|Tetiana Althoff Realtor with ReMax Preferred Choice|
|Andouille Coins in Puff Pastry|
I love using the little mini sweet peppers, as they are colorful and add in a nice fresh note. This time I threw together a goat cheese and honey mixture that turned out absolutely delightful either used as I did here piped onto the peppers, or just used as a delicious spread for crackers. I used a large open star tip to pipe the mixture onto the peppers. At the open house, Neima Ali, the newest realtor to ReMax Preferred Choice, helped pipe the chevre cream onto the peppers. She was a very quick study with that piping bag, as seen in the photo here below, and a great help to me!
|Mini Sweet Peppers with Chevre-Honey Cream|
2 tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
8 ounces Chevre or Montrachet goat cheese
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat together the olive oil and honey with the lemon zest. Allow to steep for at least 15 to 20 minutes, then strain the mixture. Aside, beat together the goat cheese with the cream cheese, then add in the strained honey-oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Beat well to combine, then chill until needed.
If using as a dip or spread, the mixture may need to come to room temperature before using. If piping onto the peppers, use a large star tip to pipe one large star onto the pepper strip. This can be piped onto a cracker, a carrot strip, cucumber slice or any vegetable of your choosing.
|Green Pea Pancakes with Smoked Salmon Mousse|
|Flank Steak Rolls with Gorgonzola Walnut Spread|
|Millard's Mini Artichoke Quiches|
For a little sweetness, Tetiana and I decided on some little Pecan Tartlets. Again, these were made in the mini-muffin tins, so they are just a bite or two. Surprisingly easy to make, though the fitting of the crusts into the mini tins is a little bit of a chore. I have found that my marble pestle, which has the thicker end for crushing spices in the mortar, and the narrower end that you hold, works fantastically to fit the tart pastry into the mini tins. The dough is made and rolled into little balls, then chilled. Placing one little ball into a mini tart well, and with the larger end of the pestle, I press the dough in, creating a large dip, the beginning of the fit. Then with the narrow end of the pestle, I roll that tip pressing the sides to the edges of each well. This has worked for me for many years.
|Pecan Nut Tarts|
Pecan Nut TartsMakes 28
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
With a pastry cutter combine the first three ingredients until they come together as dough. Chill until firm. Then, divide the dough into 28 evenly sized balls. Set one ball into each of the wells of mini muffin tins and fit the pastry into bottom and up the sides. Set the tins in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, egg, salt, vanilla, melted butter and pecans. Fill the pastry lined mini tart shells about 3/4 full with this mixture and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Do not over bake!
Holiday season is fast approaching (AGAIN!), so I hope maybe these recipes can provide easy party fare for whatever event you might be hosting. All these are excellent recipes. The hardest part is not overeating them!
My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.