Montmorency Tart Cherry Crudo: Chef’s Roll Cherries-Winners Announced

Montmorency Tart Cherry Crudo is a delicious and elegant appetizer, made with Montmorency tart cherries, Ahi tuna, and smoked salmon.
Montmorency Tart Cherry Crudo Recipe

Chef’s Roll recently hosted the Featured Ingredient Challenge with Montmorency Tart Cherries. Their panel of judges published the Top 25 Finalists last week and my recipe, Montmorency Tart Cherry Crudo: Ahi Tuna and Smoked Salmon with Cherry-Balsamic Spheres and Tart Cherry Salsa made the cut.

The Top 5 were announced and my recipe for tart cherry crudo received 2nd Place!

Thank you Chef’s Roll!!  It’s such an honor to be counted in the Top 25 but even more humbling to be counted among some of the best professional chef’s and top home cooks in the country. A sweet victory is made even sweeter by seeing two of my favorite foodie friends and fellow competitors chosen in the Top 25 list: Lisa Keys Owner, Good Grief Cook and Sandi Sheppard. Their entries were amazing…their friendship and camaraderie, priceless!!   

A big thank you to all the chefs who took part in the Featured Ingredient Challenge with Montmorency Tart Cherries. From cherry jerk pork to cherry semifreddo, it was great to see a wide range of uses of Montmorency Tart Cherries in the following forms: frozen, dried, juice, juice concentrate, and canned. Click here to view the Top 25 Finalists and see the Final Winners below. We hope the entries have inspired you to put Montmorency Tart Cherries on the Menu! Check out the top five entries here: http://bit.ly/2dGtD6Z Choose Cherries #montmorencyonthemenu #chefsroll #rollwithus

Grand Prize:

Custom chef knife with Cherry Wood handle by Nora Knives
Black leather knife roll with Cherry Red stitching by JENDE
Custom Lost Car Chef Coat & Apron
Custom Chefs Spoon with Cherry logo

Four Runners Up:

Black leather knife roll with Cherry Red stitching by JENDE
Nora pairing knife
Custom Chefs Spoon with Cherry logo

 

I can’t wait to receive my new knife roll with Cherry Red stitching by JENDE, Nora pairing knife and custom chef spoons with cherry logo! 

My tart cherry crudo recipe:

Chef’s Feed asked competitors to use Montmorency Tart Cherries in the following forms: frozen, dried, juice, juice concentrate, and canned.  I used tart dried cherries, tart canned cherries and tart cherry juice to create my tart cherry crudo. I even threw in some molecular gastronomy, with the addition of cherry balsamic cold oil spheres. I was pleased with the result and happy to add molecular gastronomy to my culinary bag of tricks! 

 

Montmorency Tart Cherry Crudo Recipe

Montmorency Tart Cherry Crudo
Serves 4
ChefsFeed Contest Entry: Montmorency Cherry Crudo: Ahi Tuna and Smoked Salmon with Cherry-Balsamic Spheres and Tart Cherry Salsa
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ pound sashimi grade Ahi Tuna, sliced very thinly
  2. ¼ pound smoked salmon
  3. ½ cup can tart cherries, drained and rough chopped (fresh tart cherries are preferable when in season)
  4. 1/4 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
  5. 5 ounces’ tart cherry juice
  6. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  7. 4 shishito peppers, sliced very thinly and divided
  8. ½ red onion
  9. ½ scant teaspoon Agar Agar powder
  10. 1-2 cups oil (for making spheres)
  11. 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  12. 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  13. ¼ cup Meyer lemon infused olive oil
  14. 4 radishes, sliced thinly
  15. ½ cup Micro greens
  16. Edible flowers
  17. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Begin by making the cold oil tart cherry balsamic spheres. Pour vegetable oil into a large jar or glass with lid. Cover and freeze for at least 1 hour.
  2. In a small sauce pan combine, 5 ounces’ tart cherry juice, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, half of the sliced shishito peppers, and a pinch of salt and pepper (keep remaining peppers for garnish).
  3. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes to release and combine flavors.
  4. Strain to remove solids and return hot liquid to pan.
  5. Add agar agar powder and whisk to dissolve. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat Temperature should be around 120-130 F.
  6. Working quickly, fill a syringe with hot liquid. Hold the syringe high enough to allow droplets to travel in the air before they hit the surface of the oil, but not so high as to make them explode on impact. This will cause the liquid to make uneven spheres. Hold continuous pressure, expelling liquid drop by drop into cold oil. (practice a few times to get the right height to make uniform spheres)
  7. Wait a few minutes then strain the spheres through a fine sieve and rinse with cold water. Reserve the cold oil and continue the process until all liquid is gone. Makes about ¼-1/2 cup spheres.
  8. Peel and cut ½ of the red onion into fine-thin strips. Place strips into a small bowl of cold water with 1 teaspoon sugar and set aside until ready to garnish plate.
  9. Fine chop the remaining red onion.
  10. In a small mixing bowl combine, fine chopped red onion (about 3 tablespoons), 1/2 cup drained and chopped, tart can cherries (fresh tart cherries are preferable when in season) ¼ cup chopped dried tart cherries and remaining shishito peppers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and set aside until ready to serve.
  11. Remove Ahi from package and dry with a clean paper towel. Slice thinly.
  12. Remove smoked salmon from package. Slice salmon into lengths and roll into bundles. Top each salmon bundle with thin sliced Ahi. Arrange bundles on a long serving plate.
  13. Garnish plate with tart cherry salsa, micro greens, edible flowers, shishito peppers, thin sliced radish, onions and drizzle with generous amount of Meyer lemon olive oil. Top with cherry balsamic spheres and serve.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
ABOUT CHEF’S ROLL: 

Chef’s Roll is a global culinary community of professional chefs (culinary student to Michelin-starred), food authors, broadcasters, photographers and other industry professionals. We provide our members with opportunities to gain worldwide exposure and fulfill their career goals. “Presentation is everything” is just as true for your online professional identity as it is at the table. At Chef’s Roll, professionals like you can showcase your talent, career achievements and work experience in a well-designed and easily-expandable profile. 

