Monday, March 24, 2014

Hasselback Salami


1 lg salami

2 c orange marmalade
1 1/2 c Dijon mustard
4 T bourbon
3 T molasses
4 T ketchup
1 T ground Cayene pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F

Slice salami on a bias into 1/8" cuts leaving about 1/4" on the bottom (or set between two chopsticks and use them to stop each cut.)

In a sauce pan, mix remaining ingredients, whisking until well blended. Allow to come to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove sauce from heat and allow to cool.

Place salami in an oven-safe casserole dish. Pour sauce over top, slowly working in between each cut. Drizzle remainder over the whole salami coating all exposed surfaces.

Bake in oven for 45 minutes, basting every 10-15 minutes with pan juices/sauce.

Decant leftover sauce into a dish to serve along with assorted crackers & cheeses.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cardamom-Ginger Crunch

2 c (1 lb) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
1 c sugar
3 c flour, sifted
11 t ground ginger
3½ t ground cardamom
2 t baking powder
2 t kosher salt
1½ c confectioners' sugar
3 T golden syrup or dark corn syrup

Heat oven to 375°. 
Grease a 9" x 13" baking dish


Put 18 tbsp. butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat with a handheld mixer on medium until fluffy. Add flour, 3 tsp. ginger, 1 tsp. ground cardamom, baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt; mix until incorporated but still crumbly. Transfer mixture to reserved dish; press flat with your hands. Bake until shortbread is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

In a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining butter, ginger, cardamom, and salt and the confectioners' sugar and syrup. Bring to a boil and pour over shortbread; cool. Cut into 2" rectangles.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Baked Chicken Enchilada Dip

1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) jar mayonnaise
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 

1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Place mixture in a medium baking dish.
3. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until edges are brown.

Roast chicken with vegetables

Roast chicken with vegetables

Serves 4 | Preparation: 20 min | Preparation: 1 h 15 | Easy |

2 tbsp fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano) + for garnish
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken, in its entirety,
1/3 lb new potatoes
2 red peppers, deseeded

1. Mix the spices with the garlic and
olive oil and rub it into the chicken.
Bake for 30 min in a pre-heated
oven at 375° and baste the
chicken regularly with the juices.

2. Rinse the potatoes. Wash
peppers and cut them into quarters.
Remove the chicken from the oven.
Cut up into pieces.

3. Put the chicken pieces back into the
baking dish and add the vegetables
Season with salt and pepper and
bake 45 min at 350°. Finish with
fresh herbs and serve.

Alevropita (two variations: with and without Spinach)

4 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 tsp. vodka
2 egg
2 c water
2 1/2 c white flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
1 lb feta, crumbled
1/2 c chopped Spinach
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided into small pieces and softened

Preheat oven to 500 degree F
You will need two 13x18 jelly roll pans (1" rim)

For the first variation, I put 1/2 lb feta and Spinach in a food processor and pulse until spinach and feta are combined into a fine gravel texture. Place mixture in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the second variation, just use the 1/2 lb of crumbled feta alone.

1. To mix the batter, put the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) in a large bowl and sift together. In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients (olive oil, vodka, eggs and water) until well blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until well blended.

2. Place both pans in the hot oven for 10 minutes. Remove and immediately brush on a liberal amount of olive oil on the bottom and sides. Put 1/2 of the batter in each pan and spread evenly with a silicone spatula (rubber might melt on the hot pan.) Distribute the spinach-feta mixture on one and just feta on the other. Distribute 1/2 of the butter onto the batter in each pan evenly as well.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans after 10 minutes. Batter should be crispy, cheese should be bubbly and browned slightly.

Serve traditionally with sweet mint tea.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Oatmeal Soda Bread

2 c rolled oats (ground into flour in food processor)
2 1/4 c flour
1 3/4 t baking soda
1 1/4 t salt
1 3/4 c buttermilk
mixed seeds - caraway, poppy, etc.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Prepare large loaf pan (9x5x3): coat inside with butter or oil.  Cut parchment paper to length of pan and fit into pan.  coat paper with butter or oil.  Set aside.

Grind rolled oats into a fine powder in food processor.  Add to a large bowl along with flour, salt, and soda and sift together well.

