Tomato Ricotta Tart

Pastry:

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    3 cups flour

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Put all in a food processor and mix a few times.  Add 7-8 slices of crumbled crisp bacon.  Process a few times.

Add 1/3 cup of very cold shortening (prefer Crisco) and 12 tbsps very cold butter cut into cubes

Process 6-8 times.

Add 6-8 tbsps ice water and process until it almost comes together.  Remove and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Roll out dough and fit into a 12″ (or 8″ or 10″) tart pan with a removal bottom.  Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Filling:

In food processor, put 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta, about 1.2 cup fresh basil leaves, 3 eggs, 8 oz shredded mozzarella and 1/3 cup grated parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.  Process until almost smooth.

Slice up 4 large ripe tomatoes or 8 roma tomatoes and put on a paper towel lined sheet pan.  Season with salt and pepper and let sit for 5-10 minuts.

Line bottom of tart with some of the tomatoes.  Top with the cheese mixture and then top the cheese mixture with more tomatoes.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until lightly browned on top and set.  Let sit in pan about 10 minutes before cutting and serving! Continue reading

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Baked Apples

Baked Apple

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1/2 recipe of home made puff pastry or 1 package frozen commercial puff pastry, thawed but cold

2-4 apples (depends on how many you want to make)

Peel and core the apples. Let sit in water with lemon juice while you prepare the pastry.

Roll the dough to about 1/4″ thickness.  Cut into 8″ squares.  Cut a V-notch in the middle of each side about 2″ in.  Remove apples from water and dry off with paper towels.

Place one apple on each pastry square.  Fill the center of the apple with a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture

(1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon mixed for 4 apples)

You can add a few chopped nuts or dried cranberries to the middle if you wish.

Sprinkle on 1 tsp lemon juice and a small knob of butter.

Bring opposite ends of pastry up to the center, covering the apple.  Repeat with the other 2 sides.

Pinch the pastry closed all around the apples.  Brush apples with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 35-40 minutes or until apples have softened.

Serve with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

NOTE:  I used Gala apples.

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Chicken Cacciatora

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Chicken Cacciatora

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1 chicken cut into pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper

Brown Lightly in 1/4 cup olive oil

Remove chicken form pan.

To the juices add:

1 large onion, chopped fine
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 clove garlic

Stir and cook until the onion is translucent.

Add in the browned chicken.

Add:

1/4 teaspoon sugar
Pinch Allspice or Cinnamon
1/4 sherry or red wine

Cook and stir 5 minutes.

Add to the pan:

1 cup tomato juice or 3 tomatoes, cut in pieces.

Cover and cook slowly until the chicken is tender (40-60 minutes). If necessary, add more liquid from time to time using chicken broth, tomato juice, red wine or water. Your Choice!!!

Season to taste. Serves 6

Cook’s Note: Make this Cacciatora your OWN by adding chopped green peppers, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, fresh chopped parsley or a bay leaf. Add any or none of these or your favorite spices, herbs or vegetables. This is your dish now!

Molasses Popcorn Balls

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Molasses Popcorn Balls

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1 cup Molasses
1 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon mild vinegar

Mix the ingredients above and cook to 270 degrees on a candy thermometer which is the hard crack stage.

Stir in:

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, have 3 quarts of popped popcorn ready  Pour the above mixture over the popcorn.

Stir with a spoon to coat each kernel. Butter your hands slightly and shape the corn mixture into 3 inch balls. Set on wax paper to harden. Wrap in wax paper.

Candied Orange Peel

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Candied Orange Peel

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To prepare orange peel:

Using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel long strips of rind trying to leave out the pith.  Cut the peel in lengthwise sections. Cover with cold water, bring to the boiling point, and cook slowly until soft (about 15 minutes). Drain. Cover with cold water again, and cook for about 5 minutes, Drain.

Bring to a boil:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water.

Add the drained peel to the sugar and water mixture. Cook slowly until the peel is almost transparent (230 degrees on a candy thermometer). Take up the peel with a skimmer and spread on a plate to cool. Roll in granulated sugar. Spread on wax paper to dry. Store in a glass jar.

Serve with your favorite cup of tea, summer cocktail or with cold chilled water. There are so many uses, use you imagination!

NOTE:  Save the sugar syrup to sweeten tea, etc.  Store in refrigerator in a covered container.

Rich Squash Pie

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Squash Pie

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Set the oven to 450 degrees.

Mix:

1 cup steamed or roasted, well drained, strained winter squash
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup brandy
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mace

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Line a 9 inch pie pan with a pastry crust – store bought or home made.

Fill the pie crust and bake for about 30 minutes

Brush with slightly beaten egg white. Put in the filling.

Bake 120 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake until firm (45-60 Minutes).

Serve with wonderful homemade whipped cream or store bought.

Mediterranean Lemon Garlic Chicken in Wine Sauce

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Mediterranean Lemon Garlic Chicken in Wine Sauce

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10 chicken thighs (or other pieces of your choice)
20 garlic cloves
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
3 tbsps butter with 3 tbsps vegetable oil (or canola)
3 tbsps flour
2/3 cup cry white wine
1 or 2 lemons peeled and sliced thin
parsley or garnish

Put garlic cloves in chicken stock in a pan and simmer for about 40 minutes or until garlic is tender. Remove and drain. Save both

In a large skillet, melt the butter and oil. Brown the chicken. Remove the chicken to a casserole dish. Scatter the garlic cloves over the chicken as well as the lemon slices. In the same skillet as you browned the chicken, remove any excess fat. Then add the flour and whisk for about 1 minutes. Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Add the chicken broth and cook until sauce thickens. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour sauce over chicken. Cover. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.

Garnish with parsley.

Zabaglione

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Zabaglione

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7 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup Muscato wine

Mix altogether in a bowl. Place bowl over simmering water. Either by hand with a whisk or with a hand-held mixer, mix over the simmering water until volume has tripled and is light in color.

Remove and put the bowl in another bowl filled with ice water. Meanwhile, take 1 cup heavy cream and beat till stiff peaks. Fold into Zabaglione mixture.

Serve immediately over fruit or freeze for about 2+ hours.