Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lemon Cheesecake

2 Cups graham cracker crumbs ( I use gluten free)
3 TBS Brown sugar
6-8 TBS melted butter

Cheesecake filling:
2 (8 ozs) packages of cream cheese
16 ozs ricotta cheese (whole milk)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I use Cabot Cheddar)
3/4 cups sour cream
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS flour

1 can Lemon Pie Filling
1 cup fresh blueberries


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 10 inch spring form pan  (bottom and around sides)
2.  In large bowl add ingredients to crust.  With fork mix well to incorporate well.  (start with less butter, then add as needed) Spread mixture into pan evenly across bottom and along sides, pressing firm.  Bake in oven 10 mins.  Remove
3.  In food processor or large bowl with electric mixer, add cheeses.  Pulse or mix well until fully blended.  Add sugar, eggs and cream.  Mix well.  Add vanilla and flour, Mix.  Scrap sides to make sure everything gets mix together.  Pour into spring form pan on top of crust.  
4.  Bake in oven on middle rack for approx. 55-60 mins.  Place an oven safe dish filled with water on bottom shelf.  This will help keep moisture in oven and prevent cake from cracking.
You can stick a toothpick in center of cake to see if it is done.  Toothpick should come out clean,  not wet.  
5.  When cake is done shut off oven.  Let cake sit in oven with door cracked for 1 hour.  Remove and let cool completely.  Remove side of spring form pan.  Refrigerate for few hours, or overnight before serving. 
6.  Add can of lemon pie filling to center of cheesecake.  Add fresh blueberries in center. 

Serves 8-12

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Ratatouille

8 Squash blossoms, rinsed well, Squash, stems and buds removed (reserve squash)
(I use 4 green squash and 4 yellow squash for my ratatouille)
1 cup yellow squash, cubed
1 cup green squash, cubed
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup eggplant, cubed with skin
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 28 oz crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil (Julienne).
1/4 tsp red crushed pepper flakes, or to liking
1/4 cup grated cheese
8 cubes of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil (chopped fine)
1 egg yolk
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp baking powder
fry oil (approx. 1/2 - 3/4 cup) Depending on size of skillet
1 lb favorite pasta, cooked
1.  In large skillet add 4 TBS fry oil.  Heat on med/high.  Add squash, onions, garlic, eggplant, peppers, grape tomatoes.  Saute until soft (approx. 10-15 mins).  Add crushed tomatoes, parlsey, basil and sun dried tomatoes,  stir.  Season with salt and pepper.  Lower heat and simmer for 20 mins.  Add grated cheese, stir and cover until ready to use.
2.  In medium size bowl fold together ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, egg yolk, parsley, salt and pepper.  Put aside
3.  In separate medium size bowl add bread crumbs.
4.  In separate medium size bowl whisk together flour, water and baking powder.  Season with pinch of salt.
5.  In small skillet add oil.  Heat on med/high. 
6.  Carefully open blossoms.  Place a piece of mozzarella cheese in center.  Add approx. 1 heaping TBS of ricotta filling into center.  Place blossom in batter and spoon on to cover completely.  Place blossom into crumbs and cover completely, pressing gently so crumbs stick.  Place blossom in hot oil.  Fry approx. 1 min or until browns.  With tongs, rotate to fry all sides.  Repeat process with additional blossoms.  Place on paper towel to drain excess oil. 
 Note:  Blossoms can be found at most produce markets or Farms           
           Stems can be replaced for decoration for plating
           Serve with ratatouille and pasta.  Serves 4


Wild Rice and Beef Cheesy Soup

2 c wild rice, cooked
4 tbs Canola Oil
2 lbs beef stew chunks
1 1/2 c celery, chopped
1/2 large spanish onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbs flour
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
32 oz beef broth
2 c frozen peas, thawed
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
1 c shredded mild cheddar cheese

1.  In large skillet add oil.  Heat on med/high heat
2.  Add beef.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sear until brown on all sides (approx 10 mins).
3.  Add celery, onions and garlic.  Saute 10 mins.  Stir
4.  Sprinkle flour over top to meat and veggies.  Stir and saute for approx 5 mins.
5.  Deglaze pan with balsamic vinegar.  Scape bottom of pan to loosen any stuck pieces of meat or veggies.
6.  Add beef broth and peas.  Stir and simmer until thickened (approx. 20 mins)
7.  Add parsley and cheese.  Stir or whisk cheese into broth until dissolved.  Serve in individual bowls.  Top with 1/4 cup of wild rice. 

Serves 6