Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Just a little bit o' butta...

Who likes Sunday nights? You have to think about going back to work on Monday morning.  You are probably tired from an overloaded weekend social calendar.  Plus, there isn't anything that great on tv to watch to relax before packing your gym bag for the next morning.  Well, lucky for me, this past Sunday, I was able to beat the Sunday night blues by a lovely family dinner at the Palace.  You've seen our extravagant feasts before, here and here, for example.  This week was a southern themed affair.  All I can say is look out, Paula Deen.

{ Alyx's biscuits on the right }

Our menu theme evolved from Alyx's idea to make Bojangles biscuits. I've never been to bojangles but I have heard various tales about these biscuits from my southern friends (namely, Liz and Alyx  who hail from North Carolina, and Becca who went to Duke).  The biscuits turned out every bit as I expected them to be - buttery, light, just slightly crusty on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. And I'm pretty sure Alyx's biscuits were better than what you would get at bojangles.  Alyx also made creamed spinach.  The creamed spinach had a really nice kick to it - but you'll see from Alyx's blog it is because she did in fact change up the recipe with some red pepper flakes.

Alyx's friend Alex made some crispy and flavorful sweet potato fries. She also brought greek yogurt as a dip. This was a unique combo that I had never tried before - but the tart flavor of the yogurt cut the tangy fries very well.  We gobbled these babies up in no time.

The superstar main dish of the night was Becca's pulled pork. Luscious. Savory. Tender.  So.good.  I believe she adapted the recipe from Tyler Florence.  Becca also made two kinds of BBQ sauce: Normal and Alabama style. Yes, that's right.  Becca made sauce from scratch too.  The normal was what you would think of BBQ sauce - deep red color, tangy and a little spicy and really added to the flavor of the pulled pork. The white sauce was made with a mayonnaise base and I couldn't stop smearing my biscuits in it. Yum.

But of course, I handled the dessert situation. 1) Becca loves red velvet cake and 2) red velvet cake originates from the south, I red velvet cake was the logical choice. Normally, red velvet cake is topped with cream cheese frosting.  But, one of the dinner guests has a dairy allergy, so we thought to improvise. How about cream cheese ice cream on the side? Done!

I used the recipe for red velvet cake that Josh used during DESSERT FEST 2010. And I turned to none other than David Lebovitz for a recipe for cream cheese ice cream.

Red Velvet Cake, recipe adapted from various adapted sources and borrowed from Josh

Makes 3 9" inch cakes


For the Cake
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups butter (I left mine out to get to room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 ounce red food coloring
  • 2 1/2 cups flour 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  

In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and red food coloring, then add to the batter.  

In yet another bowl, sift together the flour and the salt.  Alternate mixing this in to the batter with the buttermilk.  Add the vanilla to the batter.  

Mix together the baking soda and vinegar in another bowl.  Add this to the batter mixture.  

Pour your batter into 3 9" cake pans.  Note that my batter wasn't totally "pour-y" so I had to use a spatula to get it all out.  What couldn't be salvaged may or may not have been licked off the spoon.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool completely before frosting or mixing into ice cream. 

For the frosting
  • 1 lb. cream cheese
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix the cream cheese and butter together.  Add half of the powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth.  Stir in the vanilla extract.  Slowly add in the rest of the powdered sugar until you achieve your desired taste and consistency.  

Cream Cheese Ice Cream, adapted from David Lebovitz's book The Perfect Scoop

Makes about 1 quart

  • 8 ounces cream cheese 
  • 1 lemon, preferably unsprayed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup half and half* (I subbed with 2 parts heavy cream to 1 part whole milk)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
Cut the cream cheese into small pieces.  Zest the lemon directly into the blender (trust me, 1 lemon won't get it too zesty).  Add the remaining ingredients to the blender.  Blend away!  

I popped this into the fridge overnight to get it very chilled.  

Churn it in your ice cream maker from 25 to 45 minutes.  


Note: Didn't bring my DSLR.  These are all from my P&S


Ruby said...


Lavina said...

yum, love the pics. paula better watch out!!