Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rhubarb Tart

Sense of Home Kitchen

Rhubarb Tart
~Sense of Home Kitchen~

The crust used for this tart was adapted from a Gourmet magazine tart crust recipe.  They describe it as an Italian pastry called pasta frolla.  The texture of the dough is more like cookie dough than pastry and the rustic, unwoven lattice crust is easy to assemble.

Makes 8 servings

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange zest

4 cups diced (1/2-inch) fresh rhubarb
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter

Optional Topping:
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

For Pastry Dough:
Beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Reserve 1 tablespoon beaten egg, chilled, for egg wash and beat remaining egg into butter mixture, then add vanilla, beating well.  Mix flour, salt and orange zest in a separate bowl and gradually add to the butter mixture, mixing until dough starts to form a ball.  Finish by hand, patting into a ball.

Halve dough and form each half into a 5- to 6-inch disk.  Wrap disks in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 20 minutes.

For Filling:
Mix rhubarb, sugar, and flour.  Set aside.

Assemble and Bake:
Roll out 1 piece of dough (leaving the other disc in the refrigerator) between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 12-inch round.  Remove top sheet of paper and invert dough into a tart pan with removable rim (or springform pan in the the absence of a tart pan with removable rim).  Pat to smooth in any cracked or broken areas.  Trim overhang to 1/2 inch and fold inward, then press against side of pan to reinforce edge (if using a springform pan, pat crust up the side approximately 1-inch).  Chill tart shell.  Roll out remaining dough in same manner and remove top sheet of paper, then cut dough into 1-inch wide strips and slide dough, still on wax paper, onto baking sheet.  Chill strips until firm, about 5 minutes.

Put a foil-lined large baking sheet in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 375° (if using a springform pan the baking sheet will not be necessary as the filling will not bubble over).

Spread filling in chilled tart shell and dot with the 2 tablespoons of butter.  Arrange strips across filling, pressing ends onto edge of tart shell.  Arrange remaining strips diagonally across first strips to form a lattice with diamond-shaped spaces.  Trim edges of all strips flush with crust sides.  Brush lattice top with reserved beaten egg.

Bake tart in pan on baking sheet in oven until pastry is golden and filling is bubbling, about 50 to 55 minutes. If lattice and edges look too brown after 30 minutes, loosely cover with foil.  Cool tart completely in pan on a rack, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, to allow juices to thicken.

Serve at room temperature with or without optional toppings.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Pastries / Desserts

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blueberry-Coconut Baked Steel Cut Oats

Sense of Home Kitchen

Blueberry-Coconut Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Family Fresh Cooking~

This recipe is to be made the night before, which makes it a good dish for a weekend family breakfast or the perfect addition to a brunch buffet table along with this egg dish.  The baked oatmeal needs time in the refrigerator to absorb the liquid and firm up enough to serve like cake, which works out rather nicely since it tastes like dessert.

8 to 10 servings

1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups milk
2 cups water
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, do not thaw first)
1/4 cup unsweetened dried blueberries
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Optional Toppings
Sweetener of choice; such as, honey, brown sugar, stevia, or agave
fresh or thawed blueberries
chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350° F. and grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl combine oats, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.  Add milk, water, and cream mixing thoroughly. Stir in blueberries, dried blueberries and coconut.  Place in preheated oven and bake for one hour (oats will be soft and appear done).  Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature.  Cover and place in refrigerator overnight to thicken.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and reheat in a 300° oven until just heated through (watching close so that it does not burn, adding milk if it becomes too dry) or heat individual portions in a microwave oven.

Serve with sweeteners, blueberries, nuts, and milk on the side and let everyone choose their own preferred level and brand of sweetness for the start to their morning.  I think it is good even without any sweetener added, just the fresh or thawed berries.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Breakfast and Brunch

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Sense of Home Kitchen

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from a recipe my mother makes often~

Serves 4 - 6

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, for sautéing
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 cup cooked black beans
1 1/2 cups salsa, divided
3 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon dried cilantro or 1 tablespoon fresh, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
8 to 10 flour tortillas (6 inch), preferably homemade

sour cream
fresh spinach or other greens

Preheat oven to 350°

Sauté chopped onion in one to two tablespoons olive oil until soft, then add minced garlic and sauté another minute.  Add cooked chicken, cooked black beans, 1/2 cup salsa, cream cheese, cilantro, and cumin.  Stir to combine and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally.  Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese, stir to combine. 

Spoon approximately 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into the center of a warm tortilla shell, roll and place seem side down in a 9- x 13-inch baking dish.  Continue until all the mixture is used.  Top with remaining shredded cheese and salsa.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through.  Garnish with cilantro and serve with sour cream and fresh spinach or other greens.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Main Dishes / Poultry

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cacao Sesame Bars

Sense of Home Kitchen

Cacao Sesame Bars
~Sense of Home Kitchen~

Parchment paper ensures that these bars will come right out of the pan and cleanup will be a snap.

Makes approximately 15 bars

1 1/2 cups unhulled sesame seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or chips
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/ 8 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 300° F.

Place the sesame seeds in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and toast for a few minutes until seeds are lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl mix toasted sesame seeds, coconut, cacao, peanut butter, honey and salt.

Line a 9 x 9 inch baking dish with parchment paper.  Butter the paper and press seed mixture into pan with buttered fingers.  Place baking dish in preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes.  Let cool a few minutes, lift the parchment paper and bars out onto a cutting board and let rest until cool.  Cut and enjoy.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Cookies and Bars

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stuffed Onions

Sense of Home Kitchen

Stuffed Onions
~Sense of Home Kitchen, inspired by, but changed considerably from, the Stuffed Onions recipe in the beautiful vegetable cookbook Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi

This dish makes an excellent side dish or a tasty appetizer.  Onions, mushrooms, sherry, and tarragon play together very well.

Serves 6

butter for greasing the dish
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry sherry
4 large white onions
8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, diced
2 2/3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/3 cup parsley leaves (loosely packed), minced
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Butter a 9 x 13 ovenproof dish.  Set aside.

Place the stock and sherry in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil then turn heat down to simmer.  Meanwhile, trim the top and bottom of the onions, cut them lengthwise in half and remove the skin.  Gently remove most of the inside of the onion (do not waste these, save them for another use, in another recipe), retaining 3 of the outer layers. Carefully separate the layers and place a few at a time in the simmering stock.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just tender.  Drain and cool.  Reserve stock.

Place mushrooms, breadcrumbs, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix.

Fill each onion layer generously with stuffing.  Pull the sides together and place them seam-side down, single layer, in the buttered baking dish.  Pour 1/3 cup of the reserved stock, enough to just cover the bottom of the dish, into the baking dish and bake for 45 minutes, or until onions are soft and lightly browned and the stuffing is bubbling.  Add more stock if they are dry before the end of the cooking process.  Turn broiler on high and broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until some of the onions begin to brown, as shown above.  Serve warm.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Appetizers / Side Dishes

Friday, April 13, 2012

Homemade Breadcrumbs

Sense of Home Kitchen

Homemade Breadcrumbs
~Sense of Home Kitchen~

Day old or stale bread

Cut bread into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes.  Process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form.  These fresh bread crumbs can be used in meat loaf, meatballs, stuffed get the idea.

For Dry Breadcrumbs:
Spread the crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 300° F. for 5 minutes, give the crumbs a little stir and put back in oven for approximately 5 minutes more or until brown and crisp.  Dry breadcrumbs can be ground finer and used as a coating for frying chicken, zucchini, fish, crab cakes, you name it.  They can be left chunkier and sprinkled on pasta, artichokes, or sautéed greens.

Dried breadcrumbs can be stored in an airtight container for 1 month.

Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the crumbs before toasting them and season as you wish with fresh herbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, or crushed garlic and then toast in oven.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Basics

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Roasted Asparagus Soup with Blue Cheese Custards

Sense of Home Kitchen

Roasted Asparagus Soup with Blue Cheese Custards
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Gourmet, April 2002~

Roasting the asparagus sweetens it slightly and adds another layer of flavor to this delicious soup.  Remember a dish is only as good as the sum of its parts so if at all possible use your own homemade chicken stock or broth.  The richness and depth of flavor in homemade stock cannot be compared to store-bought and is worth the small amount of extra effort (instructions here).  Stock can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for a day or frozen or canned and stored for longer.

This soup can be a meal in itself, however, for dinner guests this makes an excellent first course.

Makes 6 servings
Special equipment needed: Six (2 oz) ramekins

2 1/2 oz Blue Cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 whole large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper

2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only (1 1/4 cups, when finely chopped)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed
5 cups low-sodium chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

To Roast Asparagus:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash and trim the tough end of the asparagus.  Lay the asparagus in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast uncovered in a preheated oven until tender, approximately 10 minutes.  Cool.  Remove the tips off of nine of the asparagus, then half each of the six tips lengthwise and reserve for garnish.  Chop the remaining roasted asparagus into 2 inch pieces and reserve for soup.

