Sunday, December 10, 2006

French - December 2006

Diva: Stacey

Drinks: Ashley
Calvados Cocktail

1 shot of Calvados
1 sugar cube sprinkled with bitters

Makes 1 drink
Pour shot of Calvados into champagne flute. Drop in sugar cube and carefully(it will fizz alot) top off with champagne.

Appetizer: Sara
Mustard Crackers

½ c unsalted butter, cut into T pieces
½ lb grated Gruyere cheese
1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
3 T Dijon mustard
2 tsp dry mustard
1 ½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp salt

Place the butter and cheese into a food processor and process till smooth
Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until a ball of dough forms.
Divide the dough into two.
Place each on a sheet of waxed paper and roll into 8-in logs. Wrap them up in the waxed paper. Then wrap the logs in foil.
Place in the freezer and freeze for 2 hours or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Butter 2 baking sheets. Cut the logs crosswise into ¼-in slices and place on the sheets. Keep them about 1-in apart because they will spread a bit while baking.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are just golden brown. Remove and cool on racks.

To go with the crackers:

1 lb mushrooms, coarsely chopped
5-10 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, germ removed, chopped
3 T olive oil
Optional – may use some chopped hard boiled eggs and/or chopped parsley as a garnish.

Heat a large saucepan over med-high heat and pour in the olive oil. Heat the oil.
Add the mushrooms, shallots and garlic and cook, stirring once in a while, until browned.
Season with salt and continue cooking until the mushrooms have given off their liquid.
Continue to cook and stir until the liquid has evaporated.
When the mixture is dry, place in a food processor and pulse to form a chunky paste.

To serve: spoon the mixture into a serving bowl. Garnish if desired and serve with crackers or toast points.

Salad: Lovina
Cucumber Salad with Goat Cheese and Lemon

3 kirby cucumbers, washed and dried
4 large radishes
zest of one lemon
1 c goat cheese crumbles (can also use feta cheese)

2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T finely chopped dill
½ tsp sugar
1 garlic clove, pressed
½ c plus 1 T olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Soup: Jen Knight (sub for Mariah)
French Winter Vegetable and Bean Soup w/ Pistou
Serves 4

2 c (packed) fresh basil leaves
½ c drained canned diced tomatoes
3 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled


2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only)
2 medium carrots chopped
1 6-ounce white-skinned potato, peeled, diced
3 T water

8 c canned vegetable broth

½ c orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

6 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained

¼ tsp dried crushed red pepper
2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

For pistou:
Puree all ingredients in processor. Season with salt and pepper. (Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For soup: 
Combine first 4 ingredients in heavy large pot. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil. Stir in orzo; boil uncovered until orzo is almost tender, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add green beans; reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in cannellini and crushed pepper; simmer until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide pesto among 4 bowls. Ladle soup over pesto; swirl to blend. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. 

Side Dish: Nicole
Gratin Dauphinois (Potatoes)

**I got this recipe from my cousin, born and raised in France now living with her husband (a recognized chef) in Belgium. Sorry I did not convert the measurements, you can easily find that on line if you are going to prepare this yummy dish ☺

2.21 pounds potatoes
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
0.132 gallon milk

Peel and slice finely the potatoes.
Take a large baking dish, rub butter all over and then rub a clove of garlic.
Dress evenly the slices in the dish.
Beat 2 eggs with a little bit of milk and the teaspoon of salt + 1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg.
Beat the egg mixture in the rest of milk..
Pour this on the potatoes and dot with butter (you can also add on top shredded Swiss cheese I layered the cheese throughout).
Bake in oven at 428 °F for 50 minutes ( at the end of the cooking if it's to brown you can cover with an aluminum foil)

Gratin is usually for this king of vegetable dish with cheese on top which become brown under the grill or in the oven
Dauphinois is the region of France where this recipe come from it's in the Alps mountains.
Here we cook the potatoes sliced in square in a frying pan with duck grease, boletus mushrooms and garlic.

Entree: Michelle

Scallops Provencal and Tofu Provencal

1 pound fresh sea scallops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
½ c chopped shallots (2 large)
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 c dry white wine
2 lemons, 1 cut in ½ and the other on wedges

Sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper, toss with flour, and shake off the excess.
To get a really nice sear on scallops they cannot be wet. The flour dries the scallops and will help give it a nice brown color when they are sauteed.
In a very large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat until sizzling and add the scallops in 1 layer, making sure they are not touching. Lower the heat to medium and allow the scallops to brown lightly on 1 side without moving them, then turn and brown lightly on the other side. This should take 3 to 4 minutes, total. Once the scallops have seared, remove them from the pan and place on a plate and cover with aluminum foil.
Melt the rest of the butter in the pan with the scallops, then add the shallots, garlic, and parsley and saute for 2 more minutes, until the shallots have softened.
Pour in any of the juices that the scallops have given off while resting into the saute pan and then add the wine and the juice of one lemon.
Turn up the heat to high and cook until the sauce has thickened to your liking, while scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. This should take a minute or two.
At this point you could add the scallops back to the pan and stir to coat them with the sauce. However, I like the slightly crisp texture of the sear on the outside of the scallop and I find that combining them with the sauce in the pan makes the scallops taste soggy.

Tofu- I just chopped in blocked, bite-sized pieces and followed the recipe the same way, substituting tofu for scallops.

Dessert: Tiffany

Cracked Chocolate Earth with Whipped Cream (Flourless Chocolate Cake)

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 stick unsalted butter
9 large eggs, separated
¾ c granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 c heavy cream, cold
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan.

Put the chocolate and butter into the top of a double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl) and heat over (but not touching) about 1 inch of simmering water until melted. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl until light yellow in color. Whisk a little of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs - this will keep the eggs from scrambling from the heat of the chocolate; then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture.

Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan (spray the bottom with nonstick spray) and bake until the cake is set, the top starts to crack, and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then unmold.

While the cake is cooking, make the whipped cream. Whip the cream until it becomes light and fluffy. Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar.

Serve at room temperature with the whipped cream.

WildCard: Erin

Edith Piaf CDs

Lottery: Tamara

Served with candy canes!