Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tomato Onion Tart

Tomato Onion Tart
Inspired by Pastry Affair

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/3 cup Basil Olive Oil, plus a few tbsp for filling
1/3 cup cold water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together. Add the olive oil and water in until it comes together in a ball. (if it doesn't Pastry Affair recommends adding a bit of water a little at a time until it does) Mine came together very well.

On a lightly floured surface, roll your dough out into a 12 inch circle. Mine is never really round, but it's a 'rustic' tart, so that's cool. Transfer to your tart pan and prick the bottom with a fork before baking. Bake 10-12 minutes then remove and allow to cool.

While that is going on, start on your filling.

Tomato Basil Onion filling:

1/2 cup fresh basil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, I love the multi-color heirloom kinds
1/2 med sweet onion, like a vidalia
Few tablespoons Cream of Porcini
1-2 oz shredded cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Few tablespoons Basil Olive Oil

Dice your onion and saute it in a nice hot pan with the extra Basil Olive Oil. Cook until they are softened, but not caramelized. It only takes a few minutes. Transfer them to a bowl and let cool.

Slice your tomatoes in half, I tried to get an even number of each color. I thought it was prettier. You can slice your basil or just trim the stems off. Either way will work fine.

Now that everything is ready, layer.

Take your cooled crust and spread the Porcini Cream on as thick as you like it. I gave it a nice layer. Then spread the onions and cheese over that. Lay your basil down and top with the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. I popped it back in the oven for another 5 or 6 minutes to really brown the tomatoes. But it's done at this point.

Cool before you slice. Molten tomato juice really burns.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pesto Bread

Pesto Bread
Makes 2 loaves
(Adapted from The Italian Dish)

1 loaf frozen bread, thawed
1/2 - 1 jar Pesto alla Genovese

I let the dough thaw on a plate in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours. Don't be alarmed, it is supposed to rise. Roll out your thawed dough on a well-floured surface. Roll it into a long rectangle, make sure your dough rectangle isn't longer than your pan! (No, of course the first batch I made didn't do that...No, there are no pictures) 

Spread a layer of pesto over the whole dough rectangle. You can put as much as you want on, I used almost the whole jar, although it was more of a challenge to roll up. Roll as tightly as you can, but don't squeeze out the pesto. Tuck the ends underneath and slash the top gently a few times, don't go all the way to the pesto layer! Move to a baking stone, or large baking sheet. It shouldn't stick, but if you are worried, brush the pan with some olive oil, it won't hurt. Place your bread on top of your oven and start heating your oven to 450degrees. 
Keeping your bread on top of the heating oven is kind-of a cheat. The warmth from the oven helps it rise a little more. Once the oven is ready, bake for about 30-40 minutes. The top should be a nice deep golden brown. 

Or, if you are like me, it was more of an 'eh' brown, so I brushed it with some olive oil (Sundried-Tomato Parmesan and Garlic by choice, but they all work) and popped it back in the oven for five minutes.
Let the bread cool before you slice it. It doesn't have to be cold, but you don't want hot pesto to burn your hands. Let it cool. Even though it smells so good....

And is sooo good.

I know that bread makers are going to be rolling their eyes at me and telling me how horrible it is to use frozen dough. You can very easily make your own dough, there are plenty of websites that will show you some of their best. The website this recipe is adapted from suggests a no-knead bread recipe that is really lovely. But I thought this turned out really well. It doesn't have to be fancy to be really good. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Salsa Chicken With Chipotle Fried Rice

I was in the mood for something spicy and easy tonight. So chicken and rice it is!

Salsa Chicken and Chipotle Fried Rice
Serves 4

For Chicken:
1 package chicken tenderloins
2 Tbsp Chipotle Olive Oil (or Jalapeno)
1/2 of a 16oz. jar of salsa, whatever heat level you prefer
Black Pepper to taste

Stream the Chipotle or Jalapeno oil into your pan. Season the chicken with pepper and saute about 4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.

Add the salsa and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let simmer no more than 5 minutes.

