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Ten Minute Blueberry & Meyer Lemon Galettes

10 minute blueberry and meyer lemon galettes
When life hands you lemons, toss some blueberries at them and stuff ’em in a pie crust! Make my Ten Minute Blueberry & Meyer Lemon Galettes. Then open a bottle of wine and serve these fancy little bites of tart, sweet, awesome to friends and family. They’ll be all impressed with your gourmet-fancy-french-y-ness and have zero clue that you pretty much phoned this one in.

The ingredients are easy to find, and even easier to work with!

 blueberry and meyer lemon galettes
Just a couple of simple steps (so easy the kiddos can help out with this one) and you’re done.

10 Minute Blueberry and Meyer Lemon Galettes

10 Minute Blueberry & Meyer Lemon Galettes
Serves 6
Easy and elegant, these free-form tarts are great for entertaining or just a week-night treat. With easy to find ingredients and just a little prep, you'll be impressing!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Quart Fresh Blueberries
  2. 2 Prepared Pie Crusts
  3. 1 Jar Lemon Curd
  4. 1 Tablespoon Flour
  5. Turbinado Sugar
  6. Egg Wash
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Use a large ramekin or salad plate to cut rounds out of the pie crust. Fold over and roll out remnants to get a yield of six rounds total. Toss blueberries in flour - set aside. Place rounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread one tablespoon of lemon curd in the center of each round. Top with blueberry mixture. With a pastry brush, brush egg wash on the edges of the rounds. Pull up the edges and pinch to close around the filling, leaving and opening at the top. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Set aside. Slice Meyer Lemons thinly. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and top with remaining turbinado sugar. Place in the oven on the top rack. Place galettes on the bottom. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove lemon slices and move galettes up to the top rack. Cook and additional 5-10 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Remove and allow to cool. Top with lemon slices before serving.
Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom http://chickennuggetsofwisdom.com/

Pairing Wine & Chocolate: A Recipe for Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème

Like most tales worth telling, this one begins with wine. For a twist in the plot, we’ll open this parable on the back of the bottle.pot du creme recp on bottle

Our journey takes us into a world where ancient fruit meets the dark soul of the cacao bean. A torrid affair of vine and pod. Okay, so maybe it was just a recipe for Pot de Crème on the back of a bottle of Cline Cellars “Ancient Vines” Contra Costa County Mourvèdre, still it had me rather excited.

Who knew there were wine producers out there offering up not just pairing suggestions on their labels, but actual recipes? Not me. And here I try to claim I’m a wine-loving,  Foodie… bah!

As it turns out, I may have been alone in my ignorance. A fellow, ” Amante del Vino” pal on Instagram chimed in telling me he liked a fig offering found on another bottle. I’ll have to ferret that one out seeing-as-how our four fig trees leave us  flush with fruit come Fall.

With a few tweaks, and a little personal flair, here is my take on Pot de Crème a la Cline Cellars;

Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème

pot du creme ingredients

Ingredients

3.5 oz 60% Cacao content Dark Chocolate
3.5 0z 85% (or greater) Cacao Dark Chocolate
1 cup Whole Milk (do not substitute with skim or lower fat milk, your end results won’t be as luscious)
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/3 cup Sugar
1 tsp Pure Extract Vanilla
6 Large Egg Yolks

Optional: Seeds of one vanilla pod. I added these to the heavy cream.

Supplies/Gear/Utensils:

Small Sauce Pan, Chef’s Knife, Ladle, Whisk or Electric Mixer, Roasting Pan, 4-6 Pot-de-Crème cups, small ramekins or teacups.

Preheat oven to 325°

Pot du creme whisk your way

 Whisk or mix mix egg yolks and sugar together until blended. JUST until blended, no need to go crazy here. If you end up with any foam on top, just scoop that off.

pot du creme melt the choco

Roughly chop your chocolate, and pile it onto a cutting board, or any surface that will make it easy to convey it to the stove top.  Combine milk and cream in the small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add in vanilla and vanilla bean (if using). Then add in chocolate and gently stir until melted.

A few words on Tempering: In my early years of learning to cook – while living in Spain –  I attempted a Blood Orange Pot de Crème-esque recipe for a Feria celebration. What I ended up with was sweet, orange and sherry flavored scrambled eggs.  Plus “egg” all over my face. I hadn’t yet learned about tempering.

