Just because the Kentucky Derby isn’t the first Saturday in May this year doesn’t mean we can’t add bourbon to our chocolate ganache tart! We make our tart with a ground pecan crust filled with bourbon chocolate ganache. Topped with a dollop of fresh cream, it’s perfect for any spring treat.
1 cup pecans
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces fine chocolate, like Scharffen Berger or Ghirardelli
1 cup cream
6 tablespoons of softened butter
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Bourbon Tart
Butter a 9” square or round tart pan with fluted sides and a removable bottom. Place on a baking tray.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pecans on a baking tray and toast the pecans for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Place in a food processor or mini chopper and grind until fine ground.
In a large bowl, combine the ground, cooled nuts, flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl add the butter and sugar. Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together, mixing for about 3-4 minutes on medium speed, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the egg and water and beat for another minute. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Add the dough to the buttered tart pan and press to fit the bottom and all the way up the sides. Cover with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the tart pan with buttered foil (butter side down on the dough) and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and the weights. Return the crust to the oven and bake 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
In a bowl, add the chopped chocolate. In a small saucepan, heat the cream to very hot. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and stir to melt the chocolate completely. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, melting completely before adding the next tablespoon. Stir in the bourbon. Pour the chocolate ganache into the tart shell and smooth the surface. Chill until set. Remove and bring to room temperature before cutting.
Fresh Whipped Cream
In the refrigerator, chill a medium metal bowl and the beaters to an electric mixer for 20 minutes. Add the cold cream to the bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form. Add bourbon (if using) and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Serve with the tart.
Fresh rhubarb is one of our seasonal spring favorites, and makes a perfect sweet and sour Barbecue Sauce. Cooked with orange juice and fresh rosemary, it’s perfect brushed over pan-seared or barbecue chicken.
16 ounces rhubarb, about 4 long stems
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary
Cut the rhubarb into ½” cubes. Add to a medium sauce pan with the onion, orange juice, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until the rhubarb has broken down and the sauce has thickened approximately 30-45 minutes. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce and rosemary. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Leftover holiday ham? No problem! Make these delicious sweet and savory buttermilk biscuit sandwiches filled with homemade pineapple jam, leftover ham, and thinly sliced grilled pineapple.
1 fresh pineapple
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar, plus more
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon of whole cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
Peel the pineapple, cut in half. Set aside one half. Cut the other half into chunks. Add to a food processor and process until some small chunks remain. You should end up with about 2 cups. Put the pineapple and water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the pineapple is soft, about 35 minutes.
Add the sugars, clove, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Cook until the mixture has thickened, about 45 to 60 minutes. Spoon the jam into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Slice the remaining pineapple into thin slices. Sprinkle with white sugar. Set a grill pan over medium high heat. Brush with grapeseed oil and grill the pineapple until well-marked and soft. Set aside.
12 ounces all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, cut into small cubes
1 ounce unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes
2 ounces cold shortening
1 cup cold low-fat buttermilk
Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the cold butter and shortening to the dry ingredients. Using your fingertips, rub the butter and shortening into the dry goods until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the middle of the butter and dry ingredients and add the buttermilk. Stir with a large spoon until the dough just comes together. Knead the dough in the bowl until all the flour has been absorbed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, then start folding the dough over on itself, gently kneading until the dough is soft and smooth. Press the dough into a 1-inch-thick round and use a 3-inch round cutter, cut out 6-8 biscuits. Be sure to push the cutter all the way through the dough. Make your cuts as close together, then press the scraps together and punch out as many biscuits as possible.
Place the biscuits on a parchment lined sheet pan where they they just barely touch. Bake until the biscuits are tall and light browned, about 15 to 17 minutes.
To Make the Biscuit Sandwiches:
½ pound ham, sliced thin and cut to the size of the biscuits
Split the biscuits and fill with the ham, pineapple jam, and grilled pineapple.
A southern specialty, we used a fine grind grits combined with course ground 8-row flint corn. Adding butter and cream makes these an extra-tasty grits topped with Cajun barbecue fresh sautéed shrimp.
Creamy Corn Grits
1 cup finely ground corn grits, we prefer Weisenborn
¼ cup 8-row flint course ground corn (optional, you can substitute with more fine ground grits)
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons salt
Juice of one lemon
½ cup cream
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Heat 3 cups of stock in a large sauce pan. When simmering, whisk in the corn grits. Cook stirring occasionally for 30 minutes, adding the last cup of stock in the last ten minutes. Cook until extremely thick, adding the butter, salt, lemon juice, and cream stirring to combine. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve. Serve in warm bowls topped with the shrimp and cilantro.
Cajun BBQ Shrimp
12 raw colossal shrimp, unpeeled, deveined, with heads and tails left on
¼ cup cold, unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
Zest of one lemon
Devein the shrimp without peeling. Keep cold in the refrigerator.
Melt the butter over medium high heat in a large sauté pan, add the garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt, creole and lemon zest. Sauté for two minutes more then add the shrimp and sauté on one side for 3-4 minute. Turn and cook until the shrimp is bright pink and cooked through. Top the creamy corn grits with the shrimp and cilantro.