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Columnists: December 2012 Archives

Business year in review

Business commentator Deb Yedlin looks back at the business year that was.


Re-purposing leftovers

Food and nutrition guide Julie van Rosendaal offers up ideas for New Year's appetizers using Christmas left overs.

Leftovers in Puff Pastry

Anything goes when you wrap it in store-bought puff pastry, which
always bakes up crispy and golden, and looks fantastic. Try mincemeat
and brie, prosciutto and Gruyère, or roasted veggies and crumbled goat
cheese. Or go sweet and fill the pastry with Nutella and chopped
leftover chocolate and nuts. Inspired by Ina Garten.

1 pkg. frozen puff pastry, thawed
pesto or grainy mustard
thinly sliced ham, shredded turkey or leftover roasted veggies
grated or thinly sliced brie, Gouda, Gruyère, crumbled goat cheese
1 egg

Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. On a lightly floured
surface, unroll your puff pastry, or roll each piece (or just use 1,
if you want a smaller "pie") out to about 10-12 inches.

Spread with pesto or mustard and top with ham and cheese - or whatever
fillings you like - leaving an inch uncovered around the edge. If
you're just using a single piece of puff pastry, spread the toppings
over half of it. In a small bowl, stir the egg with a spoonful of water.

Top with a second piece of pastry or fold the uncovered half over,
brush the edge with the egg wash and press or fold over and crimp to
seal. If you have time, cover with plastic and put back in the fridge
for an hour or up to a day.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425F. Brush the top of
the pastry with some egg wash, and cut a few slits in the top to help
steam escape. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden.
Transfer to a cutting board and cut into wedges or fingers to serve.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Torta Sbrisolona (Shortbread Crumble Cookie Tart)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sliced or slivered almonds
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

1/2-1 cup mincemeat, fruit preserves, fig jam, lemon curd, chopped
chocolate, or anything else you want to use

Preheat the oven to 350F. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the
flour, almonds, sugar and salt until well blended and the nuts are
finely ground. Add the butter and vanilla or almond extract and pulse
until well combined and crumbly. The mixture should hold together when
you squeeze it.

Divide a little more than half the mixture between two 8 or 9-inch
cake pans, 8x8-inch pans, fluted tart pans or one 9x13-inch pan. Press
evenly into the bottom of the pan. Spread with mincemeat, preserves,
or whatever you want to top it with, then sprinkle the rest of the
crumble mixture overtop, squeezing slightly as you go. Bake for 30
minutes, or until pale golden around the edges and set. Cool before
cutting into wedges or squares. Serves 16-20.

Fromage Fort

Fromage fort is a great way to repurpose all kinds of cheese ends -
it's ideal if you have a combination of firm and soft cheeses, just
remember that any blue cheese will overwhelm it - so use it sparingly
or expect a blue cheese spread. Adapted from Food & Wine magazine,
courtesy of Jacques Pépin.

1/2 lb. grated, chopped or crumbled cheese, such as Swiss, Brie, goat,
Gouda, cheddar, fontina, provolone
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup dry white wine
1-2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a big pinch of fresh herbs, such as chopped rosemary or thyme (optional)

Put everything into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well
blended. Add some extra wine if there aren't many hard cheeses in your
mix. Fromage fort can be served cold, with crackers and baguette, or
spread on crostini and broiled for a few minutes until bubbly and


January skies

Don Hladiuk tells us what we should be looking for in the skies this month and previews highlights for stargazing in 2013.