All posts tagged: Entertaining & Food

Pistachio IceCream

Ingredients 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios 3/4 cup sugar 2 cups milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 4 large egg yolks 1 cup whipping cream 3/4 cup unsalted shelled pistachios, toasted, coarsely chopped              Directions Finely grind 1 cup pistachios and 1/4 cup sugar in processor. Bring milk and ground pistachio mixture to boil in heavy large saucepan. Remove from heat. Mix in almond extract. Whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return custard to saucepan. Cook over low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes (do not boil). Strain into large bowl. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. Stir 1 cup whipping cream and chopped pistachios into custard. Process mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to container and freeze. (Ice cream can be prepared 3 days ahead.)   Via : Epicures Photo : Monica Melsness  

Chocolate Ganache With Black Sesame and Miso

In this highly sophisticated confection, soft chocolate ganache and crumbly black sesame streusel sit on top of a salty-sweet black sesame and miso cream. Eaten together, the flavors veer toward the savory side — as perfect for people who don’t usually like sweets as it is for dessert lovers looking for nuance and depth. Ingredients FOR THE SESAME-MISO CREAM: 1 cup/240 milliliters whole milk 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin 1 cup/240 milliliters heavy cream ¼ cup/80 grams honey, more to taste 7 tablespoons/120 grams black sesame paste (see note) ¼ cup/58 grams sweet miso (see note, or use 2 tablespoons/29 grams white Shiro miso) FOR THE GANACHE: ¾ cup/150 grams chopped dark chocolate (around 70 percent) ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/150 grams heavy cream 1 ½ tablespoons/30 grams light corn syrup or honey 1 ½ tablespoons/20 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature FOR THE CHOCOLATE BLACK-SESAME STREUSEL: ¼ cup/50 grams finely chopped dark chocolate (around 70 percent) 4 tablespoons/66 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon/50 grams all-purpose flour …

Easter Cookies

INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups butter, softened 1 cup powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted DIRECTIONS Beat butter, sugar, and salt at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add vanilla; beat until well blended. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed until blended. (Dough will be very soft.) Divide dough into 2 equal portions; wrap each with plastic wrap, and flatten into a disc. Chill 2 to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap 1 dough disc  on a well-floured surface. Cover with a large piece of plastic wrap, and roll to 1/4-inch thickness; cut into desired shapes with 3 1/2-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Chill 15 minutes. Repeat procedure with remaining dough disc. Bake at 350° for 14 to 17 minutes or just until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool completely (about 30 minutes). Decorate cookies with Simple Icing. Let stand 1 hour or until …

Photo: Monica Melsness

Figs with Chèvre Cheese and Prosciutto

  INGREDIENTS 200g of dried fig 300ml dry white wine 150g chèvre cheese 50g of prosciutto DIRECTIONS 1 – Soak the figs for 30 minutes in the wine and then drain. 2- Cut the figs in half. 3- Place a spoonful of cheese on top of each slice and fold it gently. 4-Wrap a slice of prosciuto around figs. Put them in the oven at 350ºF  for 15 minutes. Enjoy!   Recipe: Milena Addad e Magloni Franco – Addad Franco Gastronomia Photos: Monica Melsness

Chicken in an Herb Garden

  Serve 4 Ingredients 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts Salt and pepper 2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, basil, thyme, rosemary,sage and mint. Crusty bread, for serving Directions 1-  Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Tightly roll them up lengthwise and secure with toothpicks at 1 inch intervals. 2- In a large saucepan, combine the vinegar, 3/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a  gentle simmer. Add the chicken and cook over low heat until just white throughout, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a work surface and let cool slightly. Discard the toothpicks. Slice the chicken crosswise into 1-inch-thick rounds. 3- In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the mixed herbs and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, turning to coat evenly in the herb oil. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Bring to …

Roast Turkey With No-Roux Gravy

Serves 8 Ingredients 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar 2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds, coriander seeds, aniseed, and/or celery seeds, or favorite spice blend (optional) 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 4½ teaspoons Morton kosher salt, plus more 1 11–13-pound turkey, neck and giblets removed and reserved, patted dry 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1 pound turkey or chicken wings (optional) 2 large onions, unpeeled, quartered 4 celery stalks, halved crosswise 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise 2 cups dry white wine ¼ cup all-purpose flour 6 sprigs thyme 4 cups (or more) low-sodium chicken broth3 tablespoons soy sauce Directions Mix brown sugar, spices, pepper, and 3 Tbsp. or 4 ½ tsp. salt in a small bowl to combine; sprinkle all over surface and inside cavity of turkey. Place turkey on a V-shape roasting rack set inside a large roasting pan (if using a disposable pan, place it on a rimmed baking sheet). Chill, uncovered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. Let sit at room …


