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Savory Baked Treats

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American Tobacco Campus via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0)
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Last week we put on our baking hats and whipped up some summer fruit cobblers, short cakes and tartlets. Today we'll keep those baking hats on our heads and cross over to the savory side of the street. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino tells me there are a lot of things we can do with Maryland produce that work well with batter and dough.

 

Jerry is thinking about quiches, tarts, empanadas, and pot pies, all of which can benefit from using local protein and produce. Here are a few ideas.

 

Pastry Crust:

 

Paté Brisée (Short Crust) - a basic crust recipe for almost any savory and some sweet fruit tarts.

 

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled

½ teaspoon salt

4 Tablespoons ice water

 

Combine flour, butter and salt in a food processor. Process using the pulse button for four or five short pulses.

Turn the processor on and pour the ice water into the dough just until it begins to form. Stop processing immediately.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and work it together into a ball with your hands.

Place the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and from it into a flat disc.

Cover the dough completely and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or up to two or three days.

 

Leek Tart

 

1 10.5-inch Paté Brisée shell, unbaked

2 lbs young, slim leeks

3 Tablespoons butter

3 Tablespoons olive oil

3 large Eggs

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup fresh goat cheese whipped at room temperature

Salt, Pepper and Nutmeg to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Dice the leeks and soak them briefly in water to remove any sand or dirt.

Drain well.

Combine the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Stir in the leeks, cover the pan and cook over low heat stirring occasionally, until leeks are just tender but not browned.

Uncover, sprinkle in the flour and stir well to blend.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream and goat cheese until smooth.

Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Add the leeks and mix well. Pour the filling into the prepared pastry shell.

Bake in the center of the oven for 35 minutes, or until the top of the tart is puffed and lightly golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

 

Maria Innocenti’s Empanada Recipe

 

Ingredients

 

1 lb. ground beef

1 ½ lbs. yellow onions, sliced

2 tablespoons lard or butter

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

½ tablespoon ground cumin

3 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

¼ cup sliced green olives

Salt and pepper to taste

1 egg, white and yolk separated and lightly whisked

 

Put the onions and salt in a large pot set over medium heat. Add a dash of water and cover. Cook until the onions are soft and transparent, about 10 minutes. Strain. In a second pan, add the ground beef and salt. Cook on medium heat until the meat is done, stir frequently. Add the onions and lard and stir in for 1 minute. Add paprika, oregano, cumin and salt and let the meat mixture cool down. To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc, add a slice of egg and sliced olive. Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites, you can also use water but the egg white is a good natural “glue” that helps seal the empanada. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers, twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers, as a final step use a fork to press down and finish sealing the empanadas. Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake. Let the empanadas rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and bake for about 20 minutes. 

 

Chicken Potpie with Sweet Potato Pastry

 

4 cups chicken meat, cooked and cubed

assorted cooked vegetables

8 Tablespoons butter

½ cup all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

salt, pepper to taste

1 batch sweet potato pastry

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Place chicken and vegetables in a 4-quart baking dish.

In a sauté pan set over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook for 3 minutes.

Whisk in the chicken stock and the cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour over the chicken and vegetables.

Roll out the pastry and fit it onto the top of the baking dish. Crimp the edges and poke three steam vents in the top of the pastry.

Bake until golden brown.

 

Sweet Potato Pastry-this pastry is the traditional Maryland covering for an Eastern Shore chicken potpie.

 

1 ½ cups mashed sweet potato

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ cup shortening

2 eggs, beaten

 

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.

Add the mashed sweet pots, shortening and eggs.

Using your fingers, work the ingredients together into a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour surface and form into a flat disk.

Roll the dough out to the necessary size.

 

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.