Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Few weeks ago I won a Nordicware Platinum French Tartlette Pan from Gratinee and I have been wanting to use it but couldn’t figure out what to do. And I have to say I love the pan. This past weekend I used it twice and it makes these amazing bite size tartlettes. I love it. So thank you for the gift.
One of the things that I made this weekend was Peach Tartlettes and they were Delishhh!
I found this Peach Tart recipe on Alexandra’s Kitchen that I adjusted a little and made into Tartlettes. But I do have to say that this dough recipe is excellent and I will use it again in the future.
You can really add any fruit you want into this tartlette I just happened to have these amazing sweet peaches around to use.
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Chill Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 25 minutes
Preheat oven to 400F
Yields 24 tartlettes (double recipe to yield two 9-inch tarts)
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup and 1 tbsp ice water
Using a food processor add the flour, sugar and salt together and pulse. Then cut butter into flour mixture and pulse again until the butter is completely incorporated. Add ice water and continue to pulse until mixture comes together to form a mass.
Add more ice water if necessary, one tablespoon at a time. Gently form mass into a ball and divide into two equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes and as long as overnight. (Dough can be frozen, too.)
2 peaches, diced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix together in a bowl and set aside
On a lightly floured work surface, roll one dough ball out. Then take a round cookie cutter or glass and make circles out of the dough. Enough to make 12 of them and add them to the tartlette pan. Then do the same with the other dough ball. Add peaches to each tartlette.
Cook in 400F oven for about 25 minutes or until crust is golden. Let cool for five minutes on tray.
Friday, September 3, 2010
A Crayfish Party “Kräftskiva“ is a traditional summertime eating and drinking celebration in Sweden, but has since spread to other countries. Crayfish parties are generally held during August, a tradition that started because crayfish harvesting in Sweden was, for most of the 20th century, legally limited to late summer. Today most people just celebrate some time in August, also to be able to keep the party outside due to the weather. Usually you have special decorations, paper hats, paper tablecloths, paper lanterns (often the Man in the Moon), and bibs. As in Sweden when you have parties like this it is usually very custom to have drinking songs with your schnapps “snapsvisa.”
In Sweden it is really easy to get fresh or frozen crayfish but if you are in the US you probably have to go to your local fisherman and get some. If you get fresh ones the first thing you have to do is get the crayfish to “empty their guts.” Basically what you do is jut put them in cold water with some salt and let them sit in there for at least 30 minutes and rinse the water once at least too. If you already get frozen or dead crayfish you can just boil them right away in the brine.
People have different traditions of what they serve with their crayfish. Traditionally you just server the crayfish with crispbread “knäckebröd” i.e. Wasa Bread, and some schnapps. But nobody got satisfied on that so today people add a few more things to their menu. Most of the time you have different kinds of breads, different kinds of Quiches, usually Cheese Quiche or Quiche Lorraine. Some will add Herring, Potatoes and Meatballs too. Most folks will do some kind of a sauce for the crayfish like Aioli, Rouille or Yogurt sauce with Dill. Then for dessert most folks will make a Strawberry cake.
Either way it is always a good time!
Serves: 4-6 people
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Brine Time: 3-24 hours
2 ½ lbs crayfish
2 ½ quarts water
¼ cup kosher salt
5 large stalks of crown dill
Boil the water, add the salt, and the crown dill. Put in the crayfish one after the other with the head first and cook for 10 minutes. Then let them cool in this brine in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours but some people recommend they sit at least 24 hours.
Before serving remove them from the brine.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I love making soups. I usually make a pot of a soup on Sunday and then I can have it during the week for lunch or dinner, and as the weather changes soups are great to keep you warm. I even have dinner parties where all I have is a buffet of soups and people love it.
One soup I never understood was minestrone. I don’t know why but I was never a minestrone fan, every time I ordered it at restaurants I got a broth with some vegetables in it and because of that I never made it at home. That is until my husband said he wanted me to try to make a good minestrone sour. Well I think I might have found my new favorite soup. I am telling you this is the best minestrone I have ever had, not that I have lots to compare to but this is my new favorite soup right now.
