Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nectarine and Almond Tart


As you know, we're still enjoying our summer months here in South Florida, with temperatures still in the upper 80's degrees...but meanwhile, in South Dakota, they got their early 'first snow'...so bizarre!
We are still able to buy peaches and nectarines in our supermarkets, and produce markets, and enjoying the last of the summer's fruits. I decided to make an easy tart with the nectarines, using puff
pastry...which is so versatile and so quick; the possibilities are 'endless'.
Here's a little 'hint' when making tarts, galettes, open faced pies, or even on cakes, featuring your favorite fruits, or berries...always brush them with a nice glaze that you make yourself, from heating up preserves that compliment the fruit, and straining them before brushing them on the fruits. You have to work fast, or the glaze will harden and then you have to start all over by heating it to a boil!
When I made the guava pastries is how I got inspired to want to keep a package of puff pastry in my freezer which would be handy at the last minute's notice...and sure enough it was. You just take one of the pastry rolls (of 2) out, about 30 minutes before starting, and it will thaw out perfect just on your counter. I will walk you through...step-by-step to demonstrate how I made this delicious...just not so 'pretty layers' which should have been standing like 'perfect little soldiers'!
Very little sugar is used to sweeten this yummy pastry; the hardest part is slicing them evenly, and lining them...slightly overlapping. I had to discard some of the slices, at least half of them which were turning brown inside...sigh!
So here's my version of this easy, and fast recipe. (The almond filling was adapted by another source)

Nectarine and Almond Tart
recipe by; Elisabeth

8 medium nectarines
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed
1/4 cup peach, or apricot preserves, heated to a boil, and strained







Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.











Cut nectarines in half, remove pit, and slice them
into 1/4 in. to 1/2 in. slices. In a food processor.
( a small is OK to use.)




Pulse almonds, flour, and sugar.









Pulse a few times making sure to finely grind.




















 
Add the 4 Tbsp softened butter, the 1 large egg, and the vanilla. Process until it forms into a smooth thick creamy paste.
 
Unfold pastry to parchment lined baking sheet.
Spread almond mixture, leaving 1/2 inch border.
 
Line the fruit slices closely, by overlapping them. (I didn't have enough slices, so I lined them as closely as possible.)
 
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes, and lower the temperature to 350 degrees for another 15 more minutes, to keep from burning.
 
 
 
 
 
Pastry should be golden, puffed, and fruit, tender.
 
 
 
 
Brush the fruit with the strained preserves, while it's hot, and let it cool for 20 minutes. before cutting.
 
Very good as a light dessert, or a morning or afternoon snack!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
13th Anniversary of the Sept. 11 Terror attacks...
 
 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Spicy South Florida Salsa

Hi everyone! I'm not trying to promote a product...but I must admit that I do love Tostitos Tortilla Chips, especially the new one which is infused with a 'hint of lime'!
I've been away for another 2 weeks at least...family obligations, and 'life in general' which really kept me from even opening my computer!
I have so much to share with you; but I've been really 'slacking off' with my food photography these days. I have made some really fabulous dishes for my family...but the only problem was... the photographic side of it...which I was unprepared for... to take,  before...or during!
I could not resist sharing this yummy, fresh and healthy Salsa...the spices are just right, just dig into all that goodness with a great sturdy and crunchy chip!

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor's Day weekend holiday...as we also enjoyed, with partial rain, and of course sunshine right after that! ...'typical South Florida weather.

Spicy South Florida Salsa
recipe, by; Elisabeth

6 -8 Roma, or Plum tomatoes diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, and diced
1 bunch of scallions, cleaned, and sliced
juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon cumin powder
dash of hot pepper
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of fresh cilantro, cleaned of stems



Add all the ingredients in a large food processor container.











Pulse...(do not process!)...just pulse for 2 times, short, making sure that some chunks remain! Finish, by adjusting seasoning, if needed. Ready to serve with tortilla chips of your choice!











