Friday, February 1, 2008

Romantic Dinner For Twelve! - - Shelly & Lindsay February 2008

Romantic Dinner for Two
Made with 100% LOVE

Love Potion #9 – a yummy berry blend
Cheesy Party Bread
Cucumber & Tomato Pesto
Stuffed Mushrooms with Pancetta & Sage

Sensuous Salad
Honey Fruit Salad

Main Squeeze
Chicken Cordon Blue with Mushroom Sauce
Roasted Red Potatoes
Homemade Rolls
Raspberry Butter

Sweet Endings
Chocolate Lava Cake with Raspberry Sauce

*Don’t Forget to Kiss the Cook!

Love Potion #9
(serves 2)

½ cup frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen raspberries
1 cup white grape juice

Place the berries and grape juice in the blender and blend until smooth. If you would prefer a thicker texture, add more berries.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Pancetta, Shallots, and Sage

1 ½ lb. cremini mushrooms (35 to 40)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter; more for the baking dish
*1 ½ oz. pancetta, finely diced
5 medium shallots, finely diced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim and discard the very bottom of the mushrooms stems. Remove the mushroom stems and chop them finely, along with five of the largest mushroom caps.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it starts to render some of its fat, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shallots, sage, and red pepper flakes; cook gently until the shallots are tender, about 4 minutes. Stir the chopped mushroom stems and ½ tsp. salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is tender, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter. When it has melted, transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl and stirIn the breadcrumbs and Parmigiano. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let cool slightly.

Butter a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the mushrooms in one layer. Arrange the mushrooms in the dish and season the cavities with salt. Stuff each cavity with a rounded teaspoonful of the filling, or more as needed. The filling should form a tall mound. (You may have leftover filling; if you have extra mushrooms, keep stuffing until you run out of filling.) Drizzle the mushrooms with the olive oil and bake until the mushrooms are tender and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve warm.

*Cooks’ Note:
Pancetta is a richly flavored Italian Bacon. We purchased it at Tony Caputo’s Market in Salt Lake. This recipe would be fine with regular bacon, but pancetta certainly gives it a unique, delicious flavor.

Cucumber & Tomato Pesto
4 cucumbers
20 grape tomatoes
Small container of pest

Cut cucumbers in slices, put a dab of pesto in the middle and put ½ a grape tomato on top. Enjoy!

Cheesy Party Bread

1 unsliced round loaf sourdough brea
1 lb Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
½ cup butter or margarine, metled
½ cup chopped green onions
2 – 3 tsp poppy seeds

Cut the bread lengthwise and crosswise without cutting through the bottom crust. Inser cheese between cuts. Combine butter, onions and poppy seeds; drizzle over the bread. Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Unwrap; back 10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.

Honey Fruit Salad Dressing

2/3 C sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp celery seed
¼ tsp salt
1/3 C Honey
5 T vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp. grated onion
1 C salad oil

In Blender:
1) Add dry ingredients
2) Add everything but oil and mix
3) Add oil slowly & continuously

For the salad I use a mix a romaine lettuce and baby spinach. I top the lettuce mixture with orange & grapefruit segments, kiwi, and avocado slices. It is best to make individual servings and then drizzle the dressing on each individual salad.

Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ Mushroom Sauce

6 (4-oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
6 (3-oz) ham, thinly sliced
6 (5-oz) Swiss cheese, sliced
½ cup canned cream of chicken soup
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup lowfat sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 scallions, chopped

Spray one 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Lay the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Take care not to pound too hard because the meat may tear or create holes. Arrange a slice of ham and Swiss cheese on top of each chicken breast. Roll each breast tightly and secure with a toothpick. Place the rolled breasts in the prepared baking dish. In a bowl, combine the soup, wine, sour cream, mustard, mushrooms, garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle with the scallions.
Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.

Note: I double the sauce.

Herb Oven Potatoes

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup butter melted
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
¼ tsp pepper
2 lbs. red potatoes, quarted

In a shallow bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Add potatoes, a few at a time; toss and coat. Place in a single layer in a greased baking pan. Drizzle with remaining oil mixture. Back uncovered at 450 for 45 mins.

Yields 6 servings

Roasted Asparagus

2 bunches medium asparagus
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated or shaved Parmesan, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Trim the woddy ends from the asparagus, usually about 1 ½ inches. Lightly peel the remaining stalks (not always necessary, but more of a personal preference). Spread the spears in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roll to coat thoroughly.

Roast the asparagus until lightly browned and tender, about 8 – 10 minutes, giving the pan a good shake about halfway through the to turn the asparagus. Arrange the roated asparagus on a serving platter and top wth some Parmesan. Serve warm or at room temp.

Raspberry Butter
1 (6-ounce) container fresh raspberries, picked through
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
Pinch salt

Directions:Place raspberries in a food processor and pulse until completely pureed. Place raspberry puree in a fine-meshed sieve set over a medium bowl, pressing to extract all the juice from the puree. Discard the seeds and pulp. Pour the strained puree into a medium saucepan and add the lemon juice and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes, or until the mixture slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and cool puree completely. Cream together the butter, honey, salt, and cooled puree until smooth and well blended. (This may take up to 5 minutes on high speed.) Place butter in molds or onto sheets of plastic wrap and roll into logs. Refrigerate until well chilled and firm. Yield: 1 1/2 cups butter

Chocolate Lava Cakes

4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
6 Tbsp. flour

PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Butter four 3/4-cup custard cups or soufflĂ© dishes. Place on baking sheet. MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar until well blended. Blend in eggs and egg yolks with wire whisk. Stir in flour. Divide batter among prepared custard cups. BAKE 13 to 14 min. or until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 1 min. Carefully run small knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto dessert dishes. Serve immediately.

Raspberry Sauce

3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Thaw the berries, if frozen. Do not drain. Place half of the berries in a blender container or food processor bow. Cover and blend or process until berries are smooth. Press berries through a fine-mesh sieve; discard seeds. Repeat with remaining berries. (You should have about ½ cup sieved puree from each 1 ½ cup berries.)

In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch. Add sieved berries. Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature before serving. Makes about 1 cup sauce.

And . . . The Mood . . . . .