Sunday, April 15, 2012
Ah, goat cheese what can I say! I love to cook with this creamy cheese. What is so good about this baked goat cheese dip is the wonderful combination of goat cheese, herbs, with a dried fruit and nut topping. Spread this dip over crackers and enjoy the rich taste of all the wonderful flavors.
Baked Goat Cheese Dip with Apricots, Cranberries and Nuts
4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
6 ounces goat cheese
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted and ground coarse
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup candied cranberries
2 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter or spray a 1 1/2 quart round baking dish. In a medium sauce pan on medium, heat the butter and then add shallots. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the chopped thyme and cook for another minute. Add flour, stirring over low heat for 2 minutes. Add cream and milk whisking over low heat for 3-4 minutes or until the base is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat adding goat cheese. Stir and let stand for 3 minutes until goat cheese is melted. In the meantime, whisk eggs, Parmesan cheese (reserve 2 tablespoons for sprinkling) and cayenne together in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup cream mixture to the eggs and whisk vigorously. This is called tempering so the eggs don't cook when you adding to the cream mixture. Add the rest of the cream mixture and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and nutmeg. Bake 30 minutes depending on the type of baking dish you are using. Insert tester in the center and it should not be runny. Also it should puff all the way to the center. You may have to cook an additional 5 minutes. Let cool at room temperature before serving.
Combine pecans, apricots, cranberries and oil. Place on top before serving.
I serve with an assortment of crackers.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Greek Butter Cookies just melt in your mouth. Koulourakia are usually served at Greek Easter along with other delicious baked delicacies. I like these butter cookies for their flaky buttery taste along with a hint of orange and brandy.
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons brandy
7 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Beat butter, oil and shortening in a large bowl of electric blender until well blended. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time blending well. Stir baking soda into orange juice, stir. Add to butter mixture. Add eggs and brandy, mixing well. Combine flour and baking powder. Add flour 1 cup at a time to creamed mixture. Remove from mixture when dough is heavy. Knead by hand until dough is smooth. Tear off a piece of dough a little larger than a walnut. Roll between palms to form a pencil shape 6 to 7 inches long, cross dough to form a twist. Place twists one inch apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 350 F for 20 minutes or until golden. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies
Sunday, April 1, 2012
I was thinking today that I wanted to make a spicy Mexican tuna salad for a change. Also I wanted not only a tasty tuna salad but a healthy tuna salad and I just started adding all these wonderful ingredients. To add to the Mexican flair served the tuna on a bed of lettuce on toasted corn tortillas!
Mexican Tuna Salad
1 5 ounce can white Tuna in water, drained and flaked
1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 avocado chopped
1/4 cup scallions, chopped, just the white part
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 tablespoon sweet chili powder
1 cup chopped lettuce
1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
4 toasted small corn tortillas
Combine tuna, yogurt, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Add next four ingredients combining gently. Chill to let the flavors blend for 1 hour. Lightly toast the corn tortillas. Place tortillas on plate, top with lettuce, tomatoes and then tuna in center. Serves two.