Mediterranean-style Almond Coil Cake

Ingredients

2 cups (250 g) finely ground almonds
2/3 cup (100 g) confectioners’ (icing) sugar + 2 tablespoons extra, to dust
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (essence)
1 tablespoon orange-flower or rose water
9 sheets phyllo pastry
1/4 cup (60 g) clarified butter
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to dust

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
  3. Mix the almonds and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Mix in the egg white, almond extract, and orange-flower water to make a pliable paste. Cut into 3 even pieces.
  5. Roll out one piece into a sausage about 18-inches long and 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining two pieces.
  6. Lay out a sheet of phyllo pastry and brush with butter. Top with a second sheet and brush with butter Repeat with a third sheet.
  7. Place one almond roll 2 inches in from the edge, fold the pastry over, and roll to the end. Brush with butter. Form a coil and place in the center of the prepared pan.
  8. Form two more phyllo rolls and complete the coil in the pan. Brush with the egg yolk mixture.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Turn out onto a baking sheet. Discard the paper and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.
  11. Dust the center with the confectioners’ sugar and the edges with cinnamon.
  12. Serve warm.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Modern Mediterranean Cooking

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Italian-style Chicken Marsala

Ingredients

1-3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 ounces)
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
salt and black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (2 pounds total)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F, with rack in middle.
  2. Bring broth to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, then boil, uncovered, until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes.
  3. Cook shallot in 3 tablespoons butter in an 8- to 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until shallot begins to turn golden, about 1 minute.
  4. Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Put flour in a wide shallow bowl. Gently pound chicken to 1/4-inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap using the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin.
  6. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, 1 piece at a time, shaking off excess. Transfer to sheets of wax paper, arranging chicken in 1 layer.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then saute half of chicken, turning over once, until golden andjust cooked through, about 4 minutes total.
  8. Transfer cooked chicken to a large heatproof platter, arranging in 1 layer, then put in oven to keep warm.
  9. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and cook remaining chicken in same manner, arranging in one layer in oven.
  10. Add 1/2 cup wine to skillet and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, about 30 seconds.
  11. Add reduced broth, cream, and mushrooms, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  12. Stir in lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons wine and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sage.
  13. Serve chicken with sauce and pasta.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Gourmet Italian

Chocolate Petits Pots

Ingredients

4 cups milk
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 teaspoon brandy

Method

  1. Reserve 2/3 cup of the milk and pour the remainder into a small saucepan. Add the semisweet chocolate and sugar and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Blend the cornstarch with the reserved milk in a bowl using a small wire whisk, then stir into the chocolate milk and bring to a boil, stirring continuously.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the butter, then stir in the brandy.
  4. Pour into eight small cups or ramekin dishes. Let cool, then let set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  5. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.

Tip

To vary the flavor, substitute the brandy with orange liqueur, kirsch, cassis, or framboise.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Chocolat

Wheat Berry, Porcini and Root Vegetable Potpies

Ingredients

Crust
6 ounces whole-wheat pastry flour (scant 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk

Filling

3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled celery root
1-1/2 cups (1/4-inch) sliced carrot
1-1/4 cups (1/4-inch) sliced parsnips (cut any large rounds into half-moons)
cooking spray
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon butter
2/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 cup Madeira wine
2/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1.33 ounces whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked wheat berries or spelt berries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon 6 ounces pastry flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Combine 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup milk. Add to flour mixture. Stir mixture until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
  3. To prepare filling, combine celery root, carrot, and parsnips on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and toss to coat. Cover pan with foil. Bake at 425ºF for 15 minutes; uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned. Remove from oven (do not turn oven off).
  4. Place porcini in a medium bowl. Add 3 cups boiling water. Cover and let stand 15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
  5. Strain through a sieve over a 2-cup glass measuring cup, reserving liquid. Chop mushrooms.
  6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and swirl until butter melts. Add shallots, thyme, and garlic. Saute 3 minutes.
  7. Add wine. Cook 1 minute or until liquid mostly evaporates.
  8. Slowly pour in porcini soaking liquid, leaving grit behind in bottom of measuring cup. Bring to a boil.
  9. Combine 2/3 cup milk and 1.33 ounces flour, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in 1 teapoon salt, pepper, wheat berries or spelt, mushrooms, and vegetables. Remove from heat.
  10. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into 6 equal pieces.
  11. Roll each dough piece into a ball. Roll each dough ball between sheets of plastic wrap into a 5-inch circle.
  12. Divide filling evenly among 6 (10-ounce) ramekins and top each with 1 dough circle. Tuck edges of dough under, or loosely pleat around edge. Cut slits in dough to vent.
  13. Place ramekins on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Bake at 425ºF for 25 minutes or until crust is browned and filling is bubbly.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Everyday Whole Grain

Strawberry Crush

Ingredients

4 cups strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1 cup ice cubes
1/4 cup whole unblanched almonds
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons almond-flavored liqueur, such as Amaretto
2 teaspoons slivered unblanched almonds, for garnish

Method

  1. Place strawberries in an airtight container or plastic bag and leave in the freezer for 1-1/2 hours.
  2. Remove strawberries from freezer. Place half of the frozen strawberries in the jar of a blender. Add ice, whole almonds, sugar, milk, and liqueur and as many more strawberries as will fit. Blend until there is enough room to add more strawberries.
  3. Add remaining strawberries and blend until smooth and spoonable. Divide among 4 serving dishes. Garnish with slivered almonds and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Martha Stewart Living