Paganini's Pantry (163)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 10:46

Cheese Tartlets

Cheese Tartlets
Makes 2 dozen


3 large eggs

¾ cup whole milk or cream

3 teaspoons flours

½ teaspoon salt

Whisk together custard ingredients and place in a pourable bowl or liquid measuring cup.


1 cup minced fresh spinach

1 cup minced onion

1 cup minced red pepper

1 cup minced mushroom

1 Tablespoon  butter


Heat butter and sauté vegetables until tender.  Drain well.


Tart Dough:

2 cups All Purpose flour

½ lb (8oz) unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces and chilled

8 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, pulse together cheese, flour, cayenne pepper and butter just until mixed.  Remove dough from processor and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes to re-chill butter in the mixture.  Once chilled, make 24 equal sized pieces and flatten them into greased muffin tins.  Make sure the dough covers the bottom and sides of each tin.

Place a small amount of the cooked filling in each of muffin tins and pour about 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of custard over the filling to fill up the muffin tin.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until custard is set.





Thursday, 19 September 2013 15:12

Salmon Corn Chowder


Salmon Corn Chowder

Serves 8



1 Tbsp. olive oil (or blended oil)

1 cup Pancetta, diced

3 cups potatoes, diced

½ cup Vidalia onion, diced

½ cup celery, diced

3 Tbsp. all purpose flour

4 cups chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

3 cups grilled corn

2 cups smoked salmon, flaked

2 Tbsp. fresh sage, minced

Salt and pepper to taste





Heat oil in sauté pan.  Add pancetta and potato. Cook pancetta until almost done.  Add celery and onions. Cook until onions are transparent. Lower heat and add flour and 1 Tbsp. of sage.  Mix well.  Stir until flour begins to brown slightly.  Add cream and stock.  Allow to boil.  Add corn.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add remaining sage and serve.




Tuesday, 10 September 2013 14:32

Spicy Chicken Coleslaw

Spicy Chicken Coleslaw

Chicken & marinade:

6 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

Slaw dressing:

2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

4 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. honey


2 red onions, sliced thinly

4 cups cabbage, sliced thinly

3 new crop apples, julienne

1/2 cup carrots, julienne

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine marinade ingredients and add chicken.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.  Do not allow chicken to sit in marinade for longer than 2 hours.


Cook chicken until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.  Allow chicken to cool completely.  Place chicken in food processor and pulse until chicken is shredded.  Set aside.


Combine slaw ingredients and stir in shredded chicken.


Whisk together slaw dressing and then combine thoroughly with slaw. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve cold.


Thursday, 05 September 2013 13:08

Beet Cake

Beet Cake
Serves 8-12

3 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into chunks

2 large eggs

1/2 cup olive oil

2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Boil beets until fork tender.  Rinse under cold water and puree in a food processor until smooth.  You want to end up with 2 cups of beet puree.

Mix together the beet puree, eggs, buttermilk,  sugar, and olive oil.  Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Add sifted flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir until combined.

Coat 2 8-2inch round cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment.  Coat parchment bottoms with spray. Evenly distribute the batter into the two pans.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Allow cakes to cool.



Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract


Beat the butter at medium speed until soft and light. Beat in the cream cheese and continue beating until very smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Continue beating for about 5 more minutes to aerate.  Frost the cake.



Thursday, 29 August 2013 14:26

Cucumber Watermelon Salad


Cucumber Watermelon Salad
Serves 4


2 cups seedless watermelon chunks

¾ cup English cucumber, peeled and small dice

¾ cup crumbled goat cheese

2 teaspoons jalapeño, diced and deseeded

3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups arugula


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Serve chilled on a bed of arugula.

Friday, 23 August 2013 07:27

Asian Mac

3Tbsp. Vegetable oil

1/2 cup onions, diced

1/4 cup carrots, diced

1/4 cup celery, diced

1/4 cup red pepper, diced

1/4 cup snow pea pods

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced

2Tbsp. fresh grated ginger

3 cup cold cooked macaroni pasta

3 egg, beaten

3Tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. pepper

1 Tbsp. sesame oil


Heat oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add carrots, celery, onions, red pepper, pea pods and garlic to wok.  Stir constantly.  Once onions have become transparent, add cold pasta and mushrooms.  Stir constantly.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh ginger and pepper.  Add soy sauce mixture to wok and incorporate.  Stir until completely incorporated and cooked.

