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Strawberry Mascarpone Terrine

In Desserts, Creams & Sauces On July 23, 2018 0 Comments

Looking for a refreshing and beautiful summer treat? You found it here! The strawberry gelatin and the mascarpone cream elements of this dessert take 15 minutes each to prepare. While you sleep (overnight), this Strawberry Mascarpone Terrine will chill all by itself! The next day, just slice and serve – easy enough, right?

Prep time: 15 minutes each (strawberry gelatin and mascarpone cream)
Inactive prep time: 5 hours to overnight (for gelatin and mascarpone cream to set)
Serves: 10 to 12

Ingredients for Strawberry Gelatin:
One loaf pan (1.5-quart)
vegetable oil, for greasing loaf pan
1 envelope plus 2 teaspoons Knox gelatin (unflavored)
3 tablespoons water (room temperature)
One pound (16 ounces) fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons water (for boiling the strawberries)
3  tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 to 4 fresh mint leaf sprigs (for garnish)

Directions for Strawberry Gelatin:
1. Lightly oil the loaf pan and set aside.

2. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the Knox gelatin with water; set aside.

3. Wash & immediately pat dry all the strawberries – set 8 strawberries aside for later use.

4. Hull the remaining strawberries; discard green stems.

5. Cut up the hulled strawberries into 1/2-inch pieces; place them in a 4-quart saucepot.

6. Add water and lemon juice to the strawberries in saucepot.

7. Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil; with a potato masher, smash the strawberries as they cook and soften.

8. After 5 minutes of cooking, stir the sugar and the set gelatin into the hot strawberry mixture.

9. Mash the strawberry mixture well so that all ingredients are blended and gelatin dissolves.

10. Transfer the hot strawberry gelatin mixture into prepared loaf pan.

11. Set the loaf pan with strawberry gelatin mixture in refrigerator to set – about 2 hours or overnight.

When strawberry gelatin has set and is firm, prepare the following Mascarpone cream-

Ingredients for Mascarpone Cream:
One envelope plus 1 teaspoon Knox gelatin (unflavored)
3 tablespoons water (room temperature)
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
8 ounces Mascarpone cheese (this is Italian cream cheese)
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (whole milk or 2% milk fat)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachio nuts

Directions for Mascarpone Cream:
1. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the Knox gelatin and the water until dissolved; set aside.

2. In a stand mixer bowl or in a 1-quart mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the Mascarpone cheese, yogurt, sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.

3. In a small saucepot set on low heat, dissolve the set gelatin with 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream for 30 seconds to 1 minute. DO NOT LET MIXTURE SCORCH!

4. Gently stir the gelatin-cream mixture into the Mascarpone cream mixture.

5. Divide the Mascarpone cream mixture in half.

6. Add the pistachios to one-half of the Mascarpone cream mixture; set aside.

7. Take 4 of the reserved strawberries and hull them; discard green stems.

8. Chop the hulled strawberries into 1/2-inch pieces.

9. Add the chopped strawberries to the remaining half of the Mascarpone cream mixture; set aside.

10. Gently spoon the Mascarpone cream with pistachios over the set strawberry gelatin in loaf pan.

11. Next, spoon the Mascarpone cream with strawberries over the pistachio Mascarpone cream.

12. Refrigerate the Strawberry-Mascarpone Terrine for at least 3 hours or overnight.

13. At serving time, garnish the dessert with remaining strawberries, mint leaf springs; dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve.
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

Lentils, Apples & Herbs

In Salads, Vegetables On June 29, 2018 0 Comments

Cook time (lentils): 20 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 8 to 12

I got tired of lentil soup and decided to reinvent lentils. This recipe combines lentils with apples, herbs, olive oil and other seasonings. Serve my Lentil, Apples & Herbs on July 4th!

Ingredients:
1 lb (16 ounces) lentils, cooked per package directions; drained & cooled
1 red onion, peeled & finely chopped
4 celery stalks, bottom white tips discarded & stalks finely chopped
1 apple (any variety)
Juice from 1 lemon
extra virgin olive oil, to taste
white or golden Balsamic vinegar, to taste
5 sprigs fresh mint leaves (plus extra, for garnish)
2 sprigs fresh oregano leaves
salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. After lentils have cooked, drained & cooled, transfer them to a large serving bowl.

2. Add chopped red onion and celery to bowl with lentils; set aside.

3. Cut apple into fourths; core apple.

4. Cut apple fourths into 1/8-inch thick slices; cut slices into slivers; set aside in a small bowl.

5. Immediately add lemon juice to apple & gently toss; set aside.

6. Add olive oil, Balsamic vinegar to lentils; set aside.

7. Meanwhile, finely chop 5 mint and oregano leaf sprigs (discard stems).

8. Add chopped mint, oregano, salt and ground black pepper to lentils in bowl; toss.

9. Drain lemon juice from apple slivers; toss apple slivers into lentil salad.

10. Taste the salad and, if needed, adjust seasonings.

11. Serve Lentils, Apples & Herbs immediately or prepare up to 4 hours ahead and refrigerate (covered).

12. The salad will keep (refrigerated) up to 3 days.
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

 

Matcha Tea Cake

In Cakes & Cupcakes On June 8, 2018 0 Comments

Prep time: 8 to 10 minutes         Bake time: 35 to 45 minutes

Lookin’ for a 10-minute, made-from-scratch cake on Dad’s Day? Look no more – it’s here. Add the great gift of Kickback Cold Brew Matchacha Tea to go along with the cake. He’ll “kickback” for sure – just read the label and you’ll know why.

