Asian Pear with Blue Cheese with Rosemary Honey Drizzle

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

½ cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
2 Asian pears, medium size, sliced ¼ inch thick and cut in half (half moon shapes)
4 ounces sweet blue cheese or gorgonzola, crumbled
Maldon sea salt

DIRECTIONS

In a small sauce pan, heat honey and rosemary leaves on simmer for about 5 minutes until warm and honey has been infused with rosemary. Arrange the pear slices on a serving tray and top each with a small amount of blue cheese and drizzle with warm honey-rosemary syrup. Serve.

Caramelized Banana Tartlets with Chocolate Port Sauce

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8-10

INGREDIENTS

½ cup raw hazelnuts
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 bananas, sliced in rounds about ½ inch thick
1 package puff pastry, thawed
4 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ cup tawny port

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine hazelnuts, white sugar and nutmeg. In another small bowl, combine vanilla and melted butter and pour over hazelnut mixture, tossing to coat well. Lay on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes. Once out of oven, set aside to cool and then chop.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, butter. Sauté bananas and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly browned. Add chopped hazelnuts, and sauté another few minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside. Cut puff pastry sheets into 8-10 squares (4 X 4 inches) and place on a lined baking sheet. Spoon a few spoonfuls of the banana mixture onto the center of each square and place in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.

In the meantime, fill a saucepan ¼ with water and bring to a simmer. Place a metal bowl on top to create a double boiler. In the metal bowl, add chocolate, heavy cream, brown sugar, and stir until all sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat, add port, and stir well. Once tartlets come out of the oven, drizzle chocolate over tarts, and serve!

Pomegranate Ginger Champagne Cocktail

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cocktail

INGREDIENTS

1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
4 tablespoons light brown sugar or sugar in the raw
Prosecco, Cava or Champagne

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan, combine pomegranate juice, ginger, and sugar. Bring to a boil, making sure that all sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes or until liquid has reduced and syrupy. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Strain through fine mesh strainer. Pour about 1 ounce of the pomegranate mixture in champagne glasses, and top with 2 ounces of Prosecco, Cava or Champagne.

Pomegranate Sage Manhattan

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cocktail

INGREDIENTS

For cocktail

2 sage leaves
1 ounce rye or bourbon
½ ounce sweet vermouth
Dash of angostura bitters
1 pomegranate bourbon dried cherries, for garnish

For the pomegranate bourbon dried cherries

1 cup pomegranate juice
½ cup sugar-in-the-raw
½ cup rye or bourbon
1 cup dried cherries

DIRECTIONS

Rub and crinkle one sage leaf (to release the oils) and rub it around the inside of the martini glass, making sure to get the edges of the glass well. In a large glass filled with ice, add the rye/bourbon, vermouth and bitters, stir well. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with one pomegranate bourbon cherry and a sage leaf.

For the pomegranate bourbon dried cherries

In a small saucepan over medium high heat add pomegranate and sugar-in-the-raw. Bring to a boil, making sure to stir until sugar is dissolved, reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes until mixture becomes thick. Take off heat, pour in ½ cup rye or bourbon (the same brand you are using to make the cocktails), stir and add dried cherries. Place in a jar and let sit for at least 2 days in a dark cool place.

Roasted Pork Loin with Onion Cherry Sage Sauce

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

For the pork loin

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 fresh bay leaves, veins stems removed
2 teaspoon juniper berries
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 3-pound pork loin
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon hazelnut oil or olive oil
½ cup chicken broth

For the cherry onion sauce

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped fine
½ cup dried cherries
2 tablespoon high quality balsamic vinegar
2 cups full-bodied, spicy red wine, Cabarnet Franc or Syrah
¼ cup chicken broth (optional)
Salt/pepper

DIRECTIONS

For the pork loin

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a spice grinder, combine rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, juniper berries, orange zest, salt, and pepper. Grind to a medium grind, a little thicker than fine black pepper but not as coarse as cracked. Rub all over pork loin. In a large cast iron heavy bottom skillet over high heat, add butter and oil. Sear pork loin on all sides. Remove from pan, and place in a roasting pan, pouring ½ cup chicken broth on the bottom of the pan. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the center registers about 145-150°F.

In the meantime, place the cast iron pan that you used for the pork on medium high heat, add butter. Cook onions, making sure to stir constantly, until caramelized or about 15 minutes. Add the sugar, sage, dried cherries, vinegar, and wine, stirring and scraping all the bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the broth, and season with salt and pepper. Let boil until mixture reduce by about half, about 5 to 6 minutes. Take off heat.

Serve pork loin with the cherry onion sage sauce on top.

Velvety Chesnut Soup with Grape Honey

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

For the soup

1 cup whole chestnuts, roasted and peeled
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pumpkin oil
1 small shallot, chopped fine
½ of a sweet yellow onion, chopped fine
¼ cup celery, chopped fine
1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped fine
Salt
1 bouquet garni of fresh herbs in a cheesecloth sack: parsley, thyme, rosemary (a few springs of each)
2 fresh bay leaves
½ cup sweet Madeira
4 cups of sweet onion broth (see recipe)
½ cup heavy cream
Black pepper

For the grape honey

1 cup frozen concord grapes or fresh black grapes, chopped
¼ cup water
½ cup honey
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
1 teaspoon cardamom
½ tablespoons black pepper, freshly cracked

DIRECTIONS

For the sweet onion broth

In a large soup pan, add a bunch of red onions skins, shallot skins, carrot pieces, parsnip pieces, and 4½ cups of water. Add 2 tablespoons salt, ½ cup honey, and 1 tablespoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain, and set aside.

For the soup

In a large heavy bottom soup pan, over medium high heat, add butter and pumpkin oil. Cook shallots and onions, until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the celery and parsnips, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add bouquet garni, bay leaves, and Madeira. Add the 4 cups of sweet onion broth, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove bouquet garni and bay leaves and blend with hand held immersion blender until smooth.

For the grape honey

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer about 4 to 5 minutes. Take off heat. Cool. Place in blender, and blend until smooth. Strain using a fine mesh strainer.

To serve soup, place in bowl, and swirl in grape honey.

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