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September 1: Lunchbreak - Pam Anderson Makes Miniature Lemon-Raspberry Cakes

Pam Anderson

To purchase a copy of the book:
Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers

Event:
Cooking Class at Sur la Table
Tonight
6:30 p.m.
55 South Main Street
Naperville
www.surlatable.com

Miniature Lemon-Raspberry Cakes

Makes 4 double cakes, serving up to 8
Even though these cakes look and taste as if they came from an upscale bakery, they're actually just raspberry jam and toasted almonds sandwiched between two store-bought shortcakes. The cream cheese frosting, flavored with good jarred lemon curd (located with the jams and jellies in the supermarket), can be whipped up in just minutes. The cakes can be made a couple of days in advance (bring to room temperature before frosting them). The frosted cakes can be covered and set aside at room temperature for several hours. Most people will opt for a half cake, giving you enough for up to 8 servings.
Ingredients:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) butter, softened
1/2 cup jarred lemon curd
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 packages (4.5 ounces each) shortcakes (8 cakes)
1/2 cup low-sugar raspberry jam
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 pint fresh raspberries (optional)

Directions:
Beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in lemon curd, then sugar until light and fluffy. Set 1 cake, well side up, on each of four dessert plates. Spoon 2 tablespoons jam into each well; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon almonds. Top with remaining 4 cakes, well side down. Using a table knife or an offset spatula, frost top and sides with cream cheese mixture, swirling frosting attractively. Serve, garnishing with raspberries, if you like.

One-Pot Penne with Turkey-Feta Meatballs
Serves 6 to 8
Up to the point of adding the water and cooking the pasta, the meatballs and sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:
8 garlic cloves, peeled, 3 left whole, 5 minced
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (94% lean)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (generous 4 ounces), plus more for topping
1/2 cup crumbled saltine crackers (about 12 crackers)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup olive oil
4 thin slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces), minced
1 cup dry red wine
2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
1 pound penne pasta

Directions:
Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 whole garlic cloves and toast until spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Remove garlic from skillet, smash, and mince. Meanwhile, break up ground turkey into a medium bowl. With a fork, mix in feta, cracker crumbs, oregano, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Mix egg, minced toasted garlic, and tomato paste together; stir into turkey mixture with fork until thoroughly combined. Using a 2-tablespoon measure, such as a coffee scoop, form mixture into about 36 cylindrical drum shapes. Heat oil over low heat in a large heavy roasting pan set over two burners. A couple of minutes before frying meatballs, increase heat to medium-high. Add meatballs and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.Add remaining 5 minced garlic cloves, along with prosciutto, to roasting pan and cook, stirring, until garlic is golden. Add wine and simmer to reduce by half, about a minute. Add tomatoes and enough water to make a sauce-like consistency. Bring to a simmer, add meatballs, and cook, loosely covered with heavy-duty foil, to blend flavors, 10 to 15 minutes. Still on medium-high heat, add 6 cups water, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt to pan and return to a simmer. Add penne, cover loosely with foil, and cook, stirring gently and frequently, until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to simmer until sauce is thickened to your liking. Serve, sprinkling each portion with feta cheese.

Tips:

Double your cooking surface and save precious time by browning meat in a heavy-bottomed roasting pan set over two burners.

To help meatballs brown better use a drum-shaped coffee scoop to form meatballs.

Save time heating gallons of water and washing a pot by cooking the pasta right in with the sauce.

For a change, sprinkle pasta with feta cheese instead of Parmesan.

Use store-bought shortcakes to create home-made looking and tasting cakes.

For more information:

www.threemanycooks.com

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