Go to Kickback Cold Brew website below and place orders now – Matchacha sells out quickly!

Ingredients:

1-1/4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons Matcha tea powder

1/3 cup vegetable oil (safflower or sunflower, preferred)

1 large egg

3/4 cup granulated, unbleached sugar

3/4 cup milk (low fat or whole) – this can be substituted with almond or soy milk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using oil or butter, grease and flour a 9X9X4 loaf pan; set aside.

2. Measure all dry ingredients into a 2-cup bowl; set aside.

3. In a 4-cup mixing bowl, beat together the oil, egg, sugar and milk.

4. Stir the dry ingredients into the oil-egg-sugar-milk mixture; beat until smooth.

5. Pour cake batter into prepared loaf pan; set on a rack positioned in center of oven.

6. Bake Matcha Tea Cake for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, insert a sharp, pointed knife in center. If knife comes out clean, cake is done. If there’s batter around knife, bake cake 5 more minutes.

7. After 5 more minutes of baking, test cake again. If needed, bake 5 more minutes.

8. When cake is done, set it on a counter to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, loosen sides of cake from pan and invert cake onto a platter.

9. Serve cake warm or cold, garnished with raspberries and mint leaf sprigs. If desired, serve with 5-Minute Sweetened Whipped Cream, also on this website here http://thekitchenbuzzz.com/2010/07/5-minute-sweetened-whipped-cream.html/

10. Enjoy Matcha Tea Cake with KickBack Matchacha Coldbrew Tea. Go here to purchase: https://kickbackcoldbrew.com/

Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

Avocado Toasts

In Appetizers / Starters, Fun Foods On May 2, 2018 0 Comments

Make these Avocado Toasts  anytime you feel like something fun. You can also surprise a Mom on Mother’s Day and include these in a delicious brunch!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 French baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices & toasted
1 large, ripe avocado
4 to 5 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 of a Jalapeño pepper, minced
salt, to taste
6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half, flesh discarded & skins cut into slivers

Directions:
1. Lay out the bread slices on a serving platter; set aside.

2. Cut avocados in half, discard pits & remove flesh from skins. Discard skins.

3. Place avocado in a medium bowl.

4. Using a potato masher, mash avocado until it is coarsely-mashed.

5. Stir in the grated cheese, minced Jalapeño and salt, to taste.

6. Using a spoon, gently add some avocado mixture to each toast on platter.

7. Garnish toasts with extra grated cheese and tomato slivers. Serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

Springtime Sweets – Tut

In Cookies, Candies & Sweets On March 29, 2018 0 Comments

Persians (modern-day Iranians) celebrated New Year on March 20 – it’s called Nowruz. Like people of the Persian culture, many of us observe Springtime celebrations that have come to us from the ancient past.

For my celebration of Springtime and Easter, I’m making Persian sweets called Tut. Although I’ve posted a similar marzipan recipe in the past, this one is different. Tut are easy to make and kids will love shaping these delicious sweets. Happy Belated Nowruz, Happy Passover, Happy Easter and Happy Springtime!

Prep time: 50 to 60 minutes
Makes: 40 to 50 sweets

Ingredients:
1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1-3/4 cups raw, ground almonds (skinless)
3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
2 to 3 teaspoons rosewater (you can add more, if you like a stronger flavor)
3 tablespoons slivered unsalted pistachios
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
food coloring for red and green (follow instructions on food coloring package for making green)

Directions:
1. Place the granulated sugar in an 10-inch shallow, wide bowl; set aside.

2. In a 1 to 2-quart bowl, combine the almonds, concessioners’ sugar (not the granulated sugar) and cardamom.

3. Using a fork, stir the ingredients until well-blended.

4. Gradually (a little at a time), add the rosewater and stir with a fork.

5. With your hands, knead the mixture until it amalgamates well. If it is dry and crumbly, add a little more rosewater or drinking water.

6. Divide the almond-sugar mixture into three parts – place each part in a separate bowl.

7. Add 1 drop of red food coloring to one dough section in bowl. If it is too light, add 1 more drop; mix well. Set aside.

8. Following food coloring package instructions, add the required yellow & blue food coloring to the second dough section to create green tut or sweets. Mix well & set aside.

Shaping the Sweets:

1. Working with the white tut, take a 1/2-inch piece of dough, roll it and shape it into a slight oval.

2. Roll the oval tut or sweet in the granulated sugar, shaking off excess.

3. At top of tut or sweet, insert a slivered pistachio or almond. Set aside on a serving plate.

4. Continue shaping remaining mixture and then the red and oval mixtures into ovals, rolling in sugar and alternately inserting a pistachio or almond sliver.

5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time.

6. Springtime Sweets can be made a day or two ahead of time, covered and refrigerated.
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real