From Ina Garten
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/4 pounds tart apples, such as Empire or Granny Smith (3 apples)
3 tablespoons dried cherries
3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on top
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch kosher salt
1 package (17.3 ounces, 2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine the orange zest and orange juice in a bowl.
- Peel, quarter, and core the apples and then cut them in 3/4-inch dice. Immediately toss the apples with the zest and juice to prevent them from turning brown.
- Add the cherries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Flour a board and lightly roll each sheet of puff pastry to a 12 by 12-inch square. Cut each sheet into 4 smaller squares and keep chilled until ready to use.
- Brush the edges of each square with the egg wash and neatly place about 1/3 cup of the apple mixture on half of the square.
- Fold the pastry diagonally over the apple mixture and seal by pressing the edges with a fork.
- Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Brush the top with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, make 2 small slits, and bake for 20 minutes, until browned and puffed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Best Ever Nacho Layer Dip
From Food Network
1 can refried beans
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup coarsely chopped jalapenos
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced scallions
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spread beans over bottom of baking dish. Spread softened cream cheese on top.
- Layer tomatoes, jalapenos, red onion and cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
- Top with scallions and serve with chips.
From Wolfgang Puck
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon zest
Confectioner’s sugar, for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. With the machine running, add the butter and continue to process until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 12-by-18-inch baking pan. With your fingers, press it in to form an even layer of crust.
- Bake the crust until light golden in color, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the lemon custard topping. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar, flour, and salt and stir until well blended. Finally, stir in the lemon juice, milk, and lemon zest.
- Pour the lemon mixture over the prebaked crust, return the pan to the oven, and continue to bake until the custard has set, 20 minutes more.
- Remove the pan from the oven, let it cool to room temperature, and then chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Before serving, use a sharp knife to cut down through the topping and crust to make 3 dozen bars. Carefully pry them from the pan and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
Makes 3 dozen.
From Martha Stewart
3 cups lemon or lime juice, about 20 lemons or 25 limes freshly squeezed
2 cups superfine sugar
4 cups cold water
4 cups ice
2 lemons or limes, thinly sliced for garnish
- Into a large serving container, strain the citrus juice, mix it with sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add 4 cups cold water and stir again until well combined. Add ice to fill and a few lemon or lime slices.
Makes 10 cups.
Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars
From Joy Of Baking
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 - 14 ounce (396 grams) can Dulce de Leche or sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces (170 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Grease with butter (or use a cooking spray) a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) pan.
- For shortbread: in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together.
- Press onto the bottom of your greased pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until pale golden in color.
- Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
- For caramel filling: if using Dulce de Leche then simply warm the caramel in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
- If using sweetened condensed milk, pour the milk into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cover and cook, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 60 minutes or until the milk has thickened and has turned a light caramel color. (You can also do this step in a microwave oven. Place the sweetened condensed milk in a large microwaveable bowl and cook on medium power for about 4 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time. Reduce the power to medium-low and continue to cook for another 8 to 12 minutes, or until the milk has thicken and has turned a light caramel color. Remove from microwave and beat until smooth.)
- Remove from heat and beat until smooth.
- Pour the caramel over the baked shortbread and leave to set.
- For chocolate topping: melt the chocolate and butter either in the microwave oven or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Pour the melted chocolate evenly over the caramel and leave to set.
- Cut the shortbread into pieces using a sharp knife.
- Store the shortbread in the refrigerator to keep the chocolate nice and firm.
Makes 16 - 2 inch (5 cm) squares.
Crab & Pork Spring Rolls
From Gourmet magazine
1/2 oz dried wood ear mushrooms (about 2)
6 oz ground fatty pork (from shoulder)
1/4 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
1 whole large egg, lightly beaten, plus 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten separately
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 scallion, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
30 Vietnamese rice-paper wedges*
About 6 cups peanut or vegetable oil
Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer
Accompaniment: nuoc cham dipping sauce, recipe below
- Cover mushrooms with hot water by 1 inch in a bowl and soak 20 minutes (mushrooms will expand). Drain in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly, then drain again. Trim off and discard any hard parts from mushrooms, then finely chop. (You should have about 3 tablespoons.)
- Stir together mushrooms, pork, crabmeat, beaten whole egg, cilantro, ginger, scallion, garlic, and salt in a bowl until combined well.
- Line a tray with wax paper. Put a double thickness of paper towels on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water.
- Discard any rice-paper wedges with holes. Soak 1 wedge in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then carefully transfer to paper towels, arranging it with curved side of wedge nearest you.
- Put 1 tablespoon filling in middle of curved side about 1/2 inch from edge and shape filling horizontally into a 2 3/4-inch log. Fold left and right corners of wedge over filling, overlapping slightly and aligning bottom edges. (Wedge will resemble an open envelope.)
