Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Beet Carpaccio with Goat Cheese and Mint Vinaigrette

Thinly sliced beets are used in place of beef in this rendition of the Italian appetizer. You may use any assortment of beets.  I happened to pull these beauties from my garden yesterday. This recipe looks lovely with the heirloom golden, orange and candy cane beets you may find at your local farmers' market. I make this whenever I have an abundance of beets.
Click on photo to enlarge

Beet Carpaccio with Goat Cheese and Mint Vinaigrette
  • 12 2-inch beets, trimmed  
  • 1 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (about 5 ounces) see note
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place beets on sheet (if using both light and dark colored beets, place them on separate sheets to prevent discoloration). Sprinkle beets lightly with water. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until beets are tender when pierced with fork, about 50 minutes. Cool on sheet. Peel beets by rubbing your hands over the skin while running under cool water. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Place in resealable plastic bag; chill.)
Using cheese slicer, knife or mandoline, slice beets very thinly. Slightly overlap slices on 6 plates, dividing equally. Sprinkle with cheese, then shallot, salt, and pepper. Whisk vinegar, mint, oil, and sugar in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over beets. Sprinkle with chives. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional information is for one serving with vinaigrette, but does not include the cheese.  Click on the box to find out how your recipes fare using this fantastic FREE website.

Note: Try making this with different cheeses. I have made this with Feta  mixed with a little Italian Mascarpone cheese.  Another version is using a wonderful English Blue Stilton or Gorgonzola Cheese which I also mix with the mascarpone cheese. 
(Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine April 2003 issue)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Water Basted Egg with Sorrel from the Garden

This is a wonderful way to prepare eggs.  It comes out very similar to poaching but without the need of boiling water.

Simply gather some fresh sorrel or spinach, clean and leave wet, slice into smaller pieces if leaves are large.  Place about 3 tablespoons of water in a small skillet ( I used an enamel Chantal 8 inch skillet).  Add the sorrel or spinach, saute until just limp.  Add 2 or 3 more tablespoons of water and place the egg on top of the greens.  Cover with a lid and simmer for about 2 minutes or until yolk is soft but cooked. Lift egg and greens out of the pan and serve.  Simple, clean food.  This method works great for Eggs Benedict.  I also add mushrooms on occasion which are loaded with nutrients. You can water saute shallots along with the mushrooms to add more flavor. Top with your favorite salsa or hollandaise sauce and a sprinkle of fresh Tarragon if you have some on hand.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010, Good Friends, Good Times, Good Food, Good Wine

"Bless our hearts to hear the breaking of the bread the song of the universe."
-Fr. John B. Giuliani

My good  friend Pam and her mother Sue, joined Tony and I along with our friend Rik for a very special Thanksgiving dinner.  Special because we were with some of our favorite people.

Pam helped me out with the cooking and baking.  She brought along some pumpkin for the pumpkin pie and pumpkin custard. Pam used her mother's recipe for the pumpkin pie.  I made a pear and apple tart.  Pam also made the Brussel sprouts, Tony's persimmon salsa and a shitake gravy.

Thanksgiving Day Menu 2010
Roast Turkey with Traditional Bread Stuffing
Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes with Turkey and Shitake Mushroom Gravy
Garden Mesclun Salad with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
Harvard Beets
Steamed Brussel Sprouts with Black Olive Tapenade
Herb Roasted Sweet Potatoes
 Tiny New Heirloom Potatoes
Artisan Bread with Butter
Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce
Persimmon Salsa
Pumpkin Pie a la Sue
Pumpkin Custard
Rustic Apple Pear Tart
Cinnamon Dusted Whipped Cream
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Wall in our dining room.

Apple Tart and Pumpkin Pie, Vanilla Haagen Dazs was on hand, too. All were delightful and some cinnamon dusted fresh whipped cream didn't hurt either!

Sweet Potato and Tiny New Potatoes dressed with Olive Oil, Tarragon, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme and Marjoram ready for the oven. Roasted at 400 degree for 30 minutes and they both were perfect. All the herbs were picked fresh this morning from my garden.
Pam (please excuse my messy kitchen)
waiting, waiting.....
Roast Turkey with spring onions and parsley from the garden.

Herb Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Tiny Heirloom Potatoes with Herbs, and Pam's Shitake Mushroom Gravy.

Table was set with my Mothers' china, Tonys' grandmothers frosted leaf glasses, (which happen to match the china perfectly) and my Oneida floral queen silver-plated flatware.  

The salad was freshly picked earlier from my garden; an assortment of mesclun, herbs, avocado, cucumber and heirloom tomatoes. 

Our friend Rik on the left, my husband Tony center, and Sue (Pam's mother)  on the right.  Sue celebrated her 91st birthday a couple of days earlier. 
Let the feasting begin!

Bon Appetite'