RECIPE: Progressive Dinner For June 21

gardenladJune 17, 2007

Here are this week's assignments. In order to maintain the sequence while Woodie is off in Ireland, I'll fill in for her.

Appetizer: Dances

1st Course: Meredith

Soup: KatieC

Salad: GardenLad

Entree: Shelley

Side 1: Annie

Side 2 Woodie (GL)

Dessert: Wizard

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For most people, this time of the year means BBQ, (except for here where we seem to have nothing but cold and rain), so here's something for the Barbeque that is really easy and delish! (from Webers Big Book of Grilling)

(Sorry Gardenlad, this inadvertantly ended up in your progressive dinner summary as well..(not quite sure how but..I apologize)

Saffron Orange Rotisserie Chicken


1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp coarsley ground white peppercorns, (I just used black)
Grated zest from two oranges
2 tsps minced garlic
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp saffron threads

1 whole chicken 4-5 lbs
1 whole orange, washed
1 bay leaf
juice from 2 oranges

kosher salt

In small bowl whisk together oil, peppercorns, zest, garlic,rosemary, thyme and saffron.
Remove and discard the neck, giblets, wing tips and any excess fat. Rinse chicken well inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the marinade all over the inside and outside of the the chicken. Place the whole orange,(I pierced mine a few times with a skewer), and bay leaf in the chicken cavity and truss with cotton string or metal skewers. Place the chicken in large resealable bag and pour in the orange juice. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the juice, and place in a bowl and refridgerate for 8-24 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove chicken from the bag and discard the juice. Season chicken with salt. Center lengthwise on the spit, running the skewer through the orange, and let the chicken rotate over direct medium heat until juices run clear and internal temp
reaches 170F in the breast and 180F in thickest part of thigh, about 1 1/2 hours.

Turn off BBQ and remove spit from the grill. Slice the chicken from the spit onto a cutting board and cover loosely with foil and let rest for ten minutes. Remove trussing, orange and bay leaf, cut into serving pieces and serve warm.

Note: this can also be cooked over indirect heat, and a little rum can be added to the marinade to give it a little boost.



    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 11:16AM
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When grilling anything for such an extended period of time, the lovely smells wafting across the deck can be excruciating LOL.

I find a layered taco dip keeps the guests from gnawing off their own arms, and even if they eat a pound of it they aren't too full for dinner.

Taco Dip
-1 cup cottage cheese
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1 package cream cheese (softened)
-1 bottle your favourite salsa
-2 cups shredded cheese (I like mexican blend or medium cheddar)
-1 chopped tomato (or more, to taste)
-1 bunch green onions, trimed and cleaned, sliced, white and some dark green parts
-1/2 cup pitted black olives, sliced
-Plenty of your favourite tortilla chips (we like the round white corn chips)

Use a mixer to combine the cottage cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese. When fully mixed, spread on the bottom of a serving platter or dish.

Slather on the salsa (it may not take the whole bottle).

Sprinkle on the cheese, then the lettuce, then the tomatoes and onions and olives.

Place in the center of the table next to the bowl of chips, and stand back! LOL.

Note: you could add some canned beans, drained and rinsed (maybe 1/2 to 1 cup) or even seasoned taco meat or seasoned shredded chicken for something more substantial. When I make this I use reduced fat cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, and cheddar cheese and nobody is the wiser.

If you like things spicier, you could add some canned jalapeno rings or use a medium or hot salsa.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 11:41AM
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Just for your information, GL, I'm going to be unavailable next week and will be MIA. Can someone take my place for that week?

Meantime, it appears we're having a BBQ. This is a perfect "picnic" type of dish, as it can be served hot or cold and goes with, well, with everything. I eat this as a main dish sometimes, but I'm told it's actually a "side". (grin) Depends on your perspective, I suspect.

Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles

2/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy suace
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
juice from one lime
1/2 pound pasta or noodles, cooked
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Over low heat, combine all ingredients except pasta and sesame seeds. Whisk carefully to combine all ingredients until smooth.

Pour sauce over pasta or noodles, tossing gently to combine. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top, and serve hot or cold, as desired.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 12:21PM
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Shelley, no need to apologise. That sort of thing just happens. It's the internet gremlins at work, donchaknow.

Hopefully, somebody will volunteer for Annie's job next week. Woodie will still be on vacation, and I don't want to wind up doing half the dinner. :>) So come on. Somebody. Don't be shy!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 2:45PM
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Summer seems to have come in with a vengeance. So let's go with a cold soup to complement Shelley's chicken:

Cold Cherry Soup

2 lb sour cherries, pitted
1 cup sugar (or more to taste)
1 stick cinnamon
3 cups water
2 tbls flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup red wine

Simmer the cherries, sugar and cinnamon in the water until the cherries are tender. Remove the cinnamon. Blen d the flour with 3 tablespoons of water and stir into the hot soup. Heat to boiling. Chill. Before serving, stir in the cream and wine.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 2:50PM
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I got myself confused, there, and posted the soup. Katiec, to you want to just trade off? If not, you post another soup and I'll put up a salad like I was supposed to.

Meanwhile, here's the second side: Anything I hate is to have a great bed of coals in the grill and let them go to waste. So, while Shelley's chicken rests before carving, we can make:

Tony Lia's Grilled Shitake Mushrooms


1 cup balsmic vinegar
2 tbls sugar
2 tbls chopped garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup olive oil
fresh herbs to taste, chopped (I use a combo of basil, tarragon, and parsley)

Combine vinegar, sugar, garlic, pepper & paprika over low heat. Cook until reduced by half. Add an equal amount of EVOO and the fresh herbs.

