Tag Archives: crust

Pie for a birthday dinner!

For a special day, a special dinner is required… so for this birthday dinner, a luxurious lobster pot pie was necessary!
Gorgeous chunks of succulent lobster meat were added to a creamy concoction of chicken stock, cognac, onion, fennel, corn, peas and parsley.
Nestled into a rustic, homemade and flaky crust, this beautiful delight was baked off for an hour until the crust was browned and the filling bubbly!
Once ready, a beautifully large helping of this gorgeous pie was served up with steam and all…

at a low simmer…
-R

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who you calling honey!!

So after an evening of rising away, this morning was the bake-off of my gorgeous lavender honey and toasted almond sourdough!
This is not a bread that you suddenly think… ‘I think I’ll whip up a loaf of sourdough bread’, since this is a plan-ahead idea! Actually at least a week since you have to prep up a starter for the sourdough. I have a starter that I made months ago slumbering away in the fridge, however that is made using wholemeal flour, while for this loaf, I made a new starter of white bread flour.
Once my newest starter was fragrant and active, it was time to get baking! The recipe I used was that of Paul Hollywood and like most of his recipes, this one did not disappoint!!
It started with strong bread flour mixed with my starter and salt, along with some tepid water to bring everything all together. Once combined, a good kneading was necessary to activate this bad boy and give it that rise it so desperately needs. After its first rise [five hours], the dough is formed out into a square, spread with lavender honey [see my earlier post on this] and scattered with toasted sliced almonds. The square dough is rolled into a cylindrical form and rolled into a ‘crust’ of more toasted sliced almonds… After the loaves are covered with the almonds, they are off to rest for an additional nine hours [this was the overnight part] to rise again!
Once morning arrived, it was off to bake in a 375 degree oven for thirty-five minutes until golden and when tapped… hollow!
A slight cool down, a beautiful tear and it was time to devour with a luxurious cup of lady grey tea…

**if you are interested in the recipe, you can find it in the Paul Hollywood cookbook, ‘How to Bake’. I highly recommend the book**

at a low simmer…
-R

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my twist on a classic…

With a soaking rain wreaking havoc on the day, I decided that it was the perfect excuse to bake up an amazing cheesecake!
I had been experiencing a severe craving for the creamy and luxurious dessert, and thought it would help lift my spirits to whip one up.
This cheesecake was different from your typical variety, as I used both cream cheese, along with goat cheese for an added tang and fuller depth of flavor.
The basic elements still went into the baking process, however I added gorgeous vanilla bean seeds in for a beautiful speckle and flavor, as well as a special homemade vanilla sugar.
The silky mixture was poured gently into a homemade graham cracker crust that I molded into my springform pan… It was then into the oven for roughly an hour until perfect.
Once cooked, it was time to set up and then take a doze in the fridge to really come together… As soon as the cheesecake was ready to be sliced, there was no stopping the diminishing that became evident!
The crisp and buttery crust hugged the velvety smooth mixture and just added to the sinful act that was occurring… I’m fine with committing that sin, and there will be no confession from me!

at a low simmer…
-R

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it’s still a bit brisk[it] outside…

So for a weekly Sunday supper, the dish started with a beautiful beef brisket that I seasoned with salt and dusted lightly with flour. This hunk of meat went into my cast iron pot to get a beautiful crunchy crust!
Once the brisket was browned, I pulled it out and placed it to the side while two Spanish onions got their own workout in the same pot and sweated it out… as soon as the onions were ready to ‘hit the showers’, the brisket went back into the pot and joined them, along with a bottle of root beer and some homemade BBQ sauce.
With the brisket partially submerged, on went the lid and it was time for a long relaxation period until the meat was tender and fall-off-the-bone[less]!
The brisket was shredded up, tossed back into the pot and mixed with the onions and sauce…
To go along with our shredded brisket ‘burritos’, a side of arroz con crema! Such a simple rice dish to prepare, but the flavor is out of this world… you combine four-five cups of prepared rice, diced poblano peppers [I roast mine on the grill], panfried corn [grilled during the summer months] and one cup of heavy cream. This all is stirred until it starts to ‘thicken’, then in goes shredded monterey jack and cojita cheeses. Lastly chopped cilantro is quickly incorporated and it’s on to eating! [I tend to not add salt… I know I know, but the cheese I feel offers enough]…
Piled high into the center of a light tortilla, dolloped with a hefty helping of homemade coleslaw and then a final tight roll! It was time to bite into this fragrant and tangy ‘burrito’. The flavors burst in our mouths and the coleslaw balanced out the slight heaviness of the brisket; this was just a wonderful Sunday evening dining experience!

at a low simmer…
-R

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‘winna’… ‘winna’… was this chicken ‘dinna’

