Tag Archives: butter

Jersey…

Friday, June 28 –

I was looking forward to this dinner pretty much since I started looking online for recipes. There are just so many amazing options to choose from. photo(24)

This dinner we had: BestieExtraordinaire and Mistress Whiskey (herb pancakes stuffed with chargrilled peppers and goat cheese), ChinUp and MyBuddy (fresh pea and tarragon tartlets), WingWoman (seasonal fruits with cream), TroubleWalking and ImpishSmile (wine), and BestestFianceEver and yours truly (white fish with orange glaze, barbecued sweet corn with a chili and honey butter, and wine).

Instead of tuna we decided to use cod to save a little bit of money. I put the slab of fish onto foil, poured the orange glaze sauce over the top, wrapped it up, and stuck it on the grill. Then we put the corn on the grill, shucked them, and then drizzled the chili honey butter on top. The stuffed pancakes were gluten free, but still pretty good. And the tart was a wonderful flavorful dish, bright with the peas and tarragon. For the dessert, WingWoman and I put strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries on a plate, then topped them with freshly whipped cream. Perfect for a hot summer night.

This was definitely one of the better dinners lately, and I’m glad that so many people could join us! Thank you!

Jersey
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.ci-cooperative.com)

Albacore Tuna
This tuna is line caught by a Cornish boat off the coast of Spain. Apparently we have a quota there which is currently being fished. It is also known as longfin due to its long pectoral fins and it is tagged. It is a pinky grey colour with a flakier texture than yellow fin tuna. Cook as for yellow fin tuna, i.e. quickly in a hot pan. Do not poach.

Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
  • salt and black pepper
  • fresh orange rind to garnish (optional)

In a large frying pan or shallow pan mix all the sauce ingredients. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and add the fish. Cook for 6-8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish) turning once. Serve with noodles or rice.

Barbecued Sweet Corn with a Chili and Honey Butter

  • 4 sweetcorn, preferably still in the husk
  • Sunflower oil

For the flavored butter:

  • 100g (4oz) butter
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated root ginger
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Leave the sweetcorn whole and soak in water for one hour before use. Place all the ingredients for the flavored butter in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Then either spoon the butter onto a sheet of cling film and roll it up into a sausage shape and chill for two hours or simply pile into a bowl and chill. When you are ready to cook and have the barbecue ready, pat the sweetcorn dry and brush the husks with a little oil. Cook over a moderate heat turning until patched brown on all sides. Sweetcorn without husks can be cooked wrapped in buttered kitchen foil. It will take about 20 minutes. When cooked, remove the foil or peel back the husk and serve with thin slices of the chilled flavored butter on top of the hot corn.

Advertisements

Iceland…

Monday, March 25 –

Another dinner with a ton of people, how exciting! We had: LostBoy, RubsWithLove, Sir VJ (salad), ChinUp, MyBuddy (caramelized potatoes), OurCuz (wine), BestestFianceEver, and yours truly (fried halibut and bread). photo(7)

We bought 2.3 pounds of halibut, fresh from Central Market. I cut the slab of fish into pieces approximately 2″ square. I figured it would be easier for people to portion control that way. I mixed the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl and rolled the pieces of fish in the flour mixture. I melted a stick of butter in a large pan (medium high) and I fried the pieces of fish in the hot butter. It took me two batches, the last batch smaller than the first batch, so I added chopped onion to the second batch. After I pulled the last of the fish pieces out and set them on a plate with a paper towel; I covered them with foil until the onions were browned and beautiful from frying in the butter.

Dinner was served – fish fried in butter, onions fried in butter, caramelized potatoes, and a salad with strawberries, gorgonzola, almonds, and balsamic dressing. (We couldn’t find a real salad recipe from Iceland, but it does say to serve it with one in the recipe, so I told them to wing it with whatever sounded good.)

The salad was crisp and bright with sweet strawberries. The fish was light and flaky, with only a little bit of the butter flavor lingering. The potatoes kind of tasted like doughnuts and kind of like potatoes. Not bad, but not my favorite. The food was on plates and then disappeared into bellies so fast that I almost missed everyone actually eating it. I think from the silence while the food was being devoured that it was a pretty darn good dinner.

