Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Janet Cooks!

While we wait patiently for me to compile pictures and recipes from September's gathering, here are some recipes from Janet.

Blueberry (or any fruit) Puff Pastry Tarts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

one eight-ounce package of cream cheese
one-half cup of sugar
one tablespoon of lemon zest
one teaspoon of vanilla (or almond) extract; set aside.

Place puff pastry shells (thawed) one 10-ounce package on prepared cookie sheets. I like to use parchment for ease of clean-up.

Brush each with milk and sprinkle with tubinado sugar.

Bake in preheated oven until shells expand and turn golden brown ~10-14 minutes. Do not over bake.

Remove shells from oven, use a fork to remove the cap from each and set aside.

Spoon the cream cheese mixture (~ 2 teaspoons) into each shell, top with fruit. Place puff pastry cap on top of each shell over the berries (fruit).

Return to oven, and bake until pastry tops are golden brown and the filling is warm, about 5 minutes.


And what a beautiful fruit tart!

Finally, these are supposed to be the best chocolate chip cookies!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nice Buns!

This meal began with my search for a recipe for slow cooker pulled pork, but along the way I decided to make my own buns also. It may be the carb addict in me, but I think the bread ended up being the star of the show.

I went with the recipe for Beautiful Burger Buns on the King Arthur Flour website. Teresa, you will be happy to know that I made absolutely no recipe modifications! I had not baked bread in a very long time and forgot how wonderful it smells. These were definitely better than the buns in the bakery section in the store, and forget about even trying to compare them to the buns in a bag on the bread aisle.

For the pulled pork, I just ended up winging it. I made a rub with brown sugar, salt, cumin, Emeril's seasoning, chili powder and black pepper. I added some worcestershire sauce, and cooked on low for about 8 hours. After draining off all of the fat and juice that cooked out of the pork, I shredded the meat with a couple of forks, added a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's bbq sauce, and cooked on low for another hour. I think Joe will be happy if this makes it into the regular rotation.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fruit Tart

We were invited to a South African braii last weekend. After consulting with wikipedia, I learned that a braii is a potluck bbq! Joe checked with our hosts, and they requested that we bring a dessert. My favorite, of course!

We knew they were already going to have at least a couple of cakes, so I decided to make a fruit tart. I bought a tart pan at the restaurant supply store a few months ago and have never gotten around to trying it out.

I consulted with the trusty Food Network website, and decided on a Paula Deen recipe. I really don't think Paula can go wrong as far as dessert goes. Of course, I did make a couple of changes. Instead of using vanilla in the cream cheese filling, I used lemon zest and almond extract. Just my personal preference for cream cheese flavoring. Also, I just used an apricot glaze for the fruit instead of the glaze recipe Paula uses.

I was relieved that the crust came out of the tart pan easily. This recipe makes more of a shortbread crust than a pastry crust, but I that was fine for this type of dessert. It was very easy to work with also.

The recipe was for a 12" pan, but mine is a 9.5", so there was enough left over to make some tarlets. These did not make it to the party, but were used for the chef and her husband to taste the recipe! It was delicious. Thanks Paula!