Sunday, September 16, 2007

Earth, Wind and Fire - September 2007

Diva: Mariah

Drinks: Lovina
Gaia Punch Alcoholic version

2 oz. Green tea infused vodka (3 bags Numi Rainforest Green tea, 1 bag lemon-ginger, half bottle of good vodka)
½ oz. Grand Marnier (fancy orange liquor-could use Drambuie or whatever)
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

Shake the above ingredients in shaker with ice (stop here and serve up as a martini or continue on for a more diluted version) Using a tall glass, sugar rim glass (coat rim with lemon juice and dip in

Fill with ice
Pour contents of shaker into glass
Top with 3 oz white grape juice and 2 oz soda water Stir in a bit of sweet (I used agave nectar-roughly 1 tsp.) Garnish with 2 strips of lime peel and squeeze of lemon Enjoy!

Non-alcoholic version:
Brewed green tea (I used 8 bags to make a gallon) - cooled and sweetened (again I used agave nectar-yum!) White grape juice I mixed equal parts of green tea and white grape juice in a punch bowl and added fresh squeezed lemon juice Pour 2 ladles into ice filled glasses Top with soda water Serve with squeeze of lemon Enjoy.

Appetizer: Stacey
Stacey's Artichoke Dip

1 can quartered artichoke hearts (packed in water)
1 c mayo
1 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 small can chopped green chilies
generous dashes of Tabasco
salt and pepper
tortilla chips for serving

Drain and roughly chop artichokes. Mix all ingredients together. Bake in a glass baking dish for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, until hot and bubbly. Enjoy, and double this for a goes fast!!!

Salad: Erin

½ c fig, balsamic, rasberry vinegar (I used blackberry and rasberry)
3 T dijon
3 T honey
2 small shallots
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 c (or less) EVOO

Blend together (I use a blender)

Salad: Greens, bleu cheese, sliced almonds/pine nuts, berries (I used raspberries and blueberries)

I prefer to toss right before serving, otherwise greens get a little soggy.

Soup: Ashley
Pumpkin Soup with Red Pepper Mousse

For mousse
1 (12-oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp Sherry vinegar
¼ tsp hot smoked paprika
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope)
2 T water
1/3 c chilled heavy cream

For soup
5 carrots, chopped (1 1/2 c)
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 (4- to 4 1/2-lb) pumpkin or butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces (9 c)
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp black pepper
5 c reduced-sodium chicken broth (40 fl oz)
3 ½ c water

Make mousse:
Purée peppers, oil, vinegar, paprika, and salt in a blender or food processor until very smooth.
Sprinkle gelatin over water in a 1-quart heavy saucepan and let stand 2 minutes to soften. Heat mixture over low heat, stirring, just until gelatin is dissolved.
Remove from heat and whisk in pepper purée 1 tablespoon at a time.
Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it just holds soft peaks. Fold in pepper mixture gently but thoroughly, then cover surface of mousse with plastic wrap and chill until set, at least 2 hours.

Make soup while mousse chills:
Cook carrots, onion, garlic, and bay leaf in oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add pumpkin, salt, cumin, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until pumpkin begins to soften around edges, about 15 minutes. Stir in broth and water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
Blend soup in batches in cleaned blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a bowl.
Just before serving, return soup to pot and reheat over low heat. Ladle soup into bowls and top each serving with 1 1/2 tablespoons mousse.

Soup can be made 3 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat as directed above.
Mousse can be chilled up to 2 days.

Side Dish: Tamara
Root Vegetable Fritters

½ c plain flour (all purpose)
3 eggs, lightly beaten (I used EnerG egg replacer)
1 c grated parsnips
1 c grated carrots
3 ½ c grated sweet potatoes
½ c grated parmesan cheese
2 T finely chopped flat leaf parsley
sea salt
cracked pepper
olive oil or vegetable oil (for cooking)

Place the flour in a bowl. Add the eggs and whisk until combined and smooth. Add the parmesan, parsnip, carrot, sweet potato, salt and pepper plus any changes you want to make and mix to combine well.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add a little oil and 2 Ts of fritter mixture.

Flatten the mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes each side until golden. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
(From The Vegan Chef)

Entree: Michelle
Marinated Chicken/Tofu

Throw three-four medium hot, medium sized salsa peppers into the food processor. Pour about a half c or maybe more in. Peel and add three or four cloves of garlic. Shake a couple of tsp of ginger into the mix. Add some safflower or other medium heat cooking oil, like, maybe a quarter c? Turn on the food processor until there is an even consistency. Taste, and adjust ingredients to get it just right for you! Marinate the chicken or tofu for 3-4 hours. Bake for
1/2 hour at 350 or 375. Turn over. Bake for about another 20-30 minutes until chicken is not pink in the middle, or tofu is crisp to your desire. Serve up and enjoy thoroughly. This is for 7 chicken breast and one block of the coop's bulk Surata tofu.

Dessert: Sara
"Molten" Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

Cooking notes: Be certain to add the chocolate chunks while the cakes are still quite hot from the oven otherwise the crust will form and you will damage the appearance. The mayonnaise is here to add moisture to the cake. You could omit it with out adjusting the recipe but it is has an amazing effect. Entertaining Notes: You could serve this as a plated dessert by removing them from the paper and adding Warm Bananas.

Vegetable spray, for greasing liners
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Scharffen Berger
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c heavy cream
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/3 c sugar
½ c mayonnaise
½ c cornstarch
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp gray salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Line the cupcake pan with paper liners and spray the liners with vegetable spray.

Shave 5 ounces of chocolate and put it into a bowl. Cut the remaining 3 ounces of chocolate into roughly 1/2-inch pieces, set aside.

Combine the butter and cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When the cream mixture comes to a simmer, pour it over the shaved chocolate and stir gently to melt the chocolate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, mayonnaise, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt just until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and gently mix just until combined. (Mixing too much will prevent the eggs from rising in the oven.) Scoop about 1/4 c of the batter into each mold, it should come about 3/4 of the way up the sides. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Do not over bake. Immediately while hot, add a chunk of the remaining chocolate in the center of each, by gently pushing it through the top of the cupcake in the center. Cool the pan on a rack for 10 minutes and then unmold them. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Lottery: Nicole