Thursday, October 10, 2013

Great Fall Salad: Beet and Apple Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette

(re-post of a popular recipe from Chef Lee's food column in Redlands Daily Beet and Apple Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette For visual appeal, a mandolin is useful for preparing this recipe. Hand mandolins can be found at kitchen supply stores at an economical price. Alternatively, larger and more durable mandolins can be found at a higher price point, while offering a wider array of sizes and shapes of cuts. FOR VINAIGRETTE: 1 tablespoon brown mustard 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil Salt and pepper to taste FOR SALAD: 1 pound beets, mixed red and golden if available 1/4 cup green onion, minced 1 tablespoon chives, minced 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped 2 apples, sweet or tart, julienned 1/2 cup celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick 3 cups mixture of endive, romaine and radicchio (or substitute with mixture of farmers' market greens with mixture of colors) DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients, except olive oil, in bowl and whisk rapidly (or use food processor or mixer). Slowly add the oil until emulsified. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Leaving the roots and 1 inch of stem on beets, rinse thoroughly. Bake with 1/4-inch of water, covered, 25 to 40 minutes or until beets can be easily peeled with a knife. Cool. When beets are cool enough to handle peel and julienne. Toss the beets with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette and half green onions. Combine chives, parsley and apples with the celery and remaining green onions. Toss with 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Dress greens/leaves with vinaigrette. Place leaves on chilled plate. Place a serving of beets on top of the greens, add celery, apples scattered on top. Serve chilled.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Smoothie Bike.... Just Pedal and Engine Runs

from new downtown redlands juice store.... amazing way to start the day!

From Redlands Daily Facts

Two of my favorite, end-of-summer recipes....

If you have any tomatoes, or any of these fresh herbs, both of these recipes are winners. Pistachio Mixed Herb Pesto Ingredients 1/2 to 1 clove garlic, peeled 2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley 2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 3/4 cup roasted pistachios Salt and pepper 2/3 cup olive oil Directions Into a blender with the motor running, add the garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add all of the herbs, cheese, pistachios, salt, and pepper to the blender, and blend until finely chopped. With the blender running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until the mixture becomes creamy and emulsified. Serve over pasta or use as topping for bruschetta. Tomato Pesto Chef Note: This is a great sauce for pasta salad because it's delicious at room temperature. You could also slather it on bruschetta, grilled fish or chicken. Or make a brunch dish by topping a thick slice of toast with proscuitto, a poached egg and a little of this summer pesto. In summer, when you can get your hands on vine-ripe tomatoes, you don't even need to peel them. To intensify the flavor, you can add a few oven-dried tomatoes. The pesto keeps several days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Ingredients 4 cups peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped tomatoes 5 cloves minced garlic 30 large fresh basil leaves 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Directions Combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the cheese and blend briefly just to mix. Transfer to a bowl and adjust the seasoning.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall is just around the corner...

And you can find locally-grown apples and wonderful butternut squash at farmer's markets and grocery stores practically everywhere. Butternut Squash and Apple Soup 4-5 lbs butternut squash, peeled seeded and diced to make approx 12 cups 1.5 lbs granny smith or other green apple, peeled, cored and diced to make approx 4 cups 1 cinnamon stick 1.5 tsp finely minced ginger 5.5 cups veg stock (or sub with chicken stock) 4 tbsp unsalted butter ¼ cup good quality maple syrup ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 4 cups half and half 1 tsp freshly ground pepper ½ cup unsweetened whipped cream, crème fraiche or mascarpone for garnish. In a large heavy stockpot or dutch oven (I like to use my large LeCreuset), combined squash, apples, cinnamon stick, ginger and stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to simmer and cook slowly, covered until the squash and apples are soft and translucent, for approximately 30-40 minutes. Be sure not to undercook vegetables to ensure a silky and flavorful soup. Remove the pot from heat, and remove cinnamon stick. Add the butter, maple syrup, nutmeg, half and half, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth using immersion blender. (or puree in batches with food processor or blender). Pass pureed soup through a fine mesh strainer, discard solids. Return pot to the stove and bring the soup to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes more. Taste, adjust seasonings. Ladle into warm bowls and serve hot. Garnish with dollop of cream (sub with mascarpone or crème fraiche) or top with diced apples.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Got Tomatoes? Try This Recipe