Boiled down to basics, Tempering is the process of gradually adding a substance (in this case our huevos – eggs) of a lower temperature to a substance of a higher temperature (our milk and chocolate mixture) so that the temperatures regulate without one overpowering the other.  Were we to just dump our eggs into the chocolate without Tempering them, we’d end up with… anybody?…. Bueller?

Yup, Chocolate Scrambled Eggs. Yum. NOT!

So let us Temper.

Pot du creme temperWith a ladle, gradually add the chocolate mixture to the eggs and slowly mix it in until the two are combined. Easy, as scrambled eggs, Si?

Divide your mixture into the serving dishes of your choice. I’d suggest smaller portion sizes as the dessert is very rich. I used four medium sized ramekins and they were just too large.

pot du creme water bath

Place filled dishes into roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan, enough to fill up to 1/3 of the way up the side of your serving dishes. If you are not using traditional  Pot de Crème pots, cover the pan with foil.

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon your oven. You’ll know when they are done by checking to see that they are set but still a little “quivery” in the center by shaking the cup a little.

pot du creme done

I like to serve them warm, but you can let them cool for 30 minutes and then pop them in the fridge for two hours before serving. Garnish with some confectioners sugar, maybe a berry?

I’ve always been of a mind that wine goes with pretty much anything. Some wines go better with some foods, but really it is all about enjoying the food, drink and company. This time though there was magic in the making.

We had the Cline Mourvèdre with dinner. The wine that was perfectly pleasant, a little spicy, with a nip of mint as we enjoyed it with Mushroom Risotto at dinner was transformed at dessert. Had I not poured it myself, I would have sworn we’d been drinking something entirely different.  It became mellow, almost as silky as creme that slipped from the spoon, and berries floated on my tongue.

The story ends with the best part, the magic of a perfect pairing; Wine & Chocolate.

 

*I purchased this wine, all the ingredients for this recipe. This is not a sponsored post. 

Super Bowl Food and a Super Hero Cookoff

I’m not quite fully recovered from my Chargers loss to the Broncos, but I won’t let that keep me from watching the Super Bowl with my family this weekend and reveling in the fact that Tom Brady will be sitting on a sofa somewhere doing the same thing.

Nearly as important to us as the game is the Pool Grid my husband draws up every year (oh wait, is that legal? Doh!) Even more important to them is… THE. FOOD. super bowl party blueprints

I’m not joking here people, this household takes their football food seriously. I have years worth of clipped, handed-down and family favorite recipes. We each get to pick one thing we want to make the roster on game day. Heck, even the six-year-old has been stalking Party Blueprints and their Pinboards for inspiration. I gain 5 pounds just looking at their photos—–>

There is something, or rather someone, missing this year though.

Our Marine.

He won’t be slamming down sliders, taking on the fire-wing challenge or digging into Mom’s Famous Bean Dip. He won’t likely even get to watch the game. For him it will be MRE’s and Infantry.

Ah, but we’ve found a way to be Semper Fidelis with our Marine and all those thousands of service women and men who’ve had to eat an MRE (like me.)

The National Museum of the Marine Corps MRE Cook-Off!

2013-12-06 11.37.22What is an MRE, you ask? It is a military field ration, or “Meal Ready To Eat”. Frankly, they make that mystery meat you ate in Jr. High seem worthy of a culinary award. They serve the function of getting calories into those serving in the field, and don’t really spare much for taste.

Gifted is the cook that can take one of these pouches, the potions and powders within, the Sterno burner it comes with, a little water and not much else and turn it into something tasty. That is the gauntlet taken up by the brave few at the annual Marine Corps MRE Cook-Off. Last year’s winner was Craig Allen of Headquarters Marine Corps, this year the winner will be crowned on February 1, 2014… just in time for the Super Bowl! MRE

We’ll be packing up the “Platoon” and heading down to check out these Super Heroes cook-off and we might just come back with a new game day recipe in solidarity for our Marine and in thanks to all those who have had to suffer through eating an MRE!

Want to check out the competition? Here is more info on the event and visiting museum;

Marine Corps MRE Cook-Off

Location: National Marine Corps Museum 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway in Triangle, VA

Event Date/Time: Saturday February 1, at 12:00-2:00 pm in the Museum’s Leatherneck Gallery (note: if you missed it this year, no worries this is an annual event. Check the museum website for more information)

Admission: FREE (we like free!)

