Appetizers

Miso Marinated Soft Boiled Eggs

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I always see pictures of marinated soft boiled eggs toping bowls of ramen, I don’t see them presented as just a side dish or snack which is how I like them, it’s like the deviled egg of Japan. Soft boiled eggs are peeled and marinated in an assortment of things, miso, soy sauce, mirin, sake, dashi, sugar and then let to sit for a few days in the fridge. Once fully marinated you slice them in half, pop them in your mouth and enjoy as a perfect snack.

Every time I make miso marinated eggs I look up a recipe or try to find my old recipe notes and can’t find exactly what I’m looking for so I end up wing it. They always turn out great but they would be more enjoyable if I had a trusty marinade to ensure they were perfect every time. So finally I did it, I managed to make a few batches to test different marinade ratios and find the one I like the best. But knowing me I’ll only half follow this recipe in the future because that’s the type of person I am, I can’t ever make anything the same.







Miso Marinated Soft Boiled Eggs


Ingredients

  • 6 eggs at room temperature
  • ¼ c water
  • ¼ c sake
  • ¼ c mirin
  • 2 tbsp. miso
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. dashi powder

Directions

  1. It’s important that your eggs are are room temperature before cooking, you can place the eggs in warm water for a bit to help speed up that process.
  2. To a pot of boiling water add your eggs, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook your eggs for 5-6 minutes or cook them how you usually make soft boiled egg.
  3. Once the eggs are cooked shock them in ice water to stop the cooking process.
  4. While the eggs cooling make the marinade, do this in the container you plan to marinade the eggs in; I recommend a zip top plastic bag. Everything goes in and you can squish the ingredients around until combined into a smooth sauce.
  5. Pell your eggs, add them to the marinade and refrigerate for 3 days, flip the bag over at least once a day. After 3 days they are ready to eat but they should also be removed from the marinade otherwise they have a tendency to get rubbery.

For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

Granola Bars

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A bagged lunch is not complete without a little something other than a sandwich and fruit, maybe a muffin or some chips, but the best option is a granola bar. On Class Afloat the students had field trips every time we were in a new port, the whole class and teachers would go off for the day exploring. It was easier to send them with a bag lunch rather than trying to find somewhere to eat in the middle of the day as they hiked dormant volcanos, painted houses for a service project or traipsed around an ancient city. I would pack a lunch of savory sandwich roll, fruit and some new flavor of granola bar based on whatever dried fruit and nuts I happened to have on board. After everything was made I had to wrap everything, most of the time I used cling wrap, rolled out a large piece the length of the counter top, place down bars and cut the wrap with a pizza roller.

Granola bars come in two styles, super crisp or soft and chewy, both have their places but I do prefer something a little softer. This recipe is a great base, you can add whatever nuts and dried fruit you want making it a flexible recipe. There is one secret step to these granola bars that you don’t see in other recipes, hydrating your dried fruit, this way you don’t end up with hard little fruit pellets. I’ve included two flavor options here, one with dried blueberries that reminds me of my favorite breakfast cereal when I was a kid, blueberry morning and one with a tropical vibe.

 








Granola Bars


Ingredients

Base

  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • ½ c honey
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 c rolled oats
  • 1 ½ c rice crispy cereal
  • ¼ c flour

Add ins

    Blueberry morning

    • ½ c almonds, chopped
    • 1/3 c dried blueberries
    • 1/3 c banana chips, crushed

    Tropical Mango

    • ½ c roasted cashews, chopped
    • ¼ c dried mango, chopped
    • ¼ c shredded coconut
    • ¼ c banana chips, crushed
    • ¼ tsp. nutmeg

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 325F and line a 9×13 pan with a piece of parchment leaving some hanging over the edges.
    2. In a small saucepan melt the butter, brown sugar and honey, bring it to a boil for one minute and remove from the heat. Add in the vanilla and salt.
    3. In a separate bowl mix together the oats, rice cereal, flour and your desired add ins.
    4. Pour over the sugar and stir everything together, taste and adjust to taste.
    5. Dump the granola mixture into the lined pan, spread it our and press it down firmly with wet hands. It’s important to press it firmly to help everything stay together.
    6. Bake at 325F for 30 minutes or until the edges start to pick up color.
    7. Let the bars cool until you can handle them, lift them out of the pan with the edges of the parchment and cut into 12 bars.

