Tag archive for "featured"

Hold the Spuds – Easy, Buttery Cauliflower Mash

No Comments 07 November 2014

Our feasting holidays are right around the corner, and with them an avalanche of beloved carbs. For most, it’s simply not Thanksgiving without maple or marshmallow sweet potatoes, mounds of mashed potatoes and stuffing of one stripe or another crowding the table. Though we welcome this annual spread, you might want to make a little breathing room on that groaning board with this Buttery Cauliflower Mash. Simple to prepare, it’s a tasty twin to mashed potatoes, while offering a lighter spin on traditional spuds.

With just four ingredients, the dish needs little prep and cooking time is quick. Delicious as is, the mash also takes well to herbs and cheese — Kerrygold Cashel Blue Cheese beautifully accents the natural flavor of the cauliflower; and chives or dill add a bright note. Whether as a player on your holiday table or as simple weeknight side, this dish will have you loving “mash” in a whole new way.


  • 1 large cauliflower head (7-8 cups), trimmed into florets
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons Kerrygold Salted Butter
  • ½ – 1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • ¼ cup (or more to taste) Cashel Blue Cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives or dill


  • Steam cauliflower florets until quite tender, about 10-15 minutes
  • Transfer cauliflower to food processor or potato masher
  • Begin processing with 2 tablespoons butter and ¼ cup sour cream or yogurt
  • Add more yogurt or butter if needed to help mixture come together and balance flavor
  • Process until mixture resembles mashed potatoes; make it as smooth or lumpy as you like
  • Add salt and pepper to taste

If adding Cashel Blue, incorporate with the sour cream and butter.  Again, adjust the amount of cheese to your taste.
Once mixture is ready, stir in most of the herbs, sprinkling the remainder over the top.


  • In place of the Cashel Blue, process with ½ cup grated Kerrygold Skellig or Aged Cheddar cheeses, and add plenty of black pepper
  • Stir in 2-3 tablespoons caramelized onions and a generous grind of black pepper
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons of the butter. Once the mash is ready, brown the butter and drizzle over the top of the dish. Sprinkle with minced chives.

Witches Fingers Delight All on Halloween Night!

No Comments 28 October 2014

Everyone loves to celebrate Halloween.  From great costumes to delicious food, it is the perfect holiday.  For a really special, fun and easy dessert try these delightful Witches Fingers from the Sur La Table kitchen.  Witches Fingers are easy to make and the perfect finger food (pardon the pun) if you are going to or hosting a party.

Witches Fingers

Yield: 2 dozen (4-inch) fingers

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 24 sliced almonds (1 per cookie for nails)


Preheat an oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • In a bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and cream cheese and beat on medium speed until smooth.
  • Gradually add the sugars and mix until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix, using a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides, until well combined.
  • Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
  • Fill either a cookie press or a pastry bag, fitted with a 1/4-inch pastry tip, with dough and press the dough into 3-1/2-inch long cylinders.
  • Apply a little more pressure halfway through the piping process to form ‘knuckles’.
  • Using a paring knife, gently score the top of the dough to form wrinkles.  
  • Press an almond into one end of each cookie to make the finger nail.
  • Transfer the cookie sheet to the oven and bake, checking almonds halfway through to ensure they are still in place, until golden-brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Allow the fingers to cool to the touch on baking sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack to completely cool.

Happy Halloween!

Breakfast for Dinner – Kerrygold Cheddar, Bacon and Green Onion Waffles

No Comments 21 October 2014

Waffles for dinner? Why not?! Turning a morning dish into an evening meal might feel like cheating, but there’s no need to feel guilty. Breakfast for dinner can be a treat for the kids and a break for the cook. With plenty of Kerrygold Aged Cheddar and the crunch of smoky bacon, these waffles make a savory satisfying meal. Great with a vinegary red cabbage slaw or a peppery arugula salad, a wee touch of sweet is welcome — try a splash of maple syrup or a simple sauce of maple and whole-grain mustard.

If waffles alone seem a little slim, turn them into a sandwich. The indulgent Southern treat that pairs them with fried chicken plays perfectly with these waffles hugging a crisp, buttermilk-battered chicken cutlet. Not into frying? Grab a store-bought roast bird, pile on slices of the chicken and slather on some zippy maple mayo. Or skip the bird entirely, and slip on a sunny-side up egg; the soft yolk makes a tasty nod to Hollandaise. Whether chicken, egg, or plain and simple, no matter how you serve them, these waffles are definitely what’s for dinner.

