With Love From
Darling's Kitchen

39. Dad Deserves
The Best! Period.

Renny Darling

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The Recipes

-Chicken in a Delicate Mushroom & Wine Sauce
-Spiced Peaches with Cinnamon
-The Best Noodle Pudding with Apples & Raisins
-Hungarian Torte with Apricot & Chocolate Buttercream
-Caramel Pecan Bars on Butter Cookie Crust
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Dear Fans,

Of course, you know, my favorite evening of all is to sit around a table with family and friends, exchanging a few lively ideas and enjoying several hearty, robust dishes.  Add a wonderful loaf of hot, crusty bread...a flask of full-bodied wine...and in the words of Omar Khayam..."wilderness is paradise enow".  Good times with good friends create the memories that linger after dinner is over.

But there are certain special times...like an important celebration or special anniversary or birthday ... when we give up the casual and easygoing for the loving and sentimental ... and Father's Day is one of the BEST of these times.

This very special day...with our very special Dad ... calls for some very special dishes, a couple of great desserts, lots of Father's Day cards, and a lot of happy faces celebrating Dear OL' Dad.  The thought alone will make him happy too.

Well, I thought, a light supper in the early evening would be a grand way to celebrate.  The menu I have chosen is delicious and a little more work  ... but this occasion does call for a little extra indulgence.  I love indulgences ... don't you?

Our menu, chicken in a beautiful wine sauce served with a great noodle pudding and spiced peaches makes a beautiful array of colors on the plate. The recipes can be prepared completely in advance, earlier in the day. I have specifically chosen two desserts that are great accompaniments.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

Enjoy with Love,
Renny Darling


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Chicken in a Delicate Mushroom & Wine Sauce

This is a fine dish to serve for family or company dinners.  The Wine Sauce is very delicate and subtle...and very easy to prepare.  This can also be prepared within 1/2 hour from beginning to serving.

4 chicken breasts, boned and cut in half.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and garlic powder.  Dust lightly with flour and brush lightly with 4 tablespoons melted butter.

Instant Mushroom & Wine Sauce
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2  cup rich chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 cup teaspoon dried dill weed

1 cup cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Place chicken in 1 layer in a 9x13-inch roasting pan and bake in a 325° oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are just cooked through.  Do not overcook, or chicken will toughen up.

Meanwhile, saute together, mushrooms, garlic, shallots in butter until mushroom are tender, but not browned, and all the liquid rendered is absorbed.  Add the wine and cook until the wine is evaporated.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer sauce for about 10 minutes or until it is slightly thickened.

Place the warm chicken on a lovely platter and spoon a little sauce on the top.  Pass the remaining sauce at the table. Green Rice with Herbs and Buttered Carrots are a nice accompaniment.

Note: -Sauce can be prepared earlier in the day and heated before serving.
            Chicken can be seasoned  and sprinkled with flour earlier in the day,
             but as it only takes 15 to 20 minutes to bake, bake before serving.

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Spiced Peaches with Cinnamon

This is a lovely accompaniment to chicken or veal.  Everyone loves it. It is admirably simple to prepare and the flavor of fruit and spice is simply delicious.  The chopped walnuts add a marvelous texture.

            1/2            cup sugar
            1/4            cup butter (1/2 stick)
            1/4            cup orange juice
            1/4            teaspoon cinnamon
                       
            1/2            cup chopped walnuts

            1            can (1 pound 12 ounces) spiced peaches.  Drain and
                                    reserve syrup for another use.

In a skillet, combine first 4 ingredients and cook syrup at a low bubble for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the sugar is totally dissolved.   Add the nuts and cook for 1 minute more.

Place drained peaches in one layer, and close together, in an 9-inch porcelain baker.  Pour syrup and nuts evenly over the fruit.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

About 20 minutes before serving, heat in a 350° oven until warmed through.  Serve peaches warm, not hot.  Yields about 8 or 9 peaches.  I recommend you make extras as these invite seconds.

Note: - Drain peaches thoroughly.  They will still render some syrup as they heat.  This is okay.
- Dish can be assembled 1 day earlier and stored in the refrigerator. 
Heat before serving.
-Spiced apricots are a nice substitution.

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The Best Noodle Pudding with Apples & Raisins

This is one of the finest tasting noodle puddings.  It is a grand accompaniment to chicken Chicken or Veal. It can be prepared in advance, covered and stored in the refrigerator and heated before serving.

2 apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
4 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
4 tablespoons butter

8 ounces medium egg noodles, cooked and drained
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup yellow raisins

4 eggs
2 cups sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt (or omit altogether)

In a skillet, sauté together first 4 ingredients until apples are tender.  Toss together apples, noodles, butter and raisins until mixed.  Spread mixture evenly into a 9x13-inch baking pan.

Beat together eggs, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and optional salt until blended. Pour this evenly over the noodles and bake in a 350° oven for about 1 hour, or until the top is golden and the custard is set.  This yields 10 generous portions.

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Hungarian Torte with
Apricot & Chocolate Buttercream

This cake is light as air, and so delicate, you will serve it with pride.  It only contains 6 tablespoons of flour and the eggs do not have to be separated.  It produces one of my favorite nut cakes, and it truly is delicious.  Not the least of its virtues, it can be prepared in virtually minutes.

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup apricot jam, heated

Place first 6 ingredients in a food  processor and blend until the nuts are very finely chopped and almost pureed...about 1 minute.

Pour batter into a greased 10-inch springform pan and bake in a 350° oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester, inserted in center, comes out clean.  (Do not overbake, or cake will not be moist.)  Allow to cool for about 20 minutes, and then spread the heated apricot jam over the top.  Allow to cool thoroughly.

When cool, drizzle top with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.  Swirl it around decoratively, allowing some of the jam to show.  Frost the sides with a thin coating of Chocolate Buttercream.

To Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: 
Stir together 1/2 cup (3 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips (melted) with 1/4 cup butter (melted).  Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Note: - If you own a microwave oven, butter and chocolate can be melted  together, by micro-waving 1 1/4 minutes on high...no more.  Stir mixture together until blended.

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Caramel Pecan Bars on Butter Cookie Crust

If you love Southern Pecan Pie, you will adore these cookies.  They are like miniature pecan pies, sticky and chewy and simply delicious. This recipe yields 4 dozen generous cookies, and any leftovers can be frozen.

Butter Cookie Crust
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into 9 pieces
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 egg, beaten

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter, flour and sugar until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add the egg and beat until dough forms.  Do not overbeat.  Pat the dough on the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of a greased 9x13-inch baking pan and bake in a 350° oven for 20 minutes or until top is just beginning to take on color.  Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

Caramel & Pecan Topping
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup Maple syrup
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups chopped pecans

Beat together first 6 ingredients until blended.  Sprinkle pecans over prepared crust and drizzle filling evenly over the pecans.  Bake in a 350° oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.  Allow to cool in pan.  When cool, cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and sprinkle top faintly with sifted powdered sugar.  Yields 4 dozen cookies.

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