RECIPE: Progressive Dinner: March 15

gardenladMarch 12, 2007

Here are this week's assignments:

Appetiser: Woodie

1st Course: Cindy*

Souup: Wizard

Salad: Dances

Entree: Danain

Side 1: VaGirl

Side 2: GardenLad

Dessert: Fearless Em

Coffe and: Annie

*Cindy is out of town this week. In order to maintain the progression, I will fill in with the 1st course.

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Hi all --

Have been meaning to post this recipe from fine cooking, and now is a good chance. It is for Individual Mocha Souffles, and they were a big hit at my most recent dinner party. What makes them really special is that they are make-ahead! You can either make them a day ahead and store in the fridge, or actually make them up to a month ahead and FREEZE them! And believe it or not, it worked -- I froze them, thawed as the oven was coming to temp, and they turned out great! Really nice for when you are making a big production sort of dinner and want a snazzy desert that you can make ahead of time. My only note is that I didn't find they were super mocha-ey... make sure to really disolve as much instant coffee into those few tablespoons of liquid as possible...

I am just posting the link here as it is a long recipe with pictures and such...


    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 10:07AM
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I did a lot of experimenting to come up with a seafood sausage a friend can eat. He's alergic to scallops, but nothing else. Go figure. Anyway, for a really nice first course serve one of these swimming in a sea of roasted red pepper sauce. Or serve three as a main course.


1 lb raw shrimp, peeled
½ lb raw tilapia, red flesh trimmed
6 oz crab meat, cooked
12 oz crayfish tails, cooked
1 tsp fennel seed, coarsely ground
1 tbls dry tarragon
2 tbls parsley, minced
3/4 tsp white pepper, ground
2 egg whites
2 tbls cream

Cut tilapia in small pieces. Toss tilapia with shrimp, crabmeat, tarragon, parsley, fennel seed and pepper so that spices are evenly distributed. Run through medium plate in grinder.

Mix in the crayfish evenly.

Lightly beat egg whites with cream. Incorporate into seafood mixture.

Lay seafood mixture out on a rectangle of plastic film, using 4 tablespoons for each sausage. Roughly shape into a log about 3 inches long. Wrap film tightly around seafood. Twist one end and tie off. Twist other end, compressing mixture as much as possible and tie off.

Poach sausages in water, stock, or wine about 12 minutes. Use immediately, or hold in a cold water bath until ready to use.

Makes 16-18 sausages.

Can also be used as bulk sausage, formed into patties and pan fried. Do not overcook.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

3 large red peppers
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup chicken or veggie stock
3 tbls balsamic vinegar
2 tbls EVOO
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne or couple drops hot sauce

Roast peppers. Scrape charred skin away. Core peppers and scrape out the seeds, working over a strainer and bowl to catch the juices.

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and pure until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan, bring to simmer, and reduce by one fourth.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 1:49PM
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My seasonal soup of the day.... Save some corned beef for this

Cream of Reuben Soup

Yield: 10 servings

1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup celery
1/4 cup onion
1/4 cup green bell pepper
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup corned beef
1 cup Swiss cheese
3/4 cup sauerkraut
1/4 cup butter
2 cup half and half
fresh chives

Combine beef and chicken stock, celery, onion and green pepper in large saucepan and bring to boil over high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are crispy tender, about 5 minutes.
Add dissolved cornstarch and continue cooking until soup thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut, blending well.
Melt butter in large double boiler over medium heat.
Stir in half and half.
Add soup and blend until smooth.
Heat through, but do not boil.
Garnish with chives.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 2:55PM
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Well, I was ready to suggest an Italian meal with my Braciole but after what's been posted, I need more time to decide on a more generic Entree:(


    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 4:16PM
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Marilyn! Please post your Braciole recipe -- I loved it as a child when my dad got the meat already spread with herbs and tied up at a local butcher... But then I tried making it myself at home and it was terrible. Would love a good T&T recipe!


    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 4:51PM
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I think with the Reuben Soup and all the seafood in the 1st course/main course the only thing that would really fit in my mind is corned beef. I don't really have a recipe, I just simmer it in my French Oven with the seasoning packet until tender. So I guess the theme here would be good for St. Patricks day.

Emily, here are my two braciole recipes. We love them both!
The first on I did once for company and we started with and Italina salad then I served it with pesto pasta and dessert was .

2/3 cup toasted bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic; minced
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated provolone cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 flank steak (about 1 1/2 pounds)*
1 cup dry white wine
28 oz. can diced tomatoes

*Have your butcher run the flank steak through the cuber twice.

Preheat the oven to 325°. Stir the first 7 ingredients together and set aside.

Lay the flank steak on a work surface and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the bread crumb-cheese mixture evenly over the meat. Starting at one long end roll the steak as for a jelly roll, tucking in the ends to enclose the filling completely. Using butchers twine, tie the steak roll to secure.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy (ovenproof) skillet over medium heat. Add the braciole (If the roll does not fit in the bottom of the pan, cut it in two.) and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the browned braciole and add the wine to the pan; bring to a boil to deglaze the pan and stir in the crushed tomatoes. Return the braciole to the pan, spooning the sauce over the top.

Cover and bake turning and basting with the sauce every 30 minutes for 2 hours. Then vent the lid a little to allow steam to escape so the sauce will thicken and continue to cook for 30 to 60 minutes until meat is very tender. Remove braciole from the sauce; puree sauce in the blender and season with salt and pepper. Rest the meat 15 minutes, remove twine, slice and serve with sauce. *Braciole may be prepared a day ahead and reheated before serving.


1 flank steak (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
6 strips bacon
1 medium onion; sliced
Salt and pepper
8 oz. Crimini mushrooms; sliced thick
2 cloves garlic; minced
1/2 teaspoon thyme
12 oz. beer
1 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup low sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

*Have your butcher run the flank steak through the cuber twice.

In a heavy pot, sauté bacon until browned and crisp, remove and drain on paper towels. In the drippings, sauté onion until soft and translucent. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper and lay bacon and cooked onions evenly on meat. Starting at one long end roll the steak as for a jelly roll, tucking in the ends to enclose the filling completely. (The grain in the meat should be horizontal.) Using butchers twine, tie the steak roll to secure. Brown the braciole on all sides in the dripping left in the pot. When the meat is well browned on all sides remove to a plate and set aside.

Add the mushrooms along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the pot and cook until well browned (about 5 minutes). Stir in the thyme and garlic until fragrant then add the beer, 1 1/2 cup beef broth and Worcestershire. Put the braciole back in the pot and baste with the sauce. Cover and simmer over low heat until meat is very tender; about 2 1/2 hours. Remove lid; continue to simmer 30 minutes more. Remove meat to a cutting board to rest while thickening sauce. Make a slurry by combining flour and 1/4 cup beef broth until smooth. While whisking, stir the slurry into the sauce and continue to simmer until thickened. Stir in vinegar to balance the flavors (this makes a big difference), taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Slice the braciole and serve with the mushroom sauce.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 5:53PM
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I don't believe Braciole would be a problem with what's been posted.

We've got a seafood first course and a sweet for dessert. Nancy's soup might be a little heavy if we were having it as a main course. But I don't think there's a conflict of tastes.

The key, I think, is that we wait until the entree is posted before choosing side-dishes.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 5:59PM
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I think a nice tossed mixed greens salad with a vinagrette dressing would be a good palate cleanser. Often we have our salad AFTER the meal, rather than before the main course. Or in between, if we want to sort of change directions with different items. Toss this into the menu, between whichever items you might need a transition. And hey, it's very green. With corned beef and reuben soup, what could be better for St. Patty's day?

Greens Salad Vinagrette

-Washed, torn mixed greens. I like a mix of baby romaine, butter lettuce, iceburg, frizee, and baby spinach. About 2 cups total mix per person.
-1/2 small red onion, minced very fine
-1 small clove garlic, minced very fine (less if raw garlic is too intense for you. Powder is a little less "hot", you can sub 1/4 tsp)
-1/2 cup parsley, washed well, stems removed, minced fine
-generous pinches of sea salt
-generous grindings of black pepper
-1/4 to 1/2 cup champagne vinegar, red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
-1/2 tsp grainy mustard
-3/4 cup olive oil (I use good quality, but not a strong extra virgin)

Place onion, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Add vinegar and mustard.. Pulse to combine, then blend. With motor running, drizzle in the oil.

Taste, and adjust salt if necessary. I always add more salt. Taste some with a leaf, to see if it is too puckery. If it is you can add more oil, some tomato juice, or even a bit of water.

Place into a bottle or container with a lid.

In the spring, I like to use chopped chives instead of the onion. So good, and it uses some of them up before they take over.

Use only as much dressing as needed to lightly coat the greens, tossing gently so they don't bruise. The rest should keep well chilled for about a week. Try it as a marinade for roasted veggies, chicken, or pork, or as a topping for baked fish.

