RECIPE: Progressive Dinner For April 19

gardenladApril 15, 2007

Here are this week's assignments:

Cocktail munchie: Danain

Appetizer: VaGirl

1st Course: Katiec

Soup: GardenLad

Salad: Shelley

Entree: Annie

Side 1: Woodie

Side 2: Cindy

Dessert: Wizard

Coffee &: Dances

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A cocktail in our home is usually wine, red or white depending on who is here. Sometimes Cosmopolitans, also depending on who is here:)

Serve these with a simple cracker:

Smoked salmon ribbon topped with cre fraiche (or sour cream or cream cheese) and a dill sprig or a sprinkle of chopped dill; fresh or dried.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 8:44AM
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I'm sorry, I'm new here, but whats a progressive dinner?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 11:14AM
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A progressive dinner is when a group of friends get together on an established schedule to have dinner together. They travel from house to house, with each member of the group responsible for a specific course. The following week, or month, or whatever everybody moves up a step. So, for instance, if X was responsible for the entree this time, next time they have to make a side dish. Eventually everyone in the group will have made every course.

About three months ago we started a virtual progressive dinner. On this page is a thread called "Progressive Dinner Summary," in which you can view the weekly menus. If you want the actual recipes there is a link for each week to them.

Also, if you do a search on this forum, other threads will come up, including the longish one that discusses the whole concept when we first started it. I believe we called that "Virtual Progressive Dinner?" or something similar.

Unfortunately, we have ten players right now, which already is too many courses. Otherwise we'd certainly let you join in.

You can either keep tracking it, and, when we finish this cycle, join in. Or start a second one going, so that others can join in the fun right away.

PS: Welcome to the recipe exchange.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 11:52AM
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This is a light, refreshing soup that compliments just about any entree. Good anytime, I especially like it in the spring.


11 C. chicken stock
1 c. dry white wine
12 cups chopped celery
1cup thinly sliced celery
2 onions, sliced thin
1 tbls celery seed
2 tsp dried thyme
4 large egg whites, beaten
Shells from the eggs

In a kettle combine the stock, wine, 6 cups of chopped celery and onion. Bring to boil and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve set over a large bowl, pressing hard on the solids, and return liquid to the kettle. Add the remaining celery, celery seed, thyme, egg whites and shells, bring to a boil, stirring, and cook the mixture at a bare simmer, undisturbed, 20 minutes.

Ladle the mixture into a fine sieve lined with dampened paper towels set over a large bowl and discard the solids.

Can be made 2 days in advance, kept chilled, and reheated without boiling.

Put sliced celery in a heated tureen and ladle the soup over it.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 11:54AM
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It's still cold here, I have snow remaining on the ground, so it seems like comfort food time. I'm hungry for something rich and substantial, like Salisbury Steak. This is one of my favorites, from Ann T on the cooking forum.

I never have green peppercorns, so I use black ones, although I did have a 4 peppercorn blend from Penzey's and actually picked the green ones out once. LOL

Salisbury Steak In Mushroom And Green Peppercorn Sauce

2 Pounds of ground Sirloin
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon of worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste


1/2 small onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 Tablespoon green peppercorns
Fresh Mushrooms sliced
2 Tablespoons Flour
Broth 2 to 3 cups (Beef or chicken)
Pan drippings plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter or oil.

Saute onions in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until tender but not browned. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. In a bowl combined ground sirloin, parsley, thyme, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Add onions and garlic and mix well. (I use my hands).
Form into oval shaped patties. (I made 5 nice size ones from the 2 pounds, but you could make smaller if you prefer)

Brown the patties in a heavy skillet in a little olive oil. You can also brown these in a grill pan.

Remove the meat from the pan. Add a little more oil if needed and saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Sprinkle with a little flour, cook for a couple of minutes and add the broth and the green peppercorns. Add the patties to the pan, cover and simmer on low for at least one hour. Make sure there is enough sauce to almost cover the steaks.

Salisbury steak should be very tender and not have the texture of a just fried hamburger. Simmering the meat n the gravy also enhances the flavour of the sauce.

Hmmm. I might have to make these for supper this week too.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 12:11PM
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Gardenlad, don't we always have room for another side dish?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 12:16PM
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I have not had salisbury steak in years. Sometimes we made it with a mushroom/brown gravy like above, other times it was a sauce made with tomato and green peppers and we would serve it over rice (like a deconstructed stuffed pepper, I suppose LOL). We weren't picky, we loved it both ways.

As for Coffee and an "Amuse". These little tarts are too rich to have more than one so too small for a dessert, but even a dessert hater like me was intrigued by the caramel custard filling. I had filling leftover, but only made a single tray of mini's and I think my tart shells were too thick. Plus I made a mistake and forgot to buy pecans (long story ROFL) but I am sure they would only add.

Turtle Tarts Recipe 57335 from Recipezaar, by Pamela. I still have to review the recipe, I'll do it later today.

40 Prepared tart shells (the recipe I used follows)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup margarine (I used 1/2 stick margarine and half butter)
4 tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
pecan pieces
40 chocolate melting wafers, 1 for each tart (I used less, melted and drizzled the tarts in a somewhat decorative pattern).

Bake shells according to directions, and cool.

Break up pecan pieces and place a small amount in each shell (I did not use these).

Melt margarine/butter in a saucepan then add the condensed milk, brown sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla.

Bring to a boil, stirring a few times with a whisk (watch this, mine caramelized around the edges).

Let boil for 2 minutes.

While mixture is still hot, fill tart shells and top with 1 chocolate melting water or a few chocolate chips (I drizzled LOL).

Cool and enjoy! The recipe says these freeze well. Place cooled tarts in a tupperware container or zip loc bag. Label and freeze. To serve, remove tarts from container and let come to room temp.

The next time I think I will make the tart shells thinner, put in the filling, top with a pecan half, then drizzle with melted chocolate.

Mini shortbread Tart Shells Recipe 153222 on Recipezaar by Kittencal (again, I still have to review this)

1 cup butter, softened (she said no subs, I am a rebel and used margarine because I screwed up and forgot butter when I went shopping)

1/2 cup icing sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tbsp cornstarch

Set oven to 300 degress. Prepare mini muffin tins.

In a bowl mix al ingredients with an electric hand mixer until well blended.

Pinch off small pieces of dough and use your fingers to pat into the muffin tins to form the shells. I used a tamper, and made them too thick and only got 24. Next time I will use half the amount of dough in each hole and get 2 sheets out of it.

Prick the bottoms with a fork.

Bake for 20 minutes (prick the bottoms again during baking if they puff up. Mine did not).

Cool and fill as desired.

Out of a table full of desserts, these were the first to go. In fact, the guest of honor made a beeline to them and downed one before he even ate ROFL - he wanted to make sure he got one.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 2:49PM
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Good choice Annie, I love Ann's Salisbury Steak recipe. I always have a jar of green peppercorns on hand, just to make this recipe :) The other dishes sound wonderful too, what a nice meal this will be!

Here's a side that I like to make with the Salisbury Steak:

Creamy Cauliflower Puree
Source: Eating Well
This savory side dish is a healthy stand-in for mashed potatoes. Vary it by adding roasted garlic, shredded lowfat cheese or fresh chopped herbs.

8 cups bite size cauliflower florets (about 1 head), cooked until very tender
4 cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and cooked with the cauliflower
1/3 cup buttermilk
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Snipped fresh chives, for garnish

Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 tsp oil, butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tsp oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.
Makes 4 servings, 3/4 cup each

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 5:10PM
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I thought about the gravy and the texture of the Salisbury Steak (which is a great recipe BTW) and the texture of the cauliflower puree, so I think I'll serve.........

Steamed broccoli, not small flowerettes but a good sized portion with the stem attached, sliced lengthwise and cooked not too al dente, with some browned, buttered and lemoned crumbs on top to add a little crunch.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 6:09PM
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I dunno, Danain. Folks are always complaining about the size of these meals already.

But if the consensus is in favor, sure. We can always add another side dish. Or even a second appy.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 7:04PM
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Dessert.... How about carrots to go with the celery, cauliflower and Salisbury Steak?


Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (About 9 carrots; I grate them in a food processor fitted with a shredding blade
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola or safflower oil
4 large eggs

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound (3 3/4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut, for topping (optional)

GETTING READY: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the 325 degrees F. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides and tap out the excess. Put two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.
THE CAKE: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one, and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix in the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean; the cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)

TO MAKE THE FROSTING: Working with the stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.
If youd like coconut in the filling, scoop out about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this portion.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or cover generously with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake top side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting (or more plain frosting). Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the topand the sides, if you wantof the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now, while the frosting is soft.

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.


SERVING: The cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper, overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's best with vanilla ice cream or even some Lemon Curd (page 462) with a little whipped cream folded in.

STORING: Covered, the cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then, when it is firm, wrap air-tight and freeze for up to 2 months; defrost, still wrapped, in the refrigerator overnight.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 7:05PM
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I think some nice, warm whole wheat rolls and butter. Or maybe formed into little individual loaves. I usually make half the recipe and toss it in the bread machine...

* Exported from MasterCook *

Honey Whole Wheat Rolls

Recipe By : Katie
Serving Size : 36 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1 2/3 cups cold water
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups oatmeal
4 c. unbleached flour -- approximately
1 teaspoon ground cardamom -- optional

Mix warm water, yeast, and sugar. Set in a warm place until bubbly.

In a large bowl, pour boiling water over butter, honey, and salt. Stir to melt butter. Pour in cold water and yeast mixture.

Stir in wheat flour, oatmeal, and enough white flour to make a fairly stiff dough. Work in the cardamom.

Knead until smooth and satiny. Allow to raise, covered, in a buttered bowl, until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down. Form into desired shapes and let rise until double, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 375F 30 minutes or until golden.

Source: "NY Times Natural Foods Cookbook"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTES : Half a recipe will go into the bread machine.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 10:28PM
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Hi Ninelargc - we all don't really cook these entire meals each and every week, LOL, its really more of a Cyber Progressive Dinner as Gardenlad said. We all seem to enjoy participating and its a great way to accumulate more recipes and recipes that complement one another - or at least that's our goal.

GL - if Ninelargc or anyone else would want to join with us, here's another idea - maybe we could make the cocktail and cocktail munchie separate - I just saw a recipe for a cocktail called "Dan's Demise" that looked pretty tasty :-) Some people enjoy wines and some people enjoy cocktails and some people enjoy non-alchoholic drinks and I think there may be a variety to post each week, but maybe that's pushing it a bit, I'm not sure.

Another option might be to rotate one person out each week - give us each a week off once every so often. I'm up for anything!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 10:53AM
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There you go again Woodie, a couple of great ideas!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 11:04AM
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I dunno if there's enough interest in mixology or not.

I was thinking a new category, if necessary, would be breadstuffs. There have been a couple of them sort of snuck in, as it is, and my gut feeling is that more people are into baking bread then are into mixing drinks. But I could be wrong.

As usual, we'll do whatever the consensus indicates.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 2:00PM
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Oooh oooh ooh! Bread/Crackers type thingies! That sounds good to me. I am intrigued by drink recipes and wine pairings, but I am not allowed to drink. I can cook with a bit of alcohol, but other than that, no go. Either way, I'll still find it interesting LOL.

Either that or another appetizer, rather than an additional side dish.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 6:48PM
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Yummm! All the recipes sound good this week! For what it's vote for another course would be for the breadstuffs. Seeing as how this menu is leaning towards the cooler climate, I will post one of our favorite salads.

Fall Salad with Peppered Pears and Goat Cheese with a Spring Vanilla Vinaigrette - serves 4

4 pears, halved lengthwise, cored and sliced (ripe but firm)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cracked black pepper
6-8 oz mixed salad greens
4 oz peppered chevre
sea salt

Spring Vanilla Vinaigrette (also good on strawberry, spinach salad)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (start with two, add extra if needed to taste).
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp dried tarragon leaves
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Note: I also added 2 tsp dijon tarragon seadoning mix, but if you don't have it, omit or try 1 tsp dijon mustard.

Mix well and chill before serving over salad.


Melt butter in a skillet large enough to hold the pears in a single layer. Add the pears and brown sugar. Allow the brown sugar to melt, cover each side of the pear. When pears are tender and a deep caramel colour: add the pepper,stir to coat, season with sea salt. Lift pears and caramel from skillet and keep warm.(I have made this ahead of time and just reheated til warmed through in the microwave. If mixture gets to thick reheat with a bit of water ).

Put greens on individual plates, garnish with the pears. Drizzle the dressing over the top and top with pieces of the crumbled peppered goat cheese. Serve immediately.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 7:25PM
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I never would have thought to pair vanilla with tarragon, but I can almost smell it....yum, Shelley! I like to make spinach salad with mandarin oranges...I'll have to try that vinaigrette. Orange and vanilla is almost as good as orange and chocolate.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 12:11AM
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I'm sorry...first computer problems, then I took a fall, and then the terrible events at VA Tech. I will be off the computer for a while. I hope you all understand.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 8:41PM
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I made your honey whole wheat rolls last night to go with some pasta fagioli soup. The buns were excellant! The only change I made was to sub Nutri Flour blend for the unbleached. (this is a new to me flour that is a blen of white flour and wheat bran, but tastes like white with the goodness of whole wheat and can be subbed cup for cup). Anyways I got 40 2oz rolls out the the mix. Thanks again, the dough was very easy to work with.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 10:29PM
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VAGardenGirl, of course we all understand. VA Tech was a terrible shock for everyone, and, as a nation, we'll be a long time recovering from it.

Hopefully the fall you took wasn't serious.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 6:36AM
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VAGardengirl, I hope you're feeling better soon. So sorry about everything.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 9:48AM
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