RECIPE: Progressive Dinner for May 10

gardenladMay 6, 2007

Here are this week's assignments:

Cocktail munchy: Woody

Appetizer: Cindy

1st Course: Wizard

Soup: Dances

Salad: Danain

Entree: Katiec

Side 1: GardenLad

Side 2: Shelley

Dessert: Annie

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It was hard to choose! I went with what I'm making for DH's birthday next week. (Ulterior motive = new side dishes.)

* Exported from MasterCook *

Pork Medallions in Garlic Cream Reduction

Recipe By :Katie, 2001
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 pork tenderloins
12 large cloves garlic -- thinly sliced
2/3 cup light wine -- white, blush, white zin, etc.
1/2 cup heavy cream -- (1/2 - 2/3 c.)
1/2 teaspoon rosemary -- crushed

Slice tenderloins into thin medallions; flatten with palm. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and fry in a little oil, 3-4 minutes per side. Place on oven safe plate and keep warm.

Saute garlic in pan until lightly toasted. Add wine and rosemary and cook down to half. Add cream and cook until thickened. Pour over pork medallions.

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

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 8:53PM
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This is our favorite spinach salad recipe. I usually don't like this much sugar in dressing but it balances it perfectly. Besides, it makes a lot of dressing.

Spinach Salad

1 1/2 pound fresh baby spinach; washed & dried
1/4 cup red, sweet or green onion, sliced
6 slices bacon
3 eggs; hard boiled, cooled and sliced

2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup catsup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup water

Fry bacon until crisp, drain reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Add remaining dressing ingredients to drippings; heat until combined but do not boil; cool. Pour dressing over spinach, onion, egg and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately after adding dressing.
Serves 6.

*This is also good with sliced fresh oranges


    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 9:25AM
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A good choice. I've made something similar in the past, and it always comes out great. One secret: It works better with chopped, fresh rosemary than with the dried.

A nice side dish is

Creamy Parsnips & Pears

2 lbs parsnips, peeled, cored, and cut into 2" pieces
1 large pear, peeled, cored, and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbls butter
2-3 tsp fresh lime juice
Salt & pepper to taste

Place parsnips, pear and garlic in a large saucepan and cover with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until parsnips are tender eand easily pierced with a knife, 20-25 minutes.

Drain and transfer to a food processor (may have to be done in batches). Add butter, lime juice, salt & pepper. Process until completely smooth. Scrtape into a serving bowl and serve hot.

Note: For a special presentation, make some pureed carrots at the same time. Mound some of the parsnips on a serving plate, and, using a large star tip, pipe the carrot puree in a circle around the parsnips.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 9:26AM
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It is still cool here, but the days are sunny and spring is certainly in the air. It calls for lighter fare, but we aren't ready to start eating cold soups yet - too chilly for that.

I've made an adaptation of a tuscan style bean soup. Lighter than your usual bean soup, but still hearty and warming for when those cool spring breezes blow.

Tuscan-ish Bean Soup
-1 tbsp good olive oil
-2 thin slices seranno ham, diced or shredded
-1 small potato, peeled and diced small
-1 small onion, diced
-1/4 cup wine of your choice
-1 small salad tomato, peeled, seeded and diced (I used an orange one)
-4 cups chicken broth
-1 cup cooked beans (canned, home made, leftover, what have you. White beans are best, today I used some red beans I had in the freezer)
-1/2 cup cooked spinach, drained and chopped OR a handful or two of your favourite greens, shredded. I have even used the dark green tops of romaine lettuce before
-2 fresh sage leaves, chiffinade/shredded finely or minced
-freshly ground black pepper to taste
-romano or parmesan cheese for garnish
-cream, for garnish

Heat the oil in a pot. Add the serrano ham and frizzle for a moment. Add the onions and the potatoes. Saute until the onions are starting to soften. You don't want them too brown, a few brown edges are okay.

Deglaze the pan with the wine, then add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the beans and the diced tomato.

Simmer until the potates are soft and some are even breaking apart. Stir in the spinach and the sage. Allow to simmer for about 5 more minutes, or until most of the potatoes have dissolved and some of the beans have disappeared. This thickens your broth. If you prefer you could remove 1/4 to 1/2 of the soup and puree it, then add it back to make it even thicker.

Serve with a drizzle of cream, grated parmesan or romano (I attempted curls for my picture but they sank!), and fresh ground pepper to taste.

For more texture you can add small pasta such as orzo, stellini, or ancini de pepe or leftover rice or grains like barley. You could also toast some rustic bread with garlic and cheese and float it on top.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 12:07PM
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I think this strudel would be a nice accompaniment to the main course.

Vegetable Strudel

2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic, chopped
1/4 c mushrooms, sliced
1 green or red pepper, julienne style
1 small onion, julienne style
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp parsely chopped
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/4 c olive oil
12 sheets phyllo dough
1/2 c black olives
1 tsp garlic, roasted
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp pimentos
salt and pepper

Mix the 2 tbsp olive oil, vegetabales and herbs. Grill or saute vegetables until tender, about 5 min. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Let cool slightly.

