Sunday, January 24, 2010

Carmelized Onion and Gruye`re Tart

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 c dry Marsala
freshly ground pepper
6 ounces Gruye`re cheese, shredded (1 1/2 c)

Melt butter in oil. Add onions, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring til softened. Uncover pan and cook, stirring occasionally, til onions are very soft and well browned, about 45 min longer; add a little water as necessary to prevent onions from sticking. Add the Marsala and cook til nearly evaporated. Season onions with pepper and transfer to a bowl. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On lightly floured surface, roll out the Buttery Cornmeal Pastry to a 13-inch round, 1/8 inch thick. Wrap dough around the rolling pin and fit it into a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Run rolling pin over the rim to trim off the overhang. Prick bottom with fork and refrigerate til chilled, at least 10 minutes. Line tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 25 minutes, or til edge is golden and center is nearly set. Remove foil and weights, cover edge with foil and bake 5 min. Sprinkle cheese into tart shell and spread onions on top. Bake 10 minutes or til cheese is melted and onions are sizzling. Let cool 15 minutes. Unmold and cut into wedges.
SERVING SUGGESTION: toss mixed greens with a vinaigrette (champagne, white or red wine, sherry), arrange on plate and top with a wedge of the tart.

(This tart can be made ahead, refrigerated overnight and then rewarmed before serving).

1 c flour
1/4 c plus 2 Tbsp polenta
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 c ice water
In food processor, pulse flour with cornmeal. Add butter and pulse til size of small peas. Sprinkle with water and pulse til pastry is evenly moistened. Transfer to a lightly floured board and pat into disk. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

(Pastry can be refrigerated overnight or frozen for 1 month).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chopped Coleslaw Salad

2 Tbsp mustard seeds
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
3/4 tsp salt
2 c green cabbage, julienned
2 c red cabbage, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 c sliced red onion
1/4 c green onions, sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces
romaine leaves for garnish

Toast mustard seeds over med heat for a few minutes, partially covered, til they begin to pop. Remove seeds from pan. Add sugar and vinegar to pan; bring to boil. Remove pan from heat; stir in mustard and salt. Combine seeds, vinegar mixture, cabbage, bell pepper and onions in large bowl; toss well. Cover and chill (stirring occasionally).
Looks beautiful when piled high into the center of a large martini glass lined with romaine leaves.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lentil Soup with Spicy Italian Sausage (bon appetit)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound fully cooked hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 large parsnips, peeled, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 large celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 pound brown lentils (about 2 1/2 cups)
3 quarts (or more) chicken broth
1 5-ounce pkg baby spinach leaves

Heat oil in large pot over med-high heat. Add sausage and cook til browned, stirring occasionally. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl. Add onion, carrots, parsnips, celery and Italian seasoning to drippings in pot; cook til onion is translucent and vegetables begin to soften, stirring often. Add lentils; stir to coat. Add chicken broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer til lentils are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth if soup is too thick, 20 minutes. Add sausage to soup and simmer til vegetables are tender and flavors blend, 10-12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in spinach. Cook til spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Chicken with Lime-Chili Sauce

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp honey
2 tsp fish sauce
2 cloves garlic
3/4 c rice wine vinegar
3/4 c sugar
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves
1 Tbsp finely chopped peanuts
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
appetizer skewers

Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes and place in ziploc bag. Combine scallions, oil, lime juice, honey, fish sauce and garlic in blender. Pour over chicken; marinate and chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours. For the dipping sauce, cook vinegar and sugar over med-high heat in small saucepan. Simmer until reduced slightly, about 4 minutes. Cool, then add cilantro, peanuts and red pepper flakes. Cook chicken on grill pan or in a large skillet til cooked through. Thread chicken cubes onto skewers with a cilantro leaf and serve with dipping sauce.

Makes about 30 appetizer skewers.