Sunday, March 13, 2011

Friday Night, March 11 2011, with Lisa and John

This week we invited John and Lisa over. Should I make new recipes or shall I revisit some old ones???? I have been wanting to go back and make some that I have only made one time. I thought I'd do a couple appetizers, a salad, a main pasta dish and dessert.

Fried Sausage-stuffed Green Olives

This was in the Bon Appetit September 2010 (the restaurant issue). These stuffed olives came from a restaurant called Barbacco Eno Trattoria in San Francisco. They are stuffed with sweet sausage, Parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon zest, crushed red pepper and garlic then they are breaded with flour, egg and bread crumbs and fried to crisp the outside and cook the sausage inside, about 7 minutes.

Pot Stickers

I combined ground pork, peanut oil, onion, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, scallions and sesame oil. Filled some wonton skins with this mixture and fried them in a little oil for a minute then steamed them by splashing them with a bit of water and covering the pan with a lid. After 5 minutes remove the lid and let any remaining water cook off. You get one side that's crispy and the other side is soft. I combined soy sauce, sugar, rice wIine vinegar and sesame oil for a little dipping sauce.

Walnut, Apple and Candied Bacon Salad

Lisa is a big fan of walnuts so I had to make a salad like this. I slow cooked some fat bacon in the oven with brown sugar on each one until perfectly done. It was just some baby arugula, spring mix, cherry tomatoes, thin slice apples, walnuts and the bacon. I made a dressing with white wine vinegar, honey, mustard, shallots, salt, pepper and olive oil.

Penne with Five Cheeses

I have made this many times but not lately, so I forgot this pasta should be penne rigate (with the ridges). I bought the regular penne, it was still good but the ridges makes such a difference because it holds more of the sauce. Its easy to make and it's assembled ahead of time so all you have to do is bake it off just before you are ready to eat. It only takes 8-10 minutes in the oven. You combine heavy cream, tomato puree, pecorino Romano, Italian fontina, Gorgonzola, ricotta, mozzarella and fresh basil in a large bowl. Boil Penne Rigate for 5 minutes (underdone because it will finish cooking in the oven) then add to the bowl of cheeses. Either cook in one big shallow baking dish or individual ones. Dot with butter and refrigerate until you are ready to bake it off in a 500 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.

Ruffled Milk Pie

I made this one other time and I have been wanting to make it again. It's store bought phyllo dough that's defrosted in the refrigerator then you pick one piece up and scrunch it into a long gathered piece and spiral it, and place it in the middle of a cake pan. Continue to scrunch into long pieces and go around and around. This is drizzled with clarified butter and baked for 25 minutes in a 350 oven. While its baking you make a custard with eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and when it comes out of the oven you pour the custard over the cooked phyllo and return it to bake another 25 minutes. Dust it with confectioners sugar and more cinnamon. It says to serve it right away but I think I like it better the next day right out of the refrigerator. This is a recipe that was featured on the Martha Stewart show, it's originally made by Chef Vefa Alexiadou.


  1. And as always, the food, drinks and company were great!! We are very fortunate to have such great friends!

    Thanks guys!!!

    John and Lisa

  2. The Fried olives were a nice change, and I like the salty taste. The salad was great as always with plenty of nuts . The ruffed milk pie looked very difficult to make but Jeanne said it was easy. But of course she's a GREAT cook.