Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Witches Night Out

{Witches Night Out}
October 2011
Monica & Suzette

{The Invite}
Witches Night out was served in Suzette's Gorgeous living room.

{The Food}

{Spinach Balls}
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
2 cups finely crushed herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ cup melted butter
3 eggs, beaten 
Preheat over to 350 degrees. In large bowl combine spinach, stuffing mix, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, black pepper, Italian seasoning, melted butter and eggs. Shape into walnut-sized balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until heated through and browned.

{Gorgonzola Truffle}
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (4 oz.) container crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon Black pepper
½ cup cooked and crumbled bacon
Black Grapes
Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. Cover tightly and chill 1 hour or until firm. Roll cheese mixture into ¾ inch round balls. Roll each ball in bacon. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve. Serve with black grapes. 

{Cornbread Corstini}
2 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together all ingredients just until moistened. Spoon batter into greased muffin pans (about 1 tablespoon per cup). Bake, in batches, 15 minutes or until golden brown.Cool and Crisp Toppers· Boursin cheese, finely chopped red and yellow bell peppers and chives· Gorgonzola cheese, sliced apples, parsley and freshly ground pepper· Goat cheese, cranberry chutney, watercress and freshly ground pepper.

{Parsley Herb Spread}

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons onions
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
Pinch of red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
Pinch of oregano. 
Remove stems from herbs.Leave cream cheese and butter at room temperature for 30 minutes.Using food processor or blender, minced herbs and garlic with olive oil until coarsely chopped but not pureed (1-2 second pulses). Add butter, then cream cheese. Process a few seconds. Finish mixing in a small bowl so as not to over process. Cover and chill 24 hours. Serve at room temperature as a spread on snack crackers or bread.

{Cumin Rubbed Sweet Potatoes with Sage}
4 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons course salt
1 tablespoon cumin seeds crushed
1 stick butter softened
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes 
1 dozen fresh sage leaves
2-3 tablespoons clarified butter. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and scrub potatoes. Mix together salt and cumin. While skins are still damp, rub all over with salt mixture (reserve any remaining salt mixture for another use). Bake directly on oven rack 1 hour, turning once to crisp evenly on all sides.
Meanwhile, for spiced butter, in a bowl stir together softened butter, maple syrup, and crushed red pepper. Roll into a log using waxed paper and chill.
In frying pan, gently melt butter. Don’t melt the butter too quick, or it will burn. Once butter melts and starts to bubble, add the sage leaves. Fry sage leaves until crispy. Keep on eye on the butter as you fry the sage and the butter browns. Skim as needed. Take butter off heat when it is nicely brown, think a rich caramel color and strain the butter to remove any sediment.Top potato with spiced butter, brown butter and fried sage leaves. Make walnut size balls of dough. Place about 2 inches apart in well-buttered 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 30-45 minutes. Brush top of rolls with butter while hot. Bake 14 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Remove and cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar to serve.

{Pumpkin Mousse}

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
3 cups heavy cream
¾ cup superfine sugar
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Ginger snaps for garnish
Combine pumpkin, 1 cup cream, sugar and spice in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool fully. Whip remaining heavy cream and vanilla to soft peaks and fold into cooled pumpkin mixture. Pour into serving dish and add ginger snaps (optional).Place in a 15 x 10 inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes on each side or until crisp and tender.

 {Party Punch}
1 (6 oz) can frozen orange juice
1 (6 oz) can frozen pink lemonade
1 (48 oz) cans pineapple juice1 package frozen strawberries
2-3 (2 liter) Sprite or Canada DryDry Ice

Stir frozen juices into pineapple juice, add strawberries and puree in blender, add sprite as needed. Serve over dry ice (2 lbs per gallon of punch) Dry ice is better when used in warm punch...
{Apple Orchard Pork Roast}
1(64 oz) apple cider
1 boneless whole pork loin roast (3 to 4 lbs)
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
6 fresh sage leaves
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
3 large tart apples cut into wedges
2 medium onions cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves thinly sliced 
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 2/3 cup sparkling apple cider divided
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup sour cream
Brine pork in apple juice for 8-24 hours prior to cooking. Place roast in a shallow roasting pan; rub with garlic halves and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with herbs. Arrange the applies, onions and sliced garlic around roast; dot with butter. Combine 1 cup cider and soy sauce; pour over top.Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 ¼ hours to 1 ½ hours or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees, basting occasionally with pan juices. Remove the roast, apples and onions to a serving platter; keep warm. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.Meanwhile, skim fat from pan juices; transfer juices to a small saucepan. Add remaining cider. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; whisk in sour cream until smooth. Serve with pork.  