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

    Malakoff Loaf

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    52 weeks of cooking – The Alps

    When cooking for a crowd I try to find alternatives to making individual appetizers, it takes too much time fiddling with small things, why not make a few huge ones and slice it up.

    This week’s Reddit challenge is make something from the Alps, when you think of that region cheese is the first thing to come to mind. While searching for ideas on what to make I kept going back to these fried cheese things called Malakoff, a slice of bread heaped with a cheese mixture and fried till crispy. I really wanted to make them, but everyone would want two which would mean making at least 50 of them, no thanks. If I had a proper fryer that made it easy to control the heat and I wasn’t on a sail boat where there is the potential for the hot oil to jump out at me I’d be more willing. In these situations, I turn towards the oven, she’s always my friend.

    I made two large loafs of bread with soft interiors and light crispy crusts, cut them in half lengthwise and slathered them in the grated cheese mixture and baked. They were heavenly, the bread was browned, the top layer of the cheese was crisp while the under layer was like molten lava when I cut into them straight out of the oven. Usually for hot baked goods I like to wait at least 10 minutes before serving so people don’t burn their mouths, but this has to be served and eaten right away so you get the gooey fondue effect.

     









    Malakoff Loaf


    Ingredients

    • 1 loaf of soft bread
    • 4 -6 tbsp. butter, softened
    • 32 oz gruyere cheese, grated (8c)
    • 6 tbsp. flour
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    • 1/2 c hard cider or white wine
    • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 4 garlic cloves, crushed

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
    2. Slice the bread in half lengthwise, slather both pieces with the softened butter, bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes until the cut sides are golden brown.
    3. Toss together the cheese, flour, salt and nutmeg.
    4. Whisk together the hard cider, eggs and crushed garlic in a measuring cup, pour over the cheese and mix together with a spatula.
    5. Divide the cheese mixture in half and spread evenly to the edges of each half loaf.
    6. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes and then move the bread under the broiler and broil for 3 minutes or until the top is a dark golden brown and a little crispy.
    7. Slice and serve immediately so the cheese is hot and gooey.
    8. Preheat the oven to 350F.
    9. Slice the bread in half lengthwise, slather both pieces with the softened butter, bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes until the cut sides are golden brown.
    10. Toss together the cheese, flour, salt and nutmeg.
    11. Whisk together the hard cider, eggs and crushed garlic in a measuring cup, pour over the cheese and mix together with a spatula.
    12. Divide the cheese mixture in half and spread evenly to the edges of each half loaf.
    13. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes and then move the bread under the broiler and broil for 3 minutes or until the top is a dark golden brown and a little crispy.
    14. Slice and serve immediately so the cheese is hot and gooey.

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

    Cabbage Confetti Salsa

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    This is my beautiful friend Beth or as she prefers to be called Lady BethFace.


    She started off as a friend of my husband’s before I met him, they sailed together on the Lady Washington in 2008. When I first started working on Zodiac she was there cleaning the boat and was cheerfully surprised when I introduced myself and told her that I was married to one of her old shipmates. We became fast friends, fellow tall ship sailor, historical costume lover, a brain full of plant knowledge and an all round badass lady. Beth has a huge heart, she has graciously opened her home to Jesse and I, boat life doesn’t offer much privacy and she lets us come over to relax and get a change of scenery.

    Over the years I’ve attended several gatherings at her house, there is usually a bonfire, a can full of bacon grease waiting to be lit on fire and always some tasty snacks. One snack in particular that Beth usually makes is what I like to call cabbage confetti salsa, a bunch of vegetables finely chopped, dressed with some lime juice and served with tortilla chips. It’s refreshing and light in comparison to a regular tomato salsa that can sometimes be a bit murky if it comes out of a jar. The time consuming process of chopping the vegetables can all be done ahead of time, just save dressing it until right before serving, the salt will draw out a lot of water from the vegetables and start to make it soggy.

