Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Brie and Sausage Bake

This was the second dish that I created for our Father's Day/Allan's Birthday brunch on Sunday!  It is delicious warm or room temperature and is one of those dishes that you can put together the night before, and then when your guests arrive, all you have to do is sprinkle it with cheese and heat!  Easy and delicious!!!

1lb Italian sausage (either in bulk or removed from casings)
1 small onion, chopped
8 cups of cubed sourdough day-old bread (I used potato scallion!)
1/2 cup shopped roasted sweet red peppers
1/2 lb Brie, cubed
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp minced fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried)
8 eggs
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 green onions, sliced
  • In a large skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.
  • Place bread cubes in a greased 13"x9" baking dish.  Layer with sausage mixture, red peppers, Brie and Parmesan cheeses,  and basil.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, mustard, pepper and salt; pour over top.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove from fridge 30 mins before baking.  Bake, uncovered, at 350F for 45-50 mins. or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Bake 4 to 6 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.  Let stand 10 mins. before cutting.  Sprinkle each piece with green onions, serve and ENJOY!

Aparagus & Tomato Tart With Chevre

For Father's Day I held a brunch at the house and invited my parents as well as Greg's ~ it was a special Father's Day this year as Sunday was also my Father-in-law's 69th Birthday.  With all the incredible fresh produce that we've been receiving in our CSA boxes from Cooper's, I decided to create this tart as I had all the ingredients on hand!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 tsp white vinegar
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of half and half cream
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 oz log of goat's cheese (chevre)
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
4 plum or small tomatoes
4 spears of asparagus
  • For the crust, place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse gently till combined.  Add butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form.  Add vinegar and pulse until mixture begins to form a ball.  Remove dough and gather into a ball.
  • Lightly oil a 9" tart tin with a removable bottom.  Place dough ball in the centre of the pan and using the palm of your hand, press dough from the middle of pan to edges.  With your fingertips, press dough up the sides of the pan until the dough is even with the rim.  The pastry will be very thin.  Refrigerate for 30 mins.
  • Position rack in bottom of oven and preheat to 400F. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk eggs.  Whisk in milk, cream, salt and pepper.  Crumble goat cheese into a large bowl.  Using the back of a wooden spoon, mash cheese.  Continue mashing while gradually adding egg mixture.  Mixture may be a little lumpy. Add in snipped chives.
  • Quarter tomatoes lengthwise, cut out seeds and core.  Arrange tomato quarters in chilled crust in a circular pattern.  In between tomatoes, add asparagus pieces (trim end and cut into 1 1/2" lengths or smaller)
  • Slowly pour egg mixture over top and swirl gently to evenly distribute chives over tart. 
  • Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 35 to 40 mins, or until the centre of the tart is still a little jiggly.
  • Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes prior to slicing.
  • Serve warm or room temperature and ENJOY! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rhubarb Squares

This recipe came from a fellow CSA Member of "Cooper's CSA Farm & Maze" and it is nothing short of excellent!  My family absolutely loves this treat and eagerly look forward to the springtime when we receive fresh rhubarb in our CSA boxes!!!

3 cups rhubarb, chopped in 1/2" cubes
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, cold and cut into 1/2" cubes

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Combine filling ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook until thickened.  Set aside.
  • Combine the first 6 crust ingredients in a mixer and mix well.  Add butter and process until mixture is crumbly.
  • Pat 2/3 of the crust into a greased 8"x12" pan.  Add filling.  Sprinkle the remaining crumbs evenly over the top.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Cool and keep in refrigerator until ready to enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Classic Macaroni & Cheese

I went looking for this recipe on the blog as it is something I haven't made for a while and since it is so damp and chilly outside, would go down perfectly for dinner tonight.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I had only blogged about a more 'dressed-up' version, and not this one!!!  Although the recipe that I entitles "The Yummiest Mac and Cheese" is delicious, this is a recipe handed down from my Mum, who used to make this for both my brother and I ~ it remains a firm favourite with both of us...and now my family!!

375 g macaroni (or any shaped pasta)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup macaroni water*
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (or any cheese you fancy that will melt nicely)
1 tsp dried mustard powder
Black pepper and sea salt, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Cook macaroni according to package directions.  When draining the macaroni, ensure that you reserve 1 cup of the water to help thicken the sauce.
  • Melt butter in large pot, whisk in the flour until incorporated.  Add the milk and macaroni water while whisking to incorporate.  Bring to a boil whisking continuously to ensure a smooth, thickened sauce.  Remove from heat.
  • Add 3/4 of the grated cheese and stir until melted.   Stir in the macaroni and place in a greased baking dish. 
  • Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden on top.
  • ENJOY!

Rhubarb Sour Cream Pie

1 - 9" unbaked pie crust (deep dish is preferable)
4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
1 free-range egg
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup each of all-purpose flour and brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

* Heat oven to 450F.
* Press pie crust into a 9" pie pan.
* Spread rhubarb in an even manner over the bottom of the crust.
* In a medium sized bowl, whisk egg, white sugar, sour cream and 1/3 cup flour until smooth. Pour over rhubarb.
* In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup flour and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the pie.
* Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F.
* Continue to bake for 40 minutes, or until edges have puffed, and topping is golden.
* The centre might be still somewhat jiggly, but once it is cooled completely it is perfect to slice and serve!