The National Marine Corp Museum is open to the public 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, both parking and admission are free. For more information visit their website at www.usmcmuseum.org

No Matter Where You are: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

It’s Fat Tuesday Mon Ami! The one magical day in the year where gluttony is celebrated in its many forms, both tasty and tasteless. In my early twenties I made my first pilgrimage to the Crescent City. I was captivated by the art, the song, the mood of this one-of-a-kind city. Okay, I might have been wooed by a Hurricane too. Sadly it would be many years before I’d venture back to this Spanish Moss laden Brigadoon. Unfortunately it would be a post Catrina trip. Even years removed from the ravages of Catrina and her aftermath, NOLA still bears the scars.

No matter the time -nor distance- between The Cornstalk Hotel, Muriel’s on Jackson Square, Preservation Hall and I, I’ve always managed to keep a bit of NOLA with me. Partly through photographs, but mostly through food. That is the beauty of Fat Tuesday, no matter where you are you can make your own “New Orleans”.  What follows are some links to just a few of my favorite recipes and traditions for Mardi Gras.

Oh and by the way, if you think a trip to NOLA is out of the question because you’ve got offspring in tow. Think again, and check out this great piece on Family-Friendly New Orleans. Note: I’d still steer clear of Bourbon with the babies. <—see what I did there?

Mardi Gras at Casa DiPaola this year

Shrimp & Grits (this version from Bon Appetite puts an egg on top, not traditional per se but I’m always one for putting and egg on it)

Muffuletta (note: Party Blueprints is a great place for all things food and fun. I’d totally live there if I could)

Forgotten Jambalaya (BONUS this one is a slow cooker recipe!)

Gorgonzola & Pear Tart (While not Cajun, Chef Gus Martin at Muriel’s on Jackson Square makes this slice of heaven that keeps me coming back. If I could get my hands on his recipe… I’d never share!)

Let the good times roll!

 

 

Souper EASY Zuppa Zucchini: Freeze Some Summer Lovin’

Do you garden? Even if you don’t, if you hit any local farmer’s markets it’s likely you’ve seen a few zillion zucchini around. This gorgeous green gourd (yep, a squash is a gourd gang) is my summertime muse. I can’t get enough of the stuff. Then winter swoops in, like a bad breakup, and steals the zucchini from me. So I devised a pot to save me some lovin’ for the cold days ahead. I concocted zucchini alchemy in my kitchen by transforming my “Zuppa Zucchini” into warm mugs of zen whenever I want it.

Let’s start with the recipe for awesome…

Ingredients

2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp butter (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped roughly
2 pounds of Zucchini, trimmed (removing the skin is optional here)
2 1/2 cups chicken or veggie stock
1 1/4 light cream or half&half
Salt, pepper and dried oregano (to taste)
Shaved Parmesan or Asiago cheese (optional)

Cooking

Heat oil and butter in a large sauce pot (an enameled cast iron Dutch Oven works best, really it does make a difference) until it starts to foam up a bit. Don’t let it burn though! Add in the onion, cook it through, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes) just until it’s softened but not brown. Add in zucchini and your spices (to taste). Cook them over a medium flame (or heat) for 10 minutes. Pour your stock over the veg and bring to a boil. Now lower your heat by half, put the lid on the pot and let it groove for about 30 minutes, string it now and then so it doesn’t get lonely.

Remove your soup from the heat and let it chill out a bit. Puree in a food process until smooth, then press rough a sieve into your pot.

Now, you can heat this up and enjoy it now. OR you can break out a muffin tin. NO we are not making muffins.. well unless you want to make them and bringing some over for me! Fill your muffin tins 3/4 of the way full with soup. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it atop your soup so as to force out the air. Then cover you plastic wrap with foil. Pop those puppies in the freezer over night.

Remove them the next day, run a little warm water across the bottoms and then whack that tray on a hard surface. Now you’ve got little hockey pucks of frozen zuppa AWESOME. Simply pop them in a mug and zap them in the microwave or pile a few into a pot with a splash of stock and warm them up stove-side to feed the family.

You’ll be thanking me all winter long when you’re noshing these tasty treats!