Minestrone literally means “big soup,” it is an Italian classic packed with vegetables, pasta, beans and lots of other goodies.
I found this recipe from The Culinary Institute of America Book of Soups and made a few adjustments but it is their basic recipe. I do have to say this cookbook is great if you are looking for a good soup book.
Take out some of the chicken stock you made last week and make this soup!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ounce pancetta or bacon chopped (5-6 thin slices)
1 ½ cups chopped green cabbage
1 cup chopped onions (1 onion)
1 cup sliced carrots (2 carrots)
¼ cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped, drained, canned plum tomatoes
2 quarts Chicken Stock
½ cup peeled, diced potato (2 potatoes)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese rind
3 ounces angel hair pasta broken into 2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
½ cup drained chickpeas
½ cup drained kidney beans
1/3 cup basil pesto
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta/bacon and cook until the fat melts, 3-5 minutes. Do not brown.
Add the cabbage, onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
Add the broth, potato, and Parmesan cheese rind. Bring to as simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
Meanwhile, cook the angel hair pasta according to package directions. Drain.
When the vegetables in the soup are tender, add the cooked pasta, chickpeas, and kidney beans. Remove and discard the Parmesan rind.
Season the soup to taste with the pesto, salt and pepper.
Serve in bowl and sprinkle with cheese.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Do you have lots of fresh basil in the backyard and wondering what to do with it? A great idea is to make pesto. You can freeze it and use it through the year until your next crop. It only takes 5 minutes.
Here is a very simple recipe.
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Using a food processor combine the basil and the pine nuts. Then add the garlic and then slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream into the mixture. After that add the cheese and then the salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with pasta.
Makes 1 cup.
Friday, August 27, 2010
It is that time of the month again, here is the next Daring Bakers challenge.
The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.
I am not a big fan of the Baked Alaska, most place in Seattle have it on their dessert menu and I have tried it enough to know that I do not enjoy it. I think it is the soft meringue that throws me off. So for this challenge I decided to make the Ice Cream Petit Fours sprinkled with heath bar crunch.
Petit Four belong to a category of small fancy cookies, pastries, or confections called “petits fours”. The name petit four seems to have originated from the name of the ovens (petit four meaning ‘small oven’) they were baked in. In the 18th century the ovens were made of brick and once the large cakes were baked, small cakes were placed in the ovens as they were cooling down.
Petits fours can be eaten in one or two bites and these fancy pastries are further divided into “sec” or “glace”;. “Sec” meaning “dry” and “glace”; meaning “iced or frosted”. Petits fours sec usually refers to small biscuits (cookies) or pastries which have little done to them once baked. Tuiles, macaroons, cigarettes, meringues, and ladyfingers are some examples. Commonly served with afternoon tea or with ice cream, sorbet, or custard. Petits fours glace are pastries that can be filled with cream, chocolate, or jam and then covered, glazed, or dipped and decorated with marzipan, fondant, chocolate, or some other form of glaze or icing. A miniature sponge cake filled with a buttercream and glazed with ganache is one example. The petit four “sec” and “glace”; can be sponge or cake based, biscuit or cookie based, meringue based, marzipan based, fresh fruit or chocolate based. They are traditionally served with afternoon tea or after a fancy meal (particularly petits fours glace accompanied by tea, coffee, liqueurs, or dessert wines.
Ice Cream Petit Fours
Ice cream – 45 min active time, ice cream rests/chills for 1 hour then overnight. Without an ice cream maker, the ice cream chills 2-3 hours and must be stirred every 30 minutes.
Brown Butter Pound Cake – 2 hours (includes cooling time)
Chocolate Glaze – 15 minutes
Assembly of Ice Cream Petit Fours – Ice cream must be frozen ahead of time several hours, then the cake and ice cream freeze overnight. After dipping, the petit fours freeze for one hour.
Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams. Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean with a paring knife and add to the milk, along with the bean pod. Cover, remove from heat, and let infuse for an hour. (If you do not have a vanilla bean, simply heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams, then let cool to room temperature.)
Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl inside a large bowl partially filled with water and ice. Put a strainer on top of the smaller bowl and pour in the cream.
In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks together. Reheat the milk in the medium saucepan until warmed, and then gradually pour ¼ cup warmed milk into the yolks, constantly whisking to keep the eggs from scrambling. Once the yolks are warmed, scrape the yolk and milk mixture back into the saucepan of warmed milk and cook over low heat. Stir constantly and scrape the bottom with a spatula until the mixture thickens into custard which thinly coats the back of the spatula.
Strain the custard into the heavy cream and stir the mixture until cooled. Add the vanilla extract (1 tsp if you are using a vanilla bean) and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.
Remove the vanilla bean and freeze in an ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make it without a machine. See instructions from David Lebovitz
Brown Butter Pound Cake
19 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” square pan.
Place the butter in a 10”skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns.) Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes.
Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Beat the brown butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.
Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
9 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
Stir the heavy cream and light corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add the dark chocolate. Let sit 30 seconds, then stir to completely melt the chocolate. Stir in the vanilla and let cool until tepid before glazing the petit fours.
1. Line a 9”x9”pan with plastic wrap, so that no sides of the pan are exposed and so there is some extra plastic wrap hanging off the sides. Spread 1 ¾ to 2 cups ice cream into the pan. Cover with more plastic wrap and freeze several hours.
2. Once the brown butter pound cake has completely cooled, level the top with a cake leveler or a serrated knife. Then split the cake in half horizontally to form two thin layers.
3. Unwrap the frozen ice cream. Flip out onto one of the layers of cake and top with the second layer of cake. Wrap well in plastic wrap and return to the freezer overnight.
4. Make the chocolate glaze.
5. While the glaze cools, trim ¾” off each side of the ice cream cake to leave a perfectly square 7.5” ice cream cake. Cut the cake into twenty five petit fours, each 1.5”x1.5”.
6. Glaze the petit fours one at a time: place a petit four on a fork and spoon chocolate glaze over it.
7. Place the petit fours on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the freezer for one hour.
Feel free to decorate as you wish. I dipped mine in heath bar crunch at the end. These turned out delicious. I would probably make these again some day.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Brown Betty, Buckle, Crumble, Crisp, Cobbler, Pandowdy, Grunt, Slump, so many choices and what are all of these things? Let’s start with the basics: Crisp – Same as a Crumble, except with a chunkier and more coarse topping. Crumble- Same as a Crisp, except with a smoother, more breadcrumb-like topping. Cobbler – Similar to a pie, but without a bottom crust. Has a biscuit-like topping. Biscuit dough looks like cobblestones. In the UK it is known as Crumble rather than Cobbler. And if you want to read more about the differences head over to my glossary.
Back to the crumble that I made the other day with Rhubarb, Strawberry and Blueberry, if I could only add cherry in there then all my favorite fruits would be in this crumble. Rhubarb and strawberry go well together and then strawberry and blueberry go well together but what about rhubarb and blueberry, I was not sure. So i just decided to try all three of them together. It was Delishhh! Yes the blueberry takes over the color of the crumble but all the flavors go very well together. It is more of a tart crumble but it is exactly the way I like it, not too sweet not too tart but just enough to make is very refreshing. And if you add some vanilla ice cream on it, oh that is heaven.
Rhubarb, Strawberry and Blueberry Crumble
6 to 8 servings
For the topping:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
Zest of one lemon
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 cups strawberries quartered
2 cups blueberries
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare topping in a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.
Prepare filling and toss rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, allspice, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place pie plate on a baking sheet, and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.
Don’t forget the Giveaway ending Friday 8/27!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Strawberry what? Exactly. That is the question I got when I made this. This is my first Clafoutis and I had to look up the origin and definition of it. So here is goes for you others that are new to Clafoutis as well.
Clafoutis is a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm.
A traditional Limousin clafoutis contains pits of the cherries. According to baking purists, the pits release a wonderful flavor when the dish is cooked. If the cherry pits are removed prior to baking, the clafoutis will be milder in flavor.
