Fall Fruit is Spelled Nectarine

  Quick foodie question, that you think you should know but will take a moment and say, hummmmm do I really know the answer. Simple question, what’s the difference between a nectarine and a peach? The simple answer is, there really is no difference between the two fruit, it’s just that one has fuzz and the other doesn’t.

Nectarines are a stone fruit (it means they have a pit) that are at their peak in mid to late summer. Depending up on if the pit is free or attached to the fruit, nectarines are classified as (like the peach) free stone or clinging.  Yes, the fruits have slightly different tastes and textures, but it’s really so slight that in a peeled, blind taste test it’s almost impossible to tell the difference. They can be substituted for each other in most any recipe and rather than give you more than the basic facts that the fruit is a good source of  vitamins and minerals, low in calories and great in both sweet and savory dishes I thought I’d just give you bunches and bunches of recipes and let you get started cooking.

 

BROWN SUGARED NECTARINES

 

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

5 large nectarines (about 1 1/2 pounds), or peaches (which must be skinned)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Sweetened whipped cream, whipped topping or ice cream (optional)

 

Set a strainer over a bowl and cut the nectarines into slices and place them the strainer. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. When it is hot add the nectarines and saute them until they start to soften and their juices reduce and begin to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of them and cook until the juices thicken and the sugar caramelizes slightly, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and cook until the juices thicken, then add any of the juice that collected in the bowl. Stir to combine and cook until the juices are very thick, which will take a minute or so. Total cook time should be 5 to 6 minutes. Spoon the nectarines to 4 individual serving dish and let cool for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

Modified from Epicurious August 2001 by Susan Herrmann Loomis

CHICKEN AND NECTARINE SALSA

 

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 24 (2-inch) pieces

1 large red onion, cut into 32 (2-inch) pieces

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

 

Salsa

2 cups diced nectarine (about 3)

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup diced peeled avocado

 

In a bowl combine the chicken pieces, brown sugar, lime juice, olive oil chili powder, garlic, salt cumin and pepper. Mix to coat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. In a large skillet heat the oil and then saute the chicken (discard liquid marinade) and onion for about 10 to12 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. While the chicken is cooking in a bowl combine the nectarine, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and salt. Mix to combine and then gently stir in the avocado. Place the chicken and onion on a platter and serve with the salsa. Serves 4.

 

Modified from a recipe from Jennifer Martinkus, Cooking Light July 2011

 

BLUEBERRY AND NECTARINE BREAD

 

1 1/2 cups flour, divided

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon allspice or nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter or margarine, room temperature

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/4 cup orange juice

2 eggs

2 nectarines

2/3 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

 

Topping:

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan and set it aside. Combine 1/3 cup pecans, sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice and salt. Mix just to combine and then add in the butter, eggs orange juice and orange zest.  Mix to combine for 2 to 3 minutes but don’t over mix.   By hand, fold in the fruit and remaining pecans. Spoon the batter into a loaf pan and sprinkle the  topping over the top.  Bake 50  to 60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan for ten minutes, remove the bread from the pan and then  cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Makes 1 loaf.

 

Modified from epicurious.com

SALMON WITH FRESH NECTARINE BERRY COMPOTE

 

6 – 5 ounces fresh skinless salmon fillets, about 1-inch thick

4 tablespoons bottled barbecue sauce

3 nectarines, pitted and chopped

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Lemon wedges

 

Brush the salmon with 3 tablespoons of barbeque sauce and season the salmon with salt and pepper. Using a grill pan or grill cook the salmon for 8 to 10 minutes until done. While it’s cooking in a bowl combine the nectarines, blueberries, pecans, and the remaining barbecue sauce. Mix well, mashing the fruit slightly. Season with salt. Serve salmon with salsa and lemon wedges. Serves 6.

 

My files source unknown

 

NECTARINE AND PISTACHIO COUSCOUS

 

1 cup couscous

1 1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon apple cider or rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 organic nectarines, diced

1 bunch chopped parsley (stems removed) (about 1 1/2 cups packed leaves)

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

 

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let it stand, covered stand 5 minutes, then take off the top and stir it. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil and then set it aside. In a large serving bowl combine the couscous, nectarines, parsley, pistachios and green onions and the dressing, toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Can be served cold or at room temperature.

 

My file, source unknown

PECAN STUFFED NECTARINES

 

1/2 cup pecan pieces

2 tablespoons sugar

1 large egg yolk

2 nectarines, halved and pitted

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pinch of cinnamon

Maple syrup

 

Preheat oven to 425. Grease a 9X13 baking pan and set it aside. In the bowl of a food processor process the pecans until they are finely ground. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and the egg yolk and pulse until combined. Arrange the nectarine halves, cut sides up, in the baking pan. Divide pecan/sugar mixture between the nectarine halves, mounding it in center of each half. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and then sprinkle it over the top of the nectarines. Drizzle a little maple syrup over the top. Bake, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t let the nectarines get too soft. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Great served with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

My files, source unknown

 

NECTARINE, MANGO AND AVOCADO SALAD

 

1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 head red leaf or romaine lettuce; torn into bite-size pieces

2 to 3 cups fresh baby spinach

4 Nectarines, sliced

2 mangos, sliced

2 avocados peeled, sliced

1/4 cup sliced green onions

Smoked almonds or candied almonds for garnish

 

In a bowl combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and pepper. Whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate. In a bowl combine the lettuce, onions, spinach, nectarines and mango. Toss to combine. Gently add the avocado and spoon the dressing over the top. Gently mix to combine. Garnish with the almonds. Serves 8

My file, source unknown

 

SHRIMP AND NECTARINE SALAD

 

1/4 cup oil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 piece peeled fresh ginger; (1 1/2 inch)

1 1/2 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon hot sauce

1 head red leaf or romaine lettuce; torn in large pieces

1 1/2 lb shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

2 to 3 ripe nectarines cut in thin wedges (2 3/4 cups)

1 large ripe avocado; halved, seeded, peeled and sliced thin lengthwise

1/2 cup minced red onion

1 cup fresh basil leaves; cut in thin strips

1 small can water chestnuts, drained

 

In the bowl of food processor or blender combine the oil, lime juice, ginger, honey and hot sauce. Process until smooth and set it aside. In a salad bowl combine the lettuce, shrimp, nectarines, avocado, red onion, water chestnuts and basil. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad, toss to coat and serve. Serves 4.

 

Modified from about.com

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It’s Blueberry Time/ Kosher Recipes

There’s only one bad thing that can be said about blueberries, they can be messy if you squish one.  Other than that, they’re really a wonderful fruit.

A typically American fruit the flavor and sweetness of the blueberry is the frosting on the cake that is fruit. A blueberry is a super food, one that is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. This may sound obvious but when buying your blueberries you should remember they should actually be blue, if they’re even slightly green, red or purple forget them. Only blue will do.

The blueberries you want should be uniform in size, not big and small, firm not hard and have a slightly waxy sheen. To store then you should keep your blueberries refrigerated and please don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them. They will spoil if you do. They should last, in the refrigerator, for 10 days to 2 weeks.

