Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mascarpone Tart with honey, oranges and pistachios


Our Supper Club gathered recently to enjoy a good meal, friendship, plenty of laughter, and of course, good wine.  We are a diverse group of friends with varying backgrounds that move across the personal, religious and, political spectrum which makes for spirited conversations, while breaking bread.  If only we could all solve our differences while enjoying a good meal.  No doubt the world would be a kinder, gentler place.

We have dinner themes but mostly its a formality.  This month's theme was Greek which sent us out searching for a Greek inspired dessert.  Something delicious but, not complicated.  Making dessert at our house usually means my husband will take the helm and he knocked this one out of the park.

This recipe comes from Bon Appetit's Fast, Easy, and Fresh Cookbook and it delivers on its promise.  Most importantly, it can be put together in short order.  The tart turned out stunning.  The flavors, colors, and textures popped.  Proof with a few fresh quality ingredients simple is best.


Mascarpone Tart with Honey, Oranges and Pistachios
Makes one 9-inch tart
Recipe from Bon Appetit


Ingredients:
1 Refrigerated pie crust (half of a 15-ounce package)
2 large navel oranges
1 8 to 8.8-ounce container chilled mascarpone
1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey, divided
1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground cardamom
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Press pie crust onto bottom and up sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom: fold sides in and press to extend sides 1/4-inch above rim of pan.  Pierce crust all over with fork.  Bake until golden brown, about 24 minutes.  Cool completely on rack.

Meanwhile, grate enough orange peel to measure 1-1/4 teaspoons.  Cut off remaining peel and pith from oranges.  Slice oranges into thin rounds, then cut rounds crosswise in half.  Place orange slices on paper towels to drain slightly.

Combine mascarpone, cream, sugar, 1-tablespoon honey, cardamom, and orange peel in medium bowl.  Using electric mixer, beat just until blended and peaks form (do not over beat or mixture will curdle).  Spread filling evenly in cooled crust.  Arrange orange slices atop tart in concentric circles, sprinkle with pistachios.  Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon honey.


Note: 
D.I.Y. Mascarpone If you cannot find mascarpone cheese, you can make a delicious substitute at home.  Mix 8-ounces cream cheese with 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and 2-1/2 tablespoons sour cream.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Scenes from My Pantry: Turkey Lentil Sloppy Joes


Loved "sloppy Joes" as a kid.  Messy by design and delicious.  These days the aim is still delicious but, lighter more healthy choices.

Using lean ground turkey and the hearty lentil beans, is a great alternative to preparing this traditional meat-centric meal that still feels substantial and comforting without sacrificing the flavor.

This recipe makes enough for twelve servings. You can easily freeze extra servings in freezer bags for a fast, healthy weeknight meal.... or skip the bun, and enjoy it as chili.




Turkey Lentil Joe's
Serves 12
Adapted from allrecipes



Ingredients:
1 (32-ounce) carton reduced-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups brown lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 pound ground turkey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Hamburger buns

Optional: Thinly sliced red onion and Kosher pickles

Directions:
Bring broth to a boil in a Dutch oven.  Stir in lentils; return to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.  Drain in a colander.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and carrot; cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add turkey and garlic; cook, stirring to break up lumps, until turkey is browned. Drain any oil.

Stir in tomatoes, olives, chili powder, tomato paste, and vinegar.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.  Stir in cooked lentils; cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more.  Serve on buns with red onion and pickles, if using.

Enjoy!



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

When you are serious about your cocktail.... A Maiden's Prayer

The Maiden Prayer has all the elements which allows you to create this cocktail anyplace, anywhere with a few quality ingredients  which include gin, orange liqueur, and fresh orange and lemon juices.

A slightly sour but refreshing palate opener. A perfect lead to a good meal anytime of year.




A Maiden's Prayer Cocktail
Makes two 4-1/4-ounce drinks
Adapted from Raising the Bar


Ingredients:
3 ounces good quality gin 
3 ounces fresh orange juice (approximately one orange) 
1-1/2 ounces fresh lemon juice (approximately 1 lemon)
1 ounce Cointreau or other good quality orange liquor
2 orange twists

Directions:
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients except the orange twists.  Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosted and beaded with sweat.

Strain in cocktail glasses, garnish with the orange twists, and serve.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Wicked Buttermilk Cornbread

Rumor has it, southerners make the best cornbread.  Now, not being a true southerner does not mean it's not possible to deliver a wicked cornbread recipe.  Don't raise your eyebrow my southern friends when honey is mentioned in the recipe, and whole kernel corn too.  Bacon drippings and lard are divine but honey and buttermilk steals the show.



Wicked Buttermilk Cornbread
Makes 8x8 pan
Recipe adapted from Life Made Simple
lifemadesimplebakes.com



Ingredients:
8 tablespoons (1 stick butter)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup good quality honey
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whole yellow kernel corn (if frozen, thawed)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup good quality cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly spray or butter a 8x8 square baking pan.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar and honey.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time, beating until the mixture is smooth.  Add the buttermilk, and corn, mix to combine.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking soda.  Gradually add the dry ingredients, stirring with a spatula until only a few lumps remain.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula to create a even layer.  Allow the batter to sit for a few minutes before placing in the oven to bake.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted comes out clean.  Remove from the oven, brush the top with butter and allow to cool before slicing and serving.

Enjoy!