Tag Archives: party

Oscar Gold: Red Carpet Recipes

1 Mar

Whether you are hosting an Oscar party tomorrow night or simply want to make yourself a festive feast, here are some recipes that I put together for Lenox that are sure to delight.

tumblr_mhv3ppzdQt1rsdtszo1_1280SMOKED SALMON HORS D’OEUVRES

Here, three simple ingredients become bite-size luxuries: smoked salmon rosettes and smoked salmon pinwheels. Festive and sophisticated, these are the perfect match, in flavor and color!

ROSETTES

– 1 hothouse cucumber
– 8 ounces best-quality, thinly sliced smoked salmon
– 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese

Wash cucumber but do not peel; slice into 1/4-inch thick rounds, about 24. Slice the smoked salmon into 24 strips that are 1-inch wide by 3-inches long. Roll each piece loosely. Curl back the edges and flatten slightly so that it begins to look like a rose. Spread about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese on each cucumber slice and place rosette on top. Arrange on a platter.

MAKES 24

PINWHEELS

– 8 ounces best-quality, thinly sliced smoked salmon
– 8 ounces cream cheese
– 4 kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick

Put 2 slices of smoked salmon slightly overlapping. Spread with a thin layer of cream cheese to cover completely. Roll up like a jelly roll (beginning with short edge) and place in a piece of plastic wrap. Twist the edges so that you have a small tight sausage shape. Chill well. Slice thinly and place a slice on a cucumber round.

MAKES 24

SEARED SCALLOPS ON SWEET PEA PUREEtumblr_mhv48ztfEe1rsdtszo1_1280

This is great any time of the year as frozen peas are always available. Trendy pea shoots can be found at this time of the year in many farmers markets. You can make the pea puree ahead of time and reheat while you’re cooking the scallops.

– 2 10-ounce packages of frozen petits pois
– 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 18 very large sea scallops
– 6 tablespoons dry vermouth
– Handful of pea shoots or microgreens

Put the peas in a saucepan with salted water to just cover. Boil 2 minutes. Drain well and save 3/4 cup cooking liquid in a blender. Process until very smooth and thick (adding more liquid if necessary.) Add salt and pepper and return to saucepan.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan. Season scallops with salt and pepper and sear over high heat for 2 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through. Reheat pea puree until hot; spoon a mound onto each of 6 warm plates. Arrange 3 scallops on puree.

Add the vermouth and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. cook 30 seconds over high heat until syrupy. Pour over scallops and top with pea shoots.

SERVES 6

tumblr_mhv5pluiI81rsdtszo1_1280FILET OF BEEF WITH WASABI-GARLIC CREAM

Kiss your butcher and ask him (or her) to cut you a nice 3-pound filet of beef and tie it like a roast. You can buy wasabi paste in a tube in most supermarkets and Asian food stores.

Serve with black rice tossed with a bit of grated ginger and your favorite vegetable: I’ve chosen diced carrots sauteed in sweet butter with fresh thyme.

– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 3-pound filet of beef, tied
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
– 2 very large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
– 1 tablespoon prepared wasabi

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle the oil on a rimmed baking sheet and toll the beef in the oil. Combine the sugar and 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Rub into the top and sides of the filet (but not the bottom or it will burn.) Roast 25 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer reaches 125 degrees for rare. Meanwhile, bring the cream and garlic to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat and cook stirring until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Push the softened garlic through a press; whisk back into the sauce. Add the wasabi, cook 1 minute, and remove from the heat. Add salt. Transfer the beef to a cutting board. Let rest 10 minutes. Gently reheat the sauce. Remove the strings from the beef and thickly slice.

Serve with the sauce.

SERVES 6

AWARD-WINNING CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKEtumblr_mhv7mjvQM21rsdtszo1_1280

This is the world’s simplest and moistest cake: just be sure to remove it from the oven while the center is still quite soft. Edible gold leaf is available in food stores specializing in Indian food products and in specialty baking shops.

