Tag Archives: caramelized pears

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Pears, Pomegranates, Turmeric and Eggs

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Not only is it week 20 of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” but it is also day 3 of my “Thousand by Valentine’s Challenge”!!!

On Tuesday I launched a challenge in order to reach my first goal of 2013: Reach 1000 “likes” on Little Leopard Book’s Facebook Page. I decided to do this by asking my loyal, amazing, super, fabulous followers to “share” my page with their friends.

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Three days later, I stumbled upon this quote, “If I tell my Facebook friends about your brand, it’s not because I like your brand, but rather because I like my friends.” – Mark Arauz

I absolutely loved it and hope this is how everyone feels about sharing my page!

If you would like to join in the fun, scroll on over to the right hand side of this page, click that little blue “like” button, then cruise on over to Facebook, check out your cousins new puppy, who got engaged this week, send a happy birthday message, then share “Little Leopard Book” with your friends!

I want to thank everyone who has already helped in the challenge!  I put all of my love, passion and obsession with cooking into every post and I just hope you all enjoy reading them as much as I love creating them!

Ok I know, enough with the mushy stuff and on to the FOOD!

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Now after asking you all to share my page with your friends, I feel like I have to be honest with you. I’m not perfect.

Oh my gosh, I know, it’s shocking because there are so many perfect people out there 😉

I try to play the “perfect hostess” card most of the time, but Sunday night “perfect hostess” I was not.

I planned a delicious Greek dinner for a few friends and was able to complete 3 of the 4 items on the menu, but when it came down to dessert I simply ran out of time to prepare the Baklava!

Since I had driven to 3 grocery stores to find phyllo dough, this dessert was still happening, just a little later than planned.

As I looked at my “Mystery Basket Ingredients” for the week, I thought “hmmm maybe I can incorporate these into my Baklava” and I did!

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This weeks mystery basket featured Pears from Michael Winger, Pomegranates from Allison Davis, Turmeric from Krista Lombardi and Eggs from Kristi Sellers.

I incorporated the pears by caramelizing them in a little cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and turmeric mixture, then mixed the caramelized pears with the pomegranate seeds and crushed pistachios for the filling.  I then used half butter and half egg white wash to brush the phyllo dough.  A little more protein and a little less butter never hurt anyone!

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The result was a sweet, nutty, tart, scrumptious dessert, that had so many levels of flavor and pure awesomeness in every bite!

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 pears (peeled, cored and sliced)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups pistachio kernels
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 20 sheets phyllo dough
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Begin by melting the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Next, add the pear slices. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Next, combine the turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a small bowl.

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Add the spice mixture to the caramelizing pears.

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Cook for 3-5 minutes of until pears become soft, but not mushy!

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Next, place the pistachios in a food processor and blend into a fine crumb mixture.

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Chop up the pear slices, then add the pistachios and pomegranate seeds.

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Next, prepare the “Baklava Making Station” by laying out the phyllo dough, next to a bowl with melted butter and bowl with egg whites, a pastry brush and a 9 x 13 baking dish.

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Spray the baking dish with cooking spray or brush with the melted butter then one by one place the phyllo dough into the baking dish and brush with butter or egg white, alternating with each sheet.  After 10 sheets, place half of the filling on the dough.

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Layer 5 more sheets on top (still alternating egg wash and butter on each sheet) then top with the rest of the filling.

Finally, top the baklava with the last 5 sheets of phyllo dough (egg wash, butter, egg wash, butter, you get it by now!)

Next, slice the Baklava diagonally to form little diamonds.

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Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

While the baklava is in the oven, prepare the syrup to go on top.

Begin by bringing the water and sugar to a boil. Next, add the honey, lemon juice and vanilla. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the stove and allow to cool while the baklava finishes baking.

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Once the baklava comes out of the oven, drizzle the syrup over the top.

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Let the syrup soak in there for 3-4 hours, then serve!

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Not only was this dessert a delicious mid-week treat, it also helped me knock another item off the “food list challenge”  (I’m now at 72 of 100!)

