Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Hello Friends!

Are you trying to get a head start on holiday entertaining?  I know that the calendar has not even turned to December yet but for those of us that love to have people over or always bring something when invited to a party, these recipes are for you!  Everything in today’s post can be made ahead of time and either kept refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.  They are easy, my original recipes and delicious!  I will be at Yale Appliance and Lighting, 296 Freeport Street in Dorchester cooking from 11-3 and if you are in the neighborhood, please stop by, have a snack and visit the amazing showroom.  Hope to see you!

Creamy Mushroom Marsala Bites

4 oz bacon, diced

¼ cup minced shallots

6 oz sliced crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped

6 oz sliced button mushrooms, roughly chopped

½ cup Marsala wine

30 mini phyllo shells

4 oz sour cream or 3 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped, plus more for garnish, roughly chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chopped bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.

With a slotted spoon, remove meat from skillet, allowing drippings to remain in pan and set bacon aside.

Add shallots and stir to combine.  Cook until shallots are translucent about 5 minutes.  Add all mushrooms to the pan, stir, and allow mixture to cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes or until mixture is nearly dry, stirring occasionally.

Add Marsala to mushroom mixture and stir again. Allow mixture to cook again over medium heat until pan is nearly dry again, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, place phyllo shells on a baking sheet and bake 5-7 minutes until crisp.  Remove from oven set aside.

When the mushroom mixture is nearly dry, add sour cream slowly to the mushroom mixture and stir gently until a creamy sauce forms.

Add reserved cooked bacon and chives to mushroom mixture, stir and remove from heat.

Season mushroom filling with salt and pepper to taste.

Fill shells with a scant tablespoon of creamy mushroom filling.

Top each filled tart with a small piece of fresh chive for garnish and serve immediately.

Filling can me made up to a week in advance. Enjoy!

Smoky Cheddar Cocktail Crackers

½ cup roasted salted cashews

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1-7 oz block smoked cheddar cheese, shredded

10 tablespoons salted butter, softened

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse cashews until finely chopped.  Place chopped nuts on a baking sheet and spread to cover.  Set aside.  

In the same bowl. pulse flour, salt, cumin, paprika and pepper until combined.  Add  shredded smoked cheddar cheese and butter and process again until a crumbly dough forms, about 45 seconds.  Remove dough from bowl onto a lightly floured surface.  

Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 12″ log. Roll each log in the chopped cashews to cover.   Wrap each log tightly in parchment paper and place logs in freezer for at least an hour or double wrap with plastic wrap and store in freezer for up to a month.

When ready to bake, remove logs from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.  Set aside.

Slice desired amount of crackers on the bias in a 1/4″ slice and place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes until edges are lightly browned.   Slice parchment off baking sheet to cool crackers completely.

Serve alone, as part of a cheese tray or top with a roasted garlic salsa for an easy canape

Mini Party Crab Cakes

To make these delicious little treats ahead of time, simply follow the recipe all the way to the end, but stop before baking.  Freeze cakes on the buttered parchment, slide parchment off of sheet pan and cut parchement pieces with the crab cakes attached to the size of your storage container.

1-1 pound can claw fresh crab meat, picked through for shells

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Zest and juice of one lemon

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 large egg

Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 tablespoon Worcester sauce

Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss together crabmeat, breadcrumbs and lemon zest until well mixed.

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, egg, cayenne, celery salt, hot pepper sauce, 1 tablespoon reserved lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.

Gently combine wet ingredients with dry and form into 1 1/2” cakes.  Place cakes on prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle cakes with melted butter and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.

Serve with horseradish mustard sauce.  Makes 22-24 cakes

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Hello Friends.  Between work and travel I have been very quiet on the blog as of late but I am taking on a fun new challenge–live cooking demos at Yale Appliance in Dorchester and Framingham!  My first demo is this Saturday, September 17 from 12-4 at the Dorchester location (http://www.yaleappliance.com) and I will be making recipes and handing out samples. The theme of my demos this time is ” Late Summer Herbs and Vegetables and What To Do With Them.”

My herb bucket is overgrown with lemon thyme at this time (Ugh…pardon the pun), people are handing me zucchini left and right and we are buying local fresh corn like it’s going out of style because it’s so delicious so I am planning on featuring this late Summer bounty at the demo.

Please come by and say hello and be totally blown away by the showroom and the very well informed staff.  Here are the recipes that I will be featuring and sampling:

“Still Summer Grilled Corn, Bacon and Jalapeno Cornbread”

5 slices bacon, diced small

 2 tablespoons butter

1 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk (or whole milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar)

1 large egg, beaten

2 ears fresh corn, grilled

1 small chopped fresh jalapeno, membranes and seeds removed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a small skillet, cook bacon until crispy.  Drain off bacon drippings and reserve.  Set aside.

