Friday, February 1, 2013
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.
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.