Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fair Is Fair...Halloween In the Country

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A few days ago I posted on some beautiful Halloween decorations on Madison Avenue in New York City.  Whilst my new neck of the woods might not be as chic or sophisticated, I am happy to say we get to enjoy other aspects of  Halloween that maybe the kids in the city miss out on...like cows, and goats, and rides and a fun dinner with frosted green cupcakes at Nani Lindaraxa's house on the lake.

Usually we do this a couple of weekends earlier, but now with two babies in tow,  it  gets difficult sometimes to stick to a schedule.  We were late this year, but we did manage to sneak in an hour before closing and enjoy some of the fun things the Kinsey Family Farm in Gainesville Georgia has to offer right before Halloween.  This is where we buy our pumpkins and our Christmas tree.



Second place winner at the office pumpkin carving contest!


The Kinsey Family Farm


He was patiently waiting for us all along


Like the dogs of Madison Avenue, these goats come in all colors
...like black


and grey


...and white and brown


He definitely knew he was good looking


This is the funniest cow...she even mooos on cue!



Two handsome dudes!


That goat thinks he's already part of the family!


Riding through the farm


Checking out potential Xmas trees!


Green cupcakes with you-know-who trying to get in the act! 


 
 Check out my other blog, My Kitchen By The Lake, where I  share my new country life and lots of easy recipes and decorating ideas.

I do miss the city, terribly sometimes; but if I can't live there, this is definitely not bad for second best!



HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sunday Dinner in New York Part II...Baked Lasagna With Ragu Bolognese

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This is the lasagna I cooked for my friend Reggie Darling in New York last week.  It is definitely not the one you will eat at most restaurants in the United States or in the southern part of Italy.  This is the real deal, the one you will enjoy in Bologna or anywhere in the Tuscan countryside.  There is no mozzarella or thick tomato sauce or lots of Parmesan cheese for that matter.  It is a delicate lasagna with a light bechamel sauce and a slight hint of tomato.  It is divine and as far as lasagnas go, quite elegant.  All you need to go with it is a green salad of your choice.

I encourage you to double the ragu recipe.  It's too much work for the amount it makes.  It freezes beautifully, both as a sauce or if you go all the way and make an extra lasagna.  This recipe will serve 8 with extra for seconds.  Believe me, you want to have enough for seconds!


Ingredients

Bolognese Sauce

Béchamel Sauce

Lasagna pasta (I used DeCecco)

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing a 9- by 12-inch bake-and-serve lasagna pan, no less than 2½ inches high

2/3 cup fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese


Directions

1. Prepare the meat sauce and set aside.

2. Prepare the béchamel, keeping it rather runny, somewhat like sour cream. When done, keep it warm in the upper half of a double boiler, with the heat turned to very low. If a film should form on top, just stir it when you are ready to use it.

3. Set a bowl of cold water near the range, and lay some clean, dry cloth towels flat on a work counter. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rapid boil, add 1 tablespoon salt, and as the water returns to a boil, slip in 4 or 5 of the cut pasta strips. Cook very briefly, just seconds after the water returns to a boil after you dropped in the pasta. Retrieve the strips with a colander scoop or slotted spatula, and plunge them into the bowl of cold water. Pick up the strips, one at a time, rinse them under cold running water, and rub them delicately, as though you were doing fine hand laundry. Squeeze each strip very gently in your hands, then spread if flat on the towel to dry. When all the pasta is cooked in the manner, 4 or 5 strips at a time, and spread out to dry, pat it dry on top with another towel.

*Explanatory note: The washing, wringing, and drying of pasta for lasagna is something of a nuisance, but it is necessary. You first dip the partly cooked pasta into cold water to stop the cooking instantly. This is important because if lasagna pasta is not kept very firm at this stage it will become horribly mushy later when it is baked. And you must afterward rinse off the moist starch on its surface, or the dough will become glued to the towel on which it is laid out to dry, and tear when you are ready to use it.

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

5. Thickly smear the bottom of a lasagna pan with butter and about 1 tablespoon of béchamel. Line the bottom of the pan with a single layer of pasta strips, cutting them to fit the pan, edge to edge, allowing no more than ¼ inch for overlapping.