For a nice, crisp salad, dry your greens well and chill them before using. Dress right before serving, and serve on chilled plates. We like our mixed green salad a bit wilted, so we dress it when we start dinner, and serve it after the main course, in room temp bowls. Not totally limp, but nicely marinated.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 6:41PM
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Marilyn's and my posts must have crossed.

I'm wondering if corned beef wouldn't be a bit much, considering we are having a corned beef soup.

I vote for the first Brociole recipe as this week's entree. What say you all?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 8:35PM
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I'm with you gardenlad -- that first braciole recipe sounds fabulous Marilyn! I'm going to be away this weekend but will be sure to make it when I get home! Thanks for posting it...


    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 8:59PM
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So is it braciole?

If so, then a simple polenta would work for me.

6 cups of water (or half water and half stock)
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups cornmeal
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

In large, heavy saucepan, bring liquid to boil.
Add salt and gradually whisk in the cornmeal.
Reduce heat to low and stir frequently until cornmeal thickens ~ 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
Serve with braciole so you can enjoy all the gravy!! :)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 8:48AM
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The Braciole definitely works for me! And the soup is so intriguing, Wizard, can't wait to make it.

I had planned on a shrimp appetizer to go with drinks, but since GL's first course is seafood, I'll change my mind. This is one of my favorite simple bite recipes and its just perfect with Irish Eyes cocktail.


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (7 ounce) jar pimento-stuffed green olives
2 tablespoons olive juice
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

In a medium bowl, or food processor, mix together the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of juice from the olive jar until well blended. Set aside in the refrigerator to firm up, about 30 minutes.
When the cheese mixture is firm, pack enough of the cream cheese mixture around the outside of each olive so that it is completely covered. Roll each olive ball in chopped pecans, and return them to the refrigerator until firm.
To serve, cut each olive ball in half, and arrange on a serving tray cut side up.

From Colleen Graham,
Your Guide to Cocktails.

On St. Patrick's day give your Irish sweetheart an Irish Eyes cocktail, look into her eyes and say "Tá tú go h-álainn" (You're beautiful).
1 oz Irish whiskey
1/4 oz crème de menthe, green
2 oz cream
maraschino cherry for garnish
Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice cubes.
Shake well.
Strain into an old-fashioned glass.
Garnish with the maraschino cherry.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 10:27AM
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Well, since we are having "Irish Eyes", I guess we don't need Irish Coffee. Not that Woodie would mind having TWO drinks, I'm sure. LOL Truthfully, I think I'll have a nice cup of Irish Breakfast Tea, if no one minds.

To go with the coffee/tea, maybe some scones. A bit heavy for a "nosh", I suppose, but we don't have bread with this meal, so it was scones or Irish Soda Bread (which I find very similar to this particular scone recipe).

Irish Scones

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup currants
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking oil spray. Mix all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, Sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add currants and caraway seeds. Whisk egg, buttermilk and butter in a separate bowl. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix well until a fluffy, moist dough is formed. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out lightly until dough is 1-inch thick. Cut out 2-inch diameter circles from the dough. Glaze scones with egg or milk and place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes or until scones are light brown on top.

Makes 6 servings.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 3:01PM
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I had thought a nice pasta would go with the braciole. But not with the polenta. So, instead, here's a classy variation of mixed veggies:


4 medium carrots
3 stalks broccoli (reserve florets)
1 cup sugar-snap peas
2 cups cauliflower florets
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 tbls fresh lemon juice
4 tbls maple syrup
½ tbls grated ginger root
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbls sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
1 tsp arrowroot dissolved in 1 tsp orange juice

Cut carrots and broccoli stalks lengthwise, then roll-cut them. Steam the roll-cut veggies, broccoli florets, sugar snap peas and cauliflower florets 5-8 minutes, or until crisp-tender.

In a large nonstick skillet or wok, boil orange and lemon juices, maple syrup and ginger until reduced by half. Add the arrowroot slurry and cook until thickened. Add the vegetables, season with salt & pepper, and toss to coat veggies with sauce.

Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 5:45AM
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Marilyn..Could you please share your 3 layer Tiramisu recipe?
Beautiful presentation too:)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 7:58AM
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If you do, would you start it as a new thread, please? That way we keep the progressive dinner threads from getting all cluttered up.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 8:37AM
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Awe gardenlad, lighten up a little! This is suppose to be fun! Besides, I would have started a new thread for it all on my own...all of us who have been here for a long, long time already know the "rules".


    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 9:04AM
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