Saturday, February 26, 2011

Recipes You Will LOVE

It has been far too long since I have added any recipes on here. If you did not know, I have a BIG notebook my mother gave me one Christmas years ago.. and in this notebooks are all of my FAVORITE recipes of all time.

Most of the items I really, really like that I believe are not "common" recipes - I have put in the recipe tab.

The new recipes I am adding will head there also - but first - let me feature them!

Again, these are recipes I whip up from time to time. I would love for you to give them a try, and tell me what you liked best, what worked and what did not work.

With out further adieu - more of my faves:

Instant Pesto & Goat Cheese Tartlets
(You guys know how I LOVE goat cheese. This is SUPER easy and great for a small party!)

7 oz. ready made puff pastry, thawed if frozen
all purpose flour (for dusting)
3 tbsp pesto
20 cherry tomatoes, each cut into 3 slices
4 oz. goat cheese
salt & pepper
fresh basil sprigs to garnish

**The tartlets are even quicker to make if you use the ready-rolled variety of the puff pastry.

1. Preheat oven to 400 F, then lightly flour a baking sheet. Roll out the pastry on a floured counter (about 1/8 inch thick.) Cut out 20 circles with a 2 inch plain cutter and arrange the pastry circles on the floured baking sheet.  **this is the hardest part. ;-)

2. Spread a little pesto on each circle, leaving a little space around the edge. Then arrange the 3 tomato slices on top of each one.

3. Crumble the goat cheese over and season to taste with S&P. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed up, crisp and golden. Garnish with basil sprigs and sere warm!

Nicole's World Famous Macaroni & Cheese
* I found this recipe years ago, and ever so often - I make it. NOT HEART HEALTHY. ;-)

2 1/2 cups milk
1 onion
8 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 tbsp butter
1/3 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
3 1/2 ounces Roquefort cheese, grated
12 oz. dried macaroni
3 1/2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated

1. Put the milk, onion, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes.

2. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour until well combined and smooth. Cook over medium heat, stir occasionally, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

3. Strain the milk and stir a little into the butter and flour mixture until well incorporated. Return to the heat and gradually add the remaining milk, stir constantly, until well mixed.  Cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until the sauce is smooth and thickened, then add the nutmeg, cream, and pepper to taste.

4. Add the Cheddar and Roquefort cheeses and stir until melted.

5. Meanwhile - bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add the macaroni, then return to a boil and cool for 8-10 minutes. Drain well and add to cheese sauce. Stir well together.

6. Preheat the broiler to high. Spoon the macaroni and cheese into an ovenproof serving dish, then scatter over the Gruyere cheese and cook under the broiler until bubbling and brown.

**Can you say YUM???

Okay.. NOW - you guys KNOW I am from Georgia. And one of my dearest friends from Savannah gave me this recipe that belongs to the Chef Bernard McDonough. Everyone (who likes to fish - and likes to entertain) SWEARS by this.  (PS - Chef B. McD is executive chef with the Ford Plantation.)

Potato-Crusted Striped Bass with Spinach, Onions, Bacon, and Wild Blueberry Horseradish Vinaigrette
**apparently the recipe was created at the Plantation House for the guests that like to fish in the well-stocked lake!)


Braised Slab Bacon:
2 cups Brown Stock
10 ounces slab of bacon

Caramelized Onions:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 Vidalia Onions, julienned

Wild Blueberry-Horseradish Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup wild blueberries
1/4 cup blackberry or peach vinegar
1 tbsp. whole grain mustard
1 tbsp prepared horseradish
1tbsp honey
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Potato Crusted Striped Bass:
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
8 (4 ounce) striped bass
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all purpose flour
2 potatoes-grated
1/2 cup clarified butter or veggie oil

8 cups baby spinach

1. Preheat oven to 300 F. To prepare bacon, boil the stock in a saucepan over med-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, until reduced to about 1 cup. In a small roasting pan, roast the bacon for 20 minutes. The bacon will shrink and become brown on the outside. Add the stock and cover with foil. Decrease the oven temp to 225 F and cook for 2 hours, turning every 1/2 hour, until the bacon is soft and plump. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Separate the meat from the fat and discard the fat. Shred and reserve the meat.

2. To prepare the onions, melt the butter over med-high heat in a large saute pan. Add the onions and cool, stir constantly, until they start to brown, about 12 minutes. Decrease the heat to low and cool, stir occasionally, for 20 - 25 minutes, until the onions have caramelized. Allow to cool and reserve.

3. To prepare the vinaigrette, combine the blueberries, vinegar, mustard, horseradish, honey, shallot, marjoram, and thyme in a blender and puree the  until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oils and season with S&P. Taste and adjust .

4. To prepare the bass, preheat the oven to 350 F. Thoroughly mix the egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Season the fish with salt and pepper and lightly dredge the top side of each fillet in the flour. Dip the floured side of the fish in the egg-milk mixture. Press the fish into the grated potatoes, "crusting" the top side. Heat the butter in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the fish, potato side down, and saute for 2 1/2 minutes, until golden brown. Flip the fish over and place the pan in the oven until fish is opaque and no longer firm., 4 to 6 minutes depending on the fillet's thickness. Fish should flake when pressed (gently, so as not the ruin the presentation.)

5. To serve, combine the spinach, caramelized onions, and bacon in a bowl and slowly drizzle in the vinaigrette wile tossing. Divide the salad amoun 8 plates and top each with a piece of fish.

Now THAT'S  fancy Bass and prepared the Southern Way! ;-)


Leslie Limon said...

You had me at "Recipes"! :)

These all sound so delicious. Now for the hard part...choosing which recipe to try first. :)

High Heeled Life said...

Yum... Nicole's World Famous Macaroni & Cheese.. I'm going to have to give it a try! xo HHL

Mrs. Indecisive said...

I too have a killer mac and cheese...never thought of using cream though! What a great idea!


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