Monday, February 23, 2009

February Cooking Club: Presidential Favorites

Laura: Washington / Chocolate Cherry Cake
Susan: Truman / Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings
Betty: Carter / Gorilla Bread
Jodi: Madison / Ham Stacks
Lori: Roosevelt / Sand Tarts and Coffee Martinis
Summer: Clinton / Chicken Enchiladas
Linda: Reagan / Mac N' Cheese and Veggie Pizza
Shauna: Grant / Rice pudding with Lemon Sauce
Chris: Obama / Chili
Teresa: Nixon / Fresh Fruit and Cottage Cheese
Sarah: Jefferson / Pea Panzanella Salad

Ham Stacks

Veggie and Feta Pizza on a Wheat Crust

Sweet and Spicy Citrus Wings

Coffee Martinis

Pea Panzanella Salad

Chicken Enchiladas

Mac N' Cheese
Bread Sticks

Sand Tarts

Gorilla Bread
Rice Pudding
Chocolate and Cherry Bundt Cake


Chocolate Cherry Cake

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan or bundt pan
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, cherry pie filling, almond extract, and 2 eggs by hand; stir until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it tests done. Cool.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, butter or margarine, and milk. Boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Immediately pour over partially cooled cake.

Obama's Chili Recipe
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Several cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey or beef
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground basil
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Several tomatoes, depending on size, chopped
1 can red kidney beans

Saute onions, green pepper and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add ground meat and brown. Combine spices together into a mixture, then add to ground meat. Add red wine vinegar. Add tomatoes and let simmer, until tomatoes cook down. Add kidney beans and cook for a few more minutes. Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, onions and sour cream.

Coffee Martini
2 oz Espresso Vodka
2 oz Vanilla Vodka
4 oz Coffee - sweetened and cooled
Half and Half to taste
3 Chocolate covered coffee beans per glass

Lori made a pitcher of these and they were drained fast

Sagamore Hill Sand Tarts by Edith Roosevelt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg separated
4 cups flour
2 tsp. vanilla
Sugar and Cinnamon

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs, one by one, beating after each addition. Beat in one additional egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in sifted flour. Mix again well. Roll dough on a lightly floured board, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut with a 2 1/2 cookie cutter, any shape. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg white with a fork just enough to stir it up a bit. Brush the egg white on top of the cookie. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture and bake on a greased cookie sheet for about 8 minutes. Yields 6 dozen Tarts.


1 T. butter
3 c. hot cooked rice (I used Arborio)
4 eggs, separated
2 c. half-and-half
2 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. lemon peel, grated (I omitted this)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (I did 1 T)
1/8 tsp. salt

Lemon Sauce:
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. boiling water
1 T. butter
1 T. lemon peel -- grated
3 T. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Stir butter into rice.
Beat egg yolks; add half-and-half, milk, sugar, lemon peel, vanilla and salt.
Add yolk mixture to rice; fold in egg whites which have been beaten until stiff but not dry.
Turn into a buttered shallow 2-quart baking dish; set in pan of hot water. Bake 1 hour, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Serve warm with Lemon Sauce.

Lemon Sauce:
Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir in water gradually. Cook, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Blend in remaining ingredients.

Slick Willy’s Chicken Enchiladas

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I used rotisserie chicken)
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 (12 ounce) can enchilada sauce or homemade
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook chicken until no longer pink and juices run clear. Drain excess fat. Cube the chicken and return it to the skillet. Add the onion, sour cream, Cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano and ground black pepper. Heat until cheese melts. Stir in salt, tomato sauce, chili powder, and garlic.

Roll even amounts of the mixture in the tortillas. Arrange in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover with enchilada sauce and 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving

* I added 1/4 tsp of cumin, garlic powder, oregano and cinnamon to the enchilada sauce to spice it up a bit.

* I also poured a thin layer of enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the 9x13 pan and I dipped just the outsides of the tortillas in a little enchilada sauce before stuffing them with chicken filling.

Pea Panzanella
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello

Panzanella Cubes:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 pound day old country bread, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (remove crust if hard)
Gray salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch powdered Vitamin C, optional (ascorbic acid)
1/2 cup chicken stock or water, plus more for moistening the salad
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:
2/3 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
1 1/2 cups cooked peas
1/2 cup grated pecorino Toscano, plus more for grating
6 cups spring greens

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place a baking sheet in the oven.

Make the Panzanella Cubes: Heat the butter in a skillet over moderate heat until it begins to brown. Add the chopped garlic and stir briefly to release its fragrance. Add the chopped thyme. Stir to combine.

Pour the butter mixture over the bread cubes in a bowl and toss briskly so butter coats cubes evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the 2 cheeses and chopped basil. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet, scraping all the seasonings over them. Bake until lightly brown and crunchy on the outside, but still soft on the inside, about 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Make the dressing: If using fresh peas, blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling water, then shock in ice water. Drain. In a stainless steel saucepan, simmer blanched peas or frozen peas and a pinch of salt in cream, until peas are tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer peas and cream to blender or food processor, add pinch of Vitamin C powder to retain bright green color, if desired. While blender or food processor is running, add chicken stock and olive oil and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cool the puree in a bowl over an ice bath.

Combine: In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread cubes and the pea puree. Stir to coat the bread. Add the cooked peas, scallions, and pecorino Toscano.

Put the ring from a 10-inch spring form pan upside down on a large plate. Fill with the bread mixture, pressing it into place. Let stand, or refrigerate, for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then remove the ring. In a bowl, dress the spring greens with lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil, to taste. Mound the greens lightly on top of the panzanella. Grate pecorino on top, to garnish.

Ronald Reagan's Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 lb Macaroni
1 Tbs Butter
1 Egg, beaten
3 c Sharp cheese, grated
1 tsp Dry mustard
1 c warm Milk
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of Paprika

Boil macaroni in salted water and drain thoroughly. Stir in butter and egg. Mix salt mustard and Worchestershire sauce with 1 tbsp. hot water. Add to milk. Add the cheese, leaving enough to sprinkle on top. Pour noodles into a buttered casserole, add milk, sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350~ for about 45 minutes or until custard is set and top is crusty.

Gorilla Bread
Courtesy: Paula Deen
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert

Spicy-Sweet Chicken Wings (AKA. 3 alarm wings :)

These wings have a citrus flavor that's slightly sweet. Be warned, they are super hot from the Sriracha sauce, so use sparingly.

2/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1/4 to 1/2 cup Sriracha hot-chile sauce, or other hot sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon toasted-sesame oil
4 1/2 pounds chicken wing drumettes, patted dry with paper towels (35 to 45 wings)

Make the wings: Whisk hoisin, orange zest, hot sauce, honey, and sesame oil in a large bowl. Refrigerate 1/2 cup marinade. Add wings to remaining marinade, and toss to coat. Cover, and refrigerate, tossing wings occasionally, for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Let wings stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, rotating sheet and brushing with half of reserved marinade halfway through. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake wings, brushing with remaining marinade, until golden brown, about 20 minutes more.
Arrange wings on platter and sprinkle with scallions


shauna said...

Man, I love Cooking Club.

jojo said...

What a hilarious theme! I love it - it would work well for a book club too!

Bake-A-Holic said...

It was a fun theme. The stories behind all the presidents' favorites were interesting too. All the food was delicious and the company was even better.

Jacinda said...

This looks like so much fun. I wish you weren't so far away! I've taken the liberty of writing about your cooking club on my blog. Hope you don't mind. What's March's theme (I asked in my post) : )

Bake-A-Holic said...

Jacinda- I think you should definitely start a cooking club. It would be a great way to meet and make new friends in Texas!


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