Valentine Recipes for Moms!

Roasted Eggplant Salad with Smoked Almonds & Goat Cheese

serves 4

2 large eggplants, about 2 pounds
Kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup smoked almonds, roughly chopped
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled and divided
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions

Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and set aside while making the marinade.

Whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, and cumin. Dab away any extra water that has beaded up on the eggplant and toss with the marinade. Stir in the garlic. Spread the eggplant on a large baking sheet, lined with parchment and slide onto a rack placed in the center of the oven. Roast at 400°F for 40 minutes, or until very tender and slightly browned. (Stir every 15 minutes and check after 30 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning.) Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

Whisk together the lemon juice and soy sauce. Return the eggplant to the bowl and toss with the lemon juice mixture. Stir in the parsley leaves, smoked almonds, and most of the goat cheese, reserving a little.

Spread the finished salad in a serving bowl and sprinkle the reserved goat cheese crumbles and scallions on top.

Faith Durand is the executive editor of The Kitchn, and a cookbook author. Her latest is a celebration of all things pudding: Bakeless Sweets: Pudding, Panna Cotta, Fluff, Icebox Cake & More No-Bake Desserts

 

Spicy Chipotle Barbecue Sausages

From the kitchen of SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl

  • 1 14-oz package of Hillshire Farms Lit’l Smokies
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves or jam
  • 2 chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce

 

In a large pot, mix all ingredients. Heat to boiling over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Mix in water if sauce is too thick. Serve on platter with sauce poured on top or served on the side.
*Yields: 6-7 servings

 

 

Red Velvet Dirt Cake
Recipe adapted from Pinch my Salt

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Yes, it will fizz! Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Finish cooling on a wire rack. All the cakes to cool completely before assembling the trifle.

Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup half and half
1 cups dark chocolate, chopped

Warm the half and half in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to almost boil, but don’t let it boil. As soon as is it really hot, remove it form the heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir until melted and allow it to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Once it has cooled (at room temperature), it is ready to be used in the trifle.

Mascarpone Whipped Frosting
Recipe inspired from Recipe Girl. Who wouldn’t be inspired by her amazing trifle pictures, gorgeous!

8 ounce mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
*If you don’t have mascarpone, sub all cream cheese, so a total of 12 ounces.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and slowly pour in whipping cream. Continue whipping until mixture resembles soft whipped cream. This took about 10 minutes.

Trifle Assembly
Arrange a single layer of red velvet cake chunks on the bottom of the trifle dish. Spoon about 1/3 of the ganache on top of the cake cubes, then spoon about 1/3 of the mascarpone frosting onto the ganache. Sprinkle the frosting with mini chocolate chips. Repeat layers until you run out of room in your dish (which took 3 layers for me).

 

I garnished with some crumbled red velvet cake and a little sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. It was super pretty and even more tasty!

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