Archive for the ‘Breakfast & Recipes’ Category

Pumpkin Puff Pancakes, an Autumn Treat…

October 21st, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

pumpkin puff pancakesThe Empress of Little Rock has long been known for the amazing breakfasts that are served daily in the grand formal dining room.  Bob Blair and Sharon Welch-Blair have created a menu influenced by both their travels and their many years as owners of The Empress.  Each day at The Empress promises a new and even more delicious entree for you to eat by candlelight.  Some of our favorites include Ham and Asparagus Bundles, Grand Marnier French Toast and warm Toasted Cheese Strata.  But one of our most popular dishes is only served in the fall and winter, and guests await impatiently for Pumpkin Puff Pancake season to roll back around.  The Empress is now serving this delectable dish, but we are including the recipe here, so that all of our friends can enjoy them at home as well.

Good luck on your version of our well-known autumn favorite, but if you want to get them directly from the source, book a night at The Empress now!

PUMPKIN PANCAKES USING BISQUICK
2 Cups Bisquick
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (check color of mixture to make sure this is enough can go up to ¾ cup)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
2 slightly beaten egg yolks
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons oil
4 egg whites beaten till they form peaks
Combine milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, & oil to Bisquick- stirring just to blend.

Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter. Check thickness – if necessary add more milk

HOT CIDER SYRUP:
3/4 CUP APPLE CIDER
1/2 CUP BROWN SUGAR
1/2 CUP LIGHT CORN SYRUP
1/2 TEASPOON LEMON JUICE
1/8 TEASPOON GROUND CINNAMON
1/8 TEASPOON NUTMEG
Combine ingredients and heat 20 minutes to reduce

 

Best Chocolate Souffle for Valentine’s Day !

February 12th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Red Velvet Souffle

Reel in your Valentine with this decadent Red Velvet Souffle

Make this EASY Red Velvet Soufflé for your special sweetheart this Valetines!  It’s quick, easy, and can even be made with a sugar substitute.  Bon Appetit’!

Red Velvet Soufflés With Whipped Sour Cream

1 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped

5 large eggs, separated

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. milk

1 Tbsp. red liquid food coloring

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 6 (8-oz.) ramekins with butter. Lightly coat with 3 Tbsp. sugar, shaking out excess. Place on a baking sheet.   Microwave chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute to 1 minute and 15 seconds or until melted, stirring at 30-second intervals. Stir in 4 eggs yolks, ¼ cup sugar, and next 3 ingredients. (Discard remaining egg yolk.)

Beat 5 egg whites and salt at high speed with a heavy-duty electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 2 Tbsp. sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold egg white mixture into chocolate mixture, one-third at a time. Spoon into prepared ramekins. Run tip of thumb around edges of ramekins, wiping clean and creating a shallow indention around edges of mixture. (This will help the soufflés rise.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 24 minutes or until soufflés rise and are set. (A long wooden pick inserted in centers will have a few moist crumbs.) Dust with powdered sugar; serve immediately with whipped sour cream.

Whipped Sour Cream    Makes about 2 cups

¼ cup whipping cream, ½ cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp. sugar

Beat together all ingredients at medium to high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer 45 seconds or just until lightly whipped and pourable. Serve whipped sour cream immediately.

Channel 11 Features Chef Sharon for Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Souffle

February 7th, 2013 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Red Velvet Souffle

Reel in your Valentine with this decadent Red Velvet Souffle

Be sure to watch tomorrow morning on Today’s THV Morning Show at 6:45 to catch Sharon’s favorite Valentine Recipe.  It will delight your special someone with a gourmet surprise you make yourself and you’ll look like a professional, and it’s not very hard!!  Check out the video below.Here’s the recipe:

Red Velvet Soufflés With Whipped Sour Cream

1 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped

5 large eggs, separated

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. milk

1 Tbsp. red liquid food coloring

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 6 (8-oz.) ramekins with butter. Lightly coat with 3 Tbsp. sugar, shaking out excess. Place on a baking sheet.   Microwave chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute to 1 minute and 15 seconds or until melted, stirring at 30-second intervals. Stir in 4 eggs yolks, ¼ cup sugar, and next 3 ingredients. (Discard remaining egg yolk.)

Beat 5 egg whites and salt at high speed with a heavy-duty electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 2 Tbsp. sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold egg white mixture into chocolate mixture, one-third at a time. Spoon into prepared ramekins. Run tip of thumb around edges of ramekins, wiping clean and creating a shallow indention around edges of mixture. (This will help the soufflés rise.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 24 minutes or until soufflés rise and are set. (A long wooden pick inserted in centers will have a few moist crumbs.) Dust with powdered sugar; serve immediately with whipped sour cream.

Whipped Sour Cream    Makes about 2 cups

¼ cup whipping cream, ½ cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp. sugar

Beat together all ingredients at medium to high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer 45 seconds or just until lightly whipped and pourable. Serve whipped sour cream immediately.

The Empress and her “Croissants a’la Cherries Jubilee” Liven up Morning Show!

