; Supermarket Serenade: March 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Barefoot Favorite Food Find

You could call me lazy, but I'm really just multitasking...this week I've combined Favorite Food Find Friday with the Barefoot Blogger challenge.

Barefoot Bloggers are a group of bloggers that twice a month prepare a (almost always) delicious recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten. This weeks recipe was selected by Anne of Anne Strawberry. She chose Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook.

I had a few glitches with this week's recipe...
1. I forgot to take a picture of the completed recipe.
2. It didn't really matter because I forgot to put the memory card into the camera so I actually have NO pictures of my version! So my apologies in advance for the lack of visuals.

I would make the recipe again but I have to leave in a couple of hours...my daughter and I are going to NYC to see Billy Elliot and she is competing in an Irish Dancing competition (feis) there tomorrow...so no time.

Today's favorite food find is...

(I was able to just take a picture of the cheese because I had some leftover!) It's Andes Panquehue Cheese Chilean Pepper. Now why would this be the choice when clearly the recipe called for goat cheese? Well, I honestly do not like goat cheese and could not bear to use it so I made a substitution. Since last night was my night to host Bunco at my house I prepared the recipe as individual appetizers. I used a round cookie cutter and cut small circle in the dough and transformed the recipe into bite sized tarts with a spicy chili pepper flavor.

You can find the original recipe here. The following is my adaptation...

Spicy Tomato Cheese Tarts adapted from The Barefoot Contessa's Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts

1 package puff pastry, defrosted

Red pepper flavored olive oil

1 cup minced shallots

1 garlic clove, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons dry white wine

4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 ounces Andes Panquehue Chilean Pepper Cheese (or you may substitute Pepper Jack cheese), coarsely chopped

10-15 grape tomatoes, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

Unfold the puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11x14 inch rectangle. Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter cut the dough into circles (you should be able to get about 24 circles from each sheet) Place the circles on two parchment paper lined baking sheets and chill until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Heat 3 tablespoon of red pepper flavored olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the shallots and garlic. Saute for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots are translucent and the skillet is almost dry. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper along with the 3 tablespoons of white wine; cook for an additional 10 minutes or just until the onions are lightly browned.

Using a small round biscuit cutter, gently score a circle onto each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the smaller circle with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a bit of Parmesan on each round staying inside the scored border.

Divide the shallot mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Divide the cheese between the tarts arranging on top of the shallots. Place one or two grape tomato slices on top of the cheese in each tart. Drizzle with additional red pepper oil and sprinkle with cilantro, salt and pepper. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese over each.

Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven.

Makes about 48 appetizer sized tarts.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jumbo Triple Chippers

It seems that almost every time I go to bake something that uses chocolate chips I open the cabinet only to find that someone has eaten half the bag of chocolate chips; it's just annoying. I have a sweet tooth myself but for whatever reason when it comes to eating chips for baking I can resist...except for one kind: the butterscotch chips.

Today is Favorite Food Find Friday and today's find is none other than the irresistible Nestle Butterscotch chips. The chips are golden brown with a unique caramel flavor.
They're not always easy to find so when I do I buy a few bags and hide them so when I need them they'll be there. I love the traditional Oatmeal Scotchies and I really love creamy butterscotch fudge.
Jumbo Triple Chippers

This recipe is one a good friend of mine cut out years ago from a newspaper. But after a minor bit of research it turns out it's basically the Toll House Cookie recipe with a tablespoon of sour cream added, a little extra vanilla and margarine and shortening instead of the butter. (Not sure what the sour cream is all about...and with so little added, if you don't have it in the house just leave it out.) My friend is a wonderful baker and for our last book group meeting she decided to serve all desserts and she made these wonderful jumbo cookies. The only change I made was to replace milk chocolate and butterscotch chips for the semi sweet chips called for in the recipe...and let me tell you just that little change sends these cookies from great to superb...but then I can't resist a butterscotch chip.

2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer beat the margarine, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, vanilla and eggs and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in the chips.

Scoop the cookie dough by 1/4 cupfuls 3 inches apart onto a baking sheet; press down slightly to flatten. Bake the cookies 12-14 minutes.

Makes 14 jumbo cookies

Friday, March 13, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Chicken Picatta

Busy week nights have left very little time for cooking anything of interest lately which is why I am ever so glad that it is once again Barefoot Thursday(and just to illustrate my disorganization of late this is posted a day late). Barefoot Thursday, for those of you who don’t know, occurs two Thursdays a month and is a day when various food bloggers prepare a recipe from one of the Barefoot Contessa’s (a.k.a. Ina Garten) cookbooks.

This week’s recipe is the perfect quick weeknight supper: Chicken Piccata selected by Lindsay of Noodle Nights and Muffin Mornings.
I actually make this recipe all the time with just one slight change...to cut a bit of the tang of the lemon I add a tablespoon of heavy cream. I served it with steamed brown rice and a salad-just perfect. The recipe I had been using in the past did not call for finishing in the oven so I tried that variation and I must say, I thought that the chicken came out a bit more juicy this way. My cutlets were thin (I bought the thin sliced ones so I didn't have to pound) so I cut the oven time to 5 minutes.

Barefoot Contessa’s Chicken Piccata · 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
· kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
· 1 cup flour
· 2 extra large eggs
· 1 1/2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
· olive oil
· 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
· 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, reserve the lemon halves
· 1/2 cup dry white wine
· fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 275 and line sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper and pound to 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Mix the flour, 1 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoons pepper in shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 Tbls. water. Place the breadcrumbs on a third plate.
Dip each breast first in the flour, shake off the excess and then dip in egg and then bread crumb mixture.

Heat 2 Tbls. olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 chicken breasts and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned. Place them on lined pan and place in oven while you cook the rest of the chicken. Heat more olive oil in saute pan and cook the second 2 chicken breasts. Place them on the same lined pan and place in oven for 5-10 minutes while you make the sauce.
For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. On medium heat, melt 1 Tbls. of the butter and then add the lemon juice, white wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoons pepper.

Boil sauce over high heat until reduced by half which will be about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining 2 Tbls. butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves. Serve one chicken breast on each plate and spoon on the sauce with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.