Herb-Tomato Crostini Makes about 20 appetizer servings 1/4 cup olive oil 2 garlic cloves, pressed 1 (8.5-oz.) French bread baguette, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 teaspoon salt (large pinch or two small) 1/8 teaspoon pepper (or ‘small pinch’) 1 large tomato, finely chopped 3/4 cup finely chopped green onions 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese Tip: This is a great ‘make ahead’ recipe. If you make this mixture the night before and allow to sit in refrig in a bowl, the flavors will be greatly enhanced when you serve them the next day. Don’t top the bread until just before serving. (to prevent bread from becoming soggy). Another idea is to serve the topping in a bowl and serve cut bread in basket to side. That way guests can assemble themselves! Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together olive oil and garlic; brush on 1 side of each bread slice. Place bread slices, garlic sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly toasted. Whisk together lemon juice and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add tomato and next 3 ingredients; gently toss to coat. Top each bread slice with tomato mixture (about 2 rounded teaspoonfuls each). Sprinkle with cheese.

Great Warm Weather Recipe

Melon, Mozarella and Prosciutto Skewers 20 cantelope or honeydew cubes, 1 inch pieces, about 2-3 cups 20 thin slices of proscuitto, about ½ lb 20 fresh mozzarella cheese balls, about one 8 oz tub 200 wooden skewers, 4 inch or longer Fresh ground pepper Thread 1 melon cube wrapped in half a proscuitto slice, and then one mozzarella ball wrapped in half proscuitto slice in alternating order onto wooden skewers. Sprinkle each with fresh ground pepper

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Healthy and Colorful Green Beans Available Now at Your Local Farmer's Market

Great Summer Green Beans Recipe

Green Beans with Lemon-Butter Bread Crumbs and Toasted Almonds 5 tbs unsalted butter ¼ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) Zest of 1 lemon (a microplane works great for this step) 1 tbs kosher or sea salt, more may be needed after tasting 1 ½ lb fresh green beans, stem ends trimmed 1 ½ tbs fresh lemon juice ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted Salt, fresh ground pepper to taste In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbs of butter. Add the panko and toast crumbs, stirring constantly, until golden brown and crisp- about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Set aside. Fill a large saucepan two thirds full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tbs of salt. Add the beans and cook until bright green and still very crisp, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl two-thirds full of ice water. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the beans to the ice water. Let cool in water for about 2 minutes and then drain thoroughly. Blot dry with paper towels and set aside. In large skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 tbs butter and swirl to coat the pan. Add the green beans and sauté, stirring constantly until the beans are heated through, but still crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and almonds, sauté for 1 minute longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with panko topping and serve immediately. To make this dish ahead: Blanch green beans up to one day in advance. Spread the cooked beans on dry paper towel or a clean cotton towel, roll up in ‘jelly roll’ style and place in sealed plastic bag and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 2 hours before sautéing. The panko topping and toasted almonds can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Cover and store in separate airtight containers at room temperature.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Easy Grilled Chicken Recipe

Citrus Rosemary Balsamic Grilled Chicken INGREDIENTS 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup rosemary leaves, minced 3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic 2 tablespoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts Salt and freshly ground black pepper DIRECTIONS In a medium bowl combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine and pour into a 1-gallon resealable food storage plastic bag. Place chicken breasts in the bag and seal it. Turn to ensure that the chicken is evenly coated, then refrigerate, turning occasionally, for a minimum of two hours and a maximum of eight hours. Preheat a grill to medium low and brush the grates lightly with an oil-soaked cloth. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Season the chicken well on all sides with salt and pepper, then place on the grill, skin side down. Cook the chicken about eight to 10 minutes, turn and continue to cook an additional eight to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and serve.

Perfect Summer Marinade !

Citrus Marinade This marinade is fantastic for grilled chicken or fish. Marinade minimum of two hours and a maximum of eight hours. I usually marinate chicken or any tougher cuts of meats overnight. INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup orange juice (juice of 1 orange) 1/2 cup lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons) 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped 1 1/2 inch section fresh ginger, peeled, minced 1 tablespoon soy sauce 3 cloves garlic, minced DIRECTIONS Marinate chicken or fish by placing in a zipper-lock bag submerged in liquid. Marinate maximum of eight hours.

The Best of Summer ...

