Splendid Stuffed Mushrooms

Splendid Stuffed Mushrooms

Years ago, I met a dear friend named Bud (Sydney) Tudge, a former chef at the Waldorf Astoria who found his way to the Hudson Valley. Bud opened a clam stand in a little town and served the best fried clams and coleslaw to ever come down the pike. His clam stand eventually evolved into a full restaurant, which sadly closed after he died. He was a mentor to me for years and it was he who insisted that these stuffed mushrooms would be a boon to my very newly established catering company. He was correct.

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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • 24 large white stuffing mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • ½ cup dried breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREHEAT THE OVEN to 375°F. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Cool, finely chop, and set aside. Wash the mushrooms with a damp cloth and remove the stems and the dark-colored gills inside if the mushrooms are older. Finely chop the stems. If the mushroom caps are very round, trim a small slice off the tops so they will sit level on the baking sheet.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the sausage and cook and crumble into small pieces with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook until tender and no liquid remains in the pan (increase the heat if needed to boil away the excess water that the mushrooms give off), about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and let cool completely. Add the chopped walnuts, scallions, breadcrumbs, Gruyère, Parmesan, and parsley to the sausage mixture and season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the mushroom caps with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and season with salt. Stuff the mushrooms with the filling, dividing it evenly. Arrange the stuffed mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the caps are tender and the filling is crispy, 17 to 18 minutes.

Easy & Cheesy

We all need a little more time in our busy lives. The beauty of this casserole is that it can be made several hours ahead (or even better, the night before), so all you have to do is pop it in the oven when people start arriving. The other great thing about this casserole is that you won’t have to clear any space in your refrigerator for leftovers—it’s that good!

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Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter, softened, for the baking dish
  • 8 to 10 thick slices day-old country white bread (about ½ inch thick, cut from a long square Pullman loaf)
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh
  • Italian parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces mild Swiss cheese, shredded (or Gruyere)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

PREHEAT THE OVEN to 400°F. Grease a shallow 3-quart casserole dish with the softened butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cut or tear the bread into bite-size chunks (or cut each slice of bread into 4 squares). Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until the bread dries a bit but hasn’t taken on any color, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, break off the woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Peel the bottom half of the stalks (if you want) and cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Drop into the boiling water and cook until bright green and crisptender, about 3 minutes. Drain under cold running water and pat very dry. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, scallions, parsley, and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Layer half of the bread in the bottom of the buttered casserole. Arrange the asparagus on top and sprinkle with half of the Swiss and Parmesan. Layer the remaining bread over top and pour the custard over. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Swiss and Parmesan. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour so the bread soaks up the custard (overnight is even better). Remove the casserole from the fridge and let sit at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake until the casserole is cooked through and the top is puffed and golden, about 45 minutes.

Fruited Pork Medley

This is a wonderfully fragrant fall dish. The flavors are complex, so it’s best to keep the side dishes simple. It would be excellent served with basmati rice and a simple green salad. If you have leftovers, it’s even better the next day!

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Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup amber beer

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons grainy mustard

SEASON THE PORK with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the pork in the flour to lightly coat, tapping off any excess. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add half of the pork and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate. Use the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to brown the second batch and transfer to the plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the flour. When all of the pork is out of the pot, reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to caramelize on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, paprika, cumin, coriander, ginger, and cinnamon and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons reserved flour. Toss to coat the vegetables in the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flour is browned on the surface of the vegetables, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium high and pour in the beer and apple cider. Boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves and adjust the heat to a simmer. Add the pork, cover, and simmer until the pork is tender, about 1 hour. Add the apricots, prunes, and raisins. Simmer rapidly, uncovered, until the fruit is plump and tender and the stew is thickened to your liking, about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the parsley, whisk in the mustard, and serve.

Veterans Day

 

The table set for the Fallen Soldier has become a tradition in our family.

I’d love to share the significance behind the setting, so that on this Veterans Day you can honor soldiers at home as well. Once your table is set and your candle is lit, hold a moment of silence for our Soldiers who are POW/MIA.

The table cloth is white; symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to serve.
A folded American Flag to represent our nation’s strength and unity.
The single red rose signifies blood shed while protecting our freedom.
A slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate.
A pinch of salt symbolizes the fallen tears
The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return; alive or dead.
The glass is inverted, to symbolize their inability to share a toast.
The chair is empty – they are missing.

Thank you to all the men and women who protect our freedom. I honor you.

Spiced Cider not only for Halloween

[fusion_text]In case you didn’t make Spiced Cider for Halloween or already drank what you saved for the day after, this is a great recipe for any occasion and any crowd.  You can always omit the bourbon for a non GG Guice version.  OR double it for a greater GG Guice version!  Don’t forget a great mug to serve Spiced Cider![/fusion_text]

Piña Colada Cupcakes

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  • 1 & 2/3 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • COCONUT FROSTING
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • Salt, to taste
  • Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside. Make the cupcakes: In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in brown sugar and granulated sugar. Whisk in egg, pineapple juice, coconut milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat the softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Turn mixer off and add confectioners sugar, cream, vanilla, and coconut extracts. Mix on low for 1 minute then increase to high speed and beat for 3-4 full minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if frosting is too thick. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (I usually add 1/4 tsp). Frost cooled cupcakes. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake. I used a Wilton #12 piping tip. Decorate cupcakes with coconut, pineapple slices, and/or a cherry. (The girls used a chocolate chip!!)[/fusion_text][/fullwidth]

Perfectly Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting

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Perfectly Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting– say THAT three times fast!

Thank you Linda Enloe for sharing your family rule with me!!

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1/2 c. softened butter

1 c. creamy peanut butter

3 tbs. milk

2 c. confectioners’ sugar

Beat the butter and peanut butter with electric mixer till fluffy. Gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoonful at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in, and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for three minutes for it to get nice and fluffy! Spread on your favorite chocolate cake recipe (might I suggest Everyday Chocolate Cake from the Farmhouse Rules cookbook?!).[/fusion_text][/one_half]

#FBBakeOff 2015 – Pecan Cream Cheese Pie

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Pecan Cream Cheese Pie

Recipe courtesy of Tara Dizzle

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Pie Crust (feel free to use your favorite recipe or a good store bought)

1 1/2 cup flour

5 tbsp cold unsalted butter

3 tbsp cold shortening

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp cold water

Pulse first four ingredients in food processor until course crumbs form. Add ice water pulse just until a ball forms. Press into a disk and chill for an hour or more, before rolling out and placing into a 9 inch pie shell and crimping edges.

Pecan layer of filling:

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan until sugar and butter are just melted. slowly whisk into a medium bowl with two beaten eggs to temper. Set aside.

Cream cheese layer:

1-8 oz block of cream cheese

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Spread into unbaked pie shell.

Pour pecan layer on top of the cream cheese layer and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes until pie is golden. Allow to cool completely. The cream cheese layer and the “caramel” layer will swap while this bakes. Really cool! Pecans still stay on top. Enjoy, it’s ridiculously good!

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#BakeItForward 2015

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Maple Pumpkin Pie with Candied Spiced Pecans

1 recipe for single pie crust

1 15 – ounce can pumpkin
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk

¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
3 shakes cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup pecans (or nut of choice), toasted and roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

For filling, in a large bowl combine pumpkin, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and 1/2 tsp. salt and spices. Add eggs; beat lightly with a fork until combined. Gradually add milk; stir to combine.

Pour into prepared pie dish and bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Pie is done when center is set, or when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Candied Spiced Pecans
In a small saucepan combine the sugar, water, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Boil at a moderate steady rate, without stirring, until mixture turns a dark amber color, about 10 minutes.

In medium bowl, pour the sugar mixture over toasted nuts, and stir to coat. Spray cooking sheet with non-stick spray. Scoop out nuts, put the nuts onto greased sheet pan. Bake for 5-8 minutes until nuts are aromatic. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Take out of oven, sprinkle ½ teaspoon of sea salt on top. Set aside and let cool completely.

When cool, use a spatula to scrape the nuts up. Sprinkle on top of cooled pie.[/fusion_text]

Apple (Baker) of My Eye!

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Rinny’s Stoneware Apple Baker!

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Core apple and place over post. Melt 1.5 tablespoon of butter, add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and a couple shakes of ground cinnamon.

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Mix together and pour over the core in the apple baker (so some seeps down the middle).

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Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes,

or until apple is tender, and skin as cracked. Enjoy!!

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