Saturday, March 9, 2013

Valentine Luncheon 2013, part IV: recipes.

Crab Salad
from my friend Cynthia
serves 6-8

1 container jumbo lump crab meat
2 scoops mayonnaise
1 scoop Dijon mustard
Chopped green onions
1 jar capers, drained
A couple of scoops of Kraft horseradish (red top in dairy section)
Lemon juice
Paul Prudhomme Seafood Magic (a bunch of shakes)
Salt (if you think it needs it)

Combine all ingredients. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

***These are obviously very rough measurements that can be adjusted to your taste! I used five containers of crab and quadrupled everything else to serve 32 people. This was REALLY good and oh, so easy.

Fragrant Carrot Soup with Cilantro Cream
from Peace Meals by the Junior League of Houston
Serves 10

5-7 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2½ teaspoons coarse salt, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoons cumin seed, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted and ground
3 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 pounds carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup heavy whipping cream

Heat the broth in a saucepan over low. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot; add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté for 5 minutes then add the garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger and cayenne. Cook until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add a little of the warm broth if the mixture dries out. Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 cups of the warm broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender. Allow to cool slightly. Purée soup with immersion blender (or in small batches in a blender). Add orange juice and additional broth to achieve desired consistency. Season again with remaining teaspoon of salt and additional cayenne if desired. In a small bowl stir together the cilantro and cream. Serve soup with a drizzle of the cilantro cream on top.

Stilton Tart with Cranberry Chutney
from The Gourmet Cookbook

***I serve this hors d'oeuvres every year because it is so delicious, it looks pretty and festive and it can be prepared ahead and chilled and then brought to room temperature and sliced the morning of the luncheon

Pastry dough
1 cup heavy cream
1 whole large egg
2 large egg yolks
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
5 oz. chilled white Stilton cheese, rind removed and cheese crumbled

Make tart shell:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 17- by 8-inch rectangle and fit into 13 x 4 x 1 tart pan with removable bottom. Trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang inward and press against side of pan to reinforce edge. Lightly prick bottom and sides all over with a fork. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Line pastry shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake in middle of oven 20 minutes, then carefully remove foil and weights and bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. Cool shell in pan 20 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Make filling:

Whisk together cream, whole egg, yolks, salt, and pepper until combined.

Put tart shell (still in pan) on a baking sheet and scatter cheese evenly in shell. Slowly pour custard into shell and bake in middle of oven until golden around edge and custard is just set, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool tart completely in pan on a rack. Cut tart into 32 rectangles and serve at room temperature, topped with chutney.

Cranberry Chutney:

2 large shallots (3 oz), coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (12-oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries (not thawed)
⅔ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
½ teaspoon salt
generous pinch dried hot red pepper flakes

Cook shallots in oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, just until berries pop, 10 to 12 minutes, then cool.

(This makes more chutney than needed for the Stilton Tart. Leftover chutney keeps well for several weeks in refrigerator and is delicious on turkey sandwiches.)

Fig and Blue Cheese Savouries

1 cup all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
About 3 tablespoons fig preserves

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the flour, butter, blue cheese, and a few grinds of black pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until the dough just comes together and starts to form a ball.

3. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to pull it together. Then roll out to a 1/8-inch-thick circle with a floured rolling pin. Cut rounds out of the dough with a floured 1-inch round cutter and transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Reroll the scraps (no more than once) and cut more rounds.

4. Using the back of a rounded 1/2-teaspoon measure or your knuckle, make an indentation in the center of each dough round. Spoon about 1/4 teaspoon of the fig preserves into each indentation, using your finger to push the preserves as best as possible into the indentation.

5. Bake the savouries until the preserves are bubbling and the pastry is light golden on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Cranberry Cups with Warm Butter Sauce
from Colorado Collage by the Junior League of Denver

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup evaporated milk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and drained

Butter Sauce:
½ cup unsalted butter
1¾ cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 12-cup muffin tin.

In large bowl cream 3 tablespoons butter and 1 cup sugar until well blended. In a small bowl combine water and ½ cup evaporated milk. Sift together flour, salt and soda. Alternatively add milk mixture and flour mixture to butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in cranberries (batter will be stiff).

Fill prepared muffin cups ¾ full. Bake 20-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool and remove from muffin tin. (May be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Cool thoroughly, cover and store at room temperature.)

In heavy saucepan combine ½ cup butter, 1¾ cups sugar, 1 cup evaporated milk and vanilla over medium-high heat. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside. (Sauce may be prepared up to 3 weeks in advance. Cover and chill.)

Place pudding cups on individual serving plates and top with warmed Butter Sauce.

I have to put in another plug for my VERY favorite iPhone/iPad app, Paprika. I have been slowly importing or manually entering all of the recipes I use into Paprika. There is a free version of the app, but I bought the paid version so that it will keep my recipes synced between my iPhone, iPad and desktop. I typically enter the recipe on my desktop, use the grocery list on it from my iPhone when I'm at the store, and read the recipe on my iPad as I am cooking. Paprika also has a handy email link that I use to send recipes when someone asks for one. Having all of the recipes from this year's Valentine luncheon in Paprika made it an easy task for me to cut and paste them to share here.


I am not getting paid by Paprika to endorse their app, but I wish I were because I have told so many people about it!

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