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I also upped the ante on my “Valentines Day Challenge” by sharing this dessert with new friends!

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Grab a slice and dig in!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Use a gluten-free phyllo dough to make this recipe gluten-free. Foodista has a recipe for gluten-free phyllo dough here.

Caramelized Pear and Pomegranate Baklava

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: around 24 pieces

Caramelized Pear and Pomegranate Baklava

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 pears (peeled, cored and sliced)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups pistachio kernels
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 20 sheets phyllo dough
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Begin by melting the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Next, add the pear slices. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Next, combine the turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  3. Add the spice mixture to the caramelizing pears.
  4. Cook for 3-5 minutes of until pears become soft, but not mushy!
  5. Next, place the pistachios in a food processor and blend into a fine crumb mixture.
  6. Chop up the pear slices, then add the pistachios and pomegranate seeds.
  7. Next, prepare the “Baklava Making Station” by laying out the phyllo dough, next to a bowl with melted butter and bowl with egg whites, a pastry brush and a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  8. Spray the baking dish with cooking spray or brush with the melted butter then one by one place the phyllo dough into the baking dish and brush with butter or egg white, alternating with each sheet. After 10 sheets, place half of the filling on the dough.
  9. Layer 5 more sheets on top (still alternating egg wash and butter on each sheet) then top with the rest of the filling.
  10. Finally, top the baklava with the last 5 sheets of phyllo dough (egg wash, butter, egg wash, butter)
  11. Next, slice the Baklava diagonally to form little diamonds.
  12. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.
  13. While the baklava is in the oven, prepare the syrup to go on top.
  14. Begin by bringing the water and sugar to a boil. Next, add the honey, lemon juice and vanilla.
  15. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the stove and allow to cool while the baklava finishes baking.
  16. Once the baklava comes out of the oven, drizzle the syrup over the top.
  17. Let the syrup soak in there for 3-4 hours, then serve!
http://whitneybond.com/2013/01/17/chopped-challenge-thursday-pears-pomegranates-turmeric-and-eggs/

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

I have to give props to my friends at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach for the idea for this recipe.

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

This sandwich is sweet, buttery and it comes with a warning: this will become your favorite grilled cheese sandwich ever!

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 10 mini sandwiches)

  • 1/2 sourdough baguette
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 large pear (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 oz brie cheese

Start by placing 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once butter has melted add the sliced pears to the skillet.

Caramelizing Pears

Then add the brown sugar to the pears.

Cook for 5 minutes or until pears are caramelized.

Mini Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

While the pears are caramelizing begin thinly slicing the baguette and brie cheese.

Prepare each sandwich by spreading the tops of each slice of bread with the remaining butter, then layering with a slice of brie cheese.

Mini Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

When the pears are ready place them on top of the brie cheese.

Mini Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Add another slice of brie cheese and buttered bread on top and grill on the stove top over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side.

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

After both sides are the perfect shade of golden brown, place on a plate and get ready to chow down!

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Recipe

Now lets take a closer look at this amazing little sandwich of cheesy delight!

Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Oh yeah, I want a bite!

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

My mouth is watering just looking back at these pictures!!

Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Recipe

These sandwiches make for really fun little party appetizers or you can make a small plate of them for a decadent, cheesy lunch!

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Recipe

♦ Gluten Free Option: Use a gluten-free baguette instead of sourdough to make this recipe gluten-free.

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/2 sourdough baguette
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 large pear (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 oz brie cheese

Instructions

  1. Start by placing 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once butter has melted add the sliced pears to the skillet.
  3. Then add the brown sugar to the pears.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes or until pears are caramelized.
  5. While the pears are caramelizing begin thinly slicing the baguette and brie cheese.
  6. Prepare each sandwich by spreading the tops of each slice of bread with the remaining butter, then layering with a slice of brie cheese.
  7. When the pears are ready place them on top of the brie cheese.
  8. Add another slice of brie cheese and buttered bread on top and grill on the stove top over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side.
http://whitneybond.com/2012/03/26/whats-for-lunch-caramelized-pear-and-brie-grilled-cheese/