 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place 2 tablespoons butter into an 9″ nonstick cake pan and bake for 5-7 minutes until the pan is very hot and butter is lightly browned.  Remove from oven and set aside.Meanwhile, In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

To the dry mixture, add buttermilk, reserved bacon drippings and egg and fold together until smooth. Fold in the bacon, corn kernels, jalapenos and cilantro and mix until combined. Place baking pan back in to the oven for 5 minutes until hot again.  Carefully remove heated pan from oven and pour in the batter and spread to cover.

Bake the bread until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Remove bread from the oven and let stand in pan for 10 minutes before cutting. Remove from pan and slice into desired portions.

Serves 8

“Garden Fresh Herb & Cheddar Pie”

Prep time:  15 mins

Cook time:  45 mins

Total time:  1 hour

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 small sweet onion, minced
  • 3 cups zucchini and /or Summer squash, very thinly sliced or grated
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme, marjoram, parsley all work well alone or in combination, plus more for garnish, very thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning mix (such as Adobo) or kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie pan or an 8’x 8′ baking dish plate with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until combined.  Fold in canola oil, baking mix, parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, minced onion and two tablespoons fresh herbs, all purpose seasoning mix and black pepper to taste.  Pour into prepared dish.

Sprinkle mixture with remaining shredded cheese and top with reserved fresh herbs.  Sprinkle with paprika

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown on the top.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Can be served cold, hot or room temperature.

  

“Lemon Thyme Cocktail Cookies”

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup. granulated sugar

3 lemons, zested and juiced

1 lb. all- purpose flour (3 1/4 cups)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

¾ tsp. salt

12 oz. butter, softened

4 egg yolks

1 ½ Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme or lemon thyme

Yield: 3 ½ dozen cookies

Bring all ingredients to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process sugar, lemon zest, flour, cornstarch, salt and herbs until the herbs are finely ground.  

Add the egg yolks and butter to the bowl and process until mixture is combined.  Add lemon juice and process again until a cohesive dough forms.

Divide dough in half and form two disks.  Wrap dough securely with the plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator, at least several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.

Let the dough sit at room temperature until it is pliable enough to roll with a rolling pin. Roll the dough out ¼ inch thick on a lightly floured surface.

Use as little flour as possible; flour may toughen the cookies. Cut out cookies with cookie or biscuit cutters; cut them as close together as possible to minimize scraps. Rolls scraps into fresh dough to minimize toughness.

Place cookies on prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies start to turn a light golden brown around the edges, about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies.

Remove cookies from baking sheets. Let cool slightly on a wire rack.

Store in airtight containers.

Read Full Post »

20160127_195207.jpgI usually work night and have been traveling quite a bit lately for work and cooking adventures so I was very excited about a night at home and time too cook a meal for my family!  Here’s the perfect recipe even for the pickiest of eaters.  Hands on time is quick, cooking time is fairly fast and you don’t have to do much to have a wonderful dinner that the leftovers are as good as the meal, easy to reheat and simple to make for a small crowd.

I adore chicken thighs.  They are inexpensive (12 pc for 7.20 at Market Basket), delicious, meaty, moist and tender and usually I use my good friend Doug Keiles’ line of rubs (http://www.ribswithin.com/products/) on the meat and put them on the grill or in the oven on a sheet pan and all is right with the world.

Tonight however, I decided that I wanted to make something to go with pasta with Meyer Lemon Oil, parsley and spicy roasted broccoli, which are two favorites in my family and I had the pleasure of not only my immediate family for dinner but Famous Chicka (my niece, Sarah) and my daughter’s best friend Ashley who is a culinary student at Lily’s school for expert assistance.  It’s remarkable how fast you can get things done with extra hands chopping, slicing and stirring!

Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs with Meyer Lemons and Olives

2 tablespoon olive oil

10-12 bone in skin on chicken thighs

2 tablespoons dried Italian Seasoning

2 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed

1 cup dry white wine

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup pitted brined olives (use whatever you have on hand)

2 Meyer Lemons (or regular if you don’t have Meyer), one thinly sliced and seeds removed and one zested and juiced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

With a knife or kitchen shears, remove any excess skin from chicken.  Season chicken liberally with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, Italian seasoning and crushed rosemary.

