Showing posts with label South Florida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South Florida. Show all posts

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)

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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bacon-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

As you can see, there are two Bacon-Pineapple Upside-Down cakes on this photo; don't be fooled, on the left, is the page of the Food Network magazine, and on the right is my actual cake! I must say, I have never...well, almost never made a cake the turned out almost identical as the picture from a magazine or book...and I'm also proud to share the 'source' where the recipe comes from originally. Most food blogger...and I do say MOST are not willing to share the source of their recipes even if they adapted it from a source...which is even better because you get to take your own 'twist' on it, and share that as well.

Although in the 1970's we all just wrote down on little index cards recipes that we exchanged with one-another, and who knew where they originated from...some of them were 'hand-me-downs' and some were clippings from magazines, but virtually no one knew the actual source! In the 90's, when I got my first computer in 1995 and had the Windows 95, my neighbor, who was more advanced with computer knowledge even a few years prior, suggested that I should type up all my hand written recipes and create a file where I could easily find them. I spent hours and hours typing (good thing I took typing in high school) ...so I didn't have to peck with my index finger...lol!

Well, since then I got rid of most of my handwritten recipes...and I kind of feel bad about that!
Fast forward, here we are in 2014 with some pretty advanced cameras, and we are not only blogging about food, but taking some amazing food photos, as well! I do admit one thing, the only way we can mention that our recipes are original...and I do mean original creation, is that from memory, remembering a certain 'staple dish' with the ingredients we already kept in our memories; but than, we just have to remember the measurements...that is how our mothers and grandmothers cooked...a pinch here, and a dash, or just 'eyeballing' the liquid measurements. When it came to baking...they would pull out an old ratty cookbook, or a yellowed piece of handwritten paper when it came to baking...am I correct, or not?
All I can tell you that this is the best Pineapple-Upside-Down Cake you've ever had in your life...that is, if you LOVE bacon like most of us do. Forget about the calories, the fat, and cholesterol, just for once, and splurge a little! I got so hooked on the bacon dish and dessert creations just from that Food Network magazine; the bacon issue, that I plan to study it well, to make more recipes from it!

Especially, when you can buy a package of a very good quality bacon, and get the 2nd package for FREE...you certainly have a bargain for sure! Our local Publix Supermarket always, but always has the 'buy one'...and 'get one free' of so many different products every week, that you'd be amazed how much you can save!

Bacon-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
recipe, courtesy of Food Network Magazine
Ingredients
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp, 9 to 11 minutes; remove to paper towels. Finely chop and set aside.
Pour off all but 3 tablespoons drippings from the skillet. Add 4 tablespoons butter and melt over low heat. Pour into a 9-inch-round cake pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter mixture.
Place a pineapple ring in the middle of the pan, then arrange the remaining rings around the outside, overlapping them slightly if necessary. Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of the chopped bacon in the middle of the rings and between them.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the remaining 1 stick butter and the granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the batter is smooth, about 15 more seconds. Fold in the remaining chopped bacon.
Spread the batter over the pineapple in the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a rack and let cool 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert onto a platter. Let cool at least 1 hour before serving.

Always use the freshest and ripest pineapple you can find...these were already pre-cut into logs, and I sliced them about 1/2 inch slices.
Fry 6 slices of bacon in a large skillet, on medium heat, and lay them on paper towel to soak up the excess grease.
On top of the stove, add the light brow sugar, the butter, and reserved bacon fat and let the melt down. Swoosh the pan to smooth it out. ( I used a Le Creuset enameled large cast iron skillet..
('thrift find' from Goodwill) a few years ago, for $3.99...don't even try to find one in such perfect brand new condition today...and forget about the old price!
Lay the pineapple slices carefully over the brown sugar mixture...you can overlap them slightly if they don't fit right. (You can use a cast iron skillet, or a heavy duty skillet. Cake pan also works well, but you have to transfer the brown sugar mixture from the skillet that you melted the sugar in)
Chop the bacon really fine...chances are, you may have a small amount left over!
Fill the holes of the pineapple slices, and all the empty spaces around them.
With an electric hand mixer, or stand-up mixer, mix the cake ingredients according to the recipe!
With a rubber spatula, carefully spread the batter on top of the pineapple slices.
The batter should look smooth, and spread all the way to cover the pineapple pieces.
Here's the finished result...perfectly baked, golden brown. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes then with a dull knife loosen around the edges. Place a large platter over the top, and carefully turn it upside-down. Wait at least one hour before cutting it. ( my cake was done in about 50 minutes) May not need 1 hr. to bake according to your oven.
Just to refresh your memory, after one hour of resting the cake...can't wait to cut into it...and share!
Moist, delicious, sweet and savory...hope you will try this! xo



Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mozzarella Caprese Rolls

I have actually surprised my own self creating this wonderful fresh mozzarella rolls, with fresh sliced Roma tomatoes, black olives, sun-dried tomato slices, and fresh basil leaves. All these ingredients were on-hand in the fridge at my daughter's...actually, the fresh basil, I snipped off the basil plant.

They were so easy to put together; fresh, colorful, and super delicious! You never know...really, what you can create just from your own ingredients if you are like me, having fresh cheese, vegetables, and of course condiments that are just waiting for some creative hand to liven them up. Giving it a new name, as well...not knowing if there's actually a name for it out there, so you just re-name your creation...that's why I mentioned that I surprised myself!


Seriously, having the freshest ingredients, and special cheese, which we love so much in my family; you can't really go wrong. Imported black olives, or calamata pitted olives, and I just love, sun-dried tomatoes to use in salads, and pasta dishes.
I will show you step-by step how I made this; just glancing at the photo on the package of the cheese to give me an idea

So this is the surprise...BEL GIOIOSO
UNWRAP & ROLL, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese











Just look how easy...unwrap the roll...remove the
plastic, and start filling it with your favorite filling that compliments the cheese.











My choice was the idea of a Caprese with the mozzarella cheese...except I 'kicked it up a notch' by adding more complimentary ingredients that would go well with the fresh tomato slices.
black pitted olives could be optional...you can add capers, or even roasted pepper slices.






These are the sun-dried tomatoes I use...excellent quality, and I just love that it's julienned already.











I used about 1 cup of the sun-dried tomatoes,  maybe slightly more, and boiled them in small amount of water for 5 minutes to soften them a little more. (don't boil them longer, or they will lose their flavor and get too soft)

I placed them on a plate and poured abt. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and stirred them around the get them saturated.



You can use the oil to drizzle on the flat portion of the roll, or skip that part. Sprinkle some sea salt on it, and freshly ground pepper.

 I used the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes to drizzle before rolling it, but you can omit this step.







Wrap the roll tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2hrs or longer. Carefully remove wrap and slice with a sharp knife. Use a spatula to serve the pieces on a small plate as an appetizer, and serve with crunchy bread...totally amazing, and super delicious!