MEMORIES - FROM 2015: Amaretto Di Sorono Cheese Cakes with Almond Crust and Sea Salt Caramel Sauce! Yummm!
Few weeks ago I had the opportunity to share a great time with my group of friends. I really wanted to bring something nice for them to either eat at the pool party or take home. I know that the latest craze is anything Mason Jars. The problem was that I have never used a Mason jar in the oven. This was my first time and I could not fail.
I worried about the jars cracking in the heat. However, I thought about it, made an executive decision, use the jars regardless and was ready to face the consequences. Needless to say, it all came out perfectly and at the end of the day, my friends ate my dessert in the jar and that made me very happy. Here is my recipe and the process for making the jars look cute. You can embellish yours with anything you like.
Purchase a dozen ½ PINT (8oz. regular mouth Mason Jars case (or any other brand)
Ingredients for the Cheese Cake
(I Follow the Philadelphia 3-Steps Cheesecake Recipe in the package, since it is simple; however, I add my own touch)
2 pkg. (8 oz. ea.) Philadelphia Neufchatel Cheese softened
½ cup organic sugar
1 tbsp. of Amaretto Di Sorono Liquor
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
Method: Using a hand mixer, mix cream cheese, sugar and the Amaretto Liquor at medium speed until blended. Add eggs and mix until blend.
Ingredients for the Crumbs Base and Method
Mix 1 ¼ c. Graham Cracker Crumbs, 1 ¼ c. granulated organic sugar, 1/3 c. melted butter and 1 tsp. almond extract.
Ingredients for the Sea Salt Caramel Sauce
1 c. white granulated sugar
¼ c. water
3 ½ tbsps. of unsalted butter (if you use salted butter then omit the sea salt in this recipe)
¼ tsp. of sea salt of your preference
¾ c. heavy cream
Method: Combine the sugar and water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Watch carefully until the mix turns into an amber color, a process that happens quickly and if you are not careful, the caramel will burn. Remove the sugar mix from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream carefully, once mixed then add the butter, whisk and set aside to cool.
Pour the almond crust into your 12 Mason jars, about a tbsp. plus for each jar.
Pour the cheese cake mix into each jar; eyeball it to fill up to the middle only.
Put the jars in a large baking mold with water and bake at 325 F for about 35-45 minutes until center is set. (Each oven temperature is different so watch your cheese cakes about every 15 minutes intervals.)
Once they are done, remove from water bath and set aside to cool. Do not pour the caramel or put the lid until they are totally cool.
WEDNESDAY MEMORIES: From 8/18-2015. Southern-Dry Rub Roasted Salmon with Chimichurri Sauce, Sweet Potato Fries, Cherry Tomatoes and Steamed Green Beans
Price: Dinner for 4 people. Remember, this dish is not $10 or under because of the salmon. It is ok to spend a little more for your meals sometimes! Indulge
Steps to Follow: (In this order)
1. Prepare the Chimichurri sauce first and then set aside.
2. Season your salmon well and set aside.
3. Steam your green beans and set them aside.
4. Stir fry your filet medium well.
5. Plate the dish, garnish, and serve.
Ingredients for the salmon: (Purchase four steaks)
2 Atlantic salmon filet
¼ cup of Olive Oil
Generous amount of any southern BBQ rub seasoning (Memphis or Texas) you have in the pantry.
Ingredients for Chimichurri Sauce: Chop the first three ingredients, and then add the liquid ingredients. I usually eyeball the liquids to ensure they are not overpowered by the dry ingredients. Remember, it is a sauce, however, if you want to cut down the oil a bit, do it. Use at room temperature and refrigerate leftovers to use with beef, chicken, etc.
1/2 cup chopped Parsley
½ cup chopped Cilantro
5 cloves of chopped Garlic
3 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
2 teaspoons of Lemon Juice
½ cup Olive Oil
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. fresh grind Pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes (Optional)
Sweet Potato Fries (2 large)
Peel the sweet potato and cut them in thin string pieces to fry them fast. (You can also bake them by marinating the strings with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees until done.)
Steamed green beans in chicken or beef broth until tender. Watch to ensure the beans keep the crisp green color. If they start to change, shock them in iced water. Add the cherry tomatoes and enjoy!
Approximate Cost: $10.00 (Your only pricy item will be the pork, chicken or shrimp)
Serves: 4 (or approx. $2.50/serving)
Pots & Pans: You will only need a Wok or a large skillet to cook this meal
(Don’t be scare about the ingredients list and see my Tip at the end of page)
1 cup mushrooms, stem removed, sliced (sauté mushrooms first then stir-fry the next 7 ingredients)
1½ cups shredded cabbage (of your choice)
1 large size onion cut into small chunks
1 stalk of celery (thinly sliced)
1 cup broccoli florets (separated in small pieces)
½ red bell pepper cut julienne style (thinly sliced)
1 cup snow peas cut in half at an angle
5 med size garlic cloves (minced)
¼ cup frozen sweet peas
½ cup green onions (scallions) cut into ½” pieces
Pinch of Salt and Pepper to taste for the veggies only
½ cup Light Soy Sauce (use more or less depending on your taste)
¼ cup Peanut Oil (to sauté veggies, season and stir fry the pork)
2 cups of white rice (Not instant, cooked the day before following the package instructions)
2 cups (about 1 #) of pork cut in cubes of 1” or less (I use sirloin tip or any boneless pork cut)
2 tsps. of dry seasoning for the pork (I use Adobo Goya or my own blend.)
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1. Marinate the pork cubes with a couple of tsps. of peanut oil, seasoning well and set aside.
2. Prepare/chop all the veggies and set aside.
3. In a large skillet or wok, add 2-3 tablespoons of peanut oil in med. high and sauté the first 8 vegetables listed until crisp-tender, add a pinch of salt and pepper (remove and keep warm.)
4. Add the frozen sweet peas, green onions (scallions) to the skillet and cook for about a minute or two. Also, add another pinch of Salt and Pepper. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
5. Now add 1 tbsp. of oil if needed to the skillet and sauté the marinated pork in med. high until done. (remove and keep warm.)
6. Heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add your beaten eggs; cook and stir until completely set.
7. Finally add rice, soy sauce, pork, vegetables and everything else you have left to the skillet; cook and stir until heated through. Serve hot with chopped chives or scallions on top.
Tip: Seems like a lot of ingredients but you have most of them at home, plus this is a complete meal. Also, you can use this recipe and substitute the pork for either chicken or shrimp. Finally, you can use a bag of stir fry veggies from your local grocery store for instant gratification, but fresh is 100% better.
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.