Soak mushrooms in marinade 20-25 minutes. Cook on grill, turning frequently and basting with more marinade, until tender.

This recipe will do about two pounds of fresh shitake mushrooms. It's also great with other veggies: baby squashes, small peppers, tiny onions, other types of mushrooms, etc.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 2:58PM
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Gardenlad I would be happy to fill in for Annie for next week.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 4:53PM
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Ready for dessert?

Easy and good. Rmember to start baking in a cold oven.
1-Dish Blueberry Cheesecake

Cooking Spray
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 envelopes Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk (very warm 120-130°F)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg

Blueberry Sauce
1-1/2 cups blueberries, fresh OR frozen
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
My note: Omit almond extract and add 1 tsp grated lemon or lime rind.

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg

MIX batter ingredients together in a pre-sprayed 8x8-inch baking dish. Allow mixture to rest while preparing blueberry sauce and cheesecake. Combine blueberry sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes until sauce is thickened. Whip cheesecake ingredients in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.

TOP batter with dollops of cheesecake mixture and blueberry sauce. Swirl mixtures together using a knife.

BAKE by placing in a COLD oven; set temperature to 350°F. Bake for 30 minutes, until cheesecake is set.

Recipe Note: If desired, batter may be mixed in a separate bowl. Proceed as directed above.

You could easily use any fruit instead of the blueberries. Raspberries, peaches, sour cherries and strawberries would all be good.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 6:39PM
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awwww, darn...I had a strawberry soup for the soup course. Hmmmmm....will re-think. Be back tomorrow.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 11:45PM
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I didn't see your second post, GL. I dunno, your cold soup could have been considered a'll be officially summer, so I'm banking on hot and sunny weather. How about a sweet and a savory?

I think some gazpacho would go well with the taco dip. We've been playing with different recipes and liked this one pretty well:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Gazpacho De Los Angeles

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Soups

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
46 ounce Canned tomato juice
1/2 teaspoon Minced garlic
1 Green bell pepper -- minced
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 Small onion -- minced
1 tablespoon Chopped chives
1 Cucumber -- peeled & minced
2 Drops hot pepper sauce
2 Canned green chiles -- minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt -- white pepper
1 teaspoon Seasoning blend
Lemon wedges

Combine tomato juice, green pepper, onion, cucumber, chiles, Worcestershire, seasoning blend, garlic, olive oil, chives and hot pepper sauce. Season to taste with MSG, salt and white pepper. Chill thoroughly.
Serve with lemon wedges. Note: For smooth gazpacho served with vegetable garnishes, blend tomato mixture in blender container until smooth. Serve with additional diced cucumber, green pepper and croutons on side. Makes 6 to 8 servings Created by: Velvet Turtle, Los Angeles (C) 1992 The Los Angeles Times

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

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 41 Calories; 2g Fat (48.9% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 27mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 11:09AM
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I don't about using it as a side, katiec. It would be more like a sauce when used with a main dish.

At any rate, here is a salad, to put us back on track:

Bulghur Grape Salad

2 cups raw bulghur (I prefer the #2)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1 cp minced red onion
2 cups walnut halves
2 cups seedless red grapes


1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cups lime juice
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Sharp-tasting sprouts (radish, fenugreek, etc.)
Fresh mint leaves

Put bulghur in heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water over it, cover, and set aside to saok 15-20 minutes.

Peel the cucumber, cut it lengthwise into halves, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Ecut each half lengthwise again, and then slice all 4 long strips crosswise into thin, bite-sized pieces. Chop the bell pepper. Put the cucumbers, peppers, and minced red onion in a serving bowl and set aside.

Toast the walnut in a single layer on an unoiled baking tray, at 350F for 5 minutes, until fragrant. Let hem cool slightly and coarsely chop. Halve the grapes. Add the walnuts and grapes to the serving bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.

Fluff the bulghur with a fork and refrigerate until cooled to at least room temperature. Add the bulghur to the serving bowl, pour on the dressing, and toss well.

Serve topped with spourts and/or mint.

BTW, with the addition of some grilled or pan-fried shrimp, this makes a wonderful main-dish salad.

Shelley: Thanks for volunteering to fill in for Annie. I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 2:09PM
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No problem Gardenlad! Where do you find bulghur?..and what does the #2 mean? Thanks, your salad looks delish.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 9:51PM
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Bulghur is available in mid-Eastern groceries, some health food stores, and pretty much wherever bulk grains are sold. You might see it as cracked wheat.

The #2 refers to the coarseness of the grind. #1 is much finer, and I prefer that for things like kibbe.

Just guessing, but I betcha you could easily sub quinoa or even cous-cous as the grain.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 11:12PM
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I apologize for being so late. I am taking an all day graduate course in a town 45 minutes away, and time slipped up on me. I thought these would go well with the chicken. Everything is pretty much to taste.

Thai Spring Rolls

12 spring roll rice wrappers

1-2 dozen of shrimp (sauteed in garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil)

leaf lettuce or Boston Bibb

fresh chopped mint

fresh chopped basil

chopped green onions

bean sprouts

Soak rice wrappers in warm water (one at a time as you assemble them) and place on a dry dish towel. Layer the lettuce, mint, basil, onions, bean sprouts, and shrimp on top. Fold in sides and roll. Serve with hoisin sauce.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 11:20AM
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