Recipes from BCNWNY Cooking Classes
Black Bean and Corn Chili in Phyllo Cups
1 small onion, chopped
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, or 2 tbs. canned diced jalapeno
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs. cooking oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 (14½ - 15 oz.) can Mexican style stewed tomatoes
½ cup beer
½ (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
½ tsp. each salt and pepper
Cook onion, jalapenos and garlic in oil over medium heat until tender but not brown. Stir in cumin and oregano. Drain stewed tomatoes, reserving juice. Set aside. Add juice and beer to onion mixture, bring to boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop tomatoes. Add tomatoes, black beans, corn, salt and pepper to onion mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes to 20 minutes, until most of liquid is absorbed (should be thick). To serve, spoon about 1 tbs. of warm chili into each phyllo cup. Top with sour cream and cilantro leaves, if desired. Serve immediately.
Yield: ~30 appetizers
Three-Onion Goat Cheese Tart
6 slices bacon, 2 c. diced onions,3 shallots, thinly sliced, ½ tsp. sugar, 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, 2 garlic cloves, pressed, ¼ tsp. coarsely ground pepper, ½ cup dry white wine, ½ pkg. frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed (1 sheet), 1 egg white, lightly beaten, 1 log (3.5 – 4 oz.) goat cheese, Additional fresh thyme sprigs, optional
Preheat oven to 400◦ F. Cut bacon into small pieces. Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon, drain on paper towels. Drain grease from pan, do not wipe out. Dice onions. Thinly slice shallots. Add onions, shallots, and sugar to the skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat 10-12 minutes or until caramelized. Add thyme, garlic, and black pepper, cook 1 minute. Add wine, stir to loosen brown bits from bottom of the pan. Cook 1-2 minutes or until onion mixture is dry. Remove from heat, stir in bacon and set aside.
Unfold puff pastry onto baking stone or cookie sheet. Lightly roll seams using a rolling pin. Cut the form into 3 strips. Separate strips on baking stone. Whisk egg white, and brush pastry with egg. Cut goat cheese in half crosswise and then slice in 1/8 inch slices. Place 4-5 cheese slices in a single row down the length of each pastry. Top with onion mixture. Bake 20-22 minutes or until tarts are deep golden brown.
Remove tarts from oven. Cut each tart into four squares. Cut each square diagonally in half, creating 24 triangles. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
Yield: 24 appetizers
Pears and Prosciutto on Grilled Bread
½ loaf wood fired bread
2 tbs. olive oil, for brushing
2 firm but ripe pears
10 thin slices prosciutto
4 oz. Roquefort or other blue cheese
Small arugula (rocket) leaves for garnish
Preheat broiler. Using a serrated knife, thinly slice bread, the trim into 20 serving sized pieces about 2 ½ inches square. Brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Place in broiler and toast on both sides until golden. 1-2 minutes.
Slice pears lengthwise and trim to fit bread pieces. Brush pear slices with oil, place in broiler to cook until slightly softened, about 1 minute on each side.
Cut prosciutto slices in half. Top each toasted bread slice with a prosciutto slices, a pear slice, and a little crumbled cheese. Garnish with arugula, if desired.
Yield: 20 appetizers
Baked Brie with Apples and Cranberries
½ c. apple, coarsely chopped
¼ c. natural almonds, sliced
¼ c. dried cranberries
1 tbs. brown sugar, packed
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 tbs. butter
1 (8 oz.) round Brie cheese
Canapé French bread toasted, or crackers
Preheat oven to 350◦ F. Combine apple, almonds, cranberries, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl; mix gently. Stir in butter, just until ingredients are moistened. Cut Brie in half horizontally. Place half Brie, rind side down on a small ovenproof pan. (You can shave some of the rind and it won’t be as bitter.) Spoon half of the apple mixture over top of ½ the Brie. Top with other half. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is soft and has just begun to melt. Serve with toasted Canapé French bread, or crackers.