     








    Cabbage Confetti Salsa


    Ingredients

    Salsa

    • 1 head of green cabbage
    • 8 large radishes
    • 2 medium carrots
    • 1 green bell pepper
    • 1 -2 serrano chilies or jalapenos
    • 1 c packed cilantro
    • 3 green onions
    • 1/4 of a red onion

    Dressing

    • 3 limes, juiced
    • ¼ c olive oil
    • 2 ½ tsp salt

    To serve

    • tortilla chips

    Directions

    Salsa

    1. You can chop all of the vegetables finely by hand or alternatively chop them in a food processor.
    2. If using a food processor cut everything into small chunks and only put in a few handfuls at a time, pulse until you get a consistent small size. If you process everything at once the colors will start to run together, I recommend doing the cabbage, radish and carrots separate, then the bell pepper and chili together and lastly the cilantro, green onions and red onion.
    3. At this point the salad can be chilled until you are ready to eat, dress at the last minute so the water is not leached out of the vegetables.

    Dressing

    1. When you are ready to eat, squeeze the limes straight into the bowl of vegetables along with the olive oil and salt, stir everything together and serve with tortilla chips.

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

    Squiggly Wonton Shrimp

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    52 weeks of cooking – Four in a row

    Week 21: Cheap Meals – ingredients for wontons are cheap and shrimp was on sale
    week 22: East Asia – Chinese
    Week 23: Deep Frying – deep fried it
    Week 24: From Scratch – homemade wonton wrappers

    I’m enjoying doing Reddit cooking challenges, the only problem is trying to incorporate them into my menu plan for what I cook for passengers. If I don’t include them as something I’m serving than I have to squeeze it in in between trips and now that it’s summer, I don’t have time for that, we have trips back to back to back. The challenge this week was to take 4 old challenges that were 4 consecutive weeks and combine it into one dish. I chose 4 weeks from 2016, cheap meals, East Asia, deep frying and from scratch, the perfect combination to make for an appetizer.

    These squiggly wonton shrimp balls are crazy looking; they look like crazy sea creatures or spiders if you have too many wonton shreds wiggling out from the center. The wontons are crispy and encase a bouncy shrimp ball center that do well when dipped in a sweet chili sauce. The wonton wrappers take time to roll out, but are worth the extra effort, if you make a double batch you can cut neat squares for regular wontons and use the scraps to make these crazy fried ones. If you have a pasta roller I highly recommend using it to roll out the dough, everything will be an even thickness and you won’t be as frustrated with dough sticking to the counter.

     

















    Squiggly Wonton Shrimp


    Ingredients

    Shrimp Balls

    • 1 egg white
    • 1 lb shrimp
    • 1 green onion
    • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
    • 1 tsp. grated ginger
    • 1 tsp. fish sauce
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. white pepper

    Dipping Sauce

    • 6 tbsp. ketchup
    • 3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsp. sriracha paste
    • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
    • 2 tsp. sugar

    Wonton Wrappers

    • 1 c flour
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 eggs
    • 1/4 – 1/3 c water
    • Cornstarch for dusting
    • Canola or vegetable oil for frying

    Directions

    Shrimp Balls

    1. In the bowl of a food processor add the egg white and blend until the egg white is frothy.
    2. Add the remaining ingredients, blend till you have a smooth and thick paste, takes about 1-2 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    Dipping Sauce

    1. In a small bowl mix together the ingredients for the sauce, set aside until ready to serve.

    Wonton Wrappers

    1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add all of the ingredients for the wonton wrappers and mix with a dough hook until it forms a cohesive dough and there is no reaming dry flour. Cover and lest 10 minutes.
    2. Knead the dough again for 10 minutes until is is smooth, rest covered for 30 minutes.
    3. Divide the dough in half, flatten with your hands and send through the largest setting on a pasta machine, fold in half and send through again, repeat. Pass the dough through again on a thinner setting, #2, and again on #3. Dust with cornstarch, wrap in plastic wrap and repeat with the other pieces, let rest 30 minutes.
    4. After the final resting period pass each sheet again through the pasta roller until you reach the thinnest setting.
    5. Dust the sheet liberally with cornstarch and slice the wonton sheets into short thin strips, set aside in a shallow dish until the shrimp balls are ready to be coated.