Kerrygold Cheddar, Bacon and Green Onion Waffles

Preheat waffle iron. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place baking sheet lined with cooling racks in oven.


Cook 6 strips bacon until crisp; drain and set aside

Mix the following ingredients well in a large bowl:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (light brown is best)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Make a well in the center of the combined ingredients, set aside.

Other ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, melt and let cool 
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 6 strips crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1¼ cups Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, grated (these waffles are also great with Skellig)
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced


  • Whisk eggs in a small bowl, pour into center of dry ingredients 
  • Add butter and buttermilk, and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined; this mixture will be lumpy. If too stiff, add a bit of buttermilk
  • Gently fold in bacon, cheese and onions
  • Coat waffle iron well with melted butter or cooking spray
  • Proceed making waffles, keeping finished waffles warm and crisp in oven on the baking sheet

Serve with warmed maple syrup, or maple-mustard sauce.

Buttery Blackberry Crisp – Gluten-free option!

No Comments 14 October 2014

Kate McDermott teaches the time-honored craft of pie making across the United States and at her home Pie Cottage. Creator and founder of Art of the Pie, Kate has taught thousands, and has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and many more publications. Read more about her at www.artofthepie.com.


Buttery Blackberry Crisp

Crumbles, Crisps, Cobbler? They are similar and since they use the same ingredients, they are easily confused. The common theme is that they are delicious, very easy to make, and
are fruit topped by a pastry which can be:

  • biscuit dough or batter for a cobbler
  • butter, sugar and flour topping for a crisp
  • butter, sugar, flour, and nut topping for a crumble…plus some oatmeal!

Today we’ll be making a Gluten Free Blackberry Crisp using all purpose gluten-free flour and gluten-free rolled oats but you can easily substitute all-purpose flour and regular oats.

The first thing you’ll need are some fresh picked blackberries. Living in the Northwest where I do, just about every alley and roadside has brambles in the late summer and early fall with beautiful berries begging to be picked. When picking berries wear an old long sleeve shirt so as not to get your arms too scratched up and look for the blackberries that are big, plump, and come off of the vine easily.

You won’t have to pick too many either. About four cups will do just fine…plus a few more for sampling! If blackberries don’t grow near you, you can find them in season in your grocery produce section, and frozen blackberries will do just fine any time of the year.


Crumble Topping

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten free flour mix*
  • 1 and 1/2 cup gluten free whole oats*
  • 1/2 stick of chilled Kerrygold Irish Unsalted Butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans**


  • 4 cups of fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • a small grating of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon orange liquor or teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)

*For a gluten-full topping, substitute an all-purpose flour and whole oats.

** For a nut free version, omit pecans.


  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Combine the sugar, salt, gluten-free flour, gluten-free oats in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Cut the butter into 8 large pieces and place in the food processor bowl.
  4. Pulse the food processor about 20 times to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. It should look crumbly. Pulse more, if needed.
  5. Add the chopped nuts to the crumble mixture and pulse a few more times.
  6. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let chill for at least 15 minutes during which time you make the filling.
  7. Put berries, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon juice, and orange liquor or zest into a bowl, and gently mix with a spoon until the berries are well coated. Set aside and have a cup of tea while you wait for the crumble topping to finish chilling.
  8. Evenly spread the filling into a baking dish, tart, or pie pan.

Spread the crumbly topping evenly over the blackberry filling.
Pop the pan into the center of the preheated 400F oven and bake for 35 minutes.

You’ll want to let the crumble sit a bit before serving, but if you just can’t wait, place a scoop of ice cream on top to help it cool down. That will do nicely!

Serves 6-8

For Individual Servings: Divide the filling into ramekins, top with filling, place on a baking sheet, and bake as above.


Cheesy Inside and Out – Double-Faced Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

No Comments 09 October 2014

Cheesy Inside and Out – Double-Faced Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Who doesn’t love those extra-baked edges of a mac and cheese, or the corners of a pan pizza where the cheese touches the pan? They’re the part of the dish that we fight over, the tasty bits where the cheese turns nutty and crisp. While those delicious accidents might be worth a tussle, here’s an easier way to make sure everybody gets more than their share. With these double-faced grilled cheese sandwiches, you have the usual creamy, melting cheese inside, while outside, gilding the lily, is a golden coating of that addictive, cheesy, caramelized crunch.