Caipirinha is the most popular cocktail in Brazil. It’s made from cachaça, a clear distilled spirit made from sugar cane juice. If you can’t find cachaça, just swap it for vodka and you’ll have a Caipiroska cocktail instead. Ingredients 1 lime 1 tablespoon superfine sugar 2 onces cachaça Ice Directions Cut up a lime into 8 wedges. Muddle the wedges in a rocks glass with sugar. Add Cachaça and top with ice. Stir and serve. Enjoy Photo: Monica Melsness Recipe:  Bobby Flay  

Roasted Red Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes with Ricotta

Serves 8 Ingredients 4 red bell peppers, halved, seeds and ribs removed 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 cup basil leaves, divided Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons plus ⅓ cup olive oil 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved ⅓ cup fresh ricotta ¼ cup pitted small black and/or green olives Flaky sea salt Directions Preheat oven to 375°. Place bell peppers, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish and top with anchovies and garlic. Tear ¼ cup basil leaves over top, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil. Bake until peppers are tender but still hold their shape and are slightly charred around edges, 35–45 minutes. Let cool. Meanwhile, blend remaining ¾ cup basil and remaining ⅓ cup oil in a blender until smooth; season basil oil with kosher salt and black pepper. Arrange bell peppers on a platter. Top with tomatoes, ricotta, olives, and more basil, then drizzle with basil oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Recipe:  Skye Gyngell Photo: Monica Melsness

Banoffee pie cupcakes

Serves 14 Ingredients  Caramel 1 cup sugar ⅓ cup water 125g butter, cubed 125ml cream Banana cakes 2 cups self-raising flour 1 cup caster sugar ½ cup milk ⅓ cup vegetable or mild olive oil 3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup) 2 eggs Extra banana, thinly sliced Golden syrup, for drizzling Creamy frosting 250g mascarpone 300ml thickened cream 2 tbsp icing sugar Directions These cupcakes are best made the day before. To make caramel; put sugar and water in a large saucepan over a medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and without stirring, boil for 10-12 minutes until mixture begins to turn amber. Swirl pan to distribute colour evenly. Remove from the heat and add butter, stirring with a wooden spoon until combined. Mixture will splatter and foam. Pour in cream and whisk until smooth. Set aside until cooled completely. Caramel will thicken as it cools (store at room temperature for a spreadable consistency). Preheat oven to 200°C. Line 14 holes of two standard-size muffin tins with paper cases. Sift flour …

Spiced and Grilled Steaks with Citrus Chutney

Ingredients Chutney ½ grapefruit, thinly sliced, seeds removed 8 ounces kumquats, sliced, seeds removed 1 shallot, finely chopped ⅔ cup sugar Pinch of kosher salt 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar  Steak And Assembly 2 tablespoons coriander seeds 2 tablespoons ground coffee 2 tablespoons kosher salt 4 teaspoons light brown sugar 4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper Vegetable oil (for grilling) 2 hanger steaks, center membrane removed, each cut into 4 pieces Directions Chutney Bring grapefruit, kumquats, shallot, sugar, salt, and ¼ cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and lowering heat if needed, until citrus is soft and liquid is syrupy, 45–60 minutes. Stir in vinegar and let cool. Cover and chill. Do Ahead: Chutney can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled. Steak And Assembly Toast coriander seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then finely grind in spice mill or mortar and pestle. Mix ground coriander, coffee, salt, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and pepper in a small bowl. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; lightly oil grate. Season steaks generously …

Karleksmums: The Love Cake

Serves 8-10 Ingredients 3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder 100 mL whole milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 175 g butter 225 g granulated sugar 2 eggs 225 g cake flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt Topping: 150 g icing sugar, sifted 50 g butter 1 generous tablespoon cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon vanilla sugar 4 tablespoons strong filter coffee 50 g desiccated coconut, plus extra to decorate Coarse sea salt, to decorate 20 cm deep round cake pan, greased and lined with baking parchment Directions Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4. In a bowl, mix together the cocoa with 100 mL of boiling water to make a thick paste. Leave to cool. Gradually pour in the milk and stir well until combined and smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well between each addition and taking care that they are completely incorporated. In a third bowl, sift together the flour, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour and …

