Saturday, January 31, 2009

Beef Stroganoff

This recipe is inspired by one from Tyler Florence on Tyler's Ultimate. Featuring short ribs, cooked long and slow, this isn't your mom's beef stroganoff. The creamy sauce itself gets a kick from Dijon mustard—very nice addition! The cook time is too long to make it viable for a weeknight meal, but the delectable taste is worth the time if you have it.

Beef Stroganoff
6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
Kosher salt and pepper
1 fresh rosemary sprig, leaves removed
2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed
Olive oil
3 lb. short ribs
8 oz. egg noodles
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 lb. crimini or portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. white button mushrooms, sliced
4 shallots, chopped
1/4 cup red wine
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1. Combine 4 minced garlic cloves, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Add in enough olive oil to create a paste. Stir in rosemary and thyme leaves. Rub garlic mixture on top of short ribs.
2. Place short ribs on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 300° for 2 hours, 30 minutes.
3. Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Stir in 4 Tbsp. butter until melted; keep noodles warm.
4. Cook mushroom in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until browned. Stir in shallots and 2 minced garlic cloves; cook 5 additional minutes. Remove pan from heat.
5. Stir in red wine, and return to heat. Stir in whipping cream. Reduce heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cream mixture is thickened. Stir in Dijon mustard and sour cream; cook until thoroughly heated.
6. Cut meat off bones; slice meat, and stir into cream mixture. Place noodles on each plate; top with cream mixture. Sprinkle each serving with parsley.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


This morning I put a bag of Bolognese Sauce in the fridge to thaw for dinner. However, as I was walking out the door, I had a revelation that I could use some of the pizza dough I had in the freezer to make calzones instead of serving the sauce over pasta. By the way, I'm calling the shape of my calzones "rustic." I served them with oven-roasted potatoes. A nice change of pace!

1 pizza dough round, cut in half
Warm Bolognese Sauce
Provolone cheese slices

1. Shape dough halves into rounds. Using a slotted spoon, scoop Bolognese Sauce on one side of dough. Top with 2 Provolone cheese slices. Scoop out more Bolognese Sauce; top with 2 more cheese slices. Fold dough over filling; crimp edges to seal. Repeat with other dough round. Place calzones on a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
2. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until golden.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Spinach-Sausage Manicotti

This recipe is based on one from Cooking Light. What originally appealed to me about it is that you stuff the manicotti right out of the package. That's right, no stuffing limp noodles! Usually I make this without meat, but I had a couple of links of Italian turkey sausage in the freezer, so I threw that in. Andy really liked the addition. He commented that it took away some of the spinach flavor.:) If your family doesn't like leafy greens, you could replace all of it with sausage and/or ground beef. The other great thing about this recipe is that it only takes about 15 minutes to prep. All the work is done by the oven during the one-hour baking time. It costs about $2.50 per serving.

Spinach-Sausage Manicotti
2 links Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 (9-oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained
1 (15-oz.) container ricotta cheese
1 (8-oz.) package shredded Italian-blend cheese, divided
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1 box manicotti shells
1 (26-oz.) jar pasta sauce

1. Cook sausage in a skillet until meat crumbles and is done. Combine sausage, spinach, and ricotta. Stir in half of shredded cheese and next 6 ingredients. Use your hands to stuff manicotti shells with spinach mixture. Arrange manicotti in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
2. Pour pasta sauce over manicotti. Fill the jar half full with water; shake to incorporate remaining pasta sauce in jar. Pour water mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining half of shredded cheese. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil.
3. Bake at 375° for 1 hour.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pears in Puff Pastry

The combination of pastry, cinnamon, brown sugar, and apples or pears makes one of my favorite desserts. I love to try different variations on that theme. Tonight I used pears. This isn't an overly sweet dessert, which makes it a natural partner for butter-pecan ice cream.

Pears in Puff Pastry
2 pears
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
2/3 of a sheet of puff pastry, thawed

1. Cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of each pear. Use a melon baller to remove the core.
2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and next 2 ingredients.
3. Press fold of puff pastry to seal; cut into to squares. Place each pear on one square. Spoon half of sugar mixture into center of each pear. Pull pastry up over sides of pears and pinch at top to seal.
4. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Noodles With Peanut Sauce

Pork Dumplings have become the meal of choice for our family birthday dinners. I have served Sesame Noodles with the dumplings several times, but I haven't been 100% happy with the different recipes. Peanut sauce is a favorite of mine, and I have tried numerous recipes over the years, but none have had just the right balance of peanut butter, ginger, and salty soy sauce as my favorite peanut sauce at a local Thai restaurant. For my brother-in-law's birthday, I combined a couple of recipes and think I found the right taste. Instead of sesame noodles, I tossed the pasta with the peanut sauce. Andy, who thinks peanut butter is just for sandwiches, also really liked this dish.

