Cooking for my husband’s Argentine family

Frosted deliciousness!

OSSO BUCCO with a CHOCOLATE ENDING   My husband is half Argentinian and half Italian. This last weekend I had our Grandfather (Paco), Aunt and Uncle and my in-laws over for dinner.  Paco was a chef in Argentina, so I was definitely sweating bullets! Since they are Argentine, they love their meat, so I decided to do something extra special:  Sunday menu:

 

Oso Bucco topped with roasted veggetables served over marscapone polenta.

Osso Buco
Osso Buco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frosted deliciousness!
Fudge Peacan Ripple Layer Cake

Dessert: The best chocolate cake I’ve made so far in my career: Fudge Pecan Ripple Layer Cake 

Fudge Pecan Ripple Layer Cake
Fudge Pecan Ripple Layer Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started the cake first: 

Fudge Pecan Ripple Layer Cake Recipe, from Southern Living:Here’s the recipe straight from one of my favorite cookbooks: Southern Living, Homestyle Cooking, pub 2002

 Ingredients:

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup cocoa

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I used regular milk with 1 tbs of vinegar–makes buttermilk in a flash if you don’t have any on hand)

1 tbs plus 1 tsp vanilla extract, divided

1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened

2 tbs butter, softened

1 tbs cornstarch

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

1 large egg

2/3 cup butter, softened

5 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 1/3 cups cocoa

1 cup plus 2 tbs whipping cream or 3/3 cup milk (I used milk)

3/4 cup chopped peacans or walnuts, toasted (I used walnuts)

 

I Made the chocolate cake base first, adding wet ingredients to dry slowly in my kitchen-aid mixer.

 Beat shortening at med speed with an electric mixer until fluggy; gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar, beat well. add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to shortening mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at low speed after each addition until blended. Beat 3 more minutes at high speed, stopping once to scrape down sides. Stir in 2 tsp of vanilla.”

batter
batter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I greased two pans,

grease two 9" pans
grease two 9″ pans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cut out parchment paper and put in pans
cut out parchment paper and put in pans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
“Beat cream cheese, 2 tbs butter, and cornstarch at medium speed until creamy. ”

image_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Gradually add sweetened condensed milk, beat well. Add 1 egg; beatr well. stir in 1 tsp vanilla.”

add sweeten condense milk to cheesecake layer
add sweeten condense milk to cheesecake  batter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

beat until smooth
beat until smooth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I poured the creamcheese mix over the cake batter.
“Bake at 350 for 40 minutes”

pour cheese cake mix over chocolate batter
pour cheese cake mix over chocolate batter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bake until tooth pick comes out clean, or slight spring to touch
bake until tooth pick comes out clean, or slight spring to touch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the cakes were resting,  I made the most fluffy chocolate muse frosting ever!

“Beat 2/3 cup butter at medium speed until creamy. Combine powdered sugar and 1 1/3 cup cocoa; add to butter alternately with 1 cup plus 2 tbsa cream, beginning and ending with powdered sugar mixture. Beat until spreading consistency. Stir in remaining 1 tsp vanilla.”  

whipping up chocolatey frosting
whipping up chocolatey frosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After whipping it up it seemed very thin. At first I got kind of worried that it would run right off the cake! I left it alone for about 10 minutes and it thickened right up!

rich fluffy frosting
rich fluffy frosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cakes are completely cooled, so I flipped them over on a wire wrack while working on my cake stand:

flip over cooled cakes
flip over cooled cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cooled cakes
cooled cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I layed parchment paper on my cake stand. This helps keeps the glass clean–I remove the parchment after frosting my cakes. Makes a much cleaner presentation!

lay parchment paper on cake stand
lay parchment paper on cake stand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the bottom layer on the cake stand and give a generous layer of frosting….  

place first layer on cake stand, start frosting
place first layer on cake stand, start frosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put the last cake layer over the bottom and frosted the whole cake. While I did this I cut up and toasted walnuts. The recipe called for peacans, but I had walnuts on hand so used these.

cut up and roasted walnuts
cut up and roasted walnuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the end result!

 

Frosted deliciousness!
Frosted deliciousness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahhhh sooo lovely! So I hid this in my cubbord (if you can help it, don’t put in the fridge. It will be more moist, smooth and shiny at room temp) and worked on the dinner!

Last slice after the dinner…. 

cheesecake ripple in the middle
cheesecake ripple in the middle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oso bucco:

A little about this dish. On our honeymoon in Africa last year, Carl and I had a dish that was so delicious, Carl and I had to find out what it was. The meat was so tender,  falling off the bone at the slight touch of our forks. Surrounded by this louscious meat was a  thick flavorful sauce with bits of carrots and celery, all over a whipped mash potato. The garnish was parsley and lemon zest, a combination that added a fresh element to this already perfect meal. This was Osso Buco. I swore I would try to recreate this masterpiece!

This dinner seemed to be an occasion fitting for this dish, however I was worried preparing something seemingly so complicated, especially for my husband’s family!

I did a little research, spoke with one of my doctor’s offices (I call on doctors for my day job…I’m a pharmaceutical rep). I happened to be in a doctors office chatting with an older Italian receptionist. She is a true food lover, and makes Oso Bucco at least six times a year. She pretty much recited the ingredients and directions off the top of her head. She inspired me to attempt this amazing dish, and helped calm some of my hesitations.

This recipe usually calls for veal, however I don’t feel comfortable cooking veal (not a huge fan), so decided to use bone in beef. I picked up six 16 oz pieces at Whole Foods. I loved Bernie’s handwritten directions, but for the sake of getting exact measurements, I used Giada De Laurentis’ recipe:

 

 Here’s my step-by-step two cents:

six large beef shanks from Wholefoods
six large beef shanks from Wholefoods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tied string around each shank to keep shape while cooking
tied string around each shank to keep shape while cooking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dredged each shank in seasoned flour, then seared each side in hot oil
dredged each shank in seasoned flour, then seared each side in hot oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

added onions, carrots and celery and seasoned. cooked for 8 minutes
added onions, carrots and celery and seasoned. cooked for 8 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

added tomato paste
added tomato paste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

added beef shanks, white wine and cooked on stove for 5 minutes to reduce liquid
added beef shanks, white wine and cooked on stove for 5 minutes to reduce liquid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

plated over homemade polenta and roasted vegetables! garnished with parsley and lemon zest
plated over homemade polenta and roasted vegetables! garnished with parsley and lemon zest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delicous!!

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