Montmorency Tart Cherry Crudo Recipe

 

If you enjoy elegant raw fish appetizers like the tart cherry crudo, you will like this one, too:

Hoisin Roasted Portabella Sushi




Savory Bacon Crackers with Tarantas Monastrell Blueberry-Fig Jam and Creamy Goat Cheese

 Savory Bacon Crackers with Tarantas Monastrell Blueberry-Fig Jam and Creamy Goat Cheese is a delicious savory appetizer recipe.
Savory Bacon Crackers with Tarantas Monastrell Blueberry-Fig Jam and Creamy Goat Cheese

TARANTAS TASTE OF SPAIN RECIPE CONTEST OFFICIAL RULES Create your Favorite Recipe & Wine Pairing for a Chance to Win a Trip for 2 to Spain!

WINNERS ANNOUNCED (05/27/2016 ) First Place Tapas: Rebecka Evans  I’m so thrilled to win First Place in the Tapas category of Tarantas Wines, Wine Pairing Contest! There were hundreds of amazing recipes and the judges chose mine! Thank you Tarantas Wines and panel of esteemed judges!!

What wonderful motivation to create a new recipe to win a trip for 2 two Spain with this simple, yet elegant Tapas recipe.  To make this contest even more appealing, there was no need to beg for public votes since Tarantas Wines chose an amazing lineup of  Chef/Judges to decide the winner of this contest. I really enjoy a contest that is motivated by the recipe instead of popularity. 

I choose the Monastrell for its black cherry color and notes of violets and blueberry.

The result, one amazing Tapas recipe: Savory Bacon Crackers with Tarantas Monastrell Blueberry-Fig Jam and Creamy Goat Cheese!

I was so pleased how beautifully the fresh blueberries and figs paired with the Tarantas Monastrell! Follow the link to my recipe on the Tarantas web site to view my submission and hundreds of other original recipes created by home cooks and professional chefs vying for a cane to win the trip to Spain.  The

Monastrell grape grows well in the flat vineyards and warm, rocky soils of the Jumilla region. The wine has a deep black cherry color with purple violet hues. The nose is clean, and fragrant, with bouquet of spice box, violets and blueberry. The wine has a smooth texture, with savory red fruits, soft and round tannins, well-balanced acidity, and a pure finish.

Great with salads, grilled vegetables and meats, rice and pasta, as well as cured Spanish cheeses and Spanish tapas.

Blueberry Compote with Goat Cheese

Savory Bacon Crackers with Tarantas Monastrell Blueberry-Fig Jam and Creamy Goat Cheese
Serves 2
Contest recipe for Tarantas Wines win a trip for 2 to Spain!!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 sleeve (16) saltine crackers
  2. 1/4 pound smoked bacon
  3. 1 sprig rosemary
  4. 1/4 cup fig preserves
  5. 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  6. 1/2 cup Tarantas Monastrell Wine
  7. juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
  8. pinch salt
  9. 1/4 cup mild goat or sheep cheese -
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Cut bacon in half and wrap 1 piece of bacon around each individual cracker.
  3. Lay on prepared baking sheet, seam side down.
  4. Bake crackers for 30 minutes or until crackers are golden brown and bacon is crisp.
  5. Meanwhile: In a small sauce pan combine fig preserves, blueberries, Monastrell wine, rosemary sprig, lemon juice, and pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is reduced by half. Remove from heat, jam will set up as it cools.
  6. Arrange baked crackers on serving plate with a bowl of Blueberry-Fig Jam and goat cheese.
  7. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. See more at: http://www.tarantaswines.com/recipes/?recipe=savory-bacon-crackers-with-tarantas-monastrell-blueberry-fig-jam-and-creamy-goat-cheese#sthash.JGJ6A4r2.dpuf
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

Savory Bacon Crackers with Tarantas Monastrell Blueberry-Fig Jam and Creamy Goat Cheese

I hope you’ll try my savory bacon crackers recipe!

For a list of Grand Prize Winner(s) and other category winners click HERE

Blueberry Compote Goat Cheese

Cocktail Party Presentation with fresh figs!




Sweet and Savory Clam Bake Twice Baked Potatoes (#TaterTalent Recipe Entry)

Twice baked potatoes topped with clams and a sweet and savory Apricot Jezebel sauce!

My recipe for clam-baked twice baked potatoes elevates Penobscot McCrum frozen potato skins and baked potato pulp to an entirely new level. Served in a hot-butter wine broth, accompanied by fresh sautéed clams and a creamy apricot Jezebel sauce, the flavors meld together to create an entrée worthy dish.

Sweet and Savory Clam Bake Twice Baked Potatoes

 

UPDATE: this twice baked potatoes recipe got me a Golden Ticket to the show!! I’m going to World Food Championships in Kissimmee Florida in November, to compete with some of the World’s most skilled professional chefs, and seasoned home cooks. Look out Florida, I’m bringing my ‘A’ game to town!

 

Here’s my latest competition recipe creation…I’m hoping to win a Golden Ticket for the 2015 World Food Championships, from Penobscot McCrum LLC, #TaterTalent Recipe Contest, with my entry…Sweet and Savory Clam Bake Apricot Jezebel Twice Baked Potato.

Panobscot McCrum #TaterTalent

 

Penobscot McCrum recently launched the #TaterTalent Recipe Contest; an official qualifier for the World Food Championships in the Seafood Category. Winners will use Penobscot McCrum quality products in their competition recipes as well as, other vendors products sponsoring the 2015 event. 

My recipe for clam-baked, twice baked potatoes elevates Penobscot McCrum frozen potato skins and baked potato pulp to an entirely new level.

Served in a hot-butter, wine broth, accompanied by fresh sautéed clams, and a creamy apricot Jezebel sauce, the flavors meld together to create a entrée worthy dish.

No matter if you choose to serve the dish as an entrée or side, the quality of Penobscot McCrum products can’t be beat.

Here’s to another food competition entry and the hope of competing at the 2015 World Food Championships.

