The Sensitive Kitchen

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tuscan Grilled Vegetable Paninis

My family and I drove north last weekend to relax on the grass in the shade of towering elm trees and enjoy a 12-hour day of performing arts. I knew that, once we'd spread our blanket, none of us would want to leave it. And yet we'd have to eat. Solution: panini sandwiches!

I don't think there's a better picnic lunch out there than panini. This recipe makes approximately 8 sandwiches, which will keep quite nicely for a few hours, wrapped in foil, while you are heading to your location of choice. We rounded out our meal with fresh grapes, pistachios, and sparkling water.

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp mixed Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme)
Salt and pepper
3 small zucchini, cut in strips lengthwise
4 Quorn cutlets (feel free to use chicken if you're not a vegetarian), cut in half to be thinner
1 loaf crusty artisan bread
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
A few handfuls of large basil leaves, or 1/2 cup prepared pesto
1/2 cup olive tapenade
1/2 pound sliced provolone cheese
4 ounces fresh young goat cheese (I used a variety with figs)

Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Place zucchini and Quorn in single layer, press out air and seal bag. Let stand 20 minutes or so.

Preheat panini press to HIGH. Cook zucchini until softened and seared with grill marks. Repeat with Quorn. Set ingredients aside.

ingredients ready to assemble

Separate bread into sandwich pairs. On inside of one half of each sandwich pair, spread goat cheese; on other inside, spread olive tapenade. On top of the olive half, layer zucchini, Quorn, roasted red peppers and basil, placing provolone slices strategically to keep sandwich glued together when pressed.

layered goodness

Place goat cheese top on each sandwich, goat cheese side down.

put the lid on and press that sucker

Grill sandwiches until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Let cool, then cut each sandwich in half and wrap in foil. Enjoy your picnic!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Peach Frangipane Tart

It saddens me to report that I have no photo of this dessert to share with you all. You'll just have to trust me when I say it was as beautiful as it was delicious.

For the crust:
1 1/3 c unbleached flour
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg yolk

Preheat oven to 450. In a food processor or bowl, combine flour and sugar. Add butter; process until fine crumbs form. Add egg yolk; process until dough holds together. Firmly pat into a ball. Press dough evenly over bottom and up sides of a 10" tart pan with removable rim. Trim and finish edges. Dock all over with fork. Bake until light brown, about 10 minutes. Cool crust on rack.

For the frangipane filling:
3/4 c sliced almonds
1/3 c sugar
1 Tbsp unbleached flour
2 Tbsp Amaretto liqueur
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg

Reduce oven temperature to 400. Finely grind slivered almonds in processor. Add flour, sugar, 2 tablespoons amaretto and butter; puree. Add egg; process until well blended. Pour into crust. Bake until filling begins to brown and is springy to touch, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack.

If necessary, tart can stand at this point for a few hours; continue with recipe when close to serving time (2 hours or less).

For the peach topping:
1/2 cup peach or apricot preserves
1 Tbsp Amaretto liqueur
5 large peaches, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped pistachios

Combine preserves and Amaretto in heavy small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to melt preserves. Boil until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds.

Brush some preserves over tart filling. Arrange peaches atop preserves in concentric overlapping circles. Brush with remaining preserves. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Store at room temperature.)

To serve, cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into three pieces. Serve slices of tart with vanilla ice cream alongside.

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Grilled Wahoo Tacos with Cumin Crema

If you don't have lime-flavored oil to use in the marinade, please be cautious using lime juice instead, especially if you plan to let the fish stand in the marinade for a long time. Prolonged exposure to high acidity can chemically "cook" your fish, leaving you with ceviche instead of a grill-ready fillet. Feel free to substitute regular oil flavored with some food-grade lime oil. Yes, you will use food-grade lime oil in other recipes, I promise, even if only these cookies.

For the grilled wahoo:1/4 c Mexican lime olive oil
1 tsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs wahoo (ono) fillets, cut into pieces about 1 1/2" by 5"

Combine oil, spices, salt and pepper in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Squeeze to blend. Add fish fillets in a single layer, rotating bag and fillets to coat evenly. Let stand, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

Preheat an outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan. Remove fish from marinade; grill 2 minutes per side or until just done, brushing with marinade as needed to prevent sticking.

For the cumin crema: 1/2 c sour cream
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp milk, or as needed to make a sauce-like consistency

Combine all ingredients (sour cream through milk) in a small bowl. Set aside, refrigerated, until tacos are ready to serve.

For the tacos:12 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup pico de gallo salsa
1/2 c chopped cilantro
Lime wedges

To serve:Place a piece of fish in a steamed corn tortilla. Drizzle with cumin crema. Top with shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro and pico de gallo salsa. Serve with lime wedges alongside.

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