Saturday, September 29, 2012

Gingered Pork Potstickers

6 oz ground pork
¼ C diced white onion
2 Tbls minced ginger
1 Tbls minced garlic
4 Tbls diced green onion
1 tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper
12 round wonton/potsticker wrappers
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vegetable oil

Combine pork, onions, ginger, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Bring 2 quarts water to boil in medium stock pot. Place 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the middle of each wonton wrapper. Brush edges of wrappers with egg. Fold wrappers in half and pinch to seal.

Place wrappers in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Remove;cool individually on cooling rack. When ready to serve, heat saute pan with 1 teaspoon oil; saute on medium-high heat until the skin of wrappers is browned.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Grilled Apple-Bacon-Cheddar Sandwich with Roasted Red Onion Mayo

1 loaf sourdough, multi-grain or another hearty bread
1 lb bacon, cooked crisp
10 slices cheddar
2 Granny Smith apples
Roasted Red Onion May (recipe follows)

Prepare Roasted Red Onion Mayo.
Peel and core apples; thinly slice.

Assemble sandwiches: Place a slice of cheese, 2 slices of bacon and a layer of apple slices between two pieces of bread lightly spread with Red Onion Mayo. Butter the outsides of the bread.

Pre-heat griddle or fry pan over medium heat. Grill sandwiches about 2 minutes per side, until the bread is toasted and the cheese melted.

Transfer to a cutting board, cut on the diagonal.Serve immediately. 

To keep first sandwiches warm while finishing grilling others, if making many at once, hot hold finished sandwiches in a low oven (170°) while grilling remaining sandwiches.

Roasted Red Onion Mayo
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 C mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 375° In a small bowl, toss red onion, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until onions are very soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and let cool. Transfer to food processor; process until finely chopped. Add the mayo and pulse until smooth and well combined.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple Turnovers

1 tsp grated orange zest
3 Tbls freshly squeezed orange juice
1¼ lbs tart apples – about 3 apples (such as Granny Smith or Empire)
3 Tbls sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on top
1 Tbls flour
¼ tsp cinnamon 
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch kosher salt
1 pkg (17.3 oz, 2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400°
Combine orange zest and orange juice in a bowl. Peel, quarter, and core apples. Cut them into ¾” dice. Immediately toss apples with zest and juice to prevent them from browning. Add sugar, flour cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

Flour a board or surface lightly; roll each sheet of puff pastry to a 12x12” square. Cut each sheet into 4 smaller squares; keep chilled until ready to use.

Beat egg with 1 tablespoon of water.  Brush edges of each square with egg wash. Neatly place about 1/3 cup apple mixture in the center of each square. Fold pastry diagonally over apple mixture; seal by pressing edges with a fork. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with egg wash, sprinkle with extra sugar, and make two small slits.

Bake for 20 minutes, until browned and puffed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spinach Salad with Apple (& Walnuts)

Since I'm allergic to nuts, I'll generally substitute peanuts or sunflower seeds...or just leave them out, but they do add a nice textural element to the salad as well as a subtle saltiness.

2 Tblsolive oil
1 Tbls cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt& pepper
5 oz spinach leaves (about 5 C, lightly packed)
½ Granny Smith apple 
1/3 C walnut pieces 

Toast walnut pieces in a dry skillet over medium high heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes).

Whisk together oil, vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss spinach with dressing to coat evenly.

Core apples, slice into matchsticks (“julienne” - photo doesn't accurately reflect this). Sprinkle apple pieces over salad, followed by walnut pieces.* Serve immediately.

* Nuts, a common allergen, can also be served “on the side”.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ham, Apple & Brie 'Tea Sandwiches'

1 loaf French bread
8-10 oz Brie, softened to room temperature
1 lb deli sliced ham
1-2 green apples
Dijon mustard

Peel and core apples; thinly slice.

Slice French bread lengthwise (top from bottom).

Spread top with Dijon mustard.

Spread or lay slices of brie on bottom; top with ham, then apple slivers. Replace top of loaf. Slice bread on the diagonal for individual sandwich servings.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Apple Crisp

Honeycrisp apples (my FAVORITE!) are in season. I expect to post a few favorite apple recipes soon. Here's the first... :)

5 lbs McIntosh or Macoun apples
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ C sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

‘Crisp’ topping:
1½ C flour
¾ C sugar
¾ C brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 C oats
½ lb cold, unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350°  Lightly coat a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Peel, core and cut apples into wedges. Gently stir apple wedges with zests, juices, sugar and spices until evenly coated. Pour into casserole.

Topping: Combine flour, sugars, salt, oats. Cut in butter, stirring until mixture is crumbly with pea-sized pieces of butter. Scatter evenly over surface of apples.

Bake 1 hour until top is browned and apples are bubbly. Best served warm. (with ice cream)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sweet Potato Biscuit Sandwiches with Ham & Blackberry-Balsamic Sauce

Sweet Potato Biscuits (recipe follows)
Honey Ham
Spinach, Arugala or choice of greens
Blackberry-Balsamic Sauce (recipe follows)

Split warm biscuits. Layer biscuit bottoms with ham and greens, drizzle with blackberry-balsamic sauce. Top with biscuit tops.

Biscuit Ingredients
1 pound sweet potatoes (2 to 3 potatoes)
2 T buttermilk
¼ t grated nutmeg
2½ C flour, plus extra for dusting
3 T brown sugar
1½ t baking soda
¾ t salt
¾ C cold butter, small diced
1 T vegetable oil
2 T butter, melted

Biscuit Directions
Preheat oven to 425° F. Poke sweet potatoes with a fork; bake until tender (about 1 hr). Cool, peel; discard skins. Beat potatoes with buttermilk and nutmeg until smooth. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in cold butter until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Fold in sweet potato mixture until just combined.

Dust a work surface with flour; turn biscuit dough onto counter. Press dough to ¾" thick. Use a 2½" biscuit cutter to cut biscuits, reshaping dough as needed. Place biscuits on a baking sheet, brush biscuit tops with melted butter. Bake (400° F) until golden (15-18 minutes).

Blackberry-Balsamic Sauce Ingredients
12 oz blackberry preserves
1 C packed fresh basil leaves, stems and all
½ C balsamic vinegar
¼ C yellow mustard
1 t whole black peppercorns
1 serrano chile, split in half

Blackberry-Balsamic Sauce Directions
Combine preserves, basil, vinegar, mustard, peppercorns and chile in saucepot over medium heat.
Simmer until thickened (8-10 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve to remove leaves, peppercorns and chile. Cool.