Paganini's Pantry (163)


Serves 8

6 cups fresh spinach

1 cup fresh cherries, pitted (preferably Yellow or Rainier)

½ cup toasted pistachio pieces


Wash greens and dry. Tear into bite size pieces if necessary.

Toss greens with dressing. Top with other salad ingredients.



Champagne Vinaigrette

1/2 cup Champagne vinegar

1/4 Dijon mustard

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste.


Whisk ingredients together adding oil last to create an emulsion.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Thursday, 14 July 2016 17:41

Chocolate Brownie Batter Gelato

 Makes 4 1/2 cups

4 fl. oz. heavy cream

28 fl. oz. whole milk

5 1/2 wt. oz. granulated sugar

3 fl. oz. egg yolks

2 vanilla beans, pulverized

1/8 tsp. salt

4 wt. oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

1 Tbsp. espresso


Heat cream, milk, sugar and vanilla beans in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot but not boiling.


Place egg yolks and salt in a separate bowl and whisk briefly.  Still whisking, slowly add hot cream mixture into egg yolks using the liaison method.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly.  Add chocolate and espresso.  Don’t let it boil.  Strain the mixture, and place in the refrigerator to cool.  Fill the machine and freeze.  Swirl in brownie batter before serving if serving soft serve. Or fold in brownie batter and place mixture in freezer to harden overnight. 



Brownie Batter for Ice Cream

1/4 cup prunes (about 8 prunes)
3/4 cup water
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped (OPTIONAL)


In a small saucepan, combine prunes and water and simmer for 5 minutes, or until prunes are soft; allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, and stir until combined.


In a blender, puree prunes and simmering liquid with the oil, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and mix until just combined. If the batter is still dry, add water 1 Tbsp. at a time, just until the batter comes together; too much water may make the batter harden more in the freezer. Mix in the walnuts.


Recipe for brownie batter from

Friday, 08 July 2016 05:15

Peach Blackberry Crisp



Fruit Filling:

2  lbs   fresh or frozen peaches, sliced

½ cup blackberries

2 Tbsp Amaretto

½ cup sugar, granulated

2 Tbsp corn starch

1 tsp vanilla Sugar



2/3 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2  tsp. vanilla sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, chopped and chilled


Preheat oven to 350° F.


In a large mixing bowl, mix together filling ingredients. 


In a separate large bowl, combine flour, oats, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla sugar until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.


Place fruit mixture in a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle crumble mixture over the fruit.


Bake in oven for approximately 20-35 minutes, until topping is a rich golden brown.


Tomato, Cucumber, and Corn Salad
2 Ears of corn, cooked
2 garden gomatoes
1 large cucumber
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Peel cucumber.  Chop vegetables into a small mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and adjust to taste


Pulled Pork Sliders
8 Kaiser buns
2-3lbs Bone-in Pork Shoulder
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup onion, minced
2 qts water

Place all ingredients into a large sauce pot with lid and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and allow mixture to cook 3-4 hours until pork reaches internal temperature of 140°F.  Remove pork from sauce, but do not discard sauce.

Use fork to shred meat off shoulder and place back into sauce pot with sauce.  Heat and adjust seasoning to taste.

Friday, 24 June 2016 05:37

Stef’s Curry

aka  Beef Massaman Curry

Serves 4-6



2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon peanut oil

1 cup pearl onions

3 garlic cloves chopped

1 1/2 lbs. beef tenderloin, cut into 1 inch chunks

3 potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 Tbsp. Massaman curry paste

2 cups coconut milk

2 cups beef stock

2 Tbsp. soy sauce or Thai Fish sauce

2 tsp. brown sugar (optional)

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup green peas

Salt and pepper to taste

6 cups jasmine rice, cooked

3/4 cup peanuts, ground


Heat oils in a large sauté pan.  Add onions, potatoes and beef and sauté until beef is cooked.  Add garlic and curry paste and cook until garlic is light brown. 


Add stock, coconut milk, sugar, cinnamon, peas, and soy sauce and simmer to blend flavors until potatoes are tender. Adjust flavors to taste.  Serve over rice garnished with peanuts.

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 11:32

Simple Salad Nicoise


1 lb. small red new potatoes, scrubbed and halved 
6 large eggs 
1/2 lb. green beans, stems trimmed

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup black or Kalamata olives
Salt and pepper to taste

(You can add tuna fish either canned or fresh that has been seared if desired)


Separately boil green beans and potatoes until fully cooked.  Set aside to cool.


