Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Gourmet Touch

I have always loved setting a beautiful table . I have to confess that as a child I acted out my wildest table-setting fantasies when my parents gave dinner parties at home. I would raid the cupboards and drawers and use every imaginable item for the table-the fancier the better.
A pretty, creative table setting is...
so inviting for a delightful meal; it is not uncommon for me to use my China dishes for just a regular dinner. I love it! It certainly is a nice change of pace (every now and then).
Dried Apricot Mousse With Mascarpone Cheese.

So here are the the recipes as promised . Sadly the mousse was not quite smooth. The texture didn't have that airy, silky and light quality to it as I expected, but it definitely tasted great!
Anyway, this recipe is fairly simple to prepare.

Ingredients

.115g golden caster sugar
.600ml water
.200g dried apricots
.1 glass sweet muscat wine
.300ml double cream
.200g Mascarpone cheese

To serve:
55g shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped

Procedure

Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and dissolve, stirring over a gentle heat. Add the apricots and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Add the wine; simmer, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, until plump and very soft.
Meanwhile, beat 3/4 of the cream until it forms soft peaks. Set aside.
Place the apricots and all their juices in a food processor and process to a puree. Add the Mascarpone cheese and mix in quick bursts. Empty into a bowl and fold the beaten cream into the puree. Keep the rest for serving.
Cover, and put both the bowls in the fridge.
Serve lightly chilled with a swirl of the cream on top and a sprinkling of pistachio nuts.

Home-Dried Tomatoes. A burst of flavour and colour!

This recipe sounds trouble in the kitchen but it is surprisingly easy. You'll enjoy using dried tomatoes to almost any salad, especially green salads- for a sweet, deep and chewy flavour. They are also wonderful with pasta, or meats. And we love them especially tucked into cheese sandwiches as well.
The piquant Goat cheese goes well with the saltiness of dried tomatoes. Yummy!

Ingredients

.2,5kg ripe but firm tomatoes
.1-2 teaspoons sea salt
.Olive oil

Procedure

Cut the tomatoes in half. Scoop out all the pulp and seeds with a spoon, arranging the tomato cases side by side and cut-side-up as you go. Sprinkle the tomato cases very lightly with sea salt, then place them close together but not touching and cut-side-down on wire racks. Place the racks in a very low oven. Switch on the fan, if you have one*. In a fan oven, the tomatoes should be dry in about six hours. (Otherwise, they will take anything from 8-12 hours. They will shrived to half their size, and are ready when still soft but when most of the moisture has evaporated.
Remove the tomatoes and leave on racks to cool. Use immediately or pack into sterilized glass jars and fill with olive oil.

*Tip: If you don't have a fan, insert a skewer to prevent the door from shutting completely.
This is most important, as it creates an airflow so that the tomatoes dry rather than cook.
The oven should feel no more than comfortably warm throughout.
The sweet smell of dried tomatoes will just fill your kitchen with heavenly aromas.

I love the earthiness of green salads combined with the dazzling, gem-like beauty of home-dried tomatoes, or sun-dried tomatoes. Dried tomatoes are very versatile and they're so delicious. You're gonna love this recipe. xx

68 comments:

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I want to taste your home-dried tomatoes. They look so appetizing and your table looks lovely!

eileeninmd said...

Betty, thanks for sharing the recipes. Both the mousse and the home dried tomatoes look yummy! I wish you a happy week ahead.

Sandra said...

i like the dishes and the table. I have never set a table with anything other than a plate and forks and knives. i also don't cook. let me say here that i prayed to turn into a boy until i was 12 years old and figured out it would not happen.
i have the personality traits of a typical male, and i do know that some men do set tables and cook. I don't like to wander and shop, i go straight to what is on the list and fly out the door, I don't like to talk on the phone, i don't carry a purse, no cooking or decorating or setting of tables. i do housework but only because the man in my life want do it. i would like to be rich enough to live in a hotel in a sutie with no kitchen. but i do like looking at and using what others do...

Emm said...

How lovely that you shared your recipes. That is so kind of you because many people are quite possessive over their recipes. I took Home Economics in school so was quite familiar with silver service and fine cuisine by the time I finished. these days I am far more interested in enjoying food than in creating it! Strange how we take what we know for granted and strive for what is outside of our experience...

....Petty Witter said...

Wonderful post, I'd love to sit down for a meal with you.

A disaster in the kitchen, I do however like to set a pretty table with flowers and candles.

✿ chica said...

Parece deliciosa e bem colocada na mesa!!beijos,chica

Bitch said...

Looks delicious!!
You are a master in photographing and cooking (and what else?)!
It is always nice to decorate a dinner table.. I like to change the colors!

Hugs from Greece
xxx Monika

tinajo said...

Yummy yummy indeed! :-)

Rosengirl.. said...

The Apricot Mousse looks....mmmmmmm =0)

Craver Vii said...

Though we rarely use fancy settings at home, I think I can identify. I prefer my beverages from a proper glass rather than using a can, bottle or plastic cup. It just seems more civilized. And then, I like to have a knife and fork, even if I do not need to use the knife for my food. The setting seems bare without it.

TexWisGirl said...

how fun that you decorated their table as a child. :) i can only imagine...

ANRAFERA said...

Gracias Betty por esta rica receta, así como tus originales y vistosas fotografías.
Espero te vaya todo bien. Un saludo.
Ramón

Sylvia K said...

What a fun, delicious post for the day, Betty! Thanks for the recipes! Love your fancy table!! I like to do that, too, when my kids come to visit. Fun way to celebrate. Hope your week is going well!!

Κωστής Τζαγκαράκης said...

You made my mouth watering Betty.
I am expecting an invitation next time you are making a dinner party.
Costas

Dennis Evans said...

