June 20, 2010

Karina and Cathy's Indian Soiree April 2010

India 2010 Karina P. and Cathy O.

Invitations were delivered by a handsome turbaned Indian youth (Adam O.)

Samosas and Plum Sauce
Indian Spices
Ginger Fizz and Tomato Salad

Coconut Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Our lovely helpers

Pineapple Sorbet

Naan skillz

Butter Chicken, Lemon Basmati Rice, Saag Paneer and Raita on a banana leaf.

Don't forget the naan.

Banana Fudge, Pistachio Ice Cream with Chocolate Leaf and Coconut Burfi

Temporary tattoos!!

April 23, 2010

Recipes to come!
Since this is our sophomore season of Gourmet Club, Team PatKat decided to take on a challenge far beyond our combined talents and experience. We wanted to create the ultimate fine dining experience by preparing recipes from the world's finest chefs. Each chef we spotlighted studied, trained, and/or worked in France. So naturally our focus turned to Haute Cuisine. Haute Cuisine (French: "high cooking") is characterized by elaborate preparations and presentations served in small and numerous courses. Merci!!! to our adventurous guests who so bravely tasted escargot and caviar for the first time. And a honorable mention to Amy who may have post-traumatic dinner disorder after eating a few of our dishes. Thanks ladies, we love you!Our invitations were printed on linen napkins folded into the shape of a bishop's hat (not a LDS bishop mind you :-) and hand delivered on a silver platter.
A special Thanks to our lovely, eager, and attentive servers!

Not on the menu, our Amuse Bouche "A gift from the chef" was Escargot sauted in garlic and butter

Good friends and good food... that's what it's all about!

March 14, 2010

Pamela and Laura's Mardi Gras Ball

Our Invitations - We delivered them with a Mardi Gras Mask on a stick

The Menu

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.

Thanks to our Servers and Kitchen help !!!

Mardi Gras Beads, Doubloons, Masks, King Cake, and the Mardi Gras Colors

Purple, Green and Gold


Mardi Gras Ambrosia

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 !


Frico Baskets with Goat Cheese Mousse garnished with Lavender Blossoms and Italian Parsley

Frico Baskets


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.

Proscuitto wrapped Melon with Blueberry
No recipe needed on this one. Bamboo picks are from Sur le Table.

Salmon Rillettes served on Cucumber with Chives
adapted from Gourmet May 1994


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.


Poached Garlic Soup with Gruyere Fleur de Lis Crouton

Poached Garlic Soup
from whatscookingamerica.net

30 cloves garlic, peeled
7 cups vegetable or chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 small new potatoes, peeled, diced and reserved in cold water
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
coarse salt and freshly-cracked pepper to taste
freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine garlic cloves and 3 cups of broth; bring to a boil and poach 15 minutes or until soft. Remove garlic cloves to a small bowl and mash with a fork; set aside. (You can use this garlic for garlic bread if you choose). Cook and reduce the chicken broth to a glaze. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In a large soup pot over low heat, melt butter. Add onion and saute until soft. Drain the water from the potatoes; stir the potatoes into the butter and onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining 4 cups of broth. Increase heat to medium-high; simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes or until potatoes are softened. Remove from heat and let cool 10-15 minutes.

3. Puree soup. Add garlic glaze. Stir until well blended.

4. This soup can be made up to 2 days ahead to this point. Refrigerate until ready to finish.

5. Stir in heavy cream, milk, salt and pepper; cook, over low heat, another 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve in soup bowls. Garnish with parmesan cheese, black pepper, and Pancetta bits. Makes 6 servings.

Gruyere Fleur de Lis Crouton
Laura Del Rosario

Cut thick slices of sourdough bread into a Fleur di Lis with a cookie cutter. Toast lightly in oven. Make a spread of gruyere cheese and olive oil in a food processor. Spread the cheese mixture on one side of toast and broil until golden brown. Float on top of the Poached Garlic Soup.


Louisiana BBQ Shrimp
from Zatarains.com
(We forgot to take a picture when there were 3 shrimp on the plate !)

1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Zatarains Creole Seasoning
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, crushed
1 pound unpeeled large shrimp
3/4 cup beer, at room temperature (I used non-alcoholic)

Notes: You may be able to substitute chicken broth for the beer. This is a very spicy recipe. If you double the recipe but not the spices it still tastes great without the heat. I also recommend tripling the sauce so you have lots for dipping.

1. Melt butter with Worcestershire sauce, Creole Seasoning, garlic, pepper, and rosemary in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 2 minutes.
2. Pour beer into skillet. Cook and stir 3 min longer or ust until shrimp turn pink. Serve immediately with French bread for dipping.
Palate Cleanser

Minty Grapefruit Sorbet
from whatscookingamerica.net

1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice, 1 bunch of Mint leaves with extras for garnish

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, water,a nd mint leaves. Stir until mixture comes to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand at least 10 minutes.

Place a fine strainer over a large bowl and pour syrup mixture through (straining out the mint leaves). Add grapefruit juice to the strained syrup mixture; stir until thoroughly blended.

Pour into shallow container, cover and place in freezer. When it is frozen, place in a food processor and process until smooth. cover and refreeze until serving time.

Main Course

Filet of Bouef Bearnaise served with Roasted Asparagus
Sugarcane Rum-Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Filet of Bouef
Whole Beef Tenderloin coated with Butter, Salt, Pepper. Sear each side of roast for about 2 minutes in a hot cast iron pan. There are many recipes on the internet to choose from. Place on rack in shallow roasting dish and bake in preheated 425 degree F oven until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F, about 30-45 minutes. Slice thinly when ready to serve.

Roasted Asparagus
from grouprecipes.com, louisascatering

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.

Bearnaise Sauce
from grouprecipes.com, louisascatering
(I had better results when I doubled this recipe)

1/4 cup dry white wine (I used non-alcoholic wine)
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, divided
3 large egg yolks
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


1. Boil wine, vinegar, shallots, and 1 tablespoon tarragon in a small heavy saucepan until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve set into a medium metal bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids.
2. Whisk yolks into vinegar mixture, then set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until yolks have thickened slightly (do not scramble). whisk in butter 1 piece at a time, adding each piece before previous one has melted c ompletely. (Note: have your butter ready next to you so you don't accidentaly over cook the eggs. Remove bowl from pan if needed to keep the temperature from scrambling the eggs)
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.

Sugarcane Rum-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

6 sweet potatoes (about 4 lbs, unpeeled)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup cane syrup
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup sugarcane rum (we used a reduction of a dark rum to remove alcohol and rum extract)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes, then dry well. Place on a rummed baking sheet or directly on the oven rack and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue to bake until tender when pierced with a fork but not mushy, 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5-10 minutes, then peel the potatoes. (You can make the recipe up to this point and cover and refrigerate the peeled potatoes for up to 2 days before continuing.) Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

2. Generaously butter a 9x13 inch rectagular baking dish. Cut the cooked potatoes into slices 1/2 inch thick. Arrange the slices in 2 layers in the prepared dish.

3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the cane syrup, lemon zest and juice, ginger, and nutmeg. Remove the pan from the heat, ad the rum, and stir until smooth. Pour over the layered potaotes.

4. Bake, uncovered, until the potatoes are lightly browned around the edges and the sauce is hot and bubbly, 30-40 minutes. Serve at once, directly from the dish


Rio Carnival Ensalada with Feather of Jicama on Bibb Lettuce
Pam Novillo
Equal amounts of avocado, mango, grape tomatoes and some cilantro with lime juice make up this delicious refreshing salad. Cut the avocado and mango into chunks, the grape tomatoes in half, add the cilantro and squeeze lime juice to prevent browning. The flavors mix and create their own style of dressing.
Serve on a leaf of Bibb lettuce with a feather carved from Jicama.

Chocolate Bread Pudding with Orange Creme Anglaise
Chocolate covered Candied Orange Peel
Chocolate Bread Pudding
Bon Appetit, March 2003, Red Fish Grill, New Orleans, LA
Recipe for 6 servings
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup whole milk (i used fat free)
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups french bread cut into 1 inch cubes
Preheat oven to 325 F. Bring cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and milk to simmer in heavy medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup chocolate chips and whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk egg and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot chocolate mixture. Cool chocolate custard 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add bread cubes and remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips to custard and toss to coat. Transfer to a 1 1/2 quart capacity shallow oval baking dish (i used an 8x8 pyrex when practicing). Spprinkle 2 tablespoons over mixture. Bake until custard thickens and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Serve warm.

Hint - Made without any crust the pudding will be moister. When baking in an 8x8 pan I baked it for 45 min. To make individual puddings - divide the recipe into 5 greased individual 4" springform pans and bake for 25 minutes.

Orange Creme Anglaise
adapted from chow.com
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 large egg yokes
1. Combine cream, zest, and about 1/2 of the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
2. In a medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together remaining sugar, juice, and yolks until well blended, about 1 minute. Remove cream mixture from heat and, whisking constantly, slowly pour into egg mixture in a thin stream.
3. Return sauce to the saucepan, place over medium-low heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 to 6 minutes. (If it gets too hot it will curdle) (It should look like melted ice cream)
4. Strain through a fine mesh strainer (we didn't). Serve hot or cold.

Candied Orange Peel
adapted from Food Network Kitchens
Ingredients: thick skinned valencia or navel oranges, 4 1/2 cups sugar (plus extra for rolling), 1 1/2 cups water


Cut tops and bottoms off the orange. Cut vertically down the middle and then cut each half into 1/4 inch wide slices. Let someone eat the orange so it doesn't go to waste but tell them not to damage the peel. Then you will have curved orange peel leftover.

Put the orange peel in a large saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to boil over high heat. Then pour of the water. Repeat 2 more times. Remove the orange peels from the pan.

Whisk the sugar with the water and bring to simmer in saucepan for 8-9 minutes. The candy should be at a soft thread stage, about 230 degrees F. At this stage add the peels and cook for about 45 minutes until translucent. Don't stir the peel but you can swirl the pan to move the peels around.
Drain and place on cooking rack. Roll in sugar and let dry for about 5 hours.
Individual King Cakes with babies
Charms to represent the two sides of Mardi Gras
One is a Jester and the other a Crown

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe
submitted by Jo at allrecipes.com

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
2 eggs
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.