I visited a Goodwill thrift store...other than my local area...and 'lo and behold'...hit the 'jackpot'! September 2014 issues (except or the Eat Smart, which was from June 2014)
I could not believe my eyes...who would donate a 'brand new issue' of these popular magazines!...especially when they cost at least $5.99...and Goodwill price is 79 cents for all paper backs!...sure will have fun reading them and checking for new ideas and recipes!
Here's how part of our Labor Day went...rain for about an hour, (view from my balcony)...and a perfectly beautiful sunshine for the rest of the day!
The rest of the day turned out to be beautiful, sunny, and perfect 'beach weather'...enjoyed by my family!
Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! xoxo
(not making excuses for staying away, and not posting and commenting!...long story)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Baked Potato Soup

Hi Everyone! I'm back again with a (not so exciting) new post...which you're probably asking "what's with the Baked Potato soup?" After all these weeks of absence, you would think I would come back with some exquisite, and amazing food to show off....hey, but just look at the gorgeous 'hand stitched' Italian table cloth (never used), the antique silver plated soup spoon, and the Italian napkin...all these things handed down to my daughter from her sweet M-in-law from Italy...except for the soup spoon which an entire set inherited from my Hungarian aunt (Mariska)

This is truly an amazing comforting soup...'for the soul'...just look at the crispy yummy bacon bits, and the chunky pieces of 2 boiled potatoes, which was an addition to the homemade vegetable broth that it was boiled in, and added 2 peeled leftover baked potatoes...all mixed together in the blender, heated up and added 1/2 cup sour cream at the end. You can substitute Greek yogurt instead! Creamy soups are so easy to make...all you need is a blender, food processor, or even a 'hand held immersion blender/mixer) and your creativity!

I missed so much opportunity to be posting so many different foods that I actually made in the last weeks that just flew by...not photographing anything...could also have had the chance to do a few Restaurant Reviews...(no photos)...well, could've...would've...should've...all have gone by, not focusing on it. I admit, I do regret procrastinating, and feeling 'down in the dumps' (no excuse)...can't take everything to 'heart' that we have no control over!
As you know, I'm a huge Pinterest fan...love, love, finding some awesome things on Pinterest...especially foods, fashion, home décor, and travel...my oh, my...the amazing places we could go to...just have the $$$!
Well, as you may, or may not know, but I have a board on Pinterest called #soup love where I found this most gorgeous and yummy Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup and decided that I want to make it, just did not have 6 slices of bacon...only 3~ I did not follow their recipe all the way thru...so I made it my own...next time I will follow through the step-by-step recipe. When you see a photo on Pinterest, just click on the photo and it will lead you to the 'source' and most likely you will find the recipe, or the 'link' that it came from. In this case, I did find the source; which is called...
Tasty Kitchen...you will find the step-by-step recipe for this amazing soup!
Here's the recipe and my adaptation in blue:

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 whole Extra Large Baked Potatoes Or 8 Regular Baked Potatoes (I used 2 med. leftover baked potatoes and 2 med. peeled, and diced potatoes boiled in 2 cups of 'homemade veg. broth)
  • 6 slices Bacon, Diced (I used 3 slices of bacon)
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter (no butter used)
  • ½ whole Onion, Chopped (1 med. onion chopped)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ⅓ cups All-purpose Flour (2 Tbsp. all-purp. flour)
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock (2 cups homemade vegetable stock)
  • ½ teaspoons Sea Salt (or To Taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Pepper, Or To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (I used 3 Tbsp. olive oil)
  • 3 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (no cheese)
  • 4 whole Scallions (Green Onions), Sliced (no scallions) used sprig of parsley
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt (1/2 cup sour cream)