 

Twice-Baked Clam Baked Potato

Sweet & Savory Clam-Bake Apricot Jezebel Twice Baked Potato
Yields 6
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 Penobscot McCrumb Potato Boats or Cups
  2. 3 cups Penobscot McCrum plain Baked Potato Pulp
  3. 1 pound fresh clams
  4. 1 6.5 ounce can chopped clams in water
  5. 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, plus 6 tablespoons, grated
  6. 1 teaspoon celery salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  9. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  10. pinch red chili flakes
  11. 1 tablespoon plus 4 tablespoons sour cream
  12. 1/2 cup milk
  13. 1/2 cup butter plus 4 tablespoons
  14. 1 cup chicken stock
  15. 1/2 cup white wine
  16. 1/2 teaspoon shallot
  17. 2 tablespoon apricot jam or jelly
  18. 1 tablespoon creamy horseradish
  19. 2 teaspoons chopped chives
Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine, Penobscot McCrum potato pulp, celery salt, onion powder, Old Bay Seasoning, 1 tablespoon sour cream, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste, stir to combine.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in microwave. Rinse canned clams in cool water, add butter and clams and 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese to potato mixture, and stir to combine
  3. Fill Penobscot potato Boats or Cups with about 1/2-3/4 cups potato mixture, top each potato with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese, bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown
For the Fresh Clams
  1. Rinse fresh clams in cold water, drain on paper towel
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saute pan over medium heat, mince shallots and saute until translucent, add chicken broth, white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes until bubbling and hot, add clams and toss until they begin to open. As the clams open, remove the opened clams to a bowl, continue this method until all clams are open and transferred to the bowl.
  3. Discard and calms that remain closed, as they may not be safe to consume.
  4. Add remaining butter to saucepan and stir until melted. Test for flavor, add more broth, wine, or salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Keep broth warm until ready use.
Apricot Jezebel Sauce
  1. In a small mixing bowl combine, 4 tablespoon sour cream, 1 tablespoon creamy horseradish and 2 tablespoons apricot jam
To serve
  1. Place cooked potatoes in shallow bowls, add 4-5 cooked clams to each bowl, spoon hot broth over clams, add a dollop of Jezebel sauce to each potato and garnish with chives. ENJOY!!!
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

Twice-Baked Clam Baked Potato
We’re getting down to the wire when it comes to qualifying recipe competitions for the 2015 World Food Championships. I have a few more recipes to create before my fate as a competitor this November in Orlando, Florida is decided.

I would love to hear what you think of my Sweet and Savory Clam Bake Twice Baked Potatoes, so take a moment to leave a comment in the section below.




Marinated Herb Cheese Appetizer

This marinated herb cheese appetizer is the perfect recipe to make for any holiday party or special occasion.

Marinated Herb Cheese Appetizer

Marinated herb cheese appetizer is simple, yet elegant. The stunning presentation is backed by the luscious flavors of simple blocks of sharp cheddar and cream cheeses doused with summer fresh herbs, then combined with loads of fresh garlic and a mixture of balsamic and cider vinegars. The combination of creamy cheeses and tart-herb infused goodness, transforms the simple, into sublime.

A little prep work is in order when making the marinated herb cheese dish, but is well worth the chorus of o’s and ah’s from your guests.

A few borage or other edible flowers can be used to add further visual appeal and taste.  I used the purple flower from Society Garlic, which grows profusely in California; the flowers are spicy with a strong garlic flavor.

“IDENTIFICATION: Society Garlic is a fast-growing, bulbous plant about two feet tall. Leaves are long, narrow, strap-like, slightly fleshy and smell strongly of garlic when bruised. They grow from fat, tuberous roots which spread to form clumps of plants. The pinkish to mauve, tubular flowers, clustered into umbels of up to twenty flowers are on flower stalks above the leaves. They smell of garlic when picked. Triangular capsules replace the flowers and are grouped into a head. When ripe they split to release flattened, hard black seeds.” Source: eatweedsandotherthingstoo.com 

I served the marinated herb cheese appetizer for my friend’s sons graduation party; it was a huge hit with the guests. I paired the appetizer with a soft whole grain bread. However, you may choose to toast the bread or serve the cheese with rustic crackers for a crisp accompaniment. I prefer bread to soak up all the delicious marinade. 

This marinated herb cheese appetizer is the perfect recipe to make for any holiday party or special occasion.

I hope you enjoy this marinated herb cheese appetizer recipe!

Marinated Herb Cheese Appetizer
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounce block sharp cheddar cheese
  2. 8 ounce block ream cheese
  3. 1 teaspoon sugar
  4. 1 6 ounce jar pimentos (red peppers)
  5. 4 cloves garlic
  6. 4 tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley
  7. 1 bunch green onions (both green and white parts)
  8. 3 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
  9. 2 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
  10. 1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
  11. 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  12. 3/4 cups good quality olive oil
  13. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut cheeses into 1/4 inch squares then in half again
  2. Arrange slices on their ends, alternating one piece cheddar then one piece cream cheese. Make sure cheese is very cold before slicing or it may be necessary to spread the cream cheese over the cheddar with a knife. (see photos in blog post)
  3. Mince garlic and dice pimentos (red peppers), finely chop fresh herbs.
  4. Combine herbs, and peppers in a small bowl, add all remaining ingredients, blend well to combine
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. Pour marinade over arranged cheese, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  7. There will be a lot of liquid at first but it will absorb into the cheese during the marinating process.
  8. Serve with whole grain bread or crackers
Notes
  1. Adjust to your preference with flavored balsamic and olive oils. I've also used Meyer Lemon olive oil, and blueberry balsamic
Adapted from food.com
Adapted from food.com
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Another delicious cheese appetizer to try is my Hot Artichoke and Pimento Cheese Dip.




Italian Stuffed Artichokes

Italian stuffed artichokes are a delicious baked artichoke appetizer. Fresh artichokes are stuffed with fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, then baked until golden.
italian stuffed artichoke

The recipe for Italian stuffed artichokes was introduced to me a few weeks ago by my friend Val Struck, owner of Good Life Food and Events Catering.

It took only one bite for me to decided that this is my new favorite preparation for the tender, leafy vegetable, and I’ve been craving the perfect combination of flavors ever since.

Served with a crisp white wine, the creamy stuffed artichoke marries perfectly with the crisp Italian style bread crumbs. The dish makes for a wonderful appetizer. However, I could eat mine as an entree. The Italian stuffed artichokes are that good!

A little California Artichoke History:

It was the Spanish settlers who brought the artichoke to California. Some artichoke plants were in the gardens of European immigrants.

California’s first artichoke fields grew south of San Francisco, near the town of Half Moon Bay, in the early 1920s.

In 1922, Andrew Molera planted the first artichoke shoots in Castroville. Angelo Del Chiaro, Egidio Maracci, Daneil Pieri, and Amerigo Del Chiaro subsequently leased 150 acres of land and grew artichokes.

In 1923, there were nine artichoke growers. Within four years, there were over 50 growers and 12,000 acres of artichokes growing in Castroville, and in the Monterey Bay area.

In 1924 Daniel Pieri, Amerigo Del Chiaro, Angelo Del Chiaro, Alfred Tottino, and James Bellone formed the “California and Vegetable Growers Corporation.” In 1995, they renamed the company to “Ocean Mist Farms.”
 Source: Wikipedia

Artichokes were named California’s official vegetable on April 10, 2013. California growers boast 99.99% production of all commercially grown artichokes in the United States. Source: Artichokes.org

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Italian stuffed artichokes!

