RECIPE: Progressive Dinner for July 5

gardenladJuly 1, 2007

Here are this week's assignments:

Appetizer: Woodie

1st Course: Wizard

Soup: Dances

Salad: Meredith

Entree: Katiec

Side #1: GardenLad

Side #2: Shelley

Dessert: Annie

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Thinking that we'll probably be grilling or celebrating somehow during this entire week of our nation's birthday, here's my choice for some great outdoor sipping and munching. (In all honesty I haven't tried the Kamikaze yet, but it's on my schedule. Hopefully, your gardens are blooming basil!) The wings are tried and true from our DS, Mike, they're fab!

Courtesy Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen cookbook
(With thanks to Lythonde, my swap partner a few years ago)

1 small sprig fresh Thai basil (or regular basil)
3/4 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce Triple Sec
1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges

Pick the basil leaves from the stem and set 1 leaf aside for garnish. Chill a martini glass. In a mixing glass, half filled with crushed ice or broken-up ice cubes, muddle the vodka, Triple Sec, and lime with a bar stick. Add the basil leaves and bruise them. Strain into the chilled martini glass, garnish with the remaining basil leaf, and serve.


4 Scotch Bonnet Chilies (or any hot pepper, amount depending upon your taste - we use much less than called for!)
1 Bunch Scallions (Both White & Green Part, trimmed and chopped coarsely)
2 Shallots - Halved
1 Small Onion - Quartered
2 Cloves of Peeled Garlic
1 T Grated Fresh Ginger
2 t Chopped Thyme or 1t dried
2 t Ground All Spice
3 T Canola Oil
3 T Soy Sauce
3 T Lime Juice
2 T Packed Brown Sugar
2 T salt
1 t ground black pepper
1 Cup of water

This is enough to marinate 4 pounds of Meat

Combine Chiles. Scallions, Shallots, Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Thyme. All Spice, Oil, Soy, Lime Juice, Sugar, Salt, Pepper, and Water. Blend in a blender until smooth,
Marinate from a few hours to several days
Mike's quick tip, Sprinkle extra Thyme while grilling.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 8:09AM
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Avocado and Bacon Salad
The Supper Book by Marion Cunningham

8 slices bacon
1/3 c. finely chopped scallions
2 avocados, peeled & cubed
1 head iceburg; rinsed, wrapped, chilled; cut into bite size pieces
salt & pepper to taste


1 1/2 t. lemon juice
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise

Mix the dressing ingredients until smooth, and set aside.
Dice the bacon, fry until crisp, and pat dry with paper towels. Toss together bacon, scallions, avocado, and lettuce in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add enough dressing to coat all the ingredients and toss gently.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 10:13AM
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It's definitely grilling weather (100F here in a few days).I made this the other night with sprigs of fresh sage, pineapple sage and lemon thyme instead of the rosemary. The herbs wrapped themselves around the tenderloins and DH left them on when he grilled. Ohmy it was good.

From Food Network...

Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Recipe courtesy Charlie Palmer, Charlie Palmer's Casual Cooking, William Morrow, 2001
3 (3/4 to 1 pound) pork tenderloins
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

Trim the tenderloins of all fat and silverskin. Place them in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold them without crowding.
Combine the soy sauce, sherry, honey, vinegar, oil, and orange juice in a medium bowl, whisking until well blended. Stir in the rosemary, shallots, and ginger. Pour the mixture over the tenderloins. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.
Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan.
Remove the pork from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Place the tenderloins on the grill and cook, turning frequently, for about 18 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 155 degrees F. Transfer to a platter and allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Slice the pork into 1/4 inch-thick slices, spoon the hot marinade over the pork. Serve with a tossed salad.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 12:59PM
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Years ago on a hot summer afternoon, I was visiting a friend whose family came from Italy. My only exposure to "Italian" food at that time had been spaghetti and meat sauce, pizza, etc. I tasted many things there over the years that blew me away, and were nothing like the "franco american" italian food I was used to.

That day her grandmother served cups of ice cold minestrone type soup out of a thermos. I was appalled at first. COLD SOUP? Not vichy or cucumber or gazpacho, but leftover minestrone soup COLD? I was afraid to try it LOL. But I finally did, and let me tell you it was filling without being too heavy, and very refreshing on a hot day. Afterwards we had grilled sausages, sliced onto the best bread I have ever tasted.

You can use this recipe, or your favourite recipe - just try to keep the fat down because it is served cold. A bit of olive oil is fine, but you don't want cold fat globs in there. Ew. This is a meatless version. Go ahead and use meat stock and add small pieces of cooked beef if you want (leftover steak or roast beef would work well).

Cold Minestrone Soup
1 small potato, peeled and diced
1 cup cooked mixed beans (small beans, lentils, etc.)
1/4 cup ditallini pasta (small tubes) or small soup pasta
1 carrot, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 celery rib with leaves, diced
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups tomato juice
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup vegetable juice (like V8) or more stock or tomato juice
Lemon juice, to taste
Fresh parsley to garnish

Heat a small amount of good olive oil in a soup pot or large sauce pan. Add the potatoes, carrot, onion, and celery and saute, stirring often until they are starting to soften but not brown. Stir in the pasta, beans, garlic, and tomato pieces.