Boil eggs until hard boiled.


Chop green beans into bite size pieces.  Slice potatoes into medallions.  Peel eggs and slice into quarters. 


Arrange all salad items neatly on a salad platter.  Drizzle with dressing and serve.


Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar 
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard 
2 tsp. honey 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

Ground pepper In a food processor blend together vinegar, mustard, honey and pepper. 

Slowly add oil to create an emulsion. Toss with salad.

Thursday, 02 June 2016 11:11

Apple Vanilla Fritters


Makes 2 dozen

Apple Mixture:

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon


Fritter batter:

1 cup whole milk

4 eggs 

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

 1 Tbsp. baking powder

Vegetable oil for frying



1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. apple juice

1 Tbsp. milk

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


In a medium mixing bowl combine apples, sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside for 15 minutes.


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, melted butter, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla. Add apple mixture and mix.


Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.  Mix dry ingredients into batter.


Heat the oil in a large skillet to 365-370° F.


Using an ice cream scoop, carefully scoop one to two scoops of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides. Remove from oil and drain on a cooling rack over a paper toweled lined baking sheet. 


In a different mixing bowl, whisk together glaze ingredients and dip fritters into glaze. Return fritters to rack for a couple minutes to allow glaze to set up.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 08:05

Grilled White Pizza with Rosemary


1 cup warm water (95° - 110°)
2 packages dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8oz shredded mozzarella
8oz shredded fontinella cheese
8oz provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 400° and heat grill.  Place water in a bowl, stir in yeast, att 1tsp sugar.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it proof for 10 minutes in a warm spot.

Mix 2 cups flour and rosemary with the proofed yeast.  Mix with the help of a fork.  The dough will be sticky and wet.  Place in a bowl covered wth plastic wrap and alow to rest for 30 minutes or more in a warm spot away from drafts.

Add remaining 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt.  Mix ingredients well by hand or in food processor.  Work the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic (adding a little more flour or water as needed).  

Shape the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let dough rise until double in bulk for 40 minutes.

Punch down and divide dough into two equal pieces.  Roll out each piece to about 1/4" thickness.  Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Grill pizza dough then remove from grill and place on cookie sheet.

Top with cheese.  Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.  Remove and cut to serve.

Friday, 20 May 2016 05:07

Vegetable Soup with Turkey Meatballs


Serves 8-10


2 eggs

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

8 oz. lean ground turkey

1 sm. onion, minced

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1 tsp. garlic, minced

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper



3 Tbsp. olive oil                                                       

1 lg. onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice

2 lg. zucchini, rinsed and cut into 1/4 inch dice

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1 cup dry white wine

4 qt. vegetable stock

1 lb. fresh spinach, stems trimmed, leaves cut into thin strips

1 cup green beans, chopped into ½ inch pieces

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


To make the meatballs: Mix egg whites, bread crumbs, parmesan, ground turkey, onion, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Using 1 teaspoon for each, shape the meat mixture into meatballs. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350°.


To make the soup: Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini, beans, potatoes and cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes until the vegetables are caramelized. Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Pour in the stock and allow to simmer 20-30 minutes.  Then add the spinach and meatballs stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in large bowls with plenty of Parmesan cheese.

Friday, 13 May 2016 05:25

Mini Key Lime Tartlets

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 pkg. vanilla sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt

In a large bowl, combine crust ingredients, mix well.  Divide the dough into 48 one-inch balls. Press balls into miniature muffin tins with a tart tamper.   

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 pkg. vanilla sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup key lime juice
1 tsp lime extract
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, whipped with 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Zest and juice of 2 limes – 2 additional limes to slice for garnish
1 envelope unflavored gelatin, sprinkled over 1/4 cup cold water to soften

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Beat in condensed milk until blended.

On low speed, add key lime juice, vanilla sugar, lime extract, salt, zest and juice of 2 limes. Increase speed and beat until blended.

Heat gelatin in microwave 10 seconds to melt. Stir into lime filling. Fold in whipped cream. Fill mini crusts, and then refrigerate muffin tins for 2-3 hours or overnight. Garnish with lime slices dredge in granulated sugar and serve.

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