Friday, September 26, 2014

Red Rock Herb Biscotti

Red Rock Herb Biscotti

If you're new to the biscotti making business, you will be happy to know that making biscotti is easier than making chocolate chip cookies. My first thought was how else do you enjoy biscotti, besides dunking it in your cappuccino? These savory treats are still pretty good with coffee, but delightful dipped into a crisp, off-dry wine or fine tea. Triple baked for the perfect crunch and studded with an American original, Red Rock. 

2 eggs
1 cup grated Red Rock
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped

Heat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Process eggs and grated Red Rock in a food processor until yellow and thick, for about 1 minute. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients and herbs. Add dry ingredients to egg/cheese mixture and pulse three or four times, just to incorporate until crumbly. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it until it holds together. Shape the dough into a log, transfer to the prepared baking sheet and gently flatten. Bake until lightly golden and is firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then cut on the bias into half-inch slices. Lay the biscotti flat on the baking sheet and bake until crisp and toasted, 15 minutes; turn and toast the other side for another 10 to 15 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

*Yields: about 16 biscotti

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cremont & Sour Cherry Croissants

Cremont & Sour Cherry Croissants

Cremont from Vermont Creamery is one of our showstoppers. It's namesake, "cream of Vermont" is only fitting. It's no secret, this double-cream pairs beautifully with our Sour Cherry Preserves. In fact, it's Dairymaid, Shannon's favorite combination. I had a vision to put this duo in breakfast pastry form. After a few failed experiments, these delightful croissants were born. Admittedly, making homemade croissants can be a little daunting, but this classic pastry was on my baking bucket list. After my 3rd attempt, I was happy with the results. To learn how to make bread, you must make make bread. 

1 recipe Croissant Dough 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)

Prepare dough recipe above. To form the croissants: divide the dough in half and place one half in the fridge while working with the other half. You should see the layers of butter and folds. Roll out the one half of the pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a 9x18 rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut the dough in half lengthwise, so you have (2) 9x9 squares. Then cut each square into 6 rectangles, 12 total. Roll out the other half of the pastry that you set aside in the fridge and repeat the steps/cuts above. You will have 24 rectangles total. To divide Cremont, cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into 3 pieces. Place a generous teaspoon of sour cherry preserves and a piece of Cremont onto 12 rectangles. Whisk egg with water, then brush the edges to make a "seal" around each rectangle and top with the other 12 rectangles. Use a fork to stamp/seal the edges together. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart, cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425. Lightly brush the tops with egg wash. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool and enjoy. 

*Makes 1 dozen large croissants

Friday, September 12, 2014

Homemade Fennel Pollen BBQ Sauce

Homemade Fennel Pollen BBQ Sauce

Texans love their bbq and we are down right snobby when it comes to bbq sauce. For me, it happened when I moved to Austin, Texas. I found myself waiting in lines that wrapped around buildings and required lawn chairs. Hours of patiently waiting, while forced to smell the sweet aroma in the air and panicking when you hear a rumor that they're out of ribs. Maybe the secret is in the sauce. I'm almost hesitant to divulge my bbq sauce recipe, but it's too good not to share. The Californian fennel pollen and Texas honey are the secret ingredients in this nectar of the gods. You too can turn your nose up at that cheap bottled, store bought stuff. 

2 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Native Nectar Wild Texas Guajillo Honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup Organic Raw Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar 
1 teaspoon Colman's mustard powder
1 teaspoon Pollen Ranch Fennel Pollen
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in medium pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ketchup, honey, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer sauce to a food processor or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, transfer to a jar and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Spinach & Lemon Ossau-Iraty Risotto

It's fair to say that cheesemongers never find themselves in a "risotto rut". It's a dish that lends itself to creativity and the Dairymaids basically have a library of cheese to make countless adaptations from. This variation is the perfect risotto to end the Summer with - ultra creaminess and not heavy. I used Ossau-Iraty, a French sheeps milk cheese, that is surprisingly a delightful melter. Now one could argue that making risotto is labor intensive. Sometimes taking your time in the kitchen is a welcomed change. After a week of play doh, pirates and adventures in potty training, come 6pm on Friday, I'm ready to burry myself in the kitchen. I fear my husband is on to me.

3 cups spinach
2 tablespoons Calivirgin Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped 
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 cups Homemade Broth
1/4 lb Ossau-Iraty, grated
1 large lemon, juice and zest

Heat a pot over medium heat and add evoo and onion. Cook until onions are fragrant and translucent. Stir in the rice and toast for about a minute, then add the wine. Once the wine has evaporated, add the broth, one 1/2 cup ladle at a time. Stir the rice constantly and add another ladle of broth once the previous addition has been absorbed. Continue this process until you have no more broth or risotto is done to your liking. While rice is cooking, blanch the spinach in boiling salted water for 30 seconds and then submerge in an ice bath to keep the color bright. Transfer spinach to a food processor and blend until smooth, set aside. When risotto is done, remove from heat and add lemon juice, grated Ossau-Iraty and pureed spinach. Garnish with lemon zest. 

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX