Recipes from Laurel Run Cooking School

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Compliments of: Laurel Run Cooking School

www.laurelruncookingschool.com

 

Cranberry Salsa

With cranberries in season during the holidays, this brilliant red salsa makes a festive appetizer. A nice change of pace from heavier dairy-based appetizers, it is fat-free and can appeal to vegan-vegetarian guests. Try serving it over a sautéed chicken or pork tenderloin cutlet.

  • 1-12 ounces bag fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to thaw if frozen)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored
  • ½ large red pepper, cut into chunks
  • ½ medium red onion, cut into chunks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple juice or cider (drink or freeze leftovers)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper (for more heat, add seeds too)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • Purchased tortilla chips or homemade tortilla chips (recipe follows)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put the cranberries, apple, red pepper and onion in a food processor and pulse until chopped into a fine consistency (do not over process…leave texture as you would have it for a fresh fruit salsa)
  2. Transfer to a bowl and add the sugar, apple juice, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime zest.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving so that cranberries can macerate with the sugar and blend the flavors. It can also be made up to 2 days in advance.

HOMEMADE TORTILLA CHIPS

Spray or brush corn tortillas with olive or vegetable oil.

Cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Sprinkle with salt.

Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees until crisp and slightly golden, about 10 minutes.

 

Cranberry-Orange Pecan Log

Make Ahead Tip: make the log up to the point of rolling in the pecans. Roll in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, thaw at room temperature and roll in pecans before plating.

  • 1-8 oz. package room temperature cream cheese
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped coarsely
  • Crackers of choice

 

  1. In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons water until soft. Add the cranberries and orange zest. Blend to combine.
  2. On a piece of saran wrap, form the cheese into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes. When ready to serve, place the pecans on a plate and roll the log in the pecans. Serve with crackers.

 

Warm Brie with Raspberries and Fruited Balsamic Glaze

 

  • 1 pound wheel of Brie
  • ½ cup blackberries or raspberries
  • ¼ cup of fruity balsamic vinegar or a rich aged balsamic
  • ¼ cup of seedless berry jam (preferably the same as the berry used)

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a glass measuring cup, microwave the seedless jam until liquid, then add the balsamic and mix until well combined. Taste for a balance of flavor. Set aside.
  3. With a serrated knife, carefully remove the top of a 1 pound wheel of brie.
  4. Place on a Silpat lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and heat until cheese becomes soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a pedestal plate or a small platter
  6. Place the berries on top of the cheese and drizzle with the balsamic-jam reduction.
  7. Serve with crackers or crostini.

 

Chocolate Mousse

This simple dessert can be made hours ahead. Pour into any dish you choose: a martini glass makes an elegant presentation. Makes 4 servings

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella, heated to pour (optional)
  • Raspberries or Chocolate curls to garnish

 

  1. Combine chocolate chips and water in the top of a double boiler. Do not stir until chocolate is completely melted, then stir until smooth. Cool.
  2. Beat cream until stiff. Add sugar and vanilla extract. Slowly fold in chocolate mixture. Spoon into cups or use a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe mousse. Loosely cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. When ready to serve, drizzle the slightly warm Nutella over each one and garnish with fresh raspberries and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or chocolate curls.

 

Nutella Mousse

 

  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Nutella, heated to a pourable consistency
  • Raspberries or Chocolate curls to garnish

 

  1. Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form; add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip until a little stiffer. Fold in the Nutella.
  2. Pipe or spoon into cups (martini glasses are attractive). Chill.
  3. When ready to serve, shave chocolate over each one or a drizzle of Nutella.

 

What is Nutella? The product that became Nutella was created by an Italian bakery owner called Pietro Ferrero in the 1940s. He decided to try and create a cheaper alternative to chocolate, which, due to the Second World War, was in short supply. It was made by combining hazelnuts, which were easily available locally, and a little cocoa. Nutella, the original hazelnut spread, is a combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk, and cocoa with a creamy consistency and a chocolate taste with a hint of roasted nut flavor.  Nutella is to Italians what peanut butter is to Americans.

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