Monday, August 31, 2009

Herbed Cheese Pizza (Lahmacun)

Back to back pizza nights, yummmmmm. I made this pizza for the first time 8 years ago when I found it in my Coooking Light magazine. Why did I wait so long to make it again? 8 years ago, I searched high and low for Kasseri cheese and could not find it. Since then, I have found it at Sprouts. While a substitute is okay, this cheese is very good on this pizza and it gives it a unique flavor. The seasoning blend puts it on a whole new level of tastiness. Next time, I think I will add a little more cheese-- just because it is so good. Again, I used the Fresh and Easy pizza dough--hey it's only $1!

Herbed Cheese Pizza (Lahmacun)

2 cups bread flour, divided
1 teaspoon sugar
2 packages dry yeast (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 cups warm water (100° to 110°), divided
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
Cooking spray

2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot paprika
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
10 ounce thinly sliced kasseri cheese
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

To prepare dough, lightly spoon bread flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1 cup bread flour, sugar, yeast, and 1 cup warm water in a bowl; let stand 15 minutes.
Lightly spoon all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup bread flour, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Add yeast mixture, 1 cup warm water, and 2 teaspoons oil to flour mixture; stir well. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; divide dough into 8 equal portions. Cover and let rest 20 minutes.

To prepare topping, combine oregano, cumin, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; set aside. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic, bay leaf, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 15 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), roll each portion into a 6-inch circle on a lightly floured surface; place circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portions.

Top each crust with 1/4 cup tomato mixture, 1 1/4 ounces cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon oregano mixture. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until crusts are lightly browned. Sprinkle evenly with minced parsley.

Three Cheese and Mushroom Pizza

Pizza. Can it ever truly be bad? Okay, sometimes it can. But this recipe from Tyler Florence is the food of gods. My mom has requested me to make this many times. I do take a little liberty in the choosing of the cheese. Not a big fan of goat cheese, so I usually find a good cheese blend--3 cheese, Italian blend whatever. Then I use some fresh mozarella and tear chunks onto the pizza. I have also have found that not all proscuittos are the same. Imported is usually packaged paper thin. I prefer to get it sliced a little thicker from the deli so it is easier to cut--it is a little saltier so I skip adding the salt. For the dough, I use Fresh and Easy. Their dough is so good, and it saves time. I don't recommend the Pillsbury type, but Trader Joes, Sprouts and I'm sure some other bread stores or grocers have a good pre-made dough. My husband has finally mastered the finger technique of spreading the dough, getting it on the pizza peel, and then getting it into the oven on a hot pizza stone. It took some practice, but it makes amazing pizzas!

Three Cheese and Mushroom Pizza

1 recipe Pizza Dough, recipe follows (or you can buy it)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 slices prosciutto, sliced in strips
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 fresh rosemary sprigs, needles striped from the stem
1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, such as crimini, portobello, shiitake, and oyster, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (be careful with the salt if prosciutto is already salty)
2 (4-ounce) logs goat cheese
2 cups shredded fontina
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino

Make the pizza dough as directed in the master recipe. Stick a pizza stone in the oven and preheat them to 500 degrees F.

Coat a saute pan with the olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the prosciutto strips, stir to render out the ham's fat and flavor. Toss in the garlic and rosemary, saute for a minute until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, cook and stir until they've released their moisture and are nicely browned, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

Crumble goat cheese evenly on the crust, scatter sauteed mushrooms all around, and top with shredded fontina. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp, and the cheese is bubbly.

Before cutting the pizza into slices, grate pecorino over the whole damn thing!

Pizza Dough:
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups 0f flour, plus more for dusting

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough by squeezing a small amount together: if it's crumbly, add more water; if it's sticky, add more flour - 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball, this should take about 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it's smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (i.e. over a gas pilot light) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. This is a good time to stick a pizza stone in the oven and preheat them to 500 degrees F.

Once the dough is domed and spongy, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out.

Roll or pat out a piece of dough into a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Dust a pizza paddle with flour and slide it under the pizza dough. Brush the crust with a thin layer of olive oil, and top with your favorite flavors. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Smoked Paprika Open Face Lasagna

After watching the Next Food Network Star---well the last half-- I was curious to see what Jeffrey Saad (the runner-up) could make. His premise for a show actually intrigues me more than the winning show. He uses unusual spices and incorporates them into everyday food. This one uses smoked paprika. I didn't even have to buy it. Does that mean I have too many spices? I say, "No!" So this recipe of his is tasty. I wasn't a fan of the deconstructed lasagna part though. It squished out all over when I cut into it. So I would recommend either using the meat sauce in a more traditional lasagna or using it as a sauce for spaghetti or penne.

