Baklava

Baklava

Photo and recipe credit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-symon/baklava-recipe-1972768

Ingredients

For the Baklava:
  • 1 pound pistachios and/or walnuts, coarsely ground, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1 cup ground zwieback crackers or breadcrumbs
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 sheets phyllo dough (thawed, if frozen), cut in half
For the Syrup:
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 6-to-8-ounce jar honey
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Combine the nuts, cinnamon and ground crackers in a bowl.

Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with some of the butter. Layer 10 pieces of phyllo in the dish, brushing each piece with butter before adding the next (keep the remaining dough covered with a damp towel). Sprinkle a quarter of the nut mixture over the dough. Layer 4 pieces of phyllo on top, brushing each with butter before adding the next; sprinkle with another quarter of the nut mixture. Add 4 more phyllo pieces on top, brushing each with butter, then add another quarter of the nut mixture, 4 more pieces of phyllo with butter, and the remaining nuts.

Layer the remaining 10 pieces of phyllo on top of the nuts, brushing each with butter; brush the top piece with extra butter. Cut into the baklava to make strips, about 1 1/2 inches wide. Then make diagonal slices, about 1 1/2 inches apart, to create a diamond pattern. Bake until golden, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the syrup: Bring the sugar, honey and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and boil 2 more minutes, then let cool slightly.

Pour the syrup over the warm baklava; let soak, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight. Garnish with nuts.

Photograph by Jim Franco

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Ina Garten’s Guacamole

Guacamole
Recipe and photo credit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/guacamole-recipe-1941497

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe Haas avocados
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 8 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced

Directions

Cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (You can use your hands.) Immediately add the lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

Pairs well with lager.

Pumpkin Pie Sangria

pumpkin sangria
Recipe and photo credit: http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a56371/pumpkin-pie-sangria-recipe/

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bottle white wine, chilled
  • 1 bottle sparkling cider, chilled
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin pie vodka
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. On a small shallow plate, combine sugar and pumpkin spice and mix to combine. Rim glasses with a piece of apple and dip glasses into mixture. Set aside.
  2. In a large pitcher, combine wine with cider and pumpkin pie vodka. Add chopped fruit and stir to combine. Pour into glasses and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Full English Breakfast

gordon-ramsays-healthy-full-english-breakfast
Photo and recipe credit: http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/512476/gordon-ramsay-s-healthy-full-english-breakfast

Ingredients

  • olive oil, to brush and drizzle
  • 4 portabello mushrooms, cleaned
  • 300g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 16 rashers of smoked back bacon
  • 8 large eggs
  • dash of white wine vinegar
  • 8 slices of rye bread, toasted

Method

  1. Preheat the grill to the highest setting. Half-fill a wide, shallow pan with water and bring to a simmer. Line a large (or two small) baking sheet(s) with foil, then brush over with a little olive oil.
  2. Trim the mushrooms, removing their stalks, then lay, cap side down, on the baking sheet. Place the vine tomatoes alongside. Drizzle over a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Lay the bacon rashers in a single layer on the baking sheet (the second one if using two). Place under the grill for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the bacon is golden brown around the edges.
  3. To poach the eggs, break each one into a cup or ramekin. Add a dash of vinegar to the pan of simmering water. Whisk the water in a circular motion to create a whirlpool effect. Gently slide the eggs into the centre of the whirlpool, one at a time, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Poach for 1 1/2 minutes if the eggs were at room temperature, or 2 minutes if they were straight from the fridge. The whites will have set but the yolks should still be runny in the middle.
  4. Divide the bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and rye toasts between warm serving plates. Carefully lift out each poached egg with a slotted spoon, dab the bottom of the spoon with kitchen paper to absorb any excess water and slide onto a rye toast. Grind some pepper over the eggs and serve at once.gordon-ramsays-healthy-full-english-breakfast

Kale, Apple, and Walnut Salad by Laura Vitale

kale salad

Photo and recipe credit: http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/recipes/kale,-apple-and-walnut-salad/

Ingredients

Dressing:

    •  1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    •  1 tsp of Whole Grain Mustard
    •  2 Tbsp of Champagne Vinegar
    •  1/2 tsp of Honey
    •  Salt and Pepper

For the Salad:

  • 1 Bunch of Kale, leaves removed from the stem and leaves cut into bite size pieces
  • 1Granny Smith Apple, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup of Toasted Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of Goat Cheese Crumbles
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preparation

1) To make the dressing, add all the dressing ingredients in a jar, close it tightly with a lid and shake for about 30 seconds, set aside.
2) Add the freshly washed and trimmed kale leaves to a large bowl, add about one tablespoon of olive oil and using clean hands, massage the kale (kind of scrunching it in your hands) for about 1 minute.
3) Add the slices of apple, toasted walnut, touch of salt and pepper and the dressing. Give everything a good gentle toss and right before serving, top with the goat cheese crumbles.