RECIPE: Progressive Dinner: June 28

gardenladJune 24, 2007

Here are this week's assignments. Substitutions are in paranthesis:

Appetizer: Wizard

1st Course: Dances

Soup: Meredith

Salad: Katiec

Entree: Gardenlad

Side 1: Shelley

Side 2: Annie (Shelley)

Dessert: Woodie (GardenLad)

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I immediately thought of grilling for the entree. It is, after all, summer. But next week is the 4th, and I figure we'll likely have a cook out for the whole dinner. So I figured we'd have some fish this time.

This is more an approach than a specific recipe. You can easily substitute other fish for the snapper: tilapia works very well with this, for instance. All amounts are very approximate, because I never measure when preparing this dish.

Snapper Filets In Parchment

For each serving:

1 snapper filet
2-3 tbsl anchovy butter
1/2-3/4 cup tomato relish

Cut parchment paper into a folded semi-circle or the more traditional heart shape. Open flat. Lightly butter the paper.

Lay a snapper filet against the fold. Spread the anchovy butter over the fish. Top with the tomato relish.

Fold over the paper and seal by crimping along the edge, with each crimp overlapping the next. Give the final point a twist or two.

Bake in a 350 degree oven about 20 minutes.

To serve, put entire package on a serving plate and cut open the top of the parchment, being careful not to scald yourself with the escaping steam.

Anchovy Butter

1 stick butter, softened
1 tin anchovy filets (approx 8)

Mash the anchovy filets into a paste. Mix thoroughly with the butter.

Lay the butter on a piece of plastic wrap. Roll into a tight log, tying the ends. Chill until firm. May be frozen, in which case it keeps forever.

Tomato Relish

1-2 tbls each fresh mint and broad-leaf parsley
1/2 cup balsomic vinegar
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Crush herbs in a morter and pestle, or minch very finely.

In a small skillet, bring vinegar to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half. Add tomatoes and cook until warmed through.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 10:45PM
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Here's a really nice dessert that was adapted from an 18th century cookery manuscript:

Colonial Apple Cake

1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup shopped nuts
4 cups chopped raw apples
1 cup raisins

Cream shortening & sugar. Add eggs. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Stir in apples, nuts & raisins. Put batter in a 9 x 13 metal pan and bake about 50 minutes in a 350 F oven until done.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 10:52PM
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I am not sure if this qualifies as a first course, but I had this recently at a restaurant and it was very good and refreshing even for it's seeming simplicity.

It was a small glass of tomato juice, rimmed with exotic sea salt. It was served in a bowl of shaved ice with a lime wedge and a mixture of some ground black pepper (apparently an expensive variety but I don't remember the type), and celery seed sprinkled over top.

A small sprig of celery was placed across the rim like a bridge and a borage blossom perched atop that. Borage blossoms taste a bit like cucumber, by the way LOL. I think in place of borage blossoms (which would be hard to obtain unless you grow them yourself) you could make a rosette out of a paper thin ribbon of cucumber. Another idea might be a chive blossom. Different flavour but very pretty, and onion would not be out of place with the other flavours.

It was simple but so refreshing, and the lime juice and salt really made the tomato flavour pop. Very pretty and the colours were phenomenal against the shaved ice.

The diners that were so inclined were served a single, perfect, raw oyster on ice along with their juice. A squeeze of lemon, a drop of hot sauce, and down it went LOL. Not me. But if you are an oyster lover, there you go!


    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 11:14AM
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It qualifies from where I sit (which is mostly at the dinner table); particularly with the oyster.

Overall it sounds like a very sophisticated Virgin Mary.

BTW, not only is borage easy to grow, it helps your tomatoes, because it repels the adult of the tomato horned worm.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 12:52PM
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Make this as fancy as you want, you could serve on endive, spread on those little small square slices of bread or just with your favorite crackers.

Chutney Shrimp Spread

12 oz. cream cheese
1/3 C sour cream
1/4 tsp. garlic powder 1/4 C chutney
1 C cooked shrimp, peeled and chopped

Place cream cheese, sour cream,garlic powder and chutney in bowl of food processor. Process to combine but don't over process as you want small pieces of the chutney to show.
Place in small bowl and stir in shrimp.

Chill and serve with crackers. Makes about 2 cups.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 12:50PM
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Hi everybody - I'm home and I guess I over stated my time away! I should have taken on the dessert course, but thanks GL! Next time you need to, you can give me two or more assignments to make up :-)
This menu sounds delicious so far.

My MIL used to serve either a glass of tomato juice or a perfectly sectioned 1/2 grapefruit with a half cherry on top as the starter at the table for every single dinner that she ever served in her life!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 2:18PM
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Enough of that talk. Tell us about the trip---and the Irish recipes you brought back! Is it true you danced through the streets of Dublin in your Erin Go Brae? ;>)

Dances: Unless you object, I'm going to call it a Floral Tomato Shooter in the summary.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 2:43PM
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GL - your spies were incorrect - it was in Killarney that I danced in the streets, not Dublin! (Well, actually, the entire town dances in the streets all night long every Friday and Saturday nights - ask me how I know? I was in a second floor hotel room on the main street right on top of a pub on Saturday night.)

I didn't bring home any recipes but they sure have great vegetable soup over there - they puree root veggies and it is always very savory - every single pub and restaurant has it on their menu, each slightly different but all delicious.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 3:10PM
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A rice dish would be nice for a side....

Polynesian Rice Mingle

3/4 c wild rice
1 1/4 c Uncle Bens long grain rice
2/3 c butter (I use 1/2 c)
4 c chicken stock
dash garlic salt
3 tbsp minced green onions
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 c coarsley chopped macadamia nuts, (cashews are good too)
chopped parsley

Put wild rice and white rice in casserole dish and pour boiling water over to cover. Let sit 30 min, then strain rice and rinse well. Melt the butter in a large casserole
, add drained rice and stir over med heat until all the butter is absorbed, about 5 min. Pour chicken stock over rice and sprinkle with garlic salt, green onion and soy sauce. Stir well, cover and refridgerate up to two days or overnight. On day of serving, remove casserole from fridge two hours before baking. Stir rice, and bake at 375F for 1 1/2 hours , tightly covered. Seal container with foil under lid. When done, stir and sprinkle with nuts and parsley, garnish with orange slices if you wish.

Serves 8-10

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 10:58AM
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For a side I think we'll go with this one. Quite flavorful, can use fresh veggies from the garden, and low in fat to boot!

Baked Mediterranean Veggies - serves 4

1 small eggplant cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large red bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
1 med zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 small red onion cut in wedges
2 garlic cloves sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp basil
1 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drain and reserve marinade

Oven 400F (see note). In a shallow baking dish, combine veggies with garlic, bay leaves, and seasonings. Drizzle with olive oil and artichoke marinade. Bake 40 min stirring every ten minutes until veggies are fork tender. Cut artichoke hearts into 1/2 inch pieces and stir into veggies. Bake 5 min more and discard bay leaves.

Note: Either cook longer and at same temp as the fish, or cook just before fish, cover and serve warm or room temp, or cook on the bbq.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 11:35AM
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I love both asparagus and crab-this soup is a good combination of the both. It comes from Pick of the Crop, Two, a local cookbook.

Crab and Asparagus Soup

1/4 c. chopped green onion
1 T. butter
1/2 t. curry powder
2 10 3/4-ounce cans cream of asparagus soup
2 7 1/2-ounce cans crabmeat
1 pint half-n-half
1/4 c. sherry

In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter. Stir in curry powder mixing well. Add soup, crabmeat, and half-n-half; simmer until heated, but do not boil. Pour in sherry; simmer additional 5 minutes. Can add 1 10-ounce can of asparagus, drained and mashed.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 7:19PM
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Shelly...your rice recipe sounds really good. Can I use any long grain white rice?


    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 10:40AM
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Nancy, yes any long grain white rice will do. It is a very good recipe, and nice because it can be made ahead and cooked when needed.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 2:29PM
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Whoops...I was sure I posted this. Sorry folks, too late for the Summary, but...

This simple salad is a favorite when we have fresh green beans. I was freezing beans and cauliflower and had a handful each of blanched's a great combination. Sometimes I toss in a little sweet onion.

Cauliflower and Green Bean Salad

Equal parts cauliflower and green beans, cut to bite size
Italian dressing

Blanch cauliflower and beans in boiling water for three minutes. Plunge into cold water and drain. Dress with Italian dressing and chill for at least two hours.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 12:05AM
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