Hugh Hefner’s Lamb Chop Dinner

Gourmet Mag had an interesting Series called "The Sex Issue" in which they explored the lusty link between food and sex with a peek inside the Playboy Mansion Kitchen.

I'm a Lamb Chop fan, so I thought to share this recipe with you. 
I've other, posssibly better, chop recipes; but this one has a pinache I cannot duplicate.

Lamb Chops:
4 fresh french-cut lamb chops (from 3-pound rack; see note below)
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Lamb Sauce:
1 can Campbell’s beef broth
1/2 cup cold water
1 sprig fresh rosemary (4 inches long)
1 1/2 teaspoons Swiss Chalet Pro-Thick vegetable starch thickener (1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 1/4 teaspoon water can substitute)

Preparing the Lamb Chops:
  • Trim lamb chops of all excess fat. Trim should include the bone to the eye of the chop. Season the chops with salt and ground white pepper. Place the olive oil on a plate; dip the chops in the olive oil. In a very hot, preheated sauté pan, sear the chops on both sides until they are dark brown. Three minutes per side. Cover pan and let chops sit on a low flame for an additional two minutes.
  • The fourth chop is for the cook to eat and determine if it is tender and tasty. If it is acceptable, serve the remaining three to Mr. Hefner. If it is not tender or tasty, start the process again by cutting from another rack of lamb.
Preparing the Sauce:
  • Combine the beef broth and water. Bring to a simmer. Whisk in the Pro-Thick and return to a simmer. Add the rosemary sprig and cook for only 20–30 seconds. Remove the rosemary sprig from the sauce. Keep the sauce warm.
Preparing the Baked Potato:
  • Wash three 90-count size potatoes. Wrap in foil and bake in oven at 350° for 90 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and place in warmer until dinner is requested. Choose the best potato: Remove foil and place on plate.
Preparing the Peas:
  • Open one can of Le Sueur Early Peas (15 ounces) and heat in skillet. Season lightly with a pinch of fine sea salt and 1 teaspoon of salted butter when heating. Serve about one-third of the peas in a side bowl when the dinner is served.
Preparing the Tomato:
  • Cut from the center of a beefsteak tomato two slices of tomato 1/2 inch thick. Place the slices on a small side plate that has been lined with the top half of a washed leaf of romaine lettuce.
Plate Presentation:
  • Place the three lamb chops on a warm HMH [monogrammed] dinner plate. The bones should be pointing to the center of the plate. Spoon a little of the sauce over each chop and some to flow slightly onto the plate around each chop. Place the baked potato next to the chops with no sauce touching it. No butter is put into the potato. Real butter (not margarine or butter substitute) and salt should be served on the side. The peas and applesauce are placed in small bowls on the side.
When Serving:
  • When Mr. Hefner calls for his dinner, everything should be ready before cooking the chops. When the chops are completed, a butler should serve the meal immediately.
  • Order from the butcher: a french-cut prime lamb rack weighing about 3 pounds.

Triple Malt Chocolate Cake

Ooh... When you're in the race for "Host(ess) of the Year", follow the dinner up with this Wonderful Creation. 
A nice dollop of Vanilla Ice-Cream will Seal the Vote!

  • 2 cups malted milk powder
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the cake pans
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil, plus more for coating the cake pans
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 recipe Vanilla Malt Frosting >>>
  • 1 cup malted milk balls, coarsely chopped
  1. Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with oil and flour, and tap out any excess flour. Set aside.
  2. Combine the malted milk powder, measured flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps. Set aside.
  3. Combine the eggs, sugar, measured oil, and vanilla in a separate large bowl and whisk until combined and smooth. Add a third of the flour mixture and whisk until just incorporated. Add half of the milk and whisk until smooth. Continue with the remaining flour mixture and milk, alternating between each and whisking until all of the ingredients are just incorporated and smooth.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cakes start pulling away from the sides of the pans, about 45 to 50 minutes.
  5. Remove the cakes from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each and turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
  6. To frost, place a cake layer on an 8-inch cardboard round, a tart-pan bottom, or a cake plate. Evenly spread about a third of the frosting over the top of the layer. Stack the second layer and evenly spread another third of the frosting over the top and sides of the whole cake. (Don’t worry about looks at this point—this is just a base coat, or crumb layer, and it will be covered up later.) Place in the refrigerator until the frosting is set up and slightly hard, about 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, ensuring it’s as even as possible. Press the malt balls into the frosting around the sides of the cake and serve.

Pecan Turtle Brownies

Pecans and Caramel meet Cakey, Moist Brownies—need we say more; except, have the milk ready...

For the brownies:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into pea-size pieces
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), plus more for coating the baking dish
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the caramel-pecan topping:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

For the brownies:
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with butter; set aside.
  2. Combine the chocolate and measured butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl until the eggs are broken up and smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour and baking powder and stir until just incorporated.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared dish and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool completely.
For the caramel-pecan topping:
  1. Combine the sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until the sugar has completely dissolved. Continue to boil, swirling the pan occasionally (but not stirring), until the mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat, carefully pour in the cream and vanilla (the mixture will bubble up and steam), and stir until evenly combined.
  3. Stir the pecans into the caramel mixture and immediately drizzle over the brownies. Spread evenly to cover the brownies. Cool completely before cutting.

Yucatan Shrimp


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 small onion, chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped*
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup hot water
1 bouillon cube, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and cook shrimp, turning once, 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp from skillet and keep warm.