Summer Tomatoes 101 Once feared as poisonous and then considered a possible aphrodisiac, the "love apple" now adds its vivid color and delicious flesh to innumerable dishes. Like the potato, this fruit (which is generally treated as a vegetable) is a member of the nightshade family and is native to South America. After finally gaining acceptance as a food in Europe and the United States, tomatoes became an inextricable part of many cuisines, especially those of the Mediterranean. In Italy, they are used to make sauce for pasta, pizza and many other dishes. Sliced tomatoes are served with fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and balsamic vinegar to make a Caprese salad. Other recipes that depend on tomatoes for their character include minestrone, gazpacho, ratatouille, Greek salad and tomato soup. And, of course, tomatoes are a staple of New World cuisine from the American South's fried green tomatoes to Texas' chili con carne, from Latin America's salsa cruda to the "BLT," bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. Who doesn't love a great BLT in the summer made with garden fresh tomatoes? Today's health conscious cooks know that, far from being poisonous, the tomato is high in vitamin C and cancer-fighting antioxidants. The tomato comes in a wide range of sizes, from tiny currant tomatoes no bigger than blueberries to fat beefsteaks up to 5 inches in diameter. The colors are varied, too, from white to purple black to reddish black, with green-striped zebra tomatoes. Dedicated gardeners have traced and reintroduced a number of heirloom tomatoes. Look for heirloom tomatoes in a wide variety of colors, size and shapes. Storing tomatoes: Most tomatoes, if left whole, should not be stored in a refrigerator. Store ripe, uncut tomatoes at room temperature for several days and the will ripen further. Although whole fresh tomatoes should not be refrigerated, cut tomatoes should be wrapped in plastic wrap or wax paper and then refrigerated.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Fun Recipe to Prepare with Kids !

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese For a kid-friendly appetizer, fill bite-size cherry tomatoes, round or pear-shaped, with a savory mixture of goat cheese flavored with basil. Minced tarragon or chervil can be used in place of the basil. 24 cherry tomatoes, a mixture of red and yellow 1/4 pound fresh goat cheese (ch vre) 1/4 cup minced fresh basil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Cut the top off each cherry tomato. Using a small spoon, scoop out the pulp to make a hollow yet sturdy shell. Drain off any juice that accumulates in the shells. In a bowl, combine the cheese, basil, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork until well blended. Using the small spoon, fill each tomato with about 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Arrange the filled tomatoes on a platter to serve.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Chef Lee during Farm-to-Table Cooking Class

Great as a dip or as a pizza topping ...

Pistachio Mixed Herb Pesto Ingredients 1/2 to 1 clove garlic, peeled 2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley 2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 3/4 cup roasted pistachios Salt and pepper 2/3 cup olive oil Directions Into a blender with the motor running, add the garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add all of the herbs, cheese, pistachios, salt, and pepper to the blender, and blend until finely chopped. With the blender running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until the mixture becomes creamy and emulsified. Serve over pasta or use as topping for bruschetta.

Keep Cool in the Heat with this Flavorful, Seasonal Dish

Sugar Snap Peas with Mint We're entering the hot season, but we're also entering the season for wonderful farmers' market peas. This recipe makes a great side for any summertime meal. Serve in chilled bowls to keep guests comfortable in the heat. INGREDIENTS 2 teaspoons olive oil 3/4 to 1 pound of sugar snap peas, trimmed 3 green onions, chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely shredded or chiffinaud DIRECTIONS Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar snap peas, green onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir fry for four minutes, then remove from heat and stir in mint leaves. To serve cold, allow to come to room temperature, then store in refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight. Serve chilled on bed of farmers' market red leaf butter lettuce or similar large leaf green.

Great Summer Grilling Recipe !