You’re in luck, blueberries are in season right now and very affordable so hopefully this column will nudge you toward adding them to your shopping list this week.

 

Blueberry Guide

Approx 3 cups of blueberries in a pound

One cup of fresh or frozen blueberries =2/3 cup pureed

1 cup frozen blueberries = 2/3 cup thawed blueberries

BLUEBERRY AND CREAM MUFFINS

 

2 cups cake flour

3/4 cup sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch salt

3 ounces cream cheese cut in cubes

2 teaspoon lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup milk

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Brown sugar to sprinkle on top

 

Preheat oven to 350. Line the cups of a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.  In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt and set aside.

 

In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and mix until blended. Stir in the melted butter and mix until smooth. Mix in milk. Add dry ingredients and stir until all dry is incorporated. Do not over mix. Fold the berries into the batter.

 

Pour an equal amount of batter into each muffin cup, filling each about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top and then bake for 30 minutes (or until the top is golden), remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

 

From my files, source unknown

 

BLUEBERRY APPLE SALAD

 

1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries, divided

1/4 cup oil

2 tablespoons apple jelly

Zest of 1 orange

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups (about 4 ounces) baby spinach

2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced

2 ribs celery, cut into 1-1/2-inch matchsticks (about 1 cup)

1/3 cup pecan or walnut halves, toasted

 

To prepare dressing: In a blender container, combine1/2 cup of the blueberries, oil, apple jelly, lemon juice, orange zest, mustard and salt; blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside. In a salad bowl combine the spinach with apple slices, celery, pecans and remaining 1/2 cup blueberries. Toss gently, drizzle the dressing over the top, toss gently and serve. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

Modified from a recipe from my mom Anita Weinfield, Northbrook IL

LIME AND BLUEBERRY BARS

 

2 cups blueberries

21/4 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 cup softened butter

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1/3 cup lime juice

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Extra powdered sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl combine the flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until blended. Cut in the butter (mash with a fork until dough holds together). Press the mixture over the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, lime zest, lime juice and baking powder. Gently fold in the blueberries. Gently pour the mixture over warm, baked crust. Return the pan to the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes until the filling is firm. Remove from the oven and cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar cut and serve. Serves 12

 

Modified from about.com

BLUEBERRY CORN MUFFINS

 

2 cups flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon orange zest

2 cups blueberries

Coarse sugar

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 1 12 muffin pan and 1 6 muffin pan and set them aside. In large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix and set aside. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, orange juice, margarine, egg and orange zest. Whisk to combine. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix, by hand just to combine. Add the blueberries and gently mix them in. Do not over mix. Divide the batter between the 18 muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with a little coarse sugar. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the top is golden or a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 18 muffins.

 

Modified from an old Moosewood cookbook recipe in my files, book unknown

 

BLUEBERRY PULL-A-PART BREAD

 

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups blueberries

2/3 cup brown sugar

10 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon cinnamon

4 pkgs (10 oz ea) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

 

Preheat oven to 350. REALLY grease a 10 x 4 tube pan and set it aside. In a bowl combine 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Cut the biscuits in half. Roll each piece in sugar mixture. Arrange about one-fourth of the biscuit pieces and one-fourth of the blueberries in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Place blueberries between biscuit pieces, creating a mosaic effect. Repeat with three more layers (covered dough balls and blueberries), covering blueberries of one layer with dough balls in next layer. In saucepan combine the brown sugar, margarine, vanilla, cinnamon and the additional 1 cup blueberries. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce it to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved and the margarine melted. Pour the mixture over biscuits and berries in the pan. Bake 34-45 minutes or until done. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before you try and remove this from the pan. Place a plate on the top of the pan and invert. Serves 8 to 10 servings.

 

Modified from epicurean .com

BLUEBERRY SALAD WITH SMOKED TROUT

 

8 oz romaine lettuce, shredded

4 Smoked trout fillets, skinned broken into medium pieces

1 1/2 cups blueberries

6 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine or rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

In a bowl, combine arugula, trout and blueberries. In a small bowl combine the oil, vinegar, mint, salt and pepper. Divide the salad onto 4 chilled plates. Drizzle each serving with dressing. Serves 4

 

Modified from a recipe from Chef Marc Meyer, Five Points, New York City

 

BLUEBERRY ORANGE SAUCE

This is super over roast chicken or turkey

 

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup orange juice

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

2 oranges, sectioned

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In a bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt and then set it aside. In a small saucepan combine the orange juice and 1/4 cup water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the blueberries and orange sections and bring the mixture back to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the sugar mixture to the berry mixture, whisk to combine and then cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, the sauce will thicken slightly. Remove it from the heat and serve. Makes approx. 2 cups.

 

NOTE: if you want a sauce to go over a fruit salad just omit the salt and pepper.

 

BLUEBERRY MANGO SALAD

 

2 cups fresh blueberries

3 to 4 mangos, peeled, seeded and sliced or cubed

1/3 cup frozen piña colada mix, thawed

1 to 2 tablespoons rum

Baby spinach

Toasted pecans

 

In a large bowl, combine blueberries, mangos, piña colada mix and rum and mix to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates. Spoon the berry mango mixture over the spinach. Top with the toasted pecans and serve. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

BLUEBERRY CRANBERRY CHICKEN SALAD

 

4 cups cook chicken cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

4 stalks celery, sliced thin

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup minced green onion

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2/3 cup toasted almonds

 

In a bowl combine the chicken pieces, red onion, celery and rice vinegar. Toss to coat and add the green onion, parsley, cranberries and blueberries. Gently mix to combine. In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, yogurt and mustard and then spoon the dressing onto the chicken mixture. Mix to coat and then garnish with the toasted almonds. Serves 6. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

Modified from a BHG.com recipe

Enter the Banana /Recipes for the fruit minded

    I am, by nature, someone that loves to entertain and have company stay for the weekend. I’m talking LOTS and LOTS of company. My husband, not quite so much as me. So, for the most part, we compromise and have lots of company. When I first start to plan the menus for the weekends one of the first things I have to determine is whether or not said company falls into or out of the banana category.

Ok, you ask, what heck is the banana category? Well, the banana category is where the guests I have to feed like to snack on fruit and if that fruit is likely to be bananas. Inclusion in this category determines the amount of bananas to be purchased and approximately how much time it will take for any left over bananas (and trust me, there’s always left over bananas) to get mushy after the company leaves.

There truly is a reason for this somewhat bizarre banana thought process. Bananas are actually one of the few foods for which I don’t have a lot of recipes. Not because I don’t like them but rather, because both my children and husband are highly allergic to them in the raw state. I eat them with pleasure when we have company and cook them for the family after the company leaves leave. I have always tried to make really different and exciting recipes because I never know when the next banana company will arrive. The following recipes are all utterly delicious and have come to me from a variety of sources.