6. Combine the meat sauce and the béchamel and spread a thin coating of it on the pasta. Sprinkle on some grated parmesan, then add another layer of pasta, cutting it to fit as you did before. Repeat the procedure of spreading the sauce and béchamel mixture, then sprinkling with Parmesan. Use the trimmings of pasta dough to fill in gaps, if necessary. Build up to at least 6 layers of pasta. Leave yourself enough sauce to spread very thinly over the topmost layer. Sprinkle with parmesan and dot with butter.



*Ahead-of-time note: The lasagna may be completed up to 2 days in advance up to this point. Refrigerate under tightly sealing plastic wrap.

8. Bake on the uppermost rack of the preheated oven until a light, golden crust formed on top. It should take between 10 and 15 minutes. If after the first few minutes you don’t see any sign of a crust beginning to form, turn up the oven another 50 to 75 degrees. Do not bake longer then 15 minutes altogether.

9. Remove from the oven and allow to settle for about 10 minutes, then serve at table directly from the pan.


Bolognese Sauce:

1 tablespoon oil

3 tablespoon butter

½ cup chopped onion

2/3 cup chopped celery

2/3 cup chopped carrot

3/4 pound ground beef chuck (I used half beef, half veal)*

salt

black pepper, ground fresh from the mill

1 cup whole milk

whole nutmeg

1 cup dry white wine

1½ cup canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice**

Directions

1. Put the oil, butter and onion in the pot, and turn the heat on to medium. Cook and stir the onion until is has become translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring the vegetables to coat them well.



2. Add the ground beef, a large pinch of salt, & a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork and cook until meat has lost its raw, red color.



3. Add the milk and let simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. Add a tiny grating – about 1/8 teaspoon – of nutmeg and stir.  The milk will take a long time to absorb.  Be patient.  Turn it up higher after awhile to make it go faster (I did)

4. Add the wine, let simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through the surface. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. While the sauce is stirring, you are likely to find that it begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat. To keep it from sticking, continue the cooking, adding ½ cup of water whenever necessary. At the end, however, no water at all must be left and the fat must separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.


Béchamel Sauce:

3 cups milk

6 tablespoons butter

4½ tablespoons flour

¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Put the milk in a saucepan, turn the heat to medium-low, and bring the milk just to the verge of boiling, to the point when it begins to form a ring of small, pearly bubbles.

2. While heating the milk, put the butter in a heavy-bottomed, 4- to 6-cup saucepan, and turn the heat to low. When the butter has melted completely, add the flour and stirring it with a wooden spoon. Cook, while stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Do not allow flour to become colored. Remove from heat.

3. Add the hot milk to the flour-and-butter mixture, no more than 2 tablespoons of it at a time. Stir steadily and thoroughly. As soon as the first 2 tablespoons have been incorporated into the mixture, add 2 more, and continue to stir. Repeat this procedure until you have added ½ cup milk; you can now put in the rest of the milk ½ cup at a time, stirring steadfastly, until all the milk has been smoothly amalgamated with the flour and butter.

4. Place the pot over low heat, add the salt, and cook, stirring without interruption, until the sauce is as dense as thick cream. If you find any lumps forming, dissolve them by beating the sauce rapidly with a whisk
.

*Since I doubled the recipe, I ended up using 3/4 lbs chuck and 3/4 lbs ground veal (I actually cheated and made it almost a pound each!)

*for double the recipe, I used the entire 28oz can f Cento San Marzano tomatoes.

Half of the meat packages above went to a double recipe of the ragu, which in turn made 2 lasagnas, one large one smaller.  The rest was frozen for a meatloaf later on.  Talk about economical!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday Dinner in New York For Reggie Darling, Part I

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A few months back, I came upon a very interesting new blog named ReggieDarling.  Right from the beginning, I knew the person behind it was right up my alley.  He was witty, charming, well educated, a discerning collector, a beautiful writer and above all a gentleman, that rare species one only finds today in those of a certain age .  We became virtual friends when I started to comment on his blog and that friendship became a real one this past weekend when I visited New York and Reggie Darling took Lindaraxa to one of her favorite restaurants, La Grenouille.  Now, it takes a very generous and trusting soul to entertain a virtual stranger at such a temple of haut cuisine.  But that is the kind of guy he is.  We had a marvelous dinner, with an equally delightful Bordeaux and the added pleasure of meeting Boy Fenwick, Reggie Darling's partner in life and on the blog.