Grilled Artichokes with Olive Oil, Lemon and Fresh Herbs Seeing all the beautiful artichokes at last week's farmers' market inspired me to locate this favorite recipe. Be sure to serve artichokes made with this method, along with any summertime barbecue with friends. They'll never forget how wonderful grilled artichokes can taste! INGREDIENTS 2 lemons, halved 6 large artichokes 6 tablespoons butter 6 tablespoons olive oil 2 shallots, minced 4 tablespoons white wine 4 tablespoons lemon juice 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as basil, marjoram or thyme Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste DIRECTIONS Bring large pot of water to boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze lemon juice into cold water. Cut stems off artichokes, leaving about 1 inch. Snap off outer two rows of leaves and cut off one-third of artichoke. Quarter artichokes lengthwise. Using a paring knife, cut out fuzzy choke and prickly small leaves. Place cut artichokes in lemon water as you finishing cleaning them. Place cleaned and trimmed artichokes in pot of salted boiling water. Boil artichokes until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a rack and cool. Note: Artichokes can be prepared, to this point, up to one day ahead. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate until finalizing preparation just before serving. Prepare barbecue for medium-high heat. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add shallots, saute about one minute. Stir in white wine and lemon juice, cook about one to two minutes more and keep warm. Grill artichokes and baste with butter mixture. Grill until tender and lightly charred in spots, turning occasionally, about eight minutes. Transfer to a platter and drizzle artichokes with butter mixture and season with salt and pepper. Serve artichokes with remaining mixture in a dipping bowl.

Beer-Brined Grilled Pork Chops

Beer-Brined Grilled Pork Chops Support our local economy and purchase a locally brewed beer from a Redlands brewery. Be sure to look for "bone-in" pork chops for a richer more flavorful cut of meat. INGREDIENTS: 2 cups water 2 cups dark lager beer (choose from a wide-variety of local brewers) 1/4 cup coarse salt 3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar 3 tablespoons mild-flavored (light) molasses 1 cup ice cubes 6 1- to 1 1/4-inch-thick center-cut bone-in pork chops 7 large garlic cloves, minced 3 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons dried sage leaves 1 bunch of fresh sage leaves for garnish DIRECTIONS: Combine 2 cups water, beer, 1/4 cup coarse salt, sugar, and molasses in large bowl. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Stir in ice. Place pork chops in large resealable plastic bag. Pour beer brine over pork chops; seal bag. Refrigerate four hours, turning bag occasionally. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Remove pork chops from beer brine; pat dry. Mix garlic, pepper, 2 teaspoons salt and sage in small bowl. Rub garlic mixture over both sides of pork chops. Grill pork chops until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of chops registers 145 F to 150 F, about 10 minutes per side, occasionally moving chops to cooler part of rack if burning. Transfer chops to platter; cover with foil, and let stand five minutes. Garnish with fresh sage leaves.

Fantastic Summer Zucchini Recipe

Lemon Zucchini INGREDIENTS 15 to 20 very small zucchini Salt to taste 1/2 lemon DIRECTIONS Trim unpeeled zucchini and shred on a small or medium holes of a handheld shredder or grater or a fine-holed disk of a food processor. Put the zucchini into a large saute pan, cover and place over high heat for 20 to 30 seconds. Uncover and stir, adjusting the heat as needed so the zucchini does not burn. Re-cover, let steam again for 10 to 20 seconds, then uncover and stir. Repeat until the zucchini is just heated through, it should remain crisp and green. If too much juice appears, leave off the cover to reduce liquid. The whole process should only take a few minutes. Just before serving, add salt and squeeze of lemon. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.

Great Summer Corn Recipe

Grilled Corn with Chipotle Butter and Cilantro Boiling corn leaves some of its natural sweetness behind in the water, while grilling corn intensifies its flavor. Grill the ears in the husk to steam the kernels, then peel back the husks and slather the ears with a spicy, smoky chipotle butter. INGREDIENTS: 4 ears corn 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 2 teaspoons finely minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, or more to taste Kosher or sea salt 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro DIRECTIONS: Prepare a moderately hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium-high (375 to 400 F). Carefully peel back the corn husks without removing them, then pull out and discard the thread-like silk. Replace the corn husks and tie the tips closed with kitchen twine. Soak the ears in a sinkful of cold water for 20 minutes. Put the butter in a small bowl. Add the chile and a large pinch of salt and stir to blend. Taste and add more salt or chile, if desired. Place the corn directly over the coals or gas flame and cover the grill. Cook for about 15 minutes, giving the ears a quarter turn every 3 to 4 minutes as the husks brown. Transfer the corn to a platter. Snip the ends of the husks to remove the twine tie. Remove and discard the husks. While the corn is hot, slather it with the chipotle butter, then sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve immediately

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fantastic game party recipe...

