Saturday, July 3, 2010

Lattice top Peach Raspberry Pie

This is my favorite summer pie. I am horrible at making pie crusts, so I always use the pre-made Pillsbury crusts that all you have to do is roll out. I prefer using fresh peaches, but there have been a few times in the winter that I had a craving for this pie and I cheated with frozen peaches.

Lattice top Peach Raspberry Pie

1 – 1 ½ lbs Peaches, peeled and sliced.
2 cups Raspberries, fresh or frozen
2/3 c Sugar (can substitute 1/3 c Splenda for sugar-free option)
3 T Corn Starch
1 T Vanilla Extract
2 Pie Crusts
1 Egg, slightly beaten
2 T sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

HINT: An easy way to peel peaches is to blanch them first
Bring a medium pot of water to boil
Prepare a cold water bath in a medium size bowl with ice and cold water
Cut a small X on the bottom of each peach
Place peach in boiling water for 45 seconds, remove using slotted spoon
Place in ice water for 45 seconds; remove and peel skin starting at the bottom of peach. Should be able to do this with your fingers or scrap skin off with paring knife
Blanch and peel peaches one at a time for best results.

Mix sliced peaches, raspberries, sugar, corn starch, and vanilla in medium bowl
Let sit for 5 minutes

Roll out the pie crusts (about 3 inches beyond the diameter of your pie dish) and place the first one in a pie pan. I like to use a deep dish pan for this pie.
The dough should extend beyond the rim of the pie dish by about half an inch.

Fill your pie shell with the pie filling.

Using a paring knife cut the second pie crust into ½ inch strips
Using every other strip, starting with the longest strip in the middle, lay out approx 7 parallel strips of the pie dough, starting the center on top of the filling, with about 1/2-inch space between them.
Repeat with the remaining strips, laying the strips perpendicularly, starting in the center.
Trim the edges of the strips flush with the dough of the underlying pie dish, which should be about half an inch over the sides. Fold back the rim of the shell over the edge of the lattice strips, and crimp to secure.

Using a pastry brush spread a thin layer of beaten egg over crust
Sprinkle 2 T sugar on top of pie.

Place pie on center oven rack and back for 45 minutes or until crust is browned.

Let stand for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Serves 8

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Scallops with Tarragon Beurre Blanc Sauce

My dad has been wanting scallops ever since I made them the last time.   It has been hot and I did not want anything heavy, so I found this sauce to me light but very flavorful.

Scallops with Tarragon Beurre Blanc Sauce

1 lb large sea scallops or 4-5 per person
1 T Olive Oil

2 T Shallot, finely chopped
1 Garlic clove, minced
1/3 c Sherry
2 T White-Wine or Rice Vinegar

8 T (1 stick) Butter, cut into tablespoons, divided
1 T Tarragon, finely chopped

¼ t Salt
¼ t Ground Pepper

Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (total).
Heat 1 T Olive Oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, then sear scallops, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 5 minutes total.
Transfer to a platter.

Add garlic and shallot, sherry, and vinegar to skillet and boil, scraping up brown bits for 5 minutes until reduced.
Add juices from platter, reduce heat to low
Add 4 T butter, stirring until almost melted, then add remaining 4 T butter and swirl until incorporated and sauce has a creamy consistency.

Stir in tarragon and salt to taste; pour sauce over scallops.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Black Beans in Mango Sauce

I discovered this recipe when I lived in California and was a vegetarian. I absolutely love mangos and black beans, so any combination of the two is a favorite in my book. It takes a little bit of time to chop up all the ingredients, but it is well worth it. I often serve it with corn cakes and it makes a perfect combination.

Black Beans in Mango Sauce

1 ½ T Olive Oil
2c Red Onion, minced
1T Garlic, minced
1 3-inch Jalapeno Chile, seeded and minced
1 ½ T Fresh Ginger, minced
1 ½ T Cumin Seeds
1 ½ T Salt
3 15oz cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained
6T Lime Juice
2 Large Mangos, chopped 
      Tip: I have found it easier to use frozen chopped mangos.
1t Ground Black Pepper
Fresh Cilantro, minced
1 Lime, cut into wedges

Tip: I use a small food processor to chop up the red onion, garlic, ginger, chile and cilantro. Make sure you chop them separately and clean the processor after each one.

Heat oil in medium sized skillet
Add 1 ¾ c of the onion, garlic, chile, ginger, cumin seeds and salt
Sauté over medium high heat from about 3 minutes

Turn heat down to medium low and add black beans and about half of the lime juice.
Sauté for 5 minutes or until everything has mingled nicely and the beans are heated through.
Mash the beans slightly with the back of the spoon and transfer to a serving bowl.

Stir the remaining lime juice and half the chopped mangos directly into the hot beans, mashing the mangoes a little as you stir.
Add the black pepper, cover and let stand for about 15 minutes to let the sauce develop.

Top the bean and mango mixture with the remaining red onion, mango and cilantro.
For finishing touch, tuck a wedge of lime into the side of each serving

Serves 6

Savory Corn Cakes

These corn cakes are light and perfect with Black Beans and Mango Sauce. I also pair them up with soup or a salad for a light meal. They are easy to make and I like to top the Corn Cakes with Chipotle Cream.

Savory Corn Cakes

2t Butter
¼ c Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
2 c Fresh or Frozen Corn
¼ c Scallions, minced
½ c Corn Meal
½ c White Flour
1t Baking Powder
½ t Baking Soda
½ t Salt
2 Large Eggs
1c Buttermilk

Vegetable Oil or butter for pan

Melt butter in a small skillet.
Add the bell pepper and corn, sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in scallions and set aside.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
Make a well in the center.

Beat together the eggs and buttermilk until frothy. Pour this and the corn mixture into the well in the center of the dry mixture.
Stir briefly until everything is combined. Don’t overmix.

Lightly grease a hot skillet or griddle with butter or oil.
Using a ¼ c measuring cup, pour batter on pan.
Fry corn cakes for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden.

Serve hot, topped with a few cilantro leaves and a drizzle of room-temperature Chipotle Cream.

Makes about a dozen corn cakes.

Chipotle Cream

This goes great with the Savory Corn Cakes. It is creamy with just enough kick to make it interesting.

Chipotle Cream

1c Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt (or a combination of half and half)
½ to 1t Canned Chipotle Chiles, finely minced

Place the sour cream and/or yogurt in a small bowl and whisk until smooth

Whisk in ½ t minced chipotle chiles.
Let site for about 10 minutes so the flavor can develop.
Taste to see if it needs chipotles and adjust as desired.

Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.
Bring to room Temperature before serving.

Makes 1 cup

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quick and Easy Chicken Stir Fry

A couple of months ago I was looking for a kid-friendly chicken recipe and did a google search. I found the basics for a stir-fry and added my own style to it and this is what I came up with. It is very simple and quick. This chicken stir fry recipe does not have any vegetables in it, because I find many kids like to keep their vegetables and main course separate. If your family enjoys all-in-one meals, by all means, add some red pepper, snow peas, broccoli and/or mushrooms to this stir fry chicken recipe.

Quick and Easy Chicken Stir Fry

1 lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 c Cornstarch

¼ c Soy Sauce
½ c Orange Marmalade
1 T Garlic, Minced
1 t Ginger, minced or 2t Ground Ginger
¼ t Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

2 tsp. Canola or Vegetable oil

Place chicken breast pieces in a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag. Add cornstarch. Toss to coat.

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, orange marmalade, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat wok over high heat.
Heat canola oil and add chicken.
Stir-fry until the chicken is no longer pink.

Pour the sauce over the chicken. Stir-fry to coat the chicken.

Serve immediately with hot rice.

Serves 4

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

My father loves bread pudding and I seemed to inherit the taste. One Thanksgiving I was making bread pudding and I saw a canned of pumpkin in the cabinet and decided to give it a try. This is a great fall treat, but I love it all year long.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

1 c Heavy Cream
½ c Milk
1 15-ounce Can Pure Pumpkin
1 cup (packed) plus 2T Brown Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 ½ t Ground Cinnamon
½ t Ground Nutmeg
¼ t Ground Ginger
1/8 t Ground Allspice
¼ t Salt
1/8 t Ground Cloves
1 ½ t Vanilla Extract

1 Loaf Cinnamon Swirl Bread or Raisin Bread
½ c Raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F

Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes, set aside.
Whisk heavy cream, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, salt cloves and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend.

Fold in bread cubes.
Stir in golden raisins.

Transfer mixture to 11x7-inch glass baking dish.
Let stand 15 minutes.

Bake pumpkin bread pudding 40 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean.