HOT DISH! Favorites from Quilt Festival Faculty

Considering the range of talent that exists among members of the Quilt Festival faculty, it’s little surprise that many of them feel nearly as comfortable in the kitchen as they do in the sewing studio.

We asked Quilt Festival teachers to send us some of their favorite cooking recipes, and have included three of those—for salad, a main course, and dessert—in this edition of Hot Dish! Happy cooking!

VINAIGRETTE DRESSING

Ingredients:

½ tbsp. salt

½ tbsp. fresh ground pepper

¼ tbsp. dried thyme, crushed

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ tbsp. Dijon mustard

½ tbsp. sugar (optional)

¼ c. good quality red balsamic vinegar

¼- ½ c. good quality extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients together in a deep bowl, or put them in a quart jar, cover, and shake.

Store at room temperature for up to one week. Refrigerate for longer storage.

Use dressing on tossed green salad. This is especially good with the addition of tomatoes, Greek olives, toasted pine nuts, and feta cheese.

Variations:

• Substitute white balsamic vinegar for the red and add 1 tbsp. sugar.

• Substitute raspberry vinegar and walnut oil for the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, respectively. Add 1 tbsp. sugar.

• Substitute red or white wine vinegar for the balsamic vinegar.

• Substitute other dried herbs for the thyme (basil, Italian seasonings, etc.). If using fresh herbs, toss them with the greens instead of adding them to the dressing.

• Omit mustard, garlic, and thyme. Substitute lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice concentrate, or a combination of them for the vinegar. Substitute canola oil for the olive oil. Stir in 1-2 tbsp. poppy seeds. Add sugar as needed. This dressing must be stored in the refrigerator.

BALSAMIC CHICKEN & MUSHROOMS

Ingredients:

4 skinless chicken breasts

¾ lb. med. sized mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

2 tbsp. flour

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp. olive oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled

4 tbsp. good quality balsamic vinegar

¾ c. homemade or canned chicken stock

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp. dried thyme

1 tbsp. butter

Directions:

Clean chicken breast and remove thin membranes that may remain on flesh.

Season flour with salt and pepper, dredge chicken breast, and shake off excess flour. Heat oil in heavy skillet and cook chicken breasts until nicely browned on one side over moderately high heat. Add the garlic cloves.

Turn the chicken breasts and scatter the mushrooms, shaking the skillet to ensure even distribution. Cook 3 minutes. Add vinegar and broth. Bring to bubbling and add bay leaf and thyme.

Cover and cook over moderately low heat for 10 minutes. Turn the pieces occasionally as they cook.

Transfer chicken to serving plate. Let the sauce with mushrooms cook, uncovered, on medium-high heat for about 7 minutes. Swirl in butter. Remove the bay leaf, and pour sauce and mushrooms over chicken. Serve with rice, pasta, or potatoes.

STRAWBERRY MARGARITA PIE

9” Pretzel Crust:

1 c. finely crushed pretzels (she does this with an ice-crush setting in a blender)

3 tbsp. sugar

1/3 c. melted butter

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Press mixture into bottom of an ungreased 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly browned. Let this cool completely!

Margarita Filling:

16 oz. fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

1/3 c. frozen limeade concentrate, slightly thawed

2 tbsp. orange juice or tequila (OJ is great!)

2 c. slightly softened vanilla ice cream

In a covered food processor or blender with a 5 cup or more capacity, place strawberries and process until finely chopped. Add ice cream, orange juice (or tequila), and limeade, and process to mix well. Spoon or pour mixture into prepared/cooled crust and, if needed, smooth with back of a spoon. Freeze until firm (a minimum of 4 hours or even overnight). I use a tempered glass Pyrex dish, and it is fine in the freezer.

Remove pie from freezer 20 minutes before serving, slice, plate, and top with a whipping cream/lime zest garnish.

Note: If you used a glass pie pan, let it sit at room temperature for the 20 minutes. Don’t try to rush the process by taking it from the freezer and placing in hot water. Tempered glass is strong, but can break with extreme temperature changes.

© 2012. A publication of Quintessential Quilt Media. No portion may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Quilts, Inc.