Braided Blueberry Cheese Danish

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Last week I had the pleasure of spending some time in lovely Madison, Wisconsin.  My dear cousin lives there with his wife and three darling children, and it has been 13 years since I last visited.  It was due time, for sure.  We spent a lot of time at the house, but we also had some chances to check out what Madison has to offer in terms of food experiences.

A couple of friends of mine also live there and gave me an extensive list of places to try.  Sadly, I was only able to check out two of those places, but one of them, La Brioche, was such a home run that I had to try my hand at one of their signature pastries – the cheese Danish.

Their cheese Danish is very straightforward, but I wanted to try something different.  I scoured the Internet to see what I could find that included blueberries (because I had a HUGE container of them).  I found a few, and picked the best elements of each one.

I made my own puff pastry, but I am not going to include that recipe in this post.  Instead, I’ll urge you to buy a puff pastry from the freezer section of your local grocery store.  Why, you ask?  Because this Danish is so good, but took waaaay too long to put together.  If you’re hoping to make this for a brunch or even dessert, take it easy on yourself and just buy a package of puff pastry.

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Ginger-Basil Chicken Thighs with Green Tomato

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I’ve professed my love for The Kitchn many times on this blog, but this time, it’s serious.  We have a tomato explosion in our garden this year, and as I was staring out my office window and all of the lovely green beauties hanging on their vines, I happened to stumble upon this delightful recipe.  It’s also culinary bonus when I find that I have all the ingredients on hand necessary to complete the dish!

In general, I try to avoid using my oven too much during the summer.  But when zucchini abound, I bake zucchini bread.  When peaches are in season, I bake peach pie.  And when a roasted chicken and tomato dish like this comes along, I do not hesitate to turn on my oven.  It’s that good.

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One of my favorite flavor combinations is ginger and garlic.  The addition of fresh basil from my garden elevated this dish and offered a summery depth of flavor that went perfectly with the green tomatoes.

The original recipe called for Sherry, but I was out, so I used Shaohsing rice cooking wine instead.  You should be able to find it at any Asian market and often in the “international” aisle of your local grocery store.

I also added a little fish sauce and some chopped scallions to round it all off.  The whole dish came together so quickly, which was perfect for a summer night.

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All the ingredients go in the same roasting dish!  So easy!

I chose to pair this with steamed jasmine rice sprinkled with a little rice vinegar.  Roasting the green tomatoes made them slightly sweeter, but they still retained a little sour bite, which went really well with the juicy chicken thighs.  Give this dish a try and let me know how you like it!  Enjoy!

Ginger-Basil Chicken Thighs with Green Tomato
Adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients:

1 large (or two medium) green tomatoes, cored, halved, and sliced 1/2 -inch thick
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Shaohsing rice cooking wine
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2-3 scallions, chopped
steamed jasmine rice sprinkled with rice vinegar (for serving)

Method:

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except 1 tablespoon basil and all the chopped scallions; stir to fully incorporate.

Turn out into a 9×13-inch roasting dish.  Roast until chicken is fully cooked and the tomatoes are softened, around 25 minutes.  Stir halfway through roasting time to make sure all chicken is cooked through.  Serve on steamed rice and garnish with remaining basil and chopped scallions.

 

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