Monday, August 29, 2016

Wild Blueberry Pie With Pecan Crust

By: The Food Hunter

Last weekend I had every intention of making a pecan dessert of some sort and then I saw Mario Batali posted a Wild Blueberry Pie recipe from his upcoming cookbook and I knew I had to give it a try.

Since I was planning on pecans, and had already bought them, I decided to make a pecan crust to accompany his wild blueberry filling. What a delicious combination...this was by far the best blueberry pie I have ever eaten.

Wild Blueberry Pie With Pecan Crust

For the crust  
(slightly adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
2 cup flour
1/2 cup ground pecans
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, cold
7 tablespoons ice water

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, pecans, sugar, and salt. Mix well. Add the butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water and mix again. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into two equal parts. Roll one out on the floured surface into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Gently place it into a 9 by 2-inch deep-dish pie pan.  Roll out 2nd half of dough for a top.

For the filling
(slightly adapted from Mario Batali)
5 cups wild blueberries, fresh or frozen, washed and stems removed
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1½ tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Gently toss the berries with the flour, cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Let stand 10 minutes.

Pour the berries into the pie shell. Scatter the butter over the berries. Place the second crust over the pie and crimp the edges to seal. With a sharp knife, cut a few slashes in the top crust to vent. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust is brown and the filling bubbles up through the vents.

Cool completely before serving.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Yogurt Dipped Nut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches

By: The Food Hunter

If you follow me on social media you most likely already know that I am about to embark on a 15 day food tour of Italy's Umbria & Tuscany regions. This is not my first visit to the area but I am super excited because it will be my first time enjoying the area as a, cooking and eating. Since I will have limited WiFi I will only sporadically be sharing on facebook, twitter and instagram and will have more details of my adventures when I return.

Before I go I wanted to leave you with a healthy snack recipe featuring Stonyfield Yogurt & Justin's Nut Butters. (Justin's offer's naturally delicious almond butter, hazelnut butter, and peanut butter) Both are brands that I enjoy on a regular basis to keep me full and fueled specially when traveling.

Airport nibbles are often not the healthiest so I always make certain I have something nutritious stowed in my carry-on when I travel. Yogurt Dipped Nut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches are just that. These salty-sweet goodies are a great way to combat hunger mid-flight or anytime a craving sets in.

Yogurt Dipped Nut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches

1 bag of mini pretzels
1 jar of your favorite Justin's Nut Butter (I used peanut butter)
1 cup of Stonyfield Greek Yogurt Plain
confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Prepare a metal rack on top of a baking sheet.

Mix yogurt with confectioners sugar a little at a time until you reach desired sweetness. (I used about 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of yogurt).

Dollop a small sized spoon of nut butter onto one pretzel and top with another to make sandwiches.

Dip the sandwiches into the yogurt mixture and place on your rack, allowing the yogurt to drip into the baking sheet. Once all the pretzels are ready place the baking sheet in the oven and turn it off, leaving the door slightly ajar.

It will take about 2 hours for the yogurt to harden. Pretzels can be eaten immediately or stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

I have an ongoing relationship with Stonyfield as a member of the Clean Plate Club. I receive product, coupons and compensation for posts featuring their products. As always, all opinions are 100% my own 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Summer Bolognese

By: The Food Hunter

If you are looking for a pasta dish that is fresh, delicious and perfect for the hot days of summer this is it. Summer bolognese is a lighter version of the classic tomato laden bolognese sauce popular throughout the US. It's a no-fuss pasta dish that features fresh tomatoes, basil and kalamata olives along with sausage and pecorino cheese.

Summer Bolognese
(adapted from Donna Hay)
(printable recipe)

1lb angel hair
¼ cup olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
finely grated pecorino cheese

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water for 10–12 minutes or until al dente.

In the meantime heat olive oil in a large, skillet over high heat. Add the garlic, sausage and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, for 6–8 minutes or until sausage is browned breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the tomato paste and cook for 4–5 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced slightly.  Add the tomatoes and olives.

Pour sauce over pasta and toss to combine. Top with fresh basil and sprinkle with pecorino cheese to serve.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Spinach & Watermelon Salad With Pecan Lime Vinaigrette

By: The Food Hunter

With the abundance of fruit and vegetables available everywhere, summer is the perfect time to feast on fresh, easy to prepare salads. This quintessential summer recipe mixes the sweet flavor of watermelon with savory feta and pecans giving you a fun healthy dish everyone will love.

Spinach & Watermelon Salad With Pecan Lime Vinaigrette
5 cups watermelon, cubed
1 8-ounce package of baby spinach
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Pecan Lime Vinaigrette
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons of fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
salt & pepper to taste

Whisk oil & lime juice until it begins to emulsify. Add pecans and mint, stir to combine. Season with salt & pepper to taste. 

In a large bowl mix spinach with watermelon and feta cheese. Toss with Pecan Lime Vinaigrette and serve.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Italian Scrippelle

By: The Food Hunter

One of my favorite treats growing up was my grandmother's scrippelle, a traditional Italian dish saved for special occasions. Thin egg crepes are filled with grated pecorino, rolled tightly cigar style and sliced into ribbons. The sliced scrippelle are served swimming in bowls of homemade chicken soup.

Italian Scrippelle

Makes approximately 26

6 eggs
1 tbsp salt
1 1/4 cup flour
3 cups water
2 cups freshly grated pecorino cheese

Beat eggs good. Add dry ingredients and beat again. Add water to the flour and eggs mixture. It should be foamy on top. Let this sit approximately 5 minutes.

Heat a crepe pan over medium heat. Holding the pan in one hand, spoon in about 1/4 cup of the batter. Rotate the pan to completely so that the bottom is covered with batter. Cook for 35 to 45 seconds or until the edges of the crepe lifts away from the pan when you shake it.

With a spatula, flip the crepe over and cook for another 20 to 30 seconds. The crepe should be very lightly browned on both sides. Transfer the cooked crepe to a plate. Stir mixture before making the next crepe.

Once they have cooled fill with grated pecorino cheese and black pepper. Tightly roll & refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with fresh chicken soup.