La Grenouille
 La Grenouille hasn't changed much... and that is a good thing.  The beautiful flowers are still there, together with the marvelous food and impeccable service.  It is one of the few Old Guard restaurants in New York City where it is still hard to get a table.  The night we were there, a Thursday, it was packed full.  The Magret de Caneton aux Agrumes, Pruneaux et Navets (Braised Duck Breast with Citrus and Turnips) was to die for as well as the little Canadian oysters for a first course.  Needless to say, we all had souffles for dessert.



The beautiful flowers of La Grenouille



Usually a dinner like this just ends there.  We meet, have a great chat, assert that the other is "for real" and get back to our blogs.  But the next morning when I woke up I felt that I wanted to do my part and reciprocate such a nice gesture.  Not only that, but  I really wanted to do something nice for this man.   So why not entertain Reggie D chez nous for Sunday Dinner? 

Sunday night is the perfect time to entertain when you want to keep it simple.  I know that New Yorkers, who eat out on most nights, really appreciate a home cooked meal, one where they don't have to dress up and where they can enjoy good old fashioned comfort food.  So I rang my new friend, who immediately accepted, and the party was on!  A couple of friends from out of town were also in the city and they were invited to round up the group.

After ascertaining the guest list for allergies and "can't eat" or "don't like" , I settled on Marcella Hazan's Lasagna Bolognese,  a green salad and an Apple and Cranbery Crisp for dessert.  I usually wouldn't pair these two on a menu, but the apples at the store looked divine and after all, what could be easier?  You have to remember kitchens in New York are on the small side and my friend doesn't like to cook so the pantry and the gadgets are limited. 

So there you have it.  A home cooked meal for a New York guy who can eat anywhere he wants to...I think that's a match, don't you?


Making the lasagna, still in my nightgown!

 The appetizers were simple. I had brought some Red Pepper Jelly from my local farmer's market as a gift for my hostess to serve over cream cheese with crackers.  This is an old Southern appetizer which everyone seems to love and something you definitely would not find at a New York dinner party.  Pork Rilletes, which I adore, were purchased at Dean & DeLuca although, in my humble opinion, mine are much better.

Saturday was a shopping day and the time to make the ragu which takes at least 4 hours to cook.  Luckily, the Yankees were still in the playoffs so waiting while the sauce simmered away was no pain.  On Sunday the lasagna was assembled, the apple crisp ready to bake, the table set and the New York Times read cover to cover.  We even had time for a nice walk around the reservoir and a stab at the crossword puzzle.


A gift of local apples from the guests of honor


A nice evening was had by all and I was delighted to see everyone go for seconds, especially Reggie D.  By 11:00 o'clock every dish was put away and the hostesses were tucked in their respective beds.  Now, as Ina would say "How easy was that"?

I'm glad I have such nice friends in New York, some old, some new, but all great!  Thank you for a wonderful time.

(Stay tuned for Part II where the lasagna recipe will be posted.  It's much too long for one post.)

Apple Photo: B.Fenwick
top photo Country Living

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween On Madison Avenue

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I had never thought Halloween could be so cool in a city until I visited New York this past week.  I guess it all depends on the neighborhood and the people who live there and boy was I in the right place at the right time!

The area of New York called Carnegie Hill in the Upper Eat Side is home to more kids, dogs, nannies and Ladies Who Lunch than I have ever seen in my lifetime.  I loved it.  I never thought New York could possibly be a fun place to be a kid until I stayed at my BFF's new apartment in this part of the city.  If you want to see kids of every age and dogs of every breed, stroll along the avenue north of 79th Street at around 4:00 in the afternoon on a weekday.  Here is where you will find all the chic moms, and the best behaved kids and dogs in the world.  Here is where the children of the Masters of the Universe go to school, play in the park and have ice cream cones in places like Ciao Bella and Yura while moms sip their lattes and cappuccinos and dogs wait patiently on the sidewalk.  Now tell me, ice cream cones from Ciao Bella, when you were a kid?!

It is also amazing to see the concentration of stores catering to children, from clothes to school supplies with prices to match.  Oh, and these children are fed from the likes of  Dean & DeLuca, Gourmet Garage and Food Emporium all within a 5 block walk from each other.  Need a place to get your nails done? your clothes dry cleaned? There are two on every block.  Mommy heaven! Grooming must be at the top of the list with this group... But can you imagine going trick or treating in this neighborhood?  To die for!










All photos by S. Suarez And Lindaraxa

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Roasted Cornish Hens With Cherry Port Glaze

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A very simple but elegant main dish for a Fall dinner party or family dinner.  Serve with a Gratin of Pearl Onions and Gruyere. and brussel sprouts or haricot verts.

The Pumpkin Flan With Pumpkin Seed Praline would be a killer dessert!

Print

Yield: 4 servings
(serving size: 1/2 hen)

Ingredients

1/2 cup cherry preserves

1/2 cup port

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish hens

1 large onion

juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

Early in the morning, remove and discard giblets and necks from hens. Rinse hens with cold water; pat dry. Remove skin; trim excess fat.  Chop 1 large onion and place in a large ziplock bag with the cornish hens.  Insert some of the onions in the cavity. Squeeze the lemon juice over the hens. Add some salt and pepper. Cover and place back in refrigerator.

Remove hens from the fridge at least an hour before cooking.  Discard the onions.

Preheat oven to 400°. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray.

Combine preserves, port, ginger, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 9 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Working with 1 hen at a time, tie ends of legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under hen. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Set on wire rack on baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Brush hens with cherry mixture; bake 40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 165°, brushing with cherry mixture every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove twine; split hens in half lengthwise.

Recipe adapted from CookingLight

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Start Spreading the News...

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Lindaraxa will be on a short break but back before you know it!

I'm leaving a simple video on how to butterfly a chicken from the folks at Fine Cooking.  So easy a caveman can do it.  Great for when you want to cook a whole chicken on the grill.  You can also catch another video on splitting a chicken which is the best way to get uniform pieces for fried chicken.

When I get back I should have a lot of new things to show you, so stay tuned!


Photo: lost the credit but think it's from Martha

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tapas - Stuffed Mushrooms

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You must have thought that I had forgotten the tapas recipes I promised at the beginning of the year.  Well, I didn't.  It's just that with the extreme weather we had this winter and the extreme heat we had this summer things just had to go in another direction.  But here we are, it's Fall, the store shelves are full of mushrooms and it's definitely time for another forgotten hors d'oeuvre, or tapas, that we used to serve all the time but has long been forgotten.

There is another recipe for stuffed mushrooms in my country blog which you might also want to check out.

 The stuffing in step 1 can be made up to a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



Makes 4 dozen


Ingredients


3 ounces day-old white bread (about 3 slices), crusts removed

2 scallions, white and light-green parts only, roughly chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped

3 ounces fresh goat cheese

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 ounce dry Monterey Jack or Parmesan, grated on small holes of box grater

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

48 button mushrooms (about 1 1/2 pounds), stems removed and caps cleaned

Directions

Pulse the bread in the bowl of a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Place the scallions, bell pepper, and goat cheese in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped and well combined. Transfer mixture to the bowl with the bread crumbs, and stir. Stir in the cilantro, half the grated Monterey Jack, salt, and pepper.

Heat oven to 350 degrees; position rack in the center of oven. Place mushroom caps, cups facing upward, on a large cookie sheet. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of stuffing mixture into each cap. Bake until mushrooms are tender and filling is hot, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove mushrooms, turn oven to broil, and position rack about 4 inches from broiler. Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining grated cheese, and broil until cheese is golden, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Remember When...What A Year!

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The August Vogue Cover, Red Rose,  Norman Parkinson

If you are not a baseball fan, then you don't know that last night one of the most important records in sports history was broken. Roy Halladay of the Phillies broke Don Larsen's record of the only perfect pitch game in the post season. So what year was it?

Hints:

  • The cost of a new car was around $2000

1956 Cadillac Coupe De Ville

  • A gallon of gas was 22 cents

  • Elvis Presley entered the charts with Heartbreak Hotel


  • Steve Ballmer was born

  • Grace Kelly married Prince Ranier


  • The only perfect pitch in World Series Game (Dan Larsen for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers) until last night.



  • Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal

  • The hard disk drive was invented by a team from IBM

  • Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria sank off the coast of Nantucket

  • Fidel Castro and Che Guevara landed in Cuba aboard the boat Granma

  • Marilyn Monroe married Arthur Miller


The 1956 kitchen

  • Soviet Union invaded Hungary to quelch anticommunist uprising

  • I Love Lucy was the No 1 show

  • My Fair Lady opened in New York City

  • General Electric introduced "The Snooz Alarm"

  • To Tell The Truth, Truth or Consequences, The Huntley Brinkley Report and As the World Turns first aired on television

  • Elizabeth Taylor was still married to hubby No 2. Michael Wilding!!





  • Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson for the second time, as an incumbent, in the U,S, Presidential Elections

  • 13-year-old Bobby Fischer beat GM Donald Byrne in the NY Rosenwald chess tournament


A Typical lunch for the Ladies Who Lunch was....

Whiskey Sours
Peppermint Ice Cream With Chocolate Sauce

If you've made it this far and still don't know, it was 1956! Wow, that was the year that was!

Ooops, and I almost forgot!


When was the last time you saw one of these!

I know you are wondering what this has to do with cooking and entertaining.. Nothing at all. I was just at a loss for a new recipe and thought we all needed a break.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Roast Pork Tenderloin With Apple Chutney

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This dish is super easy to prepare and cook, and pork tenderloin is such a tender and lean cut of meat that it is wonderful when you are having guests for dinner.  Bacon and an apple juice and brown sugar glaze help to flavor the mild pork tenderloin.

We had such a beautiful Saturday here in Georgia this past weekend that I decided to change this recipe a bit and make the tenderloins on the grill.  The meat was first marinaded for a couple of hours with lemon juice, garlic, onions, fresh oregano and a bit of Worcestershire Sauce. I then dried them in paper towels and browned and seared them in a very hot fire without the bacon or the rosemary so they wouldn't burn.  They were then removed to a plate to cool slightly, wrapped in just a couple of bacon slices around and covered with some rosemary sprigs.  Back to the grill they went, to the cool part this time, where they cooked covered for another 30 minute or so. Brilliant!

You can baste with the glace if you want.  I didn't but I did serve them with the Apple Chutney recipe below.  You can do both. The next day, we had the tenderloin cold, with the chutney and some potato salad for a wonderful picnic lunch on the boat.

I am sharing the original recipe, just in case you prefer to roast in the oven.

Printable Recipe


Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


Ingredients:

2 pork tenderloins, about 2 pounds

grill seasoning for pork or chicken, about 2 teaspoons, or a similar seasoning blend

6 slices bacon

Rosemary Sprigs

•Glaze:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup apple juice

1 tablespoon Dijon or grainy mustard

dash cinnamon


Preparation:

Heat oven to 400°.

Line a 13x9-inch baking dish with foil; lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Trim excess fat and silver skin from the pork; rub all over with the seasoning blend.

Brown the pork quickly on all sides in an iron skillet on top of the stove.  Remove to a platter and let cool slightly.

Lay a few sprigs of rosemary over pork, wrap bacon around the tenderloins and arrange in the baking dish.

