Fine Fixin's

Strawberry Chiffon Pie

Westervin's Fine Fixin's: Strawberry Chiffon Pie Recipe

Summer is in full swing here in Arkansas! The sun is shining, and the humidity is through the roof. Stepping outside is like stepping into a sauna. A sauna with mosquitos… The plus side, however, is that summer fruits are plentiful! And while fruit is great on it’s own, sometimes the old sweet tooth takes over and you start craving a decadent fruit dessert. On a recent occasion, we turned to Cook’s Country for a recipe for Strawberry Chiffon Pie. It was amazing. Light and sweet, it’s perfect for summer, plus you only need to bake the crust (or buy one if you’re into shortcuts), which means you don’t have to heat up the whole house.

A Slice of Strawberry Chiffon Pie - Recipe from Westervin

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

1 (5.3-ounce) box shortbread cookies, broken into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

2 tablespoons water

12 ounces strawberries, hulled (2 1/2 cups), plus 8 ounces strawberries, hulled, halved, and sliced thin (1 1/3 cups)

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 large egg whites

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled

Light and Refreshing Strawberry Chiffon Pie - Recipe on the Westervin blog

Instructions

  1. FOR THE CRUST: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Process cookies, sugar, and salt in food processor until finely ground, about 1 minute. Add almonds and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 8 pulses. Add melted butter and pulse until combined, about 10 pulses. Transfer crumb mixture to pie plate. Using bottom of dry measuring cup, press crumbs evenly into bottom and up sides of plate. Bake until crust is golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Let crust cool completely on wire rack, about 30 minutes. (Crust can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours.)
  1. FOR THE FILLING: Sprinkle gelatin over water in small bowl and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Process hulled whole strawberries in food processor until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl and press on solids to extract 1 cup of juice; discard solids. Whisk 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, and strawberry juice together in small saucepan.
  1. Bring juice mixture to simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Transfer to large bowl, stir in lemon juice, and let cool completely, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  1. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk one-third of meringue into cooled strawberry mixture until smooth. Fold remaining meringue into strawberry mixture until only few white streaks remain.
  1. In now-empty mixer bowl, whip cream on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Gently fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture until no white streaks remain. Fold in sliced strawberries. Spoon filling into crust and spread into even layer using back of spoon. Refrigerate pie for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve.

from Cook’s Country, August/September 2014

Westervin Blog: Recipe for Strawberry Chiffon Pie

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Fine Fixin's

Chilaquiles Verdes

Chilaquiles in Bowl

Sarah has recently fallen in love with chilaquiles. Here’s a Chilaquiles Verdes recipe that is our current favorite to make at home. The tang from the limes and tomatillos really makes this dish. As an added bonus, it’s just as good for leftovers (and makes plenty)!

Roasted Tomatillos

 

Chilaquiles Verdes

 

  • 3 pounds tomatillos in the husk
  • 1 large red onion cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 8 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 heaping spoonful of crema or sour cream
  • 1 quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup (or more if you like) queso fresco in large crumbles (1/2- to 1-inch pieces), or shredded monterrey jack
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Salt and olive oil, as needed
  1. Lay tomatillos, onions, jalapeños, and garlic on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Place the baking sheet under the broiler, until the veggies are wilted and blistered, about 10 minutes (time will vary based on the heat of your broiler). Remove the veggies and let them cool until you are able to handle them.
  3. Remove the husks from the tomatillos, squeeze the garlic from the cloves, and remove the stem from the jalapeños. Throw the roasted veggies into a blender, along with any juices that accumulated on the baking tray. Add the cilantro leaves, the juice of the lime, and the crema. Purée until the mixture is very smooth. Taste and make any needed adjustments (more salt, acid, etc).
  4. While the veggies are still in the oven, bring the chicken broth to a gentle simmer in a dutch oven. Add the chicken breasts and allow them to simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Move the chicken to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it. Return the chicken and any juices to the pot.
  5. Add the tomatillo purée to the chicken broth, taste for seasoning (note the sauce should be tangy, almost sour, so add another squeeze of lime if necessary), and bring to a simmer. Cover and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Cut the tortillas into quarters. If your tortillas are fresh, dry them out in the oven or toaster oven. If they’re stale and dried out, add them right to the pot. Stir the mixture and let simmer for another 10 minutes. The tortillas will cause the sauce to thicken.
  7. Uncover and stir in the queso fresco or sprinkle with the monterrey jack. Cover the pot again, allowing the cheese to melt. Uncover, sprinkle with cotija and cilantro, and serve.
  8. Note: The chilaquiles are just as good — maybe better — the next day. A fried egg on top wouldn’t hurt either!

from Food 52

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Fine Fixin's

Romaine and Cabbage Salad with Quinoa and Feta

One problem that we are constantly trying to solve is finding meals that Sarah can take for dinner on the day she has classes from 3pm to 10pm. This week we’re trying a salad-centric approach. Fruit salad has become a bit of staple, and we’re pairing it with a slight variation on a leafy salad we saw on The Kitchn. We used red cabbage instead of radicchio and feta instead of ricotta salata.

Romaine and Cabbage Salad with Quinoa and Feta

For the quinoa:
1/2 cup red quinoa
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the vinaigrette:
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon honey
Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 – 1c red cabbage
1 large shallot
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 ounces feta, crumbled
1 large ripe avocado, thinly sliced
Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the quinoa: Heat 1 cup water in a saucepan. Stir in the quinoa, garlic clove, and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low, and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Spread the cooked quinoa on a large plate to cool.

Make the vinaigrette: In a small food processor or chopper, blend the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, honey, and a generous quantity of black pepper. When creamy and thick, set aside.

Make the salad: Finely chop the romaine into ribbons, discarding the stem end. Core and cut the radicchio into quarters, then slice each into thin ribbons. Finely shave the shallot into thin slices. Toss the romaine, radicchio, and shallot in a large bowl, and toss with the cooked quinoa. Toss with the vinaigrette, and then with the almonds and the ricotta salata. Toss about half of the avocado with the salad. Season to taste with generous amounts of salt. Serve topped with remaining slices of avocado.

from The Kitchn

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Fine Fixin's

Hollow Pasta with Greek Cinnamon-Tomato Sauce

Photo of Hollow Pasta with Greek Cinnamon-Tomato Sauce

 

Pasta! We don’t usually make a lot of pasta, because Sarah and I have opposing ideologies when it comes to noodley dishes: she likes thick, creamy, and meaty sauces, while I prefer my noodles with just a little cheese and butter or oil.

However, I think we’ve just found a happy compromise! This recipe from the Splendid Table has tomatoes, but a lot of the sauciness comes from goat cheese. This might be the perfect combination to satisfy both of us. Plus, the cinnamon really sets it apart from your usual pasta meal. If you you are in a pasta rut, this might just help.

Hollow Pasta with Greek Cinnamon-Tomato Sauce

 

Ingredients

  • 5 quarts salted water in a 6-quart pot

Sauce:

  • Good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 tighty-packed cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons dried oregano (Greek oregano preferred)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper or other medium-hot chile; or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white or red wine
  • 2 pounds ripe summer tomatoes; or one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with their juice
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups diced cooked chicken or lamb (organic if possible; optional)

Pasta:

  • 1 pound imported long hollow pasta like perciatelli, maccheroncelli, or ziti, broken into more or less 2-inch pieces, or short hollow pasta
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions

Bring the salted water to a boil.Generously film the bottom of a straight-sided 12-inch saute pan with olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, parsley, and generous sprinklings of salt and pepper. Saute the onions to golden brown. Then stir in the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, sugar, and Aleppo pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and saute for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute.

 

If using fresh tomatoes, grate them on a grater over a bowl, and add the pulp with its juices to the pan. For canned tomatoes, crush them as they go into the pot. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the sauce for 8 minutes, or until thick. Taste for seasoning, remove the pan from the heat, and if using the chicken or lamb, stir it in. Cover the pan.

 

Drop the pasta into the boiling water. Boil, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still has a little bite. As the pasta cooks, reheat the sauce over medium-high heat. Once the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and add it to the sauce. Toss over the heat for a minute or more to help the sauce permeate the noodles. Turn half of it into a serving bowl and dot with half of the cheese. Add the rest of the pasta and top with the remaining cheese.

 

from the Splendid Table

 

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Fine Fixin's

Grilled Salmon with Tomato & Watermelon Salsa

Grilled Salmon with Tomato & Watermelon Salsa

Before the weather totally sets its mind on fall, it might be time to sneak in a final summery recipe. Here’s a tasty one that we’ve made a few times. The original recipe calls for bass and green tomatoes, but we used salmon and yellow tomaters since that’s what we had on hand.

Grilled Salmon with Tomato Watermelon Salsa

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped green tomatoes (1/2 lb)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped red watermelon
  • 2/3 cup minced red onion
  • 1 (2 1/2- to 3-inch) fresh red or green chile such as Thai or serrano, minced (including seeds)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 (6-oz) center-cut pieces salmon (or striped bass or mahi mahi) fillet with skin (1 inch thick)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Get your grill or grill pan heated up.

Toss together tomatoes, watermelon, onion, chile, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. (Do not make salsa more than 1 hour ahead or it will become watery.)

Pat fish dry, then brush with oil and season with salt. Grill fish, starting with skin sides down, on lightly oiled grill, turning over once until just cooked through, 8 to 9 minutes total.
Serve fish topped with salsa. Easy!

Serves 6. Adapted from Gourmet

Tomato & Watermelon Salsa

Fine Fixin's

Citrus Mahi Mahi with Avocado Salsa

Citrus Mahi Mahi with Avocado Salsa and Asparagus

Here’s a simple fish dish that’s great for summer because of it’s citrus avocado salsa. The original recipe calls for salmon, but we used Mahi Mahi, which turned out swimmingly! The citrus salsa also goes pretty well with grilled vegetables — we had asparagus on hand. Overall, it’s a nice, light dish that comes together quickly and is perfect for a weekday.

Citrus Mahi Mahi with Avocado Salsa and Asparagus

Citrus-glazed Mahi Mahi with Avocado Salsa

Four 6-ounce Mahi Mahi salmon filets
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salsa:
1 large avocado, diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 orange, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, ribs removed, and diced OR 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

In a baking dish, combine the olive oil and the orange juice.  Lay Mahi Mahi in it and turn to coat.  In a small bowl, combine the salt, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, allspice, and cayenne pepper.  Sprinkle over each side of Mahi Mahi filets.  Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the avocado, red onion, orange, jalapeno, and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and chill.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high and lightly coat with olive oil or vegetable cooking spray.  Add the Mahi Mahi and cook for 4-5 minutes; turn and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes or until fish flakes easily.  Serve with chilled avocado salsa.  Makes 4  servings.

from Eating Well Living Thinner

Citrus Mahi Mahi with Avocado Salsa and Asparagus

Fine Fixin's

Tomato & Mozzarella Potato Salad with Lemon-Buttermilk Dressing

Here’s a nice summery side dish that’s pretty darn easy to put together. We cooked our potatoes until they were very tender, which meant we got more of a smashed potato salad. If you prefer a firmer potato for your salad, make sure you check on them frequently so you can take them out before they get so tender.

Tomato & Mozzarella Potato Salad with Lemon-Buttermilk Dressing

serves 8

3 pounds petite red or Yellow Yukon potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey, warmed
8 ounces tiny mozzarella balls
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ounces basil, roughly chopped

Heat a large pot of water to boiling and salt it generously with at least 1 tablespoon salt. When the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are very tender but not yet falling apart. Drain cooked potatoes and return them to the pot.

While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the buttermilk, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour this dressing over the warm potatoes and toss to coat.

Toss with the mozzarella balls, halved cherry tomatoes, and basil. Season generously with salt and fresh pepper (the salad will need more salt than you expect). Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature.

from The Kitchn

Featured, Fine Fixin's

Lasagna Cupcakes!

Westervin's Fine Fixin's: Lasagna Cupcakes

It’s no secret that Sarah loves lasagna. Her devotion is almost Garfield-esque. However, I’ve never made lasagna before (unless we’re counting microwaving frozen lasagna). Making lasagna seems pretty straightforward, but still time-consuming, and for me (a non-lasagna-lover), not much fun. Enter: the lasagna cupcake. These are fun to put together and don’t take very long to bake, which is a bonus in the summer. Plus, they are Sarah approved. But don’t take my word for it…

These will change your life. You will think back to your life before lasagna cupcakes, and you will proclaim, “Dear god! How did we survive?” — Sarah

Westervin's Fine Fixin's: Lasagna Cupcakes

Lasagna Cupcakes

1 cup marinara sauce
3/4 pound ground beef
12 wonton wrappers (we used egg roll wrappers)
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
3 ounces Parmesan cheese
4 ounces Ricotta cheese
(optional) basil for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. Brown beef and season with salt and pepper. Drain.
3. Cut wonton wrappers into circle shapes using a biscuit cutter or using the top of a drinking glass. You can cut several at a time. Note: For a more rustic look, no cutting necessary!
4. Reserve 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and 6 tablespoon mozzarella for the top of you cupcakes. Start layering your lasagna cupcakes. Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into the bottom of each muffin tin. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese, Ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Top with a little meat and marinara sauce. Use around 1-2 teaspoons of all the ingredients depending on your personal preference.
5. Repeat layers ending with marinara sauce. Top with reserved Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove use a knife to loosen the edges then pop each lasagna out.
7. Garnish with basil and serve.

From Quick Dish

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Fine Fixin's

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

bourbon chocolate pecan pie

When we eventually made it back home after visiting Woodford Reserve, we didn’t just sit around drinking. We started baking! Here’s a great recipe we tried for a bourbon-y chocolate pecan pie from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking.

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

1 dough / crust
2 cups pecan halves, toasted
3 large eggs
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

If you’re starting with pie dough, dust a work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Unwrap the ball of chilled dough and put it directly on the work surface.

Roll out into a 12-inch round.

Transfer the dough to a pie dish and carefully work it into the pie dish, folding any overhang under and crimping the edge as you go.

Wrap and freeze the crust until firm, about 2 hours or up to 3 months.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coarsely chop 3/4 cup of the pecans. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until combined. Add the corn syrup, sugars, butter, salt, vanilla, and bourbon. Whisk again until combined. Stir in the chopped pecans and set the filling aside.

Spread the chocolate chips evenly along the bottom of the frozen pie shell.

Slowly pour the filling on top of the chocolate chips.

Arrange the remaining 1 1/4 cups pecan halves on top of the filling.

Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, then cover the edges of the crust loosely with aluminum foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Test the pie by sticking a knife in the center of the filling. If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done. If the knife comes out with clumps of filling sticking to it, bake for another 5 minutes and test again.

Cool the pie on a wire rack and serve.

Fine Fixin's

Ice Cream Cookie Bowls

frozen yogurt and raspberries in a cookie bowl

Here’s a pretty clever idea that Sarah happened to spot on Pinterest. Not only do you get to make edible bowls, but you get to put ice cream in your edible bowls! You really can’t lose.

ice cream cookie bowl with raspberries

We decided to take a bit of shortcut on this recipe and just use some store bought chocolate chip cookie dough. Now the original recipe may work better, but we had some difficulty getting our cooked cookies off our muffin tin. I think this was partially due to over cooking them just a bit. Luckily we were able to salvage a few bowls (along with lots of cookie crumbs from broken bowls) and enjoyed them filled with frozen yogurt and raspberries. A lovely treat indeed.

frozen yogurt blend in a cookie bowl with fresh fruit

via: wilton.com

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