If you like artichoke appetizers, you should also try my recipe for Hot Artichoke and Pimento Cheese Dip!

Italian Stuffed Artichokes
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 large artichokes (6 smaller artichokes for more people)
  2. 1 lemon, halved
  3. 1 3/4 cups bread crumbs (can be made from scratch with leftover bread)
  4. 3/4 cups, plus 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  5. 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  6. 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  7. 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 cup, plus 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  10. Hot water
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Cut artichoke stems to create flat bottom. Cut away tough outer skin of the stem and finely chop the stems. Sprinkle with lemon juice to keep from browning
  3. Remove tough outer leaves of artichoke. Slice the top third off, and with scissors, cut sharp tips of remaining leaves. Rub bottom of artichokes with lemon. Spread leaves to make space for stuffing
  4. Combine chopped stems, breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and combine until moistened
  5. Starting from the bottom leaves, use your hand to stuff the mixture in and between leaves. Push the stuffing downward into leaves as you work your way around to the top of the artichoke
  6. Place artichokes in a baking dish and pour 1 inch hot water around the artichoke bottoms. Drizzle each artichoke with 1 tablespoon olive oil
  7. Rub one side of foil with olive oil and place foil (oil side down) over artichokes and secure tightly
  8. Bake for 45 minutes OR until a fork slides easily into the base
  9. Remove foil. Sprinkle artichokes with remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and broil tops until golden brown (watch while broiling)
  10. Serve hot or at room temperature
Notes
  1. Artichokes can be cut into halves and served on salad plates. Remind guests to remove the Choke before eating the heart.
Adapted from Allrecipes
Adapted from Allrecipes
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 Italian stuffed artichokes are a delicious baked artichoke appetizer. Fresh artichokes are stuffed with fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, then baked until golden.




Radishes Butter and Sea Salt – Simple Summer Snacks

Simple summer snacks that use fresh, real food ingredients are my favorites!
Radish Butter and sea Salt

Radishes, butter, and sea salt; simple summer snacks don’t get any easier or tastier than that! This simple summer snack recipe is best paired with a crisp white or light bodied rosé wine. When making this classic dish, it’s imperative to use the best butter you can find.

I used Kerrygold, a pure Irish butter, but there are many other high quality butters to choose from. Check your local market for butters that are rated AA or higher. These butters contain higher amounts of sweet cream, giving them a sweeter flavor as well as a creamier texture. 

Method:

Soak radishes in cold water and rinse well to dislodge sand and dirt particles.

Cut the radishes in half, leaving the greens attached to create a lovely presentation.

Serve with a variety of sea salts. I used Maldon sea salt, Himalayan Pink Salt with Blood Orange, and Black Sea Salt. The slightly different flavor profile of the individual salts lends nuance to the eating experience. 

The simple combination is superb; these fresh radishes are delightful, simple summer snacks. 

Radishes Butter and Sea Salt - Simple Summer Snacks

More delicious simple summer recipes to try:

Fried Green Tomato and Egg Sandwich

Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette, Mixed Greens and Tuna Salad




Radish and Herb Butter Sandwiches

Radish and herb butter sandwiches are not just delightful to eat, they also serve as a trigger food for memories of my childhood. Today’s recipe is homage to my mom, who introduced me to cultivating radishes and then making them into a scrumptious lunch. There are just too many great radish eating moments to share; suffice to say, they were all yummy! 

Radish and Herb Butter Sandwiches

Radish and herb butter sandwiches make an easy appetizer, and are beautiful when plated; perfect for Sunday tea with friends, or simply enjoyed for lunch. Serve with a light and fruity white wine.

I hope you enjoy these radish and herb butter sandwiches as much as I do!

 

Radish and Herb Butter Sandwiches
Yields 6
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 loaf multigrain bread cut thinly into slices
  2. 1 pound good butter (I used Kerrygold)
  3. 1 large bunch radishes
  4. 1 bunch fresh basil
  5. 1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley
  6. 1 small bunch fresh oregano
  7. Sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Fill clean sink or large bowl with cold water and submerge radishes to loosen sand and dirt. Soak for 2-3 minutes, rinse in cold water and drain on a clean towel
  2. Set butter at room temperature for 5 minutes or until soft enough to blend with herbs
  3. Finely chop herbs
  4. In a medium bowl blend softened butter with herbs, salt and pepper to taste
  5. Slice bread thinly, spread one side of bread with 1-2 teaspoons of herb butter
  6. Slice radishes very thinly and place several slices over buttered bread, serve
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

Radish and Herb Butter Sandwiches

Other radish recipes to try are pan roasted brown butter radishes and Butter Sea Salt Radishes. Those delicious radishes are a simple summer snack and are perfect for a summer picnic!




Copycat Recipe – Carrabba’s Basil Dipping Sauce

Carrabba’s basil dipping sauce is rich, buttery, and packed with fresh basil and garlic; the best sauce for dipping bread into! This copycat recipe recreates the delicious flavor at home.
Copycat Carabbara's Basil Garlic Dip

A perfect accompaniment to any Italian dinner, this basil garlic dip is a must make! Here’s my delicious copycat recipe for one of my favorite appetizers from Carrabba’s Italian grill. 

fresh basil, garlic, sea salt, and red pepper flakes to make Carrabba's basil garlic dipping sauce

Carrabba's basil dipping sauce is packed with olive oil, fresh basil, and garlic; the best sauce for bread! This copycat recipe lets you make it at home!

Serve this copycat of Carrabba’s basil dipping sauce as part of an Italian dinner at home. It will be the perfect appetizer alongside Italian Stuffed Artichokes!

 

Copycat Recipe - Carrabba's Basil Garlic Dip
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  2. 3 large fresh garlic cloves minced
  3. 1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil
  7. 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (optional)
  8. 1 loaf italian bread for serving
Instructions
  1. Using a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon, blend ingredients into a past
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of mixture to serving bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. Optional: serve with a few drops of balsamic vinegar
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/




Minced Chicken and Pork Egg Rolls with Rice Vermicelli

Pork egg rolls are delicious in their own right, but when minced chicken is added to them and they’re served with rice vermicelli, the chicken and pork egg rolls become a feast!