 

BANANAS FOSTER CREAM PIE

Crust:
2 1/2 cup chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
5 tablespoons melted butter

Filling:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons allspice
4 bananas — peeled and sliced

Pastry Cream:
3 cup half and half
1 vanilla bean — split in half lengthwise
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Grease a 10-inch spring form pan. To prepare crust, in a medium bowl,
combine cookie crumbs, sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in
melted butter. Press mixture into prepared pan on the bottom and up
the sides of the pan about 21/2 inches and place it in the refrigerator
to chill. To prepare the filling, put the butter and brown sugar in a
large saute pan over high heat and heat until bubbling, about 2
minutes. Add cinnamon, ginger, allspice and bananas and saute until
tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and
spoon the bananas evenly over the bottom of the crust. Set aside.

To prepare the pastry cream, put the half and half in a saucepan with the vanilla bean and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, remove and discard vanilla bean. In a medium bowl, place egg yolks, sugar, dark rum and cornstarch and whisk together. Whisk about 1 cup of half and half mixture into the egg mixture to temper it. Add the egg mixture to the remaining half and half and place the pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until thick, 3-5 minutes. Pour the mixture over the roasted bananas in the crust and refrigerate for 2-3 hours
or until well chilled. To serve, carefully remove the outer ring of the pan, cut the pie into slices, and top each slice with whipped cream and several mint leaves. Serves 12

 

Submitted by Cheryl Cerdanadski Warsaw IN

BANANA SPLIT BREAD

1 can (8 oz.) unsweetened crushed pineapple, well drained, reserve
liquid
1 pkg. (14 oz.)  banana quick bread and muffin mix
2 eggs
2 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup Maraschino cherries, chopped
1/3-1/2 cup semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

GLAZE:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips, melted
4 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 . Grease and flour bottom only of a (9×5 inch)
loaf pan. Add water to reserved pineapple liquid to make 3/4 cup In a
large bowl, combine all bread ingredients. Stir 50-75 times with
wooden spoon until mix is moistened (don’t over mix!). Pour batter
into prepared pan. Bake 55-65 minutes or until toothpick placed in the
center comes out clean. Cool in a pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Remove from pan to cool for 45 minutes or until completely cooled. In a
small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Stir until well blended. Pour
over loaf. For gift giving you can use (3×5 inch) pans and bake 35-40
minutes. Store in refrigerator to slice when chilled. Serves 6 to 8

 

http://www.southerncooking.com

 

ALMOND FUDGE BANANA CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GLAZE

3 extra ripe, peeled medium bananas
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
3 eggs
3 tablespoons almond liqueur OR 2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted, ground

 

Banana Chocolate Glaze
1 pureed, extra ripe small banana
1 ounce melted semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch bunt pan.  In a bowl mash the bananas and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar and margarine and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, liqueur and vanilla. Beat to combine. In another bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix the dry ingredients to combine.  Stir the almonds into the flour mixture. With the electric mixer running, alternately add the flour mixture with bananas to the sugar mixture. Beat well. Turn batter into greased pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out nearly clean and cake pulls away from sides of pan. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan to wire rack to cool completely. Glaze: Combine the pureed banana with the melted chocolate and whisk together. Pour glaze over the top of the cooled cake and let it drip down the sides of the cake. Serves 12 to 14

BANANA BUTTERFINGER® CAKE

 

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 1/2 cup chopped Butterfinger® bars

GLAZE
2/3 cup whipping cream
7 tablespoons butter, cut into large pieces
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup chopped Butterfinger® bars

Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1-1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottoms with waxed paper rounds. Butter and flour paper.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in dark rum and vanilla extract. Combine sour cream and baking soda in medium bowl. Add mashed bananas to sour cream mixture and stir until well blended. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in chopped Butterfinger® bars.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until center of cake feels firm and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Turn out cakes onto racks and cook. Peel off waxed paper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap cakes tightly and store at room temperature.)

FOR GLAZE: Combine cream, butter and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat; add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in rum and vanilla. Pour glaze into small bowl. Cover and refrigerate just until cool and thick, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Transfer 1 cake layer to platter. Slide waxed paper strips under edges of cake. Stir glaze until smooth. Spread 1 cup glaze evenly over top of cake layer. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining glaze over top and sides of cake. Cover top and sides of cake with chopped Butterfinger® bars. Remove paper strips. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover cake and store at room temperature.)

 

From about.com

 

BANANA PANCAKES WITH CARAMEL-BANANA SYRUP

 

3 large bananas, peeled, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, divided
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs

Additional melted butter

 

Cut 2 bananas into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Combine 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup water in heavy large skillet. Boil over medium-high heat until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract and sliced bananas. Remove syrup from heat.

 

Whisk flour and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl. Mash remaining banana in medium bowl, then whisk in buttermilk and eggs. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients (some lumps will remain). Mix in remaining 1/4 cup melted butter.

Preheat oven to 200. Heat griddle over medium heat; brush with additional melted butter. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook pancakes until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Serve pancakes with caramel-banana syrup. Makes 4 servings.

 

Bon Appétit, November 2005

 

BANANA COFFEE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE CHIP STREUSEL

1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 8 ounces)
2/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 large)
3 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan. Stir chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in small bowl until well blended; set streusel aside. Sift all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, room temperature butter, and egg in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in mashed bananas and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients and blend well.

 

Spread half of batter (about 2 cups) in prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with half of streusel. Repeat with remaining batter and streusel. Bake coffee cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool coffee cake in pan on rack. Makes 12 servings.

 

BANANA CHOCOLATE STRUDEL

4 (17- by 12-inch) phyllo sheets, covered with 2 overlapping pieces plastic wrap and then a damp kitchen towel
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 firm-ripe bananas
2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange 1 phyllo sheet on a work surface with a short side of phyllo nearest you, keeping remaining sheets covered, and brush with some butter. Top phyllo with 3 more sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter. Arrange bananas one above the other, horizontally, on lower third of phyllo, leaving a 1-inch border on both sides (trim bananas if too long). Sprinkle chocolate over bananas, then fold sides of phyllo toward middle (over ends of bananas). Fold bottom edge of phyllo over bananas and roll up bananas in phyllo.

 

Transfer strudel, seam side down, to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or to a buttered baking sheet, then brush strudel with beaten egg. Cut 4 (1/2-inch-long) steam vents diagonally along top of strudel with a sharp knife. Bake in middle of oven until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack, and then dust with confectioner’s sugar. Makes 6 servings.

 

Gourmet October 2001

CHOCOLATE BANANA TART

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 firm-ripe bananas
1/4 cup apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 350. Blend crumbs, butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt in a food processor until mixture begins to hold together and pat onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake in middle of oven until side of crust is firm to the touch, 14 to 18 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips into hot crust and let stand 5 minutes to soften. Spread evenly over bottom of crust. Beat cream with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and rum until it holds soft peaks. Cut bananas into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Whisk preserves and add bananas, tossing to coat. Spoon banana mixture into crust and top with whipped cream.
Serves 8.

