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Second Annual Twin Cities RFC Picnic

Beth Jarvis

email Beth Jarvis

This appetizer was rated a definite keeper at our picnic. It's from 365 Snacks, Hors D'Oeuvres and Appetizers. The filling is called duxelles. Don't let the bland flavor of the filling put you off. In combination, it's amazingly good!

Creamy Mushroom Kisses

1/2 Lb. filo pastry, thawed.
1 stick ( 4 oz.) unsalted butter, melted (I used salted)
1 recipe mushroom duxelles (recipe follows)

  1. On a flat work surface, unfold filo and cut into 3" squares. Cover with plastic wrap and top with a damp towel to prevent drying.
  2. Brush 1 filo square with butter. Top with a second square and brush again. Gently ease into a buttered gem sized (1 3/4") muffin cup. brush two more squares with butter and arrange at a 90 degree angle overlapping the first squares. Place about 1 teaspoon mushroom duxelles in center. Gather up corners of filo and gently twist to seal. Brush with butter and continue with remaining filo & filling. If made in advance, refrigerate up to 2 days. Freeze for longer storage.

My notes: I used mini muffin tins. I buttered and placed the 4 filo squares *then* put each finished "set" into the muffin tin as I went. I put the filling in after I had the filo in the tins. The twisted them and brushed butter over the tops.

Preheat over to 350. Bake until filling is heated through and pastry is barely golden brown, 12-15 minutes. use a teaspoon to gently lift kisses from muffin cups. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe is supposed to make 48. Using mini muffin tins, I got about 29. The 5 extras I baked in a small Pyrex dish.

Mushroom Duxelles

4 tablespoons butter
3 shallots, minced (I used chopped green onions)
1/2 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 c. heavy cream (I used half & half)
3 tablespoons minced fresh or freeze dried chives (omitted, because I used green onions, tops and all for shallots), tops used
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook untill softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly all liquid has cooked away, 10-15 minutes.

Sprinkle flour over mushrooms and cook, stirring until well blended, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to high, add cream, and cook, stirring well until mixture comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chives, parsley, lemon juice, salt and cayenne. Let cool. If made in advance, cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Freeze for longer storage.

Hattie's Goat Cheese Torta with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Yield: 1 pie

6 oz Goat cheese
4 oz Cream cheese
8 Garlic clove; peeled,
-mashed, & chopped
-(the amount is up to you.)
1/2 c Pesto; at least
1/2 c Tomato, sun-dried oil-packed
-chopped up fine including
-1 - 2 tsp of the marinade
Decorate with fresh herbs,
-such as branches of thyme,
-oregano, rosemary, parsley,
-and sliced baguettes

  1. Mix goat cheese and cream cheese, add the garlic. Check the taste. Add salt and black pepper if you want.
  2. Line a small glass bowl (about 2 - 3 cups) with plastic wrap. Put about 1/3 of the goat cheese mix into the bowl. Top this with the pesto. Put another 1/3 of the goat cheese mix on top of this. Put the sundried tomatoes on this. Top with the rest of the cheese. Put plastic wrap over the top of this. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to four days.
  3. To serve, invert bowl on a serving dish. Carefully remove the plastic wrap. Decorate with herbaceous materials. Serve with baguettes. Keep out of the way of the devouring mob. Supposed to serve up to 20 - 25 with other horse divers.
  4. This is a killer party item. My friends stand around and inhale this stuff. If there's any leftover, it's great the next day. I usually make my own pesto but the stuff you can buy in the refrigerator bin at the grocery store is okay, too.

-- Susan Hattie Steinsapir

Here's the recipe for Cuban bread. It's from Memories of a Cuban Kitchen by Randelman & Schwartz. The authors credit James Beard with this recipe.

Cuban Bread

1 pkt. (1/4 oz.) yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/4 tablespoons salt*
1 tablespoon sugar
6 to 7 cups sifted all purpose flour (I used bread flour)

* That is tablespoons, but I think I goofed and used teaspoons.

  1. Dissolve the yeast in water and add the salt and sugar, stirring thoroughly.
  2. Add flour, one cup at a time, beating it in with a wooden spoon or use a dough hook on an electric mixer at low speed. Add enough flour to make a fairly stiff dough.
  3. When the dough is thoroughly mixed, shape it into a ball, place in a greased bowl, and grease the top. Cover with a dry, clean towel and let stand in a warm place (80-85 degrees F) until doubled in bulk. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and shape into two long, French style loaves or round, Italian style loaves. Arrange on a baking sheet heavily sprinkled with cornmeal and allow to rise five minutes. (see note below)
  4. Slash the tops of the loaves in tow or three places with a knife or scissors. brush the loaves with water and place them in a cold oven. Set the oven control at hot (400 degrees F) and place a pan of boiling water on the bottom of the oven. bake the loaves until they are crusty and done, about 40 to 50 minutes.

Makes 2 loaves.

Note: I made the dough in my ABM, running it through the initial knead twice. I then dumped it into a bowl, let it do the first rise. Then I formed it into loaves (2 skinny baguettes and 1 normal loaf), let it rise, as normal for bread. When it was nearly completely risen, I baked it at 400. I've never tried this cold oven/boiling water method for a second rise/bake.

The wontons were a combo of 2 recipes plus. The sweet and sour sauce is from my favorite Chinese cookbook. "The Easy Way to Chinese Cooking" by Beverly Lee. It's copyright is 1963 (cost me $1.50 new, paperback). I like it because Lee takes the stance that Chinese women, like anyone else with a a meal to get on the table, don't have a ton of time to mess around with exotic recipes and use some basic marinades for basic dishes. The sweet and sour sauce is her basic sweet and sour mixture that I thickened with a bit or cornstarch and water.

Wontons

1 pound ground pork, browned
1 c. grated carrot (approx)
1-2 c. thinly sliced cabbage (like for cole slaw)
2 ribs/stalks celery, minced
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1-2 tablespoons sherry
dash or two of pepper

Combine all. Can be used to fill eggroll skins or wonton wrappers. Fry in oil until browned. Drain. Serve.

The sweet and sour sauce is from my favorite Chinese cookbook. "The Easy Way to Chinese Cooking" by Beverly Lee. It's copyright is 1963 (cost me $1.50 new, paperback). I like it because Lee takes the stance that Chinese women, like anyone else with a meal to get on the table, don't have a ton of time to mess around with exotic recipes and use some basic marinades for basic dishes. The sweet and sour sauce is her basic sweet and sour mixture that I thickened with a bit or cornstarch and water.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1/4 c. vinegar
1/2 c. water
dash pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
5 tablespoons sugar
1-2 cloves garlic (smashed/finely minced)

Thicken with about 2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in a tablespoon of water.

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