– 10 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 5 extra-large eggs
– 16 ounces best-quality semi-sweet chocolate
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, espresso powder, or fresh orange zest
– 2 pints fresh raspberries, washed and dried
– A few sheets of edible gold leaf, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. butter the sides of the pan with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt until tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. Melt the chocolate with the remaining 10 tablespoons butter slowly over low heat in a medium saucepan; stir until smooth. Fold the chocolate mixture into te egg mixture with a flexible rubber spatula until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla (espresso or orange zest). Pour into the pan. Bake 18 minutes; the center will be quite soft. Let cool. Arrange the raspberries side by side on top of the cake. Top with gold leaf, if using.

SERVES 8

Super Bowl Recipe Countdown (Day 3)

30 Jan

wingsRosemary-Lemon Chicken Wings (From Little Meals, Little, Brown 1993)

Move over, Buffalo; here’s a Tuscan-style recipe for chicken wings bathed in olive oil, rosemary and garlic, resting on a bed of escarole. The marinade makes a quick dressing for the crunchy, bitter greens.

16 chicken wings (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup fruity olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons whole fresh rosemary leaves
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 head of escarole
8 thin lemon slices

Remove wing tips and discard. Cut chicken wings in half. In a bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, bay leaves, rosemary, garlic, salt, and Tabasco sauce for marinade. Add chicken wings and cover. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove wings from marinade. Pat dry. Put on baking tray and cook in oven for 25 minutes. Put under broiler for 5 minutes until golden brown.

Heat marinade just until it boils.

Line platter with escarole leaves. Pile chicken pieces in center. Drizzle platter with warm marinade and garnish with lemon slices.

One-a-day Great Superbowl Recipes (Day 1)

28 Jan
Photo by Hans Gissinger

Photo by Hans Gissinger

Three-Cheese Pimiento Mac with Parmesan Crumbs

I created this recipe for Bon Appétit magazine and it became the cover photo. It’s a comforting, American-styled baked pasta loosely based on a southern favorite – pimiento cheese – whose red bell pepper-cheddar-y taste profile is totally satisfying. The secret ingredient is sweet-and-spicy peppadew peppers. The components can be prepped ahead of time, assembled, and baked 20 minutes before serving. The recipe is easily doubled or tripled for a crowd and perfect for a Superbowl gathering.

1 large red bell pepper, 7 ounces
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
12 peppadew peppers, drained
1 tablespoon peppadew brine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon ancho chile powder
5 ounces extra-sharp yellow cheddar, in small pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
4 ounces shredded whole-milk mozzarella
8 ounces gemelli or medium shells
½ cup panko
3 tablespoons slivered fresh basil

Cut the pepper in half and remove seeds. Cut pepper into 1 inch pieces and put in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup water and 1-1/2 cloves garlic. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and cover. Cook 15 minutes until peppers are very soft. Transfer contents (with water) to a food processor. Add the peppadews, brine, 2 tablespoons butter, chile powder and remaining ½ garlic clove. Process until smooth. Add cheddar and ¼ cup parmesan and process until very smooth.

Boil the pasta in salted water until tender, about 11 minutes. Drain under cold water and pat very dry. Toss pasta with the red pepper sauce. Stir in the mozzarella. Add salt to taste. Pack into a large soufflé dish.

Stir together the remaining ¼ cup parmesan and panko. Add the remaining tablespoon butter and, with your fingers, thoroughly moisten the crumbs. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle on pasta and bake 20 minutes until golden. Scatter basil on top. Serves 4

An Award-Winning Dish for the Oscars

25 Feb

2012-02-25-academyAward.jpg

This is a bit of a shaggy dog story, but a real one. Think of it as a headnote to a recipe I’d like to share so that you have something delicious to make for your Oscar Party this weekend. It’s perfect. It’s multi-culti, can be made two days in advance, and is terrific with ballsy red wine. Lots of it. After all, the Oscars are one long dinner party.

Less than one year ago, I got an email from a stranger. It said “Chef Gold: I am fairly sure the subject dish featured in a recent Bon Appetit is not only the best thing I have ever made (in 40+ years of cooking), it may be the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Bravo! You deserve an Academy Award.”

That recipe was the subject line of Mary LeComte Bowler’s email: Moroccan-Inspired Pastistio with Spicy Lamb & Cinnamon. As a frequent contributor to Bon Appetit, I was asked to write a story about baked pasta. Ms. Bowler, apparently loved the unusual spicing and crossover flavors of a classic Greek dish morphing into a Moroccan one. I sent her a copy of my cookbook, Radically Simple to thank her.

Less than a year later, it was Mary’s son, Andrew, who was nominated for an Academy Award! He and his wife Gigi produced a short film called Time Freak for $25,000.00. They made it in four days. That’s how long it took me to create this recipe!

Anyway, Andrew and Gigi have a great story to tell and you can watch their wonderful interview on the CBS Morning Show just a few days ago. I dedicate this recipe to them and to Andrew’s mother, Mary LeComte Bowler. Look for them early on the red carpet on Sunday. They’ll be there. Enjoy the recipe and enjoy the show.

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Moroccan-Inspired Pastistio with Spicy Lamb & Cinnamon

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping cup finely diced red onion
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons ras el hanout
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound ground lamb
28-ounces plum tomatoes in puree
2 tablespoons dried mint leaves
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3 eggs, separated
1 pound penne rigate
½ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

Heat oil in a very large skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook over high heat 5 minutes until soft. Add lamb and cook 5 minutes until just cooked through. Add tomatoes, ras el hanout, cinnamon, mint, and all but 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Bring to a boil, stirring, lower heat and simmer 20 minutes until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste

Meanwhile, melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook until golden, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Bring milk just to a boil in another saucepan. Slowly add hot milk to flour mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Bring just to a boil, then simmer several minutes until thick. Remove from heat. Stir in feta, egg yolks and remaining cumin. Whisk 1 minute until yolks “cook.” Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender, about 12 minutes. Drain pasta well and transfer to large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons butter, egg whites and 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Arrange 1/2 pasta in a deep 9-x-12 inch lasagna pan. Spread the lamb sauce over pasta. Top with remaining pasta and press firmly. Spoon white sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Bake 40 minutes until bubbly. Serves 8

Super Bowls and Super Bowl

3 Feb

Breaking News:  If you go to facebook.com/lenox and click on the “cooking” tab, you will see that I have a new relationship…with Lenox!  That fabulous all-American tabletop company has decided to join the food revolution and chose me as their culinary consultant.  I’m honored and very excited by the project.  Lenox has been a part of my family’s viewable treasures since I was a young girl.  Whether it was a porcelain swan that my mother used for displaying good chocolates or a small vase tipped with gold that was simply on display, Lenox China was one of those upscale, yet comforting brands that continued to stand the test of time.  Only now their product line includes some of the hippest stuff I’ve seen in a long time.  After writing 12 cookbooks, most of them with photographs of food and the plates upon which it is presented, I am familiar with many tablewares on the market.  I am in love with Lenox’s new sushi sets — stark-white rectangular plates that come with a tiny bowl for soy sauce and…silver chopsticks!  What bride wouldn’t want a dozen of those?  I am using my new white cereal bowls from their Tin Can Alley line with great pleasure, and am totally enamored with their newest line, designed by Donna Karan.   My first assignment was to create a Super Bowl party!  You can view the menu and get all the recipes for this coming-Sunday’s game. The menu includes the Apple-Ginger-Pear Martinis (referenced here yesterday), Espresso Bean Chili with all the fixin’s, Shrimp Veracruz with brown rice, corn and olives (with a radically simple sauce made by emulsifying jarred salsa with olive oil and fresh lime!), and the most succulent Chicken Wings made with rosemary, lemon and garlic.  Addictive!   Also included in February’s food line-up is a menu for the Bridal Registry — featuring a dinner that both bride and-groom-to-be can enjoy.  No longer are the decision makers only women these days. Guys, too, have strong ideas about what china, glassware and accessories they want.  And you’ll notice that my approach skews both traditional and non-traditional — with ideas such as serving an elegant onion soup with apple cider and thyme in a coffee cup, or serving Chocolate Pousse (somewhere between a pudding and mousse) in a tall, graceful wine glass.

Enjoy the recipes from my Super Bowl party!  I hope your team wins.

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