Paganini's Pantry (163)

Friday, 12 December 2014 05:38

Cherry Tomatoes Poppers


30 cherry tomatoes 
4 Oz. cream cheese or goat cheese
1/2 cup pesto recipe

Slice tops off cherry tomatoes and remove pith and seeds.  (You can also slice the tiniest amount off the bottom to keep the tomatoes from rolling around but be careful not to create a hole.)

In a food processor or by hand stir the cheese until it is smooth.  Mix in the pesto.

Fill or pipe pesto filling into the tomatoes.

Drizzle balsamic reduction over tomatoes if desired.


1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 or 2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted almond slivers or pinenuts
3 tablespoons olive oil (more if needed)

In food processor blend together all ingredients except olive oil.  While processor is going add olive oil until it forms a thick but smooth paste.

Balsamic reduction 
1 cup basalmic vinegar 
1 cup granulated sugar

Place sugar and vinegar on the stove over medium heat and stir until mixture thickens to cough syrup consistency.   Allow to cool.

Friday, 05 December 2014 11:09

Sausage Ricotta Quiche


1 prepared tart shell, par baked 
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup crumbled Italian sausage
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup mushrooms, sliced
4 lg. eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup milk
1/3 cup drained ricotta cheese
1 Tablespoon green scallions, minced
2 Tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375° F.

In a large sauté pan, heat oil. Add sausage cook until fully cooked, approximately 4-6 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until most of the liquid from mushrooms is evaporated.

Spread vegetable and sausage mixture into the partially baked shell.  Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the Parmesan, and milk.  Pour egg mixture over and fill to top of shell.  Sprinkle ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese and scallions on top. 

Bake on a sheet pan in the middle of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until egg is firm and set.


Pâte Brisée
Yield:  1 (8 inch) tart shell

2 cups all purpose flour
8 Tbsp. butter, chopped and chilled
2 egg yolks
3/4 tsp. salt
5 to 6 Tbsp. cold water

Sift flour onto a flat surface and make a large well in the center.  Place butter, egg yolks, salt and a small amount of water in well and quickly work with fingertips until partly mixed.

Using fingertips of both hands, gradually work in flour to form coarse crumbs. If crumbs are dry, add more water, a few drops at a time.  Press dough into a ball – it should be soft but not sticky.

Lightly flour working surface and blend dough by pushing it away with the heel of your hand and gather it up with either a scraper or a spatula. Dough should be smooth and pliable and should peel easily from working surface.  Press into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Wrapped dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for 6 months.

Lightly flour a smooth surface and roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick.  Place dough into tart shell.  Dock dough lightly so as not to piece all the way through the dough.  Bake shell 8-10 minutes to partially bake it.  Allow to cool. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 05:52




1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup water


Powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and cloves to combine.  Fold in crystallized ginger to dry mixture. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, molasses, egg, water and brown sugar.  Add dry mixture in three stages.

Transfer mixture to a 9 inch square baking dish that has been buttered and floured. 

Bake cake approximately 30 minutes until a cake tester comes out of center of cake clean.


Serves 6

2 large navel oranges, supremed 1 Fennel bulb, sliced
4 cups Arugula
1 cup parmesan cheese flakes

1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, or the bowl of a food processor, combine pomegranate juice, vinegar and sugar.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking vigorously.  Season to taste, with salt and pepper. 

Toss all ingredients together with dressing and serve on 6 individual plates.

Thursday, 06 November 2014 19:45

Pear & Ginger Martini

Makes 4 cocktails

3 oz. roasted pear ginger simple syrup
3 oz. ginger ale or tonic water or vodka
Twist of lemon

Shake simple syrup, ice, and vodka in a martini shaker and strain into a martini glass.  (If using a carbonated beverage as a virgin alternative like ginger ale or tonic water, do not shake it.  Mix it with very cold ginger ale or tonic water.)

Serve with twist of lemon.

