Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 2009 - Judith & Kristy

Thank you to Judith & Kristy (and their cute nieces) for treating us to wonderful evening at the beach house in Maine. (Well, that's what it felt like anyway.) Great job ladies! Now where can I get three little servant girls to help me next time???

(One little note: Sorry about the crazy fonts, I don't know what is going on. Sometimes Blogger can be so weird. Bare with me . . . )

The Darling Invitations:



Party Time Crab Salad

Mango & Mint Salsa

Buffalo Chicken Dip


Citrus Grape Splash


Apple Coleslaw


Clam Chowder

Main Course:

Halibut in Hazelnut Romesco Sauce

Summer Vegetable Succotash

Fresh Pineapple Slice


Crème Brulee

Key Lime Pie


Party Time Crab Salad


  • 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, cartilage removed
  • 1 cup diced (1/4 inch) peeled hothouse (seedless) cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely slivered fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, for garnish
  • 6 mint or basil sprigs, for garnish


1. Combine the crabmeat and cucumber in a bowl. Carefully toss together with the lime juice and olive oil. Add the slivered basil, salt, and pepper; combine gently, trying not to break up the crabmeat.

Mango and Mint Salsa


  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and pitted
  • 1/4 cup diced (1/4 inch) red onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced jalapeño pepper, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Cut the mango into 1/4-inch dice and place in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 hours before serving.

Buffalo Chicken Dip


4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, boiled, drained and shredded with 2 forks
1 (12 ounce) bottle Frank's Hot Sauce
16 ounces cream cheese
1 (16 ounce) bottle Ranch dressing
1/2 cup minced celery
8 ounces shredded Monterey jack or sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan, combine the shredded chicken meat with entire bottle of Frank's hot sauce, spreading to form an even layer.


In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream cheese with entire bottle of Ranch dressing, stirring until smooth and hot. Pour evenly over the chicken mixture. Sprinkle celery over top. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, then sprinkle cheese over top and bake uncovered for another 15 or 20 minutes until just hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving with celery sticks or any sturdy dipping chip.

Citrus Grape Splash

1 can frozen white grape juice

1 (2 liter) bottle of Fresca

Orange and lime slices

Mix together, serve over ice and garnish with orange and lime slices


Apple Coleslaw


¾ cup Miracle Whip Dressing

1 Tbsp. honey

16 oz of shredded cabbage

2 apples (preferably 1 red and 1 green), chopped


Mix dressing and honey in large bowl

Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly

Refrigerate 1 hour


Clam Chowder

¼ pound butter

1/3 cup ground onion

½ cup flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 quart milk

½ quart half-and-half

1 ¼ cups clam juice (or nectar)

1 cup clams (canned)

1 cup diced potatoes, cooked

1 cup diced celery, cooked

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in double boiler; add onion, and saute. Add flour and cornstarch; cook 10 minutes. Add milk, half-and-half and clam juice; cook until slightly thickened. Add clams and vegetables. Add garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste, and top with chopped parsley. Serves 6 to 8.

(So sorry we forgot to take a picture on the plate when it was first served;
we improvised.)

Halibut in Hazelnut Romesco Sauce


· 1 large tomato (about 9 ounces)

· 1/2 cup hazelnuts (about 2 1/2 ounces)

· 1/2 cup roasted bell peppers from jar

· 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

· 2 garlic cloves, chopped

· 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

· 1 teaspoon Sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar

· 1/2 teaspoon salt

· 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

· 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

· 4 6-ounce halibut fillets

· 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth

· Chopped fresh parsley (optional)


Preheat broiler. Place tomato on rimmed baking sheet and broil until skin is blistered and slipping off, turning once with tongs, about 3 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel skin off tomato, then cut in half and squeeze out seeds.

Chop nuts in processor; add tomato, roasted bell peppers, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, paprika, vinegar, salt, and cayenne, then puree. Transfer romesco sauce to bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Melt butter with remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add broth to same skillet and bring to boil; stir in romesco sauce. Pour sauce over halibut.

Summer Vegetable Succotash


  • 1 lb small (1-inch) yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (preferably corn oil)
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 ears; preferably yellow and white)
  • 8 oz baby pattypan squash, trimmed and quartered
  • 8 oz frozen shelled edamame (fresh soybeans) or baby lima beans (1 1/2 cups), cooked according to package directions and cooled
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives


Cover potatoes with cold salted water by 1 inch in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat until foam subsides, then sauté potatoes with salt and pepper to taste, turning once or twice, until nicely crusted, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Sauté corn and squash in remaining 3 tablespoons butter in skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans and sauté, stirring, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and add to potatoes with onion and chives, stirring to combine.

Cooks' notes: • If you can only find edamame in the pod, you'll need to buy a 1-pound bag and shell them. • Potatoes and edamame can be boiled (but not sautéed) 1 day ahead. Cool, then chill, covered.


Classic Crème Brûlée

8 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated
white sugar
2 cups heavy
1 teaspoon pure
vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated white sugar (for the caramelized tops)

Preheat oven to 300ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add cream and vanilla, and continue to whisk until well blended. Strain into a large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles.

Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or custard cups. Place ramekins in a water bath (large pan filled with 1 or 2 inches of hot water) and bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar over each custard. For best results, use a small, hand-held torch to melt sugar. If you don't have a torch, place under the broiler until sugar melts. Re-chill custards for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Key Lime Pie


For crust

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice (if using bottled, preferably Manhattan brand)

For topping

  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream


Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.

Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Make filling and bake pie:
Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

Make topping:
Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream.

Take Home Gift:

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