Saturday, May 24, 2014

Caramel apple tarts

1/2 cup butter at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 tsp salt

Caramel sauce
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp fleur de sel

Crumb topping
6 tbl AP flour
6 tbl dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup pecans, toasted
3 tbl chilled butted, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbl butter
2 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4" pieces
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp whiskey
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Cinnamon rum ice cream

6-4 1/2" tartlet pans

Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in medium bowl until blended. Beat in egg. Add flour and salt and beat just until incorporated. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Gather each piece into ball, then flatten each slightly. Roll out each dough piece on lightly floured surface to 4- to 4 1/2-inch round. Press 1 dough round onto bottom and up sides of 4 1/2-inch-diameter tartlet pan with removable bottom. Pierce crust all over with fork. Repeat with remaining dough rounds. Freeze crusts 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake crusts until golden brown and baked through, about 30 minutes. Cool crusts in pans on rack. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight in pans at room temperature.
Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber, occasionally brushing down pan sides with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add cream, then butter and salt (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until any caramel bits dissolve and sauce is smooth. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over medium-low heat until just pourable before using.
Blend flour, brown sugar, and salt in processor. Add pecans and blend until coarsely chopped. Add butter and process just until small moist clumps form. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Whisk brown sugar and cornstarch in bowl to blend. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add apple pieces and sauté until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar mixture; stir until sugar dissolves, then add next 3 ingredients. Simmer until juices are bubbling and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool completely.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange tartlet pans with crusts on rimmed baking sheet. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons caramel sauce into each tartlet crust. Divide cooled apple filling among crusts. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over each. Bake until apple filling is bubbling and topping is crisp and golden, 25 to 30 minutes (juices may bubble over rims of pans). Cool 5 minutes, then carefully loosen tartlets from sides of pans with small sharp knife and remove pan sides. Cool tartlets 10 minutes, then place 1 warm tartlet on each of 6 plates. Place scoop of cinnamon ice cream alongside each and serve.

Lemon Chess Pie from the Food Network

Yesterday, I wanted a fast and lemony dessert. This really fills the bill--very easy with just a few ingredients. If you like lemon bars, you'll love this pie.  

Total Time:
1 hr
15 min
45 min

Yield:8 to 10 servings

2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon fine yellow cornmeal
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice with pulp
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour and cornmeal. Blend well, then add the eggs and combine well. Add the milk and mix then stir in the melted butter, lemon rind and juice. Pour this filling into the crust and cover then edge of the crust with foil to prevent it from burning, taking care not to touch the filling. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes, removing the foil after 30 minutes. Cool and serve or refrigerate overnight but let sit out 3 hours before serving to warm up slightly. Serve with dollops of whipped cream.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Slow-roasted pork roast

With beef prices going up fast, often the best buy in the store are large cuts of pork. If there are only 2 or 3 people in your family, you may not even look at pork butts or shoulders, but that's a mistake.  You can make several delicious meals and have leftovers to freeze. Here's how to cook the roast and some ideas for leftovers. I bought a shank end pork shoulder the other day for $2 or $3 per pound! Ground beef is more expensive.

Prep time-2 minutes
Cook time - 4-6 hours

Pork Roast Day 1 - serve with mashed potatoes and green veg
Liberally, Salt and pepper the roast. Place fat side up in a heavy oven-proof dutch oven or in a roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake covered for at least 4 hours and up to 6.  Remove from oven and let cool 20 minutes.  Now, take tongs and remove all the fat from the top of the roast and remove the roast from the pan. (If it falls apart, don't worry. Just remove some big chunks from the pan.) Carve and serve some slices. Put the rest of the meat into a container for another day. 

Barbecue - Day 2 - serve with cole slaw and baked beans
Place some meat into a pan and add your favorite barbecue sauce (I like Sticky Fingers Memphis-Style) and season with John Will's dry rub, and a little water. Reheat over low heat, stirring and adding water if needed, until hot and meat is shredded. 

Tacos or tostadas de Carnitas - Day 3 - serve with tortillas or tostadas, refried beans and xni pec (pico de gallo) 
Place some meat in a pan, season with some Goya Adobo seasoning or salt,pepper,garlic powder,and pinch of cumin. Add a little water, if reheating on cooktop. You don't need water, if reheating in microwave.  Heat the meat up and serve.

Quick Chili - Day 4 - serve with cheese, and any other toppings you like.
Chop any remaining meat and place in a pan with 1 can Rotel.  Add 1 can tomato paste, 1 can chopped tomatoes, 1 can red beans, water or chicken stock to adjust the consistency, and season with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes or so. Taste and correct seasonings.