Chicken and Pork Egg Rolls

Make this delicious chicken and pork egg rolls recipe for an appetizer, or serve with Asian noodles as an entrée. They are best served with Sriracha sauce and homemade sweet and sour sauce

Chicken and Pork Egg Rolls

egg rolls and chips, before frying

 

Minced Chicken and Pork Egg Rolls with Rice Vermicelli
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. For the Filling
  2. 1/2 pound ground chicken
  3. 1/2 pound ground pork
  4. 1 small carrot (shredded)
  5. 1 stalk scallion (chopped finely)
  6. 1 package egg roll wraps
  7. 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
  8. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  10. 1/2 teaspoon chicken base (concentrate)
  11. 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  12. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  13. 2 tablespoons water
For the Noodles
  1. 1 package Asian Vermicelli, Rice or Bean Thread Noodles
  2. 1 small carrot (shredded)
  3. 1 stalk scallion (chopped finely)
  4. 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  5. 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
  6. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  8. 1/2 cup chicken stock
  9. 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  10. 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  11. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Filling
  1. Brown ground meat in a skillet over medium heat (for a finer ground meat, blend in a food processor)
  2. Add, carrot, chopped scallion, and all the seasoning to the meat mixture and combine well.
  3. On a dry surface, lay out the egg roll wraps.
  4. Place 2 tablespoons meat mixture onto the lower center of the wrap. Leave about 1/2 inch on all sides
  5. Moisten the edges with water using finger
  6. Fold sides into the middle and roll up, sealing the meat inside
  7. In a large stock pot or deep fryer, add enough cooking oil for frying
  8. Once the oil is heated, add the egg rolls in batches until they are golden brown, place in 200 degree F. oven to keep warm
  9. Dish out and serve with sweet or spicy dipping sauce
For the Vermicelli
  1. Cover noodles with boiling water, allow to rest until ready to use
  2. Reheat the same pan the meat was cooked in, add 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
  3. Saute carrots and scallions over medium heat about 2 minutes
  4. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 3 minutes
  5. Add noodles and stir, cook for additional 3-4 minutes to distribute flavors, add more sesame oil if the noodles seem dry
  6. Serve with egg rolls
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia Easy Asian Cusine
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

 
More Asian-inspired recipes you might like:
Sweet and Sour Soup Noodle Bowl
Udon Lettuce Cups with Creamy Peanut Dressing




Divinely Devilish Deviled Eggs and Cooking Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Deviled eggs are delicious appetizers! Learn the secrets to making perfect hard boiled eggs so you can make my easy deviled eggs recipe. These delicious deviled eggs are made with a chive and onion cream cheese filling. So delicious! 

Learn the secrets to cooking perfect hard boiled eggs and get our easy deviled eggs recipe, made with a chive and onion cream cheese filling. So delicious!

 

Divinely Devilish Deviled Eggs
RWOP Video Host Challenge

After checking out a few of my old posts, I decided to share a few of my favorites over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy this delicious Spring recipe, originally published on May 13, 2011.  

I absolutely love deviled eggs, but I’m very picky about their texture and flavor. After years of deviled egg failures and successes, I’ve come up with many delicious deviled egg recipes. However, this new recipe for deviled eggs, using the Kraft Chive and Onion Spreadable Cream Cheese, is the tops!!

In this video, I’ll also share my tried and true method of cooking perfect hard-boiled eggs! Yup, you heard it here first…the perfect boiled egg! No more over cooked, discolored egg yolks. Just pure yellow, creamy yolks, ready to be whipped up into the most delicious deviled egg filling. The perfect hard boiled eggs can also be used to make a delicious curried egg salad recipe!

This recipe is being linked to GetHimFed Party #28 

WW_featured

  • Deviled Eggs made with Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
    Yields 6
    Cooking the perfect boiled egg makes the best deviled eggs in the world!
    Write a review
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Total Time
    30 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Total Time
    30 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1/4 cup(s) of Philadelphia Chive and Onion spreadable cream cheese
    2. 1/2 cup(s) of Mayonnaise
    3. 1/4 cup(s) of sour cream
    4. 1/4 tsp. of dry mustard
    5. 1/2 tsp. of curry powder
    6. 1 small container pimentos for garnish
    7. 1 bunch fresh chives for garnish
    8. 6 fresh eggs
    Instructions
    1. Fill a medium large sauce pan with ice cold water
    2. Gently add 6 fresh raw eggs to the pan
    3. Place pan on cold stove burner, turn heat to high and set timer for 20 minutes, bring water to a rolling boil then reduce heat to medium high and continue to boil eggs for remainder of the set timer
    4. Immediately remove eggs from heat and run eggs under ice cold water for 1 minute, begin cracking one egg at a time allowing the cold water to run on the egg while peeling, the shell should peel away from the eggs flesh without any sticking or tearing
    5. Cut eggs into halves, gently remove yolk
    6. Place cooked yolks in a fine strainer or sieve and press yolks through with a wooden spoon, scrape egg yolk off of sieve if any remains stuck to the bottom
    7. Add wet ingredients to the strained egg yolks and blend well, add curry powder, dry mustard and season with salt and pepper to taste, mix well.
    8. Place the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a large piping tip, pipe egg halves with filling, garnish with fresh chive, pimentos and a dash of red chili powder. Serve
    At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Learn the secrets to cooking perfect hard boiled eggs and get our easy deviled eggs recipe, made with a chive and onion cream cheese filling. So delicious!
 
 



Pimento Cheese Sandwiches and Salami Straws

 Pimento cheese sandwiches start with creamy pimento cheese, sandwiched between slices of tender, white bread. A side of low carb salami straws make the perfect lunch pairing.

pimento cheese sandwich

 

Flash back to the early 1960’s, Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The creamy tart goodness of pimento cheese spread; a perfect mixture of cream cheese and pimento aka, roasted red peppers, or those little red thingies tucked inside green olives!

Such happy food memories come from stalks of celery crammed full of the pale orange concoction. Who knew how simple it would be to please my pre-adolescent pallet?  

Recreating this pimento cheese sandwiches recipe met the mark. With so much flavor, the pimento cheese almost redefined those early years of snack time glory!

I hope you enjoy this easy sandwich recipe, too. Pimento cheese sandwiches are pure comfort food.

