutes and then top on crab salad when ready to eat.

ONE MORE TIP: If you have some left over sauce, this is a good base to start YUM YUM sauce, which you find in Japanese steak houses. I'll give the recipe for that one soon!

Fried Potato Chips

I smoked some hamburgers and brats the other night and I was thinking of something that might go well with them. My wife mentioned we have an excess of russet potatoes that needed to be cooked. So I decided to take a stab and make some homemade chips. They turned out quite tasty. So here is what I did.


5 russet potatoes, thoroughly washed with skin on.
1/2 quart vegetable oil
I used a 10 inch cast iron skillet, but anything acceptable to hold the oil
A mandolin cutter or a really sharp knife
Kosher salt
Pepper
Paprika 

Take your potatoes and slice them on the thinnest setting on your mandolin, or take your sharp knife and cut them very thin, almost to the point you can see through them.  When sliced, put in a large bowl and cover completely with water. Place about one tablespoon of kosher salt and mix in. Let set for about 10 minutes. This can further clean the potatoes, keep them turning black too fast, and pull some of the starch out of them. 

Once soaked, place them on a try or place with a drying cloth or dry paper towels on the bottom. Pat well until the water is absorbed with more paper towels. 

Heat  your oil in your pan on medium-high heat. Let the oil get hot. Place about one-third of the potatoes in the hot oil. Let potatoes cook, moving around occasionally. In about 8 minutes, they should start to crisp up, depending on your thickness. Cook to your crispy liking.  Remove first batch from oil onto plate with paper towels on bottom. Within 30 seconds season chips with salt, pepper, and paprika to your liking. I won't tell you how much because it varies per person. I will say, however when you take up batch two and three, put less amount of your seasonings on them, or it will make the bottom ones too salty.

These were very tasty, and not difficult to make. Great with brats and hamburgers!



Brined and Roasted Turkey





We were given a Turkey around thanksgiving time and I wanted to try a brine and cooking method I got from a few different sources. I'll give credit to a couple of different places for the recipes, but I sometimes take the best of a recipe and add my touch to it.

Ok, lets begin with the brine. Here is the recipe I got from one of my favorite bloggers, Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. You can view her site here and the recipe for the brine here. I changed it up some by using only two oranges with peel,  ground pepper instead of peppercorns, dried rosemary, and jarred minced garlic.






  3 cups Apple Juice or Apple Cider
  2 gallons Cold Water
  4 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves
  5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  1-1/2 cup Kosher Salt
  2 cups Brown Sugar
  3 Tablespoons Peppercorns
  5 whole Bay Leaves
  Peel Of Three Large Oranges


With the brine, I added all ingredients except about 2 quarts of the water in a 21 qt canning container. I brought the mixture to a boil and turned the heat off, stirring a few times. I then added the remaining 2 quarts of water MIXED with ice to cool the brine off quicker. I let set until it was cooled off. You do NOT want the mixture to be hot when  you put the turkey in, because you may cause the turkey to start cooking. Big NO-NO.



Take your thawed turkey out of the bag and rinse with cold water. Remove any guts, necks, and giblets from the bird. You can make a good broth with those parts.  After turkey has been rinsed place into the cooled off pan of brine and put lid on. Place in fridge. I  did brine my turkey for about 18 hours. 24 hours will work well too.
After turkey has been in brine for 18 to 24 hours, remove turkey from solution and discard the liquid. At this point the turkey will need to get two baths. First, rinse off any excess spices from the brine. Be sure to clean out the cavity of the bird as well. In a large pot, fill with about two gallons of cool water. Place the bird in the cool water and let it bathe for about 10-15 minutes. Take the turkey out of the water in place in Pyrex cooking dish or a roasting tray. Grab a bunch of paper towels and pat that turkey dry. Really dry.  Take a liberal amount of salt and pepper and season the cavity of the bird along with the entire top of the turkey.  Tuck wings under the turkey. The last step before placing in the oven is to take some twine and tie the legs together to make the cooking of the turkey more even. Yes, I know I didn't do the best job on mine but I think it will be ok. Place in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes per pound.