- Dab top corner with some yolk, then tightly roll up wedge away from you, making sure ends stay tucked inside. (Be sure to roll up wedges tightly or air pockets will prevent rolls from browning evenly when fried.) Put roll, seam side down, on tray and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
- Make more rolls in same manner, transferring to tray and arranging 1/2 inch apart. Keep loosely covered until ready to fry.
- Heat about 1 inch of oil in a 5- to 6-quart pot over moderately high heat until it registers 365°F on thermometer.
- Fry rolls in batches of 5 or 6, keeping rolls apart during first minute of frying to prevent sticking and stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.
- ransfer as fried with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 365°F between batches.)
Make ahead: Rolls can be assembled (but not fried) 1 month ahead and frozen on a tray in 1 layer, 1/2 inch apart, about 2 hours, then transferred to an airtight container or sealed plastic bag and kept frozen. Thaw in refrigerator, uncovered, in 1 layer, 1/2 inch apart, then pat dry before frying.
Makes 10 hors d'oeuvre servings.
*Found in Asian markets and at Adriana's Caravan
Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
From Gourmet magazine
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce, preferably nuoc mam
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fresh Thai chile (2 to 3 inches; preferably red) including seeds, thinly sliced crosswise
- Stir together sugar and water in a bowl until sugar is dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients and chill, covered, at least 2 hours to allow flavors to develop.
- Bring to room temperature before serving (this will take about 1 hour).
Makes about 1 cup.
Make ahead: Sauce can be chilled up to 3 days.
Greek Cheese Squares
From Suite 101
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 cups flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a jelly roll pan or large baking sheet and set aside. (Ideally the pan should be 10x10 inches, but use whatever is on hand or a combination of pans.)
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add olive oil and beat on low for two minutes.
- Add milk, baking powder, and cheese; beat for one minute more. Add half of the flour and beat until smooth.
- Add the second cup of flour and mix dough by hand until smooth. Knead dough for three to five minutes.
- Spread the soft dough evenly over prepared pan. Dough should be about 1/8-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut through the dough to create 1-inch squares.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on wire racks.
- Store in airtight containers for up to 10 days.
Makes about 100 squares.
Creamy Mushroom Phyllo Triangles
From Cooking Light magazine
3/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 3/4 ounce)
1 pound button mushrooms
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
24 (18 x 14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
- Cover porcini mushrooms with boiling water in a bowl. Let stand 1 hour. Drain well; chop.
- Place half of button mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 8 times or until finely chopped. Remove from processor.
- Repeat procedure with remaining button mushrooms.
- Add onion to processor; pulse 8 times or until finely chopped.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes.
- Add button mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are tender and liquid evaporates (about 10 minutes).
- Stir in porcini mushrooms, oregano, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add cheese; stir until cheese melts. Stir in parsley.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or work surface (cover remaining phyllo to prevent drying). Cut sheet in half lengthwise; lightly coat with cooking spray. Fold each phyllo piece in half lengthwise to form a (3 1/2-inch-wide) strip.
- Spoon a level tablespoon of mushroom mixture onto 1 short end of each strip, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold 1 corner of edge with 1-inch border over mixture, forming a triangle; continue folding back and forth into a triangle to end of strip.
- Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo, cooking spray, and mushroom mixture.
- Place triangles, seam side down, on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat tops with cooking spray.
- Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
Makes 48 triangles.
Make ahead: Assemble and freeze up to two weeks before the party. Don't thaw the triangles before baking; just add seven minutes to the baking time.
NUTRITION PER SERVING CALORIES 49(37% from fat); FAT 2g (sat 0.8g,mono 1g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 1.5g; CHOLESTEROL 3mg; CALCIUM 7mg; SODIUM 97mg; FIBER 0.5g; IRON 0.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 6.2g
Modified from Avocado Central
4 Hass Avocados, peeled and pitted
2 lemons, juiced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
¼ Cup cilantro, chopped
¼ Cup green onion, diced
¼ tsp ground cumin
1-2 Jalapeño, seeded and all of them minced
Salt and chile powder to taste
- Place avocados in a large bowl and mash them.
- Add lemon juice and mix well.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve with tortilla chips.
From Emeril Lagasse
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried crushed Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 pounds flank steak, fat trimmed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 large flour tortillas
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese, optional for garnish
Lime wedges, accompaniment
Cold Mexican beer, or tequila shots
- In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, tequila, garlic, cilantro, 1 tablespoon of the oil, the Worcestershire sauce, oregano, pepper flakes, cumin and coriander. Pour into a large zip-lock bag, add the steak, and seal. Place in a baking dish and refrigerate for at least 12 and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
- Remove the meat from the bag and pat dry. Season on both sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper.
- Preheat the grill to high, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes to warm and soften. Remove from the oven and keep warm in the aluminum foil.
- Cook the steak over the grill to preferred temperature, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and onions, and cook, stirring, until soft and slightly caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic, remaining teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Thinly slice the steak against the grain. Divide among the warmed tortillas and top with the vegetables and cheese if desired. Squeeze with lime juice and serve immediately with cold beer or tequila shots.