For Custards:
Prepare six (2 oz) ramekins by buttering them very well so the custard will slip out easily after cooking, set aside.

In a small heavy saucepan, over moderate heat bring blue cheese and half and half just to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and steep, covered, 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Set a tea kettle full of water on the stove and heat until it begins to boil.  While the water is heating, pour steeped cream through a very fine sieve into a bowl, pressing lightly on cheese solids.  Whisk together whole egg, yolks, salt and white pepper in another bowl, then add steeped cream in a stream, whisking until smooth.  Divide among six well-buttered ramekins.

Set ramekins in a baking pan, carefully pour just boiled water into the pan until the water reaches a third to half up the ramekins, place on middle rack in preheated oven and bake in the hot water bath until centers of custards are completely set, 40 to 45 minutes.  Transfer ramekins to a rack and cool 5 minutes.

Make soup while cream steeps and custards bake:
Cut ends off the leeks, leaving only the white and pale green parts, separate layers and wash in a bowl of cold water, then lift out, drain well, and finely chop the leeks until you have 1 1/4 cups.  Sauté leeks, red onion, white pepper, and salt in butter in a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until leeks and onion are softened, about 3 minutes.  Add chopped, roasted asparagus and chicken stock to the soup pot and simmer covered for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice.

Purée soup in SMALL BATCHES in a blender until smooth.  CAUTION: overfilling the blender with hot liquid will create a pressure and cause some of the hot soup to burst out even with the blender cover on.  Transfer soup to a large bowl, taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve soup with custards:
Working with 1 custard at a time, run a thin knife around the edge of each to loosen it, then invert a soup bowl over the ramekin and invert custard into bowl.  Repeat with remaining custards.  Ladle soup around custards and garnish with reserved asparagus tips, three on top of each custard.

Soup can be made 1 day ahead.  Cool, uncovered, then refrigerate.  Reheat slowly while making the custards.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Soup

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shrimp Salad

Sense of Home Kitchen

Shrimp Salad
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from "Raoul's Shrimp Salad" in Patricia Wells wonderful book Salad As A Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season~

This salad is a shrimp cocktail with a twist and can be served as an appetizer or salad.

Serves 4

1/2 cup tomato juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Approximately 10 drops of hot sauce
Sea salt, pink if available, to taste
1 red bell pepper, trimmed, seeds removed, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, trimmed, seeds removed, diced
1 cucumber, peeled if store-bought, unpeeled if from your garden or farmer's market, diced
1 green onion, minced
1 1/2 pounds (25 to 30) cooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, whisk together the tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt.  Taste and adjust hot sauce and salt as desired.  Add red and yellow peppers, cucumbers, and green onion.  Stir and cover. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors develop.

Add the shrimp and fresh cilantro to the sauce and vegetables, toss to coat.  Mound the shrimp salad on plates, and serve.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Appetizers / Salads  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Baked Egg Custard with Cheddar and Chives

Sense of Home Kitchen

Baked Egg Custard with Cheddar and Chives
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Gourmet, December 2008~

This dish can be prepared ahead of time and baked right before eating.  The egg mixture can be blended the night before, refrigerated, and poured back into the blender in the morning for another good mix to put air back in (very important) and poured into the baking dish and baked.  This makes a perfect breakfast or brunch for company.  Serve with a side of sausage, croissants, and fresh fruit or salad.

Serves 6 - 8

2 cups grated white medium Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped chives
10 large eggs
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cottage cheese, drained
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with rack in the middle.  Butter a 2-quart shallow baking dish (2 inches deep).

Place the cottage cheese in a fine strainer and set aside to drain excess liquid.

Sprinkle grated Cheddar and chopped chives evenly in the baking dish.

Blend the eggs, half and half, milk, strained cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth.

Pour egg mixture over Cheddar and chives in the baking dish and bake until puffed, set, and golden, 35 to 45 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Eggs / Breakfast

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chai-Spiced Cookies

Sense of Home Kitchen

Chai-Spiced Cookies
~Sense of Home Kitchen~

Makes 5 dozen

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar together, beat in the vanilla and eggs.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, allspice, and black pepper.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until combined.  Drop by teaspoons on a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.  Cool on rack and store in an air-tight container.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Cookies