Sunday, December 26, 2010

Caramelized Onion Tarts

And this one was a big hit on Christmas. Adapted from a recipe in Real Simple.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2 red apples (such as Gala or Braeburn), cut into small pieces
salt and pepper
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3 ounce package), thawed
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream (I used plain soy yogurt)

1. Heat oven to 400.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Stir in the apples, 1/s tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper, and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes.

3. Place each sheet of puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet and prick all over with a fork. Spread with creme fraiche (or whatever you're using), leaving a 1/2 inch border. Top with the onion mixture and bake until the pastry is crisp and browned, 30-35 minutes.

4. Cut into pieces before serving.

Artichoke and Caper Dip

This was a big hit on Christmas Eve. Recipe is from Health Magazine.

1 small garlic clove, peeled
14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped

1. Combine garlic and artichoke hearts in a food processor until well chopped.

2. With food processor on, add lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil, processing until smooth.

3. Stir in pepper and capers.

4. Serve chilled or at room temperature, with fresh vegetables, pita chips, hunks of bread, etc.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Potato, Leek and Celery Root Soup

This recipe is from Annie Somerville's Fields of Greens, with only minor changes. I discovered it when I was looking for something to do with the celery root (celeriac) that I bought at the Winter Farmers' Market. Now I make this soup all the time because it's so yummy! In fact, we're making it part of our Christmas dinner this year.

6 cups vegetable stock
1 medium size celery root bulb, about 1 lb.
2 lbs. large red or yellow finn potatoes, peeled and thinly slices, about 7 cups
white pepper
1 bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2-4 medium sized leeks, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced and washed (3-4 cups)
1/4 cup dry white wine

Peel, quarter and thinly slice the celery root, discarding the inner core if it's soft and spongy.

Place the potatoes and celery root in a soup pot with 1 quart stock, 1 tsp. salt,
a few pinches of white pepper, the bay leaf and the garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft. Remove the bay leaf, then puree with an immersion blender (or pass through a food mill, mash with a potato masher, or otherwise puree). Return to the pot (where necessary), add remaining stock, cover, and cook over low heat.

While potatoes and celery root are cooking, heat the olive oil and butter in a sauté pan and add the leeks, 1/2 tsp salt and a few pinches of pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the leeks begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Then cover the pan and lightly steam them for 5-10 minutes. Add the wine and simmer, uncovered, until the pan in almost dry.

Add the leeks to the potatoes, cover, and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.