WREG “Live at 9″ – Making Fresh Mozzarella & Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Fresh Mozzarella

1 pound fresh mozzarella curd*
6 cups water
3 tablespoons kosher salt

Slice the curd into thin slivers and place in a large mixing bowl.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat, add the salt and bring back to the boil.

Gently pour enough boiling water over the curd to cover, let it sit for a few minutes to temper the curd. Use 2 wooden spoons to gently gather the curd together in the center of the bowl. Use the spoons to scoop the mass out of the water and hold it above the bowl, allowing the weight of the cheese to cause it to stretch back down to the water. Repeat lifting the cheese and letting it stretch until it looks smooth and shiny.

To shape the cheese, lift the cheese out of the water and roll it into a tight ball. Pinch the bottom of the ball to seal the seam. The surface of the ball should be smooth and shiny.

Place the form balls into an ice-water bath to cool. If more flavor is desired, salt can be added to the water bath.

Wrap finished mozzarella balls highly in plastic wrap. Serve within 24 hours for optimum flavor and texture.

*Mozzarella curd is available at specialty cheese shops, or on the web at www.goldenagecheese.com.

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes
Grill time: 4 minutes

8 slices Italian Bread
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
2 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ cup Mazola® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
Salt & pepper to taste

 

Combine the basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.

Brush pesto mixture on one side of each slice of bread. Layer tomatoes on 4 slices and add salt and pepper to taste. Top with mozzarella slices and remaining bread slices; firmly press sandwiches together.

On a preheated grill over medium high heat, place sandwiches on an angle and cover (close grill cover if grilling outside or use either a pan lid or a metal bowl, inverted, if grilling inside). Cook 2 minutes, rotate 90° and continue cooking an additional 2 minutes, covered. Flip sandwiches over and repeat process as above. Serve on a bed of leafy greens, if desired.

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Buon Appetito!

 



May’s Calendar Recipe – White Chocolate Chip Raspberry Cookies made with Greek Yogurt

One of my favorite things to do at my job is create new recipes using our new products.  Fleishmanns® Simply Homemade® Muffin and Bread Mix, Specially for Greek Yogurt, is one of our newest to hit the market.  I loved creating new recipes for these mixes.  The mixes are available in 3 different flavors, Lemon Poppyseed, Raspberry, and Banana.  The following recipe was created to use with our Raspberry mix.  As always, quick, easy and DELICIOUS!!!

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 12-20 minutes

1 package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade® Raspberry Muffin and Bread Mix
2/3 cups Greek yogurt
1/3 cup butter, softened
½ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 (12 ounce) package of white chocolate chips
1 (8 ounce) package yogurt covered cranberries or chocolate covered cranberries, optional but yummie

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium size mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add yogurt and egg. Stir until well combined. Add raspberry mix and continue mixing just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and yogurt covered cranberries. Refrigerate batter 15-20 minutes (this prevents cookies from spreading).

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Buon Appetito!


I love being a mom-in-law!  Today my beautiful daughter (in-law) sent me a text asking for a recipe for her office (she’s a wonderful dentist) “Cinco de Mayo” party next week.  I guess you can say she knows where to turn when looking for a recipe.  I immediately thought of one that I wrote for a cookbook several years ago, however that recipe never made the final cut.  Here’s the recipe…

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup tomato salsa
2 tablespoons Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or to taste1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle in adobo
1 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cumin
2 tablespoons Mazola Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ to 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack or Queso Fresco cheese
Tortilla chips for dipping

Directions:

Combine black beans, salsa, burger seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, chipotles, adobo sauce, cumin, and oil in a blender or food processor; pulse until blended but still chunky.DSC_0035DSC_0038

Place bean mixture in a two-quart casserole dish.  Top mixture with shredded cheese.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden and bubbly.  Serve with chips for dipping.

Note:  Tonight when I made this dip I was out of canned chipotle peppers, so I substituted 1 tablespoon Chipotle Pepper Seasoning and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke!  It rocked!!!

Quick Facts:
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  15-20 minutes
Yield:  8 servings
Great dip or use as a topping on eggs, fajitas or sandwichesDSC_0043

Kinta’s Famous House Margarita

1.5 ounces Tequila (Reposado)
1.5 ounces Triple Sec
1.5 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 cup Ice
1 lime
kosher salt

Rub the outside of 1 glass with cut lime. Dip into a plate of Kosher salt.
Combine the Tequila, Triple Sec and lime juice and ice into a cocktail shaker, shake well
and pour into prepared glass…..

