The Maxwell Moment: Keeping Your Cockles Warm

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Hello people! This time around Mary Ellen has asked me to help her select a chafing dish and I thought I'd show her and all of you, one of mine as an example.

This is my Pot Pourri and it's a lovely little appliance for buffet serving. Have a look!

Here are a few of my favorite chafing dish recipes:

Swedish Meatballs:

You'll need:

1/4 cup butter

3 tablespoons minced onion

1 one-inch-thick slice of bread

1/2 cup milk

1/2 pound ground beef

1/4 pound ground pork

1/4 pound ground veal

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 cup beef stock, warm

1 cup cream (or milk), warm

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat and cook the onion until lightly browned. Soak the bread in the milk until soft. Combine all remaining ingredients except flour, stock, and cream and mix well with your hands. It's important to use your hands; nothing else will combine the ingredients as well. Then roll the meat mixture into small balls and brown them in the rest of the butter. 

Remove the meatballs and set them aside. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Add the flour and stir until it's mixed well with the fat. Remove the pan from the heat, add the stock and cream, and stir constantly until the gravy is smooth and has thickened nicely. Put the meatballs back in the pan with the gravy and cover. 

Simmer over very low heat for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then transfer to a chafing dish and serve.  Makes about 25 balls

Classic Beef Stroganoff:

You'll need:

4 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Lb. beef sirloin cut in 1/4" strips
4 Tbs. butter
1 3 oz can of sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 minced clove of garlic
1 1/4 cup beef stock
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbs. dry sherry

Combine 2 Tbs. flour with the salt and dredge meat in flour mixture. In a large frying pan melt 2 Tbs. butter and brown meat on both sides. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic and  cook for several minutes until onion is transparent. Remove meat and mushrooms and set aside. Add remaining butter to pan and blend in remaining flour and blend into a roux. Once all the lumps are gone, add the beef stock and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens. Return meat and mushrooms to the pan and stir in the sour cream and sherry. Cook until evenly heated, but do not boil. Remove to chafing dish and keep warm over water (bain-marie). Serve next to a bowl piled high with buttered noodles.

Chocolate Fondue:

12 oz of bar chocolate,broken up

1 cup of heavy cream

Melt the chocolate with the cream over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly. This can be melted in your chafing dish, or in a sauce pan.

For dippers we chose pineapple, pound cake and strawberries, but you can add marshmallows, kiwi, bananas, cookies, lady fingers, and pretzels and anything else your little heart desires!

Why didn't you think of that?


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Described as part Donna Reed, part Mary Tyler Moore, Maxwell makes kitsch feel classy through her unparalleled personal flair for home design, entertaining and savvy household tips. Inspired by a divine thrift shop purchase of 1950's nesting bowls, she first began sharing her vintage/classic know-how with other Manhattanites in 1998 through her self-titled cable access television show. With an emphasis on uncompromising fabulousness, Brini quickly garnered a devoted fan base and established herself as the go-to-girl on vintage fashion and mid-century modern treasures. After five years on the local airwaves her show was picked up by the Style Network. The subsequent series has been called a delightful success and has attracted a diverse audience thorough its national platform.

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