Blend glaze ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside  

Bake the pork for 30 to 40 minutes, or until temperature registers 150° on an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat. Brush the pork generously with the glaze mixture and continue baking for about 10 minutes, or until temperature reaches 160°. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

For the Apple Chutney

2 TB olive oil

1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice

4 green apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 stick cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Directions

 in a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat; add onion. Saute over medium heat until translucent and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add apples; saute 4 minutes more. Add vinegar, raisins, ginger, mustard,  cayenne, cloves, allspice and cinammon stick. Stir well to combine; cover. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until apples are very tender but hold their shape, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with the roast pork.

Makes 4 cups

Photo Lindaraxa

Monday, October 4, 2010

Curried Pumpkin and Leek Flans

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This makes for a beautiful first course or as a side to the main dish.  I usually serve them on a silver platter with the sauce on the side and pass them around.  Everyone can pour a little over their flans.

You can use any type of cooking pumpkin or squash, preferably butternut squash.

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 small cooking pumpkin, about 2 pounds

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 leeks, including 1-inch of green, carefully rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 whole eggs

3 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon curry powder

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Boiling water, as needed

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley, plus extra for garnish


Directions
Preheat oven to 375*F (190*C). Lightly oil a baking sheet. Cut the pumpkin in half through the stem end and place, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until easily pierced with a knife, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Leave the oven set at 375*F (190*C). Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and fibers and discard. Spoon the flesh into a blender. Puree until smooth.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft and begin to fall apart, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and egg yolks, 1 cup of the cream, the sugar, curry powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add three-fourths of the pumpkin puree and all the leeks and stir well.

Butter six 2/3 cup (5 ounce) ramekins or flan molds. Place in a large baking pan and divide the flan mixture evenly among the prepared molds. Pour boiling water into the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the molds. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake until the custards are firm in the center and browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes.

While the flans are baking, combine the chicken stock, the remaining pumpkin puree and the remaining 1/2 cup cream in a saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil gently until reduced by half, 5 to 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove the flans from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each mold and invert onto individual plates. Ladle the sauce around the custards. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

Serves 6.

Recipe adapted from Joanne Weir
Photo by Penina

Friday, October 1, 2010

Memories of the Past...Shrimp Newburg

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A great recipe and a shame it has been forgotten for so long.  This is one of those quintessential dishes of the 50's and 60's that like the tomato aspic got overdone and forgotten forever.  It actually goes back much farther than that to the days of Delmonico's the famous restaurant of the turn of the century.

I don't know what got me thinking of it except that I wanted to do something different with the shrimp, something that was not garlicky or lemony or Chinese.  It was so easy to make that I made it at the same time that I was making an apple chutney for Saturday's dinner party and apple crumb with the leftover fruit for dessert.  Multitasking in the kitchen can sometimes lead you to big boo boos unless you finish something before you start the next and then sit back and watch everything cook at the same time.  This time it worked...but there have been others.

You can serve Shrimp Newburg in pastry shells or with biscuits but my favorite is white rice.  A nice green salad is all you need to accompany.  It is rich and filling but oh so good!

The Newburg Sauce can be used with shrimp or lobster or a mix of the two.

Printable Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients

3/4 to 1 lbs of shrimp

1 TB butter

Sauce Newburg

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

1 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

Salt and Pepper

1 egg yolk

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons dry sherry

Dash of cayenne

Preparation

1.Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the shallots and paprika. Cook, stirring, until shallots are wilted. Sprinkle the mixture with flour and stir with a wire whisk.

2.Add the milk, stirring vigorously with the whisk. Add the cream, salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce through a sieve, preferably of the sort known in French kitchens as a chinois. (I didn't but for a dinner party you should)) Press with a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible from the shallots.  Reheat and add the egg yolk.   Remember to add some sauce to the yolk beforehand if it is still hot.  Mix well and add the sherry and a dash of cayenne.  Set aside.

In a separate skillet heat the 2TB of butter and lightly sautee the shrimp for a couple of minutes.  Don't let them brown. Add the sauce to the shrimp and simmer for a couple of minutes so the shrimp can finish cooking.  Taste for salt and pepper.  You can serve immediately or let cool and reheat later,very low, if you are having guests for dinner.

YIELD  About one and one-half cups .

Recipe adapted from Craig Claiborne & Pierre Franey NYT

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