Nectarine & Blueberry Tart

I especially loved this beautiful tart because in addition to being delicious, it is made with a flaky and buttery press-in crust and a cheesecake-like no-bake filling. Nice shortcuts! I topped it with my favorite summer fruit- white nectarines. The original recipe uses peaches which would also be fabulous.

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. The chilled temperature and brightness from lemon zest made it very refreshing.

Yield: One 9 or 10-inch tart, about 8 to 10 servings

  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F, preferably on convection.
  2. Beat butter with confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Reduce speed to medium-low; add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt and beat until just combined and crumbly (do not overmix).
  4. Press evenly into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch square tart pan or a 9- or 10-inch round tart pan, with a removable bottom.
  5. Dock bottom at 1-inch intervals with the tines of a fork. Freeze 15 minutes.
  6. Place on rimmed baking sheet or pizza tin, and bake until golden brown and set, 23 to 33 minutes. Let cool completely. (Crust can be kept at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 days.)
  7. Beat together cream cheese, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon juice, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar on medium-high speed until creamy.
  8. With mixer running, slowly add cream and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. (You should have about 2 cups.)
  9. Spread mixture into crust; refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.
  10. Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, peel peaches/nectarines, if desired; cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. (I left the peels intact.)
  11. Transfer to a bowl and stir in berries and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  12. Just before serving, spoon macerated fruit over tart and drizzle some of juice from bowl over it. (I used all of the juice!)
  13. Sprinkle with mint, if desired, and serve.

Greens & Chayote Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

These wonderful, vegetarian, no-bake enchiladas claimed to be light and satisfying- a pretty accurate description! Perfect warm weather Mexican fare. Fresh and fabulous. 🙂 This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Martha Rose Shulman.

Inspired by my food blog friends who have made their own birthday cakes, etc., I made this dish for my own birthday dinner!! I prepared the filling a day in advance (no work on the big day!) and we ate them after a relaxing day in the sunshine. My husband made my favorite Huevos Rancheros for breakfast (I am obviously a Mexican-food lover), and I was greeted with a surprise birthday cake from my girlfriend when I got home! ❤ What a great day! Maybe getting older isn’t so awful….

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I’m bringing my special dish to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #74 (belatedly, again…), co-hosted by Loretta @Safari of the Mind and Caroline @Caroline’s Cooking. As another surprise birthday gift, my dish from Fiesta Friday #73 was featured this week! Yay!! Check it out & Enjoy! 🙂

Yield: Serves 8

  • 1 pound Swiss or rainbow chard, or a combination
  • 2 medium-size chayote or summer squash (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut in small dice (4 cups diced)
  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 jalapeño or 2 to 3 serrano chiles, stemmed
  • ½ white onion, coarsely chopped
  • coarse salt to taste
  • 4 large peeled garlic cloves; 2 whole and 2 minced
  • 12 cilantro sprigs, plus chopped cilantro for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
  • 2 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • About 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta

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  1. Peel and dice the chayote squash.
  2. Strip chard leaves from stems and wash in 2 changes of water. Keep leaves whole.
  3. Rinse chard stems and cut in small dice if wide, or, if thin, slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick. (I cut my wide stems into thin strips and then sliced all of them crosswise 1/4 inch thick.) Set aside stems with chayote in one bowl and leaves in another.
  4. Make the salsa verde: Combine tomatillos, jalapeños and onion in a large saucepan or Dutch oven; cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, until tomatillos have gone from pale green to olive and have softened. Using a slotted spoon or a Chinese strainer, transfer tomatillos, onion and one of the jalapeños to a blender. (I used a Vitamix!) Do not drain water from pot. Let vegetables cool in the blender while you blanch greens and chayote.
  5. Add more water to the pot so it is about 2/3 full. Return to a boil, salt generously, and add the chard leaves. Blanch until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer leaves to a bowl of cold (ice) water to quickly shock, then drain and dry. Chop coarsely and set aside.
  6. Return water to a simmer and add chayote and chard stems. Simmer 5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain through a colander and again on paper towels.
  7. Add whole garlic cloves and cilantro sprigs to ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Taste for heat and add remaining jalapeño if desired. (I only used one jalapeño- and the salsa had quite a kick!)
  8. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add tomatillo purée and partly cover to protect from splattering. Cook, stirring often, until it thickens and begins to stick to the pan, about 5 minutes.
  9. Stir in stock, add salt to taste, and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring often, until sauce is thick and coats the front and back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  10. Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat and add minced garlic. When fragrant, after about 30 seconds, stir in oregano, blanched and chopped leaves, stems, and chayote. Cook, stirring for about 3 minutes, until tender, fragrant and coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup salsa verde and set aside.
  11. Place tortillas in a tortilla warmer or on a microwave safe plate. Cover with a damp paper towel and cover with warmer lid, or with plastic wrap if using a plate. Microwave on high for 1 minute. (Alternatively: Prepare the tortillas: Heat 1/3 cup canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, until oil bubbles around the edges of a tortilla when you dip it into the pan. Place a platter covered with paper towels next to pan. Using tongs, slide tortillas, one at a time, into hot oil. As soon as tortilla begins to puff, about 10 to 15 seconds, flip over and leave another 10 to 15 seconds. Immediately remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Cover with foil to keep warm.)
  12. One by one, quickly dip tortillas into the remaining warm salsa verde, lay on serving platter, and top with about 1/4 cup filling. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down on platter. When all tortillas have been filled, pour remaining salsa verde on top, sprinkle with cilantro and queso fresco (or feta) and serve.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Shrimp & Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Tomato Sauce

We had a crisis situation in our house this year… my husband had to work on Cinco de Mayo. 😦 We more than made up for it by eating these delicious no-bake enchiladas on Seis de Mayo! We also had our absolute favorite tacos (Creamy Chicken & Greens with Roasted Poblano Tacos) the next night as well- if you must know. 🙂

There was something really special about this dish. It was really restaurant quality. It may have been the richness of the sauce, cooking the shrimp in butter…the combination?! It was really very good.

This recipe was adapted from Pati Jinich, via The Chew. We ate it with chips and guacamole, brown Basmati rice, and refried beans. A perfect belated celebration. (& belated post!) Perfect for Fiesta Friday #70– co-hosted by Dini @ Giramuk’s  Kitchen and Mollie @ The Frugal Haufstrau!! (but also a little belated…)

Yield: Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Serrano or jalapeno chiles
  • 1/4 cup white onion (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (divided)
  • 1 cup seafood or chicken stock
  • 1 cup Mexican cream (creme fraiche, Latin style cream, or heavy cream,) plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (grated)
  • 3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil (divided)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 pound large shrimp (drained, cut into 3-4 pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ripe avocado (diced, plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco, farmer’s cheese or mild feta (crumbled)
  • chopped chives or cilantro, for garnish
  1. To Make the Sauce: place tomatoes, garlic and chiles in a medium saucepan, cover with water. Place over medium-high heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until tomatoes are cooked through and soft.
  2. Place tomatoes, garlic and one of the chiles in the blender (I used a Vitamix.) along with chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, grated nutmeg and 1 cup stock. Purée the ingredients until completely smooth, taste and add the other chile if you would like more heat. (I only used one.)
  3. Rinse and dry saucepan, pour a tablespoon of oil and place over medium heat. Once hot, pour pureed tomato sauce and cover partially with a lid. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, and deepens its color to a much darker red. Remove lid, reduce heat to medium-low and add creme fraiche. Stir and keep at a steady low simmer for about 8 to 10 more minutes, until it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. To Heat the Tortillas: Heat them on an already hot comal or skillet set over medium-low heat, for a minute or so per side, until tortillas have lightly browned. Alternatively, “pass them through hot oil”: heat enough oil to reach 1/2-inch deep in a medium sauté pan, over medium heat until hot. Gently glide each tortilla through the oil, for about 10 to 15 seconds on each side, so they completely heat through, lightly fluff and change color. Transfer the tortillas to a paper towel-covered plate. Alternatively, place on a microwave safe-plate or tortilla warmer with lid. Cover with a damp paper towel and either a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Keep warm.
  5. To Make the Filling: Heat one tablespoon of the oil and one tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet set over high heat. Once very hot but not smoking, add the shrimp and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring a few times. The shrimp should be cooked, a bit browned but crisp and plump on the inside. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl. Mix with the diced avocado.
  6. To Assemble the Enchiladas: One by one glide each prepared tortilla through the sauce. Place on a plate, spoon about 3 tablespoons of the shrimp and avocado mixture in the middle and fold as in a quesadilla. Place on individual plates or a platter and continue with rest of the tortillas, laying each one gently on top of the edge of the other. Once you are done, generously spoon more of the tomato sauce on top. Garnish with chives and crumbled cheese.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Haystacks

Haystacks are one of my Grandmother’s thirty Christmas cookies that my mom, my sister and I always made growing up.  They are my husband’s absolute favorite, and quite possibly the easiest cookie to make in the world! I double the recipe every year.

  • 24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 10 oz chow mein noodles
  1. Melt the chocolate in a large bowl over a double boiler. (Don’t microwave!)
  2. Meanwhile, pulse/chop the chow mein noodles in a food processor into smaller pieces.
  3. Mix the noodles into the melted chocolate, until they are completely covered.  Drop by spoonfuls (or use a small cookie scoop) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Let stand at room temperature overnight or until solid.

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