Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Birthday Dinner

It's A's birthday today, but I have to work tonight, so we celebrated with a home-cooked dinner last night.

We started with a roasted beet, goat cheese, and candied pecan salad. To candy the pecans, I just put a tablespoon of sugar with a drop of water and the pecans into a pan and cooked them until the sugar coated the pecans, about 5 minutes.

Then bruschetta. Nothing too fancy - I toasted the bread in the oven, rubbed it with garlic and brushed with olive oil, and then topped with chopped tomatoes and basil.

Main course was just pasta, but I had freshly made that batch of sauce. I put lots of tasty ingredients in it, like shallots, fennel, celery, carrots, roasted garlic, and chili flakes. It was pretty good.

Dessert was a strawberry pistachio cream phyllo cup, to finally finish off all the phyllo dough.

Phyllo Cups with Strawberries and Pistachio Cream
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
Yield: 3 cups
Print recipe

1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp sugar
2 sheets phyllo dough
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1/4 fresh strawberries, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Place a large cutting board slightly larger than the phyllo sheet on the work surface, long edge facing you.

  3. Place one sheet of phyllo on the parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, brush the sheet with melted butter. Sprinkle with one teaspoon of sugar.

  4. Place the second sheet of phyllo over the first and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with the second teaspoon of sugar.

  5. Fold the phyllo in half, width-wise.

  6. Cut the phyllo sheets into 6 squares.

  7. Butter the insides and rims of 3 large muffin cups.

  8. Place one phyllo square into a muffin cup, easing it in so that it covers half the bottom and rises to hang over the side of the cup.

  9. Ease in a second stack, slightly overlapping the first, to cover the other half of the muffin cup.

  10. Repeat to make 2 more phyllo cups.

  11. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

  12. Let cool completely, then carefully remove from the muffin cups.

  13. Whip the whipping cream, sour cream, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and the vanilla until almost stiff.

  14. Fold in the pistachios and the mint.

  15. Just before serving, divide the pistachio cream between the cups and top with the strawberries. Serve immediately.

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