Chocolate Raspberry Crepe Cake

Pancake chocolate cake with fresh raspberry.

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and what better way to show Mom some love than with something sweet? While we should approach each day as though it were Mother’s Day, May 14th is the day to treat her to something special. After all, it’s the thought that really counts and homemade dessert is always made with plenty of love. You can go with the tried-and-true breakfast in bed and serve up a Meyer Lemon Yogurt Coffee Cake, Ginger Cake with Apricot Sticky Sauce, Eggs Benedict with Chipotle Hollandaise and more. Or if you plan to take her out for brunch this year instead, you can always surprise her at home with this Chocolate Raspberry Crepe Cake. Not to worry, the crepe cake is not as labor intensive as it may look. Although you can certainly stand over a hot stove and make your own crepes, our ready-made crepes makes it easy to put together this beautiful and elegant cake. The crepes are assembled layer by layer with freshly-made chocolate buttercream and topped off with juicy, tart raspberries and Melissa’s chocolate dessert sauce for one exquisite flavor combination that’s sure to wow Mom. For other delicious Mother’s Day brunch ideas, visit our menu.

Melissa’s ready-to-serve Crepes are a delicious and convenient way to save hours in the kitchen preparing desserts. Made from powdered milk, enriched flour, sugar, dextrose, whole eggs, butter and salt, these crepes are fresh and can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a month. Not only can you make sweet crepes like Crepes Suzette with Ojai Pixie Tangerines or Strawberry Crepes with Raspberry Sauce,  you can also use them for savory ones as well. Whip up a tasty breakfast crepe filled with eggs and sausage or stuff them with seafood, chicken or vegetables. To make life a little sweeter, we also have a full lineup of Dessert Sauces to choose from with flavors that include Caramel, Chocolate, Raspberry, White Chocolate and Cinnamon. Drizzle them over crepes, waffles, pancakes and French toast for breakfast or on top of cake and ice cream for a decadent treat.

Chocolate Raspberry Crepe Cake 

Yields: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

1. Begin by making the chocolate buttercream. In a stand mixer, combine the butter and cocoa powder. Then add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time followed by 1 tablespoon of milk at a time. Repeat these steps until all of the sugar and milk has been added.

2. Then add the espresso powder and vanilla extract and mix it in. Set aside the buttercream frosting until ready to assemble the crepe cake.

3. When ready to assemble, begin by placing one crepe onto a serving plate. Spread a thin layer of the chocolate buttercream on top, leaving about a 1/2 border around the edge. Repeat this step until all the crepes and buttercream have been used.

4. Place the crepe cake in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or up to overnight.

5. When ready to serve, drizzle the top of the crepe cake generously with the chocolate dessert sauce. Top with plenty of fresh raspberries.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb  Crumb Bars Seen From Above

Hooray for rhubarb season! Besides lemons, fennel and artichokes, nothing screams springtime more than rhubarb. We absolutely cannot let the season pass by without helping ourselves to the ultimate pie plant. Although not normally eaten on its own, rhubarb when combined with strawberries is one exquisite combination. With the intense tartness of the rhubarb balanced by the sweetness of the strawberries, you could almost say they’re a match made in heaven. You’ll find this wonderful pairing in many desserts such as Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble, Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins and more. For this week’s celebration of all things rhubarb, we bring you something a little more portable–Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars! Its crisp, buttery top and bottom layer combined with the sweet-sour and jammy filling makes these scrumptious, little treats are one of our all-time favorite springtime snacks! With such simple ingredients, these bars are as easy-as-pie to put together. Make them with the kids as a fun weekend project and have them enjoy throughout the week as a dessert of after-school treat.