{Sautéed Green Beans with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds}
1 tablespoons  cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ cup hulled pumpkin seeds
1 ½ lbs. green beans
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Course salt
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
In a large skillet, heat the medium low heat. Add the garlic and gook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the coriander, then add the pumpkin seeds and cook until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile in a large pot of boiling water, cook the green beans until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Pour the pumpkin seed mixture over the beans. Add the lemon juice and ¾ teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Add the dill and toss again.

{Butternut Squash and Apple Soup}
2 slices bacon 
½ cup onions, chopped
1 cup leeks, chopped
½ bay leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups chicken broth1 
¼ lbs. butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and chopped
 2 tablespoons sour cream and apples, chopped
Cook bacon in a large saucepan; remove bacon, crumble and set aside. Add the onion, leeks, bay leaf, garlic, salt and pepper to the bacon drippings; stir and sauté until soft. Add broth, squash and apple; simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove and discard bay leaf. Puree the mixture in a blender. Pour into a saucepan; add water to thin as desired and stir in sour cream. Heat just until warmed through. Spoon into bowls; sprinkle with the reserved bacon. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of chopped apples.

{Pear and Candied Pecan Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese}
2 heads romaine lettuce (you can use spring mix)
1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
3 pears, diced (drizzle with a little lemon juice to keep from browning)
12 to 16 oz. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 cups candied pecans (see below)

{Candied pecans} 
2/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup sugar
Combine pecans and sugar in a skillet over medium heat until sugar has melted and coated the pecans, spread on wax paper until cooled.

1 ½ cups red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
¾ cup oil
1 medium red onion
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Combine dressing ingredients in blender and process until smooth.

{Chocolate Pots}
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces bitter sweet chocolate, chopped
½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Add 1/3 cup of the milk, stirring to form a smooth past. Whisk in the remaining milk and the egg yolks.Cook the pudding mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula until thickened, about 15 minutes (do not allow to boil). Remove from heat, add vanilla and chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.Pour into eight 4 ounce ramekins, glasses or teacups and refrigerate covered, until well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours. Sprinkle with cocoa powder.

{Caramel Apple Cider}
1 (64 oz) bottle apple juice or cider
½ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed or a high-quality brand such as Simply Orange
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 orange
8 cloves
1/3 cup bottled caramel sauce (plus more to taste if desired)
Sweetened whipped cream
Ground cinnamon 
Pour the apple cider into a large stockpot on the stove. Set heat to medium high. Add orange juice, cinnamon sticks and allspice. Thoroughly wash your orange and then gently stab the whole cloves into it. If you find it hard to do that without destroying the cloves, use a toothpick to poke little holes first and then insert the cloves. Gently drop the whole orange into the pot. Bring the cider to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer on low for 60 minutes longer if you wish. If at any time the orange splits open, remove it from the pot.After the cider has simmered for an hour, add caramel sauce and stir to combine and dissolve. Add more caramel to taste if needed. When ready to serve, ladle the cider into mugs, top with whipped cream and give it a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

{Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Bread Pudding}
Bread Pudding
4 large eggs
2 (15 oz) cans pumpkin
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup half and half
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (12 oz) French bread loaf, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 10 cups)

{Caramel Pecan Sauce}
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

{Prepare Bread Puddings} 
whisk together eggs and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Add bread pieces, stirring to thoroughly coat. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 8 to 24 hours.\
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon bread mixture into 12 (6 oz) lightly greased ramekins. Ramekins will be completely full and mixture will mound slightly. Place on an aluminum foil lined jelly roll pan. Bake at 530 degrees for 50 minutes, shielding with foil after 30 minutes.During last 15 minutes of baking, prepare caramel pecan sauce; Heat pecans in a medium skillet over medium low heat, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cook brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and pecans.Remove bread puddings from oven; drizzle with caramel pecan sauce. Bake 5 minutes or until sauce is thoroughly heated and begins to bubble.

{The Decor}

{The Servers}

Annabelle & Tavia

{The Gals}

{Monica & Suzette}

{The Menu}

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


September 2011
Emily & Jill


{Fresh Lime Margarita}
2 T. Kosher Salt
1/2 Lime cut into 4 wedges
1 can (6 oz.) Frozen Limeade Concentrate, thawed
1/4 C. Orange Juice
4 C. Ice Cubes
Place the salt in a shallow dish. Rub the rim of individual margarita glasses with a lime wedge and dip the rims into the salt; set the lime wedges aside. In a blender, blend the limeade, orange juice, and ice cubes on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until well blended and the ice cubes are crushed.Pour evenly into the glasses and garnish with the lime wedges. Serves 4.

{Dolce De Sopapilla}
2 (8 ounce) Packages cream cheese, softened
1 C. White Sugar
1 t. Mexican vanilla extract
2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
3/4 C. white sugar
1 t. Ground cinnamon
1/2 C. Butter, room temperature
1/4 C. Honey
1 can Sweetened condensed milk, prepared. 
(Place an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of boiling water. Cook on a low boil for about 3 hours, being certain to maintain water in the pan. Remove can and let it cool before opening. This caramel is great in this recipe, as an ice cream topping, or eating spoonful by delicious spoonful straight from the can.)
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each piece into 9x13 inch rectangles. Press one piece into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, and then spread the prepared sweetened condensed milk caramel of the top. Cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough. Stir together 3/4 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Dot the mixture over the top of the cheesecake. Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.
{Homemade Flour Tortillas}
3 C. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1/3 C. Vegetable Oil
1 C. Warm Water
Combine all the flour, salt, oil, and water until it forms a dough.Roll dough into large ball and take 1-2 inch pieced off. Pat the dough flat with your hands or take a rolling pin and roll into circles.Put dough on flat pan on stove (or tortilla maker) and let the sides cook until there are little brown specks on both sides.
4 Avocados, diced
2 Roma tomatoes
1/4 Of A White onion
1 Clove garlic
1-2 Serrano peppers, finely choppedjuice from 1-2 limes, to taste
salt to taste
Mash together with a fork, leaving plenty of chunky texture.
{El Diablo Stuffed Poblano}
Serves 6
3 Large Poblano Peppers
1 Can Rotel (tomatoes and green chilies)
1 Can Diced Green Chiles
2 Large Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Yellow Onion, chopped small
1 Bell Pepper, Chopped (Any Color)
1 Medium Zucchini, Chopped in small cubes
1 Jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 Can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
1T. Chile Powder
1 t. Cayenne Pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 T. Cumin
1 t. Salt
1/2 t. Black Pepper
1 C. Monterey Jack cheese
2 C. Cooked white rice, prepared according to package directions
1 C. Manchego Cheese (for sprinkling on top)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.Cook white rice according to package directions. Cut poblano peppers in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds and white parts. Place in a baking dish.Meanwhile, over medium heat, saute onion, bell pepper, zucchini, jalapeno, garlic, chile powder, cumin, cayenne and salt and pepper. Once onion is cooked add Rotel, cilantro and can of green chilies and cook until most of the moisture has cooked out.Add vegetable mixture to cooked white rice and stir to combine. Add 1 C. Monterey Jack Cheese and combine. Spoon rice mixture into each poblano pepper half. You want plenty of rice in each one, so make sure it's mounded up pretty high. Next, add the Manchego Cheese on top of each pepper.Place peppers in oven for 30-35 minutes. If for cheese starts to get too brown, just place some foil on top and finish cooking. Serve with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Puree drizzled on top.

{Mango Salsa}
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 C. peeled, diced cucumber
1 T. finely chopped jalapeño
1/3 C. diced red onion
1 T. lime juice
1/3 C. roughly chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper
Combine the mango, cucumber, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

{Cinco De Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Ancho Chili Cream Cheese}
Jill’s Favorite Cake Recipe-can use just plain box mix and add ancho and cayenne pepper
1 (18.25 ounce) Package Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 (5.9 ounce) Package Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
1 C. Sour Cream
1 C. Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs
2 t. Pure Mexican Vanilla
1 1/2 t. Ground Ancho Chile Pepper
1/4 t. Cayenne Pepper
1/2 C. Warm Water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with foil liners. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, and vanilla, ancho chili pepper, cayenne pepper, and warm water.Using a large cookie scoop distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.Bake for 18-22 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

1 t. Ground Ancho Chile Pepper
1/8 t. Cayenne Pepper
1/2 t. Ground Cinnamon
4 C. Confectioners' Sugar, or more as needed
1 (8 oz.) Package Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 C. Butter, softened
1/2 t. Clear Vanilla Extract, or to taste
24 small dried red chilies (for topping)
{Queso Fundido with Roasted Poblano Vinaigrette Queso Fundido}
1 T. Unsalted Butter
1 T. All-Purpose Flour
1 C. Whole Milk
12 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/4 t. Salt
1/8 t. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
8 oz. Goat Cheese, sliced into 8 slices
Preheat broiler. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the grated Monterey Jack cheese and season with the salt and pepper. Scrape the mixture into an 8-inch cast iron pan and place the slices of goat cheese over the top. Place the pan under the broiler and broil until the goat cheese is golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the Poblano Vinaigrette and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with favorite corn chips.

{Roasted Poblano Vinaigrette}
2 Poblano Chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 T. Water
1 T. Red Wine Vinegar
1 Clove Chopped Garlic
1 t. Honey
1/4 C. Canola Oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste.

{Spicy Black Bean Soup with Cumin-Lime Crema}
1 lb. Dried Black Beans, or 3 15.5 oz cans canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 T. Olive Oil1 Medium Carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 Medium Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
3 Cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
5 C. Chicken Stock3 Jalapeno Peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded
1 Poblano Pepper, roasted, peeled, and seeded
2 T. Fresh lime juice
If using dried beans, pick over them to remove any stones, put them in a large bowl, and add enough cold water to cover by at least to inches. Let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain well. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Reduce heat to medium. Add the beans, jalapenos, poblano and stock and simmer for 30 minutes if using canned beans, or 1 to 1 ½ hours if using dried, or until the dried beans are cooked through and tender. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Using a blender or food processor, puree half of the soup and return it to the pot. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender.) Bring to a simmer before serving. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with cumin crema, and top with avocados. Serve immediately.

{Lime-Cumin Crema}
8 oz Crema, creme fraiche, or sour cream
1 t. Ground Cumin
1 T. Fresh Lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

{Mamacita’s Heirloom Salad with Queso}
FrescoGrape or Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
Queso Fresco Cheese (Crumbled)
Cilantro (Diced Fine)
Fresh Lime Juice
Olive Oil
Course Salt & Freshly Ground PepperCut as many tomatoes as you need for your bowl. Garnish with all other ingredients to your desired taste. Chill and serve.

{Salsa Verde}
2 Tomatillos, Chopped (remove papery skin)
1 (4 oz.) Can Mild Green Chilies
1 Green Onion, Chopped
2 T. Fresh Cilantro
1 1/4 t. Granulated Sugar
1/4 t. Ground Cumin
1/4 t. Salt
1/8 t. Ground Black Pepper
Prepare salsa Verde by combining all ingredients in a food processor at high speed. Cover and chill. Can chill for a few days in advance.

{Tomato Salsa}
1 Medium Tomato, Diced
1 T. Minced Sweet Onion
1 T. Minced, Fresh Cilantro
¼ t. Lime Juice
½ Small Fresh Jalapeno, Minced
Dash of Salt and Pepper
Prepare Salsa by combining all ingredients in small bowl. Cover and chill.

{Southwestern Sauce}
1/2 C. Sour Cream (Can use mayo)
1 t. White Vinegar
1 t. Water
3/4 t. Granulated Sugar
1/2 t. Chili
1/4 t. Paprika
1/8 t. Cayenne Pepper
1/8 t. Onion Powder
Dash of Salt and Pepper
Prepare sauce by combining all ingredients in small bowl. Cover and chill.

{Tamale Cakes}
1 1/2 C. Frozen Sweet Corn
1/2 C. Butter, Softened
3 T. Granulated Sugar
1/8 t. Salt
1/2 C. Masa Harina (Corn Flour)
2 T. All-Purpose Flour
Preheat oven to 400. Chop 1 C. frozen corn in food processor until it’s coarsely pureed. Combine pureed corn with butter, sugar, and salt.Blend well with electric mixer until smooth. Add masa and flour and blend well. Mix in remaining 1/2 C. of corn by hand. Measure 1/2 C. portions of the mixture and form it into 3 inch wide patties by hand. Arrange on baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cakes are browned on bottom. Carefully flip cakes and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes until other side is browned. To serve spoon salsa Verde on plate. Lay down cake and spoon sweet chicken on top and drizzle with Southwestern sauce. Top with tomato salsa.

