Monday, January 13, 2014

The Seasonal Plate

"Find something you are passionate about 
and keep tremendously interested in it."
-Julia Child
This week's submission for The Seasonal Plate includes Minestrone Soup (recipe posted January 12th), Spinach Puffs and Italian Creme Cake (recipe previously posted) 

Spinach Puffs
Cook’s notes: One package of puff pastry makes 18 squares (cut each sheet into nine 3 inch squares or 8 squares (cut each sheet into four 4 ½ inch squares). The smaller squares make a good size for appetizers and the larger size a side for a meal.  Spinach Puffs adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen spinach thawed
  • 1-1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese, crumbled goat or feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers from a jar, drained, patted dry on a paper towel, minced
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 1 heaping tsp. flour
  • ½ tsp. prepared minced garlic (in a jar)
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • sesame seeds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 package puff pastry, thawed
  • Optional 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Cut squares from thawed pastry, set aside and cover with a towel so they don't dry out
  • Squeeze liquid from spinach (use paper towels) you should have about 2/3 cups spinach
  • In a large bowl mix together spinach, flour, onion, cheese, garlic, thyme, roasted red peppers and 1 beaten egg
  • Place 1 heaping teaspoon spinach mixture on each square. Bring all four corners to the center and pinch them together. Place each pastry puff in muffin tin

  • Whisk the remaining egg and brush top  of each puff, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake 18-20 minutes @ 400 degrees

Italian Cream Cake
Cook’s notes: The origin of this cake is uncertain. But foodies and bloggers conclude it is not really Italian since cream cheese and coconut are not usually used in Italy. The original classic dessert is a yellow buttermilk cake enhanced with a pecan and cream cheese frosting. The recipe first surfaced in Southern Living magazine. The cake is quite popular south of the Mason-Dixie line. This recipe simplifies the original recipe by using a cake mix and adding in pudding mix. Ingredients:
  • 1 box white or yellow cake mix 
  • 1 small box (3.5 oz.) instant vanilla pudding 
  • ¾ cup water 
  • ¾ cup heavy cream 
  • 4 eggs 
  • ½ cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup chopped pecans-reserve ¼ cup for frosting 
  • 1 cup flaked coconut toasted-reserve ¼ cup for frosting 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
  • In a large bowl mix cake mix, vanilla pudding, cream, water, eggs and oil 
  • Beat 2 minutes; add in ¾ cup coconut and ¾ chopped pecans 
  • Grease a 13 x 9 pan and bake 30 minutes or until center is clean using a toothpick to test 
Frosting: Make a cream cheese frosting combing 4 oz. softened cream cheese, 1 TB. vanilla and 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar. Add milk by tablespoons to get desired consistency. Use a mixer on high speed to blend. Sprinkle reserved pecans and toasted coconut on top of the frosting. Cover lightly and refrigerate.

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