Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Puff Pastry Wrapped French Brie Cheese With Strawberry Honey Jam And Walnuts

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.

2016-11-25-19-15-18

Puff Pastry (2)

2015-04-03-12-11-01

2015-10-12-07-48-52

2015-10-12-07-50-28

Puff Pastry

2016-11-28-13-26-23

Egg-Wash

2016-11-24-07-27-09

2016-11-24-08-18-56

2016-11-24-07-00-58

2016-11-24-07-00-31

2016-11-24-07-00-25

2016-11-24-07-26-51

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 Puff pastry, thawed
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
2 tablespoons of apricot jelly or jam
1 tablespoon of very hot water
5 inches of kitchen twine
Sanding sugar

Note: Remove the puff pastry, the night before, from the freezer, and transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw. The dough needs to be cold.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
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 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.

Italian Sausage, Asparagus, And Fontina Cheese Frittata Muffins

Stuffing Muffins

Leave a comment »

Scalloped Potato Gratin

2015-08-28 10.32.33

2015-08-28 10.31.18

2015-08-28 10.31.08

Making a Scalloped Potato Gratin is so easy and so incredibly delicious that you’ll want to make them all the time. The flavor options are endless. One of my favorite gratin potato dishes is to add roasted Poblano peppers. They give the dish a slightly smokey flavor.

Today, I’m making them with thinly sliced onions. Let me show you a few simple steps to making a Scalloped Potato Gratin.

2019-09-13 16.49.53

Onions

2015-08-28 09.14.14

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

2015-06-29-15-07-11

2015-03-30-13-48-15

Chives (2)

Chives (2)

2015-08-28 10.32.28

2016-05-01-17-06-24

2016-05-01-17-11-41

2015-08-28 09.14.18

2018-01-19 11.14.25

2015-08-28 09.14.23

2019-09-13 16.56.45

2015-08-28-09-18-15

2015-08-28 08.57.51

2019-07-26 13.05.36

Mac & Cheese (2)

2014-12-26-17-12-06

2016-10-13-15-43-03

2019-09-13 17.05.46

2015-08-28 09.02.19

2015-08-28 09.03.58

2015-08-28 09.03.28

2015-08-28 09.06.41

2015-08-28 09.15.59

2015-07-31 14.35.29

Off the heat, I add in some fresh chopped chives and freshly grated cheese to the sauce. Here I’m adding a mixture of grated white cheddar and some yellow cheddar for color. I’m saving some back for the top. this way the potato gratin will have a nice golden crust. I make sure to add the cheese in slowly to the sauce, mixing it with a wooden spoon, until all the cheese has melted.

2015-08-28 09.16.15

2015-08-28 09.14.18

2015-08-28 09.19.24

2015-08-28 09.26.03

2015-08-28 09.28.17

2015-08-28 10.32.28

2015-08-28 09.43.07

2015-08-28 10.31.18

2015-08-28 10.32.33

 

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes (includes the parboiling the potatoes)
Cook Time: 1 hour, uncovered
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) saucepot, 2 (3-quart) saucepans, 1 (9 x 9) 2-quart baking dish, box grater, Mandolin, Microplane

Ingredients:
5 cups (2-pound) bag of baby Yukon gold potatoes, parboiled and sliced 1/8-inch thick, 5 cups
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons of butter, unsalted, 3 tablespoons to grease the baking dish
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 cup of whole milk, warm
1 cup of half-and-half, warm
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated
3/4 cup of white cheddar, (Cabot) freshly grated
1/4 cup of Colby Jack cheese (Cabot) freshly grated, reserve 1/2 cup for topping
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated for topping
2 tablespoons of fresh chives, minced
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
First, generously butter the casserole dish.
Second, slice one large onion using a Mandolin and grate the cheese.
Third, parboil the Yukon gold potatoes until just fork tender.

Start by placing the potatoes into a large saucepot. Cover the potatoes with cold water. Over medium heat, bring the potatoes up to a boil. Once they are boiling, add 1 1/2 tablespoon of Kosher salt and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes. Take a paring knife and stick it into the center of one of the largest potatoes. If there is still some resistance removing the knife, that’s fine, turn the heat off. Drain and allow the potatoes to cool before slicing, around 10 minutes.

Note: Time may vary depending on the size of the potatoes.

Once the potatoes have cooled down enough to handle, use a Mandolin to slice the potatoes. Transfer the sliced potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat add half-and-half, whole milk, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Bring the liquid to the *scalding point. Turn the heat off.