So tonight was a simple dinner decision… chicken with mushrooms, garlic and shallots.
I floured and dipped in egg some thinly pounded chicken breasts. The chicken was pan fried in some melted butter and just enough olive oil to give a light, golden crust. To the chicken, went a splash of white wine to just keep everything delicious!
While the chicken was cooking, I sautéed the mushrooms, garlic and shallots in olive oil until tender. To the mushroom mixture, I added some Marsala wine and reduced everything.
To finalize the cooking, I nestled the chicken into the mushrooms and placed the pan into the oven covered…
Once completely cooked through, it was time to plate and enjoy! Succulent and full of amazing flavors, this was not your ordinary boring chicken dish…

at a low simmer…
-R

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combo meal in one…

Who says you can’t have your pizza and salad, and eat it too! Tonight I was craving a simple chopped salad full of walnuts, cranberries and pungent blue cheese chunks, but at the same time I really wanted pizza! So I thought why not take those two cravings and marry them into a pizza salad! The hot thin crust with a light touch of sauce became the bed for my luscious salad, and as soon as I took the first bite I knew leftovers were not in my future… and boy oh boy was I right, other than the few crumbs left on my plate it was clear this dish was mine and only mine.

at a low simmer…
-R

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we’re all entitled to some decadence…

To start the week off right, it was best to do it on a sweet note!
A whiskey chocolate tart topped off with luxurious, homemade whiskey whipped cream…
The tart was made using a cookbook I received as a Christmas present. I adapted it from one large tart into mini-personal sized ones.
The crust was made using shortbread cookies, sugar, salt and some melted butter. The cookies, sugar and salt are pulsed in a food processor, and then the melted butter stirred in until everything was incorporated. Pressed into the mini tart pans, the crust was cooked till just before browned…
While the crust cooled down, some milk and heavy cream were heated. Once hot, but not boiling, off the heat chopped milk and dark chocolates were whisked into the milky mixture until smooth.
In a separate bowl went some flour, an extra-large egg [plus an additional yolk] and some whiskey! Everything was beat together and then added into the chocolate mixture and whisked until combined.
The silky, chocolatey mixture was eased into the cooled shortbread crusts and popped into the oven and baked until slightly set, but wiggly in the center.
To finish this story, a hefty dollop of the homemade whipped cream and it was time to begin eating! Rich and decadent, full of chocolatey goodness… this was truly a spectacular dessert!

at a low simmer…
-R

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say cheese[cake that is]…

After a fantastic holiday weekend full of spending time with family and friends, unfortunately reality is kicking back in…
To prepare for another week, what better way to gear up than with a slice of velvety caramel pecan cheesecake in a graham cracker crust!
Two packages of cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, eggs, pecans, caramel and a graham cracker crust [store bought or homemade, there are no judgements here!] are all that is needed to create this delightful masterpiece…
For the pecan caramel base, chopped pecans are stirred into a sultry caramel sauce and poured into the graham cracker crust… The cream cheese and sugar are whipped until combined, then the vanilla and eggs are added in and blended together. This creamy mixture is gently eased into the crust and then baked in a 350 degree oven until set. After cooling down and then chilling in the refrigerator, it was time to slice and enjoy…
Sweet, creamy, nutty and buttery… this slice of heaven is well deserved and for me guilt-free!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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it’s hip to be square, well in this case rectangle!!

Tonight I decided to make a sicilian-style pizza, rather than my usual everyday round pie… I picked up some creamy, slightly salty fresh mozz from the Italian market I frequent, clipped some vibrant green basil from my garden, grated some pecorino and defrosted some homemade sauce.
Into the oven for twenty-five minutes and a warm bubbly piece of perfection was born… waiting for this to cool off enough to handle was not on the agenda… a hefty square slice was dug out and onto the place it went for its magazine cover shoot!
The crust was soft and airy, with hints of rosemary and garlic infused gently throughout… the sauce blanketed the crust evenly and just enough to hold the fresh mozz and basil leaves in place. The fresh mozz stretched seductively with each breathy bite… there was not a crumb to be found on our plates, and who needed a napkin… our fingers were sucked clean!
This meal was not for the faint of heart!

at a low simmer…

-R

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a sunday night celebration!!

So tonight was a night for spectacular things… it was a night of celebration, as well as a night to put a spin on a traditional pizza!
Yesterday I made focaccia with the intent of using it as a base to layer up a gorgeous pizza. Homemade sauce was layered on the bottom, then some grated pecorino, slices of milky fresh mozz and a healthy drizzle of extra virgin! Into the oven and twenty minutes later… well there are no words for the mind-blowing experience we had. The crust was perfectly crunchy, salty and airy… meanwhile the sauce was rustic, the pecorino slightly salty and the fresh mozz creamy and melty.
To finish off such a rich and hearty meal, what better than a slice of yes… LIME pie with a fluffy and perfectly browned meringue topping! This is not just any pie, but a celebratory one to congratulate a hardworking woman who touches our lives in many ways! The filling was made the other day and got its close-up today when poured into the buttery graham cracker crust and topped off with a beautiful spiked meringue. Browned and gorgeous meringue was the barrier to a creamy, zesty lime filling. Now I’ll need to make more to satiate my breakfast tea and toast!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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