Friday, August 27, 2010

Gorgonzola, Fig and Pecan Cheese Terrine

Recipe courtesy Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh - the party line

about 20 servings


* 1/2 cup dried Mission figs, quartered, plus 1/2 cup for garnish
* 1 cup dry red wine - I USED GRAPE JELLY my mystery ingredient
* 1 sprig fresh thyme, plus 1 bunch for garnish
* 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
* 1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
* 8 ounces crumbled gorgonzola
* 2 tablespoons brandy
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces, plus 1/2 cup for garnish
* 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
* Mesclun and frisee greens, for garnishing


Put the 1/2 cup quartered figs into a small saucepan along with the red wine and thyme. Let the mixture simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Drain the figs, discard the thyme and wine and set the figs aside to cool.

Put the cream cheese and butter into the bowl of a standing mixer and, using the paddle attachment, cream the mixture on medium until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the Gorgonzola, brandy and salt and beat 1 more minute. Take care not to overbeat or it won't set properly.

Spray a 1 quart loaf pan with cooking spray and line the inside with plastic wrap. Spoon half of the cheese mixture into the pan and spread it evenly, making sure to get into the corners. Scatter the figs, pecans and chopped parsley on top evenly and cover with the remaining cheese. Give the pan a few sharp raps on a flat surface to settle the terrine, cover the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

To remove the terrine from the pan, turn upside down on a flat surface and pull 1 end of the plastic wrap down. The terrine will slip out of the pan onto the top piece of plastic wrap. Slice and fan out on a platter garnished with greens. Garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup of figs, pecans and thyme. Serve with crackers.

Pastitsio (Baked Macaroni)

1 pound macaroni
1/4 pound butter
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey or beef
1/2 can tomato paste
6 ounces grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper
4 cups warm milk
5 eggs
6 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2) sticks butter
Cook macaroni (but not well done) in boiling, salted water and drain. Saut? onion in a little butter. Add ground meat and stir until brown. Add tomato paste, thinned with a little water. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook until meat is done. Melt butter; pour over drained macaroni, mixing carefully. Spread half of the macaroni on the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese on top. Spread entire meat mixture on top. Cover with remaining macaroni and remaining grated cheese.
For the Sauce, boil 3 cups of the milk with 1 1/2 sticks butter. Add flour to remaining 1 cup milk and blend well. Add flour mixture to boiling butter and milk. Thicken and cool. After this has cooled, add 5 beaten eggs, or drop small amounts of the milk mixture into the eggs while stirring constantly. Once the egg mixture gets warm to hot, add the remaining milk. Pour sauce over the macaroni. Shake the pan and insert a knife to penetrate thoroughly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes.

Tex Mex Chipolte Cheeseburgers

For Chipotle Mayonnaise:
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotles in adobo sauce (recommended: La Victoria)
3/4 cup mayonnaise (recommended: Best Foods)
For Burgers:
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tablespoons Tex-Mex chili seasoning (recommended: McCormick's)
2 teaspoons chipotles in adobo sauce (recommended: La Victoria)
1/4 cup beer of choice
Salt and pepper
2 slices pepper Jack cheese (recommended: Tillamook)
Hamburger buns, toasted
Lettuce, tomatoes, onions
Sliced avocado, optional
NOTE: Chipotle chiles are smoked, dried jalapenos and are often found packed in adobo sauce which is a spicy dark red sauce made from tomatoes and herbs. Chipotles in adobo can be found in the Mexican foods section of the grocery store.

For the chipotle mayonnaise: Remove peppers from can (you may want to use rubber gloves if sensitive to peppers). Carefully split open and scrape out seeds. Finely chop peppers; set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped chipotle peppers and mayonnaise; set aside covered in refrigerator until ready to use.

For the burgers: In a mixing bowl, stir to combine ground beef, chili seasoning, 2 teaspoons chopped chipotles, and beer. Wet your hands to prevent sticking and shape into 4 patties slightly larger than the buns; set aside covered in refrigerator if not cooking immediately.

Set up grill for direct cooking over high heat. Brush and oil grill before cooking.

Season burgers with salt and pepper and place on hot oiled grill. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. Place cheese slices on burgers 2 to 3 minutes before burgers are done.

Serve hot on toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, sliced avocado, if desired, and a dollop of chipotle mayonnaise.

INDOOR: Follow instructions for preparing burgers. Preheat broiler. Place burgers on wire rack over foil-lined baking sheet or broiler pan. Broil 6 inches from heat source for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. Place cheese slices on burger 1 to 2 minutes before done. Serve hot on toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, sliced avocado (if desired), and a dollop of chipotle mayonnaise.

Next Recipe

Pina Colada Cupcakes With Coconut Rum

1 box white cake mix (yes, I cheated and I’m proud of it!)
1 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup coconut rum
eggs (according to package)
vegetable oil (according to package)
8 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice, drained well (optional)
1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut (optional)
Directions: Add mix, eggs, and oil according to the package. Substitute water for 1 cup pineapple juice and 1/3 cup coconut rum. Blend well with electric mixer. Add pineapple (optional). Make sure it was well-drained and mix until just blended. Fold in coconut (optional). Bake according to the package instructions.
My Standard Buttercream Recipe – This tasted great with the cupcakes.
1/3 cup white Crisco shortening, softened
1/3 cup stick butter or margarine, softened
4-6 tablespoons cream, unwhipped (you can use half and half or milk)
Pinch of salt
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Ina a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat together shortening and butter. Add whipping cream, salt and vanilla and continue mixing until smooth (about 2 -3 minutes). Add in sifted powdered sugar, gradually, beat well until smooth and fluffly. To reach the consistency you need, you may need to add more confectioner’s sugar or cream. Add food coloring ( I used Wilton’s teal gel coloring) and blend well. Remember, gel or paste coloring will darken over time.