Raw Organic Red Rhubarb

Rhubarb may be a vegetable but it’s often eaten as a fruit. This springtime favorite is not usually eaten raw and is used with only its stalks, which resemble crisp, crunchy celery. It has a tart flavor that when combined with other sweet fruits such as strawberries and cooked with plenty of sugar becomes quite a marvelous treat. The texture holds up well during the cooking process making it a popular addition to baking recipes. It’s not only a pie-worthy ingredient but can also be added diced to muffins and cakes or used in sauces to flavor meat, poultry and fish. When selecting your rhubarb, make sure to look for thin, crisp stalks with good red coloring and fresh-looking, blemish-free leaves.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Yields: 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of strawberries, sliced
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

1. Begin by cooking the fruit together. In a saucepan, combine the strawberries, rhubarb and lemon juice and cook over medium heat for around 10 to 12 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the white sugar and corn starch. Then add it to the fruit. Cook for another couple of minutes making sure to stir constantly until the mixture is thickened.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is preheating, use a mixer at low speed to mix together the dry ingredients of all-purpose flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, baking soda and salt.

4. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan. Take about half of the crumb mixture and press it along the bottom of the pan. Spread the filling on top. Then add another layer of the remaining crumb mixture.

5. Bake for around 30 to 35 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the crumb golden brown.

6. Remove from the oven to cool to room temperature for at least an hour to an hour and half before cutting.

Roasted Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Homemade Roasted Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Cinco de Mayo is coming up which means it’s time to put on our party hats and throw a festive party! The holiday celebrates Mexico’s unexpected victory over the French army at the 1862 Battle of Puebla. However, Cinco de Mayo is not just commemorated by those living in Mexico but the United States as well. Many Mexican Americans take pride in the holiday and look at it as a time for honoring Mexican heritage and culture. Here at Melissa’s, we’re looking forward to a day filled with exciting parades, parties and of course, food. This year, we’re bringing you a fiesta of flavors with these Roasted Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. This is our healthy twist on stuffed peppers, which are filled with delicious, nutty quinoa, protein-rich black beans, sweet corn and more. The recipe may be simple and meatless but don’t underestimate just how filling and scrumptious they turn out. After cooking the ingredients separately, all you need to do to assemble is stuff the peppers, top off with plenty of cheese and pop it into the broiler for a couple of minutes! For other tasty Cinco de Mayo-inspired recipe ideas, please check out our menu.

Hot Sweet and Chili Pepper Varieties

When it comes to stuffing peppers,  people often use bell peppers or poblanos. For today’s recipe, we’re using Pasilla peppers, which are not to be confused with poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are a little more mild, ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 Scoville heat units while Pasilla peppers range from 1,000 to 2,500 Scoville heat units. Both pack less heat than jalapeños. Pasilla pepers have a sophisticated flavor that’s both earthy and sweet with just a hint of cocoa and raisins. This makes them excellent when used in a variety of traditional Latin dishes such as mole sauce, adobo sauce, salsas and chile rellenos. Roasting them in the oven helps bring out their flavor which tastes exquisite when combined with fruits, seafood or other meats. Check out our selection of fresh and dried chiles.

Roasted Quinoa Stuffed Peppers 

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

1. Place the pasilla chiles onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast them in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until the skin has blackened. Turn every few minutes to get an even char. After the peppers have finished roasting, set them aside to cool for at least 20 minutes.

2. While the chiles are cooling, heat up some oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, garlic, black beans and corn and cook for a few minutes until everything has softened. Add the oregano and cumin and mix well. Once cooked, transfer to a large bowl.

3. Add the quinoa, sour cream, 1/2 a cup of cilantro and 1/2 a cup of jack cheese to the bowl. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.

4. When ready to assemble, peel the skins off the roasted chiles. Cut a slit lengthwise along the chiles. Remove the seeds.

5. Spoon in the mixture to fill up the chiles. Make sure the filling is snug and secure inside the chiles. Place the chiles back onto another lined baking sheet. Add the rest of the cheese on top of each chile.

6. Place the chiles under the broiler for around 3 minutes until the cheese has melted and become bubbly. Garnish with the rest of the cilantro before serving.

Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken

Roasted chicken meat with lemon slices

If there’s one food holiday we can’t resist celebrating this April, it’s National Garlic Month! This time of the year, we’re commemorating all things pungent, sweet and spicy with the ultimate delicious vegetable bulb. Fragrant and flavorful, garlic is one necessary go-to ingredient found in most cuisines around the world. We can never get enough garlic in our lives and what better way to get into the spirit than with a classic roasted chicken recipe? It’s simple to put together and has all the great flavors of a comforting home-cooked meal. Lemon, garlic and fresh herbs are such a fantastic combination that melds together beautifully with chicken. We roast the chicken in an easy butter and herb mixture along with plenty of onions, lemons and of course, garlic. Nothing goes to waste with this chicken recipe as we even cook up the juices at the end with a little chicken broth to serve along the side. The result is one flavorful, fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy main course that’s packed with all that garlicky, lemony goodness we all love.

Garlic on the wooden background

You can never have enough garlic. The many benefits it touts far outweights its pungent reputation. Sharp and spicy when eaten raw, the flavors of garlic mellow and sweet considerably during the cooking process. Here at Melissa’s, we have an excellent selection of garlic items such as classic Organic Garlic, which can be used in all sorts of recipes from Italian to French to Asian and more. Garlic can be used whole but is even better crushed, chopped, pressed or pureed to release more of their essential oils and reveal an even more pronounced flavor, which is where our Peeled Garlic come in handy. We also have ready-to-use Roasted Garlic and Minced Garlic for your convenience, both of which can be used to add flavor to main dishes, stir-fries, sauces and more. Another National Garlic Month-worthy item that you might not have ever come across is our Elephant Garlic. Now don’t let its size fool you. Although they’re big in size, they’re actually quite mild in flavor and are less pungent than regular garlic. If you’re looking for something more flavorful, then you’ll love our Black Garlic. Aged for a month in a special fermentation process under high heat, black garlic boasts a soft melt-in-your-mouth texture and sweet molasses-like rich flavor with tangy garlic undertones. We promise you won’t have tasted anything like this before!

Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken

Yields: 3-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3-4 large chicken thighs
  • 4 organic lemons or seedless lemons, cut into rounds
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 4 cloves of organic garlic, minced
  • 6 cloves of organic garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 lb of sliced bacon
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced fresh thyme
  • 2 bunches of fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the chicken under cold running water and use paper towels to pat the chicken dry.

2. In a bowl, combine the butter, minced garlic, minced thyme, lemon zest and salt and pepper.

3. Add salt and pepper to the outside of the chicken. Rub the herb butter under the skin and on the outside of the chicken.

4. Set the chicken skin side down onto a cast-iron or roasting pan. Scatter the garlic cloves, onion wedges and lemon rounds around the pan. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan.

5. Roast the chicken for around 30 minutes. Then remove from the oven and use kitchen tongs to turn the chicken skin side up. Add another 1/2 cup of water and roast for around 20 minutes until the meat is cooked.

6. Once finished cooking, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside

7. Make a gravy by taking the pan with the remaining chicken juices and scrape up any remaining browned bits. Spoon off any fat on top. Add chicken stock to the pan and cook over medium high heat. Once finished cooking, place the chicken thighs back into the pan and serve with the gravy.

Easter Brunch Casserole

Savory breakfast casserole next to wooden spoon

Easter Sunday always calls for a fancy celebration. This springtime holiday is an affair best enjoyed in the daytime with Easter egg hunts for the kids, followed by a festive brunch among family and friends. On the menu you’ll most likely find classic breakfast favorites such as Pixie Tangerine Crepes, Carrot and Pineapple Cake or Asparagus and Artichoke Quiches. Anything that can feed a crowd without taking up too much time in the kitchen is optimal for putting together a fabulous mid-morning feast. We can’t resist a scrumptious casserole for a buffet-style meal and this Easter-inspired Casserole has the wonderful flavors of the perfect brunch. Think of it as a savory breakfast bread pudding, filled with sausage, cheese, eggs and all that good stuff. However, the secret is in the ramps, which is exactly what springtime eating tastes like. Make this dish ahead of time, preferably the night before and simply pop into the oven during your Easter egg hunt. For other amazing Easter-worthy recipes, check out our menu.

