Recipes from December 26, 2012

From Herald news servicesDecember 26, 2012 

Weekly recipes for December 26, 2012

Mexican Chili and Lime Roasted Cashews

2 cups raw whole cashews
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon Spice Islands Mediterranean Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Ancho Chili
1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Chipotle Chili
1 egg white

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and set it aside.

Place the cashews in a large bowl and set aside.

Whisk together the lime zest, salt, ancho chili, chipotle chili and egg white.

Pour the wet mixture over the nuts and toss to combine, making sure they are evenly coated.

Transfer the nuts to the baking sheet and spread them out in an even layer.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Remove the nuts from the oven and drizzle the hot nuts with the lime juice.

Let the nuts cool.

Once they are completely cooled, transfer the nuts to an airtight container and serve as needed.

Spaghetti Squash Bruschetta

Total Time: 45 minutes. Makes: about 36

1 smallish spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
3/4 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fine grind sea salt
1/2 teaspoon medium grind black pepper
2 medium tomatoes cored and diced
1 8 ounce mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1 French baguette, cut into 3/8-inch-thick slices and toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise using a large, sharp knife. Scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard.

Line a baking sheet with foil, brush with olive oil. Brush cut sides of squash with more olive oil and lay cut-side down on baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until outside is fork tender and cut edges are starting to brown. Remove from oven and carefully flip squash halves with tongs to cool.

When squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out the insides using a fork. The flesh will come away from the skin in spaghetti-like strands. Place squash in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Arrange toasted bread on a serving tray. Top each with a slice of mozzarella, a mound of spaghetti squash mixture and a small spoonful of tomato. Serve at room temperature.

Aglio e Olio

Servings: 4.

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8-10 anchovy fillets
5-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
2 red Fresno chiles, seeded, chopped
1/3 cup dry vermouth
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Melt anchovy fillets into oil, stirring until they break up and dissolve completely into oil. Add garlic and chiles. Reduce heat to low. Stir a few minutes, then add vermouth.

Salt the boiling water and cook pasta to al dente. Before draining, ladle out about a cup of the starchy pasta-cooking water and add to sauce. Drain pasta and add to the sauce along with the parsley, tossing with tongs for 1 to 2 minutes for the flavors to absorb.

-- From My Year in Meals, by Rachael Ray

Buttermilk Ricotta Cheese Dip

Start to finish: 2 hours. Servings: 12.

3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

To serve:

Fleur de sel or pink sea salt
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh herbs
Zest of 1/2 lemon or orange

In a large, stainless steel saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, buttermilk, cream and salt. Slowly bring mixture to a gentle simmer. As milk solids begin to separate from the whey, stir, then return it to a gentle simmer. When steam rises and solid chunks form, turn off heat and let mixture cool for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a mesh strainer with several layers of cheesecloth. Using a ladle, spoon cooled curds and whey into strainer. Place one layer of cloth over cheese. It will strain quickly at first. The longer you let it sit, the drier and more concentrated cheese will become. Strain cheese at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.

Once strained, discard liquid. The cheese can be used immediately, or covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

When ready to serve, place the ricotta in a decorative bowl. Use a spoon to form a well in the center. Sprinkle the cheese with the fleur de sel, then fill the well with olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and citrus zest.

Homemade Crackers

Start to finish: 30 minutes. Servings: 12.

12 round fresh flour or corn tortillas, at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 350 F. Brush tortillas on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt or seasonings. Arrange tortillas on 2 baking sheets. The tortillas can be close together, but not touching. Bake on the oven's center rack for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans after 12 minutes, until slightly puffy and golden brown. Let cool and break into irregular shapes.

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