Add the stock and juices, stirring well to make sure nothing is stuck on the bottom. Add salt and pepper to taste, then bring to a simmer. Simmer until the potatoes and pasta are tender.

Remove from heat and cool slightly, then refridgerate until well chilled. Overnight is best because it allows the flavours to meld properly. The pasta may swell and take over, that is part of the charm ;).

Taste and adjust seasonings. A splash of lemon juice will brighten the flavours, and a sprinkling of parsley is a nice touch.

If the soup is too thin after chilling, remove 1/3 and puree it then add back. If soup is too thick you can thin it with more juice, but really this should be thick enough to practically eat with a fork LOL.

I like to add barley as well, but some people don't like the texture of it, especially cold.

If you serve it with hot, crusty bread (try brushing it with oil and garlic and grilling it until toasted) the contrast in temperature and texture is very nice.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 10:21AM
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Anything I hate is wasting a great bed of coals. So anytime we grill an entree I try and plan sides that also can go on the grill.

One that seems to go with everything are these grilled potatoes:

Cut potatoes (peeled or not, as you choose. I leave them on) into julienne pieces about a quarter inch square and two to two and a half inches long. Use one potato per serving.

Liberally butter squares of heavy-duty foil. Put one potato's worth of strips on each square. Dot with additional butter. Sprinkle one sliced garlic clove on the pile of potato strips. Season with salt & pepper. Top with sprigs of rosemary and parsley. Spinkle with olive oil.

Seal the packets well. Set on a hot grill, turning once, 15 minutes per side.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 11:31PM
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For my side dish I am going to offer up another salad. In the summer especially when grilling, lots of times we do up a few differant types of salad as opposed to a side of veggies. This one is very good!

Caribbean Shrimp-Bean Salad Serves 4-6

1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 c sliced celery
1/2 c sliced purple onion, separated into rings
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 c picante sauce
1/4 c lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp honey
6 c water
2 lb unpeeled med size fresh shrimp
lettuce leaves
cherry tomato halves

Mix first ten ingredients, toss gently. Cover and chill 8 hours, stirring occaisonally. Bring water to a boil, add shrimp, cook 3-5 min or til shrimp turn pink. Drain well, rinse with cold water. Chill, peel and devein shrimp. Arrange shrimp around edge of lettuce lined serving plate, spoon black bean mixture in center and garnish with cherry tomato halves.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 10:37AM
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Well, it's certain that we need a nice, cold dessert to go with all this "summer" food. Black cherries are in season here, and the season is short, so this ice cream recipe from Williams Sonoma is perfect, although somewhat time consuming.

Bing Cherry Ice Cream

1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh Bing cherries, stemmed, pitted
and halved
6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the cherries. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let the cherries steep for 30 minutes. Drain the cherries and discard the syrup. Transfer the cherries to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

In a food processor, process the cream cheese until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cream and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar, until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.

Add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture to the cream cheese and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining milk mixture and process for 30 seconds more. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Transfer the cream cheese mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions. When nearly frozen and the consistency of thick whipped cream, add the cherries. Churn or stir just until mixed. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving. Makes about 1 quart.

Oh, and I don't discard the left over syrup. I chop up some more cherries, thicken the syrup and spoon it warm over the ice cream.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 2:00PM
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Cauliflower Fritters

Source of Recipe

Food and Wine

To create these wonderful tapas, Andrés makes a batter with crunchy nubs of chopped cauliflower florets, fries spoonfuls in a skillet and then tops the fritters with yogurt sauce and a dollop of caviar.


1/2 large head of cauliflower, florets finely chopped (2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
6 tablespoons whole-milk yogurt
Salmon caviar, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook for 2 minutes. Drain well, then spread the cauliflower on a paper towelÂlined baking sheet to cool; pat the cauliflower dry.
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon of salt with the baking powder, cumin, coriander, pepper and allspice. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt at high speed until firm peaks form. Fold in the cauliflower and the spice mixture.
Heat a large nonstick skillet. Very lightly oil the skillet. Drop tablespoons of the fritter batter into the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes. Transfer the fritters to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter, coating the skillet with oil as needed.
In a small bowl, blend the yogurt with the 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt. Reheat the fritters in the oven, about 2 minutes. Garnish each fritter with 1/2 teaspoon of yogurt sauce and some caviar. Transfer to a platter and serve.

MAKE AHEAD The fritters can be fried earlier in the day and kept at room temperature. Reheat before serving


    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 7:11PM
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Sounds great, Nancy. Except for the last item.

All those years on the Great Lakes that I used salmon eggs for bait, and couldn't get the smell off my hands---well, there's no way I'd consider eating them.

But a black-olive tapanade, I reckon, would work nicely as a garnish. I'm gonna give it a try that way.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 7:20PM
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