Advertisements

Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Puff Pastry Wrapped French Brie Cheese- Thanksgiving Day Brunch

2016-11-24-09-14-09

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

Most of the time, people are always dropping by throughout the day.  I thought it would be really nice if there were food there that could be served at room temperature.

First, my Puff Pastry Wrapped French Brie Cheese with Strawberry Honey Jam and Walnuts.

Second, are my Stuffing Muffins, filled with my sweet Italian Sausage, golden raisins, celery, onions, and fresh sage.

Finally, are my Mini Italian Sausage, Asparagus, and Truffle Fontina Cheese Frittatas.

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.

2016-11-24-07-26-51

2016-11-24-07-00-58

Puff Pastry Wrapped French Brie Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes or until golden brown
Total Time: 20 minutes
Equipment: a rimmed baking sheet pan, pastry brush

Ingredients:
1 sheet of cold, thawed puff pastry
1 13-ounce (5 inches 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 or jam
1 tablespoon of very hot  water
5 inches of kitchen twine
Sanding sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Note: Remove the puff pastry, the night before, from the freezer, and transfer it to the refrigerator. The dough needs to be cold but completely thawed.

On your board, lay out one sheet of puff pastry. 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 the 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 as 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, whisk together the apricot jelly and hot water together until there are no lumps. Once the pastry is out of the oven, brush the apricot glaze all over the outside of the pastry. Liberally sprinkle sanding sugar all over. Carefully cut the twine.

Needs to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into. Serve my Puff Pastry Wrapped French Brie Cheese with your favorite crackers.

Stuffing Muffins

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey

2015-11-30 14.22.38

2015-11-30 16.34.18

This is my traditional turkey recipe and the one my family insists on year after year. My Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey. Echoing those flavors, I finish, with a Maple Bourbon Gravy.

The brining process starts 24 hours before the bird goes into the oven. There are three parts, all of which are necessary, to have the most flavorful, juicy, and tender turkey you’ll ever have. It’s really all in the planning.

Before starting the whole brine process, the turkey must be completely thawed. My recipe is listed in 3 parts. Part 1 is the brine. Part 2 is the prep of the turkey for the oven. Part 3 is cooking the turkey and making the gravy.

 

Part 1. The Brine
Prep Time: 40 to 45 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 24 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 to 10 minutes
Equipment: 1 8-quart plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, 1 large stockpot

Ingredients:
12-pound turkey
2 quarts water
2 orange peels
1 lemon peel
3 cloves of smashed garlic
1/4 cup of Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups of bourbon
1 1/2  12-ounce bottles of pure maple syrup
15 sprigs of thyme  (no need to strip leaves)
1 large sprig of Rosemary ( no need to strip leaves)
5 bay leaves (dried)
2 tablespoons of tricolor peppercorns
1 1/2 cups of organic apple juice
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

Directions:
Prep all the ingredients for the brine including measuring out the water. Place all the ingredients listed above in a large stockpot. Turn stove on medium-high heat and bring everything up to a boil, 7 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat source. Let the brine cool down, then place it into the frig, uncovered to chill, for around 30 to 35 minutes or until completely cool.

Remove turkey from its packaging and remove the neck and innards from the cavities of the bird. The only part I keep is the neck to make turkey stock from. I’ll tell you about that in a minute. Completely pat dry the turkey really well. Place the bird into the brine container and back into the frig until the brine liquid has cooled.

Once the brine is ready and completely cooled, take the turkey in the brine container out and pour the liquid over the bird. The bird should be completely submerged in the liquid. Place the lid on and refrigerate for 24 hours. A quick note: Take notice on what time you place the bird into the brine. This will give you an idea of when the bird will be going into the oven. Allow an extra 20 minutes for rinsing the brine off the bird and letting it soak in clean water for 15 minutes. This will remove any extra salt flavor still on the bird. Then once again you will need to dry the turkey completely before part 2.

 

Part 2. Prepping Turkey
Prep Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Total Time: approx. 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time: approx. 3 hours
Equipment: Roasting pan with rack

Ingredients:
1 stick of softened unsalted butter
zest of an orange
zest of a lemon
2 cloves of grated garlic
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons plus 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 onion, skin on and quartered
1 head of garlic cut in half lengthwise
10 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
2 quarts of unsalted chicken stock- generally 2 cups (enough to fill the bottom of the roasting pan with liquid, having the level of liquid about 1 inch high). 1 quart is used to make the turkey stock

Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
Once the bird has come out of the brine and well dried, it’s time to make a *compound butter for the turkey. In a medium-size mixing bowl prepare the *compound butter. Add softened butter, the zest of both the lemon and orange, freshly grated garlic, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, mix to combine. Moving on, release the bird’s legs from their packaging position as you see in the pictures.

With my clean hands, lift up the skin on the breast area and slather as much of the butter underneath the skin as possible. Reaching as far around with breaking or tearing the skin. Next, I fill both cavities of the bird with flavorings.

Next, cut the same lemon and orange that have already been zested, in half, placing half of each one into each of the cavities. Same with the halved head of garlic, and the quartered onion in both cavities. Finally, divide the sprigs of herbs up and place them into both cavities.

Now I rub the compound butter underneath the skin, reaching as far as you can without breaking the skin. Next, rub the olive oil all over the outside of the bird. Then sprinkle the  Kosher salt and black pepper all over the turkey. Finally, add the 2 cups of broth to the bottom of the roasting pan.

Part 3. Cooking Turkey:
Reduce oven temperature to 350-degrees F.

Place the turkey on the center rack in the oven. Every 30 to 45 minutes remove the turkey from the oven. Close the oven door to keep the heat in, and baste the turkey, using the juices from the bottom of the pan. About halfway through the cooking process, take the temperature of the turkey using a meat thermometer. Place the thermometer between the thigh and the breast meat for the best reading. This allows you to see how fast the bird is cooking and to gauge the time better. If you see the top is browning to quickly, place a foil tent over the turkey for the time remaining. Keep in mind,  you still need to baste the turkey every 30 to 45 minutes. Once the turkey’s temperature reaches 165-degrees F. around 2 hours 40 minutes, take the bird out of the oven.

While the turkey is in the oven, this is what I’m doing on top of the stove.

 

Equipment: 5-quart saucepot, fat separator

Ingredients For Turkey Stock:
Turkey neck
1 quart plus 2 cups of unsalted chicken stock
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Ingredients For Maple Gravy:
1 turkey neck
3 tablespoons of bourbon
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
12 sage leaves (reserve 4 leaves chopped for the finished gravy)
1 1/2 cups of homemade turkey stock
1 cup of unsalted chicken stock
3/4 stick of unsalted butter
3/4 cup of flour
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Part 3 Continues.
Directions For Turkey Stock:
In a large saucepot add the turkey neck and cover with 1 quart of unsalted chicken stock, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and 3 sprigs of thyme. Turn the heat up to med-high heat, bring this up to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer, cover, and cook, on medium-low heat, for 1 /1/2 hours.

Once finished, strain the liquid, using a mesh sieve, over a bowl to catch this delicious stock. Now I have a container of turkey stock along with a container with my leftover unsalted chicken stock (remember I only used 2 cups for the bottom of the roasting pan) to make my gravy.

At this point, remove the bird from the pan. I like to tilt the bird slightly over the roasting pan so that any juices that are in the cavities will fall to the bottom of the pan. Place the turkey on a large board and cover with foil until you’re ready to carve. Leave all the ingredients, in the cavities.

First, add 8 sage leaves while the juices are still really hot. Allow the sage to steep in the juices for a couple of minutes, then remove them. I use one of those gadgets that separate the fat from the juices that accumulated in the bottom of the roasting pan. I discard the fat and pour the juices into a bowl.

I return the empty roasting pan to the stove, over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup of the homemade turkey stock, I made earlier. Scraping the bits off the bottom (*deglazing) until they all release. I combined these juices with the pan juices in the bowl. Now my pan juices have no fat but the extra flavor from the bits that came off the bottom of the pan.

Start by making a *roux for the gravy.
Working with a clean roasting pan again, over medium heat. Add butter, let the butter melt before adding the flour. Whisking continuously until all the raw flour has cooked out. Next, add the pan juices (I reserved in the bowl) along with bourbon, maple syrup, chicken stock, and the turkey stock. I turn the heat back up to medium-high, still whisking, and let all those ingredients come up to a bubble and thicken. I also add in the reserved chopped sage leaves for color and flavor in the gravy.

This is my Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey With Maple Bourbon Gravy.

*Compound Butter is a mixture of butter and other supplementary ingredients, such as herbs, seasonings, acid or and other flavorful and aromatic ingredient. Used to enhance flavor.

*Deglazing is a cooking technique for removing and dissolving browned food residue from a pan to flavor sauces, soups, and gravies.

*Roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour using in making sauces.

Leave a comment »

Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash With Italian Sausage And Pears

 

2015-10-19 15.07.03 (2)

My favorite part of any stuffing is the crunchy and caramelized topping that occurs in the last minutes of cooking. How the croutons become golden brown, the pears release their sugars and glisten from that slight char and the crunchy exterior of the sweet Italian sausage. Yet inside, the stuffing is soft and flavorful. What I’m describing is my Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash With Italian Sausage And Pears.

Let me start by telling you how by roasting these beautiful winter squash I bring their flavor before filling them with savory sausage and sweet pears.

Here I have two types of acorn squash. I cut the tops off first, then remove the all the seeds carefully not to dig too far in and disrupt the inside bottom of the squash. Cut a small slice off the bottom. You want the squashes to sit upright while roasting.

2015-10-08 17.55.17

2015-09-28 04.31.32

Sage.JPG

2015-10-19 11.57.35

2015-10-19 11.23.38

2015-10-19 11.22.05

2015-10-19 11.22.03

For the veggies and herbs, I have diced cremini mushrooms, zucchini, celery, onions, Bosc pears, minced garlic, and chopped fresh sage. It’s important that all the veggies are relatively cut the same size. This way they will cook and be done at the same time.

In a large saute pan, on medium heat,  I have two tablespoons of butter along with a tablespoon of olive oil. Once that’s melted I add in the chopped sage leaves. This allows them to release their oils and perfume the butter and oil. Once you start to smell the sage it’s ready to add in the other ingredients.

2015-10-19 11.26.04

I then toss in all the veggies, with a tablespoon of Kosher salt and a teaspoon of black pepper. I let them saute, on medium-high heat long enough to get some color on them. This should only take about 5 to 7 minutes. As the veggies are sauteing, I work on cutting up 1/2 a loaf of Ciabatta bread into cubes. The cubes are about 1-1/2 inches in size. Because I got a head start roasting the acorn squash, this allowed the oven to be freed up.

Now that the oven has been freed up and the acorn squash is resting on the sidelines. the sausage has been cooked. The veggies are sauteing on the stove. The Ciabatta has been cubed up and the temperature to the oven is still at 400 degrees F. Drizzle some olive oil all over the top, with a sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper. Spread them out in a single layer onto two baking sheets. Place them into the oven a bake for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them. You just want them to be a light golden brown.

Once all the veggies have sauteed, I add the sausage to the veggies with some chili powder and the diced pears. I saute this for just a couple of minutes together allowing the flavors to marry. About 3 to 5 minutes more.

At this point, I transfer all the ingredients to a bowl and add some Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese and the baked croutons. I gently give all this a toss to combine. Now both squashes are ready to be stuffed.

One final step. They get a drizzle of olive oil over the top of each one and go back into the 400-degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Just long enough to get the tops golden brown and caramelized.

I know it’s a few steps to pull this dish together. Really all the steps are easy. It’s just a matter of having all the prep done and roasting the acorn squash first. I’ll explain in more detail in the directions at the end.

2015-10-19 15.07.03 (2)

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, 4 rimmed baking sheet pans, Chef’s knife, small mixing bowl, whisk, pastry brush

Ingredients:
4 acorn squash that has been seeded and tops and bottoms cut
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar

Ingredients:
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, bulk or casings removed
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 diced Bosc pears
1 diced zucchini
6 cremini mushrooms, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
2 ribs of diced celery
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 heaping cups of  Ciabatta croutons, 1 /1/2 inch dice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Start by cutting the tops off the 4 squash. Next, clean the seeds out of the inside. Then cut a thin slice off the bottom of each one so they will sit upright on the baking sheets. Place 2 on each sheet tray. On the inside of each acorn squash add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until fork-tender. In a small mixing bowl with melted butter add chili powder and brown sugar, whisk to combine. Brush the inside of each squash with the flavored butter mixture and return to oven for another 5 to 7 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on the squash for the last few minutes of cooking. You don’t want them to burn. Remove the squash from the oven and allow them rest for 5 minutes before adding the stuffing.

For the stuffing, I’m starting by browning off skinless sweet Italian sausage. I break up the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon. With the stove on medium-high heat, I let the sausage saute until it is fully cooked. I want it to be brown and crumbly. This takes about 15 minutes. then I place the cooked sausage on a plate lined with a paper towel so it will be able to drain off any excess fat. While this is happening I start working on chopping the veggies up that will be going into the stuffing.

 

 

After the squashes are in the oven, brown off the sausage. The sausage takes about 15 minutes to be fully cooked and crumbly. While the that’s happening, chop the veggies for the stuffing. Transfer the sausage to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.

At this point, set the stove to medium heat, add the butter, olive oil, and chopped sage leaves to a large saute pan. Start sauteing the veggies with the chili powder, salt, and pepper. Once the veggies have started to soften, then add in the diced pears. This should take 5 to 7 minutes.

As the veggies are sauteing, cube up half the loaf of Ciabatta bread. Place them on two baking sheets. Drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper.

Transfer the cooked sausage and veggies to a large bowl. To the bowl add in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Remove the squash from the oven and place the bread cubes in at the same temperature for another 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. You just want crunchy golden croutons.

Once they come out of the oven, add them to the bowl with the other ingredients. Gently toss everything together and fill the acorn squash with the stuffing. I usually have a little leftover, that I place into a small ceramic dish. It can go into the oven with the squash. Place everything back into the 400-degree oven for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the tops are a nice golden brown.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: