Monday, April 16, 2012

Finnish Cheese Tarts (Rahkapiirakat)

Pastry after rising once
1/2 c. milk
3 Tbsp. warm water (110 degrees F)
1 envelope dry yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
2-2 1/2 c. flour
6 Tbsp. butter, softened

2 c. ricotta cheese
Pastry after second rising
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. milk

Filling and glaze

To make the pastry:  Heat the milk in a saucepan until small bubbles form on the side of the pan. Let cool to lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add to the milk along with the sugar, salt, and egg. Mix well. Add half the flour and beat well with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the flour and knead well. Add the softened butter in small pieces and knead until it has incorporated into the dough. Place the dough into a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
Ready to fill
Knead the dough again on a lightly floured board, and divide into 9-12 pieces. Roll each pieces into a round bun, and place on a baking sheet covered with wax paper, or lightly greased. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise again, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

To make the filling: Stir all the filling ingredients together well. After the rolls are ready for baking, take a flat-bottomed drinking glass about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and press the bottom in the middle of the bun, spreading the bun out and forming a hollow in the middle.

To make the glaze: Mix the egg yolk with the milk and brush the edges with the glaze.
Out of the oven!

Fill the middle with a full tablespoon (or more, however much will fit) of the cheese mixture. Bake the tarts for 15-20 minutes, or until nicely browned and the cheese filling is set.

From The Best of Finnish Cooking

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jamaican Easter Bread

Just out of the oven!
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. butter
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. stout
3 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 c. currents (or other dried fruit or raisins)
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 F. Heat sugar, butter, honey, cinnamon, and stout in a pot over low heat. Stir occasionally, until the butter is fully melted.
Mix flour, baking powder, currents, and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the heated ingredients. Pour into a greased bread pan. Bake for 40 minutes. If you want to be authentic, you'd serve this with cheese. It is a pretty dense bread, and very good.

Here is a link to the original recipe:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Gruyere Oh My!

1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
1 c. Gruyere cheese, shredded
3 Tbsp. butter (or olive oil, if you insist), melted

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Steam the cauliflower pieces, about 4 minutes. Distribute evenly in a baking dish or pie plate. Pour the tomatoes around the circumference of the dish.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cheese. Mix it up a little. Top the cauliflower and tomatoes with the bread crumb mixture. Pour the melted butter over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Laura Turner

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ricotta Pasta Sauce

I was just using up leftovers, and this delicious sauce was a result. Sorry for not accurate measurements. I just like to throw things together. Makes about 2 smallish servings.

2 Tbsp. butter
1-2 sprigs cilantro, chopped
2 c. baby spinach
garlic powder, to taste
dash of salt
black pepper, to taste
1 c. ricotta
Parmesan cheese
Hot cooked pasta

In a skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the cilantro and spinach. Stir occasionally until the spinach cooks down. Add the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and ricotta. Turn the heat to low. Stir in the ricotta until it is smooth and blended in. Add a handful or two of Parmesan. Stir until the cheese is melted. Serve over hot pasta. You won't be disappointed.