Welcome to cooking school…Ready for a crash course? Temp me please with jam and cheese! But first, a little history lesson; so pull out your notebook. Manchego (used in this recipe) is a semi-hard cheese from the sheep of the central province of La Mancha, Spain; remember the windmills in Don Quixote? That’s the place. Back in November of 2004 (yep, that long ago far away time) Brenton was studying in Spain, so we all ventured over to enjoy a Spanish Thanksgiving. We hopped the train from Seville to Segovia one day to see that charming town, which is adjacent to the region of La Mancha. Needless to say, they served cheese on every corner and every café in between! That was my introduction to the wonderful world of Manchego. Let the games begin…I’ll take cheese for $1000 please.
Enough brain infusion for today. Now on to the recipe. My platters are always on call for hors d’oeuvres!
This is all you’ll need:
All purpose flour for dusting 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed 2 Tbs strawberry jam 1 cup grated Manchego 1 egg *Remember please that I am an unapologetic messy baker; evidence follows!
Here are the particulars:
Preheat oven to 400°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to 12 x 14 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half at center of short side. Spread one half of pastry with jam. Sprinkle evenly with cheese, reserving 2 Tbs. Top this with other piece of pastry. Press gently to adhere. Cut with pizza cutter into 1/2 inch wide strips, about 18 pieces. Twist each piece 4 to 5 times, pinching ends tightly. Place on baking sheet. In small bowl, mix egg with 1 t water. Brush onto twisted pastry. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until golden, about 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from parchment. Serve immediately.
Spreading a little joy to jump start this short week! The combination of flavors in this treat are like every section of the orchestra is playing in harmony and on key. This recipe just may become famous! So drop everything and head to the market straight away; then come home and savor the deliciousness!
4 oz fresh mozzarella 3/4 cup apricot jam 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 4 t olive oil, divided 2 t white wine vinegar Italian baguette, sliced 1 small ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled 1/2 lemon Kosher salt Fresh ground pepper Torn fresh basil*
With fingers, pull mozzarella into shreds. Combine mozzarella, apricot jam, and tomatoes in small bowl. Drizzle with 2 t olive oil and vinegar. Toss to coat. Spread bread slices with remaining 2 t olive oil, salt and pepper. Toast bread slices. Smash and spread avocado on toasted bread. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Spoon apricot and tomato mixture over avocado. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with torn basil.*
May also enjoy for brunch. Note: This is also delicious on a bed of butter bibb lettuce. *I was out of fresh basil when I made this, so I substituted fresh mint and it was wonderful!
Happy Monday! I trust that this “Spring of Vaccinations” is bringing a freshness to you and yours…hope and recovery from 2020, and renewal, with positive refreshing energy changes. And speaking of energy, a couple of weeks back the grands and I joined forces for a bit of energetic fun in the kitchen to make these cinnamon crisps. It’s a “duck for cover” situation when you have 5 year olds mixing cinnamon and sugar free hand, but filled with smiles, love, and giggles. This house wasn’t built on gummy bears alone!
8 wonton wrappers, cut in half diagonally Nonstick cooking spray 2 Tbs sugar 1/2 t ground cinnamon 1 1/2 cups fat free vanilla yogurt 1 cup mixed berries of choice 4 t honey
Preheat oven to 400°. Mix cinnamon and sugar together in small bowl. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange wonton wrappers on baking sheet. Lightly spray wontons with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Bake 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Set aside to cool. Spoon yogurt and berries into dessert dishes. Drizzle with honey. Serve with cinnamon crisps.
Note: Cinnamon Crisps will last 3 weeks in zip top bag or sealed container.
Business Class with Turkish Airlines is kinda sweet. And on our return flight from Istanbul back to the Great USofA this past weekend, one of the sweets served was a warm chocolate cake. I knew better than to be tempted by that offer…but i will share this authentic offering! Back in the winter of 2007, the don and I took a wee respite at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun. Whoa…that’s been a decade! They had just reopened after the devastation of Hurricane Wilma, and they were thrilled to have guests back in the hotel. As part of the major renovation, the Ritz added an all Viking Culinary Center. What a beautiful atmosphere in which to cook; added bonus, it overlooks the Caribbean Sea. That’s right. One of the courses I took with Chef Rory that week included this show stopper. I was a bit afraid initially of my results, but it was perfection on a plate; and it has turned out perfectly in my home kitchen time and time again! Sharing the Love!
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
2 1/2 sticks butter
5 egg yolks
5 whole eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbs all-purpose flour, sifted
Preheat oven to 425°.
In a small sauce pan, melt the chocolate and butter together over very low heat.
*Do not allow chocolate to get too hot.
Remove from heat and keep warm.
In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, whole eggs, and sugar.
Pour warm chocolate into egg mixture.
While stirring chocolate mixture add sifted flour slowly to avoid lumps.
Spray 6 soufflé cups with cooking spray.
Pour mixture into cups and place on a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to rest 3 minutes.
Go around edges of soufflé cup with a knife to loosen the cake.
Invert on to a plate.
Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on side of cake.
A little sweetness for your morning or evening. Here’s the perfect little “pick me up” after a long day of errands that is inherent this time of year. And the bonus…your smallest children and grandchildren can participate in the creating. Spread the joy. Share the love.
1/2 stick butter
6 7 inch tortillas
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Place oven rack in center position of oven.
Preheat oven to 500°.
Melt butter in shallow baking pan in oven, about 2 minutes.
Spread tortillas in baking pan, overlapping slightly and turning each to coat both sides with butter.
Stir together sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Sprinkle evenly over tortillas.
Bake until golden and puffed in spots, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Watch carefully!
Simple old fashioned goodness here! The fresh fall apples are abundant and we need a little fruit with our turkey, right?! This recipe is ages old, but some things are just worth passing down. I added fresh Beelicious honey, nod to Judy and Matt, and loved the difference it made. Top it with vanilla bean ice cream and call it dessert. Gobble Gobble good people of the world wide web!
8 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla extract
Place apple chunks in soup pot.
Separately heat sugars, butter, honey, and cinnamon over medium heat 4 minutes until everything is dissolved.
Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
Pour over apples.
Simmer on medium low 30 minutes, until apples are tender.