Raw Organic Green Ramps

So let’s talk about ramps. Although similar in appearance, they’re neither leeks nor scallions. Ramps are a wild vegetable with a pungent, woodsy aroma and a strong onion and garlic flavor. Most of its great flavor lies in the white bulb but the greens are also quite tasty as well. These vegetables have a very short seasonality and are limited in quantity, making them one of the most highly coveted items of the season among chefs and foodies. Much buzz has surrounded ramps over the past few decades and for good reason too. If you can get your hands on them, don’t hesitate to get creative with these springtime treasures. They pair especially well with all sorts of recipes such as a Ramp, Heirloom Tomato and Cream Cheese Frittata,  Scalloped Gemstone Potatoes with Caramelized Ramps, Ramp Pesto Crostini and more.

Easter Brunch Casserole 

Yields: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 8 oz of pork or turkey sausage, crumbled
  • 2 ramps, chopped (If ramps are unavailable, substitute with leeks or scallions)
  • 6 large eggs and 6 large egg whites
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of whole milk
  • 2 cups of Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil or chives, chopped
  • Cooking spray

1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat for around 10 minutes until browned. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, egg whites, salt and pepper.

3. Combine the egg mixture with the sausage, ramps, 1 and 1/4 cup of cheese and bread. Toss together, making sure all the ingredients are well mixed together.

4. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.

5. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the covering and add the rest of the cheddar cheese to the top of the casserole.

6. Bake the casserole for around 30 to 35 minutes until the top has lightly browned.

DYPs® Kugel Gratin

Homemade Cheesey Scalloped Potatoes

Passover is coming up and with that comes the traditional Seder meal, followed by another eight days of celebration. Although the Seder consists of a ceremonial feast accompanied by symbolic foods such as horseradish, matzah and haroset, the other days leave a little extra room for creativity. As long as the foods eaten during this time adhere to the kosher dietary laws, you can enjoy different Jewish-inspired recipes such as Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls, Borscht and more. This year, we’re taking a mix of the traditional and modern with our own potato kugel gratin, made with our signature Dutch Yellow® Potatoes. Potatoes are a very popular ingredient to use for Passover recipes and while you’ll probably have your fair share of them during this Jewish holiday, we promise you’ll never get tired of this dish. This gratin has smooth, buttery DYPs® and matzo meal baked with an exquisitely luscious cream sauce that’s flavored with fresh herbs. Finished off with fresh bubbling melted cheese, this hearty and scrumptious dish is sure to make any family gathering a memorable one indeed. For more delicious Passover Sedar ideas, check out our menu.

Dutch Yellow Potatoes - Simple Pairings 2

Source: Simple Pairings

Dutch Yellow® Potatoes are the quintessential everyday potato but are especially handy during a time like Passover where your diet may be limited. They’re incredibly versatile and can be used in countless ways. When it comes to getting creative with these beloved little spuds, the sky is the limit! They’re petite in size with yellowish-white skins with a light and subtle buttery flavor and texture. Unlike Russet potatoes which turn fluffy once cooked, DYPs® are known to hold their density and shape nicely during the cooking process, making them a most excellent ingredient for this recipe as well as other ones. Roast them with butter and herbs or with salt and malt vinegar for a tasty, crispy-skinned side dish. Fry them up and turn them into a tasty potato salad. Or mash them into creamy mashed potatoes, but leave the skin on for added flavor and nutrients!

DYPs® Kugel Gratin

Yields: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs of Dutch Yellow® Potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 5 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup of unsalted Matzo meal
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
  • 7 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons of coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package of Mozzarella cheese

1. Begin by making the sauce. Heat up 4 tablespoons of butter and flour in a saucepan over medium heat and stir for a couple of minutes. Then add the milk, salt and pepper  and simmer the mixture for around 20 minutes.