{Sweet Tomatillo Chicken} 
Makes enough for 12 Cakes
1 T. Olive Oil
1 Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 Large Garlic Clove, Minced
1 Poblano Chili, Chopped5 Tomatillos, Chopped
Salt & Pepper
1/4 C. Water
1/4 C. Sugar
3 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (approx 2 lbs.)
Heat oil in a large cooking pot or skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, poblano chili and tomatillos. Cook down vegetables until soft and limp- approximately 10 minutes. Salt & Pepper to taste. Add cooked vegetables to food processor with 1/4 cup water and process until fairly smooth. Blend in 1/4 cup sugar and set aside. Add 1/2 Tbs oil to pan and lightly brown chicken breasts over medium to medium-high, approximately 5 minutes per side. Pour pureed vegetable mixture over partially cooked chicken, cover, and simmer over low to medium-low heat for approximately 1 hour. Shred chicken and let sit in sauce 10 more minutes. Spoon over corn cakes. Makes enough for 12 cakes.

{Baja Tilapia Tacos}
1 pound white flaky fish, such as mahi mahi or tilapia
1/4 cup canola oil
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
8 flour tortillas
Garnish: Shredded white cabbage
Hot sauce Crema or sour cream
Thinly sliced red onion
Thinly sliced green onion
Chopped cilantro leaves
Your favorite salsa
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place fish in a medium size dish. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, ancho, jalapeno, and cilantro and pour over the fish. Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the fish from the marinade place onto a hot grill, flesh side down. Grill the fish for 4 minutes on the first side and then flip for 30 seconds and remove. Let rest for 5 minutes then flake the fish with a fork. Place the tortillas on the grill and grill for 20 seconds. Divide the fish among the tortillas and garnish with any or all of the garnishes.

{Mexican Sliced Pork Tacos with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds}
1/2 C. Pumpkin Seeds
2 T. Ground Cumin
2 T. Ground Coriander
Course Salt & Ground Pepper
2 Pork Tenderloins, trimmed
Toast Pumpkin Seeds in a small skillet 2 minutes then grind in a food processor. Mix the ground pumpkin seeds with cumin, coriander, salt & pepper. Rub the tenderloin with the spices. Rub the grill pan or outdoor grill with extra-virgin olive oil and grill pork tenderloins nice and slow (about 10 minutes each side). You want to have a very slight pink center for tenderloin. You don’t want to cook it too long or it will be dry and tough. Thinly slice the pork and position on flour tortilla. Add red onion, avocado, your favorite salsa, and a spoonful of sour cream. 

{Red Pepper Puree}
2 Red Peppers
1/2 C. Heavy Cream
1 Pinch Cayenne Pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
Either on grill or over a gas burner on medium high heat, roast 2 whole red peppers until they are blackened on all sides. You can also put them in oven and broil until blackened. Pull out and put in Ziploc baggies and allow to steam and cool. Peel and seed peppers.Place peppers and other ingredients in blender. Puree them until desired consistency. You may need to add more cream, Drizzle over cooked Poblano peppers.

{The Gals}
{Emily & Jill}

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Taste du Provence


March 2011

Keirsten & Kristy

{The Invite}
Each invite was addressed to the Mademoiselle in French!

{French Decor}

{The Place Settings}

{The Menu}

. Apricot and Brie Dip .
(Crock pot dish)

1/2 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon apricot preserves, divided
1/4 cup apple juice
1 (2-pound) brie, rind removed, cut into cubes
Bread rusks, crackers or crudite for dipping

Combine dried apricots, 1/2 cup apricot preserves and apple juice in Crockpot slow cooker. Cook and cover on HIGH 40 minutes. Stir in brie and cook 30-40 minutes or longer until melted. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon preserves. Turn slow cooker to LOW and serve with bread, crackers, or crudite.
COOK TIME: 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes (HIGH)

. Endive, Pear, and Roquefort Salad .

9-12 heads of Belgian endive
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 pound good Roquefort cheese
3 ripe Bartlett pears, halved, cored, and sliced
1 cup toasted walnut or pecan halves

Trim off the core end of each head or endive and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut out the cores, separate the leaves, and place 1 1/2 to 2 heads of endive on each plate.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, egg yolk, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Toss the pears with some vinaigrette and place on the endive. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the endive leaves to moisten them. Crumble the Roquefort onto the endive. Sprinkle with walnuts or pecans and serve at room temperature.
Note: If you have a hard time finding endive when it is not in season. A good alternative would be romaine lettuce.

. Gougeres (Cheese Puffs) .

1 cup milk
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a saucepan, heat the milk, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg over medium heat, until scalded. Add the flour all at once and beat it vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. (Note: The flour will not stick to the bottom if you are using a non-stick pan)
Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Immediately add the eggs, Gruyere, and Parmesan and pulse until the eggs are incorporated and the dough is smooth and thick.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1/4 inches wide and 3/4 inch high onto the baking sheets. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use two spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) Brush the top of each puff lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of Gruyere. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown outside but still soft inside.
(Note: You can freeze these ahead of time. To freeze, bake the puffs, allow them to cool, and freeze in a sealed plastic bag. Reheat at 425 degrees for 5 minutes.)

. Vichyssoise .

4 medium leeks
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound (3 medium) all-purpose potatoes (peeled and thinly sliced)
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream

Cut off roots and trim dark green tops from leeks; cut each leek lengthwise in half. Cut enough of white and green parts crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces to equal 4 1/2 cups. Rinse leeks well to get rid of all of the dirt.
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes. Add potatoes, broth, water, salt, and pepper; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Puree soup mixture until smooth. Stir milk and cream into puree. To serve hot, heat through over low heat. (Do not boil.) To serve cold, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until very cold. Makes about 8 cups.

. Soupe au Pistou (Provencal Vegetable Soup) .
(Wolfgang Puck)

4 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium leeks, washed and light green and white parts cut into 1/2 inch dice
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 inch dice
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon whole black and white peppercorns
4 small sprigs fresh thyme
4 small sprigs fresh parsley
12 green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
6 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
4-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
30 fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
6-8 slices of French bread, about 1/4 inch thick
Olive Oil
6-8 ounces creamy goat cheese

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and saute just until they start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute about 1 minute more. Add the carrots and celery and continue sauteing until the vegetables deepen in color but have not yet begun to brown, 3 to 4 minutes more. Pour the stock into the pan, bring it to a boil, and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Sprinkle in a generous pinch of salt.
Tie the peppercorns, thyme, and parsley in a square of cheesecloth, securing it with kitchen string. Add this bouquet garni to the pan. Stir in the beans, zucchini, summer squash, and tomato. Continue simmering until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the Pistou: Put the garlic and tomatoes in a blender or food processor with about 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Begin processing. With the machine running, add the basil leaves, and then pour in enough extra-virgin olive oil to make a smooth, thick, but fluid paste. Transfer about 2/3 of the paste into a serving bowl to pass alongside the soup.
Goat Cheese Croutons: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the bread slices with olive oil and arrange them on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and turn on the broiler. Spread 1 side of each crouton with goat cheese and put it back on the baking sheet. Broil until the cheese is warm and slightly bubbly, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
When the soup is ready, stir the remaining pistou into the saucepan and remove and discard the bouquet garni. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and float a crouton on the center of each bowl.

. Cold Cucumber Salad .

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
4 large cucumbers, peeled, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

In medium saucepan, mix sugar, water, white pepper and salt. Heat mixture over medium-high heat to boiling and boil until sugar us dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in vinegar.
Pour mixture over cucumber slices. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

. Salade de Carottes Rapees (Grated carrot salad) .

1 pound carrots, trimmed and peeled
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup mild oil, such as grapeseed or canola
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Optional: fresh currants or raisins, chopped walnuts, and/or fresh parsley

Grate the carrots by hand, using the large holes of a box grater. (If grating causes the carrots to weep, press them between your palms to rid them of excess liquid before you toss them into a serving bowl.)
Put the mustard, honey, vinegar and oil in a processor or jar, season with salt and pepper and whir or shake until blended--you’ll have a thick, smooth vinaigrette. Just before serving, add any of the optionals and pour over the dressing, toss well, and adjust the salt and pepper, if needed.

. Salade de Betterave (Lime and Honey Beet Salad) .

