Monday, May 28, 2012

White Bean and Turkey Chili

Janet made this low calorie chili.  It is a good recipe for using up all those cans in the pantry!
White Bean and Turkey Chili (modifies by Janet in bold)

  • Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (15.8-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15.8-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15.8-ounce) can refined beans
  • 2 1.2 cups fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups chopped ground turkey
  • 1 (15.8-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and ground turkey; sauté 10 minutes or until tender and golden. Add chili powder, garlic, and cumin; sauté for 2 minutes. Add oregano and kidney and black beans; cook for 30 seconds. Add broth; bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes.
Add refried beans and chopped tomatoes  cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 2012

We met at Mary's house on May 20, 2012.  All Gourmet Gals were in attendance, including Mary's guest, Sue.  

Appetizer:  Tonya, Antipasto Kabobs

Salad:  Janet, Feta, Strawberry and Almond Salad

Sides:  Angie, Scalloped Tomatoes and Collard Greens

Main dish:  Mary, Emeril's Seafood Mac-n-Cheese 

Dessert:  Carol, Berry Tart

Cocktail:  Jennifer, Limoncelle and Proscecco Cooler with Raspberries and Mint

Jennifer started us off with a tangy and bubbly cocktail called Limoncelle and Proscecco Cooler.  She garnished it with fresh raspberries and mint.  It was both visually lovely and refreshing.

 For our appetizer, Tonya brought a beautiful platter of Antipasto Kabobs. There were tortellini, cherry tomatoes, marinated mozzarella balls, salami, pepperoni and olives.  In between the kabob components were parsley sprigs and the plate was also garnished with parsley.  The salty olives and meats played well with the mild cheese and tomatoes.

Janet brought a summer salad with a sweet and tangy dressing.  The strawberries, feta and smoked almonds in the salad gave it both a freshness and nice crunch.  I really enjoyed the dressing and it would be tasty on other salads that call for a sweet dressing.

Since the main course of Emiril's Seafood Mac-n-Cheese was rich, I wanted the side dishes to be vegetables.  I prepared Scalloped Tomatoes and Collard Greens.  The scalloped tomatoes were cooked more than called for and became one layer of sweet tomatoes.  There are homemade croutons mixed with the tomatoes, along with fresh basil.  Some of the reviews of the recipe said that the croutons became soggy bread chunks and I did notice that as soon as the tomatoes hit the croutons, they broke down.  It may have been the bread I used but I still cannot imagine any toasted bread standing up to watery tomatoes.  Since I increased the cooking time the croutons did blend in with the tomatoes.  However, next time I think I will sprinkle bread crumbs on top and skip the croutons all together.

The collards greens were simple to make and flavorful and nicely complimented the mac-n-cheese.  In the mac-n-cheese we used both shrimp and lobster.  Mary steamed 4 lobsters and picked out the meat, which was not a simple task.  We also used shrimp that we cut in half.  Onions and garlic were sauteed and a white sauce was made and then the cooked macaroni and cheeses were added.  All was baked in the oven with a buttery topping of Panko bread crumbs.  It turned out creamy and decadent.  The noodles were firm and there was a piece of seafood in every bite.  The recipe was both comfort food and fancy enough to make it company worthy!

We concluded our meal with Carol's Berry Tart.  The berries were beautifully arranged, standing up, and covered with a sweet glaze.  The filling was mildly sweet and did not distract from the berries.  The crust was flaky and delicate. All three components of the tart; the crust, filling and topping came together in a delicious dessert that was not heavy.  It definitely was a show stopper and I could imagine modifying the recipe and using different berries or even combing berries like raspberries and black berries or strawberries and blueberries.

Berry Tart          
Damian Mandola and Johnny Carrabba


For One 8 or 9 inch tart Tart

1 1/4 cups Flour

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt

6 ounces butter

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 tablespoons softened cream cheese

Combine flour, sugar and salt, cut in butter with flat blade of mixer.  Blend well.  Add vinegar and softened cream cheese and blend.  Shape dough into a round.  Wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill.  If pastry is at room temperature, it will be too soft to roll out.  If frozen, too hard to roll out.

Line tart pan with pastry dough.  Use foil with pie weights or beans to line pastry and blind bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Note:  Even chilled, this dough is really soft.  I did roll it out, but had to put in the tart pan and pat it together because it came apart. 


3 egg yolks

6 tablespoons softened butter

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup almond powder*

1/3 cup powdered sugar*

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

* Almond powder: Grind blanched almonds (whole, slivered, or whatever you have around) in Cuisinart until finely ground.  Add equal amount of powdered sugar and grind again until powdered.

(Central Market sells almond flour (this is just the ground almonds) in the bulk section.  You would still need to mix it with the equal part of powdered sugar.) 

1.  Beat egg yolks with wire whip in mixer until pale yellow.

2.  In separate bowl, cream butter and sugar with flat blade of mixer.  Blend in yolks.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  

3.  Put filling in partially baked pastry.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.  Cool to room temperature.  (My tart was browned before 20 minutes).


Fresh Fruit
Currant/Raspberry jelly/jam

4.  Top with fresh fruit, such as raspberries or blueberries, ideally arranged in concentric circles.  

5.  Glaze  - 1/2 jar currant jelly (red or black) melted on burner with 1 tablespoon Kirsh.  Brush glaze gently on with silicone pastry brush.  (I used seedless raspberry jam).

6.  Chill till serving.  Tarts only last 1 - 2  days. (but probably will be gone in an hour!!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Caramel, Chocolate and Almond Gooey Butter Cake

This Caramel, Chocolate and Almond Gooey Butter Cake was prepared by Mary.  She obviously loved it and said "Wow-eee!! It is gooey and rich.  Two servings was about all I could eat!!"  HA!  I am thinking I would have gone for three servings!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

S'mores Cookies

I challenged my fellow Gourmet Gals to send me their latest, tried recipes to post.  Tonya found this recipe for S'more Cookies on pinterest.  In Tonya's words, these cookies were "crazy delicious and addictive!"  Not to mention they are VERY cute!! This may be my entry into the Christmas Cookie competition this year. 

Edwin's Apple Cake

Edwin is my coworker and he gave me this cake recipe.  He said his grandmother would bake the cake and then freeze individual slices so she would have the cake for when company stopped by.  It is SO GOOD!  The cake is very moist and the sugar and apples caramelize to create a nice crust.  It is delicious without an icing though Edwin says you can put a dollop of cool whip.  I liked it plain and the entire cake was gone within a few hours at the office!

Edwin's Apple Cake

2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
4 cups diced, peeled apples (about 3 large Granny Smith apples)
1 cup nuts

In a large bowl, cream sugar, vanilla, eggs and oil.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Mix into sugar mixture.

Stir in apples and nuts.

Bake in a 9 x 13 pan at 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Baked Shrimp with Feta and a Side of Orzo

I have made a shrimp and feta cheese bake before and this one is a little different and features an easy orzo and herb side.  This recipe of Baked Shrimp with Feta and Orzo is simple to put together and tastes fresh with the herbs.  I used 3 tablespoons of white wine instead of wine and clam juice.  I also added a bag of baby spinach.  This is very tasty and re-heats and freezes well!