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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Zesty Lemon Curd

* 3 eggs, beaten
* 2 cups sugar
* 3/4 cup lemon juice
* 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
* 1 cup butter, cubed

* In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and peel until blended. Add butter; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a metal spoon. Transfer to a small bowl; cool for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
* Spread on muffins or rolls, or serve over waffles or ice cream.

Yield: 3 cups.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 tablespoons) equals 144 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 47 mg cholesterol, 86 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.

~~Country Woman | July/August 1991~~

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wonton Kisses

* 24 milk chocolate kisses
* 24 wonton wrappers
* Oil for frying
* Confectioners' sugar

* Place a chocolate kiss in the center of a wonton wrapper. (Keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel until ready to use.) Moisten edges with water; fold opposite corners together over candy kiss and press to seal. Repeat.
* In an electric skillet, heat 1 in. of oil to 375°. Fry wontons for 2-1/2 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Yield: 2 dozen.

~~Simple & Delicious | March/April 2007~~

Friday, June 25, 2010

Berry-Dotted Angel Food Cake

* 1 cup(s) cake flour
* 1 tablespoon(s) cake flour
* 1 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
* 1 1/4 cup(s) sugar
* 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
* 12 large egg whites, at room temperature (about 1 1/3 cups)
* 1 teaspoon(s) cream of tartar
* 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cup(s) assorted raspberries, small and firm

1. Make the batter: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine 1 cup cake flour, cornstarch, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Sift together twice and set aside. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Mix on low speed until foamy -- about 3 minutes. Add the remaining sugar and vanilla, increase mixer speed to medium high, and beat until egg whites form stiff peaks. Do not overbeat. Set aside.

2. Assemble the cake: Sift 1/3 of the reserved flour mixture over the beaten egg whites and gently fold together. Sift another 1/3 of flour and fold. Add the berries in an even layer and sift the remaining flour over the berries. Fold gently until combined. Gently and evenly place the batter into a 10-inch tube pan and bake on the middle rack of oven until cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched -- 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely, inverted, for about 90 minutes. Gently run a knife along the outside edge of the pan and along the inside tube. Turn out onto a plate and serve.

Serves 12.

Tips & Techniques: To achieve a light, airy angel food cake every time, follow these basic steps: Avoid overbeating the egg whites - they become dry and grainy, making it hard to fold in the flour; never oil the cake pan - the batter needs to "grab" the pan as it rises in order to reach maximum height; finally, cool the cake inverted, either over a tall, narrow-necked bottle or resting on four tall inverted glasses, until it is completely cool.

~~Country Living Magazine~~

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Whole Wheat Blueberry Scones

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 4 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
* 1-3/4 cups buttermilk
* 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
* 1 tablespoon sugar

* In a large bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk just until moistened. Stir in blueberries. Turn onto a floured surface; gently knead 10 times.
* Transfer dough to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Pat into a 9-in. circle. Cut into 12 wedges, but do not separate. Sprinkle with sugar.
* Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield: 1 dozen.

Nutritional Analysis: 1 scone equals 225 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 253 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 1 fat.

~~Whole Wheat Blueberry Scones published in Light & Tasty February/March 2006, p8~~

Monday, June 21, 2010

Black Raspberry Buttermilk Scones

* 1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cup(s) cake flour
* 1 tablespoon(s) baking powder
* 1 teaspoon(s) fine salt
* 16 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1 cup(s) buttermilk
* 1 tablespoon(s) lemon zest
* 1/2 cup(s) black raspberry jam
* 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) sugar

1. Make the dough: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the flours, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and zest and pulse until the dough is just combined.

2. Shape the scones: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place an 18-inch sheet of parchment paper on a work surface and sprinkle it lightly with flour. Transfer the dough to the paper and, with floured hands, gently press the dough into a 12- by 12-inch square; the dough should be about 3/4 inch thick. Cut out two 6-inch circles, reshape the remaining dough into a 3/4-inch-thick square, and cut out one more 6-inch circle. Gather the remaining scraps and form into one final 6-inch circle. Place 1/4 cup of jam on two of the circles. Top each with the remaining dough rounds and pinch the sides shut. Using a knife, score the top of each scone with a large cross marking 4 quadrants. Sprinkle the tops with sugar. Transfer scones to the prepared pan and bake until golden -- 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Split or cut on the scores.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 16.

~~Country Living Magazine~~

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cream Soda Toffee Cupcakes

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/2 tsp. baking soda
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 3 eggs
* 1 Tbsp. molasses
* 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
* 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 1/2 cup cream soda (not diet)
* 3/4 cup toffee pieces
* 1 recipe Brown Butter Frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line eighteen 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.

