Monthly Archives: November 2014

Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini Tart

We often have ingredients laying around that don’t have a specific intended use. And when we put them together into a magical dish, we then have to buy those same ingredients for the magical dish. Do I make sense??

Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini Tart

Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini Tart

A few months ago, during the height of summer and summer guests, I had some leftovers. Almost an entire log of goat cheese and some brie… and summer squash that the kids picked themselves from Holbrook Farms. With only those ingredients, I defrosted a puff pastry shell and set out to make an easy dinner.  

Since making it the first time, it’s a dish that the kids ask that I repeat almost once a week! So easy and the results are so fancy! You’ll love it at home or for a dinner party!

Enjoy!

Place brie and goat cheese on raw puff pastry

Place brie and goat cheese on raw puff pastry

Alternating zucchini and summer squash makes the tart colorful and playful

Alternating zucchini and summer squash makes the tart colorful and playful

Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini Tart

Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini Tart

Vegetables can be sexy from any angle!

Vegetables can be sexy from any angle!

Cut into the tart once it's cooled down a little bit

Cut into the tart once it’s cooled down a little bit

Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini 

Makes about 8 appetizer size slices

Ingredients

1 frozen puff pastry, defrosted
8 ounces goat cheese, sliced
5 ounces brie, rind removed, sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. In a large bowl, combine zucchini, summer squash, olive oil and salt. Toss to coat.
2. Unfold puff pastry dough onto silicone baking mat, laying on a large baking sheet.
3. Using a sharp knife, score along the perimeter of the pastry dough, about 1/2 inch in from the edge. (Optional)
4. Break up the goat cheese and spread evenly over the puff pastry.
5. Fill in the empty spaces with pieces of brie that you break up with your fingers.
6. Alternate the zucchini and summer squash over the cheeses.
7. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crust edge is golden brown and zucchini has softened.
9. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
10. Delicious warm or at room temperature!
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Borscht with Beef (Борщ с мясом)

Blogging traditional Russian recipes can be controversial. Three of my most popular recipe blogs are Russian dishes: Lamb Plov, Lemon Ricotta Syrniki and Pelmeni. About once a week I get emails from readers who tell me that although my recipe was delicious, this is *not* how their mother/grandmother/aunt made the dish. I have a feeling that I’m going to receive similar reaction to this recipe.

Borscht

Borscht

When I was growing up, borscht was a staple in our Russian Jewish household. Mama made borscht once every two months or so. When we were really lucky, grandma would make it! Somehow, even though grandma used the same recipe, hers was always better (shhhhh…. don’t tell mama!)  Now I get to share my version of my family recipe with you!

Enjoy!

Stew meat and beef bones ready to braise

Stew meat and beef bones ready to braise

Sauteed Vegetables

Sauteed Vegetables

Peeled Beets

Peeled Beets

Cubed Beets

Cubed Beets

Borscht with Beef

Borscht with Beef

Beef Borscht

Beef Borscht

Borscht with Beef (Борщ с мясом)

Makes 12-16 bowls of soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 large red, orange or yellow peppers, diced
3 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 pounds stew meat, diced
2-3 pounds beef bones
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small can of tomato paste
4 medium size raw beets, peeled and diced
4 medium size potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups shredded cabbage
24 cups water (approximately), divided
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
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For serving:
Dill Sprigs
Sour Cream

Directions

1. In a large heavy bottomed pot (7.25 quart), on medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onion, peppers, carrots and celery. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until onions are translucent and peppers have softened. Remove from pot, set aside.
2. Season stew meat liberally with kosher salt and pepper. Add stew meat to the pot and brown on all sides.
3. Season beef bones liberally with kosher salt and pepper. Add beef bones to the pot and brown on all sides.
4. Add enough water to cover beef bones. Approximately 8 cups. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to a medium/low simmer.
5. Let simmer until water has reduced by half, stirring occasionally. This will take about 1 hour.
6. Add garlic, tomato paste, raw beets and potatoes. Return sauteed vegetables to the pot. Add 16 cups of water (the pot should almost be full).
7. Bring heat up to a medium/high and let the soup come to a boil.  Turn down to a low simmer and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until beets and potatoes are cooked through.
8. Add cabbage. Simmer another 5 minutes.
9. Taste and add kosher salt and pepper as needed.
10. Enjoy!!
Cooks note: The soup tastes best after it’s been cooled and reheated… so go ahead and enjoy it tomorrow for dinner!
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Double Turkey Bacon Lentil Soup

Turkey bacon isn’t so bad. Turkey bacon isn’t so bad. Turkey bacon isn’t so bad. 

Double Turkey Bacon Soup

Double Turkey Bacon Soup

I’ve been trying to repeat this mantra for many years now. But making the switch from pork bacon to turkey bacon has been difficult. It’s just not the same. So we’ve made a compromise. Breakfast bacon remains regular bacon, but when a recipe calls for bacon, I’ll substitute turkey bacon. In this recipe, I actually use two different kinds of turkey bacon. The two different types add to the depth of flavor.

Enjoy!

Double Turkey Bacon & Lentil Soup

Double Turkey Bacon & Lentil Soup

Double Turkey Bacon Lentil Soup

Makes 12-16 servings

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces turkey thigh bacon, cut into slivers
4 ounces peppered turkey thigh bacon, cut into slivers
1 large onion, small dice
3 carrots, small dice
2 celery stalks, tiny dice
8 sage leaves, tiny slivers
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 packages Trader Joe’s Steamed & Fully Cooked Lentils
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 cups water
Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large heavy bottomed case iron pot on medium/high heat, heat the olive oil.
2. Add both types of slivered turkey bacon and saute about 3 minutes.
3. Add onions, carrots, celery and sage. Saute until softened. Approximately 5 minutes.
4. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
5. Add garlic and saute for about a minute, until lightly browned and fragrant.
6. Add lentils, stock and water. Bring to a simmer.
7. Taste and add kosher salt and pepper to taste.
8. Simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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