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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

PEAR, WALNUT AND RICOTTA CROSTINI and GARLIC, BASIL PORK TENDERLOIN and RASPBERRY TART

We have friends who are moving to Austria for a year, and although I wanted to send them off with an all-American dinner, my menu didn't quite reflect that! All the same, it was a wonderful evening, and a fun meal to put together.
I have lovely memories of this crostini recipe - I made it for my brother-in-law over the summer, and although he had never taken a bite of ricotta, he tried it, and liked it!

PEAR, WALNUT AND RICOTTA CROSTINI



Divide 1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese among 8 crostini. Top each piece with several ripe pear slices (I have used fresh and canned in this recipe - either way, I like to saute the pear slices in a little butter, before placing them on the crostini), and toasted walnut pieces. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and drizzle each with honey.
Serve immediately.

GARLIC, BASIL PORK TENDERLOIN



2 (1 pound) pork tenderloins
6 garlic cloves, cut in half
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 350F
To prepare pork, cut several small slits in pork tenderloins. Insert garlic into slits.
Press basil over pork, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray in the oven, cook about 25 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 160F.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

recipe adapted from Relish


RASPBERRY TART


CRUST:
8 whole graham crackers, coarsely broken
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
6 tablespoons of butter, melted
FILLING AND TOPPING:
6 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 pints raspberries
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

CRUST:
Heat oven to 375F
Grind crackers and sugar in processor until coarse crumbs form. Add butter and process until crumbs are evenly moistened.
Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom (I don't have a tart pan that size, so I used a pie plate). Bake until crust is firm to touch, about 8 minutes.
Cool crust on rack.
FILLING AND TOPPING:
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Spread filling in cooled crust. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours (can be made a day ahead. Cover and keep chilled).
Arrange raspberries over filling. Whisk jam in small bowl to loosen consistency. Drizzle over berries. Serve immediately or chill up to 3 hours.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2001
www.bonappetit.com/

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