Tavern Nuts For your game party, place a bowl of these nuts beside the bar of throw in the mix of buffet dishes. Wherever you serve them, these flavorful nuts will be irresistible for guests. Ingredients For the spice mix: 3 tbs turbinado sugar 1 tbs kosher salt 2 ¼ tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp cayenne pepper ¾ tsp ground ginger ½ tsp freshly ground pepper ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 cup raw unsalted almonds 1 tbs grape seed oil, plus more for greasing 2 cups raw unsalted pecan halves 1 ¼ cup raw unsalted cashews 2 FL OZ simple syrup 1 ½ tsp light corn syrup Directions To make the spice mix, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar, salts, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, black pepper and nutmeg. Set aside. Preheat oven to 300F. Spread the almonds on baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to a plate and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 275F. Grease a clean baking sheet with grape seed oil. In a large bowl, combine almonds, pecans, cashews, simple syrup, corn syrup and 1 tbs grape seed oil and spice mix. Toss gently until the nuts are evenly coated. Spread on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until spice mixture is caramelized and the nuts are lightly toasted, 25 to 40 minutes. To check for doneness, take a few nuts out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes: if done, they will be dry to the touch. Let nuts cool completely before storing in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 1 week before service. Makes approximately 4 cups.

Perfect for a "big game" party...

Spanakopita Ingredients 1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, coarsely chopped, stems removed. 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 4 farmer’s market eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 pound prepared puff pastry dough, thawed if frozen 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 375 F. Heat a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the spinach with rinsing water clinging to leaves, cover and cook until wilted, about one minute. Drain well on paper towels, then squeeze out as much of the remaining liquid as possible. Place spinach in a large bowl and add the feta cheese, grated Parmesan, eggs, mint and nutmeg. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Lightly butter a baking sheet. Cut the puff pastry sheets lengthwise into three equal strips. Remove one strip and cover the remaining dough with slightly dampened kitchen towel to prevent dough from drying out. Place strip on work surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Place another strip on top, brush the second strip lightly with melted butter. Place a heaping teaspoon full of filling blend about 1 inch from the bottom of the strip. Fold the uncovered end over the filling on a diagonal to form triangular shape. Bring the bottom of the triangle up against the straight edge. Continue folding in this manner until the top of the strip is reached, forming a triangular pastry. Brush lightly with melted butter. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry and filling. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a platter. Serve immediately.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Baked Brie with Apple Compote

Ingredients 1 tbs unsalted butter 2 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch dice ¼ cup sugar 1/8 tsp ground cardamom 1 round Brie cheese, 6-8 oz and about 4 ½ inches wide, slightly chilled 10 inch round puff pastry dough, rolled out to ¼ inch thickness 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbs water Water crackers for serving Directions In a 2 quart sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and have released most of their liquid, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add the sugar and cardamom, stir to dissolve and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 12-15 minutes more. Remove from heat and let apple compote cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, cut the cheese in half horizontally. Place one half of the cheese, sliced side up, and evenly spread ½ cup of apple compote over surface. Set the other half, sliced side down, over the compote and spread ½ cup compote over the top. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and set the cheese in the center of the dough. Fold the dough up over the sides of the cheese, pleating the upper edges to fit snugly around the cheese. Pinch the dough together in the center to seal. Brush the dough evenly with the egg wash and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until pastry is golden all over and crisp, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Let baked brie rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a platter along with a sharp knife and crackers. Serves 6-8. Note: This appetizer can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Assemble the pastry, cheese and apple compote, but don’t brush the dough with the egg wash. Instead, wrap the pastry tightly with a plastic wrap and freeze until ready to bake. Then brush the frozen pastry with egg wash and bake in a 350F oven for 45-50 minutes.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sweet Potato, Corn and Edamame Hash

This seasonal dish is a crowd pleaser and makes a fantastic addition to any buffet. To serve for brunch, plate over a fresh bed of arugula and top with a poached egg. 1 sweet onion, diced- rough chop (we used maui onions, but yellow onion will work) 1 tbsp olive oil 2 (or 4 small) large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 in cubes 8-10 oz of diced smoked ham 1-2 garlic cloves, minced 1 12 oz package uncooked frozen shelled edamame 1 12 oz package frozen whole kernel corn 1/4 cup chicken broth 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper Saute ham and onion in hot oil in a skillet over medium heat-high heat. (I prefer to use a large cast iron skillet but a standard non-stick skillet will work). Sautee for approx 6-8 minutes or until onion is tender and ham is lightly browned. Stir in cubed sweet potatoes, and sauté for additional 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute max. Stir in edamame and remaining three ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally 10-12 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Favorite Citrus Salad !

