Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Puff Pastry Wrapped With French Brie Cheese, Strawberry Honey Jam, And Walnuts-Thanksgiving Day Brunch


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This year I m making brunch for some friends. They’re going to be making the turkey, ham, and all the sides. I thought it be a nice gesture to bring them a couple of my special brunch items. I’m also going to bring my stuffing muffins to add to their dinner menu.

Most of the time people are always dropping by throughout the day, so I thought it be really nice if there were some food, set out for the hosts and guests, to munch on.

First, is my Puff Pastry Wrapped French Brie Cheese with Strawberry Honey Jam, and Walnuts. Second, my Mini Italian Sausage, Asparagus, and Truffle Fontina Cheese Fritattas. Finally were my Stuffing Muffins, filled with my sweet Italian Sausage, sweet golden raisins, celery, onions and fresh sage.

For this post, I’m going to share my recipe for my Puff Pastry Wrapped French Brie Cheese With Strawberry Honey Jam, And Walnuts.  The other two recipes will follow soon.

Equipment: baking sheet, pastry brush
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Oven Temperature: 400 degrees F.
Cook Time: 15 minutes or until golden brown

Ingredients:
1 sheet of cold thawed puff pastry
1-13 ounce ( 5 inch in diameter) Brie cheese wheel
3 tablespoons of strawberry honey jam ( or fig jam)
2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
egg wash- 1 beaten egg + 1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons of Apricot jelly
1 tablespoon of very hot  water
5 inches of kitchen twine
Sanding sugar

Directions:
Note: Remove the puff pastry the night before and place into the frig so it will be thawed but cold. Four your board and lay one sheet of puff pastry out. Roll the sheet out until it’s 1/8 inch in thickness. You want to make sure it’s large enough to cover the wheel of Brie and come together to be tied at the top. Refer to pictures above. Transfer the pastry carefully to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Lay the wheel in the center of the rectangle shaped pastry. Using a spoon, add the jam over the top of the cheese and spread to cover the entire top of the wheel. Next, sprinkle on the chopped walnuts.

Bring each of the sides up to the top collecting them to come together at the top center so it can be tied up like a package. Using the kitchen twine, tie the overlapping pastry at the top together. Using your fingers spread the pastry out where it meets together at the top for presentation.Trim the twine as close at possible so as not to see the string.

Brush the entire pastry package with egg wash. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes or until golden brown. In a small bowl, place the apricot jelly and hot water together. Whisk together until combined and there are no lumps. Once out of the oven, brush the glaze all over the outside of the pastry. Sprinkle sanding sugar liberally all over. Carefully cut the twine.

Let rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into. Serve with your favorite crackers

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Heirloom Tomato Salad


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The Heirloom Tomato goes back generations. When in season, you’ll see them in many colors as well as multi-colored. Unique because they are beautifully misshapen. If that wasn’t enough, they now come in cherry size! I love to have present them, in different ways. I’ll cut a few into wedges, and the cherry size I like to leave whole. It gives a beautiful contrast to the dish.

Bocconcini are small mozzarella cheeses shaped into small balls. They come in a container and the cheese in set in whey or water. They add a creaminess to the dish. To finish, fresh herbs, basil and tarragon.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:
4 heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
2 pints of heirloom cherry tomatoes
6-8 whole basil leaves
3 tablespoons of  chopped tarragon leaves
1 tub of Bocconcini drained and dried and seasoned
1-1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
E.V.O.O. to taste

Bocconcini Seasoning:
1 tub (18-20 ct.)  Bocconcini that have been drained and dried well
2 tablespoons of E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the seasoning of the Bocconcini. Place the drained, and really well dried, Bocconcini into the seasoning mixture and toss really well. In a large bowl add the tomato wedges, cherry tomatoes, and seasoned Bocconcini. Add the Kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped tarragon leaves. Toss everything together gently. Lastly, place the whole basil leaves throughout.

When plating, drizzle each serving with E.V.O.O. ( A splash of red wine vinegar is optional)

 

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Crispy Pork Belly


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Pork belly seems to be one of the most sought after cuts of meat. I think since the Iron Chef show brought this cut.to the forefront.  In restaurants today, it’s become the one of the hottest items to order. I mean, once you’ve ordered the pork belly, you’ll most likely always order it no matter the style it’s being served. I’ts that delicious!  I sometimes think we may be a little slow when it comes to trying new things. Many Asian cuisines, have for many years, implemented pork belly into a variety of their dishes.

I have a great and easy way to prepare this cut at home so it will come out tender, golden, with a crispy top. This recipe does not require scoring the skin in any way. This will allow you to slice it later and it will retain its integrity. I think it’s worth mentioning, that Shoaxing rice wine is available in most Asian markets today. If you adore Asain cuisine, and want to make awesome Asian dishes at home, Shoaxing rice wine should be a pantry staple.

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Yields: 10 large pieces
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 4 hours to overnight
Cook Time:  roughly 1 hour 10 minutes
Equipment: Roasting pan with rack

Ingredients:
2 pound pork belly
1 cup of Kosher salt

Marinade:
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup of Shaoxing rice wine
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
1/4 cup of orange juice
2 cloves of minced garlic
Directions:
Using a paper towel, pat the skin of the pork belly completely dry. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and then pour them into a rectangle style baking dish that’s just big enough to hold the pork belly.

Carefully place the pork belly into the baking dish making sure only the meat touches the marinate. The skin on the top must remain completely dry. If the marinade level is too high, then discard any extra by pouring some of it off. Place the baking dish with the pork belly and marinade into the frig for at least 4 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.. Completely line a roasting pan with foil. Pour an inch of water into the bottom of the pan. Place a wire rack on top to hold the pork belly.

Remove the baking dish with the marinated pork belly from the frig. While the pork belly is still in the baking dish, spread 1 cup of Kosher salt evenly over the fat cap of the pork belly as seen in the pictures above.  Next, transfer the pork belly onto the wire rack. The pork belly will cook above the water and the drippings will fall into the water.

Note: If one part of the pork belly is slightly lower or shorter on one side, use an oven safe item to prop up that side so the pork will cook evenly. Bake for around 40 minutes until the meat looks cooked through.

Remove the pan with the pork belly and increase the temperature to 470 degrees F. The salt should have formed a crust which you can easily remove. You’ll be able to see the pork belly, side by side, with the removed salted fat cap, in the picture above. Once the temperature of the oven has reached 470 degrees F., place the pork belly back into the oven and bake for another 30 minutes. The skin should be bubbly and crisp.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Crispy pork belly is a great appetizer and one I know you’ll make over and over.

 

 

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Burrata And Peaches


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This small bite is off the chain delicious. The one thing is it can use so many different ingredients, for example: I used Goji berries. Now these berries can be found at whole food markets,  where they specialize in organic ingredients. I store them in the refrigerator. They are packed with antioxidants and a great addition to any salad. You could of course substitute fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, even a few pistachios, whatever you like. The stars of this small bite are the peaches and Burrata cheese. I’m using frozen peaches today since peaches are not in season. Frozen peaches, along with other fruit, are packaged at their peak of freshness.

Yields: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: thaw overnight in refrigerator

Ingredients:
6-8 peach wedges
1/4 cup of baby arugula leaves
1 tablespoon of Goji berries (fresh blueberries or dried cranberries)
1 tablespoon chopped Pistachios- optional
1 teaspoon of finely diced Fresno chili- optional
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
a spritz of fresh lemon juice from 1 wedge of lemon
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
6 tablespoons of Burrata cheese
Kosher salt- to taste
Black pepper-to taste

Directions:
Start with 6-8 wedges of thawed frozen peaches on a plate, arranged beautifully. Next, add the Burrata cheese over the top in small spoonfuls. Then add the grated lemon zest, letting the zest flakes fall where they may. Gently drop the berries all over the dish so they fall nestling themselves throughout the dish. Then add the delicate baby arugula leaves. Finally, sprinkle with Kosher salt,  pepper, and a drizzle of Agave nectar. Right when you’re ready to serve, squeeze a wedge of lemon juice over the top.

Light and delicious, this small bite is another example of a few simple ingredients, yet still a roller coaster for your taste buds!

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