2. While the sauce is cooking, heat up a skillet with 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, rosemary and thyme and cook for around 3 to 5 minutes until fragrant and the shallots have become translucent.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 13 by 9 baking dish.

4. In a large bowl, combine the Dutch Yellow® Potatoes, shallot mixture and matzo meal together.

5. Assemble the gratin by layers. Pour just a little bit of the sauce into the baking dish. Then add the potato mixture. Repeat these steps until finished with the sauce and potatoes.

6. For the last layer, sprinkle on a generous amount of cheese on top.

7. Bake in the oven for around 50 minutes until the cheese has melted with a golden brown crust.

8. Serve immediately or make ahead and store in the refrigerator to serve the next day.

 

 

Crepes Suzette with Ojai Pixie Tangerines

Crepes Suzette, close up view

The start of springtime calls for a lovely weekend brunch. When we think of brunch during this time of the year, we see bright flavors and simple, fresh ingredients. Produce like citrus and grapes are best enjoyed during these cool yet warming months leading up to the summer. To kick things off since the first day of spring last week, we’re featuring a recipe that’s over a hundred years old with our own little twist–Crepes Suzette! A popular breakfast item, Crepes Suzette has its origins tracing back to Paris at the turn of the twentieth century where a waiter accidentally lit crepes on fire while serving the future King Edward VII of England and his lovely dining companion named Suzette. Whether the story is true or not, it’s no wonder this classic French recipe has withstood the test of time. Crepes Suzette is a simple dish made with thin crepe pancakes tossed in an exquisite orange, butter, sugar and Grand Mariner sauce. The method of flambéing the crepes at the end makes this very much a showstopper that’s sure to wake anyone up in the morning. To save on time, our version calls for our ready-made crepes which skips the extra, arduous task of making your own crepes at home.

BlogPost_CrepesSuzette_1

Citrus is still happening and plentiful with none as delicious and bounteous as Ojai Pixie Tangerines! There’s something magical about these petite-sized fruits. Grown in the beautiful and lush Ojai Valley, these tangerines are bursting with the sweetest flavor and most delicious juice that California sunshine has to offer. Both a local and national favorite for tangerines, Pixie tangerines are known to make popular backyard trees in Ojai, California and have a pebbly texture with orange-yellow rinds. Seedless and easy to peel, these amazingly sweet fruits are a favorite for snacking amongst kids and adults alike. Ojai Pixies are a later-season citrus variety that’s available from the months of March to May. Although traditional recipes for Crepes Suzette include oranges, we’ve decided to take advantage of the delicious unique flavors Ojai Pixies have to offer. Because hey, why not?

Crepes Suzette with Ojai Pixie Tangerines

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 of Melissa’s Crepes
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of Ojai Pixie Tangerine juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon of Ojai Pixie Tangerine zest, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup of Grand Mariner or orange liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons of Cognac
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
  • Strips of grated Ojai Pixie Tangerine zest, for garnish

1. Begin by making the Ojai Pixie Tangerine butter. Use a food processor to combine the butter, orange zest and sugar until well blended. Slowly add in the orange juice while the food processor is still running until combined.

2. Heat up a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of the tangerine butter and allow to melt.

3. Add 3 crepes to the skillet and use 2 forks to coat the crepes in the butter. Fold them into quarters and make sure they’re secure in the skillet.

4. Add the Grand Mariner and Cognac to the skillet. Remove the skillet from the heat. Use a long-handled match to light up the alcohol. Stir the crepes around in the mixture until the flames subside. Repeat this step with the remaining crepes.

5. Serve the crepes immediately. Transfer the crepes to warmed plates along with any of the remaining liquid from the skillet. Add the remainder of the tangerine butter to the top of the crepes and allow to melt. Garnish the plate with tangerine zest.