In a large, heavy Dutch Oven (I use the Le Creuset 9.5 quart French Oven) over medium high heat, heat olive oil until shimmering and nearly smoking.  Place chicken thighs, six at a time, skin side down in hot pan and brown for 5-6 minutes until skin is browned.  Remove from pan to a baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken.

Drain all but 3 tablespoons fat from pan, reduce heat to medium and add wine to the pan, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan while stirring.  Add shallots and cook until shallots are softened, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.  Add olives and Meyer lemon slices, zest, juice and chicken broth to the pan.  Add chicken back to the pan, skin side up in a single layer.  Cover pan with lid or aluminum foil and place in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through and reaches 165 degrees F.

Remove from oven and set aside, uncovered, for 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

I served mine with spicy broccoli (toss bite sized broccoli pieces in olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, place on a baking sheet and roast at 450 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until slightly charred and softened) and pasta (I used the high protein) tossed with Meyer lemon oil, fresh parsley, freshly cracked pepper and topped with parmesan cheese.

Another veggie that I thing is under appreciated is escarole.  If you sautee it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and some garlic, its initial bitterness and then sweetness on the palate is the perfect accompaniment to the meal and I often toss it with the pasta.

 

Read Full Post »

 

Blueberry Bars Photo

Dessert Time!  If you know me personally, you know how much I love coconut so I was thrilled  I was approached by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council to create a recipe that challenged me to experiment with different and interesting flavor pairings for blueberries beyond the typical pairing of blueberries with lemon. One of the selecting ingredients/flavors for paring was coconut so I knew right were I was headed.  Although blueberries are amazing to eat by themselves for dessert, their deliciousness is only heightened by coconut!

Check out the website littlebluedynamos.com for more delicious blueberry ideas and if you make these for a holiday gathering or really any time of year, please let me know what you think!  

Polka Dot Coconut Blueberry Bars
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup salted butter, cut in to cubes
Pinch salt
1 1/2 cups toasted unsweetened coconut, divided
2-8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1-13.5 oz can coconut milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 1/2 cups frozen high bush blueberries, tossed with one tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9″ x 13″ inch baking dish with foil and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse flour, confectioners sugar, cubed butter, salt and 1 cup toasted coconut until small crumbs form.  Remove I cup flour/crust mixture from processor and set aside.  Press remaining mixture evenly in to prepared pan and bake 18 – 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned on the edges.  Mix remaining coconut with reserved flour/crust mixture.

Meanwhile, to the processor add cream cheese, coconut milk, cornstarch, egg yolks and extracts and salt and process until smooth.  When crust is ready, pour filling over crust.  Sprinkle blueberries over the filling and sprinkle coconut/crust mixture over the blueberries to cover.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set.  Remove to cooling rack to cool completely in the pan.  When cool, remove bars by lifting foil out of pan and cut to desired portions.  Enjoy!

blueberry coconut bars

Read Full Post »

Quick Brined Pork with Blueberry Rosemary Pans SauceHello friends!  I was approached by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council to create a recipe that challenged me to experiment with different and interesting flavor pairings for blueberries beyond the typical pairing of blueberries with lemon.  I was “berry” excited to take up this challenge because I love blueberries all year round!  Not only are they delicious, but the nutritional content of blueberries is reason enough to eat them by themselves.  Check out the website littlebluedynamos.com for more delicious blueberry ideas!  This is an easy to make but pretty enough for your holiday table recipe and you will be asked for this recipe…trust me!  This sauce would also be amazing on chicken.  Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

 

Quick Brined Pork Tenderloins With Blueberry Rosemary Pan Sauce

pork blueberry rosemary brine photo

First, make the brine:

2 cups apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
1 large sprig rosemary
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Pour hot mixture in to a non-reactive bowl.   Fill a large measuring cup or bowl with four cups of ice and top ice with cold water to total five cups.  Pour ice and water in to hot brine mixture and stir.  When ice is melted, add pork, cover and refrigerate for two-three hours.

pork rosemary blueberry brine pan seared

2-1 pound pork tenderloins, cleaned
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup tawny port
1 cup apple cider
1 large rosemary sprig
2 cups frozen highbush blueberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons salted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a baking sheet lightly brushed with olive oil in the oven on the middle shelf.

Remove pork tenderloins from brine and pat dry.

Preheat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium high heat with two tablespoons olive oil until oil is nearly smoking. Season pork lightly with salt and pepper. Sear pork on all sides and place in oven to cook fully, about 15-20 minutes.

