Posts in appetizer
leek & wood sorrel tart

we are finally seeing hints of spring headed our way and i have been using the warmer weather as an opportunity to get back into the garden. thanks to all the rain we have been having in orange county, greens are popping up all over the garden with out a whole lot of effort. and the wood sorrel (clover, sour grass) is EVERYWHERE. now, most would call them “weeds” and toss them. but “weeds” are really just anything in your garden you don’t want. and what i really don’t want is waste. so why not cook them up?

wood sorrel’s are tart and bright in flavor and are a great addition to salad or sandwich greens. not to mention, they are beautiful. now, if you don’t have clover’s in your garden, you could easily sub your favorite green (arugula, spinach, kale, etc.) but if you can get your hands on them, you won’t be disappointed.

leek & wood sorrel tart

serves: 8 (makes 2 medium sized tarts, half the filling recipe if you only plan to use 1 sheet at a time)

prep time: 20 minutes

bake time: 40 minutes

total time: 1 hour

ingredients: 1 pack frozen puff pastry dough (they come with 2 sheets, and they need to be thawed in advance, so prepare ahead of time to make this recipe). 1 large leek, white & light green parts sliced an eighth of an inch thick. 1 large shallot sliced an eighth of an inch thick. 1 tbs olive oil. 2 eggs. .5 cup grated white cheddar cheese. .25 cup heavy cream. .25 cup chopped wood sorrel or your favorite green, plus a 6 whole wood sorrel for the top of your tart. 1 tsp kosher salt. .25 tsp freshly ground pepper. baking sheet. parchment paper. edible flowers if you have/can get some.

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start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees f. then, prep your puff pasty. now, you can make whatever tart shape you feel like here. the sheets come folded in a rectangle, so the easiest is to keep it folded and roll the dough out to about an eighth of an inch thick. whatever shape you choose, just make sure you roll the dough thin enough so it will cook completely with out over cooking your eggs. once you have rolled your dough out, start to roll the edges of your dough over to create “sides” to your tart.. use your thumb and index finger of one hand and the index finger of the other to pinch the edges of the dough creating ridges and a barrier to keep your filling in. poke the bottom of your tart with a fork so it won’t puff up when baking and then pop the tart in the freezer to harden up for 10 minutes. repeat with the second sheet, or save it for something else down the road if you are feeding a small group. while your tart shell hardens, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. toss the leeks and shallots with half the salt and pepper and the olive oil. lay the leeks and shallots out on the baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes until they are starting to brown. once your tart shell has hardened, par bake it for 10 minutes in the oven with out the filling.

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while it bakes, whisk together the eggs, cheese, cream and the remaining salt and pepper.

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stir in the chopped wood sorrel.

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once your tart shell (or shells) is lightly baked, use half the shallots and leeks to cover the bottom of the tart. then, fill the tart about half way with egg filling. top with a couple of whole sorrels and some edible flowers. repeat for the second tart if necessary.

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bake for 15-20 minutes until the egg filling is set and the puff pastry is golden on the edges and cooked through. slice and serve hot.

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xo, a

leek & wood sorrel tart

serves: 8 (makes 2 medium sized tarts, half the filling recipe if you only plan to use 1 sheet at a time)

prep time: 20 minutes

bake time: 40 minutes

total time: 1 hour

ingredients: 1 pack frozen puff pastry dough (they come with 2 sheets, and they need to be thawed in advance, so prepare ahead of time to make this recipe). 1 large leek, white & light green parts sliced an eighth of an inch thick. 1 large shallot sliced an eighth of an inch thick. 1 tbs olive oil. 2 eggs. .5 cup grated white cheddar cheese. .25 cup heavy cream. .25 cup chopped wood sorrel or your favorite green, plus a 6 whole wood sorrel for the top of your tart. 1 tsp kosher salt. .25 tsp freshly ground pepper. baking sheet. parchment paper. edible flowers if you have/can get some.

start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees f. then, prep your puff pasty. now, you can make whatever tart shape you feel like here. the sheets come folded in a rectangle, so the easiest is to keep it folded and roll the dough out to about an eighth of an inch thick. whatever shape you choose, just make sure you roll the dough thin enough so it will cook completely with out over cooking your eggs. once you have rolled your dough out, start to roll the edges of your dough over to create “sides” to your tart.. use your thumb and index finger of one hand and the index finger of the other to pinch the edges of the dough creating ridges and a barrier to keep your filling in. poke the bottom of your tart with a fork so it won’t puff up when baking and then pop the tart in the freezer to harden up for 10 minutes. repeat with the second sheet, or save it for something else down the road if you are feeding a small group. while your tart shell hardens, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. toss the leeks and shallots with half the salt and pepper and the olive oil. lay the leeks and shallots out on the baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes until they are starting to brown. once your tart shell has hardened, par bake it for 10 minutes in the oven with out the filling. while it bakes, whisk together the eggs, cheese, cream and the remaining salt and pepper. stir in the chopped wood sorrel. once your tart shell (or shells) is lightly baked, use half the shallots and leeks to cover the bottom of the tart. then, fill the tart about half way with egg filling. top with a couple of whole sorrels and some edible flowers. repeat for the second tart if necessary. bake for 15-20 minutes until the egg filling is set and the puff pastry is golden on the edges and cooked through. slice and serve hot.

butter poached lobster toast

valentine’s day is just weeks away. every year for valentine’s day, wes and i celebrate with grilled lobster tails and my lemon caesar salad. but this year, i thought it would be fun to add a twist to our lobster tradition.

wes has been working on adding freshly baked bread to our repertoire, so i’ve pretty much been using it for EVERYTHING. and it is the perfect base for a delicious appetizer take on one of the best lobster cob salads i’ve ever had.

these little toasts are packed full of flavor and decadence, and are great for a party with your gals, a dinner party with friends or a sexy night in.

butter poached lobster toasts

serves: 24 mini toasts

prep time: 15 minutes

cook time: 15 minutes

inactive time: 30 minutes

total time: 1 hour

ingredients: 6-8oz lobster tail. 1 stick butter (for extra flavor you could use THIS garlic herb butter). juice of 1 lemon. .25 cup white wine. 1 garlic clove, smashed. 1 small avocado. 1 tbs chopped chives. 10 arugula leaves finely chopped. 10 cherry tomatoes, thinly slice enough for each toast and roughly chop the rest. 3 tbs olive oil, divided. 1 tsp whole grain mustard. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp freshly ground pepper. 24 bread squares (about 1 inch squared) using your favorite crouton/toast bread).

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start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees f. while your oven is preheating, lay your bread pieces on a baking sheet and lightly brush each with some of the olive oil. once your oven is preheated, toast the bread for 7-10 minutes till it is toasted but still a little soft on the inside.

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heat the butter in a sauce pan until it has melted. once it has melted, add in the garlic clove, half the lemon juice and the white wine. bring the mixture to a soft boil.

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cut the shell away from the lobster and slice the lobster tail in half.

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season well with salt and pepper and when your butter is softly boiling, add in the lobster.

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cook until the lobster is barely cooked through. cooking it too long, will give you a chewy lobster. 6-8 minutes should do it. use a spoon to continuously spoon butter over the lobster as it poaches.

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once the lobster is cooked, remove it from the butter and allow it to rest and cool. once it has cooled to room temperature, place it in the fridge till it has chilled. combine the remaining olive oil, remaining lemon juice, mustard, remaining salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk it till well combined.

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once the lobster is chilled, slice it into small pieces and toss it in a bowl with the chopped tomatoes, arugula and the chives.

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swipe just a little bit of avocado on each slice of toasted bread.

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top the bread with a half teaspoon of lobster mix. top each lobster toast with a sliced tomato and drizzle with your vinaigrette.

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serve and enjoy.

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xo, a

butter poached lobster toasts

serves: 24 mini toasts

prep time: 15 minutes

cook time: 15 minutes

inactive time: 30 minutes

total time: 1 hour

ingredients: 6-8oz lobster tail. 1 stick butter (for extra flavor you could use THIS garlic herb butter). juice of 1 lemon. .25 cup white wine. 1 garlic clove, smashed. 1 small avocado. 1 tbs chopped chives. 10 arugula leaves finely chopped. 10 cherry tomatoes, thinly slice enough for each toast and roughly chop the rest. 3 tbs olive oil, divided. 1 tsp whole grain mustard. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp freshly ground pepper. 24 bread squares (about 1 inch squared) using your favorite crouton/toast bread).

start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees f. while your oven is preheating, lay your bread pieces on a baking sheet and lightly brush each with some of the olive oil. once your oven is preheated, toast the bread for 7-10 minutes till it is toasted but still a little soft on the inside. heat the butter in a sauce pan until it has melted. once it has melted, add in the garlic clove, half the lemon juice and the white wine. bring the mixture to a soft boil. cut the shell away from the lobster and slice the lobster tail in half. season well with salt and pepper and when your butter is softly boiling, add in the lobster. cook until the lobster is barely cooked through. cooking it too long, will give you a chewy lobster. 6-8 minutes should do it. use a spoon to continuously spoon butter over the lobster as it poaches. once the lobster is cooked, remove it from the butter and allow it to rest and cool. once it has cooled to room temperature, place it in the fridge till it has chilled. combine the remaining olive oil, remaining lemon juice, mustard, remaining salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk it till well combined. once the lobster is chilled, slice it into small pieces and toss it in a bowl with the chopped tomatoes, arugula and the chives. swipe just a little bit of avocado on each slice of toasted bread. top the bread with a half teaspoon of lobster mix. top each lobster toast with a sliced tomato and drizzle with your vinaigrette. serve and enjoy.