Preparation Instructions

Scoop the white insides out of the baked potato skins. Roughly chop the white insides and set them aside. Chop potato skins and set aside.
In a large stock pot brown the diced bacon over medium heat. Once it’s crispy, remove bacon from the pan and drain off the grease.
Add 4 tablespoons butter to the brown bits at the bottom of the stock pot. Add onion and continue to cook over medium heat until onion is caramelized. Add minced garlic and flour. Stir flour until absorbed by the butter and cooked, about 1-2 minutes.
While stirring, slowly add chicken stock to the flour mixture to prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer then turn heat to low. Add the insides of the diced baked potato. Add sea salt and pepper. Cover pot and continue to cook over low heat.
In a large saute pan add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat and heat until all of the butter is melted. Add the chopped potato skins and fry them until crisp and heated through.
Add 1/2 of the crumbled bacon, 2 cups of cheddar cheese, 2/3 of the scallions and Greek yogurt into the pot of soup. Stir well and continue to cook over low heat until heated through and cheese is melted.
Serve soup topped with remaining bacon, cheddar cheese, scallions and crisp potato skins.
 

OK...now that this recipe is out of the way...I'd like to share with you our typical S. Florida cloudy skies...so close that you can almost touch it...followed by a super storm immediately after the clouds, lasting for about an hour and followed by sunshine, or again more storms!
A typical Sunday afternoon...4:00PM; returning from the PGA Mall w/family...going over the Southern Blvd. bridge in West Palm Beach...stopped at the red light on the bridge, when suddenly realizing the huge rain cloud hovering over our heads.
Got out of the Jeep...so did other people, to snap photos of the storm cloud!
You would think this is a 'black and white' photo...but it's not; it is actually the grey color that it was taken with color!
Ten minutes later at my destination...on the beach! The clouds look like they could just 'devour you'...a bit 'scary'!
Another 10 more minutes later; have you every seen clouds like that?...as they say..."this is South Florida"...indeed it is...a 'typical S. Florida weather'! (just an hour earlier, it was sunny, with a few scattered clouds)

Have a beautiful week, my dear friends! (readers, followers, and all!) ...xoxo

 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pasteles de Guayaba-(Cuban Guava Pastries)

Hi Everyone! You may be wondering, or not...where I could have been; so unlike me, to disappear for one month and not announce where, or why?...or perhaps what happened to my untimely disappearance, when I have always seemed to share my routine activities on my blog. Well, it hasn't been the best of my last month, being without my family; missing them, terribly...both my 2 children and my 4 grandchildren away on their respective vacations...and me; left behind...a first time, in 12 years!

Also, for the last 2 years, I have stopped celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and special events, that have been bringing happy memories in my life...the past entire month have been bringing up such 'bittersweet' memories for me...thinking about my past 2 year losses of loved ones I lost; including my 2 beloved cats, Prince and Mush and my son's beautiful Black Lab beloved family dog named Thai...all gone in the last 2 years! Sometimes feelings get so overwhelming when you stop to think about recent losses, and sad 'world events'...you just have to take a step-back...take a 'break' away from a 'routine' and pray in silence... for better 'tomorrow' and PEACE for our future!
For the last two weeks, I've been wanting to post my 'new found' amazing, and ridiculously easy dessert that I made, but been putting it off, thinking that I may have lost my food blogger friends...since I have not commented to all of you, since the last time I posted. I really appreciate all your friendship and I hope I did not offend you in any way! Well, after hesitating to even look into my own blog...I'm back, and starting my 4th year blogging, this month...it's either 'Do, or DIE' so; no party, no celebration...just a quiet return for more, and hopefully better year!
"Ay Que Rico"...as they say in Spanish..."Oh, How Good"...and it certainly is, this magical Guava paste, which is made from Guava fruit, that we are so fortunate to have it growing in South Florida.