2. Cook onion in same skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until golden. Stir in chipotle pepper and garlic salt and cook 1 minute. Stir in chunky peanut butter blended with hot water and bouillon cube, then simmer 2 minutes. Return shrimp to skillet and heat through. Stir in cilantro. Serve, if desired, with hot cooked rice and garnish with additional chopped cilantro.

Hint: Recipe can be easily multiplied for larger guestlists.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Bites

  • 50 whole Andes Mints
  • 1 stick 1/2 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 ounces, weight Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • ¾ cups All-purpose Flour
  • ¼ teaspoons Mint Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 ounce, weight Bittersweet Chocolate, Chopped Fine

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray mini muffin pan generously with baking spray.
  • Melt unsweetened chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Remove from microwave and stir in 8 Andes mints until all melted. Let cool slightly.
  • In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream 1 stick of butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. With the mixer on low, drizzle in the cooled chocolate mixture slowly, mixing until it’s combined. Add flour and mix thoroughly. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, add mint extract, then mix again.
  • Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, scoop batter into mini muffin tins. Bake until done, about 13 to 15 minutes. Turn upside down out of pan and allow to cool.
  • Combine 25 unwrapped Andes mints in a bowl with the tablespoon of butter and chopped bittersweet chocolate. Microwave and stir until melted and smooth.
  • Dip the brownie bites in the chocolate, concentrating on the top “cone” part. Allow to set for a few minutes. Chop the remaining Andes mints and sprinkle them on the top.
Set in the freezer for 10 minutes if you need them to set right away.

Pesto Sauce

This sauce is so versatile.  Can be wonderfully used on broiled fish, mixed with pasta as a side dish or even as a condiment on your fav sandwich (try it on with turkey!).


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
  • Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.
  • If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

Techniques of Making Croissants

This instruction is from a great site called The Kitchn.  Check it out and try out some of their wonderful recipes.

How to Make and Shape Homemade


One batch Classic Croissants: Basic Recipe
 [....or scroll down to my next blogpost]
Cold butter (as specified in your recipe)
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon whole or 2% milk
Rolling pin, preferably a french-style rolling pin without handles
Bench scraper
Pizza cutter or a sharp knife
Baking sheet
Silpat or parchment
Pastry brush



1. Prepare the Dough: Follow your recipe to prepare the dough. Remember, an overnight rest in the refrigerator will improve the flavor and texture of any dough.

2. Prepare the Butter Block: Just before you're ready to start laminating the dough, pound the cold butter to make it pliable. Without this step, the butter could break and shatter as you try to fold it into the dough.
The Tartine recipe (which we picture above) calls for cutting the cold butter into pieces, but after trying this, we find it easier to leave the sticks whole. Pound the butter with your rolling pin, smacking it flat and then gathering it back into a pile with a bench scraper. If your recipe doesn't already specify this, working about 1/4 cup of flour into your butter during pounding can help make it easier. If you see the butter starting to melt, wrap it in parchment paper and refrigerate it for 10 minutes.
The butter is recipe when it stays together in a cohesive mass and is easily folded, but still feels cool to the touch. Shape it into rough square, wrap it in parchment paper, and refrigerate while you roll out the dough.

3. Roll Out the Dough: Roll the croissant dough into a rectangle double the size of your butter block. If you've been chilling the dough in the refrigerator, you can roll it out directly from the fridge without waiting for it to warm.

4. Seal the Butter Inside the Dough: Place the butter block to one side of the rectangle, making sure to leave a inch or so of dough as a border around the edge. Fold the dough over the butter and gently press the edges closed. (In classic French baking, you would put the butter block in the middle of the dough and fold the corners inward instead. We've tried both ways and either works fine.)

5. Begin Laminating the Dough: Turn the dough 90° and roll it out so that it's about the same width as your rolling pin and a few inches longer in length. Fold the top toward the middle and the bottom up, as if you were folding a letter. Wrap in plastic or parchment and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour and no more than 1 hour (or the butter will get too cold). This is your first "turn" of the dough.
Repeat this turn 5 more times for a total of 6 turns, remembering to rotate 90° between each turn. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes every 2 turns, or between every turn if your kitchen is very warm. After the final turn, chill the dough for for an hour before shaping.

6. Roll Out the Dough and Shape: Roll the chill dough out to a rectangle roughly 1/2-inch thick. Using a bench scraper, pizza cutter, or sharp knife, slice it lengthwise (the long way) down the middle. Cut each half into 6-8 equal triangles. Roll up each triangle, starting at the wide end. Transfer the rolls to baking sheets and space them about 2 inches apart.

7. Let the Croissants Rise: Let the croissants proof (rise) until they are about 50% larger in size. They should look puffy and you'll be able to see the layers in the cut edges.
Alternatively, you can refrigerate the croissants overnight to develop their flavor and let them proof in the morning. And to save yourself a lot of labor in the wee hours if you're planning on serving these for breakfast!
8. Bake the Croissants: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Whisk together the egg and milk in a bowl, and brush each of the croissants with a thin coating.
Bake until the croissants are deep golden brown, very crisp, and feel light when you pick one up, about 30 minutes. Rotate the trays halfway through baking.

9. Let Cool and Eat! Let the croissants cool for a few minutes and then eat right away. They are at their very best straight out of the oven. Leftovers can be re-crisped in a toaster oven or for a few minutes in a warm oven.
Additional Notes:

Hint: Add fillings just before rolling the croissants (Chocolate! Fruit preserves! Ham and cheese!). Place a small amount of the filling on the widest part of the croissant and roll it up into the dough.