All of the dinner ideas for the I, J, and K countries are up over here. Don’t be shy, come have dinner with us!

Iceland
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.isholf.is)

Lúðubuff – Fried Halibut Steaks

  • 1 1/2 kg. halibut (or turbot, sole or other flat fish)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 150 gr. oil, butter or margarine
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 1/3 tsp. ground pepper
  • 100 gr. onion

Take one small, whole halibut. Cut off the head, tail and fins. Scrape off the slime and loose scales under cold, running water. Cut the fish into slices, about as thick as your thumb is wide. Mix together flour, salt and pepper. Coat the slices with flour mixture and fry in the hot fat until done (3-4 minutes on each side). Remove from the pan and arrange the steaks on a serving dish. Slice the onions and brown in the fat, remove and put on top of the fish. Pour some water on the frying pan, roll it around and pour over the fish. Serve with cooked potatoes, green salad and lemon wedges.
-Try grilling the fish steaks: cut into large cubes and thread onto skewers with onion pieces, fresh mushrooms and pieces of red bell pepper (capsicum).

Brúnaðar kartöflur – Caramelized potatoes

  • 1 kg. cooked potatoes (preferably red)
  • 50 g. butter/margarine
  • 50 g. sugar

Potatoes should preferably be cold, but it is not necessary. They should be small and even sized. If they are too big, cut into smaller pieces, flush with water and pat dry. Put the sugar on a medium hot frying pan. When it starts to brown, add the butter and stir to mix. Lower temperature and add potatoes. Roll the potatoes around to coat evenly. The caramel covering should be soft. Serve hot, for example with the Sunday roast. Caramelized potatoes are also good with all kinds of pork, especially smoked.


Guernsey…

Friday, February 8 –

For some reason, I keep on cooking but I forget to write it up. It’s not that I’m not interested in cooking, but my drive for this blog might be dwindling a little. But I’m so far into it now that I can’t give it up! Cheer me on, whoever is reading this…

Guernsey started off with me picking a fish and potato pie recipe that sounded good at the time. Then I got to the day-of and decided that recipe wasn’t so great sounding after all. Which left me with only a little photo(7)while to look for new recipes, and magically I stumbled onto this crab cake recipe. Any excuse to make crab cakes, in my books, is a good one.

This recipe, however, is just a little bit strange. Good, in the end, but strange. Boiled new potatoes (I removed the skins to keep the creamy texture) mixed with crab, ketchup, and spices? Hm, ok. A sauce made out of sugar and vinegar? Yeah, maybe. So I made the recipe as it is written, using good quality lump crab meat instead of the brown and white that’s listed below. Then I smooshed it altogether, made crab cakes, and fried them in butter. Served with a salad, dinner was ready!

The crab flavor, unfortunately, got completely covered up by the potato flavor. It was sad, really. I happen to love the flavor of crab, so I kind of picked out the crab chunks and then ate the potato mash separate. The sauce that got drizzled on top was a wonderful compliment to the crab flavor, and so I highly recommend keeping that part of the recipe. I also loved the blend of herbs that I used – it made the whole dish bright and flavorful.

Hopefully my drive for this project will pick back up again with the spring and the sunshine. I’m just really dragging my feet on it lately. If you are still in love with it, take a look at the country list and let me know which ones you want to come to. Having other people love it might help me find the love again in this dark, rainy season. Thanks, friends!