Serve warm.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013 16:55

Zucchini Bread Recipe

Zucchini Bread Recipe


2 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 large zucchini (makes about 3 ½ cups of zucchini bits)

2/3 cup melted unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups All-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Butter a 9x9 square baking pan and set aside.

Wash zucchini and cut into large chunks.  Place chunks into a food processor and pulse until they become little bits.  Do not over process them or it they will turn into mush.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, zucchini, and butter.    Sift together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in dry ingredients into the bowl being careful not to have any pockets of unmixed flour but not over mixing it.   Place batter into prepared pan and allow to bake until a golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, approximately 40-50 minutes.



Friday, 09 August 2013 07:51

Toasted Millet Salad

Toasted Millet Salad

Serves 8


2 cups hulled millet

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 cups Spinach, chiffonade

1 cup green beans; blanched and cut

2 cups Parmesan flakes

1 cup Grilled peaches, skinned and cut

½ cup Radishes, julienne

½ cup Red onion, minced


Rinse the millet under cold water and drain. Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil in a large pot over high heat.   Add millet to pot and allow to cook for 3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until millet is tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. You may have to add more water if necessary.   Drain and rinse the millet with cold water to stop the cooking process. Toss with olive oil and allow millet to cool completely.


In a large mixing bowl combine cooled millet with other salad ingredients.  Toss with vinaigrette and serve.



Grilled Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette


1 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 cup grilled peach pieces

¼ cup granulated sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and  pepper to taste


In a small sauce pan, cook balsamic vinegar, peach pieces, and sugar until vinegar begins to thicken.  Allow this mixture to cool.  In a food processor blend together vinegar mixture, salt and pepper. This will puree the peach pieces as well.   Slowly add oil to create an emulsion.  Toss with salad.

Thursday, 01 August 2013 19:20

Pain Au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissant)

Pain Au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissant)
Makes 3-4

1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped small
Egg wash (1 egg and 1 Tablespoon water)
1 Tablespoon honey
¼ cup chocolate jimmies
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut sheet of dough into 4 equally sized rectangles
Distribute chocolate bits along the bottom edge of each rectangle.
Roll the rectangle around the chocolate and place on parchment lined baking sheets.
Brush with egg wash.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until they have risen and are golden brown.
While warm drizzle honey on top and sprinkle with jimmies.
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 10:59

Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce

Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce
Yield: 8 skewers

1 cup water

3/4 cup peanuts, ground

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup lime juice

1 tsp. molasses

1 tsp. ginger, grated

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in strips

8 skewers


Soak skewers in water for 10 minutes.


Combine water, peanuts, soy sauce, lime juice, molasses, ginger, pepper, and garlic in a small saucepan. Simmer about 15 minutes to develop flavor. Remove from heat and cool. Marinate chicken in cooled marinade for about 1 hour.


Skewer chicken onto each of 8 skewers. Dip skewers in soy mixture and arrange on a small sheet pan.


Transfer remaining marinade to a small saucepan and bring to a boil (over 165°). Remove from heat.


Cook skewers on the grill, basting occasionally with the soy mixture. Bring remaining marinade to a boil again (over 165°). Transfer to a dipping sauce bowl. When skewers are cooked, transfer to a serving platter with peanut sauce and remaining re-boiled marinade.

Spicy Peanut Sauce
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

1/4 cup shallots, peeled and minced

1 Tbsp. garlic, peeled and minced

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1-2 Tbsp. garlic-chile paste

3/4 cup coconut milk

3/4 cup peanut butter (to taste)

Fish sauce to taste (optional)


In a small saucepan, cook shallots and garlic in oil until softened. Push aromatics aside and “sizzle” garlic chile paste until fragrant. Add coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Whisk in peanut butter to form a smooth sauce. (Note: Do not boil it! It might separate.) Season to taste with fish sauce.


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