Fresh Croissants – The Value of Simplicity

Croissants are simple, delicate and sophisticated  breakfast pastries made from feuilletee (soft flour of flour, yeast, butter, milk and salt). Ingredient 3 1/2 cups white bread flour sifted, plus extra for dusting 3 tbsp superfine sugar 1 tsp salt 2 tsp easy-blend dried yeast 1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk 1 1/4 cups butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp milk, for glazing Directions Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, make a well in the center, and add the milk. Mix to a soft dough, adding more milk if too dry. Knead on a lightly floured work surface until smooth. Place in a large greased bowl, cover, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume. Meanwhile, place the butter between two sheets of parchment paper and flatten with a rolling pin to form a 1/4-inch thick /5-mm rectangle. Set aside in the refrigerator until required. Knead the dough for 1 minute. Remove the butter from the refrigerator. Roll out …

Fish Pie with Sorrel & Petits Pois

Serve 4 Delicious, rich and comforting a fish pie is the perfect dish for winter. Ingredient 500g Hake, Sea Trout, Prawns & Brown Shrimp 20g Sorrel, separated into leaves & stalks 120g Petits pois 1 Small Onion Bunch of Spring Onions 600ml Fish Stock Bay Leaf 550ml Cream 1kg Peeled Potatoes 100g Butter 50g Milk 50g Cream 20g Egg Yolk Salt & Pepper to Taste Directions Peel, finely dice & soften a small onion in a large pan with a little olive oil. Add the fish stock, sorrel stalks & bay leaf then bring to a boil. Dice the fish into large chunks and simmer for five minutes, then lift out with a slotted spoon and cool. Bring the fish stock to a boil and reduce by half, add 500ml of double cream then strain the sauce & season. Allow the sauce to cool then add the chopped spring onions, sorrel leaves, petits pois & gently fold in the fish. Pour either into a large pie dish or individual ramekins. Peel and cut the potatoes …

Vanilla Rice Pudding Parfait

Serve 4 Ingredient 2 cups leftover short grain brown rice 3 cups organic milk 2 vanilla beans, scraped 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon lemon extract 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 cup maple syrup 2 cups Greek yogurt 1 cup fresh raspberries 1 cup fresh blackberries 1/2 cup hemp seeds Directions Add the leftover rice, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon extract, sea salt, and maple syrup to a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice absorbs all the liquid. Cool slightly, and then fold in the Greek yogurt. Using glasses of your choice, layer the berries, hemp seeds and rice mixture. Cover and chill before serving. Enjoy ! Photo: Monica Melsness  

Spicy Pumpkin Soup – to warm you up

Pumpkin soup is a authentic autumn dish, it’s quick to make, totally healthy and taste great. Ingredient 1 pumpkin 3 tbsp olive oil 1 white onion, finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 1 chili pepper, cleaned and very finely chopped 800 ml  vegetable bouillon Curry powder or coriander Directions Cut the pumpkin into quarters, remove the seeds and the stringy insides and set aside. Peel the segments and cut the flesh into pieces. Brown the onion, garlic and chilli pepper in the oil in a large pan. Add the pumpkin chunks and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the bouillon and leave to simmer for fifteen minutes. Season with curry powder and coriander, puree using the  blender. It’s delicious with bread. Enjoy! Photo: Monica Melsness  

Vodka Pie Dough

Don’t worry, the booze cooks off and leaves no taste behind. Ingredients 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon fine salt 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1/4 cup vodka 3 to 4 tablespoons ice-cold water Directions Pulse the flour, lard, sugar, salt and 4 tablespoons of the butter in a food processor until it has the consistency of a fine meal. Add the remaining 8 tablespoons butter, and pulse until you have pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle the vodka and water over the flour, and pulse until the dough just comes together. Evenly divide the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, and gently pat each into a round. Wrap each round tightly and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour and up to overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 2 months. Enjoy!     Via : Foodnetwork Photos: Monica Melsness /  James Ransom    

Marinated Manchego & Oranges

Infuse cheese and oranges with pepper and thyme, toss in tomatoes, and dig in ! Serves 10 Ingredients 10 oz Manchego cheese, cut into wedges 1 orange, thinly sliced 5 springs fresh thyme 1/2 tps. fresh cracked black pepper 1 cup olive oil 4  small assorted tomatoes, sliced 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped  Directions Place cheese, orange slices, thyme, and pepper in a wide-mouth pint jar. Add olive oil. Cover and chill for 4 hours or up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature 1 hours before serving. To serve, arrange cheese and oranges on a platter. Top with tomatoes, additional fresh thyme, and almonds. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Enjoy!    

Heirloom Melon, Prosciutto, and Savory Granola Salad

Ready for delicious? serve 4 Ingredients 1 large egg, separated 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/4 cup chopped raw pistachios 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats 2 Tbls sesame seeds 1 Tbls sugar 1 tsp fennel seeds 1/16 tsp cayenne pepper 1/2 small heirloom orange melon, seeded (such as Red Cap or Charentais) 1/4 small honeydew melon, seeded 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1/2-inch wide strips 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup fresh mint or basil leaves, torn into bite size pieces  Directions Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray generously with cooking spray. Place the egg white and salt in a medium mixing bowl, reserve yolk for another use. Whisk egg white until frothy and white, 1 minute. Add the pistachios, oats, sesame seeds, sugar, fennel seeds, and cayenne pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange the mixture in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is crispy and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely. Cut the …

Ricotta Toast With Pears And Honey

serve  2 Ingredients ⅓ cup whole-milk ricotta ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest Pinch of kosher salt 2 teaspoons honey, plus more for drizzling 2 slices multigrain bread, toasted 1 medium Bartlett pear, thinly sliced 3 tablespoons unsalted, roasted sliced almonds  Directions Combine ricotta, orange zest, salt, and 2 tsp. honey in a small bowl. Dividing evenly, spread ricotta mixture onto toast. Top with pear, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with almonds. Enjoy! Via: Bon appetit  

Grilled Caesars Salad

Yes, veggies are also allowed on the grill! serve 4 Ingredients 1/4 cup roasted garlic cloves ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ (11-ounce) slab focaccia bread, halved horizontally 4 hearts of romaine, halved lengthwise through root end 16 marinated white anchovies 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese shavings, shaved with sharp vegetable peeler  Directions Place the roasted garlic, 5 tablespoon of the oil, the lemon juice, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a blender or mini food processor and blend until smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Preheat grill over medium heat. Brush both sides of the focaccia slices with a little of the oil and grill until lightly browned all over, about 4 minutes per side. Cut into 1-inch cubes and set aside. Brush the cut sides of the romaine hearts with remaining olive oil and grill without moving them until slightly wilted and charred, about 3 minutes …

Sweet Potato and Fig Tart

This delicious tart is a light dish to be served with a speedy green salad. Just perfect for summer! Serve  6 Ingredients For the pastry: 150g white spelt flour, plus extra for dusting 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 75g organic unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing 30g walnuts, bashed to a fine crumb For the filling: 4 large eggs 100ml milk 150g crème fraiche 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 small sweet potatoes (approx 300-400g weight) 3 small, ripe figs 100g Comté cheese, grated 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme 3/4 tsp sea salt and freshly ground black pepper  Directions To make the pastry: Place the walnuts and half the flour in a food processor and blitz until fine. Add the processed mixture to a bowl with the flour and salt. Rub in the butter until you achieve a breadcrumb texture (or blend in a food processor). Add enough cold water to make the mixture come together to form a firm dough, and then rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured …

Barbecued Pineapple with Coconut & key Lime Ice Cream

Serve 8 Ingredients 125g   Sugar 25g piece root ginger, peeled and finely grated 1  Large  Pineapple, topped, tailed and peeled 500ml  Coconut & key Lime Ice Cream  Directions 1. Place the sugar, ginger and 200ml boiling water into a large shallow dish and mix until the sugar dissolves. 2. Slice the pineapple into 16 rounds about 0.5-1cm thick. Place into the sugar mixture and leave to marinate for 1 hour, turning over occasionally so that the fruit soaks in the syrup. 3. Light or preheat the barbecue, griddle or grill until hot. Cook the pineapple, brushing with the syrup throughout, for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden and char-marked. Brush or drizzle with more of the remaining syrup before serving with the ice cream. Enjoy !

Pistachio and Cheese Sandwich

What is the perfect solution for a bad day? A Pistachio and Cheese sandwich! It’s comforting. It’s quick. It serves up a warm, comfy hug from the inside out. Ingredients Serves 2 1 loaf of Sicilian bread, sliced 4 slices of bacon 1/2 cup pistachios, shells removed, roasted and salted (available in our bulk aisle!) 3 oz. Mahon cheese, sliced 3 oz Piave Vecchio, sliced 1 Tbls butter Directions Preheat oven to 400º F. Lay bacon out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Drain fat. Meanwhile, warm butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and slice  Sicilian Bread Place 4 pieces of bread in skillet and flip once, warming both sides. Add 1/2 of Mahon to each of 2 bread slices in the skillet and 1/2 of Piave Vecchio to each of 2 bread slices and place skillet into your preheated oven. Allow cheese to melt, 3-5 minutes. Pile up cooked bacon and pistachios on a cutting board and chop together into small pieces. Remove skillet from oven and back …