2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime
2 teaspoon honey
2-3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
2 teaspoons minced fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound cooked beets, peeled
Minced fresh dill and chives, for garnish (optional)

Whisk together the vinegar, lime zest and juice, and honey in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add the dill and chives, and season with salt and pepper. Cut the beets into wedges (about 1/2 inch thick), add them to the bowl and gently turn them around in the vinaigrette. Cover the bowl and chill the beets for at least 2 hours, or for as long as overnight.
At serving time, stir in another teaspoon of oil, if you think the salad needs it, and taste for salt and pepper. If you’re using them, top with minced herbs.

. Curried Chicken, Peppers, and Peas EN PAPILLOTE .

2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, at room temperature
12 thin slices red onion, halved
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut four 12-inch squares of nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper. Have a baking sheet at hand.
Cut the chicken into long strips and then cut the strips crosswise in half. Put the chicken and all the other ingredients in a bowl, seasoning them with salt and pepper, and stir until the curry powder has evenly colored the chicken and vegetables. Spoon an equal amount of the mix onto the center of each piece of foil or parchment. Draw up the edges of the foil and seal the packets well, but don’t crimp the foil very close to the chicken--you want to leave room around the ingredients so they can steam. Put the packets on the baking sheet. (You can assemble the packets up to 4 hours ahead and refrigerate; bake for a few more minutes.)
Bake the papillotes for 17-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through--carefully open a packet and cut into a piece of chicken to test.
Serve the packets immediately. Great with rice, couscous or quinoa.
(Note: We served this with couscous that we purchased at the store,and we simply followed the instructions on the box in order to make the couscous.)

. Gratin Chou-fleur (Cauliflower-bacon gratin) .

1 cauliflower
1/4 pound bacon, cut crosswise into slender strips
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 ounces of Gruyere (you can also use swiss cheese in a pinch), grated

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter either a 2 /12 quart dish or a 9x13 pan. Put the dish on a baking sheet.
Put a large pot of salted water water on to boil. Pull or cut the florets from the cauliflower, leaving about an inch or so of the stem. Drop the florets into the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse the cauliflower under cold running water to cool it down, and pat it dry. While the cauliflower is cooking, toss the bacon strips into a heavy skillet, over medium heat, and cook just until the bacon is browned but not crisp. Drain and pat dry.
Spread the cauliflower out in the buttered pan, and scatter over the bacon bits.
Put the flour in a bowl and gradually whisk in the eggs. When the flour and eggs are blended, whisk in the cream and milk. Season the mixture with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and stir in about two thirds of the cheese. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower, shake the pan a little so that the liquid settles between the florets, and scatter the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, or until it is puffed and golden, and a knife comes out clean.

. Meringues Chantilly .

6 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whipped Cream
Raspberry Sauce (see separate recipe)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw six 3 1/2 inch circles on each pice of paper and turn the paper facedown on the baking sheet.
Beat together the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pinch of salt on medium-high until frothy. Add 1 cup sugar and raise the speed to high until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the meringue. With a pastry tip or a spoon, put the egg whit into the circles.
Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringues are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.
For serving, fill each shell with whipped cream, top with berries and serve on a puddle of raspberry sauce.

1 half-pint fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup (12 ounces) seedless raspberries jam
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur or raspberry flavoring

Place the raspberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.

. Madeleines de Coco (Coconut Madeleines) .
Note: In order to make these great cookies; you need a madeleine pan.

1 1/2 tablespoon melted butter, to grease the pans
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the pan with the butter and flour.
With an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light yellow and fluffy. Add the butter and mic. sift together the flour, cornstarch baking powder, and salt, and stir into the batter with a rubber spatula. Stir in the coconut.
Fill your madeline pan 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they spring back when pressed. Tap the cookies out of the pan and dust with confectioner’s sugar or cool and dip in chocolate. These are also great eaten plain.

{Take Home Gift}
The gals were given a fresh delicious baguette with satchels of lavender. The smell was heavenly! The detail of the tags is absolutely darling!

{The Hostesses}
A big thank you to Keirsten and Kristy for hosting such a tranquil afternoon in France! The food was divine and the decor so detailed with a European flair! From dry lavender soda to baguettes; completely delish! Merci!!

{The Help}
A special thanks to the two cutest Mademoiselles ever!!

{The Gals}