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Christmas Bark

Christmas BarkIf you make your own candies then I applaud you for your dedication and patience.  Years ago, a friend of my mom’s would stop by to drop off her annual Christmas gift of handmade candy.  Mrs. Scarborough would spend hours on her candies and they looked so delicate and professional.  She would tenderly explain to mom what each one was and any that might have given her grief in the making.  My siblings and I would eye the candy and savour each mouthful…there weren’t that many to go around but boy were they delicious! I like candy/desserts that don’t require much finesse or fuss but deliver that wow factor via visual presentation and taste.  Continue Reading →

Endive Salad

endive salad by The Culinary ChaseI know, another salad but I promise this one is a keeper! Endive (pronounced on-deev) is a favorite of ours and because I don’t buy it that often it remains a treat whenever I serve it.  This endive salad is bursting full of flavor and will have your taste buds doing a happy dance.  Ok, I am exaggerating a bit, but you will enjoy the way the creamy/saltiness from the goat cheese mixes well with the sweetness of the candied pistachios.

Serves 2
2 to 3 heads of Belgian endive
goat cheese
1 ripe pear, thinly sliced
extra-virgin olive oil
white wine or sherry vinegar

Candied Pistachios –
1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup demerara sugar

candied pistachio by The Culinary ChaseTo make the candied pistachios, preheat oven to 350°f. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, water, salt, and granulated sugar until smooth. Toss the pistachios and demerara sugar in the honey mixture, stirring well to coat. Spread the nut mixture onto a parchment-lined baking tray in a single layer and bake until the nuts are golden brown (8-10 minutes).   Cool and break into small pieces.

Belgian endive by The Culinary ChaseTrim ends of endive and separate endive heads into single leaves. Arrange leaves on plates followed by pear slices. Add crumbled goat cheese. Add a splash of olive oil and white wine vinegar. Top salad with candied pistachios and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Keep an eye on the pistachios as they can quickly turn from a golden brown to a burnt brown!  If you can’t find pistachios, substitute with whatever is your favorite nut.  A crisp and crunchy salad with a hint of sweetness.  Enjoy!