Add buttermilk all at once, and mix until dough just holds together.

Dump dough onto a floured surface, add flour if needed and knead until the dough is uniform and can be formed into a ball without cracks or fissures.  Form into an ovoid shape slightly smaller than the pan and fit into the pan.

Cut diagonal slices both ways across the top.  Coat with extra buttermilk.  Sprinkle the top with mixed seeds.

Bake on middle rack for 50 minutes.  Bread should sound hollow when thumped and have a nicely browned hard crust on top.

Slightly modified version of recipe found at

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Empanadas Mendocinas with Argentinean Chimichurri

Dough for Empanadas Mendocinas 

3 c flour
1 egg yolk
½ c of grasa - lard or butter or mix of both
¾ c to 1 cup of warm milk
½ t salt

Beef picadillo filling
1 lb ground beef
2 white onions, diced, about 3 cups
1/2 c butter
2 T smoked paprika
2 T chili powder or any ground hot pepper
1 T finely chopped fresh oregano
½ T ground cumin
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
¼ c sliced green olives
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, white and yolk separated and lightly whisked

Chimichurri Sauce
1 1/2 c fresh parsley (or cilantro) leaves
6 basil leaves
3 leaves from oregano sprigs
4 garlic cloves, crushed/minced
3 T wine vinegar
6 T olive oil
2 T chili powder
1 chili pepper
2 T lemon juice (I added this to brighten the flavor)
salt & pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F
Makes about 20 medium or 30 small empanadas

Empanada dough
  1. Mix the flour and salt in a food processor, pulse until well combined.
  2. Add the lard or butter, blend well.
  3. Add the egg yolk and the milk in small amounts, pulse until small dough clumps start to form.
  4. Make a couple of balls, flatten into disks and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  5. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).
  6. Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

Beef picadillo filling and empanada assembly
  1. Combine the ground beef, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together and chill until ready to use.
  2. Melt the lard in a large frying pan or sauté pan, add the onions and salt, cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the meat mixture to the onions and cook on medium heat until the meat is done, stir frequently.
  4. Let the meat mixture or picadillo cool down, and then mix in the chopped green onions and chopped oregano.
  5. To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc, add a slice of egg and sliced olive.
  6. Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites, you can also use water but the egg white is a good natural “glue” that helps seal the empanada.
  7. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers, twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers, as a final step use a fork to press down and finish sealing the empanadas.
  8. Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake.
  9. Let the empanadas rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake.
  10. Bake on parchment or silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet for about 25 minutes.
  11. Serve warm with chimichurri sauce or other dipping sauces.
Chimichurri Sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Add salt, pepper, or more chili powder to taste
As seen at

Friday, March 7, 2014

Pizza with Merlot & Cremini Mushroom Sauce Topped with Brie

1/2 wheel brie
8 oz Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 lg shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup unoaked Merlot wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 sprig rosemary plus more for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit

Heat the butter and oil in a pan and saute the shallot and garlic until fragrant. Add mushrooms and saute until the liquid evaporates. Season with salt & pepper. Deglaze the pan with the Merlot and simmer until reduced by half. Add the stock and rosemary and continue to simmer until reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to a 12″ diameter circle and top with mushrooms, and brie. Garnish with rosemary. Bake until cheese is bubbly and the pizza dough is crisp and golden, about 15-20 minutes.

Idea from

Crust Recipe is at

Pizza on the Grill Crust

1 c. warm water
1 T. sugar
1 envelope yeast (or 1 scant T. yeast)
3 T. olive oil
3 c. (or more) flour
1½ t. salt
1 T. fresh chopped rosemary (or ground dried)

Combine water and sugar in food processor/mixer.  Sprinkle yeast over; let stand until foamy.  Add oil, flour, salt and rosemary.  Mix well.

Knead dough on floured surface until smooth and elastic, adding more flour gradually if dough is sticky, about 5 minutes.  Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat dough.  Cover bowl with a damp towel.  Let stand in a warm area for about an hour, until dough doubles in size.

Turn out dough onto floured surface.  Punch down.  Divide dough into 4 equal pieces.  Stretch out (or use a rolling pin) each piece on a floured surface to about a 9-inch round.

On a medium hot grill, grill crust rounds until lightly brown on both sides.