Paganini's Pantry (163)

Friday, 10 April 2015 09:05

Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers



Perfect recipe for that Summer party/picnic... Enjoy

Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers

Serves 8


4 red peppers

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can tuna packed in olive oil
½ cup English cucumber, peeled and minced

¼ cup Kalamata olives, minced

1 cup chopped Roma tomatoes

¼ cup Balsamic vinegar

½ cup crumbled Feta cheese

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise and leave on stem (this will help the pepper keep its shape while baking).  Remove seeds and pith of the inside of the pepper.  Place peppers skin side down on a baking sheet that has been drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and roast peppers until soft.


In a mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients and set aside in refrigerator to marinate.


Allow peppers to cool then stuff with tuna salad.

Thursday, 02 April 2015 20:11

La Colomba di Pasqua Italian Easter Bread

1 cup warm water (95-110°)
1 tsp. yeast
1 cup all purpose flour

3 eggs
1 Tb. whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. grated orange zest
2 cups flour
1/2 cup golden raisins

Almond Icing:
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons water (more if needed)
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
Additional powdered sugar

For the sponge, heat the water to lukewarm (95-110°) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and sprinkle yeast on the surface. Allow to stand 2 minutes and beat yeast into water to dissolve. Stir in flour and cover with plastic wrap Allow to ferment 30 minutes, or until double.

For the dough, beat the eggs, zests and milk together, then beat in the vanilla sugar. Melt and cool the butter then beat into dough. Stir in the seasonings, then the flour. Beat in the sponge and continue beating to form a soft dough. Beat in the raisins. Place dough into a buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double, about 1 hour. Remove dough from bowl and deflate. Round dough and press into a dove shaped pan or a 10-inch springform pan, which has been buttered and lined with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. Cover loosely and allow to rise at room temperature until double, about 1 hour. Bake in a preheated oven (350°) for 30 minutes. Cool and unmold.

For the icing, combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar, almond extract, and water until you get a thick but spreadable icing.  Spread the icing on the Colomba. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Thursday, 26 March 2015 13:54

Fresh Peach Almond Upside-Down Cake

Serves 12


Cooking spray, as needed
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
8 oz. fresh peaches, peeled & sliced
1 Tbsp. almond slices
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 lg. egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla paste
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
2 lg. egg whites

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To prepare topping, lightly coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Heat brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Pour sugar mixture into prepared cake pan, tilting pan to coat bottom evenly. Arrange peaches evenly over sugar mixture.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and olive oil in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Beat the egg whites with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form using clean, dry beaters. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Spoon the batter over the peaches, spreading evenly. Bake for 55 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula. Place a serving plate upside down on top of cake, and invert the cake pan onto the plate. Let stand 5 minutes, and remove the pan. Serve warm.

Friday, 20 March 2015 05:51

Kolacki Cookies

Makes about a dozen


10 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup seedless blackberry jam
Egg wash (1 egg and 1 Tablespoons of water mixed together)
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting

In a bowl cream together the butter and cream cheese with the paddle attachment until light, add salt, sugar, vanilla and flour and mix on low speed until it forms a dough.  On a floured board work dough into a ball.  Divide dough in half.  Cover and let it rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Working with one half of the dough at a time, so the dough doesn’t get too warm, roll out dough 1/8 inch thick.  With a fluted pastry cutter, cut dough into 3 x 3-inch squares.  You can roll up scraps and re roll them one time.  In the middle of each square put a teaspoon blackberry jam.  Wrap one corner over the jam and place a small dab of egg wash onto the top of it and secure the other side.  The egg wash acts like a glue.  You will not use all the egg wash.  Try and pinch the pieces together or they will pop open while baking.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before baking.  Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Dust with powdered sugar once cooled.

Thursday, 12 March 2015 19:37

Chocolate Irish Creme Pie

One 9 inch pie

1 ½ cup Oreo cookie crumbs
4-6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix crumbs with 4 tablespoons of butter until mixture resembles wet sand and clumps together when squeezed in hand.  Add more butter if necessary to reach desired consistency.

Pres buttered crumbs firmly into a 9 inch pie baking dish.  Bake for 7-10 minutes until set.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Chocolate Irish Crème Filling:
2 ½ cups heavy cream
10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Irish Crème Liquor
8 large egg yolks

Over a double boiler, melt heavy cream, Irish crème liquor, and chocolate together until fully melted and incorporated. 

Place egg yolks into a large mixing bowl.  Slowly pour warm heavy cream mixture onto the egg yolks while constantly whisking.  Once all are fully incorporated, return mixture to a double boiler and cook, constantly whisking, until mixture is thickened to a pudding consistency.  If you do not continually stir the mixture the egg yolks could curdle.  Remove mixture from heat and dip bowl into an ice bath to cool mixture.  Stir mixture while cooling. (Residual heat in the mixture could cause it to curdle if you do not carefully and quickly cool it down). Spoon mixture into cooled pie crust and spread the top of the chocolate mixture for an even surface.   Allow to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour.

