June 20, 2010
Invitations were delivered by a handsome turbaned Indian youth (Adam O.)
Samosas and Plum Sauce
Ginger Fizz and Tomato Salad
April 23, 2010
Good friends and good food... that's what it's all about!
March 14, 2010
We learned so much about Mardi Gras while preparing our dinner. There is quite a religious undertone to Mardi Gras that most people are not familiar with. Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday and that is the Tuesday before Lent (a period of self sacrifice). So people splurge on Mardi Gras knowing that they have a month of going without ahead of them. The Mardi Gras colors are Purple, Green, and Gold which stand for Justice, Faith, and Power. The traditional "baby" hidden in the King Cake represents the baby Jesus. In the Rex Organization, a Krewe that has been around since the mid 1800's, Mardi Gras balls are very formal and proper events and the organization has a motto that reflects their service to their community.
1/4 c orange juice concentrate, 1/4 cup cream of coconut, 5 cups of crushed ice, 1/2 oz of rum extract
Mix in blender. Serves 5. We added garnish of a toasted coconut rim to the glass and a stick of orange peel candy.
Mint Julep (non-alcoholic)
Courtesy of alice Brantley Yeager, Backwoods Home cooking. This is a recipe from the early 1900's.
5 lemons, 1 bunch fresh peppermint, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup water, 3 quarts ginger ale
Squeeze juice from lemons and strain to remove any seeds or pulp. Add lightly crushed mint leaves, sugar, and water and let stand at least 30 minutes (or even a day ahead). Strain again to remove mint leaves (although some pieces of mint look nice) and mix in the ginger ale. This is usually garnished with a sprig of mint. Delicious !
8 oz of freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano, Montasio, or Asiago cheese, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oven rack int he middle of the oven. Line a lightly greased baking sheet with parchment paper or line a large baking sheet with a nonstick liner (such as silpat).
Soon level tablespoon-size mounds 4-inches apart on baking sheet; gently spread or pat mounds into 2 inch circles in an even thickness with your fingers.
Note: If you make them too thick they will be chewy rather than crispy.
Bake approximately 4 minutes or until bubbly and lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool slightly about 1 minute or until still warm and pliable. Remove with a thin spatula. While still warm, press each of these rounds over an upturned egg carton cup, mini muffin tin, very small cup, etc. to form a small tulip shape. Remove from mold when cool.
Goat Cheese Mousse
6 ounces goat cheese , 1/4 c heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped fine, 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh italian parsley, chopped fine, course salt to taste, freshly-ground black pepper to taste.
Blend all ingredients together until smoother. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Place a spoonful (or pipe) mousse into frico basket and garnish with lavender flowers and flat italian parsley. In the springtime try basil flowers, rosemary flowers etc.
3 cups water
1 pound skinless fresh salmon fillet
1 pound smoked salmon, chopped fine
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 shallots, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons drained capers
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
cucumber, scored and sliced about 1/4 inch
chives, cut into 1 1/4 inch pieces
In a skillet bring water to boil and add fresh salmon. Reduce heat and poach salmon at a bare simmer, turning once, about 4 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer salmon to a bowl and cool.
Flake fresh salmon and add smoked salmon, butter, shallots, parsley, lemon juice, mustard, capers, zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir mixture until combined well.
Using a small scoop or melon baller place one small scoop (about 1 in diameter) on top of each slice of cucumber and use chives on the top for garnish. Serve chilled.
1 lb asparagus, trimmed
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Toss the asparagus in the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on heavy baking sheet or 9x13 pyrex. Roast at 400 degrees F until asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes depending on thickness.
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used non-alcoholic wine)
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
3 large egg yolks
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3. Remove bowl from heat (saucepan) and whisk in lemon juice, remaining tablespoon tarragon, about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste).
4. Transfer sauce to a smaller glass bowl and place it into the saucepan that has boiling hot water in it and cover with lid. (Do not keep the fire on under it). This keeps the sauce warm while you grill or roast the filet and asparagus.
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Orange Creme Anglaise
adapted from Food Network Kitchens
A King Cake is a New Orleans tradition. A small plastic baby is hidden inside and the person who gets the slice with the baby in it has to host the next party. Make sure the baby is big enough so that no one will miss it and hide it in the cake after baking.
1 cup milk, 1/4 c butter
2 (.25 oz) packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon 2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter
I used homemade buttercream frosting.
Sanding sugars in Purple, Green and Gold
1. Scald milk, remove from heat and stire in 1/4 cup of butter. allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. when yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Using dough hook on mixer, beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. After about 8/10 minutes the dough should ahve pulled together.
3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
5. To make filling: Combine the dry filling ingredients and then pour the melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
6. Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approx 10x16 inches or so). sprinkle dhte filling evenly over the dough and foll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide wide. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 ovan shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. whith scissors make cuts 1/2 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm and alternate the colored sprinkles in angles away from the center of the cake.