Praline-Topped Sweet Potato Cheesecake

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Praline-Topped Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Filling:
3 packages cream cheese (preferably room temp)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed baked sweet potatoes (about 5 small sweet potatoes)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup cream
2 Tbs lemon or lime juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 eggs (pref room temp)

Crust:
1 package cinnamon graham crackers
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup melted butter

Praline topping:
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cream
1 cup pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Crumble the graham crackers. I put them in a bag and mash them with a hammer. Food processors work too I hear. Mix together crushed graham crackers, brown sugar, flour, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven and set aside. Keep the oven on.
  3. Put sweet potatoes in a baking dish and bake ’em until a knife inserted in center goes through easily (about 1 hour). Cool sweet potatoes till they are cool enough to peel, then mash or blend them into a puree.
  4. Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large separate bowl until smooth. Then add Greek yogurt, cream, sweet potato puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon (or lime) juice, and vanilla. Beat eggs into mixture one at a time. Pour filling into prepped crust.
  5. Bake for 1 hour with water bath placed beneath. (I just fill a pie tin with water)
  6. At 1-hour mark turn off oven, but leave the cake inside with door cracked open for another hour.
  7. To make the praline topping melt the butter and brown sugar together in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, then increase heat, and bring it to a boil. Boil for a good couple minutes. When the consistency reaches a soft ball stage remove from heat (you can optionally place pan in cold water even) and mix in cream and pecans. Keep stirring for 30-60 seconds or so then pour the topping over the cheesecake, leaving a bit of border around it.
  8. Cool cheesecake in the refrigerator for a few hours before attainment of bliss.

Inspiration:

http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Sweet-Potato-Cheesecake-Allrecipes_1
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-potato-pie-i/
(Also my own favorite family recipe for cheesecakes)

A Mouthfools Thanksgiving

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A Mouthfools Thanksgiving

Alton Brown Brined Turkey: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html

Creamy Turkey Gravy: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-gravy-recipe/index.html

Creamed Kale: https://mouthfools.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/grilled-steak-with-creamed-spinach-and-twice-baked-potato/

Asparagus Souffle:

Beer Bread: 

Shrimp, Mirliton, and Cornbread Dressing:

Instructions:
2 quarts diced unpeeled mirliton (substitute peeled, seeded zucchini if absolutely necessary)
½ cup salad oil
1 cup onion
½ cup celery
½ cup bell pepper
3 tablespoons garlic
3 pounds whole head on shrimp
1 quart chicken stock
1 batch cornbread (recipe below)
1 bunch parsley chopped
2 bunches green onion chopped
3 whole eggs
1 ½ cup shredded grana padano cheese

Instructions:
MAKE AHEAD – CORNBREAD: Pre-heat a buttered cast iron pan in a 375 degree oven. In a large bowl, mix: 1 cup flour, 1.5 cups cornmeal, ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ½ tablespoon salt. In a separate bowl, beat 3 eggs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 1 cup buttermilk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Carefully pour mixture into hot cast iron pan, place back in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until a tester or tooth pick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare Creole seasoning: Mix 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 3 teaspoons paprika, 3 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 2 teaspoons dried oregano.

Peel and roughly chop the shrimp, reserving the shells and heads.

In a small stock pot, sear the shells and heads over high heat until starting to color. Deglaze the pot with the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, then strain and reserve the stock.

In a large flat pan (sauteuse pan), heat the salad oil over high heat and sear the mirleton until browned. Remove the mirleton with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel.

Lower the heat to medium-high. Add the onion, pepper and celery to the pan with the salad oil and sauté 5-7 minutes until tender.

Add the garlic, spice mix and shrimp to the pan and cook 3-5 minutes until the shrimp turn pink. Add the reserved shrimp stock and bring to a boil, then turn off heat.

Lightly beat the eggs and, while still stirring, slowly add a ladle-full of the hot liquid from the pan to temper the eggs (do not scramble).

Crumble the cornbread into acorn-sized pieces and add to the pan, along with the merliton, parsley, green onion, and tempered eggs. Mix well.

Pour the full mixture into a buttered casserole dish. Smooth out the mixture and cover with the cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is browned, approximately 30 minutes.

Mussels Mariniere

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Mussels Mariniere

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water. Discard any open ones that won’t close when lightly squeezed.
  2. Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife. Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell.
  3. Soften the garlic and shallots in the butter with the bouquet garni, in a large pan big enough to take all the mussels – it should only be half full.
  4. Add the mussels and wine or cider, turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3-4 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every now and then.
  5. Remove the bouquet garni, add the cream and chopped parsley and remove from the heat.
  6. Spoon into four large warmed bowls and serve with lots of crusty bread.

Inspired by: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/moulesmarinierewithc_71787