The Yule log of Christmas past is recreated with a chocolate cake roll which is filled with coffee whipped cream, coated with a frosting which is striated to resemble the bark, and then garnished with chopped pistachios to suggest green moss.
Coffee Cream Filling
Ingredients to serve 2-3 people:
DO NOT OVER COOK: If the meat cooks to medium, the flavor will suffer dramatically
Serve warm -----DELICIOUS
This is is my family’s favorite pie. Not only because it is delicious and pretty easy to make, but also because the recipe was given to us by my favorite late uncle’s mother, who was German born and raised. So we call it Mrs. Wood’s Lemon Sponge Pie.
*The filling also works beautifully in individual ramekins, without any crust
*Practice tip – refrigerate the dough at least one night before baking the cookies
Helen Caurso Spigarelli
The Finished Product:
Vegetable – A good vegetable is key to the whole experience. Start with something green. Kale is a staple on our weekend mornings. Soften the leaves in some olive oil with a pinch of kosher salt. If you’ve got something more delicate like fresh spinach or baby kale, just put it on the sandwich and let the heat wilt it. Also give some thought to piling on some sautéed mushrooms or tomatoes sliced thin. And don’t fight the onions. They can be grilled or raw. If grilled cut them into thick rings and sauté in olive oil until they soften but are still firm. If you’ve got the time, caramelize them. Don’t dice them – they’re just too hard to corral at that point. If raw, go with a sweet onion, Vidalia or red onion and slice them then. Adds a great bite to the sandwich.
Cheese - You’ll need something that melts. This is one of the few places American cheese shines. Also Monterey Jack. Both of those will stand up. Mozzerella doesn’t so if that’s all you’ve got, toss in some shredded cheddar to round out the flavor. But try not to use just cheddar since that has poor meltability.
I don’t use recipes, so there are no formal measurements. Buon appetito.
½ lb to 1 lb of thin sliced chicken breast
½ dozen or so spears of asparagus
at least 4 large cloves garlic
¾ large sweet onion
grated parmesan cheese
large container of chicken broth
In a small sauce pan, pour in the chicken broth and heat on low. Chop the onion, garlic, basil and parsley (the “herbs”). Chop the Asparagus. Slice/cube/what-have-you the chicken.
In a large skillet, heat some olive oil. As the oil heats, toss in the asparagus and ¼ of the herbs. Once the asparagus softens, add the chicken. Cook the chicken through. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the skillet and put to the side. Try to keep as much of the residue oil (aka, the goodness) in the skillet.
Add about ¼ stick of butter to the hot skillet with the remaining herbs. You may also want to add a tiny bit more olive oil. Once these herbs start to wilt, add the risotto. By add the risotto, you want to have the risotto layer the bottom of the skillet completely and maybe overlapping. Let the risotto toast (or brown), stirring regularly. Do not let it burn. Once toasted, add some white wine. The white wine should cover all the risotto. The white wine will start to cook off and the risotto will begin to absorb the liquid. Continue to stir.
Now is when we separate the beginners from the truly dedicated. Continue to stir/fold the risotto. As the white wine cooks off/absorbs, add sufficient amounts of the chicken broth to cover all the risotto. As the chicken broth gets absorbed, continue to add more broth. Always stir. Bring in a reliever if necessary, don’t let it burn. Eventually, the risotto will soften.
Once the risotto is al dente, it is time to add the mascarpone cheese. I use a good spatula full at the beginning and really mix it in adding broth as necessary. Continue to stir. Add some grated parmesan cheese. Keep stirring. Continue to taste for appropriate softness of the risotto. Continue to add broth as necessary. Add salt/pepper for taste. Keep stirring.
Once you think you the risotto is ready, add the chicken and asparagus back into the skillet and fold over a few times.
It’s a marathon not a sprint. And you will certainly be able to accomplish neither a marathon nor a sprint upon eating this. But it’s worth it!
This surprisingly easy recipe makes between four and eight servings (depending on the size of your ramekins). It also takes no time to bake, meaning it’s easy to host with—plop in the oven as dinner is wrapping up, and if you time it right they’ll be fresh out of the oven just in time for dessert.
VARIATIONS: Can blend of white and sweet potatoes or of zucchini and white potatoes.
Original recipe from "The Art of Jewish Cooking" by Jennie Grossinger
Bohemian Houska (Czech)
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