For Rice:
1 medium diced tomato
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 cups cooked white rice, cooled

Saute onion in 1Tbsp oil over medium heat until they have a little color. About  2-4 minutes. 

Add the rice and the remaining 3Tbsp oil. Toss to coat and leave alone for one or two minutes. You want to let the rice get some color too. Scrape the rice around. Keep doing this until most of the rice has some nice color. Add the tomato and keep stirring for another minute.

Serve with additional salsa on top and sprinkle with Jalapeno Sea Salt.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Squid Ink Pasta

I got a facebook message from a customer named Tammy. She sent in some pictures of what she did with her recent purchases. She didn't really have a recipe, but sent in what she had.

I had left over muscles I cooked as an appetizer, in their shells, in white wine, butter, garlic and fresh thyme.  I had saved the leftovers and the broth, and added canned lump crab meat and clam juice and poured it over your squid ink pasta, cooked 4-6 min.  It was delicious!  And we dipped bread into the white truffle garlic oil with the chocolate balsamic!  YUM!!!

Thank you Tammy! It looks fantastic!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sweet Desserts

Tonight is a simple night. My husband and I are having a couple fruit cups. I just grab some pre-made fruit salads from the grocery store, add some frozen blueberries and drizzle with Chocolate Mandarin Balsamic.

So refreshing!

**12/2014 Sorry, Chocolate Mandarin is gone now. Use the regular Chocolate for the same taste!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spinach Mushroom Pasta

I'm going to be really boring and call this one Spinach Mushroom Pasta. Simple, descriptive, easy to remember. 

Spinach Mushroom Pasta
Serves 4

1 bag Baby Spinach
2 heaping Tbsp Cream of Porcini
1/2 tsp Wild Porcini Sea Salt
1 pkg (1lb) Maestri Pastai Torchietti
2 Tbsp Roasted Garlic Olive Oil

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Empty bag of spinach in to saute pan and add the Roasted Garlic Olive Oil. Heat over medium heat. Stirring often.

Add 2 heaped tablespoons of the Cream of Porcini. Stir.

It should soon look like this. When it does, remove it from the heat. Sprinkle with Porcini Sea Salt.

Spoon spinach over pasta. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mom and her Habanero

Now the Citrus Habanero Olive Oil is one oil you won't find used much on this blog. I'll share recipes I find, but I don't use it. I love things slightly spicy, but that one is waaaay too much for me.

But my mom thinks its awesome. She says she it has a great flavor. I'll just have to take her word for it.

Mom's Citrus Habanero Roasted Veggies

You need about 5 cups of chopped vegetables. Carrots, broccoli, squashes, mushrooms, peppers. Even potatoes. Just grab whatever is in season and go with it.

Preheat your oven to 400degrees.

Add veggies to a large casserole dish. Toss with about 1/4 cup Citrus Habanero Olive Oil and spread them out in a single layer.

Season with a little Himalayan Sea Salt and black pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and starting to turn a golden brown.

My mom eats this by the bowlful. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2 Kinds of Balsamic with Brownies!

None of my recipes turn out pretty! I am upset with that. But I hope the tastiness makes up for that.

Balsamic Brownies

1 Box of your favorite brownie mix. I like what-ever-is-on-sale-this-week fudge.
1 pint fresh berries
2 Tbs Espresso Balsamic
Raspberry Balsamic for drizzling

Make your brownies according to the directions. As a last step, add the Espresso Balsamic. Bake.

Serve warm with berries on top and drizzled with Raspberry Balsamic.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 4th!

Hey, I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July.

This is a reminder that there are fireworks every Friday night in New Hope. Looks like its going to be a beautiful and sunny day and a really great clear night.

So come on out and enjoy the show!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Balsamic and Ice Cream

Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream with Espresso Balsamic. It is a great pairing that is sweet and tangy and perfect for any time of the year. I've had this three day in a row. (it is a heat wave!)

I need to get more ice cream. And some fresh berries. I can't wait to try this with strawberries and blackberries mixed in.