Tag Archives: Entertaining

Pavlova filled with lemon curd and Grand Marnier soaked blackberries

I love my rotisserie chicken, but I am also a dessert fan.  I have been whipping up these Easter worthy desserts for my columns in the Joplin Globe, MO and Claremore Daily Progress in Claremore, Ok.

I made a Pavlova, which hails from New Zealand.

Pavlova is a meringue dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova (a New Zealand chef created this in her honor). It has a crusty exterior but the center is soft and tastes like a marshmallow. I used vanilla and coconut extract to flavor my meringue, but you can be playful and use anything from almond to raspberry extract (just plan your filling accordingly).

You can fill a Pavlova with anything, too, but I filled mine with store-bought lemon curd, whipped topping and Grand Marnier marinated blackberries. If you don’t have Grand Marnier, it may not be worth buying a bottle because it’s expensive. You could substitute sherry, another orange liqueur, or omit the alcohol and just soak berries in 2 tablespoons orange juice, if desired. This also excellent with blueberries or raspberries or a combination.

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Pavlova’s are light and so even if you’re stuffed after the meal, you can still squeeze in a little dessert.

Enjoy

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Grand Marnier Soaked Blackberries

For the Pavlova:

5 large egg whites

1 ¼ cups of granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon coconut extract

2 teaspoons corn starch

Parchment paper

For the filling

1 (10-ounce) jar lemon curd

2 cups whipped topping

1 ½ cups fresh blackberries or raspberries

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

For the Pavlova:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Place a large piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Beat egg whites on high speed (or meringue setting if your mixer has one) for 1 minute. Then gradually start adding the sugar, only 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Then fold in both types of extract and corn starch.

Spread mixture onto parchment paper, making it an 11-inch circle of oval. Shape with spatula; you want the sides slightly higher than the center because you’re going to fill the center.

Bake for 60-70 minutes. Then turn off the oven, but leave the door ajar and leave the Pavlova in the oven another hour.

The center will be collapsed, which is fine because you want to fill it.

While it cools, place blackberries in a bowl and add Grand Marnier. Set aside.

When it’s time to fill Pavlova, fill with whipped topping and spread that in the center. Then take teaspoons at a time of the lemon curd and drop dollops around the center. Cover with blackberries and serve. Note: for the sake of the photo, I left space to see the lemon curd to show contrasting colors, but I would cover the top in berries when serving.

Puff Pastry filled with Chicken, Artichokes, and Cheese — pairs beautifully with wine

ATTENTION EXCLUSIVE WINE LOVERS. Have you ever noticed that nachos or wings, typical Super Bowl fare, doesn’t pair that well with a glass of red or white?

I have, and so I usually drink beer or margaritas during the game, but if you only like wine, then this appetizer is for you.

Golden, buttery puff pastry is wrapped around chunks of artichokes and chicken tossed with creamy mayonnaise, cheese, a hint of salty bacon, and accented with Italian seasoning. It’s lovely.

This also makes a quick dinner. If you serve this for dinner, I’d suggest serving grilled asparagus and salad or sautéed spinach on the side. DSC_0144 (2)

Puff Pastry filled with Chicken, Artichokes and Cheese

1 puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm is my favorite)

1 cup drained artichokes

1 cup chopped boneless, skinless rotisserie chicken breast

1/3 cup shredded Asiago cheese (could substitute Parmesan if you can’t find Asiago)

2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup mayonnaise

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 tablespoons crumbled cooked bacon or real bacon pieces (optional)

Dash of garlic salt

Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drain artichokes, pat with a paper towel to dry and roughly chop artichokes. Stir together artichokes, chicken, cheeses, mayonnaise, bacon and Italian seasoning. Top with a dash of garlic salt.

Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet, this will help prevent the puff pastry from sticking.

Unfold puff pastry and remove the paper. The pastry will naturally be divided in thirds and all you want to do is fill that middle third with the chicken mixture. So carefully spoon all the mixture down the center of the pastry and fold the sides up and over to seal. Dip your fingers in water and seal the edges so the cheese doesn’t bubble out.

Bake 18-22 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy with a glass of Sauvingnon Blanc or  Chardonnay; or any red from a Pinot to Cabernet. Cheers to drinking wine and eating food that pairs well with it during the Super Bowl.

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Southwest Chicken Egg Rolls

This is one of my all-time favorite indulgent recipes! This is my take on a restaurant favorite, and these are just as good. They would be perfect for a Super Bowl party or entertaining in general. A margarita pairs beautifully with these. Your guests or family will be impressed when you serve these delightful bites.

southwest eggroll

Directions

1/2 cup canned corn, drained

1/2 cup black beans, drained

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chunky salsa (a chunky salsa is a MUST)

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1/2 cup  Campbell’s Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup

2 cups diced rotisserie chicken, skin removed

3/4 teaspoon cumin seed

3 tablespoons chives

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)

Egg roll wrappers

Canola or peanut oil

Stir together the first eight ingredients. Add cilantro, if desired. Fill the egg rolls, following  the directions on the back of the egg roll wrapper package on how to roll the egg rolls. Only make about 10 and then start heating the oil. You can make the rest while the oil heats.

Add oil to a large frying pan and heat over medium heat. Do not heat the oil too fast or it will brown the egg rolls.

When they are all assembled, test oil. If it bubbles when you add an egg roll, add egg rolls and fry 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels.

Serve with a dipping sauce of equal parts Ranch dressing and Salsa.