Baked Camembert with Thyme and Garlic Toasts and Maple Glazed Grapes

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 9-12

Wine Pairing: Rose D’Anjou

Ingredients

1 whole small Camembert cheese
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper, freshly ground

For garlic toasts

1 baguette
1 garlic clove
Extra virgin olive oil

For grapes

1 large bunch of red seedless grapes, washed and stemmed
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves pulled from stems
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the Camembert from its packaging, pierce the top of the cheese with a sharp knife, then stuff the incisions with the garlic and thyme sprigs. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the cheese in parchment paper like a present and place on a baking sheet in the oven. Bake for about ten minutes, to melt the cheese.

To make garlic toasts:

Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch slices, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5 minutes, while the cheese is baking. Remove the toasts and lightly scrape each one on one side with a clove of raw garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

To make the grapes:

Turn the oven to broil 500 degrees F (when you are finished baking the cheese or before). Place cleaned grapes on a greased baking sheet, and sprinkle the thyme leaves over the grapes. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, turning the grapes with a spatula to coat evenly. Broil in oven until grapes start to “pop” and get slightly charred. Cool slightly before serving with cheese and toast.

Honey Roasted Onion Tart with Thyme and Topped with Fresh Fig (or Plum)

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves about 48

Wine Pairing: Tournant Rosé

Ingredients

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
3 bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
¼ cup honey
¼ cup dry white wine
2 large sweet yellow onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
¾ cup crème fraîche
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 pint fresh figs (or 5 fresh plums)

Directions

Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Using lightly floured rolling pin, roll out puff pastry on lightly floured surface to 14×10-inch rectangle. Fold ½ inch of pastry edges in toward center on all sides, forming 13 x 9-inch rectangle. Transfer pastry to large rimmed baking sheet. Press firmly on pastry edges with fork to form rim. Chill crust.

Cook bacon in small skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings from skillet.

Whisk honey, wine, and reserved 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in large bowl. Add onions; toss to coat. Coat another large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spread onion mixture in even layer on sheet. Roast 30 minutes. Turn onions over, allowing rings to separate. Roast until onions are caramelized, turning often for even browning, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven; cool onions slightly.

Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Mix crème fraîche, sea salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and nutmeg in small bowl. Using offset spatula, spread crème fraîche over crust to folded edge. Arrange onions atop crème fraîche. Sprinkle with bacon. Bake tart until crust is light golden brown and topping is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme and cut into small squares (6 row and 8 columns). Slice figs (or plums) thinly and place one sliver on top of each square to serve.

Pan Fried Zucchini Cakes with Feta and Dill topped with Cherry Tomato Salad and Greek Yogurt Dip

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 25 small cakes

Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc

Ingredients

4 zucchini (about 1 ½ pounds)
5 or 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped fine
9 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped fine
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs, beaten
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil

For tomato salad

1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped medium
Good-quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful of fresh basil, chopped fine

For Greek yogurt dip

1 cup Greek yogurt
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
¼ teaspoon lemon peel, grated
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped fine

Directions

Coarsely grate the zucchini using a box grater, food processor or mandolin slicer. Transfer to a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain in the sink for about 30 minutes to get rid of the excess water.

Put the chopped scallions in a bowl and crumble in the feta. Add the dill and flour and season well with salt and pepper. Gradually add the beaten egg and mix thoroughly before adding in the drained zucchini.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and drop heaped spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan (an ice cream scoop works well here), flattening them with the back of a spoon. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden, then transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Serve with dollop of Greek or natural yogurt, either hot from the pan or at room temperature.

For tomato salad

Place chopped cherry tomatoes in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss in the chopped basil and toss to coat evenly. Let sit for at least 1 hour.

For yogurt dip

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until mixed completely. Chill until ready to serve.

Pistachio Tarragon Pesto Chicken Skewers

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Wine Pairing: Syrah

Ingredients

½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted natural pistachios
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, peeled
¼ cup olive oil
16 1-inch pieces red onion (1/3 inch thick)
16 1-inch squares red bell pepper
8 lemon slices, halved
1 pound chicken tenders (about 8 large)
8 metal or wooden skewers (soak in water if wooden)

Directions

Purée the first 5 ingredients in a food processor. Add ¼cup olive oil and blend until slightly coarse paste forms. Mix in 2 tablespoons water. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer 3 tablespoons pesto to small bowl (for brushing chicken and vegetables); reserve remaining pesto.

Prepare grill (or griddle pan), heating to medium-high heat. Brush grill or gridle with olive oil. Thread 1 onion piece, 1 bell pepper square, 1 lemon slice half, 1 chicken tender (lengthwise), then 1 onion piece, 1 bell pepper square, and 1 lemon slice half alternately on each of 8 skewers. Brush vegetables and chicken on skewers with olive oil, then with 3 tablespoons pesto from small bowl. Sprinkle skewers with salt and pepper. Grill until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are slightly softened, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Serve with reserved pesto.

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