JANUARY: Feta Torta

Cuisinart the following:

1 lb feta cheese
1/2 lb cream cheese
1/2 lb butter, unsalted
1 clove of garlic
1 shallot
freshly ground pepper
3-6 tbsp white wine, enough to moisten the mixture

Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Cuisinart the following:

1/2 bunch of watercress
1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained but with some oil left for moisture
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 shallot or green onion
1/2 cup sesame seeds

Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Line a plastic container with damp cheese cloth. Starting with the green mixture on the bottom, layer alternately with the cheese mixture, ending with the cheese mixture on top. Fold over the cheese cloth and cover with plastic wrap. You should have enough to make two batches using one large and one small round plastic containers.

Refrigerate overnight.

Invert onto a platter, remove the cloth, and serve with bread and crackers.

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FEBRUARY: Pina Colada Cheesecake

Crust:
1&3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 T. sugar

Mix these three ingredients together. Press into a 9×3 inch springform pan coming two thirds of the way up the sides.

Filling:
3.25 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
7 large eggs
1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk , stirred well (for a richer cake use cream of coconut)
1 (8 oz ) can crushed pineapple
1 cup sour cream
3 tsp. coconut extract
1/3 cups light rum

Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl at medium speed til light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides several times. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Pour into the crust.

Place on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 325 degree oven for 55-65 minutes or until the edges are brown and and the center just jiggles slightly. Turn the oven off and leave the cake in for 1 hour. remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Glaze:
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. water
Coconut Chips, toasted, for garnish

Puree pineapple and its juices briefly in a food processor. Add sugar and lemon juice. Mix. Transfer to a Saucepan. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Add to the sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil and thickens. Cool thoroughly. Spread evenly over the top of the cake. Chill overnight. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Serves 12-16

 

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MARCH: Dates With Coffee And Cardamom

I made this two weeks ago for some friends and they requested that it be on my web site. Thanks to Gourmet with a few ideas of my own.

Ingredients:

1 quart whole milk yogurt – Drained for two hours through cheesecloth, then refrigerated.
2 cups pitted Medjool Dates, about 1 lb
2.5 cups freshly made espresso
1 tbsp of sugar
20 whole green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick broken in half

Place pitted dates in a heat proof bowl.

Bring espresso, sugar, cardamom pods, and cinnamon stick to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour over the dates and cool to room temp. Steep the dates covered and chilled overnight.

The next day drain the liquid, place in a small saucepan and reheat. Reduce by 1.4 to 1.3. Pour over the dates, cool and refrigerate for up to five days. The longer it sits the tastier it gets.

Divide the yogurt between 8 dessert bowls. Place 3-4 dates over the yogurt. Ladle coffee syrup over the top.

I think this would also be good over ricotta lightened with a little whipped cream.

Serves 8

 

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APRIL: Vermont Savory Goat Cheese Cheesecake

Crust:

1.5 cups of flour
1/8 tsp salt
6 T. unsalted Vermont butter
2 T. Crisco
2-3 T. ice water

Place flour and salt in the Cuisinart and whirl. Cut the butter into pieces and add. Blend till crumbs form. Add the Crisco and blend till crumbs form. Slowly add the water while running. Stop when it just starts to come together. Remove and form into a round ball. Flatten and refrigerate one hour.

When ready to use roll out to 13-14 inches. Place in an 11 – 12 inch flute pan with a removable bottom. Refrigerate 30 minutes . Blind bake in a 350 Degree oven for 10 minutes.

Filling:

11 ounces of Vermont Goats Cheese
1 lb. Vermont Cream Cheese
3 eggs
1.5 tsp chopped Fresh rosemary
3/4 cups lightly toasted pine nuts

Beat together the Cheese till light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then blend in the rosemary. turn into the prebaked tart pan. Sprinkle with the pine nuts.

Bake in a 350 oven until set, 25-35 minutes.

 

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MAY: A Pair Of Vinaigrettes

Orange Tarragon Vinaigrette
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 T. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
3 T. Sharon’s Bitter Orange Marmalade
2 T. chopped tarragon
Salt and Pepper

Cuisinart all ingredients except oil, salt & pepper. Add oil slowly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Orange Lovage/ Fennel Vinaigrette
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
3/4 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup plus 2 T. olive oil
3T. Sharon’s Bitter Orange Marmalade
3-4 T. lovage leaves or fennel fronds
Salt and pepper

Cuisinart all ingredients except oil, salt & pepper. Add oil slowly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

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JUNE: Cottage Cheese Pancakes With Raspberry Maple Syrup

Ingredients:

1 cup large curd cottage cheese
4 eggs
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
Extra butter for frying

Beat the cottage cheese till smooth and looks whipped. Add the eggs, and beat. Then add the flours and beat again. With the beater running add the melted butter.

Heat a griddle and add butter. Melt til bubbly then spoon 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook til set and then flip and cook until set on second side. Makes 12.

Serve with Raspberry Maple Syrup. Prepare as follows:

1 cup Vermont Maple Syrup
2/3 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
2 T. Raspberry Jam

Heat the maple syrup and raspberries and bring to a boil. Add the jam and bring just to a boil again. Let sit for a minute and spoon on warm pancakes.

Enjoy!

 

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JULY: Watermelon And Feta Salad

Ingredients:

1 piece of seedless watermelon, about 1&1/3 lbs.
4-5 oz feta cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
2-3 T. roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
2 T good quality olive oil
2 Tsp fresh lime juice.

Cube the watermelon and place in a bowl. Crumble the Feta over the watermelon. Grind fresh pepper over the top. Sprinkle with the chopped mint. Mix the olive oil and lime juice and drizzle over the salad.

Delicious and refreshing.

 

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AUGUST: Sharon’s Citrus Marinated Chicken

Ingredients:

12 boneless breasts of chicken ( 8 oz. each )
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
Juice and rind of 1.5 limes
Juice and rind of 1 orange
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of blended olive/vegetable oil
4 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 bunch of celantro chopped – 1/4 cup
1/2 bunch of parsley chopped – 1/4 cup
1 medium onion diced
3 T. Sharon’s Bitter Orange Marmalade
2 T. sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 a jalapeno minced

Combine all ingredients and marinate chicken in this overnight. Remove from marinade and grill. Or brown in a saute pan, then cover with drained solids from the marinade and bake till done.

Serve with a fresh fruit salsa, like Pineapple, Strawberry, Mango, or the like.

 

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SEPTEMBER: Corn Pudding

It’s August and everyone loves corn. Here’s our favorite corn pudding recipe of the moment. It got rave reviews at last weeks wedding.

Ingredients:

7 cups of fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup of milk or half and half
3/4 cup butter, softened
6 T. sugar
5 eggs separated
5 T. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup shredded Vermont cheddar

Process the corn and milk in a food processor until pureed. Place in a large bowl. Cream the butter and sugar . Beat the egg yolks and add to the corn. Pour the corn mix into the butter mix and combine. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and cheese. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold into the corn mixture. Grease an 11×14 baking dish. Pour in the batter. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden and set.

 

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October: Lentil Walnut PateOctober: Lentil Walnut Pate

It seems that there are a lot of vegetarians out there just looking for a great pate. Here’s one of our most often requested.

Saute one cup of chopped onion in 2 T. of butter.

Boil 8 eggs till hard.

Toast 4 cups of walnuts.

Measure and cook 1.5 cups of red lentils to yield 4 cups cooked.

1 cup of mayonnaise

1/3 cups of ketchup

 

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NOVEMBER: Fruited Winter Rice Salad

Now we are very creative in my kitchen, and this recipe was requested. So I am sharing it with you as closely as we can. You may want to make adjustments with the fruit quantities.

1 cup of wild rice.
1 cup of Uncle Ben’s white rice
2 packages of Lundberg Black Japonica

Cook each rice separately according to package directions Cool and then mix together.

1 red onion diced
1/2 package of scallions, sliced thinly
1/2 bunch of parsley minced
1 green pepper diced
2 cups of apricots sliced
1 cup of dried cranberries soaked in 1 cup of orange juice
1 cup of toasted pistachio’s, coarsely chopped

Add to the rice mixture.

DRESSING
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup of high quality balsamic
1 cup of virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/8 cup of walnut oil
1.5 T. of fennel seeds
salt, pepper and sugar to taste

Mix everything together and enjoy.

 

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December: Challa Bread

This is my favorite Challa recipe, and my father’s. It was given to me by a friend in Concord, NH many years ago. It is great fresh and makes wonderful french toast as well as bread pudding. Both treats for the holiday season.

Mix 2 packages of dry yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water with a pinch of sugar. Set aside to rise.

Beat 5 whole eggs and 3/4 cups of sugar. Add the above mixture. Mix in 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1.5 cups of warm water, and 1 T. of kosher salt. Beat till well combined.

Gradually add 9-10 cups of flour. Beat till smooth after the first 3 cups. I use half bread flour and half King Arthur white. Knead till smooth and place in a well greased covered bowl to rise in a warm place.

Punch down three times, letting it fully rise after each punching. Divide the dough into thirds, and each of those thirds into thirds again. Braid the three loaves. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Beat one egg with 1 – 2 T. of water. Brush the tops of each loaf with the mixture. Sprinkle with either poppy or sesame seeds. Place in a warm oven, 140 for 20 minutes. Raise temp to 200 for 15 minutes. Raise again to 275 for 15 minutes. Turn the sheets, raise the temp again to 375 for 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown.

 

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