Yield: Serves 10 as part of an appetizer buffet
Wild Mushroom Croustades
24 thin slices white bread
8 oz. white or brown mushrooms
4 oz. wild mushrooms
2 tbs. butter
1 large shallot, minced
¼ c. sherry or white wine
½ c. heavy (whipping) cream
2 tbs. chopped fresh Italian parsley (flat leaf)
1 tsp. fresh or ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg or ground nutmeg
2 tbs. freshly packed Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350◦ F. With a rolling pin, roll out each bread slice until thin. Using a 2½ inch round cutter, cut a circle of bread from each slice (save leftover bread for croutons or bread crumbs.) Snuggle the bread rounds into mini-muffin tins, pressing gently to mold into the cups. Back the bread until golden brown about 12 minutes. Set aside in a tin or container. Meanwhile, wipe the mushroom caps clean with a damp paper towel. Trim off the tough ends of the stems, and finely chop the caps and moist stems, by hand or in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the shallot, and stir 1 minute, until fragrant. Stir in the mushrooms, then cover and cook and mushrooms for about 3 minutes, or until they soften. Remove the cover and increase the heat to high, letting any liquid evaporate, and then pour in the sherry/wine. Boil for 30 seconds, and then stir in the cream, parsley, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season it with salt, pepper, and several gratings of fresh nutmeg (or a pinch of ground). Stir well.
Preheat the broiler and adjust the rack so it is about 4 inches from the heating element. Remove the bread cups from containers, and fill them evenly with the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle each with some Parmesan, and then place them on baking sheets. Broil until they are brown on top, about 2 minutes. Serve warm.
Yield: 24 appetizers
¼ c. heavy (whipping) cream
8 oz. raw chicken breast meat, cut into small dice
4 oz. prosciutto, cut into small dice
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper or more to taste
1 large egg yolk
2 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese, plus as needed for topping
1 tbs. chopped basil
1 tbs. chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp. salt
Boil cream in a small pan until reduced by half and reserve until needed. Sauté chicken in the oil until half done. Add the prosciutto and continue to cook until the prosciutto is thoroughly heated and chicken is thoroughly cooked through.
Add the reserved cream and black pepper, bring to a simmer. Temper the egg yolk in a bowl by adding about one-third of the hot cream, whisking constantly. Strain the egg yolk mixture into the chicken mixture, being careful not to boil.
Add the cheese, basil and parsley and season with salt. Put the croustade shells on a sheet pan and fill with chicken mixture; sprinkle with a little additional grated cheese and brown slightly under a broiler. Serve warm
Yield: 24 appetizers
Asparagus Fritatta Bites
1½ lbs. asparagus
6 eggs beaten (or egg substitute equivalent of 6 eggs)
8 oz. cream cheese
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
3 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbs. chopped fresh dill
1 tbs. chopped flat leaf parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven 350◦ F. Trim asparagus spears to 8 inch lengths. Line a deep, 8 inch square cake pan with parchment paper. Place asparagus in pan side by side, alternating tips and bases of stalk. Do not place layers at right angles to each other.
Pulse eggs, cream cheese, flour, Parmesan, dill, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Pour over asparagus. Bake in preheated oven until firm to the touch about 50-55 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool in a pan. Cut into 24 pieces.
Yield: 24 appetizers
Caprese Salad Sticks
24 cherry tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 baby bocconcini balls or fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes
24 small basil leaves
24 short bamboo skewers or toothpicks
Extra virgin olive oil for serving
Cut cherry tomatoes in half and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble, place a tomato half on a skewer, followed by a bocconcini, then a basil leaf and finally a second tomato half. Repeat with remaining ingredients and skewers.
Serve drizzled with olive oil.
Yield: 24 appetizers
Samosas are flaky pastries filled with spicy potatoes and peas. In traditional Indian cuisine, they are deep-fried (and that is still and option). But baking them works very well and is easier and more healthful. All components can be made well ahead of time. Finished samosas can be stored for days in the refrigerator or freezer. Make the Dipping Sauce while the Samosas bake.