Gourmet January 2000

BANANA WAFFLES WITH PECAN MAPLE SYRUP

1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not the fake stuff)
1/4 cup pecans, toasted lightly and chopped coarse
2 teaspoons orange juice or fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ripe medium banana
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
vegetable oil for brushing waffle iron

Preheat oven to 200. In a small saucepan bring maple syrup and pecans to a boil and stir in juice. Remove syrup from heat and keep warm, covered. In a bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Quarter banana and in a blender purée with water. Transfer purée to another bowl and whisk in eggs and melted butter. Add flour mixture and stir until combined well.

Heat a well-seasoned or non-stick waffle iron until hot and brush lightly with oil. Pour half of batter into iron and cook waffle according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer waffle to a baking sheet and keep warm, uncovered, in oven. Make another waffle with remaining batter in same manner.

Serve waffles with syrup. Serves 2.

from Epicurious.com

 

PINEAPPLE BANANA MUFFINS

 

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons beaten egg

1/4 cup oil

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 medium)

1/3 cup unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

 

In a small bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, oil, milk and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and pineapple.
Coat muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full with batter. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 6 muffins.

Brie Makes The Celebration

   Since parties and celebrations are part of this  holiday seasion and most budgets are not endless rec ipes that are unique and simple for appetizer and fun and interesting side dishes are at a premium. More often than not, I turn to my favorite cheese, brie. It’s readily available and a little goes a long way so it’s very affordable.

Brie was created in the 7th century inFrance. Popularized by Charlemagne this cheese has a very delicate and smooth taste and texture. The body of brie is covered with a white rind. Brie can be savored at room temperature and is equally delicious served with red or white wine. This soft-ripened cheese is made from cow’s milk. Brie is not for those who are counting calories.


BAKED BRIE IN PUFF PASTRY WITH HONEY WALNUT SAUCE

A reader from LondonOntario sent me this recipe that she got from Bon Appetite and I have to agree with her that it’s smashing!

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 8 ounce (or 2 four ounce) wheels Brie
1 egg, beaten (for glaze)
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400. Roll out puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface. Place brie in center, and fold pastry around it, sealing seams. Transfer to baking sheet, seam side up. Brush pastry with egg glaze. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Bake brie until pastry is golden, 18-25 minutes. Combine butter, honey, and garlic in small saucepan over low heat. Stir until butter melts. Divide sauce between two plates (if using 2 wheels of brie). Sprinkle sauce with walnuts and parsley. Place pastry wrapped brie atop sauce on plates and serve with assorted crackers. Serves 8 to 10

 

 

BRIE SOUFFLE

Great for brunch served with a sweet sparkling wine and fresh fruit.

 

8 tablespoons sweet butter, at room temperature
6 slices of good-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed
1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
dash of Tabasco
3 eggs
1 lb. Brie, rind removed

 

Butter a 1 1/2 quart souffle dish. Butter one side of bread slices and cut each slice into thirds. In a bowl whisk together the milk, salt,Tabascoand eggs. Coarsely grate the Brie. Arrange half of the bread, buttered side up, on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle evenly with half of the Brie and then repeat, using remaining bread and Brie. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the bread. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbling and golden. Serves 4 to 6

BRIE STUFFED POTATOES

 

4 baked potatoes
3oz Brie, de-rinded
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg yolk
2 oz butter, softened
chives (chopped)

 

Preheat oven to 375. Slice off the top of each potato and scoop out the potato (place it in a bowl), leaving behind a potato skin shell ready for filling. In a bowl containing the scooped out potato combine the brie, salt, egg yolk and butter. Beat until combined and spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Place the filled potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until the top of the filling is golden brown. Sprinkle the top of the potato with chopped chives and serve. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

BAKED BRIE WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE

This appetizer is simply beautiful and the tart cranberry sauce is the perfect compliment to the smooth brie.

1 lb Fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (about 4 1/2 cups), picked over
1/4 cup red-currant jelly
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon Kirsch
2 packages (17 1/4-ounce) frozen puff pastry sheets (4 pastry sheets), thawed
1 large Egg, beaten lightly
1 Wheel (2-pound) firm Brie (rind intact), chilled

Make cranberry sauce:
In a large saucepan simmer sauce ingredients, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Transfer sauce to a heatproof bowl and cool. Cranberry sauce may be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered.

Put Brie on a work surface and with a 2-inch round cutter cut out 10 rounds, pressing scraps together as necessary. Press thumb deep into middle of each round to form a small indentation and fill each cavity with about 1 teaspoon cranberry sauce, reserving remaining sauce. Chill cheese rounds on a baking sheet.

On a lightly floured surface unfold 1 pastry sheet (do not roll out pastry) and with a 2 1/4-inch round cutter cut out 10 rounds. Transfer pastry rounds to another baking sheet and chill. Unfold remaining 3 pastry sheets and with a 5-inch round cutter cut out 10 rounds (there will be pastry left over). Transfer pastry rounds to a third baking sheet and chill.

On cleaned work surface arrange 1 large pastry round and brush top with some egg. Center 1 cheese round on pastry and wrap pastry up over cheese to form a 3/4-inch border on top of cheese. Brush border with some remaining egg and top with 1 small pastry round, pressing edges of dough together gently but firmly to seal. Brush round with some remaining egg and chill on a baking sheet. Make more wrapped Brie with remaining pastry and cheese rounds in same manner. Chill each wrapped Brie, uncovered, at least 30 minutes. Brie may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered loosely.

Preheat oven to 425. and lightly grease another baking sheet. Bake Brie on baking sheet in middle of oven 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Cool Brie on baking sheet on a rack about 10 minutes.  Serve Brie warm with reserved cranberry sauce. Serves 10 as a first course

BAKED BRIE WITH DRIED FRUIT
This dish pairs beautifully with sparkling wine.

approx. 2 Pounds Brie, round or wedge
1/4 cup sparkling sweet wine

1/4 cup dried apricots or peaches
1/8 cup toasted walnuts or almonds, coarsely chopped

1 sheet puff pastry — thawed
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

Place Brie in the freezer for about thirty minutes to make it easier to handle.  In a saucepan, bring wine and fruit to a boil and remove from
heat. Cool.  Cut Brie in half lengthwise, so you have a top half and a bottom half.  Roughly chop fruit into 1/4 inch pieces and mix with toasted
walnuts.  Place mixture on bottom half of Brie, spread evenly and cover with top half.  On a floured surface, roll out thawed puff pastry to about
half the original thickness or until it will cover both the top and bottom of the brie.  Whip egg yolk and water.  Place filled brie in the center of
the rolled out dough and wrap brie completely, sealing overlapping dough with egg wash.  At this point, the brie may be stored in the freezer for
future use. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking. For immediate use, chill for half an hour in the refrigerator.  Preheat oven
to 400 degrees.  Brush with egg wash.  Bake on a greased baking sheet for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for a few minutes and serve with freshly sliced baguette or toasted croutons.

Modified from a recipe developed for Domaine Carneros by Chef Kevin Simonson.

STUFFED AND BAKED BRIE
This really fancy appetizer is worth the effort. This wheel of brie stuffed with mushrooms and parmesancheese is so different that everyone will beg for the recipe.
2 lb. wheel of Brie
1 pkg. (17.5 oz.) puff pastry, both sheets thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the Mushroom Cheese Filling:
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons dry Vermouth
4 oz. kosher parmesan cheese,
freshly ground nutmeg
Accompaniments: fruit, crackers, bread

Prepare the filling:
Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add mushrooms and thyme. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the vermouth and simmer for 4-6 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender. Set aside to cool.

 

To assemble the Brie:
Keep the rind on the cheese and slice in half horizontally. Spread the mushrooms over the bottom half and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Add a few grinds of nutmeg, replace top and press down gently. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry and cut into 2 12-inch circles. Place the Brie on one circle and, pleating as necessary, pull the pastry up and over the side. It will not cover the top of the cheese. Gently invert the Brie onto the other circle and again, pleat and pull the pastry up over the wheel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Remove plastic wrap and place the cheese, seam side down on the baking tray. Brush with the egg and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

To serve:
Allow the cheese to rest 20 minutes before serving. Place on a serving tray with fruit and bread as accompaniments.

 

modified from about.com

BAKED BRIE WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS
Very easy to make and simply delicious.

1 head garlic
1/4 cup butter
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 Granny Smith apple – peeled, cored and sliced
1 (8 ounce) wedge Brie cheese
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 400. Place garlic on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and apple in butter until tender and browned. Set aside. Arrange brie on top of thawed puff pastry. Top the cheese with the apple and onion mixture. Fold puff pastry over the cheese, and pinch closed. Brush with melted butter. Serve with crackers or chunks of bread. Serves 4 as an appetizer

Bake about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm. Garnish
with whole cloves of roasted garlic.

Why Wait? Have an Apple Cake Today!

While it may be a tad prosaic I always manage to serve apple cake at some point during the fall. While dinner is probably the most likely suspect for its appearance and breakfast is great alternative I tend to have it around for snacking as well. Apples are plentiful this time of year and let’s face it, apple cake is terrific anytime you serve it.

I typically use Granny Smith, Jonathan or Pippin apples in my cakes but there are quite a few other varieties that are just as good. My favorite apple web site is paulnoll.com and the chart below is one I use every year to help me decide exactly which variety I’m going to use for what purpose.

 

Apple Varieties and their Best Uses

See Table below for Apple Varieties and their Best Uses

Variety
Flavor,
Texture
Fresh
and Salads
Pie
Sauce
Baking
(Whole)
Red
Delicious
Sweet,
Crisp
Excellent
Fair
Fair
Poor
Golden
Delicious
Sweet,
Tender
Very
Good
Excellent
Very
Good
Very
Good
Granny
Smith
Tart,
Crisp
Very
Good
Very
Good
Very
Good
Fair
Jonathan
Moderately
Tart, Tender
Very
Good
Very
Good
Very
Good
Good
Rome
Beauty
Slightly
Tart, Firm
Good
Good
Good
Excellent
Winesap
Slightly
Tart/Spicy, Firm
Very
Good
Very
Good
Good
Good
Criterion
Sweet/Complex,
Crisp
Very
Good
Good
Good
Good
Gala
Sweet,
Crisp
Excellent
Good
Good
Good
Jonagold
Sweet-Tart,
Crisp
Very
Good
Very
Good
Good
Very
Good
Newtown
Pippin
Slightly
Tart, Firm
Very
Good
Excellent
Very
Good
Good
McIntosh
Tart,
Tender
Good
Good
Very
Good
Poor

 

 

Chart from paulnoll.com

Most of the following recipes have been sent to me by readers over the past few years and they are all ones I’ve made time and time again to rave reviews. Some are better suited to a breakfast or snack cake and others are show stopping desserts you want to serve after everyone has eaten too much, loosened their belt buckles because they are the perfect light touch to end a perfect meal.

Yes I do make applesauce and baked apples at some point during the 3 month time frame we lovingly call fall but for my money, the apple cake is the best way tosay to any member of my family work crew who walks in my door, “hummmm……you look hungry from all that yard work come, sit, have bite to eat before you go back to the rest of my to do list”.

 

NOTE: Many of the recipes are dairy free for those of you that are lactose intolerant.

 

CINNAMON APPLE CAKE

A great breakfast or snack cake

 

1 3/4 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 ounces cream cheese, softened (about 3/4 cup)

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apples (about 2 large)

 

Preheat oven to 350. In the bowl of an electric mixer
combine the 1 1/2 cups sugar, margarine, vanilla, and cream cheese and beat
until combined. Add the eggs and beat to combine. In another bowl combine the
flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to cream cheese mixture,
beating on low until blended. In another bowl combine the 1/4 cup sugar and
cinnamon and mix to combine.  Chop the
apples and then add 2 tablespoons of this cinnamon mixture to the chopped
apples. Mix to combine and then add the apple mixture to the batter. Mix to
combine. Grease a 8 or 9 inch spring form pan. Pour batter into the prepared
pan and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon mixture over the top. Bake for 1 hour
and 10 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool
completely and remove spring form side. Cuts best if you use a serrated knife.
Serves 10 to 12

 

Modified from about.com

 

MORNING GLORY APPLE CAKE

 

1 1/2 cup oil

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups chopped apples

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup coconut

1 cup golden raisins

1/2 to 2/3 cup chopped dried apricots

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

 

1 cup white sugar

1cup brown sugar

3 cups sifted flour

 

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a bunt pan and set it aside. Combine
the eggs and oil in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the remaining
ingredients and mix to combine… Grease a large bunt pan for 1 hour and 15
minutes. Cool and remove from pan. (you can use 2 to 3 loaf pans (depending on
their size) or cupcake/muffin tins cooking for 35 to 40 minutes. Serves 10 to
12

 

Submitted by Margie Quintin Oak Park IL

 

APPLE AND HONEY TORTE

 

1/3 cup honey

2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is best)

3 large tart apples, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
(about 1 1/4 pounds)

3/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 cup sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground almonds

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a spring form pan and set it
aside. In a skillet combine the honey and lemon juice. Heat to a simmer and add
the apples cook until they start to soften, stirring constantly so they don’t
burn or stick for about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside. When
cool drain the apples and set them aside

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine 3/4 cup
granulated sugar, butter, brown sugar, and vanilla and beat to combine, 3 to 4
minutes. Add the eggs and mix to combine. Add the lemon zest and mix to combine.
In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, mix to combine. In
1/3’s add flour mixture to the sugar mixture, beating to combine between each addition.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the apple slices anyway you like
on top of the cake, they can even overlap if you like but make sure you push
them slightly into the batter. In a bowl combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar, the
ground almonds and cinnamon; sprinkle it over the top of the apples. Bake 1
hour or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool on a wire
rack. Cut into wedges using a serrated knife. Serves 10 to 12

 

Submitted by Richard Olaphan St. Louis MO. modified from
epicurious.com

 

 

NUTTY APPLE CAKE (dairy or pareve)

 

6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and finely sliced

juice of 1 lemon

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

1/3 plus 2 tablespoons milk or non dairy substitute

2/3 cup flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts or pecans, chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup pine nuts

3 tablespoons sugar for topping

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease and line the bottom of a
spring form pan with parchment paper and set it aside. In a bowl combine the
sliced apples in lemon juice, toss to coat and set aside.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar
and vanilla and beat until light yellow, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the milk and
butter and mix to combine. In a bowl combine the flour and baking powder
together and then fold them, by hand, into the egg mixture until just combined.
Add the add the ground nuts, raisins and pine nuts. Fold in gently. Gently fold
in the apple slices with the lemon juice they have been soaking in.

 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Mix the 3 tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon and then sprinkle over the top
of the cake. Bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until the cake is cooked
through. If you find the top browning too quickly, cover with foil and continue
cooking. Let the cake sit for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
The cake will contract as it cools making removal a lot easier. Cool completely
before serving. Serves 10 to 12.

 

Modified from an old Gourmet Magazine recipe

 

GLAZED RUM AND APPLE SPICE CAKE

 

Cake:

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

4 eggs

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 cups chopped peeled Golden Delicious apples

1 cup chopped pecans

 

Glaze:

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons (or more) rum

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a bunt pan and set it aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar and oil and mix to combine.
Add the eggs 1 at a time mixing to combine between each egg. Add the vanilla
and mix to combine. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking
soda, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and salt together.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture
gradually, mixing well after each addition.
Fold in the apples and pecans by hand.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean. While the cake
is cooking make the rum glaze by melting the butter in a saucepan.  Add the brown sugar and rum.  Cook the mixture until the sugar has
dissolved and the mixture is heated but don’t let it boil. When the cake is
done put the pan on a cooling rack and drizzle a little of the glaze over the
cake. Let it sit for about 1 minute for it to absorb and then flip the cake
onto the plate you’re going to serve it on. Poke holes in the cake with either
a fork or toothpick and then brush the warm glaze all over the cake. Let cool
and serve. It can be served warm if you prefer it that way. Serves 10 to 12.

 

Submitted by Donna Schwartzman Chicago IL

 

MAPLE & CURRANT APPLE CAKE

This is a pudding like cake is brimming with tender
chunks of apple

 

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups applesauce

1/2 cup pure maple syrup (NOT the fake stuff, its yucky)

4 large apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into nice
sized pieces

1/2 to 2/3 cup currants (you can use raisins but currants
are best)

1/2 cup ground walnuts or pecans (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9X13 pan and set it aside.
In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon (and ground nuts
if using) and the set it aside. In another bowl combine the applesauce and
maple syrup. Stir the flour mixture into the applesauce mixture and mix until
just combine. Fold in the chopped apples, mixing just to combine and then spoon
the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a
toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Serve warm.
Serves 8 to 10. You can also make this into cupcake/muffins, makes 12.

Bodacious Blueberries

 The Blueberry is one of my favorite fruits. Since it’s one of North America’s few native fruits I thought that it was wholly appropriate that we celebrate, glorify, and eat as much of them as we can on.

Since it’s a native plant it’s not surprising that North America is the world’s leading blueberry producer. While harvesting runs from mid-April through early October its harvest peaks in July. So, it’s no surprise that in our drive to create bigger and better holidays July is now designated as National Blueberry Month (I can’t wait to see the Hallmark cards).

Blueberries are incredibly good for you. They provide about 5 grams of fiber per cup- (more than most fresh fruits) and I cup of fresh blueberries contain about 15% of our recommended Daily Value of vitamin C.

It’s pretty easy to pick “good” blueberries if you’re lucky enough to have a farm that has a U PICK feature in close proximity to where you live or are vacationing. You should look berries that are firm and dry. The skin should be smooth and deep purple-blue, with a silvery-white bloom. Storing fresh blueberries is simple. They should be covered while stored in the refrigerator and used within 10 days of being purchase. They should be washed just before you serve them.

Everyone seems to be blue berry crazy these days. Lots of communities have festivals and the Internet abounds with sites that offer everything from recipes to on line ordering of anything blueberry (preserves, dried and wild). So  if you have the opportunity (at any time) to revel in (and eat) the fruit that is the blueberry, go for it.

 BLUEBERRY CAKE

This is a classic recipe that no self-respecting chef should be without

1 pint fresh blueberries

1 stick margarine or butter

2 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 cup milk

3 cup flour

1 teaspoon (rounded) baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl cream the margarine and sugar until fluffy; add the eggs and beat well. Add the vanilla, milk, and flour and mix well. Add baking powder and stir until blended. Gently fold in blueberries. Bake in a tube pan (angel food or bunt cake pan) for 1 hour. Cool in pan on a cake rack; invert onto rack while warm (but not hot). When cool, drizzle with a glaze made of softened butter, powdered sugar and milk (play with quantities until you achieve ‘drizzle’ consistency). Serves 8 to 10

BLUEBERRY SOUP

This simple start to a summer meal is very easy to make. You can keep pareve or add a little cream or milk to jazz it up.

3 cups water

4 cups fresh or dry-packed frozen blueberries, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch or potato flour

2 tablespoons cream or milk (optional)

dash of cinnamon (optional)

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the berries and sugar and cook several minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl mix the potato flour with a small amount of cold water. Stir into berry mixture and bring again to boiling point. Cool, cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. A dash of cinnamon over the top just before serving is a nice touch. You can stir in the cream or milk just before serving if you like and can serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream as a garnish if you like. 4 to 6 servings.

CHEATERS BLUEBERRY BANANA BREAD

2 cups Bisquick

2/3 cup Sugar

1/4 cup Milk

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, (drained if frozen)

 3/4 cup Quick-Cooking Oats

1 cup ripe banana, mashed

 2 eggs

 Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom of a 9X5 loaf pan. In a mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients except blueberries and stir until mixed very well about 1 minute. Gently fold in the blueberries and pour the batter into the pan. Bake 44-55 minutes. (toothpick test it to see if it’s done)  Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then run a knife around the sides to loosen. Remove from loaf pan and cool completely before slicing. Serves 6

BLUEBERRY SPINACH SALAD

Dressing:

3 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salad:

20 Oz fresh spinach

1 cup fresh blueberries

3 oranges

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Combine the sugar, vinegar, dry mustard, salt and oil in a small mixing bowl. Set

aside. Trim the stems on the spinach leaves then wash and drain them in a colander.  Dry on paper towels. Tear the spinach into bite-sized pieces and place them in a salad bowl. Wash blueberries; drain on paper towels. Peel the oranges; separate them into sections and cut into thirds. Add the oranges, blueberries, and nuts to the spinach. Pour the dressing over the salad. Toss lightly to mix. Serves 6.

BLUEBERRY CINNAMON ROLLS

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

 3 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 Pkg. dry yeast

1/4 c warm water (105-115 degrees)

2 1/4 cup flour — divided

1 egg

2 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar — firmly packed

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup blueberries — fresh or frozen

1 tablespoon butter or margarine — melted

1 cup powdered sugar — sifted

2 tablespoon milk

Combine 1/4-cup milk, sugar, salt, and 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan; heat until butter melts and pour into the bowl of an electric mixer.  Cool to 105 degrees to 115 degrees. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes and then add to the milk mixture. Stir the following into the milk mixture, 1-1/2 cups flour, and egg. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Stir in remaining 3/4 cup flour. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes).  Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour  (dough will not quite double in bulk).

 Punch dough down; turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll dough into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle; spread with 2 tablespoons butter.  Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle mixture over rectangle.  Sprinkle with blueberries.  Roll dough jellyroll fashion, starting at long side.  Pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends).  Cut roll into 1-inch slices; place slices, cut side down, in greased 8-inch square pan.  Brush tops with 1 tablespoon-melted butter.  Using a fork, gently lift center of rolls to form a peak. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, about 40 minutes (rolls will not double in bulk).  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Combine powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk, stirring well.

  Drizzle over warm rolls.  Makes 12.

BLUEBERRY OATMEAL BREAD

2 cups flour

1 cup quick-cooking oats

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon lemon peel — grated

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups skim milk

1/3 cup oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs — slightly beaten

1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom only of 9″ X 5″ loaf pan.  In large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, lemon peel, baking soda and salt. In small bowl, combine milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs; mix well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Gently fold in blueberries. Pour into greased pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool ten minutes; remove from pan.  Cool completely.  Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator. Serves 8

CHICKEN BREASTS WITH BLUEBERRIES

1 lb. chicken breasts, skinned and boned

1 tablespoon salad oil – or use spray oil

1/2 cup apricot jam

1 to 2  tablespoons Dijon Mustard

1/2 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

Heat oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. In small bowl combine the jam and mustard, mix well. Spread the jam mixture over browned chicken in the pan and sprinkle the chicken with blueberries. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook till the chicken is no longer pink in thickest part approx. 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, take out the chicken and blueberries – keep warm. Add the vinegar to the pan, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and is reduced by a third (about 5 min.) Pour sauce over chicken. Serve.  Serves 4.

TURKEY BREAST WITH BLUEBERRY CITRUS SAUCE

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

6 tablespoon orange juice

6 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoon vermouth

2 teaspoon grated orange peel

2 Teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 Teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

3 Teaspoon margarine

1 lb turkey breast medallions

salt and pepper to taste

Combine blueberries, orange juice, lemon juice, vermouth, orange peel, lemon peel and ginger. Stir to blend and set aside. Melt margarine in a large, heavy skillet and saute turkey until brown and just cooked through. Transfer turkey to platter and keep warm. Add blueberry mixture to skillet and cook until mixture thickens, scraping up any browned bits (about 2 minutes). Spoon blueberry mixture over turkey and serve.  Serves 4

WHITE CHOCOLATE BLUEBERRY SCONES
2 1/4 cups flour, sifted
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup blueberries
3/4 cup buttermilk, plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut butter into small pieces on floured surface. Add to dry mixture and mix with pastry cutter until crumbly. Add white chocolate and berries and toss with flour mixture. Add buttermilk and mix until ingredients hold together. Place dough mixture on floured surface and pat into a 9 X 9 square. Cut into thirds. Cut each third into three triangles and place on cookie sheet. Lightly dust each scone with powdered sugar. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Makes 9 scones.

GRILLED CHICKEN WITH BLUEBERRY BBQ SAUCE

Making your own BBQ sauce, especially one with a unique flavor such as this one, immediately establishes you as a serious grilling aficionado.

6 bone in chicken breasts

2 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoon honey

3 tbsp ketchup

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

In a sauce pan combine the blueberries, vinegar, honey, ketchup, garlic powder and ginger. Bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool. Pour the BBQ sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. Put the chicken breasts and a 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce into a zip top bag and coat well. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour. Reserve the rest of the sauce for serving. Grill the chicken over medium high until cooked, 7-8 minutes per side. Top the chicken with the BBQ sauce and serve. Serves 6.

 

Yo Yo Yogurt

           
After watching Jamie Lee Curtis touting the benefits and joy of regularity that comes with of eating of Activia ® I was filled  with a fair amount of trepidation (and a few really good one liners) as I approached this column about yogurt. I figured I’d take a pass on the gas jokes and just get down to the basics of writing about the benefits and good stuff that comes from consuming of good old fashioned yogurt.
So what exactly is yogurt? While some of the less informed may immediately think of the creamy sweet stuff in little plastic tubs with fruit on the bottom or the frozen custard like stuff with flavors like caramel crème and chocolate mousse plain yogurt is actually milk that has had bacteria added to it. This good for you bacteria causes the milk to ferment and thicken. This fermented thick mixture is strained and the liquid is drained off. The end result is a tangy creamy mixture that has the consistency of sour cream. Besides being delicious yogurt is also full of calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Regular yogurt is strained once or twice, the new kid on the block, Greek yogurt is, however, strained three times (or more) making for a much thicker and denser consistency.
           Which yogurt is better for you to utilize when climbing the food pyramid, you ask? On one hand Greek yogurt has almost double the protein and fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt. However, regular yogurt has three times the calcium as the Greek variety so choose which ever one works best for you. Finally, it’s really a tossup when it comes to calories (watch what you add to it) and if price is your only concern the Greek yogurt is typically far more expensive.
On the technical side, I prefer to use Greek yogurt to replace cream cheese, sour cream, or ricotta cheese in baking or cooking. The regular yogurt tends to curdle more than the Greek variety when you cook with it.  I gravitate towards regular yogurt when I’m making dips, salad dressing, smoothies, desserts and sauces. When you add fresh fruit either variety works great.
So if there was a smack down cooking cage match between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt which should you bet on and buy? The answer is that it’s a draw you win with both and whoever gets to eat what you make takes home the prize.
   
Yogurt Tips:
1. Use yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream to reduce calories and fat.
2. Add yogurt to your marinades. Its high acid content is a great tenderizer.
3.  Add yogurt near the end of the cooking process to prevent curdling.
4. Use yogurt as a substitute for buttermilk, sour cream, or butter to reduce calories and fat in baking.
5. Don’t use aluminum pans when cooking with yogurt, the acid could cause a negative reaction.
YOGURT MASHED CAULIFLOWER

2 heads of cau¬li¬flower (flo¬rets only)
6 oz con¬tainer of Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons but¬ter
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/2 to 1 tablespoon mince garlic
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 to 3 chopped green onions for gar¬nish
Salt and pep¬per to taste

In a medium pot, bring the water to boil. Add the cau¬li¬flower flo¬rets to the boil¬ing water and let then cook it for about 8 min¬utes or until they are soft. Remove the florets from the heat and drain then in a colander. In a food proces¬sor, com¬bine the cau¬li¬flower with the yogurt, but¬ter, gar¬lic and minced onion and process with pulses until you have a con¬sis¬tency you like. Add the salt and pep¬per to taste. Immediately spoon the mixture into a serving bowl and mix in the parmesan. Top with green onions and serve immediately. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

GREEK YOGURT BERRY PIE
You can use a readymade pie crust if you like

Crust
1 cup flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoons water

Yogurt Cream Cheese Filling:
6 oz. Mascarpone cheese
8 oz Greek yogurt
4 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 to 3 cups mixed berries
3 tablespoons raspberry jam
In a mixing bowl combine the flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives cut the butter in the flour mixture. Add the water the mixture. Mix with a fork until the dough is just moistened. Shape crust dough into a ball with your hands, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Roll out the dough into a 12 inch circle and then fold it in half then in half again. Place it in a tart pan with a removable bottom and unfold.  Press the dough evenly onto the bottom and sides of a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 to15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the crust completely on a wire rack.