Ridiculously easy to make, you need only three ingredients — bread, butter and grated cheese. The best bread for the job is the stuff of all classic grilled cheese; white sandwich bread with the crusts on. You’ll want your cheese extra sharp, and Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar here is truly stellar. Gently crisped in Kerrygold Salted butter, this is grilled cheese gone glorious.

Double-Faced Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

The trick to crisping the cheese properly is to use a gentle, medium-low flame the entire time.

Per sandwich:


  • 2 tablespoons Kerrygold Salted Butter, divided 
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread
  • ½ cup grated Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar


  • Melt ¾ of the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-low flame, coating pan thoroughly
  • Place the bread side-by-side in the skillet
  • Cover one slice evenly with half of the grated cheese (about ¼ cup)
  • Top the cheese with the other slice of bread, with the butter side up
  • Sprinkle the buttered top evenly with about 2 tablespoons of the remaining grated cheese
  • Melt the remaining butter in the pan alongside the sandwich
  • Flip the sandwich immediately so the cheese-covered top is now facing down in the butter
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of sandwich
  • Cook sandwich gently until the cheese on bottom is crisp and golden, about 3-4 minutes
  • Flip sandwich and cook until cheese on the second side is golden-crisp, another 3-4 minutes
  • Eat and enjoy immediately!

These sandwiches are pretty perfect as is, but if you like to have options, try any of these variations — (The trick is slice any additions cut very thin, so as not to slow the melting)
Top the “inside” cheese with:
– Bits of crisp bacon
– A tablespoon or so of caramelized onion
– A slice of prosciutto or deli-sliced ham
– A few paper-thin slices of apple (Granny Smiths are good)
– Thinly sliced scallion greens
– Small-diced roasted red pepper (or super-thin slices of jalapeño)


Perfect Snack or Salad Topper, Skellig-Garlic Croutons, Almonds and Wasabi Peas

No Comments 02 October 2014

Skellig-Garlic Croutons, Almonds and Wasabi Peas

Who hasn’t snatched a crouton or three before tossing the rest in with the greens? Why sneak around? Here’s a tasty way to stop stealing from your salad — make your own croutons with Kerrygold Skellig Cheese and a touch of garlic. Though that may seem counter intuitive, don’t stop there. Pair them with toasted almonds and wasabi peas for an I-can’t-stop-munching snack mix. That’s right, eat them out in the open, on purpose. The nutty tang of baked Skellig, with the bite of wasabi and the deep-flavored almonds is a combination made for beer and football-watching. It also plays well in the salad bowl, setting off crisp greens and things like creamy avocado with great crunch and zing.

A day-old baguette is your go-to for croutons, and leaving the crust on gives an added crunch. You may cut or tear the bread into cubes or chunks; just keep them of a similar size.(Tearing them makes for craggy bites that hold the cheese nicely. Otherwise, cut the baguette into ½” slices and cube). This is one of the few times it’s best to use garlic powder, as fresh garlic tends to burn in the making. This recipe makes 4-5 cups of mix. Make a double batch since this recipe keeps keeps nicely for a week or more in an airtight container.,

Skellig-Garlic Croutons, Toasted Almonds and Wasabi Peas


  • ½ of a day-old baguette (about 8 oz.), cut or torn into approximately ½” cubes/pieces
  • 4 tablespoons Kerrygold Salted Butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup Skellig, finely grated (a microplane works best)
  • 1 cup (or more if desired) whole raw almonds, skins on (use canned, already roasted ones, unsalted is best. If you chose raw almonds, roast them on another baking sheet with croutons)
  • ½ cup wasabi peas (or more, if desired)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mix garlic powder thoroughly into melted butter
  • Place cut/torn bread in large bowl
  • Drizzle garlic butter over bread
  • Toss gently to coat thoroughly
  • Add approximately ½ cup of the Skellig, tossing gently and rubbing the cheese into the bread so that it sticks
  • Spread croutons carefully over foil-lined baking sheet, leaving space between them
  • Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes, stirring croutons occasionally when they begin to brown
  • Remove from oven
  • Push the croutons closer together on tray and sprinkle with remaining cheese
  • Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, or until nicely browned
  • Remove from oven and let cool thoroughly
  • When cooled, put in a bowl and toss with almonds and wasabi peas

Play with the mix — try skinny pretzel sticks, toasted pumpkin seeds, or even dried cranberries.


Sweet Cheddar & Cranberry Cheesy Wild Rice- Easy to Make and Big on Taste!

No Comments 26 September 2014

Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is the Editor-in-Chief of www.TheHealthyApple.com. She is a Manhattan based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Writer specializing in simple gluten-free ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook.  Amie recently healed herself from a decade of chronic pain including Lyme Disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Heavy Metals exhausting every doctor in the country and Mayo Clinic; she shares her story of how Clean Eating saved her life and inspires you to Clean up your food, too.  Amie lives in Manhattan, NYC where she cooks for a variety of clients including celebrities and people with busy lifestyles who enjoy healthy, fresh food. Amie’s work appears on Martha Stewart, Fox News Health, WebMD, The Huffington Post, The Food Network, Glamour Magazine, Clean Eating Magazine, SHAPE Magazine, Prevention Magazine, PBS and many others. Visit Amie on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Google Plus and Pinterest @TheHealthyApple.

Amie Valpone TheHealthyApple.com

This gluten-free dish is surprisingly easy to make and is big on taste. This is the quintessential ‘meal in a pot’. It’s not only sweet and delicious, but it also makes a beautiful presentation. You can serve it alone, atop leafy greens like kale, or stuff it into tomatoes and bell peppers for a fun fall presentation. This simple dish takes people by surprise every time. Perhaps it’s the creamy sweet Cheddar cheese, dried cranberries and fresh thyme all packaged together. This dish has it all- protein, calcium, minerals and more.

For a heartier meal, serve this dish with gluten-free Italian bread and you’ll have a delicious feast. Getting healthy foods into children (and adults) who are gluten-free can be a challenge and healthy additions like this one can be a cook’s best friend. I’ve been serving cheesy wild rice for years in my cooking classes and everyone seems to love the recipes. It makes me happy since they’re always filled with nutrients and protein! All together, this dish overflows with calcium, antioxidants, and vitamins. Plus, it’s versatile enough to be served for lunch atop salad or for a main meal at dinner. Spinach is available year-round so you can find it anytime! Choose spinach with crisp, dark green leaves and no sign of wetness. You can easily purchase prewashed spinach in bags and plastic bags, as well.

One way to ward off sweet cravings is to add more nutritional sweetness to your meals. Dried cranberries and fresh thyme add amazing flavor to this recipe; your guests will be overtaken by the aroma when they enter your home and they’ll be even more impressed when you serve this satisfying fall dish.
• 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
• 3 cups water
• 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach
• 1 cup Kerrygold Skellig Sweet Cheddar Cheese , shredded
• 1/4 cup dried cranberries
• 3 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
• 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt
• 1/4 tsp. pepper
1. Boil water in a large saucepan; add wild rice and cook, covered over medium heat for 35-40 minutes. Reduce to a simmer, add spinach and cook, stirring frequently until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat; immediately add Skellig Sweet Cheddar Cheese. Mix well until cheese is melted. Add in cranberries, pumpkin seeds, thyme, sea salt and pepper; mix well to combine.
2. Serve warm.

Serves 4


Celebrate summer produce with Tomato, Arugula, Kerrygold Swiss Crostini

No Comments 16 September 2014

A Final Taste Of Summer – Garden Tomatoes and Arugula on Swiss and Garlic Crostini

After eating our way though a season’s worth of delights — from cherries to peaches to corn — we’re down to the summer’s last treat, tomatoes. The heirlooms are winding down; intense, tart-sweet Early Girls are great, and soon to be gone. Cherry tomatoes, especially the bright orange Sungolds, continue to bring a summery burst of flavor, but not for long. Let’s celebrate these delights in a simple, delicious way. We’ll mess with them as little as possible, and let their sweet tang help us kiss summer goodbye.

For these crostini, use a mix of the most flavorful, colorful tomatoes you can find. A combination of cherry tomatoes and heirlooms work beautifully. Dice the big ones, and slice the little ones in half. With a bit of balsamic vinegar and diced red onion working their magic, you may find it hard to wait for the crostini to be done.

Garden Tomatoes and Arugula on Swiss and Garlic Crostini


  • 3 cups tomatoes – dice large tomatoes and slice cherry tomatoes in half
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (to taste, really. The amount depends on the tomatoes)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup red onion, finely diced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

Mix very gently in bowl, let sit for 20-30 minutes. Do not refrigerate (Avoid refrigerating tomatoes in general – they lose flavor in the cold).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

  • 12 ½”-thick slices baguette
  • 4 tablespoons Kerrygold salted butter, melted
  • 1 large clove garlic, cut in half width-wise
  • 2 cups Kerrygold Swiss Cheese, grated
  • 1 good-sized handful arugula (this will be added to the tomato-onion mix – if arugula isn’t available, the crostini work fine without it)

Place baguette slices on baking sheet and brush both sides with butter
Brown in oven, turning slices once so both sides brown evenly
Remove from oven, let sit briefly until they can be handled

Add arugula to tomatoes, tossing very gently

Turn oven up to Broil

  • Rub browned surface of crostini with cut side of garlic clove, then top crostini with cheese
  • Return crostini to oven just until cheese is melted
  • Remove from oven, let cool for a moment
  • Top crostini with tomato-arugula mixture
  • Sprinkle with a bit of freshly ground pepper and salt

The tomato-onion mixture is also delicious tossed with pasta (linguine or spaghetti work well here). Let the tomatoes, balsamic and onions marry for a couple of hours, along with 1-2 teaspoons very finely chopped garlic, again. Again, do not refrigerate. Once you’re ready to cook the pasta, add a couple tablespoons finely chopped basil.

When pasta is done, strain and toss immediately with tomato mixture and enough olive oil to give the noodles a bit of sheen. Top with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino and a bit of pepper. Serve and enjoy immediately.

Take advantage of one last picnic with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Frittata with Prosciutto and Kerrygold Swiss

No Comments 11 September 2014

Savoring Summer’s End – Roasted Red Bell Frittata with Crispy Prosciutto and Kerrygold Swiss

It’s hard to believe that summer will soon be packing it in. The days are still lazy and hot, and though school begins shortly, most of us still feel like playing hooky. Warm nights nudge us to stay up late. The beach still has its sunny draw. One last picnic beckons. And cooking? While there are still a few days left to play, let’s keep our time in the kitchen short and sweet. End of summer produce is so good, it doesn’t take much to make a dish to bid it a tasty farewell. Take this versatile frittata with roasted red bell peppers, prosciutto and Swiss. A round-the-clock dish, it’s delicious warm or cold — the perfect thing to pack for that one last picnic.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper with Spinach, Sizzled Prosciutto and Swiss

  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and cut into ½” dice
  •  8 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 6 thin slices prosciutto, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons Kerrygold Salted Butter
  • 10 scallions, trimmed and chopped fine
  • 2 cups young spinach leaves, stemmed (if stems are large), and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups Kerrygold Swiss cheese, grated

Preheat broiler to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

To roast peppers:

  • Split peppers in half lengthwise, through stem end. Remove seeds and membranes
  • Place peppers on baking sheet, skin side up and place in broiler
  • Broil until skin blisters and chars, about 6-10 minutes

Remove from broiler and place in bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap (or simply put
peppers in brown paper bag and tightly roll bag closed. Let sit for 15 or 20 minutes.
Once peppers have steamed a bit, scrape the skin from the peppers using the back side of a
knife. Remove as much of skin as possible – leaving a scattering of dark specks is fine
Chop in ½’’ dice, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, salt, pepper and basil. Set aside.

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large, non-stick skillet
  • Add prosciutto and cook until it begins to crisp at edges; remove 1-2 tablespoons for garnish
  • Add scallions, and cook until they begin to wilt, about 2 minutes
  • Add spinach, let wilt partially, about 1-2 minutes
  • Add roasted peppers and cheese to eggs in bowl and mix well
  • Add second tablespoon of butter to skillet
  • Pour in egg-peppers-cheese mixture
  • Cook over medium-low flame, letting the eggs set for a minute or two before lifting edge with spatula to let uncooked egg mixture flow beneath cooked eggs
  • Continue to do this until sides are set, about 2-4 minutes. Center will be loose
  • Place under broiler (3 inches below heat) and cook until puffed and golden, about 2 minutes
  • Let cool for about 5-8 minutes, loosen with spatula and slide onto platter
  • Slice into wedges, sprinkle with reserved crisped prosciutto. Enjoy!

