Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tapenade Twists

Recipe by Paula. 

I like to put my own twist on Portuguese food and this appetizer is literally a twist. ;) I love using puff pastry to make appetizers. It is buttery and rich and light and airy at the same time. I always use my tapenade recipe here but in a pinch, you can use a prepared tapenade. Make lots of these, they won't last long. Enjoy!

Serves: 6-8

1 cup of Olive Tapenade
2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry sheet and roll into a 12 x 10 inch rectangle. Repeat with the second puff pastry sheet.

2. Spread olive tapenade over 1/2 of the lengthwise half of rectangle leaving a 1 inch of the border. Fold the empty half of the pastry sheet over the tapenade. Repeat with the second puff pastry sheet.

3. Pinch the edges to seal both pastry sheets. Gently roll the sheets with a rolling pin to make sure the tapenade is pressed into the puff pastry. Cut the sheets into 1/2 inch strips, twist the strips and place them on  the parchment paper lined baking sheets.

3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and puffy. Remove them to wire racks to cool. Serve at room temperature.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Mushroom & Bacon Soup

Recipe by Paula.
I love mushroons and I always buy more than I need because I get to make this soup with the extras. ;) This soup is scented with thyme, a perfect herb for mushrooms. The addition of Port is my little Portuguese indulgence but it really works in this soup. Enjoy!

Serves: 6

6 strips of bacon, cut into lardons
1 medium onion,chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 sprigs of thyme
10 cups sliced mushroooms
2 tablespoons Port
6 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cream
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. In a large pan over medium high heat, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve. Add the onions to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Saute onions for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

2. Add the thyme and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are browned. Add the Port and saute until the Port is reduced.

3. Add the broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Purée soup in 2 batches in a blender (hot liquid, be careful!) until very smooth, about 1 minute per batch, then transfer the soup back to the pan over low heat. Add the cream. If the soup is too thick, add more broth or water. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve hot and garnish with the reserved bacon.