Combine olives, garlic and 2 tbsp olive oil, pimentos , salt and pepper in blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Brush 1 sheet of phyllo lightly with olive oil,(an oil mister works good here), Place another sheet on the oiled sheet, and repeat til all sheets of dough are used. (when working with phyllo keep sheets covered with plastic wrap and or damp cloth until using).

Spread olive mixture lengthwise on 1/3 of the phyllo, place vegetables over the olive mixture. Carefully fold
outer edges of the phyllo toward the center and then gently roll phyllo starting with the vegetable side until strudel is formed. Brush with remaining olive oil. Carefully cut diagonal slits into the top of the dough for
venting. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in
pre-heated 375F oven for 15-20 min or until phyllo is nicely browned. Allow to cool 5 min, and then cut and serve. Serves 8.

Also good with feta or other cheeses, and sprinkling the top with paprika is nice.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 1:50PM
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Grilled Chicken with Citrus Sauce

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 cup yogurt
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1. Marinate the chicken: Combine olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and marinate for 20 minutes.

2. Make Citrus Sauce: Stir together the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

3. Cook the chicken: Heat grill to medium high. Run skewers through chicken pieces and grill for about 4 minutes, turn over, and grill until cooked through  about 4 more minutes. Serve with Citrus Sauce.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 9:20AM
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Hmmm. Bean soup, pork, parsnips. Nothing will do for dessert for me except rhubarb pie. This is an old recipe, Grandma used it and my daughter Amanda won a Grand Champion ribbon at the county fair last year using this recipe so it's definitely tried and true. It came from the Farm Journal pie cookbook:

Fresh Rhubarb Pie

yields one 9" double crust pie

For 9" Pie
1 1/2-2 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon or cardamom
4 cups prepared rhubarb

Preheat oven to 400 °F

Prepare crust for two-crust pie. Line the pie pan with bottom crust.

Mix together the flour, sugar and spices. Add the chopped rhubarb and stir well.

Pour into pie shell and dot with 1 Tbs. butter.

Cover with top shell

Bake @ 400° F 40-50 minutes.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 12:35PM
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Annie, when you say "prepared rhubarb" what's involved prepping it???

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 3:19PM
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GL, that's pulled fresh from the garden, washed, and cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Don't use the leaves, of course, they are not edible, just the stalks.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 4:50PM
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Great menu, guys!

For a cocktail I'm thinking of offering a delicious Prosecco that I had at a wine tasting - Mionetto, Prosecco, Brut Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy - or for those interested in something stronger......

Stork Club Cocktail
1-1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. Grand Marinier
3/4 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
dash of Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a stemmed cocktail glass

To accompany the cocktails, I love these:

MQ'S Tiny Roquefort Popovers
From Williams-Sonoma

Vegetable oil, for brushing

1 cup (5 oz/155 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 and 1/4 cups (10 fl oz/310 ml) milk, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3 oz (90 g) Roquefort or other strong-flavored, crumbly blue cheese, crumbled
Position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 450 (220°C). Generously brush two 12-cup nonstick mini muffin pans with vegetable oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, white pepper, and parsley. In a large measuring pitcher, whisk together the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined (don't worry if a few lumps remain). Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups to within about 1/4 inch (6 mm) of the rim (about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons each). Place a scant teaspoon crumbled cheese in the center of each filled cup.
Bake for 10 minutes. Do not open the oven door during this time. Reduce the heat to 350 (18O°C) and continue to bake until brown and crusty and fully puffed, 8-10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a warmed: platter or napkin-lined bowl. Serve at once. Or, let cool on racks (for up to 2 hours, then reheat in a 350 (18O°C) oven for 10 minutes.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 9:53AM
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I've had a rough couple of days - could someone possibly fill in for me this week?
Also, I have a busy month coming up - I think that I'll have to take a leave of absence for awhile. Sorry for the short notice and I hope that it doesn't cause any problems.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 10:44AM
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Okeydoke. I'll fill in with an appetizer this week, and we'll drop the coctail course until you get back.

Take care, and let us know when you're ready to rejoin.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 2:46PM
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Thanks GL :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 3:08PM
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Here's another instance in which I've downsized a main course dish to make appetizers:

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs ground meat (beef, beef-pork-veal, etc.)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 tbls flour
2 eggs
1 cup oil
3 green peppers, diced small
1 1/4 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups pinapple chunks w/liquid
3 tbls cornstarch
1 tbls soy sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Mix together meat, 1 tsp salt, and pepper. Shape into balls, using 1 1/2 teaspoons for each. Flatten slightly to form patties.

Mix together eggs, flour, and remaining salt. Dip meatballs into batter and brown in oil. Remove balls and pour off all but 2 tbls oil. Add the beef broth, pineapple and green pepper. Boil, covered, for ten minutes. Return meatballs to pan. Just before serving make a slurry with the cornstarch, soy sauce and vinegar. Add it and the sugar to the pan until sauce thickens.

Note: I usually remove the balls before thickening the sauce, then return them to the pan to coat with the sauce.

For service: Put a spoonful of the sauce on a serving plate, being sure to include some of the pineabpple and pepper on each plate. Top with one or two meatballs.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 5:10PM
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