Showing posts with label Easter recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easter recipes. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Recipes Roundup (Cat Approved) from Cleo Coyle

Meet Turtle, one of my many New York strays. The old girl is going on twenty. You'd never know it. Most days she bounds around the house like a kitten, has a healthy appetite, and purrs on my lap while I write.

She was the very first cat that my husband, Marc, and I adopted together, and we almost lost her last week to a massive kidney infection. Thanks to the very kind vets at NYC's Animal Medical Center, we got some good, strong antibiotics into her and (so far) she's bouncing back beautifully. She's bright-eyed again, jumping around, and back to purring on my lap. I don't know how much longer we'll have her, but seeing her out of pain and happy makes this Easter all the more special for us. 

Cleo Coyle, cat-approved
author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries
As for my blog post this week, I have a Turtle-approved roundup of recipes that might be helpful as you put together your own Easter feast. 

May you cook and eat with joy!

~ Cleo




Easter Recipes Roundup!



Cleo's Foolproof Stuffed Mushrooms

Why are they foolproof? Because with this method, you won't have to worry about under- or over-cooking them.

This filling is ricotta mixed with spinach, but you can certainly switch up the filling. For example, a combo of soft and hard cheeses plus breadcrumbs with cooked sausage would be just as delicious.


For an illustrated PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.


Cleo's Healthier Mashed Potatoes

This is my favorite recipe for mashed potatoes. It's so beautiful and the addition of garlic and carrots adds flavor, nutrition, and fiber. 

For an illustrated PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.


Cleo's Holiday
Sprouts

With a festive combo of flavors and textures, this side dish makes a pretty addition to any holiday table. I usually serve it at Christmas, but the roast meats of Easter make it a good side for this holiday, too.

It was even a Foodbuzz Top 9. Click here to see. 
To download a PDF of this recipe, click here.


Cleo's
Rack of Lamb with Lemon and Rosemary

Why do crime-writers like lamb? 

Answer here! 

...along with my absolute favorite recipe for lamb.
A PDF link is located inside the post. To jump to the recipe post, click here.



Cleo's "Pernil" Puerto Rican-Style Roasted Pork Shoulder
If you're looking for a change from Easter ham, here's my first suggestion. Pernil is an impressive-looking hunk o' meat that's easy to prepare. In many Latin American homes, it's a classic holiday treat. For an illustrated PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.





Cleo's Chocolate Cloud Cookies

Another Foodbuzz Top 9 recipe. To see, click here.

For a keeper PDF of this recipe, click here.

Chocolate at Easter is classic, but with so many of us looking for lighter desserts, it can be an issue. Here's a solution. Light, delicious, and easy to make, my Chocolate Cloud Cookies are a tasty treat to serve with coffee or tea, especially after a heavy dinner.


Cleo's 5 Minute
Chocolate Fudge

You're crazed, right? You're too busy to cook or you're going to someone else's house for the big holiday dinner and not sure what to bring. Maybe my fudge recipe will help...

For a PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.

No kidding. This fudge takes only about five minutes to mix up and make. (You can use your microwave.) After it sets, cut it into little squares, drop it into mini muffin cup liners, and serve the treat to your friends or relatives with a smile. They'll love this smooth, delicious, chocolate fudge with a hint of hazelnuts. It's Easter chocolate coffeehouse style! Cheers, everyone!


Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of






To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or 
learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com



The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 
 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passover Crack for Easter (Chocolate-Covered Matzo Buttercrunch) from Cleo Coyle




Yes, you read that right. My post today is Passover Crack for Easter. Allow me to explain: This recipe for chocolate-covered buttercrunch is so deliciously addictive that people have jokingly called it crack. It was created a few years ago for the observance of Passover (which is why it uses matzos), and yet it makes an especially wonderful and poignant addition to an Easter celebration, too. Why do I say that? Well... 

Cleo Coyle, who eats Easter
eggs and matzos is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Here in New York City, we live on top of each other, so the idea of "interfaith interaction" is more than just some abstract PC concept. It’s a way of life. Not that every corner of my fair city is filled with sweetness and light.

Certainly, when we don’t know much about a neighbor’s heritage, culture, or faith, we tend to feel wary of that person. But learning leads to understanding, which is why food can be such a great first step toward bringing us together.

Almost everyone enjoys food (talking about it, eating it) and food is often a window into a person’s nationality, heritage, and/or beliefs. As I put it in Holiday Grind: "A diversity of cultures means a diversity of foods. Eat with tolerance, I say."