2½ c. flour
½ tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk or yogurt
Extra flour as needed
2 large potatoes (the size of a large person's fist)
1 tbs. butter
1 c. finely minced onion
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs. freshly grated ginger
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. dried coriander
¾ tsp. salt
1½ c. uncooked green peas (frozen, thawed)
2 tbs. lemon juice
Cayenne, to taste
Place the flour in a medium-sized bowl. Mix in the salt. Make a well in the center, and add the buttermilk or yogurt. Mix first with a spoon and then with your hand, to make a smooth dough. Add extra flour, as needed, to keep the dough from being sticky. The dough will be quite soft. Knead in the bowl for about 5 minutes. Cover tightly and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the pastries.
Peel the potatoes and chop them into 1-inch pieces. Place in a saucepan, cover with water, and boil until very soft. Drain and transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Mash and set aside. While potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a heavy skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, coriander, and salt. Sauté over medium heat about 8 to 10 minutes, or until onions are quite soft. Add this to the mashed potatoes, along with the remaining ingredients. Mix well, but try not to smash the peas. Cool for at least 15 minutes before filling the pastries.
To Assemble and Bake:
Preheat the oven to 425◦ F. Generously oil a baking sheet. Keep a small container of flour, a fork, a small bowl of water, and a pastry brush close at hand. Flour a clean surface, and, one by one, roll 1-inch balls of dough into 5-inch circles, using a rolling pin. Place approximately 1½ tablespoons filling in the center of each circle, and fold over, just like a turnover. Brush the inside edges of each circle with a little water, and fold the edges together to make a small hem. Crimp the edges firmly with a fork. Note: If you are storing the samosas to bake later on, place them on a heavily floured plate or tray, dust the tops with more flour, and cover tightly. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until baking time.
Place the samosas on the oiled baking sheet. Brush the tops with oil. Bake 15 minutes at 425◦ F., then reduce heat to 375◦ F. and bake for 10 minutes more. For maximum crispness, turn the samosas over when you turn the oven down. Serve within 5 minutes of baking, with Dipping Sauce. A nice way to serve the sauce is in individual saucers or tiny bowls, so each person can hold both samosa and sauce directly under his or her face while eating, and the sauce bowl can catch the drips. (It does drip, but that's one of the charms of this ritual.)
Yield: 30-40 appetizers
For Sweet Dipping Sauce:
½ c. cider vinegar
½ c. water
3 tbs. brown sugar
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. 2) Heat to boiling, then let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. It will reduce slightly. 3) Serve warm or at room temperature with hot samosas.
For Mint-Cilantro Dipping Sauce:
3 to 4 cloves garlic
1 one-inch piece of ginger
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves removed from stems
1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves removed from stems
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and stem removed
1 tsp. sugar
Juice of 2 limes
1 tbs. water
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Mix all the ingredients in a food processor
For Yogurt Dipping Sauce (Raita)
2 c. plain yogurt or 2 c. Greek yogurt
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, finely chopped
3 tbs. chopped cilantro
3 tbs. chopped mint
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the yogurt, herbs, cucumber, lime zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper.
If not using Greek yogurt, place the yogurt in a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl and drain for 1 hour. Discard the liquid in the bowl. Place the drained yogurt in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Place, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour to cool and blend. Stir well and serve.
Mascarpone and Fruit Tartlets
2 shortcut pastry (ready-made pie crusts)
8 oz. soft mascarpone
6½ oz. blueberries, sliced
6½ oz. strawberries, hulls removed, sliced
2 tbs. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350◦ degrees. Place pastry on work surface and cut 24 rounds using a 2½ inch cookie (pastry) cutter. Line greased mini muffin pans with pastry rounds. Prick the dough with a fork, and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 10 minutes. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Remove the pans form the oven, and turn pastry cups onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
In a small bowl, beat mascarpone with a wooden spoon until smooth and pliable. Spoon 2 tsp. of mascarpone into each cup. Arrange berries attractively over mascarpone and dust with sugar just before serving.