Guernsey
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: http://blog.visitguernsey.com)

Guernsey Chancre Crab and Fresh Guernsey Herb Cakes
For the cakes

  • 400g new potatoes (0.88 lb)
  • 250g white crab meat (0.55 lb)
  • 200g brown crab meat (0.44 lb)
  • 15g chopped parsley (1 tbl)
  • 15g chopped chive (1 tbl)
  • 30g chopped coriander (2 tbl)
  • 30g chopped basil (2 tbl)
  • 10g tomato ketchup (2/3 tbl)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g breadcrumbs (0.43 cup)
  • 100g plain flour (0.43 cup)
  • 250ml Guernsey milk (1.05 cup)
  • 1 free range egg

For the dressing:

  • 1 fresh chilli pepper
  • 375ml rice vinegar (1.58 cup)
  • 125g granulated sugar (0.53 cup)
  • Juice of one lime

Method

1) Wash the new potatoes and simmer gently in seasoned water until tender. Remove from the heat and refresh under cold water, drain the potatoes well and lightly crush with a fork, set aside.
2) Pass the brown crab meat through a fine mesh sieve to remove any traces of shell. Pick through the white crab meat to ensure all traces of shell are removed.
3) Bind together the crushed new potatoes, brown and white crab meat, tomato ketchup and chopped fresh Guernsey herbs, season with salt and pepper to taste.
4) Divide the mixture into eight Pattie shapes or spoon into a 7cm diameter pastry ring and repeat until all the mixture is used.
5) Place in a refrigerator until firm. Once the crab cakes are firm, coat them with seasoned plain flour, followed by dipping each one in a mixture of beaten egg and milk. Finally roll in fine breadcrumbs, re-shape with a palette knife to make the cakes all uniform.
6) Gently fry each cake in a generous amount of Guernsey butter, turning each over as necessary. Heat through in a moderate oven before serving with chilli dressing and a salad of Fresh Guernsey Herbs.

For the chilli dressing:
Finely chop the chilli pepper and place with the rice vinegar and sugar into a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and simmer for 15 minutes or until mixture
has reduced to thin syrup, remove from heat and add lime juice.

Serve with a salad of fresh Guernsey herbs.


Ghana…

Wednesday, December 12 –

This dinner, hosted by Hot Momma, was like a family dinner that happened to be a blog post. So much goodness when I can share dinner with the besties in my life. We also had GrandpaBear, BabyBear,  photo(8)SlotMachine, MoneyShot, and of course my BestestFianceEver.

I knew that taking the time to put all the shrimp on skewers to bake them wasn’t going to happen, so I decided to make a curry dish out of it on the stove and serve it over rice. Maybe not true to form for the recipe, but much more appealing on a cold winter night.

So I started with melting butter in a pan, adding onions and cooking until translucent and aromatic. In next went button mushrooms, which I cut in half. Then I liberally sprinkled salt over the veggies and added the curry powder and the white pepper. Once the spices were incorporated I added the lemon juice and the tomato juice. I let the liquid heat up and then I added the shelled, de-veined shrimp. It wasn’t quite right, so I started adding more curry powder, black pepper, and a few drops of hot sauce. It was much better with those added to it. I let that simmer until the shrimp were pink throughout and then I served it over rice that Hot Momma had cooked in a rice cooker.

SlotMachine made a green salad to go with dinner and gari biscuits (more about those later). Dinner was served!

I think that the curry dish left a lot to be desired (more spice, coconut milk, more veggies) but the base of it was pretty decent. Some of the people thought it was too spicy (sorry!) but I thought that it had just the right kick. The gari dish was pretty terrible. It tasted like paste with some sugar on top. Definitely not recommended!

All in all we had lots of wine, a few spicy mouths, and some sass talk. Perfect for a Wednesday night! Next up is Gibraltar – on 12/21/12 – which could be the end of the world! Let me know if you’re interested in joining us.

Ghanaphoto(9)
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.ghananation.com)

Shrimp Kebabs

  • 2 pounds fresh large shrimp, cleaned
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • l/2 pound mushrooms (optional)
  • l/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • Rice to serve

Directions: Season Shrimp with lemon juice and salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Clean Mushrooms. Mix remaining ingredients together. Alternate Shrimp and Mushrooms on skewers; coat with mixture of remaining ingredients and arrange in a shallow baking dish. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F., turning from time to time until Shrimp are done and sauce dries up. Baste constantly. Serve hot. Serves 4 Cooking time: 1 hour


France…

Saturday, October 20 –

I am not even sure where to start with this dinner. It was a potluck and there was so much food that it still hurts to even think about it. A HUGE thank you to Sassy Desserts and ManlyMan for hosting this French food explosion. This might be my favorite dinner so far, and I feel like it’s going to be hard to top in the future (but I will certainly give it a shot!).

DevouringWorld & BestestFianceEver: saffron mussels bisque, au gratin potatoes, mushroom garlic escargot, french bread, 3 types of french cheeses, crackers, wine
ChinUp & MyBuddy: ratatouille, wine
Sassy Desserts & ManlyMan: artichoke tartlets, shrimp cucumber & curry cream cheese canapes, apple clafouti
Kid Kreole: etouffee
Miss Sweets: nutella crepes
Harvey Danger: drinks, garlic bread
RubsWithLove: stuffed pumpkins with everything
Mr. Hero & Hot Momma & BabyBear: wine, french bread
SlotMachine: wine, eclairs
OurCuz: food photographer for the night

I started with the au gratin potatoes, knowing that they had to bake the longest. I sliced up four russet potatoes, which actually filled two 9×12 casserole dishes and needed twice the amount of sauce. I made it exactly as it is written, and it was simple and straight-forward. Butter, then flour, then salt, then milk, then cheese – stirring often. Presto! Cheese sauce! Covered with foil and into the oven for 1.5 hours it went.

Multi-tasking around the sauce thickening I started the escargot. Again, this recipe was followed exactly as it was written and it was simple and easy to make. I soaked the escargot in water and then cut each of the snails in half. In the pan was the butter and garlic, then the mushrooms and snails. Wine, cream, flour, pepper, and tarragon were whisked together and poured on top. Left to simmer for a few moments the sauce thickened and I took it off the heat. Into the baking dish went the mushrooms first, then the escargot into the caps, then the sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheese, then into the oven for about 15 minutes.

As the mushrooms were softening, I was starting the mussels bisque. Lucky number three, this recipe didn’t need much in the way of change either. Mussels cooked in water and wine, drained with liquid reserved. Butter, onion, garlic, leek, and fenugreek cooked until soft. Flour, then saffron mixture, then broth and reserved liquid. Simmer until flavors are all mixed together. Then parsley, salt, pepper, and cream – and finally the shelled mussels.

My thoughts on all of this:

  • saffron mussels bisque and french bread – Flavorful without being heavy. I usually think of bisque as a creamy, heavier base and this was not. With the fresh French bread dipped in it the flavors made a perfect fall-time soup.
  • au gratin potatoes – This dish was all of the best things that I love about cheesy potatoes, especially the crispy cheese on the edges!
  • mushroom garlic escargot – Creamy, garlicy, heavy sauce on top of cheesy, baked mushrooms = heaven. I could have easily left the snails out and been just as happy with the flavor. Yum!
  • 3 types of french cheeses and crackers – There was a creamy white, an herbed, creamy white, and a sharp, nutty orange cheese. This managed to keep the hunger at bay while the oven worked overtime trying to get all of these dishes done.
  • ratatouille – The last time I had ratatouille it was slightly mushy and mostly flavorless. This time, it was heavenly and very, very flavorful. Apparently if you make it like Disney, you get a great dish!
  • artichoke tartlets – Picture it: flaky pastry, gooey cheese, ripe tomatoes, and salty artichoke. Sounds amazing, right? It was. Very, very. Have a party you’re throwing soon? Make these, they won’t disappoint.
  • shrimp cucumber & curry cream cheese canapes – These were indulgent squares of flavorful goodness. It was almost overwhelming how much flavor they had in them, but then you reached for another and realized that you didn’t mind.
  • stuffed pumpkins with everything – Get up. Go to the store. Get the stuff. Go home. Make this recipe RIGHT NOW. Your mouth (and whoever you decide to share it with) will thank you. I could easily see this becoming a base for many recipes in my kitchen.
  • etouffee – This was a homemade recipe, hence no link. It was spicy, slightly creamy, and very flavorful. He even plated it for everyone so that it ended up beautiful when served.
  • nutella crepes – I only managed to eat half of one of these, but it was dangerously good. With banana and nutella inside and whipped cream on top – how could you say no?
  • apple clafouti – Almost like a pie, almost like a tart, and almost like coffee cake – it was amazing. And the very last thing that I could possibly eat.
  • eclairs – I couldn’t even have one of these, I was so full. But they looked amazing and I am sure they were delicious.

Food and wine and people everywhere – holy cow. Thank you to everyone who came to this dinner and made such wonderful food. All of it collectively knocked my socks off and I’m so happy it turned out the way it did. Three cheers to our France potluck!

France
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.allrecipes.com)

Saffron Mussels Bisque

  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
  • 1 1/4 cups white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 leek, bulb only, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, finely crushed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 saffron threads
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream

Directions:  Place saffron threads in a small bowl, and cover with 1 tablespoon boiling water. Set aside.

Scrub mussels clean in several changes of fresh water and pull off beards. Discard any mussels that are cracked or do not close tightly when tapped. Put mussels into a saucepan with wine and water. Cover and cook over high heat, shaking pan frequently, 6-7 minutes or until shells open. Remove mussels, discarding any which remain closed. Strain liquid through a fine sieve and reserve.

Heat butter and oil in a saucepan. Add onion, garlic, leek and fenugreek and cook gently 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add saffron mixture, 2-1/2 cups of reserved cooking liquid and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, keep 8 mussels in shells and remove remaining mussels from shells. Add all mussels to soup and stir in chopped parsley, salt, pepper and cream. Heat through 2-3 minutes. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired, and serve hot.

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

  • 4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 1 quart casserole dish. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.

Easy Garlic Escargots

  • 1 (7 ounce) can escargots, drained
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 20 mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:     Place escargots in a small bowl, and cover with cold water; set aside for 5 minutes. This will help to remove the canned flavor they may have.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking dish.

Drain the water from the escargots and pat dry with a paper towel. Melt butter with the garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the escargots and mushroom caps; cook and stir until the mushroom caps begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Whisk together wine, cream, flour, pepper, and tarragon in a small bowl until the flour is no longer lumpy. Pour this into the skillet, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat, and use a spoon to place the mushrooms upside down into the prepared baking dish. Spoon an escargot into each mushroom cap. Pour the remaining sauce over the mushroom caps and into the baking dish. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake in preheated oven until the Parmesan cheese has turned golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.


Denmark…

Wednesday, July 11 –

“More, please and thank you.” Is what I have to say about the dishes from this dinner. I would be happy to eat like this all the time (but my diet probably wouldn’t!).

And also, HOORAY! I MADE IT A WHOLE YEAR! This blog is officially on its 52nd country. That’s amazing and awesome and I’m super, extra proud of myself and my die-hard participants that join us all the time.

On to the recipes and the notes…

I was SO EXCITED about these recipes that I made three of them. And we had lots of amazing friends and food to share: SassyDesserts made an apple crumb cake and vodka raspberry lemonades, Besti Extraordinaire made a veggie salad, Sir VJ and RubsWithLove made pork crackling and quick pickles, and of course my Wonderful Boyfriend did all the dishes and cleanup.

I started with the salmon log because I wanted it to have time to chill before everyone showed up. I cut the recipe in half, so I used two cans of salmon and put that in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients except the parsley and pecans. I got it all whipped together and then I dumped it into a serving bowl. Then I chopped the pecans in the food processor as well and then just mixed it altogether. I left out the parsley because it’s not my favorite flavor to work with and I would rather taste the salmon. Into the fridge that went until people showed up.

Next came the stuffed celery. I cleaned and cut the stalks and lined them up on a platter. I cut this recipe in half as well, so I put all of the ingredients together in a ziplock and smooshed it altogether. Then I snipped the corner of it and used it like a pastry bag to fill the celery. It didn’t really work as well as frosting, so I ended up smoothing them out with my fingers. Then I topped them with finely chopped green bell pepper and put those out for people to snack on.

Last was the chicken fricassee. I used a roasting pan on two burners, just like it says, which was a little weird at first but worked really, really well. It was much better to get everything cooked evenly without having to do it in batches. I used four pounds of chicken breasts and kept the rest of the recipe as it’s written. I had the temperature a little hot so I had to stir in the eggs really, really quickly, but it ended up working out ok anyway.

As you can see by the photos it was colorful and a great variety of flavors and textures. The chicken was moist and tender. The sauce for it was very, very buttery but still good. The salmon dip was perfect and I would happily make it again. The celery sticks were just like any stuffed celery you’ve had, and maybe even a little too bland for our group. Next time I would choose to use a stronger blue cheese to get more kick. The pork crackling was sinful and moist with a vinegar sauce that was perfect on it. The salad was a sharp cut to the fatty flavors and a perfect addition to the plate. The quick pickles were addictive and perfectly crunchy.

And the dessert was so good I almost can’t write a review on it. Imagine the perfect version of a moist apple cake with a little crunch from the walnuts. Now make it better than that. Now finish the sad feeling of staring at your empty plate and using all of your willpower to not lick it. It was THAT good.

On to the next year of great food and wonderful friends. Cheers!

Denmark
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.mindspring.com)

Chicken Fricassee – Hønsefrikassé

  • 8 pounds chicken — cut in serving piece
  • ½ pound butter
  • 12 pearl onions
  • ½ stalk celery — chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 pound mushrooms — sliced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 egg yolks — beaten
  • ½ cup light cream
  • Parsley — minced
  • Chives

Directions: Place chicken pieces in roasting pan with ¼ pound of the butter, onions, celery and seasonings. Simmer over low heat on top of stove for 25 minutes. (If necessary, light two adjecent burners and place pan across both.) Add wine and mushrooms. Cover and let cook for 20 minutes more, or until chicken is tender.

Melt the remaining ¼ pount butter in another pan and stir in the flour, a little at a time. Blend until smooth, but do not allow to brown.

Place the chicken with onions, celery and mushrooms on a warm serving platter.

Add the broth to butter and flour a little at a time, mixing thoroughly. Stir constantly until it begins to boil, reduce heat to simmering poinnt and add the beaten egg yolks mixed with the cream. Allow sauce to cook for a moment or two, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add parsley and chives.

Salmon Log

  • 1 pound red salmon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese — softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons onion — grated
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • Pecans — crushed
  • Chopped parsley
  • Crackers to serve

Directions:  Drain salmon and remove all skin and bones. Mix all ingredients, except pecans and parsley. Roll into a log or ball. Roll in crushed pecans and parsley. Chill overnight. Serve with crackers.

Stuffed Celery

  • 2 bunches celery
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup roquefort cheese or blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream or french dressing
  • 1 green pepper or
  • 1 pimiento or
  • paprika

Directions:  Separate hearts into individual stalks. Mash cheese, mix smoothly together, adding a little sour cream or french dressing. Fill stalks, garnish with thin strip pepper or pimiento, or sprinkle with paprika.

 

 

 

 

 


Cuba…

Monday, June 18 –

This week’s dinner grew into quite the kitchen fiasco in the best sort of way. We had: Wonderful Boyfriend, Bestie Extraordinaire, Mistress Whiskey, Sassy Desserts, and our newest blog participant, BeerTender. Wonderful Boyfriend was in charge of the mountain of dishes like always. Bestie Extraordinaire made a shrimp and scallop dish. Sassy Desserts brought wine and made a bread pudding with rum sauce. And BeerTender brought shots of tequila and mixed drinks called Hemingway Daiquiris aka “Purple Drink”. And I made spicy Cuban mojo chicken with mango-avocado salsa.

This recipe seems like it has a lot of steps, but it doesn’t really. I started with putting all of the ingredients for the marinade into the food processor and made sure it was good and blended. Then I dumped it over the chicken and let it sit while I waited for everyone to show up. I doubled the marinade recipe and put it over six chicken breasts. There was plenty of marinade to soak them in. Then I put all of the liquids into the pan for the sauce, doubling them as well and let it simmer down. Once it had reduced down to a syrupy texture I added the diced butter and stirred until it was smooth and thick. I moved the pan to the back of the stove and just let it sit until I was done.