Peanutty Noodles
1 (16-oz.) package whole wheat spaghetti
3 carrots, sliced
2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Juice from 3 limes
3 Tbsp. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, but rice vinegar would work very well.)
3 Tbsp. lite soy sauce
3 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Add carrots to spaghetti halfway through cooking time. Add broccoli for the last minute of cooking time. Drain and place in a serving bowl.
2. Combine peanut butter and next 4 ingredients until blended in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in ginger and next 3 ingredients. Microwave peanut sauce at HIGH 1 minute or until warm. Toss with pasta and vegetables.

Monday, January 19, 2009


While we were in H'ville visiting Andy's family, we also had the privilege to celebrate our 12-year-old niece Grace's birthday. The birthday girl loves to help me cook, so that's what we did today. Our menu: Beef Tenderloin With Blue Cheese Sauce, Slow-Cooker Green Beans, Mac and Cheese, Nutter Butter Banana Pudding (from the February 2009 issue of SL), and Tiramisù. I'll post the beef tenderloin recipe later, but you have to try Tiramisù. This recipe is inspired by the one in Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita cookbook. I had to modify it because I didn't have enough eggs to make the custard. I'll try it the real way some time, but this is delicious and simple. Instead of ladyfingers, this recipe uses Polenta Pound Cake. This cake is so wonderful; I can't wait to try it in some other desserts. Grace thought this was a great birthday cake!

Polenta Pound Cake, cut into slices
2 cups hot brewed coffee (I used 4 scoops for the 2 cups of water.)
2 (8-oz.) containers whipped cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 Tbsp. coffee liqueur
2 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate bars, finely chopped (I used Ghirardelli.)

1. Cover the bottom of a 13- x 9-inch dish with a single layer of cake slices. Pour half of coffee mixture over the cake slices.
2. Beat cream cheese and next 2 ingredients with an electric mixer until blended. Spread mixture over coffee-soaked cake slices. Top with a single layer of remaining cake slices. Pour remaining coffee over the top. Sprinkle chopped chocolate over the top. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Polenta Pound Cake
6 eggs, separated
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sour cream

1. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl; wipe mixer bowl clean.
2. Beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest with an electric mixer until blended and creamy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add the cornmeal, and beat until blended. Add the vanilla.
3. Combine flour and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until blended. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour batter into a lightly greased 9-inch square baking dish.
4. Bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack 15 minutes; remove cake from pan and cool completely.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I had the idea for this pizza last Saturday while I preparing for a make-your-own-pizza birthday party for the daughter of a friend. (Happy birthday, L!) We are in H'ville visiting Andy's parents for the second half of this weekend, and I made it for dinner last night. I highly recommend it!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Pizza dough (from the Publix bakery or homemade)
Buffalo chicken wing sauce
1/2 lb. fried chicken tenders (Again, these came from Publix.)
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese
Provolone cheese slices

1. Roll out dough into a circle. Use a fork to prick holes in the dough. Bake at 450° for 10 to 15 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Remove crust from oven; reduce oven temperature 400°.
2. Spread wing sauce over crust. Cut chicken tenders into chunks, and sprinkle them over the wing sauce. Sprinkle with blue cheese, and top with Provolone slices.
3. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Baked Apples

This can be dessert (I recommend à la mode) or as a side dish for breakfast. It reminds me of my grandmother. Her baked apples were delicious, caramel flavored, and very comforting.

Baked Apples
4 Rome apples
8 tsp. oatmeal
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. brown sugar
4 pats butter
Apple cider or orange juice

1. Use a melon baller to scoop out the stem and the core, leaving the bottom intact. Place apples in a baking dish. Stir togther oatmeal and next 2 ingredients. Spoon into center of apples. Top each apple with pat of butter. Pour apple cider into bottom of baking dish.
2. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until apples are soft. Serve warm.

Roasted Artichoke Salad

We had dinner guests tonight: AC and L, two of our nieces, are spending the night. We had Creamy Chicken and Noodles (very kid friendly) and this salad. The cost of the salad is about $2.50 per serving.

Roasted Artichoke Salad
2 (9-oz.) boxes frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Juice from 1 1/2 lemons
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. dried basil
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 Tbsp. capers, drained
Crumbled feta cheese

1. Place artichoke hearts in an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, stir together lemon juice and next 3 ingredients. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil until thoroughly combined.
4. Toss together artichoke hearts, red peppers, and capers. Pour half of dressing over vegetables; reserve the remaining dressing for salads later in the week. Toss to combine; sprinkle with feta. Serve warm or cold.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coffee Crunch Bars

This recipe is from the February issue of Bon Appétit. The bar cookies have the buttery texture of shortbread combined with coffee and almond. Andy and I had ours topped with butter pecan ice cream. What attracted me to this flavor combo was a memory of coffee-Heath Bar ice cream that we really like. Decadent!

