the recipe sharer

Archive: Nov 2012

Stilton, roasted fig and prosciutto tart in a pecan crust

Yield    1x  9″ tart

Creamy stilton, crispy prosciutto and luxurious balsamic glazed figs in a gluten free pecan shell.
A small slice makes a rich, decadent  and elegant first course.

For the crust
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 egg

For the filling
5 eggs
1&1/2 cups whole milk
4 oz Stilton cheese or your favorite stinky blue cheese!

For the figs and balsamic reduction
3 pint-sized baskets of fresh figs
1 cup plus 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp agave nectar or sugar
2 tbsp melted butter

For the garnishy goodness!
6oz prosciutto, chopped and crisped to a golden brown, divided
3 – 4 oz more blue cheese
1/2 cup caramelized onions.  You can use 2 onions, sliced and sauteed in olive oil with some herbes de Provence for about 30 to 40 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 375F
Trim the stems off the figs and cut them in half lengthways. Drizzle with 1 – 2 tbsp of balsamic and the butter and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, until the figs are just soft but still hold their shape. Set aside.
Keep the oven at 375F
In a food processor, pulse the pecans into a fine meal. Add the almond meal (if using), egg and maple syrup and pulse until a ball forms.
Press the dough into a tart pan with your fingers. It will be sticky but it should fill a tart pan evenly. Set aside.

Beat the eggs and milk until combined. Layer the tart with the caramelized onions and a handful of prosciutto crumbles. Pour the egg mixture into the tart shell. Crumble the 4oz blue cheese into the tart and bake for about 20 minutes or until the egg filling is puffed and golden.
Remove and let cool to room temp.

While the tart is baking, combine the cup of balsamic, agave (or sugar) in a small saucepan and bring to a light boil. Turn down the heat and reduce by half. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
When the tart is cool, arrange the roasted figs on top.
Top with the remaining prosciutto crumbles and additional blue cheese.
before serving, drizzle with the balsamic reduction.


Southern hash brown potato casserole

Serves 10 to 12
Preheat oven to 350F

Sometimes you have to post one of those really easy but delicious recipes. This one came from a work colleague, who also swears by it.

2lb bag plain frozen hash browns, thawed. (Julie uses the little square ones)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup (Campbells is a good one)
8oz sour cream
3/4  to 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 to 1 cup whole milk or half and half

2 -3 cups cornflakes, crumbled
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix all the ingredients except the topping in a large bowl and pour into a buttered casserole dish.
Mix the crumbled cornflakes with 1.4 cup melted butter. Add on top and bake for 50 minutes at 350F.
Let sit for 10 minutes then serve

Carrot and star anise puree

This is so unctiously creamy and different because of the gorgeous flavor of the star anise.
Serves 8

2 tbsp butter
2lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
small handful fresh tarragon leaves
4 whole star anise
1&1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
juice one lemon

Melt the butter in a large, shallow pan. Add the carrots, tarragon and star anise.
Slowly cook for 10 minutes until the carrots are glazed and starting to soften.
Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then simmer everything for 20 minutes until cooked and the stock has reduced.

Pour in the cream, bring back to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes more.
Remove from the heat, take out the star anise and stir through the lemon juice.
Season to taste, then blitz with a hand blender until it’s as smooth as possible. If you don’t have a hand blender, use a normal blender.

The puree can now be chilled or frozen, then gently reheated before serving


Brussel sprouts and butternut squash with warm maple mustard dressing

Brussels sprouts and butternut squash are simply roasted together and then tossed with a gorgeous and simple dressing of balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and grainy mustard for an easy and delicious Fall staple.

1lb brussels sprouts
1lb peeled, diced butternut squash, (about 1 inch dice)
1 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
leaves from 2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 400F

Toss the brussels sprouts and butternut squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed 9 x 13? baking sheet.
Roast for 35 minutes, turning twice, until the vegetables are tender inside and browned in spots on the outside.
Meanwhile, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, rosemary and garlic. (Or blend together in a small food processor)

When the vegetables are done, transfer to a serving bowl.
Drizzle with the balsamic mixture and toss to coat.
Serve immediately

Lamb stew with Medjool dates and Zinfandel

I have made this several times and it is always raved about. Tender lamb cooked with the sweetness of dates melted into the sauce to thicken and then the Zinfandel!

Serves 6 to 8

6 tbsp olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 1/2lbs leg of lamb, cut into 2 inch cubes
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups lamb or beef stock
1 cup chopped, pitted dates
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 cup dry, full bodied red wine or Zinfandel that you would drink.
1 cup crushed tomatoes
Juice and grated zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 350 F
Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the onions and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add carrots and saute for another 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Pat the meat dry. Place the flour in a large ziplock plastic bag and add salt and pepper to taste. Shake to mix. Place the lamb cubes in the bag and seal tightly. Shake the lamb until it is lightly coated on all sides with the flour.

Add 2 tbsp of remaining olive oil to casserole over medium heat. Add half of the meat and brown on all sides, 4 to 5 mins, transferring the browned meat to the bowl with the vegetables as they brown.
Add remaining oil, if necessary and brown remaining meat. Return the onion-meat mixture to the casserole.

Add the garlic, cumin, coriander and ginger and stir to coat the meat and vegetables, about 1 minute.
Add wine, stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil over high heat, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the dates and orange juice and zest and return to the boil.

Cover the casserole, transfer to the oven and bake for 1&1/2 hours or until the meat is tender. Don’t overcook!
If the sauce is very thin, remove the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and boil the sauce so it reduces and thickens. I didn’t need to do this as the dates thickened the sauce very well.
Return the meat and vegetables to the casserole and season to taste.
Transfer to a serving platter if you like and garnish with the fresh parsley and cilantro.
Serve immediately.