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Archive for November, 2009

Apricot Raspberry Rugelach

OOOPS!  I somehow missed getting this recipe onto the handout for last Saturday’s cookie class…sorry no picture either!

Rugelach are a specialty from Eastern Europe, often associated with Jewish holidays like Hannukah.  Rugelach usually have a filling composed of dried fruits, spices  and nuts – sometimes you can even find them with chocolate added.  The cream cheese keeps the dough soft, but flaky – delish!

Apricot Raspberry Rugelach

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese (or neufchatel), softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • sugar or cinnamon sugar, for garnish

In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese.  Beat in 1/4 cup granulated sugar, vanilla and salt.  Mix in flour at low speed, just until combined.  Divide dough into 4 equal pieces, form each into a ball then flatten into a disk.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap or waked paper and refrigerate 2 hours, or until firm.  Preheat oven to 325F. In a medium bowl, combine the walnuts, apricots, brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and cinnamon until well mixed.  Line 2 cookie sheets with greased foil or parchment paper.  On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll one disk of dough into a 9 inch round.  Spread round with 2 Tablespoons of raspberry preserves.  Sprinkle with 1/4 of the walnut mixture and gently press to adhere.  With a pastry wheel or knife, slice round into 12 equal wedges.  Starting at the curved/outside wedge, roll dough up jelly roll style.  Place cookies 1/2 inch apart and point side down onto cookie sheets, curving edges into crescents.  Brush each cookie with milk and sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon sugar.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Bake 35-40 minutes, or until golden.  Immediately transfer to wire racks to cool.  Cookies store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, frozen for 3 months.  Makes 48.  ( Adapted from The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook by Good Housekeeping Magazine)

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Baked Potato Skins

Potato Skins

Baked Kennebec Potato Skins

At some point I will be posting more frequently, but for now I have been testing recipes for upcoming classes and don’t want to spoil those by sharing the recipes beforehand…

One of my class themes is bacon, so I’ve had a lot of it floating around.  I had potatoes- delicious Kennebec potates from the garden.  These potatoes skins covered both those bases.  People normally would eat these as an appetizer or snack, but I actually just had them for my dinner!  I baked a few extra potatoes the night before, then baked these beauties up the next day after a long day at work.  Easy, easy, easy and quick!

Baked Potato Skins

  • 1-2  medium potatoes per person, already baked or boiled & unpeeled
  • olive oil for brushing
  • grated cheese of choice
  • cooked bacon (or sausage), crumbled
  • salt & pepper, to taste  (if you want to get fancy, I used White Truffle Sea Salt)
  • Optional, but nice:  chopped green onions (scallions), sour cream, any topping that floats your boat!

Preheat oven to 450F.  Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the potato, leaving a 1/4-1/2 inch thick shell. Reserve scooped out potatoes for another use – home fries, mashed potatoes, etc.  Brush shells lightly with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.  Top with cheese and bacon, as desired.  Just remember, the more cheese, the less crispy the potato skin will be!  Bake the potato skins 15-20 minutes, or until as brown and crispy as you want.  Season with freshly ground pepper, and if you like salty, add a sprinkle of salt.  Garnish with green onions and sour cream.  Try not to eat them all! These are good party food, because you can assemble these ahead of time and store, unbaked and wrapped, in the fridge for 1 day.    Variations: Try blue cheese with pancetta and a drizzle of aged balsamic, or swiss cheese with sauteed leeks and chopped ham

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Asian Meatballs

Asian Meatballs

Asian Meatballs with Shredded Daikon and Rice

So, before I forget what I did, I need to this write down.  I was telling a friend about these and she requested the recipe.  The only problem is, I didn’t really have one…I just had a taste in my head and the ingredients at the house.  I glanced through a few recipes for ideas on temperature, and so on.  Luckily, it’s only been a few days, so I remember.  Just don’t ask me in a few weeks!

These would be good served on their own as an appetizer, or served as part of a meal with rice & veggies.  The meat I used was locally raised and grass fed Highland beef (a cow breed from Scotland that’s naturally lower in fat).  Grass fed beef tastes different from the normal corn finished beef mainly available here in the States.  If you can find grass fed beef, try it! (ask to make sure it is not finished on corn – a lot of it is pastured animals they feed corn to the days before slaughter to make the taste more appealing to the general US population)  It is high in natural Omega 3’s from the grass and lower in fat and cholesterol because cows are made to eat grasses, not grains.  The flavor is different from what you are used to – more meaty with herb-y notes.  I had a daikon radish ( a Japanese variety that is crispy, juicy and mild) I had just gotten at the Boulder Farmer’s Market, so I grated it and served both the daikon and meatballs with rice for dinner.  On the side I had roasted delicata (a very small and luscious) squash (cut in half, sprinkled with soy sauce and brown sugar then roasted 30 minutes at 450F).  The next day I ate the meatballs cold, straight from the fridge, for lunch.  Yum!  The crunchiness of the water chestnuts made these really addicting!

ASIAN MEATBALLS

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 green onions, chopped finely
  • 1 8oz can water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce, or to taste*
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste*
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 450F.  Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  In a medium bowl combine all ingredients.  Shape into walnut sized meatballs and space at least 1/2″ apart on baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes.  If desired, brush with more hoisin sauce and bake for another minute or two to glaze.  Teriyaki sauce could be substituted for hoisin sauce, for a less sweet result.  I like sweet, so next time I would actually add more hoisin! Makes 4 servings.

*To check seasoning on raw meat, heat a small frying pan until hot and put a small spoonful of meat mixture in pan.  Cook a few minutes, turning once, until done.  Taste & adjust.

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