Stone fruit at its best in an Apricot-Almond Tart with Cointreau Cream

No Comments 04 September 2014

There’s a crispness in the air. Can you feel it? Here in mountainous Utah, where we get four distinct seasons each year, it comes in the form of chillier mornings, afternoon rain bursts with occasional rainbows, and the arrival of stone fruit.

Namely, plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots.

As the resident chef of one of Sur La Table’s numerous cooking stores, I cook – and teach – using the best of each season’s harvest. And that means autumn’s cooking class menus currently include grilling peaches until caramelized grill marks appear, cooking down plums to make spice-tinged chutneys, churning nectarines into from-scratch ice cream, and baking apricots nestled in a golden, puffed frangipane tart.

That apricot tart has been my go-to recipe of late. What makes it really outstanding, besides those ripe apricots, are the ground almond-laden filling and the ridiculously flaky crust, made with Sur La Table’s butter of choice and nationwide partner, Kerrygold Unsalted Butter.

Tasted on its own, the golden butter is rich and unctuous at the outset, followed by grassy end notes. It’s easy to imagine the happy cows – grazing in never-ending Irish green pastures – that produced the milk to make this delicious butter.

Beyond crust, the butter adds a richness to fish dishes, melts gorgeously as a compound herb butter atop seared steak, and packs a deep nuttiness when browned for pan sauces. Kerrygold butter has become my butter of choice.

Chef Lesli Sommerdorf received her culinary degree from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Before joining Sur La Table as a resident chef, she was a food writer, restaurant reviewer and editor at The San Francisco Chronicle and The Salt Lake Tribune newspapers. Sommerdorf lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her photojournalist husband, young daughter and son. One of her most memorable moments, to date (besides the birth of her two children) is meeting two of her culinary icons, Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, on their book tour in 1999.



Apricot-Almond Tart with Cointreau Cream

Yield: 1 (10-inch) tart, 6-8 servings

1 recipe Flaky Pie Dough (recipe follows)
Unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting


  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 firm yet ripe apricots, halved and pitted

Cointreau cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or paste
  • About 2 tablespoons Cointreau, or other orange liqueur


  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon water

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.

Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll chilled pastry dough into a circle with a 14-inch diameter. Fit dough circle into a 10-inch tart pan, being careful not to stretch out the dough too thin. Bring the dough up the sides of the pan and trim any excess dough. Transfer to the freezer and let chill, about 15 minutes.

To prepare the frangipane: In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, finely grind the almonds and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the ground almonds, egg, almond extract, flour and salt and beat until smooth. Spread evenly over the bottom of the chilled tart shell.

Place each apricot half, cut side down, around the edge of the tart, leaving a space between each half and place one half in center of tart. Transfer the tart to the oven to bake until the tart shell is golden brown and the frangipane is puffed and brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

To prepare Cointreau cream: While the tart is baking, place the cream and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until the mixture visibly thickens and begins to hold a shape. Beat in the Cointreau and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To prepare apricot glaze: While the tart is baking, melt apricot jam with water in a small saucepan over medium heat. After the tart is finished baking, use a silicone pastry brush to lightly coat the top of the tart with glaze. Cool tart to room temperature before slicing.

To serve: Slice tart into wedges and serve with Cointreau cream on the side.

Flaky Pie Dough

Yield: 1 (10-inch) crust

  • 1-1/4 cups (6-1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup ice water

To prepare the dough: Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers, cut or rub the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture. Stir and fluff the flour mixture with a fork until shaggy clumps form. Pick up the large clumps and squeeze to test for moisture. If clumps hold together, transfer them to a work surface and continue adding tablespoons of ice water and stirring until all the dough passes the squeeze test.

Gather the clumps of dough together on a work surface. If the butter feels soft, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before proceeding. If the butter still feels cold, knead the dough gently 4 or 5 times. If dough falls apart, return it to the mixing bowl and sprinkle teaspoons of ice water and mix with a fork until dough holds together when squeezed.

Flatten the dough into a disk about 6 inches wide, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.


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