Even if the clafoutis is most classically made with cherries it will gladly open its arms to any other fruit, and in this case, strawberries.
I was looking for new strawberry desserts and came across this recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini. I have to say it was good and so easy to make. Not only that it is sugar free, so the sweetness is all from the strawberries! Try it out!
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole blanched almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp light rum
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8-inch-square glass or ceramic baking dish with one tablespoon of the butter. Melt the remaining butter and set aside. Rinse the strawberries under cool water — do not soak or they will loose some of their flavor. Set aside.
In a food processor mix together the flour and almonds until finely ground. Add the sugar, cornstarch and salt, and mix again. Crack in the eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Pour in the melted butter, milk and rum, and mix again until well blended. The mixture will be thin, like pancake batter.
Hull the strawberries, cut in halves or quarters depending on their size, and arrange in a single layer in the prepared dish.. Drizzle the batter over the strawberries, and put the dish in the oven to bake for 40 minutes, until puffy and set.
Transfer dish to a rack, and let cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, and serve. Clafoutis is traditionally served on its own, but if you like you can add a few fresh strawberries on the side, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a little whipped cream.
Friday, August 20, 2010
If you are a wine drinker and do not have one of these Vinturi Aerators then this giveaway is for you. Also if you remember this was part of my Mother’s Day Gift Ideas.
This wine aerator lets you enjoy your wine from the very first sip. Simply hold it over a glass and pour the wine through; the Vinturi draws in and mixes the proper amount of air for the right amount of time, allowing your wine to breathe instantly. This gives your wine a better bouquet, enhanced flavors and a smoother finish, and gives you all the taste without the wait.
I wanted to say thank you to all of you that keep coming back reading week after week!
To enter the giveaway you need to do 3 things:
1. Subscribe to Delishhh in an RSS feed or by Email!
2. Subscribe via Twitter or become a fan of my Facebook page
3. Leave a comment here to let me know you did 1 & 2 as well as letting me know what you would like to see here during my next year of blogging. This will give me some great ideas.
The giveaway ends on Friday, 8/27 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Winner will be selected from Random.org.
Good luck and thank you so much for being here with me. I look forward to getting some new great ideas.
***** UPDATE ******
And the winner is. . . .
Comment #7 belongs to Juliana from Simple Recipes - CONGRATULATIONS!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Spinach, Spinach & Spinach – Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. The list just goes on, the question is what do you do with this green leafy thing?
Most people just eat it raw in their salad, or mix it with their salad, with walnuts, apples and blue cheese. Others just put it into things like eggs scramble, lasagna, or quiche. But what if you want to keep as much as possible from the nutrients and just keep spinach as a side dish, what do you do then? I have a few things I do with the spinach, here is a simple spinach side, it takes only 5 minutes or less. But I am looking for other ideas. What do you do with your spinach?
Spinach with Sesame Oil
1 bunch of spinach
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
Clean the spinach and wash it off. Put it all in a wok and then put all the other ingredients in there, pressed garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Stir until it has gone down in size, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy as a side dish with meat or chicken.
Monday, August 16, 2010
I have been moving, traveling and enjoying the summer, and it has been hard to sit down and write, so I apologize about it, but i am ready to get back into it. I hope that all of you are enjoying you summer.
During the summer, which is my favorite part of the year, I am always looking to make some fun salads. Here is one of my favorites; it is refreshing, sweet and savory. You can server this inside your watermelon half if you want to do something cool. If you want some protein in it you can even add some prosciutto or capicolla. I got this recipe originally from My Recipes but have adjusted it a little.
Summer Watermelon and Tomato Salad
Makes about 6 to 8 servings
4 cups cubed or balled watermelon
1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half
8 ounces of fresh mozzarella perlini size or Ciliegini size
1 bunch watercress, stems removed, washed and drained (about 2 cups)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Mix, melon, tomatoes and mozzarella with olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper. The place on a large platter or individual serving plates. Sprinkle watercress and mint evenly on top.