In another saucepan over medium-low heat melt 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Once that’s melted, add the flour, Whisk the flour into the butter until paste-like and smooth. Add the warm milk mixture. The liquid will take on a pink hue from the cayenne and paprika. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, about 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t rush the process, you’ll know when the sauce has reached the perfect thickness when it coats the back of a spoon. Add the minced chives. Stir to combine.

Place a layer of the potatoes topped with half of the sliced onions. Pour half the milk sauce over the potatoes then top with half the cheese mixture. Repeat doing a second layer the same way, finishing with the remaining sauce and grated cheese mixture. Sprinkle the top with freshly grated Parmesan. Finally, add finely chopped flat-leaf parsley over the top. Bake for 1 hour until bubbly and golden brown. Allow the Scalloped Potato Gratin to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

*Scalded Milk is milk heated to a near boil. Small bubbles will start to appear around the rim of the pot.

1 Comment »

Pastitsio

Pastitsio (2)

Lately, I’ve been testing a couple of Greek Pastitsio recipes. Pastitsio, Greek-style lasagna is so delicious. Instead of just making one pan, It’s just as easy to make two. You can bet they’ll both get eaten.

Zitoni Lunghi a long tube-shaped pasta used specifically for Pastitsio. I used Bucatini in this dish because it is readily available at local grocery stores. I’d recently visited an International market, about 30 minutes from my home, and found the traditional pasta for this dish (pictures below).

I’m also going to make a few changes to this dish. As you know ground lamb is traditional for this dish. For my Pastitsio, I’ll be making a Bolognese-style sauce filled with vegetables, ground veal, lean ground sirloin, sweet Italian sausage, and a variety of Mediterranean spices. This is going to be a really hearty meat sauce.

Making Pastitsio is a labor of love and usually made on special occasions. There are three components to this dish, first the pasta, the meat sauce, and finally the Bechamel.

Let’s get started.

Pastitsio

2016-10-21 16.15.23

2016-10-21 16.15.32

2016-10-21 14.54.55.jpg

2016-10-21 14.54.49

2015-05-28-11-59-56

2015-05-28-12-00-16

2015-05-28-12-03-54

2015-05-28-12-05-57

2016-05-01-17-11-41

Olive Oil

2015-05-28 13.56.16

Onions

Photo Mar 30, 8 03 02 PM

Onion

2015-05-28 13.58.27

2016-10-21 12.04.01

2018-02-04 08.57.05

Frezno Chili

2020-08-14 14.00.25

2020-08-14 14.01.56

2020-08-14 14.03.15

2018-06-07 08.11.24

2020-08-14 13.49.14

2020-08-14 13.51.45-1

2016-10-21 12.17.00

Photo Mar 30, 8 09 45 PM

2016-10-21 12.27.44

2016-10-21 12.09.13

2016-10-21 12.43.51

2015-05-28 14.04.26

2016-10-21 12.53.37

2016-10-21 12.55.10

2016-10-21 12.48.19

2016-10-21 12.48.23

2018-06-23 05.18.43

2016-10-21 13.10.48

2016-10-21 13.26.50

Oregano

2015-01-12-12-39-44

Thyme

thyme (2)

2014-08-07-12-36-46

2016-10-21 14.58.58

2016-10-21 15.03.05

2016-10-21 15.03.01

2016-10-21 15.06.59

2016-05-01-17-11-41

2015-05-28 15.58.56

2015-05-28 16.01.21

2015-05-28 16.02.51

2019-06-07 13.00.13

2016-10-21 14.17.02

2016-10-21 14.12.16

2016-10-21 15.06.59

2016-10-21 15.12.37

2016-10-21 15.12.34

2016-10-21 15.32.24

2016-10-21 16.15.23

2016-10-21 16.15.32

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

2015-06-29-15-07-11

2015-03-30-13-48-15

Pastitsio

Pastitsio (2)

 

 

 

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Yields: 18 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot, 6-quart braising pot with a lid (Dutch oven) 3-quart saucepot, 2-9 x 11 deep-sided ceramic baking dishes, 10-cup food processor, 2 medium-size mixing bowls, 2 large mixing bowls, large slotted spoon, whisk, tongs

Ingredients For Meat Sauce:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large yellow onion, processed
1 red bell pepper, processed
1 yellow bell pepper, processed
1 Fresno chili, seeded and processed
1 Poblano pepper, seeded and processed
1 medium-size carrot, peeled diced and processed
5 cloves of garlic, processed
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 pound of ground sirloin (90% lean)
2 pounds of ground veal
1 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon
1 1/2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes with their juice
1 stick of butter, unsalted (reserve some for greasing the baking dish)

Ingredients For Bechamel Sauce:
2 cups of whole milk
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/2 a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
3 cups of Pecorino cheese, freshly grated (1 1/2 cups for the Bechamel, 1 cup to toss with the pasta, 1/2 a cup for the topping)
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
1 cup of Greek yogurt, room temperature
2 tablespoons of  Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, extra for garnish
2 pounds of Zitoni Lunghi (300 Ziti), substitute ziti

Directions:
Start with grating the cheese. Dice up the Pecorino cheese and add it to a food processor. Pulse until cheese is processed, as seen in the pictures above. Transfer the grated cheese to a small plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Set aside.

Next, is to prep all the vegetables.
First, remove all the seeds from all the peppers including the Fresno chili, then roughly chop. Set aside. Peel and roughly chop the garlic and onion, set aside. Peel and chop the carrot into 1 1/2-inch dice, set aside. Clean then quarter the mushrooms.

Start by processing the mushrooms, then the onions and garlic together, next, the diced carrots, and finally all the peppers. Transfer the processed vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a 6-quart braising pot (Dutch oven) over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the sweet Italian sausage. Break up the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon. Next, add the ground sirloin and ground veal. Stirring occasionally, allowing all the meat to brown until there is no longer any pink, around 20 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon to drain any excess fat, transfer the cooked meat to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Discard any fat left in the pot.

Using the same pot over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. To the oil add the dried oregano, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, allowing the spices to *bloom and become fragrant about 1 minute. Next, add the processed vegetables Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, stir to combine. Tun the heat up to medium-high, add the wine. Allow the wine to come up to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the wine reduces by half, 5 minutes.

Adjust the heat to medium, add the browned meat back into the pot, stir to combine. Add the crushed tomatoes with their juice. Stirring occasionally, simmer for another 45 minutes. Halfway through taste for seasoning. This is the perfect time to add a light sprinkling of Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper if needed. Once the sauce is done finish by adding fresh oregano and thyme leaves, stir to combine. Turn the heat off and cover to keep warm.

The next step is to *scald the milk/cream mixture.
In a 3-quart saucepot over medium heat bring the milk and heavy cream to just below the boiling point.

Making the *roux for the Bechamel sauce.
In a 6-quart pot over medium heat melt 1/2 a stick of butter. Add in the all-purpose flour vigorously whisking until the mixture becomes a paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don’t let it brown, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the scalded milk/cream mixture to the *roux continuously whisking. Bring to a boil. Switch to a wooden spoon, add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. Lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.

Add 1 full ladle of the meat sauce, stir to combine. Allow the Bechame sauce to cool completely.

Once the Bechamel has cooled, add the beaten eggs, the room temperature Greek yogurt, and 1 1/2 cups of freshly grated Pecorino cheese, whisk to combine. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Ziti (Zitoni) pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta really well.

Well, that’s the last of the components for this dish. Now it’s time to put this bad boy together.

Use half a stick of butter to butter both baking dishes, sides included.

For the first layer, divide and arrange the hot pasta (as seen in the picture above) equally between the two buttered baking dishes. Add 4 tablespoons of softened butter to the pasta. Using a pair of tongs, gently toss allowing the butter to coat all the pasta. Next, add the Pecorino cheese, once again, gently toss to coat. Repeat for the second baking dish.

For the second layer, (equally, divide) ladle the Bolognese sauce over the pasta.

For the final layer, (equally, divide) ladle the Bechamel sauce over the Bolognese.

Sprinkle a good helping of the freshly grated Pecorino cheese over the top of each dish. Transfer the baking dishes to the middle rack, in the oven, and bake for 1 hour until bubbly and the top forms a golden-brown crust.

Sprinkle freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley over the top.

Allow the Pastitsio to rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes to set before cutting.

Freezing Baked Pastitsio:
Let cool completely, wrap in foil, then again in plastic wrap really tightly. Label and date them so you can have Pastitsio any time you like. When you ready, place a pan into the frig to thaw overnight. Next, remove the foil and plastic wrap. Take a new piece of foil and lightly spray, the dull side, with a non-stick cooking spray.  This will prevent the cheese topping from sticking to the foil. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot all the way through. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until bubbly and the Bechamel top is lightly golden.

*Bloom is the process of gently frying them in oil and is a quick way to deepen their flavor.
*Roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces.
*Scalded milk is milk heated to just under the boiling point. This happens when you see small bubbles appear around the inner rim of the pot.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: