RECIPE: Progressive Dinner for April 12

gardenladApril 8, 2007

Here are this week's assignments:

Cocktails: VaGirl

Appetizer: Katiec

1st Course: GardenLad

Soup: Shelley

Salad: Annie

Entree: Woodie

Side 1: Cindy

Side 2: Wizard

Dessert: Dances

Coffe&: Danain

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Well, I never tire of any kind of chicken and here is a real favorite recipe that I hope you'll all enjoy.


Two (2-1/2 to 3 lbs each) broiling chickens, halved
Lemon Sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

Preheat broiler for at least 15 minutes.
Broil chicken halves, turning once, for about 30 minutes or until skin is golden brown and juices run clear when bird is pierced with a fork.

Remove chicken from broiler, leaving broiler on. Using a very sharp knife, cut each half into about 6 pieces (leg, thigh, wing, and 3 small breast pieces).
Place chicken on a baking sheet with raised sides.
Pour Lemon Sauce over the chicken, and toss to coat well. If necessary, divide sauce in half and do this in two batches.

Return to broiler, and broil for 3 minutes. Turn each piece and broil for an additional minute. Remove from broiler, and evenly portion chicken onto 6 warm serving plates.

Pour sauce into a heavy saucepan, and stir in the parsley. Place over high heat and boil for 1 minute. Pour an equal amount of sauce over chicken on each plate, and serve with lots of crusty bread to absorb the sauce.

2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tsp minced or crushed garlic, or more according to your taste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients into a large bowl, and whisk together until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk or shake vigorously just before use.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 6:49PM
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Sounds really good, Woodie.

One question, just to make sure I'm reading this correctly: You're saying each chicken makes 12 pieces?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 6:46AM
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Yes, 12 pieces, there's a picture of it on the website.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rao's Restaurant Recipes

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 8:16AM
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Got it, thanks.

The following should complement the chicken nicely. Especially now, when crayfish are in season. Unfortunately, the Lousianna fishery hasn't fully recovered yet, so I use frozen tails from China.

Like many first courses and appetizers, this sounds more complicated to make than it really is. Quanitities are approximate, cuz I just eyeball the sauce ingredients.

Crawfish Cardinale

1 pkg frozen puff pasty sheets
1 egg beaten with one tbls water to create an egg wash
2-3 tbls finely chopped red onion
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
3 tbls butter
2 tbls flour
1 tbls tomato paste
2 cups milk or cream
1 pkg (12 oz) crawfish tails, defrosted
Salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, and (smoked) paprika to taste

Use two nesting cookie cutters, about 3" and 2 1/2", to create the pastry cups. Start by cutting a disk with the larger cutter. Then remove the center of that disk with the smaller cutter. Brush the small disk with the egg wash and position the large ring so it fits onto the edge of the small disk. Bake at 375, 20-25 minutes until puffed and browned. Cool on wire racks.

Melt the butter and saute the onion and garlic until just tender. Add salt and pepper. When frothy sprinkle with flour, and let the roux cook down a minute or two. Add the tomatoe paste and cook another minute. Then slowly add hot milk or cream, stirring, to form a thick sauce.

Season the crawfish tails with Creole seasoning and paprika. Add them to the sauce, and heat until warmed through.

Fill the pastry cups with the crawfish mixture.

Plating: I like a little green to set these off. So sprinkle some watercress or flat leaf parsley on a small plate. Set a filled pasty cup in the center. Garnish with a green onion or two, with most of the green trimmed away.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 11:49AM
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Good choice Woodie...I'm into lemon these days. It's strange as I've always stayed away from cooking with lemon, but as they you get older some of your tastes change.... and I'm finding that to be true.

I'm wondering if there might be enough sauce from the chicken for this recipe??? If so, then you might not need the sauce that's suggested. Either way, fried artichokes are really good.

Fried Artichoke Hearts

two 10 oz. pkgs. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed or 1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 -cup flour
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated Romano cheese
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. paprika
1 cup vegetable or canola oil

Pat the artichokes dry with paper towels. Dredge each artichoke heart in flour, in beaten eggs, then in seasoned breadcrumbs mixed with cheese, salt and paprika. Set aside until all artichokes are breaded. Heat oil in large skillet and fry artichokes, a few at a time, until golden brown on all sides. Remove to a paper towel lined platter. Serve with Lemon Oregano Mayonnaise. Serves 4.

Lemon Oregano Mayonnaise

Zest of 1 lemon
1 T. chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. minced garlic
In blender or food processor, combine all ingredients. Pulse on and off until combined.

Do not over blend. Makes about 1½ cups. Serve on the side with Fried Artichoke Hearts.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 11:55AM
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I think this soup would go very nicely with the lemon chicken, and it's a little differant. It's a combination of a few differant recipes, tweaked together... and one my family really enjoys.

Asian Meatball soup -serves about 8

Meatball ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 egg
1 tbsp sherry
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Soup ingredients:

5 cups beef broth, (I use the better than bouillon)
3c water
broccoli florets (about a cups worth) fresh
baby carrots (about a cups worth) the tinier ones are good
6 oz fresh sugar snap peas, stems and strings removed
2 pkgs oriental flavor ramen noodle soup with seasoning packets (add one packet to start as the other packet can be added at the end if it needs more flavouring).
2 tsps dark oriental sesame oil
chopped green onions for garnish

Blend mixture with food processor until smooth. Mold into small meatballs and place on waxed paper lined tray til ready to use. (I usually shape them into walnut size or a bit smaller).

Bring beef broth and water to a gentle boil in a large pot. Cut each carrot in half diagonally. Add to the boiling water and cover and cook 4-5 min until almost tender. Add meatballs one at a time so they don't stick together,(yes they are added raw) into the pot, then stir in seasoning packets and broccoli. Reduce heat cover and simmer about 7 minutes until vegies are almost tender and meatballs are almost cooked. If meatballs are larger I sometimes add the meatballs to the broth first, cook them and then add the veggies and cook them.
Break each block of noodles into about 4 pieces. Add to the soup and cook, stirring to separate strands, about 1 minute. Stir in sugar snap peas and boil gently 2 minutes or til noodles are tender and peas turn bright green. Stir in sesame oil, remove from eat. Garnish servings with chopped green onions.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 12:17PM
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The coffee course is a hard one for me because after dessert why would you want a bite of anything else. The only thing I think of is a bite of chocolate if it's not in the dessert or a very, very small cookie.

Danish Butter Cookies

1 1/4 cups butter; softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 1/2 teaspoons almond or vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 325°. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Combine dry ingredients and stir into butter mixture along with almond or vanilla extract.

Roll dough into very small balls, about 1/2-inch diameter. Place on un-greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet and press dough with a glass dipped in sugar or carefully use your fingers.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from cooking sheet immediately and sift powdered sugar over the top. Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar again. Makes 120 Nilla Wafer size cookies.

Pictured; I used fresh lime zest and 1 teaspoon lime juice in place of almond or vanilla extract. Key lime slice for garnish.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 1:12PM
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For cocktails, I would like to suggest Rosemary Almonds with your drink of choice.

Rosemary Almonds - serves 6

2 t unsalted butter
2 T fresh rosemary, remove and discard stems before measuring
1 lb. whole almonds, preferably blanched (skin off)
½ t salt or to taste

Preheat oven to 350*F

In a saute pan, over medium heat, melt the butter.

Add rosemary and toss it in the butter for ~ 30 seconds.

Remove from heat, add the salt and almonds and toss until the nuts are coated thoroughly.

Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Place in the oven and toast for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the nuts start to crackle and toast, turning once.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 2:25PM
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Wow, I'm getting hungry just reading these recipes, they sound great!

I was thinking for the other side, that a dark green vegie would be nice, but I also thought we could use a starch. So here's a favorite of ours that fits the bill!

Spinach Mashed Potatoes

2 1/2 lbs potatoes (about 8-9) peeled, cut in halves or quarters
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
milk, if needed to thin
1 pkg. frozen spinach, cooked and drained
5-6 green onions, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes until done (20-30 minutes), drain. Mash with butter and sour cream and thin with milk if needed. Stir in spinach and green onions. Season to taste.
4-6 servings


    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 3:38PM
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Marilyn, that's a perfect choice for that course, as it's exactly what we're looking for: just a little nibble, something to fill in the corners with as we sip our coffee.

In actuality, it isn't likely that anyone would eat the kind of meals we've been preparing. But we've got ten players, and have to have enough courses to accomodate everyone.

And just think of all the great menu plans we've been creating.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 7:48AM
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I have been DYING for a banana crepe. Casino Windsor has a buffet that is "okay". The food is fine but I wouldn't run there to pay for my meal. I have been there by invitation both times, otherwise I would not have gone.

BUT. The dessert area? They have a crepe station. And the banana crepes are to die for. The bananas are soaking in a caramel sauce, and I always ask that they get as little sauce as possible (or else it would be too sickly sweet). And I also top with some whipped cream, just to put it way over the top! This is my version.

Banana Crepes

Crepes - (makes about 12)
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
1/8 tsp baking powder (shush. I always put it in. Leave it out if it offends you ROFL)
1 tsp melted butter (you can use up to a tbsp)

Filling -

4 bananas, peeled and sliced 1/2 cm thick
1 cup caramel or butterscotch sundae topping
1 tbsp butter

Garnish -
Whipped cream

For crepes: Beat together eggs and milk. Add flour, stirring with a whisk to remove all lumps. Add salt, vanilla, and baking powder. Whisk in melted butter.

Heat a small skillet on medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Spoon a tablespoon of batter into the pan and swirl it to coat the bottom. When the top appears dryish, flip once and let cook for a few seconds on the other side. Remove to a plate, spray the middle of the pan only, and repeat until all crepes have been cooked.

I am not a crepe purist. I like mine to have a bit of colour because I think they taste better that way and have a better texture. Note that if you don't want to rest the batter (and I never do) you might have an edge of whispy bubbles on each crepe. I like the whispy bubbles LOL.

For filling: Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add the sundae topping, stirring well to combine. Heat over low heat until it starts to bubble a bit. Stir in the sliced bananas. Heat just until the bananas are warmed, you don't want to cook them.

To make the dessert:

Place a warm crepe on a plate. Fill with about 1/3 a banana's worth of the filling down the middle. Fold the sides over. If they try to open you can flip it seam side down, mine usually stay shut fine. Add a dollop of whipped cream and serve immediately.

These are relatively small, compared to the one you would get at the casino. You could use two per serving or use a larger pan and make fewer, bigger crepes.

If I were daring and liked the taste, I would roll a whole bunch and arrange them on a platter, then flambe with a little heated rum. When the flame dies out (or you blow it out LOL), dole out and garnish with whipped cream. I ain't taking no responsibility for anybody that burns anything down doing that! If you try it, you are on your own ;)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 10:37AM
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Sheesh, what an ordeal it's been to post!

Dinner sounds wonderful. I'm thinking something bread-ey for an appetizer. I seldom measure, so filling measurements are approximate....

* Exported from MasterCook *

Palmiers with Pesto and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Recipe By :Katie
Serving Size : 28 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 sheet puff pastry
3/4 cup pesto
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, rehydrated and diced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

On a floured surface, roll puff pastry to a 10' x 14' rectangle. Spread the pesto over puff pastry. Arrange the sun dried tomatoes evenly over the pesto. Sprinkle with Parmesan and press lightly.

Cut the rectangle in half widthwise to make two 10x7-inch pieces. Starting at long edge, roll each piece up like a jelly roll just to the middle of the dough; then repeat with the other side of the dough so that the two rolls meet in the center.

Cut the rolls into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and press lightly to flatten. Bake at 400F 10 minutes or until puffed and golden.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 12:33AM
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Aaack. I just realized we have two recipes using puff pastry. A bit much, maybe? I think I should submit this one instead....your choice GardenLad...

* Exported from MasterCook *

Broiled Pesto Tomatoes

Recipe By :Katie
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Appetizers

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
12 small plum tomatoes or large cherry tomatoes -- halved lengthwise
1/4 cup pesto sauce -- approximately
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese -- freshly grated
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Spread each tomato half with pesto. Mix Parmesan and bread crumbs and sprinkle over tomatoes. Broil until browned.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 12:51AM
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Well, it only took them 3 days to make the site accessible again. This is getting real silly.

Anyway, Katiec, I don't see it as a real problem. But let's go with the broiled tomatoes, as the official appy.

I'll get off a note to Annie, to see what the delay is with her salad, and we'll go on from there.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 7:25PM
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Sorry, GL, I didn't realize the forums were even back up. I gave up in disgust on Wednesday and haven't gotten back on since. I'm still getting "abnormal run time" messages.

Salad, my least favorite course. Sigh. I do like this though, simple and believe it or not, from Weight Watchers.

Cucumber-Sour Cream Salad

(from Weight Watchers favorite recipes)
2 medium cucumbers, pared
1/2 tsp salt
3T sour cream
1T distilled white vinegar
2tsp chopeed fresh dill
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp white pepper

Cut cucumbers lengthwise and scoop out seeds with spoon.Cut cucumber halves into thin slices and transfer to medium bowl. Toss with salt and let stand at room temperature 20 minuts. Drain and discard liquid.
In small bowl combine remaining ingredients and toss with cucumbers. Chill and serve.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 7:52PM
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I think all of these recipes really rock this week. So glad we're back up and running on the R/E.

GL - do you think shrimp as a substitute for crawfish is okay?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 8:49AM
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I reckon so, Woodie. If you're going to use the puff pastry cups, though, I'd either dice the shrimp, or use those 100 count "salad" shrimp. And I think I'd saute or stir-fry them, rather than boil 'em.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 12:19PM
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