We had just watched "Chucks day off" on the cooking channel in the beginning of the week. That show is not one that we usually watch. It's a good thing we caught it because when I was planning the menu with no idea's I remembered we watched it and we were curious about the "roasted garlic soup with artichoke croutons" and the dessert was an interesting looking recipe for chocolate cake made with eggs, sugar and cocoa powder ONLY, and layered with fresh raspberries and chocolate mousse. I couldn't remember the main dish but I thought I'll make what ever he made on the show. I looked it up on the cookingchanneltv.com and printed all three recipes.
Roasted Garlic Soup and Artichoke Croutons
I wasn't sure about this recipe, but they seemed to enjoy it on the show so.... why not give it a go? Very easy and good, this is very similar to a very flavorful onion soup. There are no onions and the crouton that you put on top is much more interesting then the one you get on a French Onion Soup. You start by roasting garlic in the oven for 40 minutes in olive oil, remove the skins from the garlic and mash in a pan. Add flour and stock and that's the soup. After 15 minutes it's done. For the croutons I can't be bothered with using fresh artichokes and cutting them down and cooking until tender and all that. I just get whole artichokes packed in water in a can at Whole Foods ( their 365 brand). I quartered them and sauteed them in olive oil with sliced shallots for 5 minutes like the recipe says, and that worked perfectly fine. You cut some fat slices of bread, I used a French Banquette and top them with the artichoke mixture and some Emmenthal cheese, then under the broiler to brown the cheese. Place the crouton in a bowl and top with the roasted garlic soup, very good!
Flounder Filet on Barley and Vegetables with Grainy Mustard Sauce
As you may know I am a fairly new fish eater and Flounder is one I hadn't tried. The recipe that Chuck made was with a filet of Sole, but Whole Foods didn't have that so I asked the fish monger and he said the Flounder is in the same family and that would be a good alternative. I loved this method of cooking the fish, very simply on a sheet pan with oil, salt and pepper, covered with a piece of parchment paper and in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes ( I did 8 minutes and it was perfect). He served the fish on a bed of barley and vegetables and that was interesting because you cut the vegetables in a very small 1/4 inch dice, it takes a little effort but the end result it very cool. I liked the barley, it seems that's a grain I don't use too much so I was reminded to make barley more. The mustard sauce was perfect on top. Here is the link if you want to make the recipe.
Chocolate Raspberry Cake
So this was luscious looking with 2 layers of rustic chocolate cake and 2 layers of chocolate mousse and fresh raspberries in the middle and on top. I noticed the reviews on this and only 2 people commented and the average was 3 stars. One person raved about it and said they will make it again and the other said it was a terrible recipe. I proceeded with the cake recipe it's 12 eggs separated, you whisk the yolks with 1 cup of sugar then sift and fold in the cocoa powder. Beat the egg whites and fold them together with the yolk mixture...that's it, not flour, no butter or oil, no baking powder or soda, no dairy... So it was different then what I normally make for a chocolate cake ( I liked that). Well it scared me because this enormous amount of batter was for 2-9" cake pans, I did it even though it seemed too much. Well it never over flowed but it did puff up to about 3 inches past the top of the pan, I was worried that it would go everywhere, but it never did. After 20 minutes it still seemed under-cooked so I turned the temperature down a little and let it go another 10 minutes. I checked it again and it still seemed under done so I put a toothpick in and it was done (so maybe it was done after 20, but whether it was or not after a total of 30 minutes it was perfect). I decided the mousse recipe might not work after reading that bad review so I found one that looked easy and different, all made in a blender by Giada, so I did 1 and 1/2 recipes of her recipe (which turned out to be just right for this cake) and reducing the sugar like one comment on that recipe suggested. I made the raspberries just as the recipe says and onto a cake stand I layered this cake up and it sat in the refrigerator and waited for us to eat it! We loved it, it was light and airy and so satisfying!