Roasted Red Beet, Spinach and Goat Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor


Hot Honey Apple Tartlets

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For years hot honey has been used as a condiment on pizza in Brazil.    Introduced to the States by Michael Kurtz , he discovered the spicy honey while on a hike in Brazil in 2003. In a small mountain town there, he found a pizzeria that had the concoction on every table. When he got home to Brooklyn, he set about duplicating it. Years down the road, in 2010 Kurtz gets a job at a Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee’s a approached the owner about his sweet concoction, with “Hey, I’ve got something you should try on your pizza.” And so, Mike’s Hot Honey was born and  the rest, as the say, was history.

Drizzled on a pizza, hot honey is especially good with salty meats like soppressata or pepperoni, the heat of hot honey isn’t as pronounced and the sweetness of the honey shines through even more.

Today, Mike’s Hot Honey serves retailers and restaurants in the borough of Brooklyn, New York and beyond with Mike’s original recipe, chili pepper-infused hot honey.

For this recipe, I used a dark  honey forest honey, which is available at specialty foods stores and from kalustyans.com. I was also able to get my hands on some malagueta peppers from Brazil, but  you can also use Fresno, Holland, Vietnamese or Thai chiles to get the same heat effect of  Brazillian chile infused honey. Another alternative is to substitute a mix of  2 green thai chiles  and 1 habanero  to every 3 malaguetas.

And I have discovered that you can also use hot honey as a sauce for fruit desserts. Cooked fruit has a robust flavor that can stand up to hot honey. Just squirting sriracha on everything doesn’t work on all  things eaten, but hot honey sure does. Try it on fried chicken, it is to die for!

 

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Hot Honey:
Makes About 1 Cup
2–4 hot chiles , thinly sliced
1 cup Langnese Forest Honey

Directions:
Bring 2 chiles and honey to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low and let the chiles simmer in the honey for 1 hour to 185°F . to infuse. Taste honey and adjust heat with another chile or 2. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Strain  into s sterilized jar while still warm and cap with a sterilized lid. Store honey chilled  in a refrigerator to slow oxidation.

Make  Ahead:  The hot honey can be made up to 3 months ahead of time. Keep chilled.

 

For the Tartlets:
Two  17.3-ounce packages frozen puff pastry (4 sheets), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (about 3/4 cup packed)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 medium Gala apples,peeled,quartered,cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup hot honey, divided
1/2 teaspoon  ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Directions:
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out each puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 11-inch square. Using 5-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out 4 rounds from each pastry sheet, forming 16 rounds total. Divide 8 pastry rounds between prepared baking sheets; pierce rounds all over with fork. Using 3 1/2-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out smaller rounds from center of remaining 8 rounds (reserve 3 1/2-inch rounds for another use), forming eight 5-inch-diameter rings. Brush outer 1-inch edges of 5-inch rounds on baking sheets with beaten egg; top each with 1 pastry ring. Freeze at least 30 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD:  Pastry shells can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen. Do not thaw before continuing. 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a small bowl mix the ground allspice and cinnamon. Set aside.

Mix cheese, lemon juice, and salt in bowl; spread mixture inside rings on frozen pastry rounds. Overlap apple slices atop cheese. Mix butter and 1/4 cup honey in small bowl; brush over apples. Sprinkle with the allspice and cinnamon mixture. Bake until apples are tender and pastry is golden, about 35 minutes. Place tartlets on plates. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the hot honey over each tartlet and serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s Notes:
Bake the tartlets four to six hours ahead, then store them uncovered at room temperature. Rewarm in a 350°F oven for five to ten minutes. Drizzle tartlets with honey just before serving.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor


Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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So, looking in the refrigerator, I had a motley assortment of odds and ends of ingredients, including a bag of spring greens mix with  baby spinach, some Fontina cheese, some left over goat cheese, some anchovy paste, and half an avocado. There was a shallot in there too. Hmmmm. So, what is a girl to do?

So looking at the spice rack, I spied tarragon, basil, salt and pepper. So a plan was forming  to make a Green Goddess Dressing for a salad. But then on second thought,  I wanted something a little more filling than a salad. So I began to think why not take the green goddess herbs mixed directly into the cheeses, the spring greens and make a cheese spread for a grilled cheese sandwich?

This simple sandwich came together very quickly and very easily with the use of a food processor. You can also use a blender or a sharp knife to finely chop up the ingredients.

Not you regular, every day grilled cheese sandwich, but I can guarantee that you will like it just fine, if not more.

Enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 oil-packed anchovy, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
Juice of ½ a lemon
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 Tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 cup mixed spring greens
½ Avocado, diced
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 ounces goat cheese, cut into smaller cubes
½ ounces Fontina cheese, cut into small cubes
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
8-12 slices sourdough bread
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

 

Directions:
Add garlic and anchovies to a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until it’s really finely chopped, almost like a paste (if you don’t have a food processor, you can always just chop the ingredients really well with a sharp knife on a cutting board).
Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, tarragon, cilantro, basil, shallot, spring greens, avocado, mustard and goat and Fontina cheeses and pulse again until well blended. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and stir in the mozzarella cheese.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil  and 2 tablespoons of butter in a cast iron skillet over medium low heat.  Lightly brown the bread and then flip each slice over. Spread about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the green goddess mixture onto each slice of bread and press together gently.  Continue to  fry the sandwich until  the bread is golden brown. Press down on the sandwich lightly, then flip the sandwich over and cook until second side is golden brown.

Remove for the skillet and serve immediately.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor