Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ile de France Normandie Camembert and Creamy Holiday Camembert Puffs

Happy Thanksgiving!  Last month, I received a sample Ile de France's Normandie Camembert Cheese.  This is a soft-textured cheese, extremely creamy with a deliciously earthy, rustic flavor.  It is made in the town of Pace in Normandie, believed to be the birthplace of Camembert cheese.  The milk used to make the cheese is taken from cows that leisurely graze on lush vegetation.  Within 48 hours, the milk is transformed into this savory, fresh-tasting creamy fromage that can be enjoyed as is or in appetizers,salads, entrees, desserts and snacks.


This cheese is delicious on sesame seed crackers. But I decided to make Holiday Camembert Puffs with just three ingredients, Camembert cheese, kiwi and apple butter.   The apple butter was from an Amish store in Branson we visited last month and for a quick and easy dough, I used store-bought buttermilk biscuit dough.


First, I split each dough portion in the middle to create two discs. Then, I placed a slice of Camembert cheese, kiwi and a teaspoon of apple butter in the center of one. I laid the other disc over the first and sealed the edge with a fork. I baked the pastry till they were golden brown.   These puffs were easy to make and the taste was so amazing!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winners of $50 Hormel Coupons Giveaway

Yay! LAGirl70094 and TheMomChef are winners of the $50 Hormel Coupon Giveaway. Congratulations!  Please email your postal address to momgateway@gmail.com. Thank you so much to all who participated!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Warm and Comforting Porcini Mushroom-Onion Soup Pasta with Parmesan Crisp

Voting at MarxFoods will be from Nov. 15-19, 2010.  Thanks!
For the Truffles, Pasta and More Recipe Challenge at MarxFoods. I had to create a dish using pappardelle pasta from Italy, porcini mushrooms, black truffle salt and fennel pollen.  Some of the ingredients were totally new to me so I first tasted each one.  Pappardelle pasta are very broad fettucini or ribbon pasta about 3/4 inch wide.  When cooked al dente, they were very pleasant and satisfying so I though they'd be perfect with a rich broth or a flavorful sauce.  The rehydrated porcini mushrooms had a strong-nutty, complex, almost meaty taste.  Personally, they taste better than shitake and portabella mushrooms.

The black truffle salt had a woodsy, heady flavor and the strong anise aroma of fennel pollen was very enticing. I felt a tiny pinch of both would go a long way.  The ingredients I received could stand on their own with minimal infusion of other flavors so I decided to make a porcini mushroom-onion broth with pasta and blanched vegetable ribbons then added parmesan crisps with fennel pollen as a crispy element to the dish.

For the porcini mushroom-onion broth, I used:
1 large Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups beef stock or consumme
black truffle salt

For the parmesan crisps:
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
fennel pollen

Here's what I did.  First, I soaked dried porcini mushroom slices in warm water then I chopped most of them finely but left some pieces intact for the plating.  Next, I melted butter and sauteed the chopped onions till they caramelized and added the minced and sliced pieces of porcini mushroom.  After 5 minutes, I poured beef stock into the pot and let the porcini-mushroom broth simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes to extract the full-bodied flavors.  Then, I cooled down the broth and strained it through cheesecloth to get the clear essence of the mushroom and onions.  I sprinkled black truffle salt into the porcini mushroom-onion broth and let it boil vigorously just before serving it with the pappardelle pasta and vegetable ribbons.
While waiting for the broth to be ready, I boiled the pasta.  It took 14 minutes for the pappardelle pasta to cook al dente.   Then, I made zucchini and carrot ribbons with my vegetable peeler and blanched the vegetable ribbons in vigorously boiling salted water for 1 minute then I quickly cooled them down in a huge bowl of ice water. 

To make parmesan crisps, I placed small mounds of shredded parmesan cheese on a Silpat baking sheet,topped them with fennel pollen and baked them at 350 F for a few minutes till the cheese were golden-brown and crispy.  I kept checking the oven to make sure the cheese.did not burn  The results were so pretty and flavorful.

Once all the components were ready, I plated the pasta, carrot and zucchini ribbons and the porcini mushroom slices in a bowl and poured in piping hot, porcini mushroom-onion broth.  A sprinkling of  black truffle salt and they were ready to serve. The parmesan crisps were a perfect foil for this warm and comforting pasta dish.  Just right for the cool autumn weather!
Voting at MarxFoods will be from Nov. 15-19, 2010.  Thanks!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Round-up of Grow Your Own #46

 This month, the submissions for GYO was awesome. Let's check out what our dear foodies cooked up with what they grew in their gardens and received as gifts from friends and family.
Shannon of  Tri to Cook (Boston, Massachusets, USA) used porcini mushrooms she received as a gift and created a homemade Wild Mushroom Pasta from scratch! Fresh pasta cooks so quickly and the flavor is amazing!  More so when topped with Mushroom-Goat Cheese Sauce.  Can I have a plate please?
Jenny of Southernfriedcurry (Georgia, USA) made a super spicy jalapeno carrot pickle with the bountiful harvest of jalapenos from her garden (she used 13 jalapenos for this recipe!!) and rainbow carrots.  The spicy pickles go so well with quesadilla and can jazz up any meal!

Heather of Girliehef (Indiana, USA) offers everyone a a luscious dessert with her pepitas and cinnamon streusel-topped skillet pear crisp from organic yellow pears she received from her generous neighbors. Yum!

I, Momgateway (USA) of Momgateway:Portal to Healthy Cooking and Recipes recently bought a stove-top smoker and decided to smoke tomatoes and habaneros from my container garden and pair them with homemade smoked salmon in an amazingly moist and delicious Smoked Salmon with Tomatoes and Habanero! You might also want to check out my "Healthy Zucchini Boat Pizzas" and $50 Hormel Coupon Giveaway.
Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe (Melbourne, Australia) roasted some cauliflowers and topped it with a sauce made with tahini and pomegranate syrup in Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce

Dorothy of Shockinglydelicious (California, USA) had leftover basil-honey dressing and decided to punch up the flavor of hard-boiled eggs in her Sweet Basil Deviled Eggs!

Soma of eCurry (Texas, USA) made Barley and Spinach Fall Salad with Maple Syrup Vinaigrette with spinach from her garden, pears and pomegranates---perfect for fall!

Annie Kate of Teatime with Annie Kate (Ontario, Canada) made a huge batch of sauerkraut from the huge crop of cabbage they harvested.

This was GYO #46 round-up was so much fun!  Thanks to Andrea and everyone who participated in Grow Your Own #46.  If you are interested in hosting GYO, get in touch with Andrea of Andrea Meyers: cooking, gardening, & four hungry guys.