Sunday, March 13, 2011

Amuse Bouche - March 2011

Diva:  Tamara

Drinks:  Emily (Sub for Ashley)
Jalapeno Cucumber Margaritas

8 ⅛-inch slices of jalapeno

8 ⅛-inch slices of cucumber

¼ c sugar
8 oz. Cointreau or orange juice
10 oz. Milagro Silver tequila

Juice from 2 limes
4 lime wedges

Large ice cubes
Kosher salt

Using a mortar and pestle, grind 4 slices jalapeño, 4 slices cucumber into ¼ cup sugar. Pour mixture into a shaker.  Add tequila, Cointreau and lime juice.  Fill shaker with ice and shake heavily. Serve in cucumber cups, rims salted.

Appetizer:  Erin
Stuffed Mushrooms

½ c Italian-style dried bread crumbs
½ c grated Pecorino Romano
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 T chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 T chopped fresh mint leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
⅓ c extra-virgin olive oil
28 large (2 ½-inch-diameter) white mushrooms, stemmed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

Stir the bread crumbs, Pecorino Romano, garlic, parsley, mint, salt and pepper, to taste, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl to blend. 

Drizzle a heavy large baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, to coat. Spoon the filling into the mushroom and arrange on the baking sheet, cavity side up.  Drizzle oil over the filling in each mushroom.  Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through and golden on top, about 25 minutes.  Serve.  

(From Giada De Laurentiis,

Soup:  Sara
Roasted Basil Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Bites

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
¼ c plus 2 T good olive oil
1 T kosher salt
1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 c chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 T unsalted butter
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 c fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 quart water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, ¼ cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

(From the Barefoot Contessa,

Salad:  Aven
Endive Amuse-Bouche over Green Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

3 endives

1 pear

¼ lb gjetost cheese
⅓ c crystallized ginger
¼ c coarse bread crumbs
¼ c cranberry reduction (2 c cranberry juice, ½ c balsamic vinegar and 2 T sugar, simmered until syrupy)

Cut thin slices of pear, gjetost and ginger.  Trim ends off endive leaves and layer each leaf with a slice of cheese, a slice of pear, and a few slices of ginger.  Drizzle with cranberry reduction and sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Makes 10-12 

For each serving place one endive leaf over a salad of mixed greens, dried cranberries and red onions (I marinated the onions overnight in vinegar and cranberry juice).  Drizzle endive and salad with honey mustard vinaigrette.

Honey Mustard Dressing

⅓ c white balsamic vinegar
⅓ c olive oil

2 T honey

2 T stoneground mustard

1 tsp mustard seed
salt and white pepper to taste

Side Dish:  Colleen
Sweet potato polenta cakes with chipotle yogurt sauce

olive oil to sauté
5 cloves garlic minced

2 c course polenta

4 c water

⅔ c heavy cream

1 c mashed sweet potato

I use a multi-cooker to make my polenta.  I use the "brown" setting to sauté the garlic then add the water and polenta.  Stir and set on the rice setting.  When finished cooking, stir in mashed sweet potato and heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper and push into a baking pan in a flat layer to cool.  You can make the cakes as thick as you'd like.  When cool, cut to size and crisp edges in a pan on each side.  I used an electric griddle with a thin coating of olive oil.  Would also be delicious cooked on a grill outdoors!

Chipotle yogurt sauce:

1 c greek yogurt

3 tsp pureed chipotle in adobo sauce

mix and salt to taste.

To serve, warm polenta cakes, smear with additional sweet potato if any is left from cooking, place an avocado slice and top with yogurt sauce.  Would be best if served fresh from the griddle after crisping but can also be warmed in the oven prior to serving. 

Entrée:  Mariah
Tempeh Club Sandwiches

3 cloves garlic sliced
5 slices fresh ginger (about ⅛ inch thick)
½ c water
1 T brown rice vinegar
1 T mirin
1 T soy sauce
1 (8oz) package tempeh (cut in half, then bisect each half in half)
1 T coconut oil
8 slices whole grain bread

Add any garish that you love!  Try grated raw beets they are divine!  Also try the Lentil Dijon Spread on these yummy sandwiches for a little extra protein kick!

Combine garlic, ginger, water, vinegar, mirin and soy in a glass container with that lid, add tempeh and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Heat Oil in skillet to medium hot, brown the tempeh on each side for about a minute or so until warm throughout.  Sever on bread with your favorite garnish.

Lentil Dijon Spread

2 T walnuts
1 c cooked lentils
4 mushrooms sliced
2 scallions, sliced
1 T whole grain mustard
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp pepper

Finely grind or chop walnuts -- place all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth -- add water for desired consistency.  This spread will last in the refrigerator for several days.

(From Feeding the Whole Family: Cooking with Whole Foods by Cynthia Lair)

Dessert:  Kirsten (sub for Lovina)
Almond Cake

¾ c sugar

⅓ c plus 
1 T almond paste
1 c flour

1½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp coarse salt

1 c butter (room temp)

½ tsp vanilla  

3 large eggs

⅓ c boysenberry jam

powdered sugar

lightly sweetened whipped cream

parchment paper (or brown paper bag) cut to size of pan bottom

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Butter 8-inch round pan, line with paper, butter paper. Blend sugar and almond paste in processor until finely ground. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer beat almond paste, butter, and vanilla in large bowl about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Fold in dry ingredients. Transfer to pan, bake 40 minutes w/o opening oven. Rotate pan; bake until gold about 8 min more. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Run knife around pan sides. Invert cake, remove paper, cool. Using a long serrated knife cut cake in half horizontally. Put bottom on plate, spread jam over cut surface. Place top back on, cut side down. Use screen or strainer to dust cake with powdered sugar.

(From Bon Appetit)


Connie said...

Sweet potato polenta cakes! I've gotta try that.

Kristin said...

We love tempeh at our house but I've never thought to make a sandwich out of it. I'll have to try it.