To be perfectly honest, I have never made this pastry in all my years living in South Florida; always buying it in our local supermarket, fresh, and warm to savor with a 'Cafecito'...which is a Cuban espresso, or 'Café con leche' the Cuban coffee with milk...a match made in 'heaven' for coffee lovers like myself! Here, in West Palm Beach, you can also find these yummy pastries in Cuban restaurants, and Cuban bakeries...and even at a local Cuban gas station; always served warm, and oozing with the guava paste that is naturally sweet, and is so good for you...rich with Vitamin C!
Photo...courtesy of  the Internet
This is what a ripe Guava fruit looks like on a Guava tree! Although, most of the trees are found in Miami, I have not seen them in anyone's yard, other than on a Guava Farm.
2

Welcome to Silver Palm

Thank you for visiting our website.  Our farm is located in the Redlands, a small farming community in Southwest Miami-Dade county. We encourage everyone that is in the area to stop by, however , we do not keep consistent hours so if our gate is open, welcome! We are located at:
23450 Sw 167 Avenue Redland, Florida 33031


Pasteles de Guayaba-Cuban Guava Pastries

source; adapted from 3 different Internet recipes

1 package of puff pastry
1 package of Guava Paste
1 egg and 1 Tbsp. cane sugar for sprinkling




Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and unfold one of the pastry sheets onto the pan.





Slice the guava paste into 1/2 inch slices, and place evenly over the pastry sheet.








Top with second puff pastry sheet and cut into desired slices. I cut mine into 4x6 inches.
( Use a pizza cutter for easier cutting.)












With a sharp knife, cut small slashes for air vents. Beat egg in a small bowl, and brush the top of the puff pastries, and sprinkle the cane sugar over it.











Bake at 375 Degrees F. for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature, and serve. Refrigerate leftovers (if any) very nice reheat!








So delicious as a breakfast/brunch treat, or an afternoon snack, paired with your favorite coffee or tea, or just with an ice cold glass of your favorite milk.

Note: In my 40 yrs of living in S. Florida, this is the first time I have made this super easy and delicious Guava Pastries...my family loved it, and have requested to keep making it. Next time, I will spread cream cheese over the guava paste...yumm





Ingredients
  • 1 Package of Puff Pastry
  • 1 Package of Guava Paste
  • 1 package of Cream Cheese (optional)
  • 1 Egg & Cane Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F
  2. Thaw Puff pastry according to package directions.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and unfold one of the pastry sheets and place on pan.
  4. Slice guava into ¼ inch slices and place evenly on the pastry sheet.
  5. Spread cream cheese over guava paste slices (optional)
  6. Top with second puff pastry sheet and cut into desired pastry size. I cut mine in 2 inch squares.
  7. Beat egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of the pastries. Sprinkle with cane sugar.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and serve.
- See more at: http://afewshortcuts.com/2013/07/easy-guava-pastries-recipe/#sthash.nKPDe7Sy.dpuf
Ingredients
  • 1 Package of Puff Pastry
  • 1 Package of Guava Paste
  • 1 package of Cream Cheese (optional)
  • 1 Egg & Cane Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F
  2. Thaw Puff pastry according to package directions.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and unfold one of the pastry sheets and place on pan.
  4. Slice guava into ¼ inch slices and place evenly on the pastry sheet.
  5. Spread cream cheese over guava paste slices (optional)
  6. Top with second puff pastry sheet and cut into desired pastry size. I cut mine in 2 inch squares.
  7. Beat egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of the pastries. Sprinkle with cane sugar.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and serve.
- See more at: http://afewshortcuts.com/2013/07/easy-guava-pastries-recipe/#sthash.nKPDe7Sy.dpuf

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Berry Galette

It truly summertime...unless you happen to live in Australia, or Argentina (for example)...then you can have your 'hot chocolate', your 'hearty' stews, and all the 'heart and soul' warming foods that are good for keeping the chills away. Anyway; even in South Florida, we're in the midst of the berry season for sure, and what better way to express the summer...than, to make all the light salads, and the berry and fruit based desserts.
Just this past Sunday, it was a beautiful and sunny morning...as I was reading the Sunday Palm Beach Post, sipping my coffee, I happen to notice in their Dash magazine, which we get once a month, and the Parade magazine every Sunday...either way, they both contribute seasonal recipes once a month!
With all the cookbooks, and I mean...tons of them at my daughter's house, plus my own, and all the recent cooking magazines, collected recipes...and the Internet...whewww...sheesh; it's so hard to decide on something, other than a recipe 'hitting you in the face'...at the spur of the moment!

