Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tomato Pie


Ingredients
  1. 1 store bought pie crust (or make your own!)
  2. 3-4 lb Tomatoes, sliced ¾" thick
  3. 1 Small onion, diced
  4. 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 Tblsp butter or oil.
  6. ½ C assorted herbs (basil, parsley, & chives)
  7. 1C Cheddar (we used Sweetwater Valley Buttermilk Cheddar a local favorite), grated
  8. 1/4C Mayonaise (has to be Dukes in the South!)
  9. Salt
  10. Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Place tomatoes on baking sheets lined with parchment paper in one layer. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Drop temperature to 300° and allow tomatoes to dry out for 45 minutes or until wrinkled.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°.
  4. Place pie crust in a 9" cast iron skillet tucking the edges under and piercing in several locations with a fork. Cover with parchment or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place in hot oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pie weights/beans and bake another 5 minutes to brown base. Remove from oven. Reduce oven to 350°.
  5. While crust is baking, roughly chop herbs.
  6. Saute onions in butter until transparent. Adding garlic the last minute.
  7. Mix Mayo and cheese together in small bowl.
  8. Place one layer of tomatoes on base of crust and sprinkle with pepper. Add ⅓ of herbs and onion/garlic mixture. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, onions, and herbs. Top with cheese mixture.
  9. Place in 350° oven and bake for 30 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes (the waiting is the hardest part!). Slice and serve.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Peaches & Cream Prosecco Cake from Better Homes and Gardens

Directions

  1. For cake: Allow eggs to stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and flour three 8 1 1/2-inch round baking pans. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In an extra-large bowl beat eggs with a mixer on high 5 minutes or until thickened and light. Beat on medium an additional 5 minutes while gradually adding sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. (Batter will be light and fluffy.) Beat in flour mixture on medium-low until just combined.
  3. In a small saucepan heat and stir milk and butter until butter melts. Add to batter, beating until combined; beat in almond extract. Divide batter among prepared pans.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Dates stuffed with blue cheese

The night before last we ate at the 3 Muses on Frenchmen street. We ordered a number of small plates, and one that I want to try at home was dates stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped with bacon and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. They were served warm and were delicious. They would also be good made with figs. 


Ingredients
20 to 24 Medjool dates (12 to 16 ounces)
4 ounces goat cheese or blue cheese
12 to 16 ounces bacon, preferably of medium thickness
20 to 24 toasted almonds, optional

1 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a baking liner and set aside.
  2. Cut open the dates: Use a paring knife to cut a slit in the side of the date. Use your thumbs to open the date slightly. Remove the pits if your dates still have them inside.
  3. Stuff with cheese: Use a spoon to stuff a little goat cheese or blue cheese into each date. Use the back of the spoon to press the cheese into the date. If you're adding almonds, press an almond or two into the cheese. Press the date closed.
  4. Wrap the dates with bacon: Cut the strips of bacon in half. Wrap each date with a half-strip of bacon. Secure the end of the bacon with a toothpick.
  5. Arrange the dates on the baking sheet: Space the dates a little apart and lay them on one side.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the dates to the other side.
  7. Continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes: Keep an eye on the dates and remove from the oven as soon as the bacon is as crispy as you like it.
  8. Transfer the dates to a plate with a paper towel to drain. If the dates seem greasy, blot the sides as well as the bottoms.
  9. Combine vinegar and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer til thick.
  10. Arrange the dates with toothpicks and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Recipe Notes

  • The dates can be prepped and refrigerated for up to a day before baking. Keep covered.
  • Recipe can be doubled or tripled as needed.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summer berry pie with lemon pastry cream

I made this last night for dinner with friends. I thought it was spectacular! 

1 9" pie crust, blind baked
1 recipe, lemon pastry cream
1 1/2 pints of berries (I used 1/2 pint raspberries, 1/2 pint blackberries, 1/2 pint blueberries), washed and dried
Raspberry or strawberry jelly

Pastry cream
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbl cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 eggs, beaten
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp l real lemon extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 tbl butter

In a saucepan, whisk together dry ingredients, slowly whisk in milk to make smooth mixture. Add lemon juice and cook over medium high heat til boiling. Whisk some of the hot mixture into the eggs. Then add egg mixture back and, stirring constantly, cook til it boils again. Add zest,extracts, and butter. Place a piece of plastic wrap down onto custard and let cool.

Heat some jelly in the microwave for 15-30 seconds til liquid. Paint the pie crust with the jelly. Fill the crust with the pastry cream and top with berries. Glaze berries with more jelly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Monday, June 05, 2017

PiƱa colada icebox pie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pecan shortbread cookie crumbs (about 16 cookies)
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups cream of coconut, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Garnishes: lightly toasted shaved coconut, pineapple wedges, fresh pineapple mint sprigs
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 3 ingredients; firmly press on bottom and up sides of a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely (about 30 minutes).

  • Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a small heavy saucepan; stir in pineapple. While stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook (keep stirring!) 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; cool completely (about 20 minutes).

  • Beat cream cheese at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, using whisk attachment, until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup cream of coconut, beating at low speed just until blended. (Chill remaining 1/2 cup cream of coconut until ready to use.) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.


    1. Spread cooled pineapple mixture over bottom of piecrust; spoon cream cheese mixture over pineapple mixture.

    2. Bake at 350° for 38 to 42 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 4 hours.

    3. Beat whipping cream at high speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup cream of coconut, beating until soft peaks form; spread over pie.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Garam Masala

This recipe is from Epicurious and it's very good--much better than store-bought garam masala. I already had all the needed spices, so it was a snap to make. I used it tonight in my beef keema (use lamb if you want it to be more authentic).
  • A 1-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 dried red chile
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
  • Heat the cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, whole peppercorns, cloves, and chile in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the cumin becomes brown, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or coffee mill, add the nutmeg and mace, and grind until powder fine. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Chocolate Pie

I made this yesterday for dinner with friends. I based it on The Pioneer Woman's recipe with just a few twists of my own. It's easy and delicious. Cuts perfectly.
  • 1 9" pie crust baked and cooled or graham cracker crust
  • 1-1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Half and half
  • 4 whole Egg Yolks
  • 6-1/2 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate (I like Lindt)  Chopped Fine
  • 1 tbl Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbl instant espresso powder
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

  • Before you get started - make and cool pie crust, chop your chocolate, separate your eggs, reserving whites for another use.
  • Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir or whisk together. 
    Pour in milk and whisk together.

    Stir over medium heat until the mixture just barely comes to a boil and becomes thick, about 6-8 minutes (maybe less, maybe more; just watch it!) The second it starts to bubble and thicken (note: It should be thick like pudding!) remove it from the heat. 
  • Stirring constantly, pour a cup or so of the hot mixture into egg yolks. Add egg yolk mixture back and bring back to the boil. 
  • Add the chocolate, vanilla, and butter, and stir until everything is beautifully combined. 

    Strain (you can omit this step, but it does make for a silkier filling) mixture into the cooled pie crust (if there is extra, spoon it into small dishes) and place in the fridge to chill for 4 hours uncovered. 
  • Serve with barely sweetened whipped cream.  (Beat 1 cup cold heavy cream with 2 tbl confectioners sugar until thick. Add 1 tsp vanilla and mix well. Keep cold til ready to serve.)