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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shavuot is coming 2

I promised more dairy recipes for Shavuot.  Sorry about the lack of pictures for the next one.  I was sure I had some in my archives, but I searched to no avail.  Trust me, it is as good looking as it is delicious.

Savory Cheesecake with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Herbs (D)

Makes a wonderful main course when served with a salad or a fantastic appetizer.

Makes at least 12 servings

For the tomatoes:
1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
6 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained with 2 tablespoons of the oil reserved
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pecans
For the cheese cake:
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon melted butter
24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature and cut into pieces or 16 ounces cream cheese and 8 ounces mascarpone
1/2 cup sour cream, if using mascarpone, use only ¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon flour

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Butter a 9” x 2” cake pan and line with parchment paper.
Prepare the sun-dried tomato mixture:
Place the basil, sun-dried tomatoes and their reserved oil, garlic, Parmesan and pecans in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until the mixture is well blended and almost smooth.  Set aside.
Prepare the cheese cake:
Place the cream cheese, sour cream, thyme, salt, pepper, eggs and flour in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until the mixture is smooth.
Butter the top of the parchment in the prepared cake pan and sprinkle the pecans over the top.  Press into the butter.  Pour half the cheese cake mixture over the pecans.  Spoon the sun-dried tomato mixture evenly over the cheese cake mixture.  Spread the remainder of the cheese cake mixture over the sun-dried tomato mixture.
Bake the cheesecake in the center of the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes.
Allow the cheesecake to cool in the pan on a rack and refrigerate, covered loosely for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.  (Will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.)
To serve, run a knife around the side of the pan to loosen the cake, invert onto a serving platter, nut side up.  Garnish with basil leaves and smoked salmon curls.

I know you will really enjoy this.  Serve it with a nice mixed leaf lettuce salad dressed simply with freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.

Another Shavuot installment coming soon.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shavuot is Coming!

Passover is over.  The matzo crumbs are just a fond memory, or not.  The chumetz is back and our thoughts about food travel forward a month to Shavuot.  Dairy!  What to make that is not boring or the usual.
Well, I have a few ideas about that.
For my first Shavuot posting, I have a couple of recipes that I hope are unique to you and that you will enjoy.
Let's start with a wonderful pasta dish.

Mushroom Bolognese
Makes enough to coat 1 pound of pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 large shallots, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup dry white wine, preferably a chardonnay
1 1/2 pounds porcini and shitake mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, with liquid, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme 
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sugar if needed
1 pound linguine, cooked according to package directions
Grated Romano cheese

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Add the carrots, shallots,  onion, salt and pepper to taste, and saute until soft.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute.  Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 1 1/2 hours.  Taste for and adjust seasoning.

Toss with linguine and serve with grated Romano cheese.

Now we have something that I think is absolutely delicious.  Hope you like it as much as we do.

Artichoke and Chick Pea Casserole (D)

A great dish for lunch at Shavuot or any time of the year

Makes 8 servings

4 eggs, well beaten
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 -- 10 ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts
1 -- 15 ounce can chick peas
1/4 cup pimientos, chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1/2 cup Parmegiano cheese, grated
4 tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil a 9” X 13” casserole

Mix together the eggs, cream cheese, garlic powder, and black pepper.  Add half the mozzarella, the cottage cheese and mayonnaise and stir until completely combined.
Chop the artichoke hearts and fold into the cheese mixture along with the chick peas, olives, pimientos, capers and oregano.  Pour into the prepared casserole.  Place the sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the remainder of the mozzarella and the Parmigiano.
Tent the casserole with aluminum foil and place in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes and remove the foil.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes until the casserole is set.
Remove the casserole from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.  Cut into squares and serve with tossed or Caesar salad.