Monday, April 1, 2013

So You Want to Be a TV Star

Late afternoon on Thursday, a local TV show approached me and asked if I could do a segment for them the next morning----unfortunately, I couldn't do it on Friday, but then they asked if I would come on Monday.
So this weekend I was hunting and gathering the ingredients that I would need to appear on Monday morning.  They wanted an "April Fools" demo--hiding ingredients in everyday, I will admit that I think April Fools is for fools, and that "fooling" with food, is pretty ridiculous, just look at Guy Fieri (that's a whole other post)
So I'll be making a roasted ratatouille and turning it into a pasta sauce that any kid will love, and a chocolate cake with roasted beets mixed into the batter.
My first stop  was Specialty Produce to get the veggies I'd need, and then on to Great News for cupcake liners, vanilla paste, and a re-usable pastry bag.

Now the best part of this, is that I have to schlep everything I will need --- demo, semi-finished dish, and then a plated dish along with all utensils, plates, forks, etc.  This is the glamorous life of someone who does live TV. But, I love to teach, and if I can get just one person to attend a class, or learn something from the segment, I'm in!

Here are a few snaps from the show this morning.

Hostess Kristin Mosteller introducing the segment--look at those gorgeous veggies from Specialty Produce

Roasted ratatouille turned into a delicious pasta sauce

Right to left:  chocolate beet cake (don't knock it till you've tried it) and chocolate zucchini cake

I tell my students buy a pastry bag and a huge star tip and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes--voila

Here are the recipes for today's segment

Roasted Ratatouille Pasta Sauce
Makes about 4 cups

1 red onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
One red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
One orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch sliced
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 medium zucchini trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
4 Roma tomatoes, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried herbs de Provence
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
One pound pasta, cooked al dente (saving some of the pasta water to thin the sauce)
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheet with aluminum foil, or silicone baking liners. 
In a large bowl, toss the onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, olive oil, rosemary, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread the vegetables evenly over both sheets.
Roast, for 20 minutes, stir the vegetables, and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables begin to color and are tender. 
Scrape all the vegetables and any juices into a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Stir in the parsley and basil. Keep the sauce warm while the pasta cooks. 
Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding some of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Serve the pasta garnished freshly grated Parmigiano cheese. 
Variation:  If you have meat lovers in your house, sauté 1 pound of ground beef, turkey or chicken, drain off any excess water/fat, and add to the pasta sauce. 
Another Variation:   The ratatouille can also be made into a delicious soup, adding 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth after pureeing the ratatouille. Heat the soup until it is serving temperature and serve.

   April Fool’s Chocolate Cake
Makes 2 9-inch layers, or 24 cupcakes

2 medium beets, trimmed
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the beets on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Roast the beets for 45 to 60 minutes, until the sharp tip of a paring knife inserted into the beets goes in easily. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and puree in a food processor or blender. You will need 3/4 cup of beets.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Coat the inside of two 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, or line muffin tins with paper liners.  
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the grated beets and the vanilla.
Dissolve the espresso powder in the water.
Slowly add half of the flour mixture, add the water and the remaining flour mixture and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.
Bake the cakes, rotating halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes, or 15 to 20 minutes for cupcakes. Cool the cakes in their pans on a rack for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto racks. Let the cakes cool completely.

For the Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 to 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
Milk or water to thin the frosting

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, sugar and espresso powder. Beat until smooth. 
Beat in the vanilla and some of the milk or water to thin to a spreading consistency. 
Place one of the cakes on a cake plate and spread frosting evenly over the top. Top with the second cake and spread a generous 1/2 cup frosting over it. Frost the sides with the remaining frosting. 
If you are frosting cupcakes, using a large star tip and a pastry bag to pipe a nice star onto the top of the cupcakes. 

 Click here,  for the recipe zucchini chocolate cake, 
Thank you to everyone at San Diego Living this morning for their graciousness, and to the crews at Great News and Specialty Produce for all they do to support me.  If you would like to see the video from this morning click here.  Wishing you a great day from sunny San Diego.

No comments:

Post a Comment