Coffee Crunch Bars
The original recipe calls for espresso powder, which I couldn't find. However, a coworker told me that he finds it in the Latin food section; it looks like a tin of paprika. Instant coffee granules are a good substitute, however. I just increased the amount by a tablespoon.
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate morsels (I used bittersweet morsels.)
1/2 cup sliced almonds

1. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in instant coffee granules and almond extract.
2. Combine flour and next 2 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until thoroughly blended. (Batter will be very thick.) Stir in chocolate morsels and almonds.
3. Turn dough out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Use hands to shape dough into a 12-inch square.
4. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes. Cool 1 minute on baking sheet. Cut into bars, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Risotto How-To

Tonight we had Updated Chicken and Rice. Risotto might seem intimidating because you have to stir the recipe constantly. That's how the arborio rice develops its creaminess. I had to work late and then I had a meeting at 7, so it was necessary for supper to be ready fast. I decided to speed up the risotto process by cooking it in a sauté pan instead of a saucepan. (These are the step-by-step photos.) The cooking time was reduced to 20 minutes. We needed a vegetable, but I didn't want to get another pan dirty, so I added some frozen green peas. Chicken, risotto, and peas—very simple but it hit the spot on a cold night. (The leftovers also reheat well for lunch.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I prefer brownies with some kind of chocolate morsels in them. The contrast between the cakey brownies and the firm morsels appeals to me. Today I used white chocolate ones.

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 bag white chocolate morsels

1. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH for 1 minute, 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate melts. Stir in sugar and next 4 ingredients until thoroughly blended.
2. Line a 13- x 9-inch baking pan with foil; spray with cooking spray. Pour in brownie batter.
3. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Cool completely.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mini Hamburgers

When I did my meal planning last Monday, I thought it would be fun to make mini hamburgers and use dinner rolls instead of buns. Since I bought the ingredients, I've seen an infomercial with Billy Mays advertising the super slider pan. The infomercial calls mini burgers "the taste sensation that's sweeping the nation." Apparently I am trendy. Making small hamburgers is sure to appeal to children. I really like Whole Foods' hamburger buns; tonight I used dinner rolls that are also from Whole Foods. Very quick and easy for a busy weeknight! I served the mini burgers with oven-baked french fries.

Pasta Bolognese

This is based on a hearty recipe from Anne Burrell on the Food Network. Because the veggies are pureed in the food processor, this would be a good way to sneak in some. My change: Instead of simmering this on the stove for 4 hours, I put it in the slow-cooker on MEDIUM for the same amount of time. I froze enough for three more meals. Cost per serving: $3.

Pasta Bolognese
1 large onion, cut into chunks
2 large carrots, cut into chunks
3 celery ribs, cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt
3 lb. ground chuck
16 oz. tomato paste
3 cups red wine
3 bay leaves
1 bunch thyme (tied in a bundle)
16 oz. spaghetti, cooked
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Puree onion and next 3 ingredients in food processor. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven; add in vegetable puree and some salt. Cook, stirring often, 20 minutes. Add in ground chuck and some salt, and cook, stirring often, for 20 minutes. Add the tomato paste, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the wine, and cook 5 more minutes.
2. Add water to pan to just cover meat mixture. Add in bay leaves and thyme bundle. Bring to a boil.
3. Transfer mixture to slow-cooker. Cook on MEDIUM for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. Serve with hot cooked spaghetti and topped with cheese.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


This is my mother-in-law's lasagna recipe. It's Andy's favorite! I haven't made it in a long time (she kindly e-mailed me the recipe). I needed some freezer-friendly meals for a friend and this filled the bill. It is best to make two at a time because you will have twice the amount you need on some ingredients (such as the lasagna noodles; you only need half of a 16-oz. package). This costs about $2 per serving if you make two. (The photo was taken before I froze it.)

Mimi's Lasagna
8 oz. uncooked lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground chuck
1/2 lb. sausage (You can use Italian sausage with the casings removed or breakfast sausage.)
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
8 oz. ricotta
2 eggs, lightly beaten
12 mozzarella cheese slices
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain and rinse with cool water. Drain again.
2. Cook ground beef and next 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven until meat crumbles and onion is tender. Stir in tomato paste, 1 1/2 cups water, and next 4 ingredients; simmer 10 minutes.
3. Combine ricotta and eggs. Spread 1/4 cup meat mixture into bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with half of noodles, and then spread with half of ricotta mixture and half of the meat mixture. Cover with 6 mozzarella cheese slices. Then repeat layers in this order: remaining noodles, ricotta mixture, meat mixture, and 6 mozzarella cheese slices. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. (I froze it at this point.)
4. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator or overnight. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Flank Steak

Flank steak is so easy to make, and it's pretty economical too. (It's not a cheap cut of beef, like cube steak though.) Andy and I usually get two meals off of one (1.5-lb.) steak, which costs about $10. I served it with mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli (which I drizzled with balsamic vinegar right before serving), and Cheese-Black Pepper Muffins (I used this recipe but omitted the sausage and added 2 tsp. black pepper).