Below you’ll see one of my favorite examples of New Yorkers with a great sense of humor about food, faith, and culture. Click the arrow in the window to see-- 

20 (Other) Things To Do With Matzo:




And now for today's recipe...

 
MY PASSOVER INGREDIENT: Monday evening marked the first night of Passover, one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays of the year. An important food custom that’s followed during this week is to eat no yeasted bread, only unleavened bread. Why? Because this is a time when Jews all over the world celebrate the story of Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. They left Egypt so quickly that there was no time to bake yeasted bread. During their journey through the dessert, they took the raw dough and baked it in the hot desert sun into hard crackers called matzos.


MY EASTER INGREDIENT: The Christian holiday of Easter, also one of the most important holidays of the year, is closely tied to Passover. The crucifixion of Jesus took place during Passover and biblical scholars believe that the Last Supper was a Passover seder. To prepare for Easter, many Christians observe 40 days of Lent in which they fast and make sacrifices to prepare for the celebration of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Giving up treats like chocolate and candy is a common custom. That’s one reason why chocolate is consumed with joy on Easter Sunday. Christ is risen, Hallelujah! Lent is over and it’s time to celebrate with feasting and favorite foods, including chocolate.

MATZOS + CHOCOLATE = AN INTERFAITH TREAT: Over the last few years, the basic recipe for Matzo Caramel Buttercrunch has been posted all over the Internet, but it was originally created by Marcy Goldman, author of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. You can see Marcy's famous, original version at her website here. David Lebovitz also adapted her recipe here. Today it’s my turn! I hope you enjoy my version, too.

Love and peace to you. Happy Passover, Happy Easter, Happy Spring! And may God bless us, every one.

~ Cleo Coyle



Cleo's Passover
Crack for Easter

Black-and-White Chocolate-Covered
Matzo Buttercrunch (An interfaith candy :))

Adapted from Marcy Goldman's
Matzo Caramel Buttercrunch


To download a PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here. 



YOU WILL NEED:

1 half-sheet pan, jelly roll pan, or large cookie sheet
   + Aluminum foil
   + Parchment paper
1 saucepan (nonstick if possible, and a silicone spatula is helpful, too)
2 tablespoons (for spreading the melted chocolate chips)


INGREDIENTS:

5 boards of unsalted matzos (see my matzo note below)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine (see my butter note below)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (nuts are optional)
1/2 cup dry roasted, unsalted pistachios (measure after removing shells)

(a) Matzo note: If you're not observing Passover and you can't find matzos, try Saltines or another cracker.

(b) Butter note: I've done this recipe with butter and margarine. Both work just fine as long as you boil the mixture for the length of time noted in the recipe. I've also used salted and unsalted butter, both taste great.

(c) Sugar note: I prefer the dark brown sugar, but if all you have on hand is light brown, that's fine, too.

(d) Chocolate note: If you don't like white chocolate, simply double the amount of mini chocolate chips. I find the mini chips melt much faster and easier than regular chips. If you prefer chopped block chocolate, that's certainly an option, too.

 
DIRECTIONS:

Step 1 - Prepare pan: This recipe is easy but can be messy so cover your baking pan with aluminum foil first and then a sheet of parchment paper; otherwise, the caramel will stick to the foil. 
 




Step 2 - Prep oven and nuts: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. If you're topping your chocolate buttercrunch with sliced almonds (or walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts), then toast the nuts for better flavor. To save time, I'll throw my sliced almonds onto a cookie sheet and toast them in the already preheating oven. Nuts generally toast up in 8 to 10 minutes. Stir them once to prevent scorching. When you can smell the scent of toasting nuts, you know they're done or very close to done.

You'll also want to finely chop the shelled pistachios. To finely chop any nut, simply place it in a resealable plastic bag and bang it with a hammer, rolling pin, or back of a heavy spoon.

Step 3 - Lay out matzo boards:  In the half-sheet pan you see in my photos (13 x 18 inches), I fit 5, full matzo boards. You can break the boards into pieces to fit them into the pan.




Step 4 - Make a quick caramel: In a medium saucepan (nonstick is best), melt the butter or margarine and add your brown sugar (dark or light), stirring to combine ingredients. Because the mixture is sticky, I use a nonstick (silicone) spatula. When the mixture begins to boil, start your timer for three (3) full minutes. Keep stirring to prevent scorching and continue boiling. The mixture will foam up as it boils, just keep stirring.



Step 5 - Cover: Pour the caramel mixture over the matzo boards. Work quickly with your nonstick spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the caramel as evenly as you can. As the mixture cools, it will be difficult to work with so spread fast!


