Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Raspberry & Peach Tart

This is one of my favorite Summer desserts, easy, fresh and delicious! I make many variations of this recipe depending on the season and what's fresh. My friend let me pick some raspberries from his garden and I thought they would go well in this dish. I did cheat and use canned peaches, but I actually prefer them to fresh because they don't brown and have a slightly firm texture compared to fresh.

Raspberry & Peach Tart

Tart Pastry
1/2 Cup Cold Butter, cubed
1 1/4 Cups Flour
1 Egg Yolk, beaten
2-3 Tablespoons Ice Water

In a mixing bowl cut butter into flour until pieces are pea sized. Stir together egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of the ice water. Gradually stir egg yolk mixture into flour mixture. Add remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, till all the dough is moistened. Gently knead the dough just till a ball forms. Press into the bottom of a 12 inch tart pan. Poke all over with a fork and bake at 350 degrees until just lightly browned, about 12 minutes, set aside to cool.

2 Cups Fresh Raspberries (or any other berry that's in season)
1 28-Ounce Can Peaches in heavy syrup, drained and juice reserved
2 8-Ounce Packages Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Corn Starch

Start by making the filling: Beat cream cheese and sugar together with just enough peach juice to create a thick frosting consistency. Spread over bottom of cooled tart pastry.
Next cut peaches into 1/4 inch thick slices and arrange along with berries to cover cream cheese.
To make the glaze, in a small sauce pan, combine remaining peach juice with 1 teaspoon corn starch over medium heat, cook until just thickened. Let cool slightly and then brush over entire pastry.
Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving to set up.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grilled Pork Loin

If you know me well, you know that I'm a huge pork fan. I just love the lean meat and the mild flavor as it allows you a lot of freedom to make it meld with any dish. I made this particular recipe to go with my Summer Succotash and it was a perfect match with the fresh vegetables. I also used a bit of chunky finishing salt at the end to really bring out the flavor of the pork and add a bit of crunch. So the crystals on the bottom picture are not snow!
I made this dish on my charcoal BBQ and used an indirect heat, slow cook method which was surprisingly easy, so make sure to give it a try!

Grilled Pork Loin

2.5 Pounds Pork Loin Roast
2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
2 Teaspoons Sweet Paprika
2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Finishing Salt, optional

Remove any excess fat off the pork roast. Mix all spices to create dry rub. Drizzle just enough oil over the roast to coat and cover with dry rub, cover and let sit at room temperature for one hour.
To create indirect heat on your grill, fill a chimney completely full of charcoal briquettes (do not use wood here it burns to hot and quickly). When charcoal is ready pour onto 1/2 of the grate and you are ready to BBQ.
Place pork roast directly over coals and cook just a few minutes on each side to brown the outside and create a crust. Next move the pork roast to the side of the grill without any coals, cover with lid and let cook without moving until it reaches 145 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 1 hour. Remove roast from grill and place on plate and tent with foil, let rest for 10 minutes (internal temperature will continue to increase to about 155 degrees).
Cut roast into desired thickness, sprinkle with finishing salt, and serve.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Succotash

I know it seems as if I've fallen off the face of the earth this year, but I really haven't! Thank you everyone for your kind words to continue my blogging! Also, a thanks to my friends who have been complaining about how tired of the last post that I did :)
To be honest I really haven't been cooking a lot this year, and if I have, I've been re-visiting all my old recipes so I haven't had a lot of recipes to post. Low and behold I woke up this week eager to try something new and threw a last minute dinner party, so alas, a new recipe!
I can't help but smile when I hear the word succotash, it immediately transports me back to when I was a kid watching cartoons and hearing "suffering succotash"!
I was intending on serving this as a bed for fish or scallops, but the seafood just didn't look too good, so I ended up making a delicious BBQ Pork Loin, in which I will blog a bout soon!

Summer Succotash

12 Ounces Bacon
1 Large Sweet Onion, finely diced
2 Large Cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 Pound Frozen Sweet White Corn
1 Pound Frozen Shelled Edamame
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 Pints Grape Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped
1 Lemon

In a very large skilled fry bacon until very crisp, remove to paper towels to cool. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings from pan, return to medium heat. Add onion and garlic, salt lightly and saute until soft and just beginning to get a bit of color. Next add corn, and edamame cover and cook for 6-8 minutes until thawed and heated through. Add tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and stir, cover and cook a few minutes until tomatoes are just softened and start to burst. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Now add chopped parsley and basil and juice of the lemon. Crumble bacon over top and mix, salt to tase and serve at room temperature.