Pimento Cheese Spread
Yields 3
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 pound block yellow cheese such as sharp cheddar, colby jack or your favorite variety
  2. 2 heaping tablespoons Philadelphia chive flavored cream cheese spread
  3. 1/2-3/4 cups mayonnaise
  4. 1/4 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  5. 1 teaspoon tabasco sauce
  6. 1/2 cup chopped roasted red pepper (sold whole in bulk olive section of grocery)
  7. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Shred or cube cheese
  2. Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor, pulse until well combined, open processor several time scraping down sides
  3. Test consistency, additional mayonnaise may be added to make mixture creamier
  4. Salt and pepper to taste
  5. Remove cheese mixture to a mixing bowl if using a small food processor
  6. Add chopped roasted red pepper and stir to combine
Notes
  1. Use immediately for best results, refrigerate remaining cheese in a airtight container for up to three days. Bring to room temperature before spreading
Serving Suggestions
  1. Spread between two pieces of white bread for traditional Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
  2. Spread thin layer of cheese spread over slices of salami, roll into straws
  3. Serve in celery or as a dip for vegetables
  4. Spread over crackers
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 
Pimento Cheese Spread

 

Pimento Cheese Sandwiches with Salami Straws

More sandwich recipes to try:

Grilled Cheese Waffle Sandwich

Radish and Herb Butter Sandwich

[plinker]




Fried Chicken Livers with Sriracha Aioli and Spicy Cauliflower Pickles recipe adapted Food and Wine Magazine

Fried Chicken Livers with Sriracha Aioli
Fried Chicken Livers

My taste buds did a double take this month, when I read the September 2013 edition of Food and Wine Magazine; a common occurrence for me when flipping through the deftly published pages. Truly, one of my favorite periodicals.

James Holmes, Chicken Fried-Chicken Livers just about jumped off the page. Like Pavlov’s dogs, I was in full tilt salivation mode, and couldn’t wait to try the recipe.  James is the chef at Lucy’s Fried Chicken in Austin TX, where the fried dishes are down home, country-style, comfort foods. I know where I’m eating the next time I’m passing through Austin!

Creamy and pungent, coated with a crisp batter and served up piping hot; the taste of fried chicken livers take me back to moms kitchen and my childhood. Mom also made pan-fried calves liver with sautéed onions, a dish I grew to love.  

Several years ago, grocery delis stocked fried chicken livers; perfect for me to nibble while I shopped for groceries. Sadly, fried chicken livers are a relic of the past, no longer being served at grocers delis, and rarely seen on the menu at local restaurants.

The French have eaten liver, Pâté made from duck, calves, and pig livers for centuries. It’s delicious, and healthful if cooked properly. One of my favorite liver dishes, Pâté de foie gras

Pâté de foie gras is considered an ultimate culinary delight, the king of pâtés. Along with its pedigree comes a hefty price tag. Foie gras is French for “fat liver,” and this pâté is made from the livers of specially fattened geese or duck. There’s nothing better than a crisp loaf of french bread, a plate of Pâté , and a bottle of wine.

Some health benefits: The vitamin A found in liver is beneficial to you in a number of ways. It contributes to healthy fertility and proper embryo development. It also helps children to avoid developing asthma, prevents kidney stones, regulates blood sugar and fats. Additionally, the vitamin A found in liver can protect you from some environmental toxins and helps to promote proper development during puberty, according to SteadyHealth.com. The vitamin A and arachidonic acid in liver can improve the health and appearance of your hair and skin. Arachidonic acid also contributes to hydration, intestinal health and growth.

Read more: LiveStrong

 

With anticipation, I searched my local market to find, none! You would think that markets stocking tripe and cows tongue would also have a choice of chicken liver? Sadly, I only found cows liver. I finally found a few small containers, in the frozen meat department at Wholefoods market; freshly frozen, they were nicely cleaned and plump.

Old Fashion Fried Chicken Livers

I have adapted the recipe, omitting the ground cumin from the seasoned flour mixture, substituting my fresh Sriracha Aioli instead of James adobo seasoned mayo; and pared the rich and creamy livers with my Spicy Cauliflower Pickles.  The perfect trio of flavors!

After consuming about half a dozen, I was gastronomically satisfied and my family was nowhere to be found!

Fried Chicken Livers
Yields 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 1/2 cups buttermilk
  2. 1/3 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Crystal
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  4. 1 pound chicken livers, trimmed
  5. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 3 large eggs
  7. 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  9. Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
  10. salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk 2 cups of the buttermilk with the hot sauce and soy sauce. Add the trimmed chicken livers and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Make aioli sauce; refrigerate.
  3. Set a rack over a baking sheet. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the flour in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk. In a third shallow bowl, mix the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour, the cayenne, black pepper, and garlic salt.
  4. Remove the livers from the buttermilk, then dredge them in the plain flour. Dip the livers in the egg mixture, then dredge in the seasoned flour. Transfer to the rack.
  5. In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°. Set another rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Add half of the livers to the hot oil and fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until barely pink inside, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the clean rack and season lightly with salt. Repeat with the remaining livers. Serve hot, with Spicy Sriracha Aioli
Notes
  1. Livers are tough little buggers to fry; they can, and will explode! I suggest using a fry daddy or a very deep saucepan to keep the mess to a minimum, and you safe from oil spatters.
Adapted from James Holms, Food and Wine Magazine
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

How to Trim Chicken Livers

Trim Livers

Step #1 dust with plain flour

Step #1 dust with plain flour

Step #2 egg wash

Step #2 egg wash

Step #3 dust with seasoned flour mix

Step #3 dust with seasoned flour mix

Fried Chicken Livers




Romantic Valentine’s Day Recipes ~ Hoisin Roasted Portabella Sushi and Chocolate Candy Éclairs filled with Crème Patisserie

3 

When planning for a romantic meal with my love, I’m an advocate of finger foods. The sensual quality of feeding your lover a sweet bite of deliciousness, really lends itself to the romance factor of the moment.

10

Main Course: Finger Sandwich Sushi, with Hoisin roasted Portabella mushrooms, is a lighter low calorie appetizer, the perfect recipe to alleviate any quilt associated with the over indulgence of too many Valentine sweets, and the perfect balance to this romantic meal. 

Dessert: Chocolate Candy Éclairs made with tender Pate A` Chou, are filled with French pastry cream, and can be made to resemble heart shapes, traditional Éclair shape, or made into mini bite sized Éclairs.  The dough is very easy to work with, and can be formed into just about any shape.

1Pate A` Chou-cooked and ready to fill

5Mini Éclair Bites

 

I use pre- cut and packaged, Roasted Nori Seaweed, that is readily available in most supermarkets. The roasted brand has a crisp nutty flavor, and a touch of sea salt; a nice alternative to traditional Nori, but a little harder to work with given their small square size.  However, they are easily layered into a sandwich style sushi, which maintain all the sushi flavors without the fuss of all the gadgetry needed for making sushi.  With a little more care it’s also possible to make a sushi roll by using three or four overlapping squares, and a bit of clear wrap to hold the roll together. 