Yield: 24 dessert appetizers
Bittersweet Chocolate-Orange Tartlets
2 shortcut pastry dough (ready-made pie crusts)
¾ cup heavy (whipping) cream
3 tbs. sugar
1 tbs. grated orange zest
6 large egg yolks
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finally chopped, melted
2 tbs. orange-flavored liqueur
Make 24 tart shells as in the “Mascarpone and Fruit Tart Recipe.” Preheat oven to 350◦ F
Combine the cream, 2 tbs. sugar, the orange zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and steep 5 minutes.
Blend egg yolks with the remaining sugar in a medium bowl. While whisking constantly, gradually add about one-third, of the hot cream mixture, into the yolks. Blend in the remaining hot cream. Add the chocolate and the liqueur to the orange custard mixture blending well.
Strain the custard in a small bowl. Divide the filling evening among the tart shells, filling them to 1/8 inch from the top.
Bake the tartlets until custard is soft but set, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Yield: 24 dessert appetizers
2 lbs. ground chuck
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbs. parsley, chopped
1 c. fine bread crumbs
1 tsp. garlic
½ c. milk
½ c. grated cheese
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Make into small meatballs. Fry on a low temperature until brown on all sides. (Or bake in oven.) Remove and drain. Add to sauce.
2 c. bottled chili sauce
¼ c. minced onion, sautéed in oil/butter until soft
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs. brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. paprika
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. water
Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, turn to low and simmer for 25 minutes.
Yield: ~50 small cocktail size (2 inch) appetizers
Spinach Phyllo Triangles
1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry.
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
½ bunch of green onions, chopped
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh dill, or 1 tbs. dried dill
Pepper to taste
Dash of nutmeg
1/3 pound of butter, melted
1 pound package of phyllo dough
Mix ingredients for filling. Open phyllo and unwrap dough. Working quickly, lay a sheet of phyllo on a cutting board or pastry board with the long side on the horizontal. Brush entire dough surface with melted butter. Place another sheet on top of first sheet and brush with more butter. Place a third sheet on top and brush with butter. Cut the sheet into one inch strips vertically.
Place a teaspoon of filling on bottom of strip and fold the strip over into a triangle covering the filling to the left, and the fold in a triangle to the right, repeating until you have reached the top. Do this for each strip. Place triangles on an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with more butter. Repeat layering three sheets of dough and butter, and roll with filling until all the filling is gone.
Bake at 400◦ F for 20 minutes or until brown. (Triangles can be frozen when made ahead and baked when ready; do not need to defrost first.)
Yield: ~ 25-30 appetizers
February 2011 Class
Cream of Carrot Soup
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1 medium potato, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 – 3 cups carrots, grated (about 8 carrots, scraped)
Sea salt or kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute equivalent
3 cups low fat or fat free chicken broth
1 cup fat free half and half
Cook potatoes and onions in margarine in a 2 quart saucepan for approximately 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Add salt and pepper. Add carrots and sugar. Cook for another 3-5 minutes until carrots start to soften a little. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook on a low light until all the ingredients are very tender. (Approximately 20-25 minutes.) Puree in a blender and return to pan (or use an immersion blender directly in the pan.) and keep on low heat. When ready to serve, heat soup to hot, and add half and half. Do not let the soup come to a boil once the half and half has been added.
Make Ahead : Soup can be prepared one day in advance without half and half. Reheat when ready, once hot, add half and half. Serve immediately.
Variations: Substitute ANY vegetable for carrots. Coarsely chop to make 2-3 cups of the vegetable. Good choices include: cauliflower, broccoli, fresh spring peas, asparagus, etc.