Smoke Paprika Open Face Lasagna

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound Mexican chorizo sausage, removed from casing
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup red wine
1 (28-ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes
3 tablespoons smoked paprika, divided
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon salt
8 lasagna noodles
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup grated manchego cheese

Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Once hot add the chorizo, ground beef onion, and garlic. Using a spatula, break up the meat as small as you can as it browns. Saute until dark brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the red wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons smoked paprika, panko, heavy cream, and salt. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to very low, and cook for 15 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lasagna noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Put 1 lasagna noodle on each of 4 plates. Spoon the meat mixture over the pasta and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle on about 1/8 of the parsley and grated manchego. Lay another lasagna noodle on top. Sprinkle with more parsley and manchego over the second noodle and dust with remaining 1 tablespoon smoked paprika. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve.

Slow Cooker Char Siu Pork Roast

I love slow cooking meat. It makes it fall-apart tender. Love that. This recipe from Cooking Light magazine was good. Not great like my fig burgers, but respectable. It has a slightly sweet taste with umami flavor of soy sauce. Did anyone else just learn of the new taste called umami? There's sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. I think I got that right. It's like trying to name the 7 deadly sins. You can also try this with a pork loin if you really want to get rid of the extra fat.

Slow Cooker Char Siu Pork Roast

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 pounds boneless Boston butt pork roast, trimmed
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add pork to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours, turning occasionally.
Place pork and marinade in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove pork from slow cooker using a slotted spoon; place on a cutting board or work surface. Cover with aluminum foil; keep warm.

Add broth to sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Shred pork with 2 forks; serve with sauce.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Turkey Sliders with California Pepper Fig Salsa

This recipe is delicious. My husband picked it out when he bought figs on a whim. I was a little skeptical, but I love it. In fact, I've made it twice in 2 weeks. Figs are hard to find, but the salsa cannot be skipped. I felt like one of the food tasters on Iron Chef. Fish ice cream? Okay, I'll try it. Actually, I am sure it is much better than fish ice cream could ever be. I got my figs at Sprouts the first time and Whole Foods the second time. On the Whole Foods website, it says that they are in season in May for the first crop and August for the second crop. Don't miss out!

Turkey Sliders with California Pepper Fig Salsa

For the salsa:
2 1/2 cups diced fresh California figs
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño pepper; stemmed, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the sliders:
20 ounces fresh lean ground turkey
1 cup finely minced dried California figs
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as marjoram, thyme, rosemary and sage, to taste
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup baby arugula
12 small dinner rolls, cut in half, horizontally

Combine salsa ingredients in medium bowl and stir together. Cover and chill for several hours to blend flavors.

For sliders, combine turkey, minced dried figs, green onions, herbs and sea salt in medium bowl and mix to combine well. Divide and shape into 12 small, flat burgers. Generously oil grill or barbecue and cook over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side, until done — 165 degrees in the center of the meat.

Arrange a few arugula leaves on bottom half of each roll; top with turkey burger and spoon on salsa. Replace tops. Serve with additional salsa on the side.

*recipe from The Seattle Times


I love mojitos. This recipe has the perfect balance of rum, lime, mint and sweetness. Word of caution, it is extremely strong. One is enough. The best rum to use is a white rum--be aware of the alcohol content of the rum you choose. Barcardi works great. You can also make different flavored mojitos with flavored rum or by muddling some fruit in it. I have made it with pineapple rum or using fresh strawberries.

1 ounce lime juice
2 ounces sugar syrup
4 ounces rum
splash club soda
Muddle lime, syrup and mint. Add rum and mix. Add splash of soda and ice.

Beefy Tex-Mex Stir Fry

I found this recipe in Rachael Ray's magazine. My husband loves having tacos, so I thought this would be a nice change to the typical taco. It was good, but I think it could be even better. I recommend instead of just using chile poweder, try taco seasoning. Or maybe add your favorite taco sauce.