I love tomatoes. Now that frost is threatening my garden it is finally giving me tomatoes. I like dried tomatoes, even just for a bit of a snack.

Pedro Luis López Pérez said...

¡¡¡Que Presentación!!! Debe estar delicioso...Lo Probaré.
Un abrazo y besos.

Lynn said...

Yum - lovely looking recipes. And I love your blue and white plates!

Jesús said...

Sabroso reportaje culinario, bien documentado e ilustrado.

Saludos.

Cristian Lisandru said...

Thank you for your visit on my blog, all the best!

marijke said...

I love your table decorating. Great to have a recipe to dry tomatoes. I never knew how to do it.
Have a wonderful day Betty.

Ms. A said...

I admire people that take the time to prepare the table and make it appealing. I'm too lazy!

It's me said...

It all looks verry yammie!!!..love love love Ria......♥

Bob Bushell said...

Table setting is a honorable, photos at breakfast time is superb.

Chatty Crone said...

You have been very busy there cooking. The sun dried tomatoes from the store are so expensive and here you have them right there! Nice.

Anaximandro said...

Eso debe estar exquisito. Parece que saboreas la fotografía por partida doble.
Un abrazo.

Sandy said...

I don't even like tomatoes, yet those look fabulous. I like setting a pretty table also. It is not uncommon for me to use my good dishes for just a regular dinner. I like them so I use them!

Robert Geiss said...

Never took a picture of food so far. Thank you for these tasteful inspirations.
Yes, it seems as if food keeps body, mind and soul together.

Please have a good Wednesday.

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ΑΘΗΝΑ said...

I prefer foods already known to me.I don't try new flavours so easily.Only if my friends someday cook something new then I will try it.

sky-blu-pink said...

Pretty table and delish recipes-thanks for sharing Betty!

Lois Evensen said...

Just beautiful! And, the apricot mousse looks delightful. Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing.

Helen said...

It's nice to use actual china once in a way, paper plates and cups are just way too convenient and popular these day. takes the oomph out of the event.

Cloudia said...

Charmed, I'm sure!



Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
=^..^=

> < } } ( ° >

Mark said...

Lucky for me, my wife collects china and we often eat at a fully dressed out table.
Your's looks beautiful and the photos of the food, I could taste them.

Cloudy said...

Da möchte man gerne zum essen kommen...

Lieben Gruß
CL

BlueShell said...

That is a beautiful table indeed...
Oh Betty...I apologize ...I've been away from you for so long...I'm so sorry! I had some problems at work, some problems with mom, some worries about my husband's health and my own health...
Now I think I may come often...or so I hope...

Please do forgive me. Hugs and kisses...and beijinhos
Isabel aka, BShell

Cezar and Léia said...

I think you did it very well.The table is very elegant, I like this subject and I'm thinking of buying some new dishes. Cool idea!Thanks!
hugs
Léia

KonstantinaP said...

Now, that sounds delicious!!
Although I love cooking, I don't have the nose of a chef... but I have the ability to combine colours; sounds strange,I know... miraculously, though, it's working :)
Thank you for commenting and following, by the way!
Warm regards.

Eneida Freire said...

Very beautiful!!!
I follow you!
Kisses!

http://tengapaisajes.blogspot.com

Fernando Santos (Chana) said...

Olá Betty, bela receita...Espectacular....
Cumprimentos

diane b said...

A beautifully set table is so inviting for a delicious meal. Your mouse and tomatoes sound and look appetising.

wenn said...

I love beautifully set tables. I haven't tried dried tomatoes before.

ladyfi said...

Just beautiful!

ritsa said...

What a nice table setting!
That apricot mousse looks delicious.
yum! yum!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I'd love those tomatoes! Pretty table!

michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
michael said...

I have never tried sun dried tomatoes, but those look great!
I'm now off to browse the Internet...I want more!:)

Unknown Mami said...

You have a way of adding beauty to life.

Leovi said...

I love, express with delicate and sublime beauty that gourmet touch, beautiful pictures.

Nancy Claeys said...

This is a fun fact about you, Betty. Congrats on 1500 followers too! xo

Farida said...

I also enjoy eating when the table setting is prettily made up! by the way, I only realized now that you have many followers! Wow, I hope i could one day reach that number too.. how do you do it?

Georgia said...

I love beautiful tables and I now have to make some home dried tomatoes.

I love your pictures!!

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Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

A beautifully set table makes all the difference in the world in a meal. I go out of my way to make sure my table is set properly and everything is where it is supposed to be.

I'm a big fan of sun-dried tomatoes, but have never made my own. You've give me inspiration Betty.
Sam

Carletta said...

Love the china pattern!
A beautiful table setting and as they say on the food shows - your mousse is 'well plated'! :)

Thanks for coming by today Betty. I so appreciated your lovely comment on my photography.

KikiMo said...

Your table is beautiful Betty
And you know I am a big fan of syn-dried tomatoes.
Yum! Yum!

Every Day Rachel said...

That apricot mousse looks so delicious! My mouth is watering lol!

http://everydayrachel21.blogspot.com/

pattisjarrett said...

You do set a lovely table--and some pretty yummy things to eat!

{B} said...

Beautiful table. Sun-dried tomatoes were a huge summer hit here. I'd like to try them. Love your photographs...you do a very nice job.

Clairejustine said...

I love the sound of these :) thanks for joining us at welcome to the weekend hop and following,new gfc follower...

Heidi said...

Hi Betty, I really like your photographs. Keep up the beautiful work!!:o)

Katie said...

The home tomatoes look amazing and congrats on your pretty table setting!!

Nadji said...

Tu as raison, une table bien mise ouvre plus l'appétit et donne encore plus envie de goûter.
Très jolie table. Bravo!!!!
See soon.

Laura said...

The home-made tomatoes look really yummy!

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