Another Valentine’s Day is under our belts, and oh how those belts are stretching! Joe and I were in blissful food comas last night, thanks to an incredible dinner of steak and risotto. It was very much a His and Hers thing going on in the kitchen, as some of you might have noticed on Instagram. Nothing says love more than risotto, amiright?
Before I get to the dessert we tried, I have to sing the praises—yet again—of Ina Garten, Ms. Barefoot Contessa herself. Even though she lacks in the personality department a bit and even though my brother calls her “Barefoot Depressa,” this was THE. BEST. risotto I’ve ever had. It was full of tender vegetables and had a creamy mascarpone base. I’m a recipe tweaker, but I’d never fool around with Ina’s recipes. They are always completely perfect as is. I’ve never had one turn out wrong, and that’s sayin’ something. It’s a shame I only have phone photos to account for the deliciousness.
I mentioned yesterday that we like to try new recipes for special occasions. Normally we’d cull through our cookbook collection, but there was a certain recipe on Pinterest that was staring us down for weeks. One that included Joe’s favorite (Baileys) and my favorite (Oreos….kidding…chocolate…okay, not kidding, it’s Oreos).
This “pie” was more like a mousse with a crust—perfectly light (after all that risotto), but still decadent thanks to those heavy hitters in the flavor department. And it could not have been easier to make! It did call for a special kind of Baileys—“Baileys with a Hint of Caramel”—and would you believe it if I told you that our tiny Utah Heathen Headquarters carried it? It was fate, us and this pie.
The original recipe calls for a pre-made chocolate-cookie crust. No. Don’t do that. I’m begging you. It takes a whopping 10 minutes to make your own Oreo crust, without any added chemicals or ingredients. Just cookies (with their own preservatives) and butter. Just whirl ‘em in the food processor, dump in a pie plate and pack in with a measuring spoon.
Almost too easy, and—BONUS!—you’ll have a few Oreos left over for snacking. And I guarantee a package of Oreos will be cheaper than a pre-made pie crust. You’ll also have the satisfaction of not cutting any corners and this pie is so good, you’ll want to call every bit of it your own.
The filling is basically flavored whipped cream—so soft and pillowy. Yet deceiving, because it’s so very, very rich. Another cook’s tip: Don’t skimp on the sprinkling of salt on top. It’s unreal.
To me, this was the perfect Valentine’s dessert, but I think it’ll be making repeat appearances throughout the year on account of how easy and fast it was to put together.
Enjoy the recipes!
Baileys Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie
Adapted from She Wears Many Hats
24-26 whole Oreo cookies, crushed into fine crumbs
1/4 – 1/3 cups unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup if using regular sized chips)
1 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 Tablespoons Baileys® with a Hint of Caramel
Coarse salt for sprinkling
Optional for garnishing: shaved chocolate, caramel sauce for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Crush Oreo cookies in a food processor and mix with butter, starting with 1/4 cup, until fairly moist. Press crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9″ pie pan using the bottom of a metal measuring cup. Bake for 5-6 minutes. Cool crust completely.
Melt chocolate chips in microwave in 30-second bursts and let cool slightly.
Whip cream and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When soft peaks begin to form, gradually add flavored Baileys. Gently mix in the melted chocolate. Then spread mixture into pie crust and sprinkle top with coarse salt.
Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
Spring Green Risotto with Artichokes
From Barefoot Contessa
1 1/2 Tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1 cup chopped fennel
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 to 5 cups simmering chicken (or vegetable) stock or preferably homemade
1 pound thin asparagus
10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
8 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
1 Tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving
Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)
When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, artichokes, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.
When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and chives. Serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.