    Frying

    1. In a large pot heat up your fry oil, you want to have at least 3 inches of depth. Line a baking sheet or platter with paper towels to have somewhere to land your fried balls.
    2. With a disher or wet hands scoop the shrimp paste into balls and drop into the shredded wonton wrappers. Sprinkle some wonton on top of the ball then scoop it up and gently squeeze the skins to adhere to the paste. You want enough skins to mostly cover the surface, but not too many that when you drop it in the oil they snake out and look like giant spiders. You want small spiders.
    3. Fry the shrimp balls for about 2 minutes or until the wontons are all golden brown. I recommend you try one, cut it open and see if it’s cooked through, if not cooked make your balls smaller or turn down the heat so they have more time to cook without burning the wontons.
    4. When the balls come out of the fryer sprinkle with salt and serve with the dipping sauce.

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

    Tomato Pate a Choux with Ricotta Filling

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    52 weeks of baking – Pate a Choux

    These deep orange colored pate a choux are tomato flavored and filled with a herby ricotta mixture. My first attempt at making these I adorned the tops of the dough with very thin slices of tomato, they looked and tasted great but because of the weight or the moisture they didn’t puff up very much. They had great tomato flavor with a little zip from the fresh slices but their texture was squidgy like the thick areas of a dutch baby or Yorkshire pudding. I don’t mind the texture that way, they become a slightly different dish, but I had envisioned these filled like a cream puff.

    So, I tried them again, added more tomato paste and didn’t garnish them with tomato slices, this time they turned out big and puffy, just the way they are suppose to. The choux buns are crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and have a nice zingy of intense tomato flavor. The filling is creamy and compliments the acidity in the dough for a great balance, any assortment of herbs would do, I used parsley and basil, but I bet pesto would be another great option. mozzarella.

     










    Tomato Pate a Choux with Ricotta Filling


    Ingredients

    Tomato choux

    • 6 tsp. milk
    • 1/4 c water
    • 1/4 c butter
    • 3 tsp. tomato paste
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 3/4 c flour
    • 3 eggs

    Ricotta filling

    • 1 c ricotta cheese
    • 1/2 c grated parmesan
    • 1/4 c parsley, roughly chopped
    • 12 large basil leaves, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp. salt

    Directions

    Tomato choux

    1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
    2. In a small pot add milk, water, butter, tomato paste and salt, cook over medium heat until the butter has melted.
    3. Add the flour and stir vigorously to combine the liquid and flour, cook and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes until a skin forms on the bottom of the pot and the dough pulls cleaning away from the sides of the pot.
    4. Let the dough rest for a minute, stirring occasionally to let it cool off a little.
    5. Add one egg at a time and beat with a wooden spoon until each egg is fully incorporated, beat for an additional 30 seconds after the last egg has been added to ensure a smooth dough.
    6. The dough should be fully homogenized, smooth, thick and slightly glossy.
    7. On to a greased baking tray pipe or dollop using a disher small balls leaving one inch spacing on all sides.
    8. Bake at 375F for 20 minute or until golden brown and puffy, rotating the tray halfway through the cooking time. Pierce the bottom of each puff when they come out of the oven to release steam.

    Ricotta filling

    1. Mix all of the ingredients for the filling together and place into a small zip lock bag, cut off one of the corners of the bag.
    2. When the pate a choux have cooled, pipe the filling into the hole you created on the bottom or find a natural crease in the puff to push the filling in. Alternatively, you can cut the choux open and spoon in the filling.

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

    Mini Okonomiyaki

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    52 weeks of cooking – Multi-Course Meal

    Growing up my brother was the one who was more interested in cooking than I was, he even considered going to culinary school at one point. He was the one who introduced me to okonomiyaki, cabbage pancakes. The fun part is the toppings: slices of pork belly, seafood, green onions and then slathered in okonomiyaki sauce, mayo and sprinkled with seaweed and bonito flakes. They can be a lot of work and I don’t always have all of those special toppings on hand, but I always have cabbage.

    This version is very simple in comparison; they really are just cabbage fritters with a little sauce. You get the same great familiar flavor of okonomiyaki with a lot less work, they make the perfect little appetizer or side dish for a Japanese feast. In this version I use dashi, a Japanese stock base made from kelp and bonito (smoked tuna). You can find it in powder or granules form at most Asian grocery stores, if you can’t just use water and some salt. You should also be on the look out for okonomiyaki sauce, if you can’t find it Just One Cookbook has a simplified recipe with things you might have on hand at home.

     







    Mini Okonomiyaki


    Ingredients

    Cabbage cakes

    • 1/2 head green cabbage, sliced thin
    • 4 green onions, sliced
    • 1 c flour
    • 1 c dashi stock or water
    • 1 egg
    • oil for frying
    • bonito flakes (optional)

    To serve

    • okonomiyaki sauce
    • mayo

    Directions

    Cabbage cakes

    1. Toss together the sliced cabbage and green onions, add the flour, dashi and egg. Mix together, I like to use my hand.
    2. Heat a large pan on medium high heat, add about 1 tablespoon of oil and allow to get hot.
    3. Scoop the mixture into small cakes and flatten a little, dress with a pinch of bonito flakes.
    4. Cook until one side is browned about 2 minutes, flip and cook for a further 2 minutes until the other side is brown.

    To serve

    1. Dress each pancake with a smear of okonomiyaki sauce and a blob of mayonnaise. These make good appetizers for a Japanese feast.

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

    Borek and Charred Green Onion Dip

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    52 weeks of cooking – Balkan

    When I think back on my vacation to Turkey I always think about the food first. The art that I saw, the beautiful mosques and the palaces covered in mosaics were fantastic but it’s the food that stands out the most in my memory. I think it’s because I hadn’t had food like that before. We ate cucumbers and tomatoes for breakfast with salty cheese and bread. Braised eggplant in a tomato sauce with earthy spices and a dash of cinnamon served with yoghurt. We consumed tea where ever we went served in little tulip shaped glasses with gold filigree. Best of all were the pastries made with layers and layers of filo dough.

    The first dish that might pop into your head when thinking about the Balkan region and filo dough would be baklava. It’s great stuff, chopped nuts between sheets of buttery, flakey filo dough all doused in a honey and rose syrup. It can be a little over powering on the sugar even for my sweet tooth so a good alternative to baklava if you don’t have a sweet tooth is börek, think of them as filo cigars.

    There are a lot of different options out there for fillings, I chose to do a meat version and served them with a charred green onion dip. The borek have a light crispy exterior that crack under your fingertips and are stuffed with an earthy aromatic beef mixture. I highly recommend you don’t skip out on the sumac, it has a tart lemon like flavor that can’t be recreated with just lemon juice, look for it in a specialty Middle Eastern grocery store. The charred green onions in the dip add great depth of and a hint of sweetness from being cooked. Next time I make this dip I’m gonna double it and dip everything in it.

     













    Borek with Charred Green Onion Dip


    Ingredients

    Charred Green Onion Dip

    • 12 green onion
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • juice of 1/2 a lemon
    • 2 tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 tbsp. parsley
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 c Greek yoghurt

    Filling

    • 1 1/2 lb ground beef or lamb
    • 2 tsp. paprika
    • 2 tsp. coriander
    • 2 tsp. sumac
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 an onion, minced
    • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
    • 1/2 c beef stock
    • 1/4 c parsley, roughly chopped
    • 3 sprigs of mint, roughly chopped
    • 1 egg

    To assemble

    • 1/2 c butter, melted
    • pastry brush
    • 16 oz box of filo dough

    Directions

    Charred Green Onion Dip

    1. In a very hot pan char the green onions and garlic until blackened, but not charcoal.
    2. Add them to the bowl of a food processor along with the remaining ingredients except the yoghurt, blend to a smooth paste.
    3. Add the yoghurt and blend till fully incorporated, refrigerate until needed.