Flank Steak
Make sure you have your vent hood fan on high; this will smoke!
1. Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt, pepper, and grill seasoning. Heat grill pan over high heat; cook steak for 12 minutes on one side, 10 minutes on the other. The meat will have a warm red center (medium). Slice in thin strips across the grain.

Mashed Potatoes
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into chunks (These have very thin skins, so I don't peel them.)
4 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup sour cream

1. Bring potatoes and water to cover to a boil. Cook 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return to pot.
2. Mash potatoes with a potato masher (I prefer a chunky texture). Stir in butter until it melts. Stir in salt, pepper, and sour cream.

Baked Marinara With Feta

This is based on a Cooking Light recipe, but I make it from memory and it's a little different each time. Serve this with baguette slices.

Baked Marinara With Feta
2 (14.5-oz.) cans fire-roasted tomatoes (I use Muir Glen brand.)
2 (4-oz.) packages crumbled feta
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
Pinch of ground red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced, or 1 tsp. garlic powder

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a shallow baking dish.
2. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti With Olives and Breadcrumbs

On Tuesday I watched an episode of Everyday Italian where Giada made a quick-and-easy olive pasta dish. I was intrigued. Salty olives and pasta sounded tasty. I wasn't sure if Andy would like it as a main dish, so tonight I paired it with Chicken Parmesan. The combination worked very well!

Spaghetti With Olives and Breadcrumbs
1 (16-oz.) package multigrain spaghetti
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup pitted large green olives, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water; drain.
2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Cook the breadcrumbs, stirring constantly, about 2 minues or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
3. Stir the pasta into the breadcrumbs mixture. Remove pan from heat. Stir in olives, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Gently toss to coat, adding 1 cup of reserved pasta water.

Buckeye Bars

My sister, Mel, made these delicious bars for several holiday parties, and they have been a hit! I asked her to share the recipe with me for the blog. She says they are very simple to prepare. (Much easier than dipping individual Buckeye Balls!) The chocolate/peanut butter ratio is just right.

Buckeye Bars
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
22 vanilla wafers, crushed (3/4 cups crushed wafers)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 (8-oz.) container whipped topping (do not thaw)
3 squares semisweet chocolate

1. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, allowing ends to extend over sides of pan. Beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer until blended. Add in vanilla wafer crumbs; mix well. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.
2. Microwave frozen whipped topping and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 1 minute; stir. Microwave 15 to 30 more seconds or until chocolate is melted; stir to combine. Pour chocolate mixture over peanut butter mixture; spread evenly to cover.
3. Refrigerate 2 hours. Use foil to remove mixture from pan before cutting.

Cheesecake With Two Sauces

For our 12th-annual New Year's Eve party, I made this cheesecake, but instead of garnishing it with fruit, I made a chocolate sauce and a caramel sauce for drizzling.

Simple Cheesecake
I use salted butter in everything, even recipes that call for unsalted, and have never been unhappy with the results. However in this recipe, it is necessary to use unsalted butter in the crust because it calls for a lot of additional salt. Line the sheet pan with parchment paper (this will help you remove it for cutting), and spray the paper with cooking spray.
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
4 eggs

1. Beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating just until a soft dough forms. Spread dough into a prepared sheet pan; use a piece of plastic wrap to help you spread it to cover the bottom of the pan. Chill dough in pan 20 minutes.
2. Bake at 300° for 40 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
3. Beat cream cheese and granulated sugar until blended, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in lemon zest, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended after each addition.
4. Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared crust.
5. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Cut cheesecake into squares.

Caramel Sauce
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
3/4 cup cold water
2 Tbsp. butter
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan; gradually stir in cold water until mixture resembles wet sand (it may not require the entire amount of water). Cook on high heat, without stirring to avoid crystallization, until the syrup begans to color. Tilt the pan to swirl to distribute the color. Continue cooking until the syrup turn a caramel color and smells like burnt sugar. (This will take about 15 minutes, but you need to keep an eye on it.)
2. Very carefully, stir in butter (mixture will bubble, foam, and expand; it is very hot). Then very carefully stir in pinch of salt and cream. Stir until bubbles disappear. Cool completely.

Chocolate-Orange Sauce
6.5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 plus 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. orange liqueur

1. Combine chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring at 30-second intervals. Stir in orange liqueur.