Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Best of Cottey Cooking


I discovered a pretty fantastic cookbook yesterday. It's called The Best of Cottey Cooking, by Chef Michael Richardson, who is the Director of Dining Services at Cottey College, which is a women's college run by P.E.O. (an international women's philanthropic educational organization), located in Nevada, Missouri. For more than 126 years, the college has offered young women the opportunity to learn and grow into leaders, role models, and confident individuals.

Cottey offers a unique combination of women's-only education, high academic standards, focus on leadership development, commitment to an international experience for every student. Read about the advantages of an all-women's education at www.cottey.edu

I loved the look of the cookbook, which is filled with all kinds of intriguing, healthy, and delicious recipes that even I could make without much trouble. Here is an excerpt from the introduction that explains more about it:

The Best of Cottey Cooking is Chef Michael's collection of more than 200 of the most popular recipes served at Cottey, adapted for use in your home kitchen. Treat your family to Molten Chocolate Cake, Baked Potato Soup, or Honey Dijon Chicken. Every recipe has been home tested and re-written for cooks of all skill levels to find success in their home kitchens. All the ingredients for these recipes can be found in most local supermarkets. Whether it's a quick and easy breakfast of Almond French Toast or a special occasion brunch calling for Bananas Foster Crepes, you'll find the recipe in The Best of Cottey Cooking. In addition, a significant portion of the net proceeds from this book will fund scholarships for future Cottey College students.

Note that last sentence. That makes this book an even better buy. You can order it on Amazon, or at http://thechefslife.com/cookbook.htm

Just to whet your appetite, following is a recipe for a pie that Chef Michael calls one of the most popular on the menu. As I said, the dishes are delicious. I never said they were low-cal.

Chocolate Buttercrunch Pie
The crust makes this pie unique. Makes one 9-inch pie.

Crust
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 (1.55 ounce) milk chocolate candy bar

Filling
1 3.9 ounce package instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups cold milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping
1 cup whipped topping
1 1.55 ounce milk chocolate candy bar, cut into chocolate curls or grated.

For Crust: preheat oven to 350 F. Place the walnuts in a baking pan and bake for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Cool to lukewarm. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add the butter, cut in, using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the nuts and chocolate; blend, using on/off turns, until nuts are finely chopped. Press onto bottom and sides of a lightly-greased 9-inch pie pan. Bake crust until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.
For Filling: In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Beat for 2 minutes, then pour into the pie crust, spreading evenly. Refrigerate unil firm, about 1 hour.
For Topping: Once the filling is firm, spread the whipped topping to cover. Sprinkle top with the chocolate curls or grated chocolate. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

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