    Filling

    1. In a large pan over medium high heat brown the meat with the spices and salt, cook until there is no more pink.
    2. Add the minced onion and tomato paste, cook until the onions start to wilt a little and the tomato paste sticks to the bottom of the pan.
    3. Turn off the heat and deglaze with the beef stock, scrap the bottom of the pan to lift off any caramelized flavor bits.
    4. Finish with the herbs and egg. This can be made ahead of time, it’s easier to work with the filling when it’s cooled.

    To assemble

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
    2. Unroll the filo dough and cut the sheets in half, either direction, doesn’t matter. Place one sheet on your work surface and cover the rest with a towel and sprinkle a little water on the towel to help keep things moist.
    3. Brush the filo sheet lightly with butter, add about 2 tablespoons of filing mixture on center bottom edges, shape it into a little bit of a rectangle leaving about an inch of filo around all edges. Fold the edges in along the length of the dough and roll them up into little cigars.

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

    Mushroom Pinchy Pies

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    52 weeks of baking – Veggie

    You know those items that sit in your fridge for a long time and you keep planning on using them, but it never really happens? Well these mushrooms sat around for awhile, but I did finally end up using them.

    The ship is headed to yard and while we are hauled out of the water we are on sever water restrictions. If we use a lot of water it’ll fill the tanks, if we fill the tanks we’ll have to dump them before they over flow into the bilges. If we dump them they might end up being dumped on people who are working on the hull of the ship, no fun. So we try to avoid this by planning ahead, using paper plates and meals likes sandwiches where there is very minimal clean up. Plus, with such quick meals the hands that were once allocated to food preparations are now outside doing something to the ship. The faster we get our work done the sooner the ship gets back in the water and the smaller the bill is.

    So in preparation for not cooking for a few days I wanted to clean the fridge out of anything that might not be good on the other hand. These mushrooms were already looking a little sad and dry, I wanted to use them up and not throw them away. I feel worse about wasting mushrooms than I do lettuce.

    These little pinchy pie pockets were great, it was all about the filling really, rich, creamy and very mushroomy with a hint of musk from the thyme. Their shell of bread was crispy where browned but also that nice chewy squidgyness of squished bread around the edges. Normally little pies like this are deep fried but I prefer the taste of bread that’s been fried in butter, in a way it reminded me of part of an English breakfast.

     











    Mushroom Pinchy Pies


    Ingredients

    • 24 slices of white bread, I used Texas toast
    • 1/4 c butter, for frying

    Filling

    • 12 medium mushrooms, roughly chopped = 2 cups
    • 1/4 of a red onion, minced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 tsp. thyme
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/4 c white wine
    • 1/4 c heavy cream
    • 1/2 c gruyere cheese, grated
    • 4 sprigs parsley, chopped

    Directions

    Filling

    1. Sauté the mushrooms in a little butter with a pinch of salt until they loose their moisture and start to brown. Add the onions, garlic and thyme, cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions have softened, season with salt and pepper to taste.
    2. Deglaze the pan with the white wine scrapping the bottom of the pan to pick up any tasty bits that have stuck. Turn off the heat and add the cream, let cool for a few minutes before adding the cheese and parsley. Set aside while you prep your bread.

    Pies

    1. Remove the crusts from your bread, you could use a round circle cutter to end up with very tidy pies.
    2. Put a spoonful of filling in the middle of a slice of bread, lay another pieces of bread on top and firmly squeeze the edges closed. It might take a few pies to get them just right.
    3. Cook the pinchy pies in 1-2 T of butter, about 2-3 minutes per side on medium low heat until golden brown. Sprinkle them with salt as soon as they come out. Alternatively, you could deep fry them, you’ll want a very good seal.

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

    Savory Cheesecake

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    52 weeks of baking – Cheese

    I never thought I would be annoyed making meat and cheese trays.

    Each ship has its own unique food needs, maybe they expect appetizers, snacks in the middle of the night, fresh bread all the time, or a set menu for breakfast. When I got to Sorlandet I checked in with the shipboard director, she’d been there for a few years and knew details for every department so she filled me in on what I needed to do. For the students I needed to always serve fruit, bread and cereal at breakfast, pretty simple. For the adult crew that ate in the captain’s saloon I needed to provide a meat and cheese with bread at both breakfast and lunch. I was definitely confused at first, did they not expect me to make real food for those meals?

    Later I found out that it wasn’t something unique to Sorlandet but something unique to Norway. I guess the way cooks use to be paid on ships was from whatever money was leftover from their food budget, they’d use ingredients that were really cheap so they could benefit from the difference. Now it’s just part of their customs to have those things provided at breakfast on ships, plus open faced sandwiches are a big thing in Scandinavia.

    So for a time I was sick of arranging slices of meat and cheese onto trays, after awhile I’d just slap down big chunks of cheese and let them deal with it. Now I appreciate cheese presented in a creative way, like cheesecake, who said cheesecake has to be sweet, cheese is often served as a dessert. I bring to you savory cheese cake with all the same elements of the classic dessert we are familiar with.

    You start with a crumbly crust, topped with a smooth cheese mixture and topped with fruit, just like classic cheese cake. To make is savory the crust has pistachios and butter crackers, the cream cheese gets an addition of blue cheese and the topping is hydrated apricots with a bit of mustard and vinegar to give it a little zip. This recipe is very versatile, replace the nuts with something else or more crackers, choose a difference cheese and topping combo. As long as you keep about the same ratio of ingredients you can change it up how ever you like, I’m thinking goat cheese with pepper jelly to try next.

     








    Blue cheese cheesecake with pistachio crust


    Ingredients

    Crust

    • 6 tbsp. shelled pistachios
    • 1/4 c cracker crumbs, about 4 large crackers
    • 2 tbsp. butter, melted

    Cheesecake

    • 5 oz cream cheese, room temperature
    • 6 oz blue cheese, room temperature
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tbsp. heavy cream
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. salt

    Apricot topping

    • 1/2 c water
    • 18 dried apricots, roughly chopped
    • 1/4 c apricot jam
    • 1 tbsp. mustard
    • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. thyme

    Directions

    Crust

    1. Chop the pistachios in a food processor until fine crumbs, add the cracker crumbs and melted butter. Put a scant tablespoon of mixture per muffin cup and press flat.

    Cheesecake

    1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the cheeses together until smooth, if your soft cheese has a rind leave it on and just mix a little longer. Add the reaming ingredients and beat till smooth and fully combined.
    2. Put 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of mixture into each muffin cup on top of the pistachio crust, I used an ice cream dishes to help divide the cheese mixture. Lightly drop the tray twice to help flatten the mound of cheese and then use the back of a spoon to spread it more evenly in the cup. Drop the tray a few more times to smooth out the tops.
    3. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until the edges have a kiss of color, they will be tall and puffy and will shrink as they cool.
    4. Cool completely and chill for at least one hour before attempting to remove from the cups.

    Apricot topping

    1. Put all of the toppings into a small pan, simmer on medium heat till about half of the water has evaporated and the apricots have plumped up. It’s okay to cook it longer, add a bit of water to loosen the final product to the consistency you want before you serve.

    To serve

    1. Run a butter knife around the edges of the cheese cake to help release it and pull out of the cup. If you are leaving some crust behind dip the tray into a hot water bath for a minute to melt the butter and release the cheesecakes. Since the cheese cakes shrink a little as they cool they leave a little well in the center, fill that with your apricot topping and serve with crackers.

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