September 28, 2010

Baked Brie w/ Fresh Fruit


  • 1 11x17" sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 13.2 ounce wheel of Brie cheese, about 5 inches
  • 1/4 cup fig, raspberry or apricot jam
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted*
  • 1 egg, beaten with a splash of water for glaze
  • 1 box water crackers
  • Blueberries
  • Red pears 
  • Apple
  1.  Roll out pastry on lightly floured surface to 12-inch square.Remove the top rind from the Brie. This is easiest if you put the cheese in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes first. 
  2. When the cheese has firmed up, shave off the rind with a sharp paring knife. Discard the rind. 
  3. Spread apricot, fig or raspberry jam on top of the brie.  
  4. Sprinkle with almonds if desired.  
  5. Place the cheese top side down onto the rolled out pastry dough.
  6. Fold pastry on 2 opposite sides over cheese. 
  7. Brush all sides of pastry with glaze. Fold over remaining sides; press seams to seal. Place on cookie sheet SEAM SIDE DOWN.  Brush pastry on all sides with glaze.
  8. Hint to keep the cheese from spilling out:  If the cheese came in a wooden box, simply return it to the box. Otherwise, shape a few layers of aluminum foil into a shallow makeshift pan around the cheese. Crimp the foil at the edges, leaving the top of the Brie exposed.
  9. Cut designs from the dough scraps and decorate the top of the dough, then brush with the egg wash. 
  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. 

    *Toast nuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring or tossing often, just until lightly golden. Remove the toasted nuts from the skillet immediately, as the heat of the skillet will continue to toast the nuts. Cool completely. 
    Alternatively, you can spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in a 350°F oven or toaster oven, stirring once or twice.

    September 27, 2010

    Rib-Eye and Anaheim Chili Quesadillas


    • Anaheim Chile Vinaigrette
    • 3 large Anaheim chiles, grilled, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
    • 2 poblanos, roasted and roughly chopped
    • 4 cloves roasted garlic, peeled
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 1 tablespoon honey, or more if needed
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 3/4 cup canola oil
    • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves


    • 12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
    • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
    • 1 cup cabrales
    • Marinated rib-eye slices, leftover from Rib-Eye Marinated in Garlic, Anaheim Chiles and
    • Fresh Oregano recipe
    • 8 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
    • 1 red bell pepper, roasted and sliced
    • 1 Anaheim pepper, roasted and julienned
    • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
    • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
    • Canola oil
    • Cilantro leaves, for garnish


    For the vinaigrette:

    Combine the Anaheim chiles, poblanos, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, a few tablespoons of water, honey and salt and pepper, to taste, in a blender and blend until smooth.

    With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Add the parsley and blend 5 seconds longer. (There should be flecks of the parsley in the vinaigrette.)

    For the quesadilla:

    Preheat the grill to medium heat. Place 8 tortillas on a flat surface and evenly divide the Monterey Jack, cabrales, beef, goat cheese, bell pepper, Anaheim pepper and green onion among the tortillas (in that order). Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and sprinkle with Parmesan.

    Stack the tortillas to make 4 (2-layer) tortillas and top each with the remaining tortillas. Combine ancho chili powder and canola oil, and brush the tops of the tortillas. Carefully place on the grill, ancho side down and grill until lightly golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the quesadillas over, close the lid of the grill and grill until the bottom of the tortillas are lightly golden brown and the cheese has melted. Remove from the grill to a cutting board. Cut into quarters, top each quarter with some of the vinaigrette and garnish with cilantro leaves. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

    Rib-Eye Marinated in Garlic & Anaheim Chilis


    • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 3 Anaheim chiles, stems removed, sliced with seed and coarsely chopped
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped oregano leaves
    • 1/2 cup canola oil
    • 3 (1-inch) thick bone-in rib-eye
    • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper


    Stir together the garlic, chiles, oregano and oil in a large baking dish. Add the steaks and turn to coat in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours.

    Heat grill to high. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling to take the chill off. Remove from the marinade and season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the steaks on both sides until golden brown and slightly charred and cooked to medium-rare and an instant-read thermometer registers 130 degrees F. Remove from the grill to a cutting board and let rest, loosely tented with foil, for 10 minutes. Slice into 1/2-inch thick slices and serve.

    September 16, 2010

    September 10, 2010

    Lemon Pasta with Arugula

    My recipe for Lemon Pasta with Arugula is based on Ina Garten's.  I have put my twist on it.  I like tiny pieces of broccoli so it doesn't overpower the dish.  You can add  any fresh vegetable to make it your own.   It pairs well with steak and chicken-added in or on the side.  Add more olive oil and less cream to cut the heaviness of the dish.  You can also replace the arugula with fresh basil leaves.  I see another recipe coming! Enjoy.


    • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 3 lemons
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 pound pasta (linguine, penne, fusilli or bow tie)
    • 1/2 pound baby arugula (or 2 bunches of common arugula, leaves cut in thirds)
    • 1/2 cup broccoli, tiny florets
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved


    1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds.
    2. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
    3. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
    4. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem.
    5. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
    6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
    7. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta.
    8. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli.
    9. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste.
    Cooks note: You may also add sliced carrots, snow pea pods, slivered onions, ect. with the broccoli.
    Also, if you want your dish more creamy then double the sauce ingredients OR add 1/2 the sauce before the final step.
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