Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Portobello Mushroom Pizzas

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Last night I made an awesome Bolognese sauce. I always have quite a bit leftover so for tonight’s meal, I had a great idea on how to use up my leftover Bolognese sauce.

I went to the Farmers’ Market today and bought some beautiful Portobello mushrooms along with some fresh arugula. I’m going to grill these mushrooms and use them as the base for my Portobello Mushroom Pizzas.

To get my recipe for Bolognese Sauce, click on the link at the bottom of this post. I’d recommend making these Portobello Mushroom Pizzas any time you have some leftover homemade sauce.

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Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese.JPG

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: indoor grill pan, rimmed baking sheet pan, chef’s knife, 1 (3-quart) saucepot with a glass lid, vegetable peeler

6 large Portobello mushrooms (dark black gills and stems removed), grilled
1 (16-ounce) package of BelGioioso fresh mozzarella, pre-sliced
6 cups of Homemade Bolognese sauce (substitute a good jarred Marinara sauce)
1/4 cup of Canola oil
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
3 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings, garnish

1 (4-ounce) package of arugula, prewashed and dried
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O.
1 tespoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Start by heating up your (leftover) sauce on low heat, in a covered saucepot, stirring occasionally.

Preheat an indoor grill pan on medium heat. While the grill pan is heating up, prep all 6 Portobello mushrooms. First, remove the stems, next, using a tablespoon, scrape off the dark black gills from the underside of the mushroom caps.

Liberally brush the top side of the Portobello mushrooms with Canola oil. Season with 2 teaspoons of fresh ground black pepper and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder. Place the mushrooms presentation side down first on the hot grill. As the mushrooms start to cook, brush the underside with Canola oil and season with freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder. Grill on each side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until deep golden brown with beautiful grill marks. Turn the grill pan off and transfer the grilled Portobello mushrooms, presentation side down, to a rimmed baking sheet pan.

Set the oven to broil.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and the remaining 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper evenly over each of the slices of cheese. Lay a slice of the mozzarella cheese on the underside of each one of the mushrooms.

Transfer the sheet pan to the top rack in the oven leaving the oven door slightly ajar. Keeping a close eye on the mushrooms, melt the cheese until bubbly and golden brown on top, 1 to 2 minutes.

Arrange 3 of the Portobello mushrooms on each plate. Ladle a little of the (leftover) Bolognese sauce onto each one of the mushrooms. Top withthe dressed arugula and a few shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. There you have it, my Portobello Mushroom Pizzas.

Note: Depending on the sauce you choose, this dish can be both gluten-free and vegetarian.

*E.V.O.O. is the acronym for Extra Virgin olive oil.

Pappardelle Alla Bolognese

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Blackberry Cobbler

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When we talk about cobblers, I think everyone has their own version. Growing up with this recipe, I believe this version is a true cobbler. My favorite is a Blackberry Cobbler.

Some cobblers have a biscuit topping, and some have a crumble topping. My Blackberry Cobbler is really easy to make and so delicious.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 to 50 minutes
Inactive Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 12 servings
Equipment: 1 (9 x 9) baking dish, 2 large mixing bowls, whisk

1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted and melted
6 cups of fresh blackberries
1 1/3 cups of granulated sugar (1/3 cup for blackberries)
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 cups of self-rising flour
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, room temperature and beaten
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
1 cup of whole milk, room temperature
2 tablespoon of Turbinado sugar

Note: Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature.

oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by lightly spraying a 9 x 9 baking dish with a butter-flavored non-stick cooking spray.

Add all the blackberries into a mixing bowl. To the blackberries, add 1/3 cup of granulated sugar, corn starch, and fresh lemon juice, stir to combine and set aside.

To make the batter, take another large mixing bowl, add self-rising flour, pinch of Kosher salt. 1 cup of granulated sugar, a beaten egg, good vanilla extract, and whole milk, whisk together until combined but still slightly lumpy.

Microwave the stick of butter until completely melted. Next, pour the melted butter into the baking dish.

Pour the batter carefully over the melted butter. Next, add the *macerated blackberries, into the batter, making sure the fruit is evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Sprinkle Turbinado sugar over the entire top of the unbaked cobbler. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. The fruit should be bubbly around the outside rim of the cobbler and the center will still be a bit loose. Transfer the cobbler to a cooling rack and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

I like to serve them warm cobbler with a scoop vanilla ice cream. My Blackberry Cobbler will keep the ones you love, coming back for more.

*Macerating: This process is similar to marinating-except your ingredient is going to be fruit instead of meat or vegetables. The process is simple: Fresh or dried fruit is splashed with or left to sit in a flavored liquid such as sugar and lemon juice.

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Puff Pastry Pear Tarts

Puff Pastry Pear Tarts


You know what my secret to a great dessert is? The answer, Puff Pastry.  Puff pastry is the best thing since sliced bread I mean it. I always keep a box in my freezer. Sweet or savory, you can make so many dishes using puff pastry.

For my Puff Pastry Pear Tarts, you can use apples with maybe some caramel sauce, really just anything that’s in season or that looks good to you.

Steve loves pears so that’s what I’m using here.

Start by taking a box of frozen puff pastry and thaw it overnight in the frig. You want to keep the dough cold.

Puff Pastry (2)


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Puff Pastry Pear Tarts (4)

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time for 2 tarts: 20 to 25 minutes
Cook Time for 4 tarts: 40 to 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yields: 4 tarts, 8 servings
Equipment: 4 rimmed baking sheet pans, parchment paper, chef’s knife, large mixing bowl, 1 (1-quart) saucepan, pastry brush

1 box of Puff Pastry, 2 sheets, thawed in refrigerator and cold
all-purpose flour
4 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick
1 lemon
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted
1/4 cup of light brown sugar, substitute dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of chili powder (optional)
1/4 cup of fig jam
2 tablespoons of water
4 tablespoons of Turbinado sugar

The night before transfer the puff pastry to the refrigerator and allow it to defrost or on the counter for about 1 1/2 hours.

Prepare The Puff Pastry:
Start by lining 4 rimmed baking sheets pans with parchment paper. Lay one sheet of the pastry out onto a lightly floured board. The tri-folded pastry sheet, when unfolded, has three equal parts. Cut directly down the center between the creases forming two equal 5″ x 7.5″ rectangles. Refer to the pictures above.

Transfer the pastry sheet to the lined baking sheet. Create a border using a paring knife to score (trace) a small rectangle on the puff pastry, (refer to the picture above) leaving a 1-inch border. Be careful not to cut all the way through the dough. The 1-inch border will puff up and be the edge of the tart. Use a fork to dock, or poke small holes in the center of the rectangle. Transfer the puff pastry to the refrigerator. Repeat this process making 4 puff pastry tart shells.

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Prepare The Pears:

Peel, halve, and core the pears. Set the pear, flat side down, on a cutting board, and use a chef’s knife to cut the 1/8-inch thick slices. Fill a large mixing bowl halfway with water. Slice a lemon in half, squeezing all the juice into the water. Toss the remains of the lemon into the water too. Transfer the sliced pears into the bowl of *acidulated water.

Shingle the pears laying them as close together as possible, make sure they stay inside the border.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 1 stick of butter, chili powder (optional), along with 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, stir to combine.

Take a pastry brush and brush the sugar-butter mixture over all the pears.

Place two of the baking sheet pans with the puff pastry pear tarts in the center rack of the oven, keeping the other two trays of prepared tarts, in the frig ready to follow when the first two come out of the oven. This will ensure they will bake evenly. Now, if you’re lucky enough to have duel ovens you can bake all 4 tarts at the same time. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown and the pears are tender. Once the first two tarts come out of the oven, replace them with the two from the frig.

While the tarts are baking, in a small saucepan, over low heat, melt 1/2 a cup of fig jam with 2 tablespoons of water, stir to combine.

When the tarts come out of the oven brush the fig jam over all the pears and over the edges of the tarts. Finally, sprinkle with Turbinado sugar all over the top.

That’s all there is to it. I’d say that’s pretty easy. Serve my Puff Pastry Pear Tarts with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

*Acidulated water is water where some sort of acid is added, often lemon juice.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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