Archive | Appetizers

Quick Pickled Beets and Onions

quickPickledBeets
Photo by Mathew LaBombard

This is such an easy and delicious way to enjoy beets. Of course, you can buy pickled beets at the store, but they’re so easy to make with ingredients that you probably already have on hand that there’s no sense in spending money for the jarred version. I love to serve these with toasted bread, grainy mustard, garden carrots and cured olives. On a cool, crisp day, there’s nothing better than enjoying these by a fire with a nice glass of wine (and maybe do it while wearing sweatpants!).

2 cups beets, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
1 onion, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped, plus more leaves for garnish
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups water
½ cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar (if you can’t find agave you can use sugar or honey)

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the beet rounds. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until the beets are just barely fork tender.
  2. Remove the beets from the water and allow to cool.
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Chicken Liver Mousse

chxLiverMousse

By Terry Moore, Owner and Chef,
OLD MILL RESTAURANT
South Egremont
OldMillBerkshires.com

Terry Moore’s Old Mill in South Egremont has attracted locals and tourists for decades. The restaurant feels like the 1800s and its menu ranges from steaks and chops to shrimp curry and rainbow trout. Terry often lists his chicken liver mousse on the menu of first courses. It’s a classic, comforting appetizer especially popular during the holiday season. P

2½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 pound chicken livers, rinsed and drained
1 large egg, beaten
Salt and white pepper
1 ounce brandy
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
Pinch of nutmeg and ground clove

Preheat oven to 300° and place roasting pan with 1 inch of water on rack (water bath).

Chill 6 (4-ounce) ramekins and then brush liberally with melted butter.

Put chicken livers in blender and add the egg, salt, pepper, spices and brandy.

Blend until very smooth and then add remaining melted butter.

Pour equally into ramekins and place in water bath; bake about 30 minutes (top of mousse should be firm to the touch).

Allow to cool in water bath and then transfer ramekins to refrigerator.

To serve, run paring knife around perimeter of ramekins and invert onto plate.… Read the rest

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Drunken Stuffed Pears

drunkenPear

Stuffed fruits are very common in Mediterranean cooking. Serve them as a snack or an aperitif, as a first dish or as a side dish. Use firm fruits to avoid their falling apart while cooking. Because apple and pears when cut fresh tend to get darker due to oxidation, blanch them immediately with lemon or white wine when handling. Here is a recipe for a baked pear, using the advantage of the fabulous taste of Berkshire Blue cheese.

Yield: 4 servings

4 pears, peeled (optional), cut in half and core removed*
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup white wine

For the stuffing:

½ cup Berkshire Blue cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons cream cheese**
1/3 cup nuts, diced***
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs****

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Set pears in a baking dish with their open sides up. Pour wine on and around the pears. Sprinkle nutmeg on the pears. Cover the baking dish and bake for 20– 30 minutes, until pears are tender but not too soft.

In a bowl, combine blue cheese, cream cheese, nuts and breadcrumbs. Mix well. When pears are ready, take the baking dish out of the oven. Spoon some of the leftover wine from the baking dish over the pears, and fill pears with the cheese mixture.… Read the rest

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Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon allepo, if you have it
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Mix the spices together with the oil at the bottom of a medium bowl. Put the seeds in the mixture and toss so all of the seeds are coated. Lay out on a baking sheet and place in oven at 350° for about 35 minutes, tossing occasionally. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

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