Monday, January 31, 2011
Yield: 12 turnovers
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh or frozen and thawed blueberries
2 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crusts
1 egg, beaten
Vegetable oil, for frying
Special equipment: a 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the cheese, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth. Stir in the blueberries.
Using a 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut the pie dough into 12 circles. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg. Place about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture in the center of the dough. Fold the dough in half to enclose the filling and pinch the edges to seal. Using the tines of a fork, gently crimp the sealed edges. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
While the pastry is chilling: In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. (If you don't have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 3 minutes.) Fry the turnovers for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with sugar while still hot. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
16 (1-inch diameter) balls bocconcini mozzarella cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups seasoned Italian-style bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
8 cloves garlic
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
For the bocconcini: Drain the bocconcini and pat dry with paper towels. Put on a paper towel-lined plate and allow to dry in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Put the flour in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Put the eggs in a second medium bowl and the bread crumbs in a third medium bowl. Coat the bocconcini in flour and then dip into the eggs. Roll the bocconcini in the bread crumbs until coated. Dip the coated bocconcini, again, in the eggs and then coat with bread crumbs. Freeze the breaded bocconcini for 20 minutes.
For the chutney: In a blender, combine the garlic, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, sugar, olive oil, cumin and pepper. Blend until smooth. Pour into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick, about 45 to 55 minutes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, gently break up the tomatoes as they begin to soften during cooking. Season with salt, to taste. Let the chutney cool to room temperature, about 35 minutes. Place in a serving bowl.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour in enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. (If you don't have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 1 to 2 minutes.) In batches, fry the bocconcini until golden brown, about 15 to 20 seconds. Drain on paper towels.
Arrange the bocconcini on a platter and serve the chutney alongside as an accompaniment.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Cook Time: 15 min
Yield: 3 (13-inch balls of dough)
1 1/2 cups warm water, 100 to 110 degrees F, plus extra as needed
1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Olive oil, for drizzling
Put the water in a small bowl. Add the yeast and stir until dissolved.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add a little extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. With floured hands, knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drizzle the inside of a clean bowl with olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free place, until the dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Using a fist, deflate the dough in the center and cut it into 3 equal-sized pieces. Form the dough pieces into 3 balls and put into 3 oiled bowls. Cover each bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 1 hour. Remove the dough and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Cook Time: 8 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 ounces) mascarpone cheese, a room temperature
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 Medjool dates (12 ounces), pitted
8 thin slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise
Special equipment: 16 toothpicks or cocktail picks
In a small bowl, mix together the cheeses and basil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Gently pull the dates apart and stuff with about 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Close the dates around the filling. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each date and secure with a toothpick.
Arrange the stuffed dates on a platter and serve.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Yield: 24 bars
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 (13-ounce) jar apricot jam or preserves (about 1 1/4 cups)
8 dried apricots, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/3 cup)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 packed cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13 by 2-inch metal baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with vegetable oil cooking spray and set aside.
Filling: In a small bowl, mix together the jam and the apricots. Set aside.
Crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in the oats and walnuts. Add the butter, egg and vanilla and stir until incorporated.
Using a fork or clean fingers, lightly press half of the crust mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Using a spatula, spread the filling over the crust leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the pan. Cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture and gently press to flatten. Bake until light golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 1 hour. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
This spezzatino (stew) from Giada is a good company to have for all seasons!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (4-ounce) piece pancetta, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, halved
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 packed cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 skinless chicken breasts with rib meat (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)
12 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
In a heavy 5 or 6 quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and drain on paper towels. Set aside. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, basil, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Add the chicken and press down to submerge. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, turning the chicken over and stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add the artichokes and the cannellini beans and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid has reduced slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken and let cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bones and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Return the meat to the saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes until warmed through. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Season the spezzatino with salt and pepper, to taste.
Ladle the spezzatino into bowls and garnish with the cooked pancetta.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
(The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool and then cover and refrigerate.)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk, warmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Gradually add the warm milk,whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick, smooth, and creamy,
about 10 minutes (do not allow the sauce to boil).
Remove from heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Use this for:
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Cook Time: 12 min
Yield: 6 servings
4 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (about 18)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Brush 1 tablespoon of oil over each of 2 heavy large lined baking sheets. Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the chicken tenders and stir to coat. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash the garlic with the salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vinegar and then the remaining 1/2 cup of oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with pepper. Transfer the vinaigrette to a small serving bowl.
Stir the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a pie dish. Remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk and dredge them in the bread crumb mixture to coat completely, pressing to adhere. Arrange the coated chicken tenders on the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the chicken tenders and bake until they are cooked through and golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Transfer the chicken tenders to a platter and serve the vinaigrette alongside for dipping.