Thursday, January 26, 2012

Honeyed Walnut Tart

Sense of Home Kitchen

Honeyed Walnut Tart
~from the Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Bon Appétit, October 2005~
8 servings

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons (or more) ice water

3 cups toasted walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange liqueur

1 egg, whisked to blend with 2 teaspoons water (for glaze)

Blend flour and salt in processor.  Add butter; using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Add 5 tablespoons ice water; process until moist clumps form, adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry.  Much of this will depend on the amount of humidity in the air.  I have to add more water in winter when the air is dry, less in the summer.  Gather into a ball and flatten into a disk.  Wrap in plastic and let stand for 1 hour (do not chill).  This is a very easy crust to work with, holds together and rolls out well.

For Filling:
Mix first four ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  Whisk eggs, honey, lemon juice, and orange liqueur in another medium-sized bowl.  Add egg mixture to nut mixture; stir until well blended.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Roll crust out on lightly floured surface to an approximately 14-inch round.  Transfer to an 11-inch-diameter tart pan with a removable bottom, allowing crust to drape over pan (or use any pan that can withstand the 400 degree heat and shape as you please).  Pour filling into crust, spreading evenly.  Fold edges over filling pleating as needed.  Brush with egg glaze.

Bake tart until filling is deep golden and almost set, about 40 minutes.  Transfer to a rack; cool 15 minutes.  Carefully insert small knife between top edge of crust and pan sides in several places to loosen tart.  (And here is where the removable bottom comes in so handy.)  Gently push up on tart bottom to release tart from sides of pan.  Cool completely.  (Can be made 1 day ahead, cover with foil and store at room temperature.)  Cut tart into wedges and serve with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Desserts / Pastries

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Potato Soup with Bacon

Sense of Home Kitchen

Potato Soup with Bacon
~from the Sense of Home Kitchen~
If you are using fresh herbs rather than dried, add them at the end of the cooking process when you add the half and half and remember 1 teaspoon of dried herb = 1 tablespoon fresh.  In other words, it is a 3 to 1 ratio, 3 teaspoons fresh = 1 teaspoon dried.  Dried herbs need more cooking time, fresh herbs are better added at the end of the cooking process to keep their fresh flavor.
Serves 6

1 pound red-skinned potatoes (about 4 medium-sized)
4 slices bacon
1 medium-sized onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 quart (32 ounces) chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as a Chardonnay
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 cup half and half
Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash and scrub potatoes very well, you will not be peeling them.  Chop potatoes into 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes.  Using a kitchen scissors or knife, cut bacon into small pieces and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until nearly crisp.  Add diced onion and celery and cook until soft and bacon has crisped.  Add garlic and sauté another minute, stirring.

Into a soup pot pour the chicken stock and wine, add onion, celery, garlic and bacon mixture, potatoes, carrots, parsley, dill weed, and a little salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender.  Once potatoes are tender add half and half and rewarm over low heat, do not boil.

Add salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Soup

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chocolate Nib Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Nib Zucchini Cake
~from the Sense of Home Kitchen~
With the addition of zucchini, this is a very moist cake, the nibs provide a nutty texture and the coconut oil adds a subtle flavor.  Top with a small scoop of coconut vanilla ice cream and you have a perfect welcome home.

Makes one 13 x 9-inch cake

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (melted over very low heat)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cups freshly grated zuccchini (or frozen, thawed and drained, measured at 2 cups when fresh)
1 cup cacao nibs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Butter and flour a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.  Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.

Beat sugar, butter, and melted and slightly cooled coconut oil in a large bowl until well blended.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.  Mix in vanilla extract and yogurt.

Stir in sifted flour, cocoa, and other dry ingredients.  Then mix in grated zucchini and cocao nibs.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.  Cool and serve with a scoop of ice cream.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Broccoli, Kale, and Feta Quiche

Sense of Home Kitchen

Broccoli, Kale, and Feta Quiche
~From the Sense of Home Kitchen~
Makes 1 quiche

Pie dough for a 9-inch pie

12 eggs
1 cup feta, crumbled
1 medium onion
1 cup kale, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Olive oil for sauteing

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare and roll out pie dough.  Place in a 9-inch pie pan and prebake with foil and pie weights at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  Turn oven down to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, cut onion in half from stem to root.  Peel and thinly slice both halves.  Saute onion over medium-high heat in a small amount of olive oil until translucent.  Add garlic and saute another minute.  Add kale and broccoli, sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue sauteing for another three minutes stirring often, careful not to let the garlic burn.

Whisk eggs and stir in crumbled feta.  Add sauteed mixture, green onions, fresh oregano, and salt and pepper to taste, mix well.

Pour mixture into prebaked crust and place in 350 degree oven.  Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until quiche is puffed and eggs are set (the center will tremble slightly when shaken, but will set up as it cools).

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Eggs

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pie Crust

Sense of Home Kitchen

 Pie Crust
~from the Sense of Home Kitchen~

Makes 2 pie crusts

2 cups flour (preferably whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup ice-cold water

Mix flour and salt together.  Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry cutter until mixture is pea size crumbs.  Then add water and mix with hands just until it forms a ball, do not overwork.  Add more water by the tablespoon if dough is too dry to form a ball, however the ball should be on the dry side and not too moist or sticky.

Flour working surface, divide dough into two balls, roll out dough into a circle to fit your pan.  Flour rolling pin and starting on one side roll dough onto pin and unroll into ungreased pie pan.  Flute edges with thumb on one hand and thumb and index finger on the next, pinching the dough to make points.  Bake according to quiche or pie recipe.