Tag Archives: cucumber

Laos…

Friday, October 18 –

Guys… I did it again. I swear we had this dinner… I just never posted it. *sigh*photo (1)

We had WingWoman and LightsOn over for this. LightsOn and I both made chicken dishes. They were delicious and we stuffed ourselves silly.

Proof is in the photo!

My next dinner is Latvia and I plan on cooking it on Sunday. I will try my best to post asap after so that I can tell you all the great stories…

Laos
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: http://queenofwishfulshrinking.com)

Chicken Laap

  • 450gms/1lb of minced chicken
  • 1 lemon grass stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 red chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 60ml/4tbsp lime juice
  • 30ml/2tbsp fish sauce
  • 15ml/1tbsp roasted ground rice
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 30ml/2tbsp coriander leaves
  • mixed salad leaves, to serve
  • cucumber and tomato slices, and a few sprigs of mint, to garnish

1. Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Add the minced chicken and a little water to moisten while cooking.

2. Stir constantly until cooked; this will take about 7-10minutes.

3. Transfer the chooked chicken to a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

4. Serve on a bed of mixed salad leaves and garnish with cucumber, tomato slices and a few sprigs of mint.

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India… {Potluck!}

Saturday, April 6 –

There was SO MUCH FOOD. Oh my gosh. We had lamb korma, two types of chicken tikka, matar paneer, raita, gluten-free naan, gluten-free onion fritters, mango lassi, rice, gulab jamun, chutney, samosas, and a potato dish photo(8)that I missed the name of. There was a ton of people and we all ate so well there was much groaning and belly patting. I can’t even tell you how much fun it was to have so many cooks participate. Thank you, again, to everyone that cooked, ate, drank, and participated in the India potluck. Thank you to RubsWithLove and SirVJ for hosting this dinner!

Let me admit that this dinner was hard for me because I was having an allergy attack so bad that I couldn’t smell or taste anything. Ugh. I don’t recommend it. Four allergy pills and an air purifier later, I finally enjoyed the dinner.

I made the matar paneer recipe as it was written (however, I did not really measure the spices very well at all) but when I was all done it just didn’t look like the matar paneer that I was used to at restaurants. So I added coconut milk to it. But that watered down the flavor so much that it didn’t taste like anything other than coconut milk and a spicy-heat punch to the tongue. Not so good. So I kept adding the spices that the recipe called for trying to fix it. That worked… a little bit. I ended up dumping in curry powder and it fixed it just fine. I know I probably shouldn’t have messed with it, but it did not look like the photo – not one bit! In the end it turned out ok. Not my favorite, but ok.

The raita was easy to make and pretty much vanished because of how many spicy dishes we had. I am super glad that I made a double batch. Everything else was so good that I wanted to eat seconds (I didn’t, but I wanted to!). I definitely recommend Indian food as a great potluck idea for parties! Just make sure to have mints on hand after everyone is done eating.

India
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at:  www.sailusfood.com and www.epicurious.com)

Matar Paneer Recipe

  • 1/4 kg paneer – cube and saute in a tsp of ghee till lightly browned
  • small cup fresh green peas
  • 1 large onion, finely chop
  • ginger-green chilli paste (1″ ginger piece+3 green chillis)
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli pwd
  • pinch of turmeric pwd
  • 1 1/4 tsps coriander pwd
  • 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • pinch of garam masala pwd
  • 1 tsp Kitchen King masala pwd
  • 1 tsp malai, top of milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

1 Heat oil in a cooking vessel, add the onions and sauté, approx 4-5 mts. Add ginger-green chilli paste, coriander pwd, turmeric pwd, red chilli pwd and combine. Add few tbsps water and saute for a mt.
2 Add tomatoes and cook for 4-5 mts. Turn off heat and cool. Make a coarse paste.
3 Return this paste to the vessel, add a cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce flame, add the green peas and cook for 6 mts. Add the paneer and malai and simmer for 7-8 mts. Add salt. Simmer for a few more mts.
4 Stir in malai, garam masala pwd, Kitchen King masala and kasuri methi and combine, cook for a mt. Turn off flame.
5 Let it sit for a while before serving. The gravy thickens, so at the time of serving, add a little milk and combine. Serve hot with rotis or naan.

Traditional Indian Raita

  •     1/2 cup plain yogurt
  •     1/2 cup chopped seeded English hothouse cucumber
  •     2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  •     2 teaspoons chopped green onions
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Preparation: Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt. Chill raita, covered, until ready to serve.


Hungary…

Monday, March 18 –

Full house for this dinner, that’s for sure! We had: Hot Momma (wine and bread), Baby Bear, MoneyShot, SlotMachine (cucumber salad, wine, and beer), Officially Gangster, ChinUp (goulash), MyBuddy, photo(5)BestestFianceEver, and yours truly. Whew, what a crowd! And we had some seriously good food, too.

I heated up two large pans and put the cubed pork in, browning the pieces on both sides but not worrying about cooking them all the way through. Then I transferred the pieces from the secondary pan to the main large one and added a little oil to the smaller pan and cooked the onions until they were translucent. In the big pan I added in the paprika, crushed tomato, sugar, bay leaves, water, and drained sauerkraut. Once the onions were done I added them in as well. Covered and set to simmer on low until everyone showed up. Once everyone was over I added the sour cream, stirred, and it was ready to go.

The green beans I rinsed and trimmed off the ends. I put them into a large pot, covered them in water, set it on the stove, covered it and turned it onto medium high. I let that boil until they were tender but not squishy. Drained and set aside. In another pan, while the beans were simmering, I melted the butter, added the onions, and cooked until they were soft. I used dried dill and then added the flour. Once that was well mixed I added the rest, let it bubble, and it thickened pretty quickly. I added the beans, stirred, turned the heat to low and put the lid back on.

That’s all four burners going at once! Which meant I had to quickly shuffle the two extra pans into the sink when everyone showed up so that the goulash could be on the heat as well. And dinner was served!photo(4)

The pork was tender and cooked through after being on low for about 40 minutes. The sauerkraut, tomatoes, and sour cream tasted almost like a vodka sauce for pasta. You almost couldn’t tell it was sauerkraut except for the texture. That with a good crusty bread would be a great warm, filling dinner. The goulash looked tender (I say looked because I didn’t try it, as it was beef) but the potatoes I did nibble on had great flavor and were extremely good. And finally the cucumber salad was a good bright, sharp flavor to cut between the rich flavors.

Definitely a win all around – and all of the plates were scraped clean. Keep these recipes handy!

Hungary
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~june4)

Sauerkraut and Pork (Szekely gulyas)

  • 2 lbs. pork cubedphoto(6)
  • 1 &1/2 lbs. sauerkraut, rinse and drained
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbls. lard or oil (if meat is very lean)
  • 2 Tbls. Hungarian sweet paprika (no generic please)
  • 1 large can of crushed tomato (or fresh tomatoes peeled and crushed)
  • 1 Tbls. sugar
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 pint of sour cream (no yogurt please)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat and onion (in lard or oil if needed) in a pot with lid. Add the paprika to the meat and onion mix, stir to mix in (do not burn). Put in the drained sauerkraut, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Mix. Cover pot. Cook slowly for about one hour, or until meat is tender. Add the sour cream and stir it in. The aroma will make yphoto(3)our mouth water. Serve in soup plates, with good crusty bread, a meal fit for the Kaiser.

Green Beans with Dill (Kapros zoldbabfozelek)

  • 2 packages of green beans
  • 2 Tbl. Lard or butter
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 1/2 cup of sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup of good vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbl. chopped fresh dill

Directions: Cook beans in salted water till tender, not soft. Melt lard or butter, add onions and saute till limp, add chopped dill. Then add flour making a roux. Add 1 cup of water, sugar and vinegar and stir while the sauce gets thick. Add drained beans, and mix, if too thick add a little more water.


Greece…

Monday, December 31 –

Greece happened, just not the way I had imagined at first. I thought, New Years Eve + Greek food = great idea! But the planning and execution of the event made it more as appetizers, and most people showed up after they had had dinner, and most people didn’t make the stuff they brought (a few as wonderful exceptions). There was Greek food, it was good, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what was handmade and what was bought, so I’m not going to report everything. There were so many people there that I’m not going to go through them all here either. Just believe me, it was a damn good party.

I made the Greek salad exactly as it is written except I used cherry tomatoes and left out the olives. I made the spanikopita exactly as it is written except I put it into a casserole and cut it into squares instead of folding them.

By the time I got to the champagne toast and was ready to leave I realized that I never really had dinner, and I only had a bite or two of a couple of dishes (oops!), but what I had was delicious. Thank you to everyone who made and bought stuff to share for the party – it was quite the bash!

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

Spanikopita

  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat phyllo dough
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet. Mix the spinach, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt in a bowl.
Arrange one sheet of phyllo dough on a clean work surface and brush with melted butter. Cover the remaining phyllo dough with a damp towel. Place a second sheet of phyllo on top and brush with butter, then place a third sheet on top. Cut the buttered phyllo lengthwise into four strips.
Place about 1 tablespoon of the spinach mixture on the bottom of each strip. Take the bottom right corner and fold the dough over the filling to make a triangle. Fold the bottom left corner up to make another triangle. Continue folding until all the dough is folded. Arrange the stuffed triangles, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly brush the triangle with butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo dough and spinach filling.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Greek Salad

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 6 black Greek olives, pitted and sliced

Directions: In shallow salad bowl, or on serving platter, combine tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. Sprinkle with oil, lemon juice, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle feta cheese and olives over salad. Serve.


Gaza Strip…

Friday, November 30 –

Did you miss me? I missed you. I let this blog dinner slide into being about a week late, and I felt guilty the whole time. But I’m all caught up now, I promise!

This dinner was just BestestFianceEver and me and it was wonderful. I started with the stuffed cabbage by prepping all of the veggies, spices, and stuff for the filling. I used somewhere between one cup and one andphoto(3) a half cups of ground lamb – it was one large handful. Then half a chopped onion, half a cup of rice, then two teaspoons of each of the spices. Mixed altogether and let sit while I prepped the cabbage. We only bought a half of a head of green cabbage and we boiled each leaf for a few minutes each until they were pliable. Then I filled them with the meat stuffing, wrapped them as carefully as I could, and set them at the bottom of another pot. BestestFianceEver had the genius idea of using the hot water from boiling the cabbage to pour over the cabbage rolls. I ended up using just over two cups of that water to almost cover a double layer of rolls. I dumped a couple of scoops of chopped garlic over the top and turned the heat on and let it simmer for an hour. (I never did see where the lemon juice in that recipe was supposed to go…)

While we were waiting for that to cook, I chopped a little cucumber, a little tomato, a few leaves of mint, a radish, and a green onion, mixing them altogether. I put on a sprinkle of parsley, a dash of olive oil, and a good squirt of lemon juice. I let that mix marinate together for about a half hour. Then I shredded some lettuce leaves and scooped the tomato mix and set it on top, pouring the juices over the whole as a salad dressing.

To round out the dinner I decided to make baked fried eggplant. Not necessarily a true Gaza Strip recipe, but it kept with the theme and it was less calories than doing true fried eggplant.

When there was only ten minutes left on the cabbage rolls I toasted some pita in the oven next to the eggplant and set the slices on the plates next to the salad mixture. A scoop of sour cream for my plate, a few cabbage rolls for each, and we were ready for dinner!

The salad was a bright, sharp flavor that cut nicely into the cabbage/meat flavor. The cabbage rolls were flavorful and filling. I would definitely make them again.

Gaza Strip
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.webgaza.net)

Fattoush

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 spring onions
  • Lettuce
  • 1 Radish
  • Parsley
  • Green mint
  • 1 loaf of pita bread
  • Dressing: Lemon, salt, and olive oil

Fattoush Preparation: Cut the vegetables into small – medium size pieces. The lettuce, parsley and green mint should be cut in small pieces. Cut the pita bread into squares of 1 square cm each and either fry them until golden brown or roast them under the grill. Add the bread to the vegetable mixture. Add lemon, salt, and olive oil to taste.

Malfouf – Stuffed Cabbage

  • Medium Cabbage
  • 1 ½ cups ground lamb
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • Garlic, you need few whole garlic cloves peeled and some minced.
  • Optional, you may use whole head of garlic with the peel in between the layers
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of the following spices: Cumin, Caraway, Coriander, Cinnamon, Salt and Black Pepper. You may all the above spices or omit whichever you do not like to use.
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 cup Lemon juice
  • 1 cup water or as needed

Preparation:     Wash and drain rice.    Mix up the ground meat, diced onions and rice; add cooking oil and the spices (Cumin, Caraway, Coriander, Salt and Black Pepper) set aside.    Prepare your cabbage leaves by separating the leaves from the cabbage head. Cut away stems, save them and use them at the bottom of the pot.    Boil the leaves a few at a time in boiling salted water until they are soft enough to roll.    Prepare stuffing of meat, rice, salt, pepper and the above spices.    Cut the leaves to form a cigar size roll. Place stuffing on each leaf, fold sides toward center and roll up from bottom into a cigar shape (similar with stuffed vine leaves). Do not over stuff; make sure that you have space for the rice to expand inside the cabbage rolls.    Press together firmly. Place layer of the saved stems.    Place the whole garlic heads in between the rolled Malfouf.    Sprinkle with salt, caraway and cumin in between layers. Add water, boil then simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. Half way through the cooking time add crushed garlic on to. Let simmer. Simmer gently until rice is tender in barely enough water to cover. Invert your pot in a platter.    You may serve this dish hot or at room temperature, depends on your personal taste.


Gabon…

Monday, November 12 –

Yes, I know this dinner was made a day later than it should have been, but it was super important for us to be at one of our bestie’s birthday dinners, so it had to happen. Worth it to be able to be there.

This dinner was just BestestFianceEver and I, and it was perfect because of that. Because there were only two of us, I just winged it on the amounts and it turned out perfectly.

Mustard chicken – I took two chicken breasts and browned them in vegetable oil, then set them aside. I threw in half a chopped onion and browned the pieces before adding a quarter cup of dijon mustard and a quarter cup of yellow mustard, juice from one small lemon, and four crushed garlic cloves. Mixed it all up, put the chicken back in, put the lid on, let it cook on medium-low for 10 minutes. Turned the chicken, stirred the mustard sauce, put the lid back on, cooked for 10 more minutes.

For the salad I chopped up a small wedge of onion, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and a third of a cucumber. On top went a squirt of lemon juice, a dash of olive oil, shakes of dried parsley, pepper, and salt, and then a pinch of chopped fresh mint. Mixed that altogether and let it sit until the chicken was done cooking.

With the rice done (just a small amount for the two of us), dinner was served. The chicken was moist and flavorful, the sauce was tangy without being overwhelming, the rice was a perfect starch to put the sauce on, and the salad was a good, bright flavor to cut the mustard. All in all, a win on both recipes. If you want an easy, quick dinner for any night of the week, this is a great one.

Gabon
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.celtnet.org.uk)

Gabon Cucumber Salad

  • 1 large onion, sliced paper thin
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bunch parsley, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp minced mint
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Slice the onion paper thin, cut the tomato into thin slices. Peel the cucumber, slice in half and then cut into long thin slices (about the same length as the tomato). M9x together the onion, tomato cucumber and parsley. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and cumin. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Gabon Mustard Chicken

  • 8 chicken pieces (legs, thighs, breasts
  • 200ml mustard (Dijon for a milder flavor or a mix of Dijon and English for more of a punch)
  • 1 kg onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • rice to serve

Brown the chicken in a little oil then transfer to a plate and fry the onions in the same oil until translucent. Transfer the onions to a large lidded pot, add the chicken, mustard and lemon juice. Mix together then cover the pot with aluminum foil and then the lid to trap all the steam. Cook on very low heat for about an hour until the chicken is cooked through. Serve on a bed of rice.


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.