6

 8

Hoisin Roasted Portabella Sushi

Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Japanese
Author: Rebecka Evans Owner At Home with Rebecka
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sushi rice, prepared to manufactures instruction
  • 1 portabella mushroom
  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1 package roasted, square cut Nori
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cucumber, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dry Wasabi powder made into paste
Instructions
  1. Steam sushi rice, keep covered and warm
  2. Clean and slice portabella lengthwise into 1/4 inch pieces
  3. Brush each slice with Hoisin sauce, toast under broiler for 3 minutes, turn and brush other side with sauce, broil additional 3 minutes, set aside
  4. Using a mandolin thinly slice carrot and cucumber lengthwise, julienne half of the sliced vegetables, reserving the remainder
  5. Assemble Sandwich: wet finger with cool water, pinch about 2 tablespoons cooked sushi rice into log shape, place rice on Nori, layer carrot, wasabi, cucumber and portabella on rice and top with a pinch of sesame seeds and another Nori sheet
  6. Assemble Roll: cut a 6×6 piece of plastic wrap and place on counter, overlap three or four Nori sheets onto wrap, wet fingers with cool water, pinch about 2 tablespoons sushi rice into a log shape and place on Nori, layer with vegetables and wasabi, pull one side of Nori sheet over the rice using the plastic wrap, tuck the end under the rice and continue to roll, cut into pieces with a very sharp knife, remove wrap, serve.

 

10

 sushiroll

sushiroll2

Candy Frosted Éclairs filled with Crème Patisserie (French pastry cream) Pate A` Chou:

2

Crème Patisserie  

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Author: Rebecka Evans Owner At Home with Rebecka
Prep time: 
Cook time: 30
Total time:
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, whipped

Directions

  1. Beat eggs and sugar, in a heavy bottom saucepan cook mixture over medium heat till thick (about 20 minutes), add flour, cook additional 8 minutes stirring constantly
  2. Add milk, cook until thick and smooth
  3. Cool, add vanilla, and fold in whipped cream, refrigerate until ready to use

 

 

4

 

Ingredients: Pate A` Chou

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
Directions
  1. Bring water, butter and salt to a bowl, add flour all at once, and stir vigorously until mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl
  2. Remove from heat and add eggs 1 at a time till well blended
  3. Fill a large pastry bag with dough, using a large tip, pipe dough into heart shapes or mini éclairs
  4. Place in preheated, 400 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and bake additional 5 minutes.

Heart Shaped Pate A` Chou

Heart Shaped Pate A` Chou

 




Hot Artichoke and Pimento Cheese Dip

artichoke pimento dip

After reading a post by a fellow food blogger John Griffin, Owner of a most delectable food blog, Kitchen RiffsI was inspired to make a well-remembered family recipe, Pimento Cheese Spread!

John is a food information “bloodhound” which in my opinion, makes him a fabulous food writer.  John says, his underlying food principle is simple, “to discover and discuss what makes a recipe tick, what makes it flavorful.” His recipes show his attention to detail and love of culinary genius!

I’ve taken my inspiration from John’s Pimento Cheese recipe.  I’ve joined Pimento Cheese Spread with one of my favorite recipes, Hot Artichoke Dip and made a spectacular hot and gooey, cheesy appetizer.  Thanks, for the inspiration John!

 
[mpprecipe-recipe:7]
Pimento cheese is really a blast from my past! My mother used to spread it over rye toast and then bake the toasts under the broiler for a few seconds. She also served it as an afternoon snack, chilled and spread thinly between slices of soft Wonder bread, on dark rye toast points or even snuggled neatly inside a crisp celery stick.  I have fond memories of stealing a finger full of the creamy jarred goodness, when my mother wasn’t looking! I always got in big trouble for sticking my finger into the jar but it was worth it!

The flavors of Hot Artichoke dip combined with Pimento Cheese Spread make for a rich and delicious hot dip.

Little Known Facts about Pimento Cheese:

Some believe the origins of Pimento Cheese can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century, when big rounds of cheese became widely available in Southern county stores. However, research complied from Robert F. Moss, details the origin of Pimento Cheese better than any resource I’ve found. Although, many believe it’s origins are founded in the South, it’s true origins are founded in the joint efforts of Northern food manufactures and cookbook writers from the “Domestic Science Movement”.  The movement was established by Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln, an influential Boston cookbook author and cooking teacher.  Pimento Cheese Spread hit the commercial market in about 1910 and is served at the Augusta National, Masters Golf Tournament since it’s start.  For more detailed information read The Curious History of Pimento Cheese by Author Robert F. Marshall.

 

SOURCES:

The Curious History of Pimento Cheese by Robert F. Marshall

Wikipedia: Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln

 

 

dip




Holiday Recipe Exchange and Linky Party

To celebrate the Christmas season, At Home with Rebecka would like to invite you to share your favorite Holiday Recipes.

This is an anything goes Link up so, share your most delectable appetizers, entrees, side dish, desserts and festive cocktail recipes.

We’re pulling out all the stops to make this Linky Party Rock!!

I’ll start by sharing a few of my Holiday favorites!






Homemade Lemon Ricotta – a happy accident!

My new food quest for the foreseeable future, is to learn the art of artisan cheese making. I started my cheese making journey with my previous post Saag Paneer.

When making a recipe for the first time there’s always a chance of creating an “epic fail”, as my daughter would say, resulting in a pile of mush or something that’s akin to a hockey puck. To my delight, a happy accident occurred while making my first batch of soft cheese.

The first recipe was not a successful texture for Paneer because the original recipe I used from SAVEUR magazine did not indicate using whole milk. I used 2 percent milk and had to add and additional 1/4 cup lemon juice to make the curds form. I ended up accidentally making a yummy ricotta textured cheese, with a delightful lemon essence!

I’ve made ricotta cheese before so I had an idea that the first batch might end up resembling a close cousin to ricotta cheese. However, I formulated that conclusion mid recipe when I realized the milk fat wasn’t high enough to make a decent Paneer. I spent a few moments debating whether to dump the failed batch into the trash bin or see the project through and taste the finished product. Happily, I started a new batch of Paneer and finished the first.

The taste test proved the cheese was eatable an in fact, it was rather delicious. My tart and tasty Lemon Ricotta cheese was perfectly matched with my homemade fig preserves and butter toast!