Serves approximately 4-6
Stuffed Portobello en Croute
2 whole Portobello caps (3-4 inches in diameter)
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed (Pepperidge Farm 17.3 oz package comes with 2 sheets)
4 ounces Roquefort or other crumbly blue cheese
1 cup cooked chopped spinach (thawed , well-drained frozen spinach is fine)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Brush the outside of the Portobello with a mushroom brush or a paper towel to get any remaining dirt off. Spray an oven proof 13 x 9 pan or a cookie sheet with cooking spray, place mushroom caps with the gills face up on sheet and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Mushrooms should start to soften and you should just be able to put fork tines through it. Once cool, paint the mushroom caps with a thin coat of hoisin sauce on the gill underside of the Portobello cap. Roll out the puff pastry with a rolling pin to about 6 x 6 inches. Divide the cheese and crumble into the middle of the puff pastry. Cover each pile of cheese with a Portobello cap, gill side facing up. Divide the scallions and spinach and cover each Portobello with the greens. Fold in the 4 corners of the puff pastry so they overlap to enclose the whole cap and stuffing. Turn the cap over, score lightly with a knife in a decorative pattern, and brush on some of the beaten egg. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet folded side down, decorative side up. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. (If the pastry is not browning in the center and you are worried the edges are getting too brown, you can cover with aluminum foil and let bake longer to brown further.) Serve immediately.
Serves 2 as a lunch entrée or as one dish in a dinner
or serves 4 as an appetizer (Note: Cut in half into triangles or again into 4 triangles.) Double or triple according to need. Make Ahead: Prepare pastry shell with stuffing. Refrigerate covered with plastic, until ready to serve, up to one day. Bring to room temperature. Score and brush with egg and bake. Source: Czarnecki, Jack. Portobello Cookbook. Artisan, 1997.
2 teaspoons mustard, preferably Dijon or Dusseldorf
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 head Boston lettuce, separated, washed , drained, and dry
2 pounds green beans or 10 ounces frozen extra fine green beans
2 green peppers
4 ribs of celery
1 pint cherry tomatoes or 3 – 4 quartered tomatoes
5 medium red-skinned potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced
3 cans (7 oz each) tuna in water, drained
1 2 ounce can flat anchovies (optional) drained
20 (about ¾ cup) black olives, preferably imported Greek or Italian
2 small or 1 large red onion, or Bermuda onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup finely chopped green onion
4 hard cooked eggs, cold, peeled and quartered
In a mixing bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, salt, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, pepper to taste, and thyme. Beat with a fork until well blended and set aside. Toss the lettuce leaves with a tiny amount of the vinaigrette and line the leaves in the large salad bowl, along the bottom and the sides. Pick over the beans and break them into one-and-one-half-inch lengths. Place in a saucepan and cook in salted water to cover until tender but crisp. Drain and run under cold water, then drain in a colander and set aside. Remove the cores, the seeds, and white membranes from the green peppers. Cut the peppers into thin rounds and set aside. Trim the celery ribs and cut crosswise into thin slices. There should be two cups of sliced celery. Set aside. In a the salad bowl, on top of the lettuce, make a more than less symmetrical pattern of the green beans, peppers, celery, tomatoes, and potatoes. Flake the tuna and add to the bowl. Arrange the anchovies, if using, on top and scatter the olives all over. Peel the onions and cut into thin, almost transparent slices. Scatter the onion rings over all. Sprinkle basil, parsley, and green onion. Garnish with hard cooked eggs. Toss the salad with the dressing after the garnished bowl has been presented to the guests for their enjoyment. Serve with a crusty loaf of French bread and soup for a hearty meal.
Serves 6 to 10.
Molten Chocolate Cakes with Sugar Coated Raspberries
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
8 ounces or 8 squares bittersweet (60 – 80%) chocolate, cut into small chunks
4 large eggs
½ cup sugar, plus a little more for coating the raspberries
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 half pint (about 6 ounces) fresh raspberries
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 450 F degrees. Line 8 cups of a muffin tin (with ½ cup capacity cups) with extra-large paper liners (they should extend above cups to facilitate removal; if papers are foil-lined, remove foil layer.) Coat papers with vegetables cooking spray.
Melt butter and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth, remove from heat. With an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, and salt in another medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat in egg mixture into chocolate, then beat in flour. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until batter puffs but centers are not set. 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand in the tin for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, flick raspberries with a little water. Roll in sugar to coat. Carefully lift cakes from tin and transfer to dessert plates, removing paper liners. Top each cake with sugared raspberries and serve.