By SIMON WEBSTER
As I sit here writing this story, the sun is beating down. It’s warm, just a little too warm for January and as I have been in Texas ten years now, I know it can change just as quickly as turning a light switch.
So one week were eating salads and the next warm comfort food. So that’s what is nice about having a menu that changes weekly.
It gives me the chance to keep up with food trends, but most importantly the weather. It plays a big part in the food we eat and what we crave.
Celebrations also make creating new menus and recipes a challenge. One that is coming up is Valentine’s Day. It will be here before you know it, so get ready guys with your gifts, flowers and restaurant reservations.
Here’s a dessert I created for last Valentine’s. It’s even easy enough that the guys could make it and surprise the ladies. It also takes advantage of the really beautiful blood oranges that are available this time of year. Be sure to grab a few as their season is short and the blood orange juice is so bright and sweet.
Cream Cheese Mousse with Chocolate Blood Oranges
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
2 blood oranges
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
1 packet Knox gelatin
1 cup cream
1 cup chocolate chips
Powdered sugar, for garnish
In a large bowl add cream cheese, sugar, liqueur and the juice from one blood orange. Stir until completely combined. Place the gelatin powder in a small bowl. Add two tablespoons water and warm in the microwave. Stir until the gelatin dissolves.
Add the mixture to the cream cheese and stir to combine. In another bowl beat the cream to stiff peaks. Fold the cream into the cream cheese. Place in ramekins or molds and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Peel the other blood orange and remove the white membrane from the segments. Place the segments on a paper towel and allow to dry. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler over simmering water. Dip the segments halfway into the chocolate. Place on wax paper and refrigerate until chocolate hardens.
When the mousse and chocolate are set remove from the refrigerator. Top the mousse with chocolate orange segments and garnish with powdered sugar.
Simon Webster is the Executive Chef of Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro a multi-faceted dining destination just outside Palestine. For more information go to www.saborapasion.com