Monthly Archives: October 2014
A regular on my TiVo circuit is Food Network’s “.” Basically, famous chefs and food industry folk – think Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and Ina Garten – share where they eat when they’re not in their own (professional or home) kitchens. I don’t know about you, but I find it fascinating to hear where some of my favorite foodies love to eat, especially when it’s somewhere I’ve been and even more so when the meal is something I’ve actually HAD.
|Pop Tart Hearts on a stick! (Photo: Kitchen Fun)|
Last year I made an incredible pop tart recipe from Bon Appetit. The fact that I could make Pop Tarts — a childhood favorite breakfast item of mine — from scratch in my own kitchen from organic ingredients, no less… well, it blew my mind.
This Valentine’s Day, I’m combining the pop tart with another darling of the dessert world: the Pie Pop. The result? Heart-shaped Tart Pops. They’re part-retro, part-romance and guaranteed to impress your husband, wife, mom, dad, coworker… or whomever is lucky enough to be your Valentine. Don’t have a Valentine? Who cares! These little stunners will grab the attention of just about anyone who like Pop Tarts and/or pie. As for those who don’t… let’s not talk about them.
Here’s how you make the Tart Pops. For a simpler version, use store-bought pie dough or puff pastry sheets.
Homemade Heart-Shaped Tart Pops
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour plus additional for shaping and rolling
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons ice water
- 12 tablespoons strawberry, blackberry or apricot preserves
|Photo: Dine & Dish|
Directions: Whisk 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, coarse salt, and sugar in large bowl. Add butter. Using fingertips or back of fork, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water by tablespoonfuls, tossing until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball. Divide in half; shape each half into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour.
|Photo: Our Best Bites|
Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on floured surface to about 13×11 inches. Using a 3-inch heart cookie cutter, cut dough into individual hearts. Arrange hearts on the cooking sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart.
Spoon 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of preserves in row down center of each heart. Gently press one popsicle sticks into the bottom on each heart, so that at least one inch will bake inside the pie pop. Top preserves and popsicle stick with a second dough heart. Using fingertips, gently press all edges of each tart to seal; press all edges with tines of fork to double-seal. Using toothpick, poke a few holes in center of top dough heart.
|Photo: Our Best Bites|
Sprinkle clear, red or pink sanding sugar onto each heart for decoration. Cover; freeze tarts on sheets at least 2 hours and up to 1 week.
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake frozen tarts uncovered until golden, reversing sheets after 15 minutes, 25 to 30 minutes total (some preserves may leak out). Immediately transfer tarts to rack.
|Photo: Our Best Bites|
Optional gift idea: For Valentine’s Day, pipe a white icing border around the heart and fill in your favorite “sweet heart” saying, like “Be Mine,” You’re Hot” or any other personal greeting. Cover each pop with cellophane, secure with a cute ribbon around the base of the popsicle stick and give to your Valentine!
|Spicy Veal Bolognese|
I’m in New Jersey for work and I’m inspired. I know, inspiration and New Jersey don’t typically go hand-in-hand (relax, I’m mostly kidding), but after spending the day with an Italian colleague who talked about her mother’s amazing homemade pasta, gravy (sauce), meatballs and cannoli, I’m hungry.
If I could make anything right now, it would be my best attempt at spicy bolognese… in other words, pasta shells tossed in a rich veal tomato sauce. It’s made from a mix of ground sirloin and veal, San Marzano tomatoes, a hint of nutmeg, a touch of cream and topped with basil and freshly grated Parmesiano Reggiano. The recipe might not come from my
Italian Nona but it’s still pretty delicious. Even better, it’s ready in 30 minutes. Enjoy!
30-Minute Pasta Bolognese
Adapted from How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra to cook the pasta
- 1/2 pound lean ground sirloin
- 1/2 pound ground veal
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Sea salt, for seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
- 3/4 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus extra as for serving
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and veal and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, a splash of olive oil, and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box. Al dente typically takes 8-10 minutes.
While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining 1/4 cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and 1/2 cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with basil and Parmesan on the side.