Recipe

8 cups whole milk
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 zest from 1 lemon

Method:
Step 1
Line a colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth, draping the edges over the sides, set in sink.
Step 2
Bring milk to just under a boil in a heavy 4 quart sauce pan over medium-high heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching.
Step 3
Reduce heat to medium low, add juice, and gently stir until curds form. This can take from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Do not over stir.
Step 4
Pour milk mixture into colander and gently rinse curds with cold running water to remove foam and residual lemon juice.
Step 5
Gather corners of cheesecloth together and gently squeeze out liquid, tie opp corners of cloth together to make a sack, and hang it form a large kitchen spoon suspended over a deep bowl. Set aside at room temperature until excess liquid has thoroughly drained from cheese, about 1 1/2 hours.
Step 6
Transfer sack to plate, untie sack and untie cheesecloth, and loosely drape corners over cheese. Place a large heavy pot on top of cheese, then set aside for 30 minutes to compress cheese.
Step 7
Remove pot and unwrap cheese. Cut into 1/2″ x 1″ pieces. Heat oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add cheese, and fry until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon, transfer cheese to a plate and set aside; reserve hot oil in skillet.




Sun Dried Tomato Basil Pinwheels


Sun Dried Tomato Basil Pinwheels
Recipe
1 package jalapeno flavored flour tortillas, giant size
1 package Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups sun dried tomatoes


Method
Spread cream cheese evenly onto flour tortilla, about 3 tablespoons for each tortilla, pinch basil leaves off of stems and place on top of the cream cheese.  Squeeze excess oil from tomatoes and sprinkle evenly over leaves, roll tortilla tightly and slice into pinwheels.

Serve Pinwheels as an appetizer with a fruity white wine



French Inspired Philly Escargot

Creamy Escargot
Win One of Three Delicious Dream Trips!
Week One
 
French Inspired Recipes using Philadelphia Cream Cheese products.  Win a trip to France! Wish me luck!
Real Women of Philadelphia Season Three
Experience the flavors of France with Philly Escargot and crisp Salade de Maison. You will be swept away to the French Country side with just one bite!
  • 15 minutes preparation
  • 25 minutes total time
  • 2 servings
  • lunch French

 Ingredients

  • 7 ounces or 12 Escargot/snails
  • 5 tablespoons Savory Garlic Cooking Creme
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Herb Cooking Creme
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Lemon Herb Cooking Creme
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  1. Drain and rinse escargot in cold water, place in a shallow baking dish
  2. Combine Savory Garlic and Lemon Herb Cooking Cremes, nutmeg, parsley, butter, and minced garlic in a Cuisinart blender, blend for 1 minute or until mixture is smooth
  3. Pour mixture over escargot evenly and bake 500 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until hot and bubbly
  4. for Salade de Maison Vinaigrette: Blend olive oil, Dijon mustard and Lemon Herb Cooking Creme, salt and pepper to taste may add extra fresh lemon to taste
  5. toss chopped romaine lettuce with 2-3 tablespoons vinaigrette
  6. serve Escargot with crostini

 




Kraft Philadelphia Indulgence

Dark Chocolate Nilla Nanners

Kraft has just released their newest and most decadent  product yet… Philadelphia Indulgence! It comes in three flavors, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and White Chocolate.  Available is most stores, this is a must try product!

Spoon it straight from the tub and spread this creamy goodness on just about anything you can imagine.  Here are a few of my creations! By the way, my favorite is the White Chocolate with pretzels!  YUM!

Milk Chocolate Almond Popcorn

White Chocolate with Salted Pretzels




Labor Day Party Favorites: Fresh Peach and Nectarine Pie & Goat Cheese and Marmalade Phyllo Bites


Peach Pie Close

It’s that time of year when the sweet and juicy Palisade peaches are in season and fresh peach pie is on my mind.  I made this pie for my Labor Day Celebration as well as a goat cheese and phyllo appetizer that is savory and sweet.

Fresh Peach and Nectarine Pie
1 package pre-made refrigerated pie crust
1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
4 cups fresh peaches
2 cups fresh nectarines
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter
pinch salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Roll out one refrigerated pie crust into baking dish, in a large mixing bowl combine sliced fruit, flour, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and stir to blend.  Pour mixture into prepared pie plate, dot with butter, cover with remaining pie crust and pinch edges together.  Cut 3 – 4 slits in the top of the crust to allow steam to release.  (optional: decorate with addition pie crust)
brush top of crust with egg wash:
1 cup milk
1 egg
and sprinkle top with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 
Place a foil covered cookie sheet below pie to catch any drips and bake for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.  If edges start to become to dark cover with foil.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.   

 

 

Goat Cheese and Marmalade Phyllo Pastry Bites

Philo Pastry Bites
 
These little Phyllo Bites were also a smash hit at the party.  Filled with a mixture of rich Saint Andre` goat cheese, cream cheese and sharp cheddar; the smooth creamy texture of the filling blended with the crunch of the phyllo pastry, the saltiness of prosciutto and the decadent sweetness of my homemade Cots and Quats Marmalade, made them irresistible. 

1-7 ounce tub Saint Andre` Goat Cheese
5 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup diced prosciutto
1 egg
1 package phyllo pastry
1 stick melted butter
1-16 ounce jar Cots and Quats Marmalade (orange marmalade)
salt and pepper to taste

preheat oven to 425 degrees

Remove phyllo from package and place on a cutting board, cover with a clean damp cloth.  In a Cuisinart, blend together the cheeses until smooth, salt and pepper to taste.

Cut prosciutto into small dice and saute in a dry pan until crisp, set aside until ready to use.  (if pan becomes to dry add a few drops of olive oil)

Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl for 30-40 seconds, set aside until ready to use

Begin making phyllo shells by placing one sheet of phyllo dough onto a second cutting board or other clean surface, remember to cover the remaining phyllo with damp towel, brush pastry with a thin layer of melted butter, add another layer of phyllo and brush with butter, continue this process until you have 6-8 layers of pastry

slice phyllo with a very sharp knife into 4 inch squares, gently press 1 square pastry into small muffin tins allowing a small amount of pastry to drape over the edge, bake on the middle rack of oven for 1-2 minutes or until edges become light brown, remove from oven and fill shell with 1/2 teaspoon cheese mixture, 1/2 teaspoon crumbled prosciutto and then top with 1/2 teaspoon marmalade, bake for additional 3 minutes, cool and serve.

 

Peach Pie and Philo Tablescape