2. In large bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add sugars; beat until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, on low until combined. Beat in molasses and vanilla.

3. Alternately add flour mixture, buttermilk, and cream soda to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of the toffee. Fill cups 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pans on racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool. Frost; top with remaining toffee.

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Brown Butter Frosting: For brown butter, in saucepan heat 1/4 cup butter over medium-low heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes; cool. In bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter with mixer on medium 30 seconds. Add cooled brown butter; beat until combined. Add 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and dash salt. Beat in 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk until spreadable. Use immediately. If frosting begins to set up, stir in a small amount of boiling water. Makes 1 1/4 cups frosting.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Frozen Lemon Gingersnap Pie

For crust:
* 1 1/2 cups finely crushed gingersnap cookies (6 ounces)
* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
* 2 tablespoons sugar

For ice cream:
* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1 cup whole milk
* 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
* 4 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 6 large egg yolks
* 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice

* Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer; an ice cream maker
* Garnish: lemon slices

Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Toss together all crust ingredients with a fork until crumbs are moistened. Press evenly onto bottom and up side of a 10-inch glass or ceramic pie plate (6-cup capacity). Bake crust in middle of oven 7 minutes, then cool on a rack.

Make ice cream:
Bring cream, milk, sugar, zest, and salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Whisk yolks in a bowl until blended, then add hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Transfer custard back to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 175 to 180°F on thermometer, 3 to 5 minutes (do not let boil).

Immediately pour through a fine-mesh sieve into cleaned bowl, then stir in lemon juice. Cool custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally, then chill, its surface covered with a round of wax paper, until cold, about 3 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker.

Spread ice cream evenly in crust and wrap pie plate in wax or parchment paper, then in plastic wrap. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, put pie in refrigerator to soften.

Cooks' notes: ·Ice cream can be made 2 days ahead of assembling pie. Soften in refrigerator about 30 minutes before spreading in crust.
·Assembled pie can be frozen up to 3 days.

Serves 8-10.

~~Gourmet | June 2003~~

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quick Raspberry Charlotte

* 7 ounces savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers)
* 1 tablespoon Cognac or other brandy
* 1 pint premium vanilla ice cream, melted
* 10 ounces frozen raspberries (not in syrup)
* 1 cup water
* Rounded 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

* Equipment: a 7- to 8-inch soufflé dish

Layer ladyfingers in soufflé dish. Stir Cognac into melted ice cream and pour evenly over cookies. Let stand 10 minutes.

Purée, raspberries with water, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.

Beat cream with an electric mixer or a whisk until it just holds stiff peaks, then add 3/4 cup raspberry sauce and continue to beat until mixture holds soft peaks.

Lightly press on cookies with a spatula to compact slightly, then drizzle 1/2 cup raspberry sauce over them. Spread raspberry cream evenly on top and chill, covered, in freezer 30 minutes.

Serve charlotte with remaining raspberry sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

~~Gourmet | March 2008~~

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Light Lemon-Pistachio Bites

* 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (1 sheet)
* 1/3 cup purchased lemon curd
* 1/4 cup purchased creme fraiche
* 1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped pistachios

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Thaw and unfold puff pastry according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Using a fluted pastry wheel or a sharp knife, cut puff pastry sheet crosswise into sixths, then lengthwise into sixths to make thirty-six 1-1/4-inch squares. Place squares 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.

3. Bake pastry squares in preheated oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden brown. Remove pastry shells from baking sheet and cool completely on a wire rack. Using a melon baller or round 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, hollow out a small circle in the center of each cooled pastry shell, leaving the bottom of the shell intact.

4. In a small bowl, combine lemon curd, crème fraiche, and lemon peel. Just before serving, transfer lemon curd mixture to a small resealable plastic bag. Seal bag and snip off a small corner. Pipe about 3/4 teaspoon filling into each pastry shell. Sprinkle chopped pistachios over filled pastries.

5. Makes 36 mini pastries

Make ahead tips: Make pastry shells through Step 3. Place shells in a covered storage container and store at room temperature for 24 hours or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before filling. Store filling, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before assembling.

Nutrition Facts: * Calories 46, * Total Fat (g) 3, * Cholesterol (mg) 4, * Sodium (mg) 28, * Carbohydrate (g) 5, * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Mixed Berry Tartlets

* 1 15-oz. pkg. rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crusts (2)
* Nonstick cooking spray
* 2 Tbsp. sugar
* 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
* 1 12-oz. pkg. frozen mixed berries
* 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
* 1/3 cup whipping cream
* 1/4 cup purchased lemon curd
* 1 tsp. sugar
* 1/4 tsp. vanilla
* Mint sprigs (optional)

1. Let pie crusts stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with cooking spray. For pastry shells, unroll pie crusts. Use a 3-1/2-to 4-inch round cutter to cut 6 rounds from each crust. Press rounds into prepared muffin cups, pleating to fit.

2. For tartlet filling, in a medium bowl combine the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cornstarch; stir in berries and lemon juice. Spoon berry mixture into pastry shells. Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Carefully remove tartlets from muffin cups; cool completely on wire rack.

3. In a medium mixing bowl combine whipping cream, lemon curd, 1 teaspoon sugar, and vanilla; beat with wire whisk or with electric mixer on medium speed until cream mixture mounds and is fluffy. Spoon on tarts. Garnish each tart with a mint sprig.

Makes 12 servings.


Thursday, June 10, 2010


I had to share about a recipe card giveaway from Kimberly Shaw! These sweet little recipe cards all feature teacups and have names like "devonshire cream", "lemon tart", and "apple tea bread", to name a few. She really is an amazing artist and designer and you should check out her website too! Each winner will receive 2 packages of Recipe Cards, 40 cards total. Just leave a comment telling her which 2 styles are your favorites on her blog. Thanks Kimberly for having this awesome giveaway!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

* 2 1/3 cups sugar
* 4 teaspoons cornstarch
* 1 cup fresh lemon juice
* 4 large eggs
* 4 large egg yolks
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

* Nonstick vegetable oil spray
* 2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (about 7 1/2 ounces)
* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

* 5 tablespoons water
* 4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

* 6 large egg whites
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream

* Lemon slices, cut into quarters (garnish)


For curd:
Mix sugar and cornstarch in heavy large saucepan. Gradually add lemon juice, whisking until all cornstarch dissolves. Whisk in eggs and yolks. Add butter. Stir over medium heat until curd thickens and boils, about 12 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Chill until cold, at least 6 hours. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Press plastic wrap onto surface of curd and keep chilled.)

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 8-inch-diameter springform pan with nonstick spray. Blend cookie crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press onto bottom of pan. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool.
For mousse:
Pour 5 tablespoons water into small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place 1 3/4 cups lemon curd in large bowl. Stir 3/4 cup curd in another small saucepan over medium-low heat until very warm.

Stir gelatin mixture over medium-low heat until dissolved and liquid is clear (do not boil). Whisk warm gelatin mixture into 3/4 cup warm curd. Gradually whisk gelatin-curd mixture into curd in large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until whites are thick and glossy. Fold whites into curd mixture in 3 additions. Using same beaters, beat cream in another medium bowl until peaks form. Fold into egg white-curd mixture in 3 additions. Pour enough mousse over cooled crust to fill pan completely. Pour remaining mousse into small bowl and reserve. Cover and chill mousse cake, reserved mousse, and remaining curd overnight.

Using long thin knife, cut around cake to loosen. Remove pan sides. Gently spread 3/4 cup of remaining curd over cake. Transfer reserved mousse to pastry bag fitted with small star tip. Pipe rosettes of mousse around top edge of cake. Chill cake until ready to serve. (Can be made up to 8 hours ahead.)

Arrange lemon slices between rosettes. Cut cake into wedges.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

~~Bon Appetit | April 2005~~

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Teaberry Strangler by Laura Childs

I have to tell my readers how sweet Laura Childs is! You may remember I won a copy of one of her books last year from another blogger & then Laura Childs sent me an email asking if I would like one of her tea shop mystery books...which of course I was thrilled!! Well, guess what?? I received her latest book in the mail a few weeks ago and it was signed too!

If you love tea and you love mystery books, then you are going to LOVE this writer. I have been sick and not able to do much lately and I have read most of her Tea Shop Mysteries now. :) I start one and I just can't put it down!

Now what I really love is, as I'm reading one of her books, her characters will be making all these yummy recipes for their tea shop and I'm thinking "oh, wow, that sounds so delicious" and then I finish the book and at the end...there it is! There are ALOT of great recipes listed in the back of her books & also tea party theme ideas. Where does this writer get all her great ideas? I hope to finish this series and start her scrapbooking series also, though you know I am a true tea lover. ;)

Imagine my surprise as I got to the back of this latest mystery & there were tea publications lists, and resources lists...and there I was right in the middle of the resource list! My humble little tea blog! It's really an amazing feeling. I just started this little blog as a place to keep all my tea recipes in one place, never dreaming that anyone would ever take notice of it, much less gain all my wonderful followers and a witty writer too!