½ cup heavy whipping cream, very cold
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
A few drops of green food coloring if desired.

Whip ingredients together to soft peaks and pipe or spoon dollops onto chilled pie.

Thursday, 05 March 2015 17:59

Hungarian Golden Dumpling Coffee Cake

By Maria Serfozo

1 ½ cup milk
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 Tablespoons dry active yeast
3 egg yolks
1 Tablespoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cups AP flour

Warm milk to 90 degrees F.  Add sugar and yeast.  Allow mixture to sit to proof yeast.  Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl and mix in egg yolks, vanilla, salt and flour.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise 30 minutes.

Sprinkle flat surface with a little extra flour and roll out dough to ½ inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter (2 inch size preferable) cut out dough.  You can reroll scraps and use.

Cut all circles in half to create half moon shapes.


Nut layers:
8oz (one stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cup ground walnuts
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients except butter together to make the nut filling.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat Bundt pan with extra butter. Place one layer of half moon shaped dough down.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle some nut filling.  Continue layering dough, butter and filling until you get 2/3rds of the pan filled or run out of dough.  Brush top layer with butter and sprinkle with extra granulated sugar.

Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes until a golden brown.  Serve with a traditional vanilla sauce. 

Friday, 27 February 2015 05:37

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes
Yield: 8 Crab Cakes

1 1/2 cup bread crumb
3 eggs, large, beaten
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb. crab meat, lump, cleaned
Vegetable oil, as needed

In a large mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs with the eggs, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, scallions, corn, Old Bay seasoning and paprika. Mix well to combine ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add crab meat to mixing bowl. Fold lightly to avoid breaking up the lumps of shellfish.

Cook a small amount of the crab cake mixture to taste for seasoning. If needed, adjust seasoning before proceeding.

Divide the crab cake mixture into 8 equal portions and form into plump patties. Coat each crab cake with breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add vegetable oil sufficient for pan frying. Fry the crab cakes until golden brown. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.

Thursday, 19 February 2015 19:26

Honey Whiskey Salmon

Serves 8

(3 oz.) salmon fillets
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup honey
¼ cup whiskey
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing salmon
4 untreated cedar planks
Extra-virgin olive oil, for oiling the planks

Soak planks in cold water for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven at 400°F.  In a small bowl mix the salt, pepper, honey, turmeric, whiskey, paprika and dry mustard and olive oil. Brush the top of the salmon fillets with the spice mixture.

Brush the planks with olive oil, put in oven and place the salmon fillets on the oiled planks. Roast the salmon for about 10 minutes. Remove the fillets to a platter and serve


Ginger Vegetable Stir Fry
Serves 8

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium head of broccoli, cut into florets
6 baby bokchoy, sliced in half lengthwise
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 oranges, zested into strips
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh gingerroot, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, garnish

In a large sauté pan or wok, heat oil.  Add vegetables and sauté on high heat for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl mix together orange juice, zest, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, cornstarch, garlic and ginger and chili flakes.  Reduce heat to medium and add mixture to the vegetables.  Stir continuously until sauce thickens.  Serve with Salmon. 

Friday, 13 February 2015 06:30

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

(makes 20 truffes)


½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cups AP flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips
8oz. Semi-sweet chocolate 
Sprinkles for decorating


Cream together butter and sugar.  Add other ingredients and stir to combine fully.  Take a small amount of dough and roll it into your hand to make a nickel sized ball.  Place balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Make miniature sized meatballs.  Chill in refrigerator or freezer until firm. The colder the balls the easier to dip in chocolate.

Over a double boiler,  melt chocolate.  Remove chocolate from heat and allow it to cool for a minute.

Dip chocolate in small batches and as the chocolate starts to set,  sprinkle on sprinkles .

Thursday, 29 January 2015 10:05

Coffee Rub Burger with Barbeque Sauce

Serves 6

Coffee rub:
3 Tablespoons freshly ground coffee
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground Chinese five spice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients in small bowl

Burger Ingredients:
2 lbs. ground beef (80/20)
1 egg
½ cup bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
6 burger buns
6 slices tomato
Barbeque sauce

Mix ground beef, egg, and bread crumbs together in a large mixing bowl.  Form into 6 patties.  Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  Rub one side of the burger with approximately a teaspoon of the rub.  Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan.  Cook burgers in pan rub side down first.  While cooking, sprinkle more rub on the other side of the burger.   If burgers get too dark you can transfer to a 350 degree oven to finish cooking so you don’t burn the rub on the outside.  Cook until burger reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F.  Serve with barbeque sauce.

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