Beefy Tex-Mex Stir Fry

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 poblano chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder (taco seasoning packet or some cumin)
1 pound ground beef
1 tomato, finely chopped
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
Salt and pepper
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the poblano, onion and chili powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat, until the meat is just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato and tortilla chips and season with salt and pepper.
Divide the meat mixture among 4 plates and top with the cheese

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pork Loin with Fig and Port Sauce

I am not a big fan of pork chops, but pork tenderloin is always good. I came across this recipe when looking for a recipe for figs. Figs? Yes, fresh figs. That will be a post for another day. This one sounded too good to pass up. It is from the woman with the biggest and brightest smile on The Food Network, Giada De Laurentis. I forgot to finish the sauce by adding butter and it ended up like a cranberry sauce only much better. I also tried adding the chicken broth to thin it out. Adding the chicken broth made it easier to drizzle and much more subtle flavor. Either way, it was good. I made oven fries to go with them. Soooo good.

Pork Loin with Fig and Port Sauce

2 1/2 cups port
1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
8 dried black Mission figs, coarsely chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon salt, plus additional for seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning
1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1 (4 to 4 1/2-pound) boneless pork loin (I used a tenderloin and cut the recipe in half)

For the sauce: In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the first 6 ingredients. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Discard the herb sprigs and cinnamon sticks (some of the rosemary leaves will remain in the port mixture). Transfer the port mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Blend in the butter. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper. (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)

For the pork: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Stir the oil, rosemary, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper in a small bowl to blend. Place the pork loin in a heavy roasting pan. Spread the oil mixture over the pork to coat completely. Roast until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 145 degrees F, turning the pork every 15 minutes to ensure even browning, about 45 minutes total.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Let the pork rest 15 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the chicken broth into the roasting pan. Place the pan over medium heat, and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Bring the pan juices to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Using a large sharp knife, cut the pork crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the pork slices on plates. Spoon the jus over. Drizzle the warm fig sauce around and serve immediately.

Oven Fries

2 russet potatoes, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, halves cut lengthwise into fourths to make 16 big, fat wedges
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Preheat a baking sheet in the hot oven for at least 5 minutes.
While the baking sheet is heating, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Then dump the potatoes out onto a baking sheet, spreading to a single layer. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, shaking the pan every now and then, until the potatoes are cooked through, brown and crispy. Tyler adds parmigiano-reggiano and parsley--which is good. Can also use rosemary, thyme, or whatever sounds good.

*Oven Fries recipe from Tyler Florence

Friday, August 21, 2009

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Brownies

This weekend I saw vegans and vegetarians. Gotta practice my vegan culinary skills. After making an unsuccessful batch of brownies with another recipe, I decided to give this one a try. Good news, these turned out great! Correct brownie consistancy, check. Yummy pb and chocolate brownie flavor, check. No animal products used, check.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Brownies

1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 mashed banana
½ cup peanut butter (natural pb and room temperature)
1 ounce melted baking chocolate
¼ cup soy milk

Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the banana and sugar. Add the peanut butter and melted chocolate. Mix flour mixture into sugar mixture, alternating the soy milk a little at a time. Pour into a greased/floured 8"x8" pan. Mixture will be very thick, so you may need to spread it out a bit. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until done.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

My sister is vegan. I probably would never have tried to make vegan baked goods if it wasn't for her. It's a challenge . . . and not all of it turns out how you would hope. So when you find a recipe that tastes good and doesn't end up a mess, it is a good day. Sometimes vegan food can be super healthy. When I have a chocolate chip cookie, I'm not going for healthy. These cookies from the supergirls at Post Punk Kitchen are yummy. They will never be as good as my favorite non-vegan chocolate chip cookies, but sacrifices have to be made. This is for all you vegans out there craving my favorite food ever.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes two dozen two inch cookies or about 16 three inch cookies
1/2 brown sugar
1/4 white sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
1 tablespoon tapioca flour (may be hard to find, I got it at Sprouts and have also ground instant tapioca in a spice grinder to substitute and it seemed to work alright)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two large light metal baking sheets.
Mix together sugars, oil, milk and tapioca flour in a mixing bowl. Use a strong fork and mix really well, for about 2 minutes, until it resembles smooth caramel. There is a chemical reaction when sugar and oil collide, so it’s important that you don’t get lazy about that step. Mix in the vanilla.
Add 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Mix in the rest of the flour. Fold in the chocolate chips. The dough will be a little stuff so use your hands to really work them in.

