Paganini's Pantry (163)

Thursday, 06 August 2015 19:24

Confetti Veggie Mini Sandwiches

 Serves 8

- 1 cup cream cheese, softened to room temperature

- ¼ teaspoon dill weed or celery seed

- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

- 1 cup shredded vegetables (carrots, cucumber, red peppers, and broccoli)

- 1/4 tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

- 16 slices sandwich bread, thin sliced


In a large mixing bowl fold together ingredients.  Spread onto bread and make sandwiches.  Trim crust and using a heart shaped (or shape of your choice) cookie cutter cut into sandwiches

Friday, 31 July 2015 08:06

Prosciutto Melon Pasta Salad


4 cups cooked Gemelli pasta
1/8 cup minced scallions
3 cups fresh cantaloupe, diced
2 cups fresh sliced strawberries
1 cup Ciliegini sized fresh mozzarella
8 slices proscuitto slices

Preheat oven to 370°

Place prosciutto slices separately on a baking sheet.  Bake until crisp, approximately 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Break into strips.

Toss ingredients together in a bowl with dressing

Balsamic Vinaigrette
>1Tbsp fresh minced basil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor or blender, blend together dressing ingredients and adjust to taste.

Toss with salad.



1 cup honeydew melon

3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp. Acacia honey

1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger

In a food processor, blend all ingredients together.


Fruit Salad:

2 cups cantaloupe, diced

2 cups fresh pineapple, diced

2 cups strawberries, hulled & sliced

2 cups seedless grapes, halved

2 kiwis, peeled, sliced


Mix fruit together in a bowl. Toss with dressing just before serving.

Friday, 17 July 2015 05:02

Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Makes (1) 8 inch tart or multiple tartlets depending on shell size  


For Pate Sucre Tart dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 pkg. vanilla sugar

4 lg. egg yolks

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks


In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt until combined.


Add butter chucks, process until mixture resembles cornmeal. Pulse as you add yolks until dough start to come together.


Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and blend dough by pushing it away with the heel of your hand and gathering it up with a pastry scraper into a ball.


Wrap dough in plastic wrap, flatten it into a disk and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.


Roll out dough and place into tartlet sized pans.  Double pan to keep dough from shrinking.  Bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown and remove from oven.  Cool completely. Spread raspberry jam in the bottom of the tart shell before adding the ganache layer.


Heat cream in a non-reactive sauce pan until almost boiling.  Add cream to chocolate and let sit for 1 minute. Stir together until fully incorporated and chocolate is melted. Allow to cool slightly and spoon into ready baked tartlet shells.


Refrigerate tartlets until chocolate is completely firm. Top with fresh raspberries.




3/4  cup heavy cream

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate


Base Filling:

2/3 cup Raspberry Jam 


For garnish:

1 pint fresh raspberries

Friday, 10 July 2015 05:09

Campari Spritz


For 1 wine glass

4 Oz. Prosecco
2 Oz.  Campari
2 Oz.  Club soda
1 slice of fresh orange
Ice for glass

Pour each ingredient into a wine glass filled with ice. 

Top with slice of orange.

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 11:30

Boston Cream Pie

Makes two cakes, each serves 8

Pastry Cream

Yield: 4 cups

1/4 cup corn starch

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla bean paste

6 large egg yolks

16 oz. whole milk

1/8 tsp. salt


In a non-reactive saucepan heat milk to boiling. Set aside.


In a large mixing bowl whisk together corn starch, sugar, yolks, vanilla bean paste, and salt. 

Make sure items are well blended.


Liaison the milk into the egg mixture slowly to prevent curdling.  Pour incorporated mixture into non-reactive saucepan and slowly heat mixture, making sure to stir constantly to prevent premature cooking of egg yolks. Allow mixture to thicken to pudding consistency.  Remove immediately from pan to prevent further cooking.  Cool in ice bath if desired.


Place plastic wrap on surface of cream and place in refrigerator to cool. 


Yellow Cake:

Yield: 2 8 inch cakes

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups milk, tepidly warm


Preheat oven to 350. Grease pans and line pan(s) with parchment paper on bottom.


Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.


In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.


Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated; scrape down sides of the bowl. Add vanilla.


Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl.


Divide batter evenly among pan(s), filling each about three-quarters full.


Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20-30 minutes, rotating pan once if needed.


Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely in pan.



Yield: 3 1/2 cups

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup fine quality chocolate, chopped small and evenly
2 oz. unsalted butter

Heat whipping cream in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan or on top of a bain marie.

Remove saucepan from heat and add chocolate and butter.

Allow chocolate to melt slowly, stirring occasionally, until smooth.

Friday, 19 June 2015 05:41

Dinner with Dan

With Chef Stefani Paganini out of town this week, Dan Deely wanted to share his recipe for Cilantro-Lime Grilled Shrimp and Brown Rice, Tomatoes and Basil.

Brown Rice, Tomato and Basil (recipe from

1 cup Texmati brown rice
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup Champagne or rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon good olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ripe tomatoes, large-diced
1 cup packed basil leaves (1 large bunch), chopped

Bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil and add the rice and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Return to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed. Transfer the rice to a bowl.

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, remaining teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Pour over the rice. Add the tomatoes and basil. Mix well and check the seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

Cilantro-Lime Grilled Shrimp (recipe from

  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 limes, juice and zest or 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Marinate the shrimp in the mixture of the lime juice, zest, oil, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, salt and pepper for 30 minutes.
  2. Skewer the shrimp and grill over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Friday, 12 June 2015 05:34

Grilled Panzanella Salad Skewers


Serves 12

2 French baguette, sliced (1-inch thick)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 med. tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
2 cups ciliegine (cherry) sized fresh mozzarella balls.
2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves whole 

Dressing for skewers:
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Pre-heat the grill.  

Brush bread slices with the 3 Tbsp. olive oil, then place on the hot grill and mark on one side then flip and mark the other side.   

Remove bread and slice into chunks.  Skewer the chunks of bread alternating with tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and fresh mozzarella.  Drizzle with dressing.

Friday, 22 May 2015 05:51

Jamaican Jerk Chicken


Serves 6

1/2 Tbsp. allspice, ground
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, ground
1 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1 tsp. black pepper, ground
1 Tbsp. salt   
8 scallions, chopped        
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded, chopped 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar  
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil  
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 lbs. chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Use immediately or reserve for later use. Marinate chicken in jerk seasoning for about 1 hour. Grill chicken over medium heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Friday, 15 May 2015 08:02

Apple Walnut Crostini


Serves 6


1 cup toasted walnuts chopped

2 Tablespoons orange zest

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

1 cup apples, peeled cored and chopped

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

4 ounces feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1 loaf of baguette

Olive oil for brushing bread

Extra rosemary sprigs for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Slice bread and brush with olive oil.  Place in oven to toast for 3-4 minutes.

In a bowl, blend together cream cheese, feta cheese, zest, and rosemary.  Fold in apples and walnuts.  Salt and pepper to taste. 


Remove bread from oven and carefully spread apple topping onto the slices.  Place back into the oven until the bread is lightly browned and bubbly.  


Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

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