Recipe courtesy of Kristopher Wallenta
Kinta’s Restaurant

margarita

Happy Cinco De Mayo


Lemon Poppyseed Bars

Sometimes you just have to have a refreshing dessert.  As part of my job as an R&D Consulting Chef for ACH Food Companies, I get to “inventorize” (new word) recipes made with our products.  This truly is one of my favorites, next month’s is another.  I hope you enjoy these bars as much as we all did testing and tasting them.  Quick, easy and just delicious!  This would make a very refreshing dessert for your Easter Sunday Dinner.

Lemon Poppyseed GY Bread

This wonderful product is available at Sam’s Clubs and soon to be in a Walmart near you!

Lemon Poppyseed Yogurt Bars

Servings: 36 2-inch squares
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes

1 Package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade® Lemon Poppyseed Mix
2/3 cups Greek yogurt
1 stick butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 ½ cup sugar
¼ cup lemon juice, or juice from 2 fresh lemons
¼ cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium mixing bowl, blend together softened butter and yogurt. Add lemon poppyseed mix and continuing mixing until combined.

Press mix into an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm and golden.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice until creamy. Add the flour and whisk until incorporated. Pour over the baked crust.

Bake for an additional 20 minutes. The bars will firm up as they cool. Top with powdered sugar, if desired, for garnish.

Photo

Buon Appetito!


For those of you that have been waiting for this one….a wonderful dessert after any meal.  The Raspberry Yogurt Quick Breads are available at Sam’s Club. (Or you can use my basic crepe recipe…see below)

Raspberry Crepes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Cream Cheese Filled Raspberry Crepes with Blueberry Sauce

Yields: 12-16 crepes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 10 minutes

Raspberry Crepes:
1 package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade Raspberry Flavored Yogurt Quick Bread mix
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup milk
4 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Basic Crepes:
4 eggs
1-cup milk
1-cup flour
1 teaspoon of sugar

Put eggs and milk in food processor. Pulse several times. Add remaining ingredients. Heat omelet pan. Put enough batter in the skillet just to cover the bottom. Swirl the pan around to cover if you need to. As batter cooks it will become dry looking. Remove and add your filling.

Filling:

2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Vanilla Flavoring
½ cup blueberry or raspberry jam

Berry Sauce:
1 package (16 ounce) frozen berries
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon Argo® Cornstarch

Topping:
Powdered sugar

To make the crepes, combine quick bread mix, yogurt, milk, eggs and melted butter in a food processor or an electric mixer. Mix until smooth. Lightly butter a non-stick 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Using a one ounce ladle (or 2 tablespoons) pour batter into prepared pan,  rotating pan until batter covers the bottom. Cook until lightly brown, about one minute.   Remove crepe from pan and repeat with remaining batter.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth, add the jam and stir until well combined. Preheat oven to 300°F.

To assemble the filled crepes, place about 2 tablespoon of filling on each crepe in a line. Roll up the crepes and place them in a baking dish, seam side down. Bake for 10 minutes.

To make the berry sauce, combined all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve over cooked crepes and top with powdered sugar.

Happy March – Cream Cheese Filled Raspberry Crepes with Blueberry Sauce


Happy Valentines Day!

Mushroom Mixture:
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped sun dried tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine

Wellington:
4 prime cut filet mignons, 4-6 ounce in size, 1 1/2” thick
freshly ground sea salt & coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
Egg wash, 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water

Wine Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 package Beef Demi Glace, 2.6 ounces
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Heat a medium sized saute pan over medium heat, add butter and melt. Add the shallots & garlic, saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook until wine has evaporated.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Generously spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray.
In a large skillet, heat oil. Generously sprinkle both sides of filets with salt & pepper. Place in hot skillet and sear filets on all sides until brown. Remove from skillet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry large enough to wrap around the beef. Divide mushroom mixture in fourths and place in center of pastry. Top mushrooms with filet. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash. Wrap filet with pastry cutting off any extra (use the extra for topping wellington with shapes or initials).
Place seam side down on baking sheet and top wellington with egg wash. Bake 15-20 minutes or until pastry is golden on top. Use an instant read thermometer for accurate meat temperature (125 for rare, 130 for medium) let meat rest 5 minutes before serving.
In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft. Add demi glace and red wine. Cook until mixture is reduced by half. Add heavy cream. Serve immediately. Place wine sauce on a serving dish and top with beef wellington.
Buon Appetito!