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Italian Sausage, Asparagus, And Fontina Cheese Frittata Muffins

Mini Sausage, Asparagus, And Truffle Fontina Cheese Frittatas

Today’s the day to clean out my refrigerator. I have quite a few eggs, ricotta cheese, and part of orange bell pepper on hand. Making a frittata makes perfect sense.

I’m doing Italian Sausage, Asparagus, And Fontina Cheese Frittata Muffins.

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Mini Sausage, Asparagus, And Truffle Fontina Cheese Frittatas (2)

Ricotta

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Chives (2)

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 24 frittatas
Equipment: 2 (12-cup) muffin tin pans, large mixing bowl, whisk, box grater, non-stick cooking spray, 12-inch sauté pan

Ingredients:
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
12 large eggs,
1 cup of ricotta cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of half-and-half
1 1/2 cups of Truffle fontina cheese, freshly grated (reserve 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package of thawed (Birds Eye Steam Fresh) frozen asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces sliced on the bias
1/4 cup of orange bell pepper, fine dice
2 tablespoons of fresh chives, finely minced
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by spraying both muffin tin pans with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl break a dozen eggs. Add ricotta, half-and-half, Kosher salt,  and fresh ground black pepper whisk to combine. Add freshly grated fontina cheese whisk to combine. Next, add the fresh chives, thyme, and asparagus, stir to combine. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat add the sausage. Using a wooden spoon break up the sausage. Stirring occasionally, cook until no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the finely diced bell pepper, stir to combine, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Combine the cooled sausage mixture with the egg mixture, stir to combine. Fill the muffin cup halfway with the frittata mixture. Sprinkle the reserved grated fontina evenly of the tops of each frittata. Bake until the eggs are just set, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the Italian Sausage, Asparagus, Fontina Cheese Frittata Muffins to cool before running a rubber spatula around the outside of each one to ensure easy removal.

Transfer to a large serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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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.

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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

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Lobster Mac & Cheese

2016-10-13-17-48-42

I’m pretty confident in saying, Mac and Cheese is the favorite comfort food for people of all ages. There are so many recipes out there from the classic version to endless variations of the classic. Chorizo and smoked Gouda, or how about butternut squash mac and cheese! The one I like to serve when entertaining is my Lobster Mac And Cheese. The lobster adds a delicate sweetness along with a variety of delicious cheeses and a flavorful crunchy topping complete the perfect recipe for Lobster Mac & Cheese.

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Parmesan Cheese

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Prep Time: 1 hour (the time it takes to cook the lobsters for the casserole)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 16-quart stockpot, 2 6-quart saucepots, 9 x 13 casserole dish, 2 large mixing bowls, colander, Microplane

Ingredients:
4 cups of lobster meat, large dice (equivalent to approx. three 1 1/2 lb lobsters)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted, (4 tablespoons for greasing the baking dish)
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
4 cups of whole milk, *scalded
1 teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of corn (optional)
1 cup of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of Brie cheese, without the rind, diced
2 cups of Fontina cheese, freshly grated (reserve 1 cup for the top)
1/2 cup of Sargento Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 tablespoon of fresh chives, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of tarragon leaves, chopped
2 (16-ounce) packages (2 pounds) of cooked Paccheri Rigati, just under al-dente ( large rigatoni shaped pasta, substitute rigatoni)

Topping:
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
3/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

Notes:
Note: For a 1 1/2 pound lobster, cook time is 15 to 20 minutes.
Note: They need to be a vibrant red color when fully cooked.
Note: I prefer to cook lobsters one at a time.

Directions:
Start by buttering a casserole dish.

Directions, How To Cook A Lobster:
Bring a 16-quart pot (a little over half filled) of well-salted water up to a rapid boil. Drop the lobster into the pot, quickly place the lid on. Using a towel, hold the lid in place for just a minute, giving the water a chance to come back up to a boil,  then start the cooking time. After about 15 to 20 minutes, remove the lobster from the pot and set aside to cool. Repeat this process two more times.

Boil 16 ounces (1 pound) of pasta just before the al dente stage, about 8 to 10 minutes, and drain. The pasta will finish cooking during the baking process.

Remove the lobster meat from the tails and claws. Chop the lobster meat into large chunks and place into a bowl.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
In a large saucepot melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Continuously whisking the flour and butter to form a *roux. Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes blond in color and paste-like, about 2 minutes. Again continue whisking while slowly adding the (*scalded) hot milk. Continue to whisk as the sauce thickens. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Sprinkle in the grated nutmeg, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, continuously whisking until sauce becomes thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, switch to a wooden spoon, stir in the chopped tarragon, finely chopped chives, grated cheeses, and corn (optional). Last, add the cooked lobster meat. Mix to combined.

Add the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce stirring gently not to break up the pasta. Pour the entire mixture into the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle the reserved Fontina cheese evenly over the top.

For the crumb topping, add the melted butter to the Panko bread crumbs. Mix in the Italian flat-leaf parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Allow the casserole to rest for 15 minutes before serving. This is my Lobster Mac & Cheese.

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

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

How To Cook and Open A Lobster

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