soppressata and cheese in puff pastry

Soppressata Lead PictureIt’s the day before Thanksgiving which, in my house, means we are probably ordering Chinese take-out or indulging in Mexican food. If you have a house full of guests, you might have the same idea. Or, you may want to serve something quick and easy, curl up in front of the fireplace and have a movie night.

I’ve made this dish several times and it’s always delicious. Cut the pieces smaller and you have an appetizer. Cut the pieces a little bigger and you have a main course. Serve with a side of tomato bisque and create the perfect comfort meal.

1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, such as Pepperidge Farm, defrosted
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
12 thin (not paper thin) slices soppressata salami (3 1/2 inches in diameter)
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Soppreseta collage

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.

Lay one sheet of puff pastry on a floured board and lightly roll into a 10-inch square. Place it on the sheet pan and brush the pastry with all the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange the soppressata in overlapping layers on the mustard and sprinkle the grated cheese evenly on the soppressata, also avoiding the border. Brush the border with the egg wash.

Lightly roll the second piece of puff pastry into a 10-inch square. Lay the pastry directly on top of the first square, lining up the edges. Brush the top with the egg wash, cut three large slits for steam to escape, and chill for 15 minutes.

When the pastry is cold, trim the edges with a very sharp knife to make a clean edge. Bake the pastry in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once while baking, until puffed and brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes, cut in squares, and serve hot or warm.

Serves 8 for cocktails or serves 6 for main course


Recipe from 2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?


my mom’s meatloaf

Comfort Food for the fam!I call this “My Mom’s Meatloaf” because that’s just what it is… my mom’s homegrown recipe. I grew up eating this simple and comforting dish on a weekly basis. It was a meal that my siblings and I all enjoyed and a dish that our mom could put together quickly after a long day at the office. I like to serve it with fresh green beans sautéed with shallots (recipe to follow) and garlic mashed potatoes. I have to laugh because the kids in our neighborhood today love this dish so much they ask me to make it on their birthdays. Who would have thought…. teenagers requesting meatloaf, go figure!

1 envelope Lipton Beefy Onion dry soup mix
2 eggs, beaten
2 pounds ground beef or turkey (I sometimes use one of each)
1 cup Trader Joe’s catsup (my favorite)
2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup warm water

Break eggs into a large bowl; beat lightly. Stir in 1/2 cup of the catsup, warm water and soup mix. Add ground meat and breadcrumbs and mix well. Pack into a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Take it out of the oven and spread the remaining 1/2 cup of catsup all over the top of the meatloaf and put back into the oven for 15 more minutes. Serves:6


green beans with shallots


1 pound haricots verts, ends removed
Kosher salt
2 Tb unsalted butter
1 Tb olive oil
3 large shallots, large-dice
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Blanch the beans in a large pot of boiling water for 1- 1/2 minutes only. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.

Heat the butter and the oil in a large sauté pan (12-inch diameter) and sauté the shallots on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned. Drain the beans and add to the shallots with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, tossing gently. Heat only until the beans are hot. Serves 6


sweet potato stuffed orange cups


October brings with it many changes… pumpkins find their way onto the doorsteps of children waiting to carve them into scary jack-o-lanterns. Front doors are adorned with fall wreaths made out of last year’s colorful fallen leaves. Stores smell of cinnamon and although it looks completely silly, especially in sunny Florida, mannequins are decked out in winter clothing.
October to me means family togetherness. It begins the season of family gatherings, football games and comforting meals. This week, Cashmere Apron is sharing some of our favorite comfort foods. Sweet Potato Stuffed Orange Cups have been a staple on my family’s table ever since I tied the knot 20 years ago. This recipe takes a little extra time to make but the finished product will leave you hearing lots of “oohs” and “aahs” and “yums.” It is a clever and tasty way to serve this ordinary spud.

Sweet Potato Ingredients
3 cups cooked sweet potato ( I use canned)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 oranges cut in half and cleaned out

Mix all ingredient together and spoon into the cleaned out orange cups. Cover with topping.

Topping Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup softened butter

Mix topping ingredients thoroughly and sprinkle over sweet potato cups. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Recipe makes 6 serving.