Ahhh, the holidays. Time to put your favorite recipes on the dinner table and warm up visiting family and friends with appetizers and drinks. As you finalize your holiday menus, consider these food and bar favorites from Epulo Bistro, Chanterelle and PCC Natural Markets, all in Edmonds:
Puff Pastry Canapes with Bleu Cheese and Pears
Recipe by Lynne Vea, PCC Chef
Miniature muffin tins
2 sheets Aussie Bakery puff pastry, thawed
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
4 ounces Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue or your favorite blue cheese
8 ounces organic cream cheese, softened
Preparation: Preheat oven to 425Â° F. Lightly oil the muffin tins. Poke the pastry sheets all over with a fork to keep the pastry from puffing too much when baking. Cut each pastry sheet into nine 2 1/2-inch squares (you may have a little trim left) and brush lightly with the egg wash.
Press the squares firmly into the muffin tins. Note: You may trim the squares into rounds or leave them more rustic in their square shape. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the pastry is deep golden brown. Allow to cool. You may make these a day ahead of time. Store in an airtight container.
Combine well the blue cheese and the cream cheese. If you are going to pipe the cheese with a pastry bag, be sure the blue cheese is evenly blended, with no lumps. Spoon or pipe the blue cheese mixture into the pastry shells and top with a small amount of theÂ pears. Garnish with toasted walnuts if desired.
Upside-Down Caramel Pear Torte with Cinnamon and Fresh Cranberries
Recipe by Lynne Vea, PCC Chef
12 tablespoons butter (divided)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 semi-ripe pears, quartered, cored and sliced
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
Preparation: Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a 9-inch cake pan spread 4 tablespoons of butter thickly over the surface. Sprinkle with the brown sugar. Distribute the pears, curved side down, over the surface of the brown sugar mixture. Scatter with the cranberries. Set aside.
In a small pan, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter. Remove from heat and stir in the egg and milk. Beat well.
Mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar in a bowl and add the butter-egg-milk mixture. Beat until smooth, and stir in the almond or vanilla extract. Pour the batter over the pears and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the pan cool for 5 minutes then turn out onto a serving plate.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Brioche & Port-Infused Figs with Gorgonzola
Recipe by Epulo Chef Taylor Park
1 loaf of brioche bread (challah bread as substitute if needed)
1.5 liter bottle of port wine
½ lb dried figs
½ lb gorgonzola cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large saucepan, place port and bring up to a simmer for 3 minutes. Add the sugar and dried figs into the port and let reduce to a syrup consistency (approximately 20 min.). While port is reducing, slice bread lengthwise into ¼-inch slices. Cut once again into 1 x 1 inch squares. Place on a nonstick sheet tray and bake in oven until golden brown (approximately 2-3 minutes). Once brioche is cooked and the port and fig mixture has reached the proper consistency, place a small spoonful of the fig mixture onto the bread and crumble the gorgonzola on top. Place back into the oven for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is slightly melted.
Candy Cane Lane
From Epulo bartender Shawn Mathay
shot creme di cocoa
shot peppermint schnapps
splash heavy cream
Shake, strain in a sugar and candy cane-rimmed martini glass, garnish with crumbled candy cane and mint leaf.
Chanterelle’s Broccoli Salad
Recipe from Chanterelle
This is a great dish for Christmas with its bright green coloring and red specks. It works nicely as a compliment to a sit-down turkey dinner, or on a buffet table or potluck any time of year.
In a large bowl, toss together:
10 strips bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
One large bunch broccoli florets cut into bite-size pieces (or smaller as we do at the restaurant)
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Preparation: In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 1 T. apple cider vinegar and 3 T. sugar. Toss with salad, making more as needed to moisten all the goodies to taste.