When pork is cooked to at least 145 degrees (for medium) allow pork to rest for at least five to ten minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, reduce heat to medium low and deglaze hot pan with port and cider, holding the rosemary sprig with tongs and scraping the browned bits off of the bottom of the pan while stirring.

blueberry pork sauce 11
Reduce heat to med low and add blueberries, stirring occasionally, and cook until liquid is reduced by half.

blueberry pork sauce 1

Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 4 tablespoons butter to pan and stir until mixture is thickened and syrupy and butter is melted, stirring again with the rosemary sprig and allowing it to cook in the pan with the blueberries.  Some rosemary leaves will fall off of the sprig and in to the sauce–that’s ok.

blueberry pork sauce 1111Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

blueberry pork sauce dinner

Slice pork on the diagonal for a lovely presentation and drizzle sauce over sliced pork. Serve immediately.  I served roasted potatoes and sauteed spinach with garlic with the pork and it made for a wonderful meal.  This pork and blueberry sauce combo is also excellent over a spinach salad, topped with crumbled goat cheese…YUM!

 

 

Read Full Post »

I was recently contacted to participate in the “Legends of Europe” blogger Market Basket Challenge. The contest highlights Grana Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano and Montasio cheeses and Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele, which are five PDO (protected designation of origin) products from Europe. The campaign is designed to increase awareness of the products and  celebrates the legendary quality, tradition and taste of these five world–renowned PDO products.

I was randomly assigned Montasio cheese which I had absolutely no familiarity with at all, but I was intrigued….how I could, a lover of all things cheese, not have heard of this legendary cow’s milk creation?   I got on the phone immediately to see if I could purchase it locally (we have some pretty great specialty markets and cheese shops around here) but that was not to be. I found an online source (www.igourmet.com) and they had it to me within 36 hours, all ice packed and protected from the elements.

The cheese is a nutty, rich, sharp and very tasty hard cheese that is perfect alone, over pasta (I have tried it) and in my delicious little wine crackers, the recipe I will share with you.  I also created a fall chutney to bring a little bit of Autumn in New England to my cocktail snack and added to Prosciutto di Parma to add a rich, porky saltiness to the mix….the combination is so wonderful!  Because these crackers are so easy to make, you can prepare the dough up to a month in advance and freeze it and you can make the chutney up to five days in advance, wouldn’t this be the perfect appetizer to make ahead share for Thanksgiving or impress your friends and family at a holiday party?  I think so! 

Legends of Europe Montasio Cheese Crackers

Montasio Cornmeal Wine Crackers with Prosciutto di Parma
and Autumn Chutney

6 oz Montasio cheese, shredded
½ cup butter salted, softened
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1 ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
3/4 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine combine Montasio cheese, butter, flour, cornmeal, pepper and thyme.  Process until a ball of dough forms.  Turn dough out onto floured surface, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and knead in with hands.  Divide dough in half, roll into a 12” log and wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Slice dough on the bias into ¼” crackers, yielding approximately 96 crackers in total. Place crackers on parchment and bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes, turning sheets at 5 minutes.

Slide parchment off cooling rack on to a flat surface and allow to cool completely.

For the Autumn Chutney:

1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup tart apples (such as Macintosh) peeled and diced
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and cook over medium low heat until mixture is thick and syrupy and fresh cranberries have popped, about 15-20 minutes.  Allow to cool and serve with Montasio Cornmeal Wine Crackers

To assemble:

Place 1/2 teaspoon of Autumn Chutney atop Montasio crackers.  Add a thin slice of  Prosciutto di Parma and a curl of Montasio cheese and enjoy!

Crackers are also wonderful with fresh apples, pears, crispy bacon or all by themselves!

Read Full Post »

Dates….love them…..sweet, chewy, nature’s candy really.  So when asked to come up with a recipe from Made In Nature Sun Dried Deglet Noor Dates I was so happy to take up the challenge!  Sweet…I was thinking sweet….date bread, date cookies, date candy…been there, done that but on the savory side, I had always wanted to create a no sugar added barbeque sauce so I though I would try my hand at it…..it was so delicious! 

The dates are so sweet that no additional sweetener was needed and the end result, after slathering on chicken thighs—amazing!  Here’s the recipe and some photos to go along with it, starting with the delicious end result, of course–Sweet Date Barbeque Sauce Chicken Thighs: 

Image

Sweet Date Barbeque Sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced sweet onion
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup AppleJack (or bourbon, if unavailable)
2 cups water, divided
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
24 Made in Nature Dates, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine olive oil, onions, granulated garlic and salt and cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add Applejack, 3/4 water, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 45 minutes until dates are soft.  Remove from heat and add remaining water, apple cider vinegar and tomato paste and puree until smooth.  Bring sauce to a simmer again and enjoy!

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: