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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- A Thanksgiving Day Brunch

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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 MiniItalianSausage, Asparagus, and Truffle Fontina Cheese Frittatas.

Finally, were my Stuffing Muffins, filled with my sweet Italian Sausage, 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 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
1 tablespoon of very hot  water
5 inches of kitchen twine
Sanding sugar

Directions:
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. 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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Lobster Mac And Cheese

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I’m pretty confident in saying, Mac and Cheese is a 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, and then complimented by a variety of awesome cheeses that go into my recipe. Let me show you how I make my Lobster Mac And Cheese.

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Equipment:
16 quart stock pot, 9 x 13 casserole dish
yields: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:
4 cups of lobster meat, large dice (approx. 3- 1 1/2 lb lobsters)
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
4 cups of whole milk
1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup of corn (optional)
1 cup of Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup of Brie cheese, without the rind
2 cups of shredded Fontina cheese ( reserve 1 cup for the top)
3 tablespoon of freshly finely chopped chives
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped tarragon
2-16 ounce packages of cooked just under al-dente Paccheri Rigati ( large rigatoni shaped pasta)
Topping:
4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:
Butter casserole dish.
For 1-1/2 pound lobsters, cook time is 15-20 minutes. Note: They need to be a vibrant red color when fully cooked.

Directions On How To Cook A Lobster:
Note: I prefer to cook lobsters one at a time.
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 15-20 minutes, remove the lobster from the pot and set aside to cool.

Boil 16 ounces of pasta just before the al dente stage, and drain. the pasta will finish cooking during the baking process.

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

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Next, to make the cheese sauce, melt the butter whisk in the flour in a large saucepan. Cook for 1 minute over medium, heat. Slowly add in the whole milk. Sprinkle in the grated nutmeg, Kosher salt, and black pepper, continuously whisking until sauce becomes thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped tarragon, finely chopped chives, cheeses, and (optional) corn. Last, add in the cooked lobster meat. Mix until all ingredients are well 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 35-40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

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Roasted Pesto Pork Sandwiches With Rosemary And Garlic Potato Wedges

Pesto Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Rosemary Garlic Potato Wedges

When I thought about what would make the ultimate sandwich, I knew sliced Roasted Pesto Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches would be perfect. To have alongside the sandwiches, my Rosemary And Garlic Potato Wedges.

I’m a huge fan of fresh basil pesto, recently available in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. The name of the brand is called Buitoni Pesto. Now, I love to make my own pesto, when I have time, but for a weeknight meal, this store-bought fresh pesto works in a pinch and it’s really delicious.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, cast iron skillet, 12-inch sauté pan, large mixing bowl
Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 pork tenderloin, cut in half
4 strips of bacon, cut in half, cooked
4 tablespoons of basil pesto, a 7-ounce container of Buitoni Pesto
6-small red-skinned potatoes (or Red Bliss potatoes) skins on, cut into wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
2 clove of garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf of Cuban bread
1/4-pound of Deli-sliced Fontina cheese sliced in half, diagonally
2 large heirloom tomatoes, thick slices
1/2 a red onion, half moons thinly sliced
1 cup of arugula, divided
1/2 stick of softened unsalted butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Carefully place the 4 strips of bacon, that had been cut in half into the hot skillets. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side then flip and brown the second side. Time may vary depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Turn the heat off and transfer the bacon onto a plate lined with paper towel. Set aside.

Start by cutting the tenderloin in half. Place the two halves onto a baking sheet. Spoon on 2 tablespoons of the pesto on each half. Massage the pesto all over the pork, transfer to the frig to marinate for 1 hour.

While that’s happening cut the potatoes into wedges, lay them out onto a baking sheet add a 1/4 cup of olive oil, fresh chopped rosemary leaves, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh black pepper. Using your hands toss the potatoes so everything is coated well with the oil, rosemary, and seasonings. Spread the potatoes into one even layer. Transfer the potato wedges to the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Halfway through, turn the potatoes to ensure they’ll be golden brown on both sides. Immediately sprinkle the hot potatoes wedges with Kosher salt to taste.

When the potatoes are 3/4’s of the way done cooking remove the pork from the frig and bring to room temperature.

Once the potatoes are in out of the oven, leave the oven at the same temperature, The pork will take no longer than 11 minutes to cook or an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Adjust the oven temperature to 350-degrees F.

Cut the Cuban bread in half and then again in half lengthwise. Slathered both sides with butter, place them onto a baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until a light golden brown. Once the bread comes out of the oven spread one side of each half with the remaining pesto. Next, add the arugula, the sliced pork, then the bacon, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, and finally the Fontina cheese. Place the top on and slice in half on the bias.

There you have it. The ultimate pork sandwich with roasted rosemary, garlic potato wedges!

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