(notice, how the first photo I took indoors with natural light...and the second, I 'staged it outside in the glorious sun light...well, not directly, but knowing in 2hrs the clouds will cover the skies, and the 'downpour' of rain will begin...non-stop. The swimming pool is practically overflowing, and the 'self cleaning vacuum for the pool 'konked out'...sigh!
All I can tell you that this is the best dough I have stumbled upon for fresh fruit based pies, tarts, or a
'free form' galette which is the easiest to make...it has the zest of 1 lemon, and also the juice of the same lemon, after you used the zest, and add the juice to the dough.

Berry Galette 

by: Dash


Ingredients

  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon (I used 1 whole)
  • 1⅓ cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided (I used 1 1/2 cups)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 stick (½ cup) plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I used sea salt)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar, plus 1 tsp for sprinkling
  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 heaping cup blueberries (about 6 oz)
  • 1 large egg white

    Directions

  • Combine lemon juice with enough ice water to make ¼ cup lemon water. In bowl of a food processor, mix 1⅓ cups flour, ½ tsp salt, and lemon zest until combined. Add 1 stick butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-sized bits. Drizzle in lemon water and pulse until dough just comes together.
  • Scrape dough onto a work surface, then press into a flat disk. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 450˚F. In a large bowl, whisk remaining 2 Tbsp flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, and a pinch salt. Add strawberries and blueberries and stir to thoroughly combine, scraping down sides with a rubber spatula.
  • Place refrigerated dough on a lightly floured work surface. 
  • Roll into a 12-inch round, then transfer to a parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet. Mound berry mixture in center, leaving a 2-inch border. Gently fold in crust, pleating edges to enclose. Whisk egg white with 1 Tbsp water, then brush egg mixture onto crust and sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp sugar.
  • Transfer baking sheet to oven, lower heat to 425˚F, and bake until crust is golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Unfried Chicken

Tomorrow is Independence Day...on 4th of July, and as far as I'm concerned fried, or grilled chicken cannot be left out. In my case, as much as I would love to get the gas grill going of my family's grill...it's 'not happening'...since I'll be elsewhere, enjoying my celebration with friends, while my daughter and family are still vacationing in Italy.
Chicken is a huge favorite of mine, and the entire family's...can't get tired of it since there are so many ways of preparing it. Frying the chicken is not an option these days for health reasons, so unfried, is the best way for 'fried' chicken lovers. Instead of breadcrumbs, or Panko, I used crushed corn flakes to pat on the chicken.  I got the inspiration from Bobby Deen, Paula Deen's son. Check out his recipe for the...
 Unfried Chicken
Instead of buttermilk, I used Ranch dressing from a bottle, to dip the chicken into, NO Egg whites needed, and I crushed the cornflakes to a finer grade, using a large zip-lock baggie, and just used the heel of my hand to crush it. Also added 1 cup of flour right in the bag, and added the chicken pieces right into the bag. Make sure you tap the crust so it adheres well.

Most importantly, I replaced the boneless chicken thighs like the recipe mentions, and got with the skin, and bone in. A lot cheaper with bone and skin on. I removed the skin, of course. Baked it for additional 10 minutes in the Le Creuset cast iron glazed skillet. I only baked 4 pieces, and will make an additional for the next day, or freeze it!
We have been getting rain, every day...for the month of June...I mean, heavy, heavy downpour! Also there's a Hurricane watch, which may come our way. Watching through the window on the front of the house...there's a cute papaya tree in the middle which is only less than a year old, and it has lots of papaya's...still green, but I saved a large papaya to ripen. We get sunshine every morning until about 2:00PM, then it gets cloudy and the rain starts for over one hour, sometime longer! Cools things down a little, but everything stays so green!