Step 6 - Bake: Place the pan in the oven for 12 to 13 minutes. Rotate the pan once in the middle of this baking process to prevent hot spots from burning your candy. The cooking is done when you see bubbles have formed over the entire pan.




TIP: For a delicious buttercrunch (without chocolate)
you can simply stop at this stage and slide the pan into
the refrigerator for thirty minutes. Break the matzos
into pieces and you have Caramel Matzo Buttercrunch.
(See photo below . . . )





Step 7 - Sprinkle chocolate chips and melt: As you can see below, my black-and-white version of this buttercrunch covers half the caramel-topped matzos with semi-sweet chocolate and half with white chocolate. Sprinkle the chips as you see in the photos then place the pan back in the oven for another minute or two. Take care not to allow the chocolate to burn but make sure it's melted enough to easily spread . . .






TIP: Larger chocolate chips may appear
to keep their shape, but if you gently press
down with the back of your tablespoon, you will likely
see they've melted. Once you press them flat, begin to
work them with your spoon, spreading the chocolate as
you would cake frosting. Keep extra chips on hand, ready to
cover any bald spots or you may have trouble getting
an even layer of chocolate.



Step 8 - Finish and chill: Toss your nuts onto the melted chocolate.





Now slide the pan into the refrigerator for thirty minutes. That should harden up the chocolate nicely. When the candy is firm, use your hands to gently break up the big pieces into smaller shapes, and . . . 

Eat with joy!


White Chocolate-Pistachio
Buttercrunch


Chocolate-Almond
Buttercrunch




Happy Passover!    Happy Easter!
Happy Spring!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or find out more about my books, visit me
 at my *virtual* coffeehouse:

 
Click on the book covers above
to learn more about Cleo's culinary mysteries.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Cleo Coyle's Italian Easter Pie Palmiers



Every year at Pasqua, my late Aunt Mary would make her Easter Pie. This rustic pie was amazing to me not because it was filled with dozens of ingredients, but because it was so satisfying yet so simple. She called it a "pizza," but Americans would probably recognize it as closer to a white calzone.

My aunt would fill her rustic Easter pie with ricotta; diced ham; fresh parsley (always fresh!); strong, grated Italian cheese; and raw eggs for binding. 



Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

She'd mix up a delicious, slightly sweet dough using just her hands on a big bread board. Then she'd roll our the dough, mound in the filling, fold over the dough, seal it, and bake it. After it was baked and chilled (yes, chilled!), we would cut thin slices and eat it at all hours -- for breakfast, lunch, snacks, as an appetizer before dinner, or a savory dessert after.

Italian Easter Pies are a famous tradition, but the recipe can differ from house to house. In our neighborhood that was quite literal. The family next door made a much more elaborate pie with sausage, whole boiled eggs, and a bread-like yeast crust. Other families make theirs in a pie tin with spinach as an ingredient.

My Aunt Mary Capaccio
I greatly miss my Aunt Mary. She came to the USA from Italy (with my mother), lived with us during my childhood, and (in so many ways) was like a second mother to me and my sister. Aunt Mary passed away almost exactly ten years ago, and I still yearn for all the wonderful foods she made for our family. Although I do try to duplicate her recipes, it's the cooking from her heart that I miss the most.

That's why I am dedicating my post to her today with the tastes of her Easter Pie folded into a palmier. The French palmier (a cookie made of sugar-dusted puff pastry) is actually named after a palm leaf, but the shape reminds me more of a heart and that seemed just perfect for my memory of Aunt Mary and her Easter Pie. I can also testify that a bite of this palmier (after it is baked and chilled) will give you an almost identical taste to what my aunt made every Easter.


Buona Pasqua, Aunt Mary!
Happy Easter, everyone!
~ Cleo




Cleo Coyle's
Easter Pie
Palmiers

Makes 10 savory palmiers

Serve as an appetizer or snack; taste can be compared to a quiche.

For a printable, sendable, saveable
(pdf) version of this
recipe, click here

Ingredients

1 cup ricotta cheese (whole milk)
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup flat leaf Italian parsley (fresh!), finely chopped
1 sheet of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (or 10 x 10-inch homemade)
1 egg, lightly beaten
5 thin slices of good quality ham or prosciutto

Method

Step 1: Mix the filling - In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, grated Romano, and finely chopped fresh parsley. (I just use a good handful, which is about 1/2 cup. When you chop it finely, the volume measure goes down to 1/4 cup.) This filling should be very well mixed--be sure to work in all of the grated cheese and parsley. Set aside in the fridge to keep it cold.