OK, I have to admit, I love the fact that the main character Theodosia, named her dog Earl Grey. I think that's just adorable! Yes, it won me over immediately. :) So now you know the next dog I get I will have to name Earl Grey, or maybe Darjeeling, or Jasmine, of course!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lemon-Thyme Cookies

* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme
* 2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* Coarse sugar or granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Beat the butter in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar until combined. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in thyme, lemon peel, lemon juice, and cardamom. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Knead until smooth; form mixture into a ball.

2. Divide dough into three equal portions. Roll each portion into a 6x4 1/2-inch rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 1 1/2-inch squares with a scalloped-edge pastry wheel. Sprinkle cutouts with coarse sugar. Place cutouts on ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are just lightly brown. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. Makes 36 cookies.

4. To store: Place cookies in layers separated by pieces of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw cookies, if frozen, before serving.

Makes 36.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lemon Lemon Loaf

* 1 1/2 cups cake flour
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/4 cups sugar
* 8 large eggs, at room temperature
* 1/4 cup grated lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
* 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

* 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, or more if needed
* 4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the sides and bottom of two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.

Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until combined. With the motor running, drizzle the butter in through the feed tube. Add the sour cream and vanilla and pulse until combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Sprinkle the flour mixture, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F., and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and invert the loaves onto the pan. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves.

Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

(The soaked but unglazed loaves will keep, wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and frozen, for up to 6 weeks.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. If the mixture is too stiff, add up to another 2 tablespoons lemon juice and whisk again, adding small amounts of lemon juice and/or confectioners' sugar until you get the right consistency. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

The glazed loaves will keep for up to 3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Makes 2 (9x5x3) loaves.

BAKED NOTE: For zesting purposes, we always recommend using an organic fruit, free of chemicals or pesticides that might reside deep in the rind.

~~Epicurious | Dec 2008~~

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ambrosia Macaroons

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
* 3 large eggs
* 24 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 6 cups firmly packed)
* 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted


Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and salt; beat until blended. Beat in orange peel, then eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in coconut. Drop batter onto sheets by tablespoonfuls, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake macaroons, 1 sheet at a time, until golden on bottom and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on sheets.

Using fork, drizzle chocolate over macaroons. Chill on sheets until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes.

Makes 45.

~~Bon Appetit | Dec 2008~~

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mushroom Strudel

* 10 g (about 1/2 ounce) dried porcini (1/2 cup; also called cèpes)
* 1/2 cup boiling-hot water
* 1/2 pound fresh white mushrooms, trimmed and halved lengthwise
* 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 large)
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup dry white wine
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 4 (17-by 12-inch) phyllo sheets, thawed if frozen
* 2 tablespoons rendered duck or goose fat or unsalted butter, melted
* Truffle oil for brushing (optional)

* Equipment: a wide-tooth serrated knife

Soak porcini in boiling-hot water in a small bowl until softened, about 10 minutes. Lift out porcini and squeeze excess liquid back into bowl. Rinse porcini well to remove any grit. Strain soaking liquid through a sieve lined with a dampened paper towel into another bowl and reserve.

Pulse porcini and white mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped (but not minced).

Cook shallots in butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, reserved soaking liquid, wine, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Stir in parsley, then spread filling on a plate and chill, uncovered, until cold, about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.

While filling chills, put stack of phyllo sheets on a work surface and cut in half crosswise, then stack halves and cover with plastic wrap. Remove 1 phyllo sheet from stack (keep remaining sheets covered) and arrange with a long side nearest you, then lightly brush with some duck fat. Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with fat. Spread about one fourth of mushroom filling in a narrow strip along edge nearest you to within 1/4 inch of each end, then roll up phyllo tightly around filling, leaving ends open. Transfer roll, seam side down, to a baking sheet and make 3 more rolls in same manner, transferring to baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheet on a rack, then brush length of each roll with a very thin line of truffle oil (if using) with tip of a cotton swab. Gently cut each roll crosswise into 8 pieces with serrated knife. Serve strudel warm or at room temperature.

Makes 32 hors d’oeuvres.

Cooks' notes:
•Mushroom filling can be made 2 days ahead and chilled (covered once cool).
•Strudels can be assembled (but not baked) 1 day ahead and chilled, or 2 weeks ahead and frozen, wrapped well in plastic wrap. Bake (do not thaw first) in a preheated 350°F oven 20 minutes.

~~Gourmet | Feb 2009~~