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Notes from Todd

Just Add Honey…

Creamed Shrimp and Scallops on Butter Pastry recipe

by Ann Kennedy

(Pair with Traditional Mead)
For the pastry:

* 2 cups flour
* 1 t salt
* 1 egg
* 8 T frozen, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 5 - 6 T cold water

For the creamed shellfish mixture:

* 1 ½ cups whole milk
* ½ cup Half and Half
* 2 T unsalted butter
* 2-½ T flour
* ½ t salt
* dash of white pepper
* ¼ t nutmeg
* ½ cup Gruyere or Muenster cheese, chopped
* 2-½ T raw orange blossom honey
* 1 t Dijon mustard
* Granny Smith apple, ½ peeled and chopped, ½ unpeeled for garnish
* 1 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
* 1 lb. sea scallops

Prepare the pastry as for any pie crust, or use a food processor.

If using a food processor, combine flour, salt and butter and process until the mixture is crumbly. Add the egg and process for about 20 seconds. Gradually add water a little at a time, processing until dough forms a ball and comes off the sides of the work bowl. Do not over-process.

Wrap and refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.

Cover a large baking sheet with parchment and roll dough directly onto parchment as thin as possible.

Salt the dough lightly and cut into 1"x 5" strips, or use a round cookie cutter, also baking whatever scraps remain.

Bake at 400-degrees about 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.

Prepare the sauce as follows:

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Just as it begins to brown a little, add the flour and stir until incorporated. Gradually add the milk and Half and Half, whisking constantly on very low heat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. When the mixture coats the spoon, add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the cheese, mustard and raw honey and whisk until thoroughly combined and mixture has thickened. Add the apple and remove skillet from heat.

Put 1 cup of water in another saucepan, add ½ t salt, and bring to a boil. Add shrimp and scallops, swirl pan briefly, cover and remove from heat for 4 minutes.

Drain well, and add the shellfish to the cream sauce and keep warm.

Put several strips or rounds of pastry on each plate and top with the creamed mixture.

Garnish plate with a fan of thin green apple slices and a sprig of fresh dill.

Note: Frozen or homemade puff pastry may be used in place of the firmer crust, if desired.


Orange Blossom Honey Cheese Cake

By Ann Kennedy

* 4 T butter
* 4 cups vanilla wafers
* 1 T brown sugar
* 3 eggs
* 3 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
* 1 - 8 oz. carton Mascarpone (soft Italian cream cheese, readily available)
* 1 cup orange blossom raw honey
* 1 ½ t vanilla extract
* Optional garnish: thin orange slices and mint leaves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and cut a piece of parchment to line the bottom of a spring form pan. Using a food processor, process vanilla wafers into fine crumbs. Melt 4 T butter and add to the crumbs, processing briefly until combined. Press this mixture firmly onto the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Clean the work bowl of the food processor.

Put eggs in processor and process for 30 seconds. Add each remaining ingredient (mascarpone, cream cheese, honey, and vanilla) one at a time processing 30 seconds after each until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Scrape down sides of the work bowl as needed.

Pour cheese mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until golden in color and set completely. It may still be a little soft in the center, which is o.k. Let set at room temperature for about an hour and then refrigerate for 2 hours. May be served at room temperature after an hour, or after refrigeration. Store in refrigerator.

Optional garnish: Cut a half orange in thin slices, cut slices in half, and arrange in center of cheesecake in a flower pattern. Add mint leaves as desired. Also beautiful with fresh pansies around the base. This is a very pretty, honey colored cheesecake, reminiscent of the spring to come!

Additional optional toppings include: lemon curd, toasted coconut, or toasted sliced almonds.

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