February 9th, 2012 by Lisa

The Empress’s own Sharon Welch-Blair appeared this Saturday morning, February 4, on Saturday Daybreak.  Her recipes are always a big hit, and this one is no different!  Here is how to make our famous Croissants a’la Cherries Jubilee:

Croissants ala Cherries Jubilee

6 croissants

1/2 cup whipping cream

5 eggs

1/2 cup cherry preserves

1 tsp. almond extract

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

 Spray custard cups with non-stick spray. Cut croissants in half. Spread with cherry preserves. Put into cups and put tops on.

 Mix whipping cream with eggs and extract. Pour over croissants and put dollop of preserves on top.

 Allow to sit overnight.

 Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes till light & fluffy like a soufflé.  Can also be made with orange preserves.

 Makes 6 servings

And in case you missed it, here is the video of Sharon’s appearance http://www.katv.com/story/16685719/croissants-ala-cherries-jubilee

 

Moist and Delicious Chocolate Beet Cake

January 18th, 2012 by Lisa

This delicious dessert was served at our New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance with vanilla bean whipped cream and fresh strawberries.  The chocolate glaze and beet chips make for a unique and tasty chocolate cake!

Chocolate Beet Cake

 4 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

11/2 teaspoons baking soda

Salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup safflower oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vegetable oil cooking spray

 

Chocolate Glaze

(recipe follows)

Garnish:  Candied Beet Chips

(recipe follows)

 

1.        Cover beets with 2 inches water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 30 minutes. Drain. Puree beets in a food processor until smooth.

2.        Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar cocoa powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large  bowl. Whisk in eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and 1/14 cups beet puree (reserve remaining puree for another use).

3.        Coat a 9-inch round cake pan (3 inches deep) with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment, and coat with spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Turn out cake from pan, and discard parchment. Let cool completely, right side up.

4.        Trim top of cake using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Transfer cake, cut side down to a serving platter. Pour chocolate glaze over top, and let set, about 30 minutes. Garnish with beet chips.

Make ahead unglazed cake can be store at room temperature (wrapped in plastic) for up to two  days. Storage glazed cake can be stored at room temperature for up to one day.

 

Chocolate Glaze

Active time:  5 minutes

Total time:  15 minutes

Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup heavy cream

3/4 teaspoon light corn syrup

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Bring heavy cream and corn syrup to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan. Pour over chocolate in a bowl, and let stand for 1 minute. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is shiny and smooth. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Use immediately.

 

Candied Beet Chips

Active time:  10 minutes

Total time:  1 hour 40 minutes

Makes 1/2 cup

4 baby beets, preferably Chioggia

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

1.        Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Slice beets very thinly into rounds, preferably on a mandolin. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.  Add beets. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly translucent, about 30 minutes.

2.        Using a slotted spoon, transfer beets in a single layer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with a nonsticking baking mat. Bake until dry and slightly firm, about 1 hour.

Storage chips can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.

 

Guests Loved our Fall off of the Bone Tender Braised Lamb!

January 17th, 2012 by Lisa

Braised Lamb Chops with Red Wine and Figs

 Active time:  20 minutes

Total time:  1 hour and 50 minutes

Serves 4

Start braising anywhere from two days to two hours before serving; as the meat stands in the rich cause, the flavors have more time to develop.

 

4 lamb should chops (about 1 inch thick)

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and coarsely ground

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

3/4 cup full-bodied dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon

1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

2 cups chicken stock

7 ounces Calimyrna figs

2 dried bay leaves

 

1.        Preheat oven to 305 degrees. Season lamb with fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in large high-sided ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sear chops until well browned, about 5 minutes per side.

2.        Add wine and vinegar. Boil until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add stock, figs and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.

3.        Braise lamb in oven, covered, for 45  minutes. Uncover. Braise, basing often, until lamb is tender and just falling off the bone, about 45 minutes more. (If liquid is not sauce like, simmer over medium-heat until thickened.) Serve lamb with cause.

 

Make ahead braised lamb chops can be refrigerated for up to two days. Reheat briefly, covered, in a low-temperature oven.

Asiago Apple Salad a hit at Dinner Dance

January 12th, 2012 by Lisa

This light dish dresses up any meal and is a palate pleaser!

ASIAGO APPLE SALAD

  • 2 medium, firm apples (such as honey crisp), cored and sliced
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and julienned
  • 1 small head frisee cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup red grapes, sliced in half
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shaved Asiago cheese
  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh dill
  • 1 recipe Creamy Honey-Dill Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: microgreens
  1. In a small bowl, combine the apple slices, celery root, frisee, grapes, lemon juice, pepper and salt; toss to combine
  2. On salad plates, create layers of the apple mixture, Asiago, pecans and dill.  Drizzle each salad lightly with Creamy Honey-Dill Vinaigrette.  Garnish with microgreens if desired and serve immediately.

CREAMY HONEY-DILL VINAIGRETTE (makes about 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, mayonnaise, honey, dill, salt and pepper; whisk to combine.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Remaining dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

 

The “Victorian Martha Stewart” always a success!

December 19th, 2011 by Lisa

We all enjoyed seeing The Empress’ Sharon Welch-Blair once more appear on Daybreak and demonstrate why she has been nick-named the “Victorian Martha Stewart”.  Her Sweet Potato Vichyssoise looked amazing and I want to make those Peanut Noshes tonight!!!

