We are counting down to the biggest eating day of the year in hours at this point. Whether or not you are hosting the main event or contributing to the hors d’oeuvres, everyone wants their dishes to be delicious and memorable. Lately many people are changing their diets and more people are going vegetarian than ever before. Our mushroom tart can be served as a meatless main, light first course or during a cocktail hour before the bird is done. Thanksgiving is a day when oven space is at a premium.
What makes this dish the perfect pairing is that you can serve it hot or room temperature. In addition, it travels well so whatever your culinary restrictions you will wow your relatives with this tart. If you are low on time you can even make the filling ahead and chill until you want to bake. Meeting the parents?
Add a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau Villages as a hostess gift. The lightness of the Beaujolais won’t overpower the delicateness of the mushroom flavor. We prefer red wine in general and serve it with the turkey as well. And since Beaujolais Day is right before Thanksgiving each year it makes a timely pairing.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 tbsp minced red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 minced clove of garlic
5 oz mushrooms, reserve 2 for slicing as garnish and chop the rest
1 tsp herbs de Provence
2 tbsp white wine
4 oz Neufchatel cheese
1/3 cup shredded swiss cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Unfold pastry and place on baking sheet.
3. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
4. Add onion and sauté 1-2 minutes.
5. Add mushrooms and herbs de Provence and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquids and the mixture has cooked down.
6. Add the white wine. It is finished cooking once the wine evaporates.
7. Place mixture in a bowl and mix with the three cheeses until smooth.
8. Season with salt and pepper (you can also do this during the cooking stage above).
9. Use an icing spatula to spread mixture over the puff pastry leaving a half in border around the edge to create a crust.
10. Top with reserved mushroom slices.
11. Bake 20 minutes. It can be cut in any shape that suits your use.
Happy almost Thanksgiving!
In honor of the San Francisco Giants’ World Series Championship we are saluting the team with one of the more unique stadium foods, iconic to the city as well as the feasting fans, clam chowder. As San Franciscans can tell you the only way to eat clam chowder is out of a sourdough bread bowl and that’s exactly how it is served at AT&T Park, home of the Giants. My last visit to San Fran wasn’t complete until I had shared (who am I kidding, we did NOT share) a bowl of this delicious soup with LPJ CEO, Miriam Zelinsky.
Cold weather has set in just in time to make soup. Ever since I left home, I also left behind the world of canned soup. Opening a tin can and dumping pre-made soup into a pot holds no pleasure for me now after the many pots of soup I have made. Formulating flavors, simmering slowly, and finally sipping steamy soup on chilly autumn days is the kind of “stop and smell the roses” attitude I want after the grind of a crazy work week. And while I love soup, a big pot of it doesn’t really appeal because, well, leftovers, GAG! So here we have scaled down a classic version of the clam chowder from 10 servings to two. Bread bowl or not this clam chowder will have baseball fans all over the country lamenting the fact that they too can’t call the Giants their home team.
Clam Chowder for Two
2 medium sourdough boules (1 large if you want to share with your companion)
2 bottles clam juice
½ cup chopped cooked clams (canned or fresh)
2-3 small red potatoes, peeled and cubed
¼ cup of salt pork, finely diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 ½ tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 ½ cups half and half or whole milk or a combination of the two
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: parsley flakes, Worcestershire sauce or hot sauce as condiments
October marks the 80th birthday of the Bloody Mary. It's no secret that the Bloody Mary is my favorite drink and that my birthday is also in October. Coincidence? I think not! So, to pay homage to this great drink, we raise our glasses and will don our "Sunday Funday" tie as we celebrate the Bloody Mary during this month and beyond!
Check out Town and Country's article here.
Is there anything more satisfying than digging into a big pile of buffalo chicken wings? Getting all that sticky sauce stuck to your face and fingers is a truly primal experience. If I really get into it I can imagine back to the time of the caveman and tearing apart the meat and sucking on the bones mmmmmmm.
Now that I am out of that food coma, let me cut to the chase. I really don’t want to be stained orange or have sauce smudges all over my face when out on a date or wearing my LJP accessories. And to be honest, I don’t love the fact that I need to spend more time at the gym after eating that pile of wings. Therefore, we have taken all the flavorful goodness of hot wings and created hot balls! Um…perhaps the double entendre is a bit unappetizing? These hot. …buffalo chicken balls have the heat, the sauce, the celery and blue cheese all wrapped up into one neat little package. And for those you can’t do buffalo without a dipping sauce, you can have a double dose of blue cheese, inside and out.
I will warn you though that this sauce is so good, I can’t guarantee that you won’t want to lick the plate. What you do behind closed doors is your own affair, no judgment!
Cool and refreshing is my top priority for beer with my wings. Your typical trashy lite beer will probably do the trick but even a Corona won’t compete with the spicy and sweet sauce.
Buffalo Chicken Balls
Notes: I like my vegetables grated or microplaned because I want to make sure I only bite into cheese crumbles not raw veg. If you like a little more texture then feel free to chop more coarsely but you may need less breadcrumbs. Also one of my favorite wing joints does a sauce called Honey Hot, that I have recreated here. It just sweetens up the sauce a little and cuts down on the heat. Use what you like. Feel free to use bottled blue cheese dressing too.
1 lb ground chicken
2 stalks celery, chopped or grated
¼ onion, chopped or grated
salt and pepper
½ cup blue cheese crumbles (I used gorgonzola)
¾ cup more or less of seasoned breadcrumbs (you want to use the least amount possible to bind the meat
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup hot sauce
2 tbsp honey
½ cup Greek yogurt
2 tsbp light mayo
¼ up blue cheese
Directions:1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.