Pork Chops with Blueberry Sauce

1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 boneless pork chops
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. chopped fresh sage (or 1/2 tsp. dried)

Combine pepper, garlic powder, salt and cayenne. Mix well. Sprinkle chops with mixture and press into surface. Brown chops in heavy frying pan (one that can be put in the oven).

Bake at 400-degrees F. 12-15 minutes, til moist but cooked. Remove chops to a plate. Combine remaining ingredients in the skillet. Cook until thickened slightly. Serve over chops or on the side. It looks great on the day-of, but turns the chops purple the next day. Warm leftovers in the over the next day and serve up "alien steaks!"

Lamb Burgers

1 pound boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Dash of grated whole nutmeg
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 red bell peppers
1/2 cup 2% low-fat Greek-style plain yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns, toasted
2 cups torn radicchio

To prepare grinder, place feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die plate in freezer for 30 minutes or until well chilled. Assemble grinder just before grinding.

2. Arrange lamb pieces in a single layer on jelly-roll pan, leaving space between each piece. Freeze 15 minutes or until meat is firm but not frozen. Combine lamb and 1 tablespoon oil in large bowl; toss to combine. Pass lamb through meat grinder completely. Immediately pass meat through grinder a second time. Cover and chill.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and shallots; cook 15 minutes or until onions are golden, stirring frequently. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, cumin, and next 6 ingredients (through nutmeg); cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.

4. Combine lamb mixture, onion mixture, 1 tablespoon mint, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in the center of each patty. Cover and chill until ready to grill.

5. Preheat broiler.

6. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 9 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and cut each pepper portion in half.

7. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

8. Combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, remaining 1 tablespoon mint, yogurt, juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.

9. Sprinkle patties evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Place patties on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes or until grill marks appear. Carefully turn patties; grill 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun; top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture, 1/2 cup radicchio, 2 bell pepper strips, and top half of bun.

Barbecued Spiced Shrimp with Tomato Salad

from Bobby Flay
1. 1/3 cup packed basil leaves, plus extra leaves for garnish
2. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4. 2 1/4 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
5. 1 1/2 teaspoons pure ancho chile powder
6. 1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
7. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8. 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
9. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10. 24 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
11. 2 tablespoons canola oil
12. 3 large yellow heirloom tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds), sliced 1/4 inch thick
13. 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1. In a blender, puree the 1/3 cup of basil leaves with the olive oil until smooth. Season the oil with salt and black pepper.
2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, mix the sweet smoked paprika with the pure ancho chile powder, light brown sugar, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Brush the shrimp with the canola oil and season all over with the spice mixture. Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once, until they are lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes total.
3. Arrange the tomato and onion slices on a platter and drizzle with the basil oil. Top with the shrimp, garnish with the remaining basil leaves and serve.
Make Ahead The basil oil can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Caramelized Onions:
• 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 Spanish or sweet Vidalia onion , halved and thinly sliced
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Caramelized Onions: Heat the butter and oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, season with salt and pepper


from Tyler Florence
• 7 egg yolks
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup sweet marsala, plus 2 tablespoons
• 8 ounces mascarpone, softened to room temperature
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 cup brewed espresso coffee
• 1 ounce dark chocolate
• 1/4 cup rum
• 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
• 48 ladyfingers
• 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Cream together egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Add 1/3 cup of the marsala and continue to whisk until mixture is thick and doubled in volume. This is basically a zabaglione. Remove from heat. Stir in the mascarpone until completely blended.
In a chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, to lighten.
In a small saucepan, combine espresso, chocolate, rum, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons marsala. Heat gently, and stir to dissolve the chocolate. Then, chill the mixture to cool it down, about 15 minutes. Quickly dip each ladyfinger in the chilled coffee mixture and arrange in a single layer on a 9 by 13-inch glass baking pan. Do not soak the cookies or they will become too moist. Spread 1/2 the mascarpone cream evenly with a spatula on top of the dipped ladyfingers. Repeat with a second layer of dipped ladyfingers and remaining mascarpone cream. Sprinkle top with cocoa powder. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Shrimp with Mint Pesto

Mint pesto

* 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted - I used Cashews
* 3 garlic cloves, peeled
* 2 tablespoons (packed) feta cheese
* 2 tablespoons (packed) Parmesan cheese
* 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped jalapeño chile
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 2 cups (packed) fresh mint leaves
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

blend together


* 24 large uncooked shrimp (about 2 pounds), peeled, deveined, tails left intact
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
* 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* several rosemary sprigs - lay over the top on a cookie sheet

cook shrimp in broiler for about 3 mins per side. Serve with pesto sauce

Greek Orzo Salad w/ Shrimp:

1 box of orzo (cooked per package directions)

1 lb. cooked shrimp (I like to grill mine, I used Kristen's recipe from her SW shrimp taco salad recipe for my shrimp)
1/2 red onion, sliced or diced
handful of green onions, chopped
handful of kalamata pitted olives, chopped
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
handful of fresh dill, chopped
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 hot house cucumber, sliced
7 oz. container of chopped feta cheese


juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of good olive oil
kosher salt and pepper

Once you cook and drain your orzo (about 8 minutes), mix while still warm with some of the dressing.

Toss with the rest of the ingredients and add your feta cheese in last.
This makes delicious leftovers!