Don’t forget, there is still time to buy tickets to our New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance, where the Vichyssoise and more recipes chosen by and prepared with the personal attention of Sharon will appear!  Call 501-374-7966 before December 26th and your ticket is only $200.  There are also still a few rooms left that weekend for a Romantic Getaway to start the year off with an amazing bang!  CALL TODAY!

Check out the Video of Sharon’s appearance!

And here is the recipe for that amazing Sweet Potato Vichyssoise:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 leeks (white part only) well
rinsed, dried and sliced

6 cups Berta’s chicken stock or
canned chicken broth

1 ½ cups dry white wine

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled
and chopped

Grated zest and juice of one
lime

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy or whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste

Peanut noshes or thin lime slices
(garnish)

 

  1. Melt the butter in a
    large stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks and sauté until soft
    and transparent
  2. Add the stock, wine,
    and sweet potatoes.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer until
    the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the lime
    zest and juice, milk and cream.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Puree the soup in
    batches in a blender until very smooth.
  5. If you are serving
    the soup hot, gently heat it and serve it with peanut noshes.  If you are
    serving the soup cold, refrigerate it for several hours and serve it garnished
    with lime slices.

6
portions

 

Peanut Noshes

 

18 slices Pepperidge Farm
sandwich or other firm white bread

1 ½ cups chunky peanut butter

1/3 cup vegetable oil

 

  1. Preaheat the over to
    350 F
  2. Trim the crusts from
    12 slices of the bread and cut the trimmed bread into ½-inch squares.
    Place the squares flat on a baking sheet and bake just until lightly browned.
  3. Place the trimmed
    crusts and the remaining 6 slices of bread on another baking sheet and bake
    until golden.  Process in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel
    blade to fine crumbs.  Remove to a shallow bowl.
  4. Heat the peanut
    butter and oil in a small saucepan until blended and warm.  Dip the
    toasted bread squares completely into the peanut mixture and then coat with the
    bread crumbs.  Let the bread dry flat on the baking sheet.  Store in
    an airtight container.

About
8 dozen

The Empress makes Pancakes on KATV

November 14th, 2011 by Lisa

Sharon Welch-Blair of The Empress of Little Rock stopped by KATV Saturday morning to make pumpkin puff pancakes….mmm!  While there she discussed the upcoming specials being offered for the holidays.  Watch the video here!

Here is the recipe for Sharon’s amazing Pumpkin Puff Pancakes (with delicious hot cider syrup):

PUMPKIN PANCAKES USING BISQUICK

2 Cups Bisquick

1/2 cup canned pumpkin (check color of mixture to make sure this is enough can go up to ¾ cup)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup milk

2 slightly beaten egg yolks

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons oil

4 egg whites beaten till they form peaks

Combine milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, & oil to Bisquick- stirring just to blend.

 

Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter.  Check thickness – if necessary add more milk

 

HOT CIDER SYRUP:

3/4 CUP APPLE CIDER

1/2 CUP BROWN SUGAR

1/2 CUP LIGHT CORN SYRUP

1/2 TEASPOON LEMON JUICE

1/8 TEASPOON GROUND CINNAMON

1/8 TEASPOON NUTMEG

Combine ingredients and heat 20 minutes to reduce.

See Sharon on Saturday Daybreak-November 12, 2011

November 12th, 2011 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Our very own Sharon Welch-Blair will be on Saturday Daybreak, Channel 7, tomorrow morning at 8:15.  She will be demonstrating how to make one of our guests favorite fall breakfast recipes, Pumpkin Puff Pancakes with Hot Cider Sauce.  Find this great recipe below!!  We hope you enjoy it!  And don’t miss our favorite Victorian “Martha Stewart” on TV discussing all the great things to do in Little Rock during this holiday season.  Celebrate all the great activities with a stay using our great “Home For the Holidays” Package, Christmas Magic at The Empress of Little Rock.

Pumpkin Puff Pancakes

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 Tbls. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

½  tsp. salt

½  tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. milk

½  c. canned pumpkin

2 slightly beaten egg yolks

2 Tbls. cooking oil

2 egg whites

Combine first 5 ingredients in
large mixing bowl.  In another mixing
bowl, combine milk, pumpkin, egg yolks & oil.  Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture all at
once.  Stir just till blended

Beat egg whites till stiff
peaks form.  Gently fold into pumpkin
mixture.
Pour about ¼ c. batter onto
hot, lightly greased griddle, for each pancake.
Cook till pancakes are golden brown, turning to cook second sides when
pancakes have bubbly surfaces and slightly dry edges.
Serve with Hot Cider Sauce.

Makes 14 4-inch pancakes 

Hot Cider Sauce

¾  c. apple cider or apple juice

½  c. brown sugar, packed

½  c. light corn syrup

2 Tbls. butter or margarine

½  tsp. lemon juice

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a
medium saucepan.
Stir over medium heat till
sugar dissolves & comes to boil.
Simmer mixture 20 minutes more until consistency of thin syrup.

Makes 1 cup

 

Menu