Monday, May 5, 2014

Lime-filled Chocolate Dessert Shells

Limes are beautiful inside and out - they remind me of summer sun, beaches in Florida and FOOD! I love lime juice on fish, in tomato juice and drizzled over certain Mexican dishes. I love the grated peel on salads, in special desserts and as an alternative to lemon in cookies.

I am happy to say - Duncan Hines sells a not-too-sweet canned, Key Lime Crème pie filling/topping.  I experimented with the crème filling and combined it with whipped topping. This combination was used to fill little dessert shells. What a happy way to end a meal!

Lime-filled Chocolate Dessert Shells

1 can Duncan Hines Key Lime Crème
1 small container Cool Whip
2-3 squares almond bark
1/2 C Wilton Candy melts (chocolate) or tempered chocolate
1 bag water balloons

Begin by blowing up desired qty. of water balloons - not too large. Blow up a few extra! Use a veg. spray to coat the bottom and an inch or so up the sides of each balloon. Set aside.

In a double boiler, carefully melt almond bark. DO NOT allow any water to touch the bark - it will seize up and be unusable. Set aside. In a second double boiler, melt the chocolate pieces. Be careful  not to burn them or splash with water. (The bark and melts may be melted in the microwave, very carefully - do not burn. Do this in 30 sec. increments at 50% power in a microwave-safe container). Stir.

You may combine the two colors to create a marbled effect, or you may keep them separate.

Line a large baking pan with wax paper or parchment. Lay down each balloon in warm chocolate and rock back and forth to create a petal effect part of the way up the sides of each balloon. Place coated balloon on lined pan. Continue. Place finished, coated balloons in refrigerator or freezer to harden coatings.

When the coating is hardened, bring pan to work area. Use a straight pin to puncture the balloons at the top and gently release the air. The balloon will pull away from the sides of the chocolate shell.
Put shells back into the refrigerator.

Mix the lime filling in 1/2 C batches with the same amount of whipped topping. Combine gently. Bring the shells back to the work area and carefully fill each one with lime mixture. Top with large chocolate chip or slice of lime. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Almond-Crusted Bass (G)

We are fortunate to have a neighbor who loves to fish. He presented us with fresh-caught bass. Even more wonderful, he filleted them for us.

I did not want anything to compete with the mild flavor of this fresh-water fish, and decided to coat the outside in almond meal. Sometimes the most simple methods are the best!

You might wonder what ingredients are in almond meal - I will tell you - finely ground almonds! If almond meal is not available in your area, buy whole almonds or almond pieces and put them in a food processor or Vita Mix and pulse until just finely ground, but not clumped together.

Almond meal will enhance the flavor of fish, pork, fruit or vegetables.

Almond-Crusted Bass
Bass Filets (or other fish of your choice)
Almond meal
Himalayan pink salt (or salt of your choice)
Griddle/grill for a outdoor grill
Vegetable spray
Rinse fish and blot lightly with a paper towel. Put almond meal in a plastic bag, (quantity will depend on the amount of fish, but 1-2 T per filet should be adequate). Shake bag gently to allow the almond meal to coat the outside of the fish. Remove coated fish pieces to a platter. Continue with remaining pieces of fish. Sprinkle coated fish with a pinch of pink salt.
Heat grill to med-hot. Place grill/griddle on surface and close the lid for 5 min. Lift lid, spray griddle surface. With tongs, gently lay fish filets on griddle. Close lid. Depending on the thickness of the fish pieces, cook for 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to a platter and serve.