At this point people had started to show up – BeerTender was making simple syrup for the drinks (half sugar, half water, simmer down to a thicker texture) and Sassy Desserts was starting on the bread pudding. I got the chicken breasts onto medium-high heat to slightly brown on both sides. Then I put them into the oven like the recipe says. After the time the recipe calls for, the breasts were still raw in the middle. So I covered the pan with foil and put them back into the oven for another ten minutes. After that, voila! They were done. Onto the plate with sauce over the top, then mango, avocado, and cilantro.

During the middle of all of this cooking I wandered down to Bestie Extraordinaire’s kitchen to see how his recipe was going. Apparently he took great liberties with the recipe and added wonderful things like bell peppers of several colors, scallops, lots of garlic, a jalapeno, and a little more onion. It smelled heavenly when I walked in, that’s for sure. He said that he had tried to follow what he knew that we loved to eat and that meant spicing it up a little lot.

Once everything was dished up, the smells were mouth-watering. I’d have to say that I cooked the chicken just a little too long but the sauce more than made up for it. It was sweet/salty/slightly spicy and perfect with the mango and avocado. The rice was the perfect side with the shrimp and scallops perfectly cooked. The tequila went down smooth (like it usually does) and the Hemingway daiquiris were sweet and strong.

As the dishes were being cleared Sassy Desserts and I made the rum sauce and pulled the bread pudding from the oven. Even though we didn’t cook it as long as the recipe called for it was still starting to burn on the bottom. So if you happen to use this recipe, watch your cooking time! The pudding was rich, decadent, and the lemon was just the right brightness to the sauce to keep it from being too sticky sweet.

All in all the dinner was a success. A delicious, plate-clearing success. I feel better about this project again. Thanks to everyone that joined us last night! Only two more C countries left to go!

Cuba
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: bestcubanrecipes.blogspot.com, www.tasteofcuba.com, and www.allrecipes.com)

Spicy Cuban Mojo Chicken with Mango-Avocado Salsa

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 fresh red chile pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 teaspoons orange juice
  • 5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 (8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1/2 avocado
  • chopped fresh cilantro to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley to taste

Directions:     Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Place the cumin seeds, garlic, chile pepper, salt, olive oil, orange juice, and lemon juice into the bowl of a blender; grind to a coarse paste. Toss the chicken with the marinade, then place into the refrigerator, and allow to marinate for about 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until browned. Place into the oven, and cook until the juices run clear, about 8 minutes. When the chicken is done, remove, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 3 to 5 minutes.

While the chicken is in the oven, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, lime zest, honey, and soy sauce in a skillet over medium-high heat. Simmer until the orange juice has reduced to 1/3 of original volume and is beginning to get thick and syrupy. Once thick, remove from heat, and whisk in the butter pieces one at a time until melted; set aside.

To serve, place chicken on the plate and sprinkle with mango and avocado. Drizzle with the sauce, and garnish with cilantro and parsley.

Cuban Shrimp Casserole Recipe – Caserola de Camarones Enchilados

  • 2 cups shrimp, cooked and peeled
  • 2 cups crushed canned tomatoes
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked white rice

Directions:  Saute the onion, garlic and green pepper in the butter. Add the shrimp, salt and pepper. Stir in the canned tomatoes. Add the cooked rice. Place in casserole dish and bake at 375oF for 30 minutes.

Cuban Bread Pudding (Pudin de Pan)

  • 1 loaf Cuban bread
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter (melted)
  • 2 tspn dark rum
  • 2 tspn vino seco (dry white wine)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 grated peel of lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions: Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the milk, sugar, vanilla extract, butter, cinnamon, rum, wine, lemon peel and salt. Cut the bread into one inch small pieces. Place bread pieces into bowl and mix well with an electric mixer. Place raisins into mix and stir with a spoon. You may use a fresh loaf of bread from the bakery if Cuban bread is not available. Make sure the bread is fresh.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter bottom of baking dish and place mix in the dish. Bake for 1 hour or until medium golden brown. Place toothpick inside several places of dish to make sure it is done. Cut into small slices. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and serve warm.