Arugula, Fennel and Orange Salad This time of year when our local citrus is at it’s best, this salad makes a beautiful presentation and unique flavor combination. The bright flavors and beautiful color of fresh arugula and fennel, combined with tangy sweetness and wonderful color of local oranges come together in this vibrant salad. You can make the vinaigrette and prepare the fennel and oranges ahead of time and refrigerate. Then combine all of the elements just before serving. Ingredients ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice 2 tsp grated orange zest 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbs canola oil 2 tsp Dijon mustard ½ tsp dried tarragon 1 shallot, chopped salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 large fennel bulb 3 large local oranges 4 cups arugula Directions To make vinaigrette, in small bowl , whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, mustard, tarragon, and shallot. Continue rapid whisk while pouring olive oil and canola oil into mixture in bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Cut off the stems and feathery fronds of the fennel bulb and remove any bruised or discolored outer layers. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and cut out any tough parts. Cut the bulb halves crosswise into slices 3/8 inch thick and then cut the slices into 1 inch lengths. Working with one orange at a time, and using a sharp knife, cut a slice off both ends of the orange to reveal the flesh. Stand the orange upright on a cutting board and slice off the peel and pith in strips, following the contour of the fruit. Cut the orange in half crosswise, place each half cut side down, and thinly slice vertically to create half moon shapes. Repeat with the remaining oranges. Place the fennel and arugula in a large serving bowl, add half of the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat thoroughly. Arrange the orange slices in a pinwheel or other design on top. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and garnish with finely cut fennel greens. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

Perfect Appetizer.... for any party!

Stilton Stuffed Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce Ingredients 2-3 doz boiled shrimp, shelled and cleaned, tails left on Handful of chopped chives, fine cut (or sub with Italian parsley) Crumbled blue cheese (stilton, Roquefort, blue variety) Directions Cut shrimp ¾ way through with paring knife. Stuff crumbled blue cheese in opening. Roll shrimp stuffed with cheese in chopped chives or parsley. Serve shrimp chilled with cocktail sauce

Deviled Eggs... with a twist!

Smokey Deviled Eggs Every party needs a plate of deviled eggs. This recipe makes for a traditional flavor base but with a slight twist. Be sure to garnish with paprika for a colorful presentation. 10 eggs 7 tbsp good quality mayonnaise 1 tsp champagne vinegar 2 tsp Dijon mustard ½ tsp dry mustard ¼ tsp curry powder ¼ tsp cayenne pepper ¼ tsp paprika salt and pepper to taste Place eggs in a large sauce pan of cold, salted water over high heat. Bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for exactly 9 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the water and place under cold running water until cool to the touch. Gently crack the shells and peel the eggs under the running water. Halve the eggs. Scoop the yolks into a food processor and process until smooth. Cut a thin slice from the underside of each white, so they will sit flat on a plate. Arrange on plate and set aside. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, Dijon mustard, dry mustard, cayenne, and curry powder to the yolks., Process briefly until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings. Spoon the yolk mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with paprika and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Guacamole !

Guacamole To me, the best guacamole is made with avocado, onions, jalapeno, lime, salt, and cilantro. The amounts of the ingredients can vary. The important things are to taste for a balance of salt, heat, and acid to make the guacamole taste perfect. 2-3 large ripe avocados 2-3 small juicy limes 1 jalapeno pepper 4 green onions cilantro salt 1 tomato, optional Halve the avocados, remove the pits, scoop out the flesh into a mortar and season with salt. Trim and slice green onions and put them in a small bowl, add salt and squeeze in the juice of 2 limes--- totally mashing the onions into the lime juice. Cut off the stem of the jalapeno, cut the pepper in half lengthwise and remove the membranes and seeds. Flatten the pepper and cut into fine dice. Mash the avocado but leave it a bit chunky. Add the onions and lime juice, along with the jalapeno (add half or whole depending upon how hot you like it). Mix lightly. Taste and add more salt or lime juice, as desired. Chop a handful of fresh cilantro leaves and stir into guacamole. Serve with toasted tortilla chips.