Pear-Ginger Simple Syrup
Yield: 12 ounces
Serving Size: 3 ounce per cocktail

2 cups granulated sugar
2  pears, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1  cup water
1 cinnamon stick

Heat all ingredients in a small non-reactive saucepan until sugar melts and mixture thickens. Remove cinnamon stick.   Cool mixture and run through a high quality blender. Strain through a fine mesh strain.  Reserve.

Thursday, 30 October 2014 19:16

Boysenberry Cherry Jellies

Makes 24 pieces

1 cup boysenberry jelly (strain all seeds when applicable)
½ cup cherry jelly
¾ cup  water
¾ cup  granulated sugar (plus extra for dusting)
3 Tbsp. unflavored powdered gelatin

Spray a silicone candy mold with non-stick cooking spray.

In a 3 quart, non-reactive saucepan, heat the jelly, water, sugar, and gelatin.  Once sugar is melted, place a candy thermometer into the pan.  Stir constantly until the syrup reaches 220˚ F.

Very carefully pour the mixture into the prepared pan and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.  Cover the top of the mold pan with plastic wrap and refrigerator overnight. 

Gingerly remove the jellies from the candy mold and toss with extra granulated sugar to coat.  Keep in an airtight container.


Friday, 17 October 2014 06:12

Apple Sausage Hash

serves 4-6

1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
2 cups chopped red potatoes 
1 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped butternut squash 
2 cups peeled chopped apples
1lb. Bulk Italian sausage 
1/2 teaspoon Adobo seasoning
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Couple sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste 
4-6 fried eggs as garnish if desired 

Heat oil in large skillet.  Add carrots and potatoes and sauté until fork tender.  Add onion and squash and cook until onions are transparent.   Add sausage and apples and cook until sausage is cooked through.  Add seasonings and adjust to taste.

Serve warm with fried egg on top.

Friday, 10 October 2014 06:54

Pumpkin Carrot Soup

Serves 8

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 Yukon potatoes, peeled and diced
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
2 quarts chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. fresh nutmeg, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large sauce pot.   Sauté onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes until tender.  Add stock and pumpkin,  and allow to boil.  Cook soup for 20-30 minutes to marry the flavors. 

In small batches, puree soup in a food processor or blender.  Please be careful not to fill the processor bowl as hot liquid expands quickly when blending.  Place pureed soup back into soup pot to reheat.   Add cream, nutmeg and ginger.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, 03 October 2014 08:20

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Yields 1 dozen cookies(6 sandwiches)

 2 Sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

½ cup canned pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

2 cups AP flour

1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add pumpkin puree and egg and mix until combined.  Add baking soda, flour, spice, vanilla and salt and stir until combined.  Do not over mix.  

Scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Cool cookies.  Carefully Place scoop of ice cream in between cookies and carefully press cookies together to make an ice cream sandwich.  


Apple Cinnamon Gelato

 (One quart)

5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Mix in: apple filling


Place egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until mixture is pale yellow and thick.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk, cinnamon and to just a boil. Allow to cool a little.

Gradually whisk into the egg mixture, adding slowly and whisking constantly to prevent cooking the eggs.  Return mixture to saucepan and cook gently, stirring constantly until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.  Do not boil.

Strain mixture, cool to room temperature in an ice bath, then cover and refrigerate until completely cold.

Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Remove from ice cream maker and fold in apple filling.  Freeze completely overnight.


Apple filling:

1 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 apples, peeled, diced and cored
½ cup brown sugar

In a non-stick pan, heat butter, apples, and sugar.  Cook over medium to low heat until sugar is melted and apples softened.  Remove from pan and cool.  


Pumpkin Crème Brûlėe
Serve 8

3 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Place cream into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to just a boil.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, pumpkin puree

Friday, 26 September 2014 05:49

Mascarpone filled Cannoli

Yield: 20 cones

16 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tablespoons chocolate pieces or mini-chocolate chips
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
20 cannoli shells

Whip together mascarpone cheese, vanilla sugar, powdered sugar and heavy cream.  Fold in mini chocolate chips or chocolate pieces. Pipe into shells

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