Step 2: Prepare the pastry - Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. The paper is mandatory. Not only will it help prevent your palmiers from scorching on your pan's hot spots, it will help you fold the puff pastry when the time comes. Lay the puff pastry out on the parchment paper. Use your favorite recipe or go with the Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry sheets. If you've never used these before, see the photo below...



Two folded sheets of puff pastry come in one package. Take out one sheet and allow it to thaw about 30 minutes (or you can cheat and microwave it on low for no more than 10 seconds to thaw it slightly). Now unfold the dough. If there are any cracks, wet your finger and press the dough together to mend it. TIP: Handle the dough as little as possible and keep it cold during the assembly process by returning it to the fridge to re-chill.

Step 3: Brush and layer - Lightly beat the egg and brush it over the entire sheet of puff pastry. Then mound the ricotta cheese mixture onto the egg-washed pastry. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the filling into an even layer. Now lay your thin slices of ham (or prosciutto) over the top layer of ricotta and fold.



Step 4: Fold - You want to fold this 10 x 10-inch sheet like a letter, into thirds and then a final time so that the two folded layers are stacked. I like to use the parchment paper to lift and fold, which prevents my hands from warming the puff pastry.





Step 5: Chill and slice - Chill the dough for at least 20 minutes and then cut into 1-inch slices. The chilling is necessary for the best result. If the dough is warm, it will begin to give and bend as you cut it, and you're palmiers will not hold their pretty shapes. Set the slices on their sides, leaving room between each to allow space for expansion while baking.




Step 6 - Bake and cool - Bake 15 to 20 minutes in an oven that is well pre-heated to 400 degrees F. The Easter Pie Palmiers are done when the pastry has puffed and turned golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the palmiers to cool a bit before carefully transferring to a rack. Allow these savory goodies to cool to room temperature before eating. If you want to experience the true taste of a traditional Italian Easter Pie, then chill these a bit in the fridge, take them out, and...








Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

☕ ☕ ☕

Free Coffeehouse Mystery
E-Newsletter here.






☕ ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕

Coming from Penguin Random House...

The NEW Coffeehouse Mystery!


On sale January 10, 2017

Filled with wonderful twists
and surprises, this is one
Coffeehouse Mystery you
won't want to miss!


To pre-order now, click links for... 




* * *


Our newest bestselling hardcover 
is now a bestseller in paperback!


Join amateur sleuth Clare Cosi
as she sets out to caffeinate
our nation's capital and solve
a capital crime.


To buy now, click links for...



☕ ☕ ☕




This culinary mystery includes

more than 25 delicious new recipes! 

Get a free Recipe Guide by 





* * *


The bestselling Penguin hardcover 
is now a bestseller in paperback!


Once Upon a Grind 
by Cleo Coyle

To learn more, 


A Best of the Year Pick ~ Kings River Life 
"Fresh and fun...clever" ~ Booklist
A Mystery Guild Selection 



Join coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi as she solves the crime against "Sleeping Beauty," opens secret doors (uptown and down), and investigates a cold case that's been unsolved since the Cold War.

*

Wonderful recipes are also featured
in Cleo's 14th culinary mystery, Once Upon a Grind including...



* Dairy-Free "Cinderella" Pumpkin Cake
* Dairy-Free Almond Milk Custard
* Caramel-Dipped Meltaway Cookies 
* Black Forest Brownies 
* Cappuccino Blondies 
* Shrimp Kiev
* Dr Pepper Glazed Chicken
* Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies
* Poor Man's Caviar
* Snow White Chocolate Mocha

...and many more recipes, including 
a guide to reading coffee grinds...

See Once Upon a Grind's 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.



* * *







See Billionaire Blend's Free 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.



* * *



The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


GET A FREE
TITLE CHECKLIST 
OF BOOKS IN ORDER


See mini plot summaries 
for every title and news on
 Cleo's next release!




****







Book #1 of
which Cleo write under the name 
Alice Kimberly


Haunted Bookshop 
Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, with 
mini plot summaries, by clicking here.


Or learn more about the books
and meet Jack Shepard,
our PI ghost by clicking here.

* * * * * *


Comments and
Questions!



To leave a comment or 
question for Cleo, click here
and visit the
Coffee Talk Message Board 
at her online coffeehouse.




* * * 



Subscribe to Cleo's Coffeehouse Newsletter for bonus recipes, fun info, and drawings for free books, premium coffee and more....






Top 10
New York Times
Bestseller!



A Coffeehouse 
Holiday Mystery!

Click here for
Free Recipe Guide

👓 👓 👓