For 3 inch cookies, roll the dough into about ping pong ball size balls. Flatten them out in your hands to about 2 1/2 inches. They will spread just a bit. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes - no more than 9 - until they are just a little browned around the edges. I usually get 16 out of these so I do two rounds of eight cookies. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Banana Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chip Streusel

Today was use up some bananas day. I found this coffee cake recipe on epicurious and thought it sounded quite tasty. It WAS tasty. If you don't like super-sweet breakfast foods, turn back now! The only substitute I used was some vanilla yogurt in place of the buttermilk. It turned out fine, so no harm done :)

Banana Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chip Streusel

1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 8 ounces)
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 large)
3 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan. Stir chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in small bowl until well blended; set streusel aside. Sift all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, room temperature butter, and egg in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in mashed bananas and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients and blend well.

Spread half of batter (about 2 cups) in prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with half of streusel. Repeat with remaining batter and streusel. Bake coffee cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool coffee cake in pan on rack.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Sauce

I love Tyler Florence. He's my go to chef, along with Alton Brown, when I want to find a recipe for something. So when I decided to make meatballs, I found this recipe. I used to be the kind of person that follows a recipe exactly the first time I make it. Now I find myself substituting on occasion. So in this recipe I skipped the caraway seeds and couldn't find my dill. Instead I just put in a little dried rosemary and then served it on egg noodles. Now, fruit in savory dishes can go either way with me. Sometimes it's suprisingly good and sometimes it is not so good. This was surprisingly good.

Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Sauce

1 cup fresh bread crumbs, dried out
3/4 cup milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted and ground
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 large egg
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 handful fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
11/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup lingonberry or red currant jam, plus more for serving

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and the milk; stir with a fork and let stand for 5 minutes. Put 3 tablespoons of the butter in a small skillet and let it melt over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and caraway; season with salt and pepper. Saute until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Put the ground beef and pork in a large bowl. Add the sweated shallot mixture, egg, parsley, and dill; season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the milk out of the soaked bread crumbs, add the bread to the meat mixture, and mix well using your hands. Pinch off about 1/2 cup worth of the meat mixture and roll it around in your moistened hands to shape it into a cue ball-sized meatball. Continue forming the meatballs and putting them on a platter; there should be about 20 meatballs.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over moderate heat. When the foam starts to subside, add the meatballs in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan. Saute the meatballs until well-browned on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Remove the meatballs to a platter lined with paper towels as they are done.

Discard most of the fat from the skillet and return it to the heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and swirl it around to coat the pan. Sprinkle in the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve into the fat. Pour in the chicken broth, and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen the bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer and stir until the liquid is reduced and a sauce starts to form; season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and stir in the sour cream. Return the meatballs to the sauce and stir in 1/4 cup of the lingonberry jam until combined. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Shower with chopped parsley and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve the Swedish meatballs with additional lingonberry jam on the side.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Peach Pie

Some days you just have to cheat a little. Today was a cheater day. I admit it. I did not make my pie dough from scratch. No one's perfect.

Every 2 weeks I get a basket from our local co-op full of fruits and veggies. I love it, but sometimes you have a bunch of . . . oh, let's say peaches to use before they spoil. Thus, the pie was made. Now, pie crust is best made and not bought from the frozen section. However, if it means make a pie or don't make a pie . . . buy the frozen pie crust. In my case, it means I used 2 frozen pie crusts I just happened to have in the freezer. I found a recipe for the filling from Penzeys. They are a wonderful spice store that also has recipes for their spices. Cheating never tasted so good!

Peach Pie
Pie crust (you'll need a top and bottom)
5 cups sliced & peeled ripe peaches (8-10 peaches)
2-3 T arrowroot starch (cornstarch can be used on a 2 to 3 ratio of arrowroot to cornstarch)
2-3 T cool water
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup vanilla sugar (some extra for sprinkling on the crust)
Wash & peel peaches, slice & place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot and water, whisk to blend. Add cinnamon and sugar to water mixture. Pour over the peaches & mix gently.

Whisk an egg white with 1 T water. Brush bottom pie shell with about 1/2 of egg mixture. Fill with peaches. Dot with butter. Cover with second crust. Fold edges over and press to seal. Vent crust with a few pokes with a fork or knife slashes. Brush top with rest of egg white mixture. Sprinkle generously with vanilla sugar over top.

Bake on center rack for 15 minutes at 450F. Lower temperature to 350F and bake for 40 minutes more. Cover the crust edge to protect against burning. Cool for 6-8 hours to allow the pie to completely set.