Thanks to all of you who decided to join us for First Friday in Saugerties this month! Its always so much fun to see and talk with all of you. This month was so crazy I feel like I didn't get to talk to everyone. I'm so sorry about that. Something I am asked regularly, and I had a very specific conversation about this month is, "when am I going to write a cookbook?". I'll tell you: I would LOVE to write a cookbook. But that, and the hundred other projects I have sitting on my dusty shelf, will have to wait for another time. The compromise I've come up with is this; I can blog. I will write whenever I can and give you all your favorite First Friday recipes here!
If there is something particular from the past you would like recipe for, please write to me and request it. I will be sure to post it for you. You can comment here, or on our facebook page. I'd love to hear from you!
The thing about First Friday is - I love to cook. I love to bake. I just dont have all that much time to do it! So I try to find great recipes that I can make quickly and easily, and most important - ahead of time.
SO! To start, this month we had a watermelon gazpacho, mini lemon tarts (actual picture above), mediteranian orzo salad, and a white sangria. I'm not going to give this orzo recipe. It wasnt really all that special and I have made others that were MUCH better. In fact I have somewhat of a signature Greek shrimp and orzo salad. I'll post that at a later date.
The easiet of all was the sangria. I bought a very inexpensive vinho verde. To those who are not familiar, its a portugese wine, usually white, that has a slight effervessence. I mixed it 2 bottle of wine to one container of passionfruit juice. You can find the passionfruit juice at most grocery stores. Goya makes one and its fine, but there are brands that are more natural and of better quality like Ceres. I added a variety of cut fruit. This time I added mango, pineapple, peaches, and carambola (starfruit). You can use whatever fruit is available, or that you like. That's all there is to it! Easy and delish! Here it is in Recipe form:
2 bottle Vinho Verde
1 container Passionfruit juice
Watermelon Gazpache. I altered this recipe a bit from a Tyler Florence recipe. I was scanning recipes online and this looked the closest to what I was looking for. (I also made it a lot bigger)
1 large tomato diced
2 cups watermelon cubed
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced red onlion
1/2 english cucumber minced
2 tablespoons minced Dill
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese for garnish
In a blender (or with an immersion blender) puree the tomatoes, jalepeno, and watermelon. Pour in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse. Add cucumber, onion, dill, season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.
Chill. Garnish with Feta cheese, dill, and watermelon. Serve.
The following recipe is for one full size tart.
For The Pastry
2 cups all-purpose flour
8 tablespoon (1 stick) butter
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For The Filling
6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
8 tablespoon (1 stick) unsalted butter
grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
confectioners' sugar for dusting
1) Preheat the oven to 400 F. Sift Flour into a bowl, add the butter and work with your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of convectioners' sugar.
2) Add the egg, vanilla extract and a scant tablespoon of cold water, then work to a dough.
3) Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and use to line a 9 inch tart pan. Line with foil, waxed, or parchment paper and fill with pie weights (or dried beans, or rice, or baking beans) Bake for 10 minutes.
4) To make the filling, put eggs, sugar and butter into a sauce pan and stir over low heat until the sugar has completely disolved. Add the lemon zest and juice and continue cooking, stirring continuously, until th elemon curd has thickened slightly. **
5) Pour the mixture into the pastry shell. Bake for 20 minutes, until just set. Transfer the tart to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving
**I always seem to thicken a little too much too fast. Once the curd starts to thicken, it thickens VERY fast. Keep in mind when thickening that you will also be baking, and the curd will set in the oven. If you do thicken to much before turning to the shell, adjust baking time appropriately.
To make Mini Tarts:
I used a full tart recipe, but cut the tart pastry into 2 inch circles and placed them into mini cup cake tins. I baked the the pastry for 5 min. then, the filled tarts and baked for approximately another 10 minutes. Just until the curd set. For color - I garnished each with a raspberry and powdered sugar.