In the bowl of a food processor combine all the ingredients and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. When ready to assemble the pie spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the tart shell. Sprinkle the berries over the top of the filling. In a glass bowl heat the jam slightly and then drizzle the warm jam over the top of the berries. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

Modified from about.com

SEAFOOD LASAGNA

1 large egg, beaten to blend
salt and pepper to taste
12 to 15 lasagna noodles, cooked
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. butter
6 tbs. all purpose flour
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 cups Stonyfield Farm Lowfat (1%) Organic Milk
2 cups Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt (or substitute with yogurt cheese)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere
1 lb. lobster meat (slightly undercooked if possible), coarsely chopped
1 lb. small shrimp (uncooked)
1 lb. small scallops (uncooked)

Whisk flour in heavy medium saucepan to remove any lumps. Gradually add 1 cup milk, whisking until smooth. Add remaining 2 cups milk and nutmeg; whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in Parmesan, egg and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made 1 day ahead, just cover and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat until heated through before using; do not boil. Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl combine lobster, shrimp, and scallops together In a separate bowl fold together 1 1/4 cup gruyere, 1 1/4 cup mozzarella and yogurt. In 8 1/2 by 11 inch baking dish, start by coating the bottom of the dish with a thin layer of white sauce; next add a layer of lasagna noodles placing tightly together, cut to fit if necessary. Spread 1/3 of yogurt and cheese mixture, and sprinkle with 1/3 seafood. Repeat layers 2 times ending with lasagna noodles. Finish the top with white sauce and sprinkled with remaining cheese. Cook for 35 minutes on top of sheet pan in case it bubbles over

From stoneyfield.com

ZUCCHINI GRIDDLE CAKES WITH YOGURT SAUCE

3 to 4 medium zucchini, shredded
Salt and pepper
3  eggs, beaten
1/2 cup  flour
1 tablespoon  olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill or 2 tablespoons dried
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 to 6 tablespoons oil (or more as needed)

Yogurt sauce
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons minced cloves garlic
3 tablespoons chopped cucumbers
1/2 teaspoon salt.

Place the shredded zucchini in a colander over a bowl or in the sink and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drain for five to 10 minutes and then place the zucchini in a towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Try squeezing it a second time just to make sure you got all the liquid out. Put the zucchini in a bowl and add the eggs. Mix to combine. Add the flour, salt, olive oil, mozzarella, green onions dill and pepper. Mix and add the baking powder. Mix to combine. Place the griddle on the heat and brush 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil on the surface Spoon heaping tablespoons of the batter several inches apart so they have room to spread (don’t make them too big). They may need to be flattened slightly. Cook until they are golden on one side (3 to 4 minutes) and then flip them and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. The griddle cakes should be crispy. You can make them up ahead of time and keep them warm in the oven. Serve hot. Makes 12

For yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, cucumber and salt. Mix well, and serve on the side or on pancakes.

Submitted by Brian Zimmerman NY, NY

APPLE AND CARROT YOGURT SALAD

1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 carrots, peeled and shredded (3 1/2 cups)
2 apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch sticks (3 1/2 cups)
1 cup shredded jicama
1 head red leaf lettuce, torn in to bite size pieces
1 cup chopped pecans

In a salad bowl combine the yogurt, vinegar, pepper, salt and parsley in a bowl. Add the carrots, apples, jicama and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to soften the vegetables slightly. Place the lettuce on a platter and then spoon the apple mixture over the top.  Sprinkle the pecans on the top and serve. Serves 6
 
.
AVOCADO AND MANGO WITH SPICY TAHINI YOGURT DRESSING
I
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
3 mangos, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

To make the dressing combine the yogurt and tahini in a bowl and whisk them together until smooth. Add the cumin, coriander, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Divide the avocado and mango slices between 6 plates. Spoon the dressing over and sprinkle with almonds.

Modified from Taste of Israel by Avi Ganor and Ron Maiberg

.
FRESH HERB TUNA PASTA WITH YOGURT DILL SAUCE

1 cup orzo pasta
3 green onions (sliced thin tops included)
1 green bell pepper (minced fine)
1 red bell pepper (minced fine)
2 tomatoes (diced)
1/2 cup black or kalmata olives (finely diced)
2 eggs (hardboiled finely diced)
2 teaspoon fresh dill (finely minced)
1 tablespoons dill (fresh, finely minced)
2 teaspoons celery seeds
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt
6 oz water (tuna, drained)
1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
 salt
 pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and rinse under cold water to quick chill, drain well and pour into large mixing bowl.  Stir in green onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, egg, fresh herbs, mustard, and parsley; mixing well.  Add the lemon juice, yogurt, tuna and cheese, mix well; add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a sliced bell pepper slice, sliced tomato or additional cheese if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Submitted by Sharon Barlone West Bloomfield MI
RIGATONI WITH YOGURT LIME SAUCE

4 cups cooked rigatoni pasta
2 cups frozen peas
1 red pepper diced small

Sauce:
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoon minced garlic
Zest of lime
Lime juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
4 green onions, sliced thin
Parmesan cheese to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, in a bowl combine the yogurt, garlic, and lime zest. Mix to combine and add the lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.  Stir well and set aside.

Just before draining pasta add the diced pepper and peas to the pot and let cook for 1 minute. Save 1 cup of the salted pasta water and then drain the rest.  Return pasta and peas to pot.  Stir in yogurt sauce.  Add the saved pasta water slowly mixing until you get the desired consistency for the sauce.  Serve immediately, topped with green onions and Parmesan. Serves 4

CHICKEN AND CHICKPEA CURRY

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/4 lb. package ground chicken or turkey
1 large onion, chopped in medium dice
2 tablespoons sweet curry powder
1 can petite dice tomatoes with juice (14.5 oz.)
1 can chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans, 15.5 oz. can)
12 oz. Greek yogurt
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley for garnish, optional

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy frying pan, add ground chicken or turkey, breaking it apart with the turner and sauteing until it is well cooked and lightly browned about 8 to 10 minutes.

Push the chicken or turkey to one side of the pan, add the 1 teaspoon olive oil, then add the chopped onions and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until onions are just starting to get some color. Sprinkle onions with the curry powder and cook about 2 minutes more, turning a few times, then stir the onion mixture into the chicken. Add the tomatoes with juice and drained chickpeas and let simmer about 5 minutes, or until some liquid has evaporated and flavors are well blended. Turn heat to low, stir in yogurt, and simmer about 3 minutes more. (Don’t let it come to a boil after the yogurt has been added.)

Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro if desired. Serves 4.

Modified from Chicken Chickpea Curry Bowls by Rachel Ray

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