About halfway through the cooking process, take some butter(I used one stick), mixed with about 2 Tbsp of minced garlic, and rub generously on the turkey skin.



Place back in oven and cook for remaining time for turkey to be done. Two ways I tested my turkey for doneness: the popper popped out, and I used a digital thermometer in breast and thigh.  The internal temp should be at least 165 degrees. 

Let turkey rest at least 20 minutes before carving for just to regulate inside the bird and for you not to burn your hands off when trying to slice it. It took this turkey about three hours and 15 minutes to cook.

And that's it! We ate it tonight and it was one of the most moist, flavorful turkeys I have ever eaten. The skin was nice and crisp. I could almost eat a sandwich of just skin.

TIP: You can make a wonderful gravy with the drippings. Also save your bones! I'll have our crock-pot turkey broth recipe coming soon.

I also want to give credit to Foodwishes.com for cooking methods for turkeys.








Smoked Chicken Halves


Yum
4 chicken halves
1  cup Dale's marinade
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
8 tbsp butter
2 lbs any type of charcoal(Kingsford is good)
5 hickory chunks


The day before you cook your chicken place 2 halves in a sealed bag or container. Marinate your halves in 1/2 cup of the Dale's marinade and place in the fridge and let marinate over night.

The next day, prepare your grill or smoker for indirect grilling. This is a method I use for about everything now, even cooking hamburgers. It doesn't burn the meat but still cooks and provides a good smoke flavor.  Ignite your coals by how ever method you start  your fire. I use a charcoal chimney, because I detest using lighter fluid.  Make sure the coals are either on the left or right side of your grill.  Once they have burned down to almost completely white, add your five large chunks of water soaked hickory on top of the coals.  Shut your grill and the ideal temp you want is about 250 to 275 degrees.

Remove chicken from marinade and let all excess liquid drip off  and place onto a cutting board.  Sprinkle black pepper and garlic powder on both sides of chicken halves.

Take your chicken and place SKIN side DOWN on the opposite side of your fire. Close the lid and let the chicken cook for about an hour.

After the chicken has cooked about an hour, Melt your eight tbsp of butter in a container big enough for your halves to fit in. Oh yes, you know where I'm going with this. Go to grill with your melted butter and submerge each half in it. Place your halves back on the grill SKIN side UP and close your grill cover. Allow chicken to cook for another hour.

While your chicken is cooking on the grill, mix all your white sauce ingredients together and place in a container to chill in the fridge.

Turn your oven on to 185 degrees. After your chicken has cooked for the second hour, take the chicken and place uncovered in your oven(any kind of Pyrex or pan will do).  Allow chicken to stay in oven for another 45 minutes to one hour.  After chicken has cooked verify internal temp of chicken is at least 165 degrees. Another way to check is to pull on the leg and if it almost pulls away from the chicken, its done.

That's pretty much it. You can fix sides such as mac and cheese and some green beans and you have a meal.



Welcome to My Blog!



Welcome to my food blog! I will be cooking some recipes, trying some I have found, and show off some tasty food I have discovered at restaurants. I hope you enjoy the recipes you see and the pictures I take!

My name is Chris Hunnicutt, and I come from a small town called Kennedy in Alabama. Firstly, I am a pastor. I pastor a church called Fellowship Baptist in Vernon, Alabama. It is my first calling in life. I love God, love people, and love serving them. 

My second passion is cooking. I love to cook for people. I believe it is my love language. I love to go outside the box and try something new.

I have a wonderful wife, Brittany, and our adopted daughter, Kelly. We are a crazy bunch, but we can't live without each other. My wife is a full time housewife, and home school teacher to Kelly. She keeps me organized and on point!




If you get a chance, subscribe to my blog! I update often with yummy food, reviews, and personal experiences in life.

Thanks,

"The Pastor Chef"



Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my food blog! I will be cooking some recipes, trying some I have found, and show off some tasty food...