Hot cherry peppers with fresh goat cheese and garnished with fresh thyme tops. A perfect bite to go with drinks.
Kale and Gruyere twice baked potatoes
Coat 2 russet potatoes with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and roast in a 400 degree oven for about an hour or until the potato is cooked all the way through; cut the tops off and scoop out the potato, leaving about 1/4 inch around the edges; mash the potato with butter, warmed milk, salt, pepper, fresh thyme and Gruyere cheese; have ready some sauteed baby kale cooked in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper; fill the bottom with kale and top it with the creamy potato and top again with some more grated Gruyere; place under the broiler to brown; while you brown the filled potato also coat the top with oil and place under the broiler to crisp up and become like a big french fry. I just made a edamame and cherry tomato salad to go on the side.
Stuffed Baby Bella mushrooms with goat cheese, fresh bread crumbs, Shiitaki mushrooms, shallots and fresh thyme
I saute the Shiitaki with shallot, mix it the thyme, bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper; fill Baby Bella shells half way with goat cheese; fill the rest of the way with the Shiitaki filling and bake for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees or until the Baby Bella's start to cook down and the filling gets bubbly and browned.
My friend works with a guy that has cooked for Julia Child, and he actually made this exact recipe for her and she loved it. My friend knows me and copied the recipe for me...
Make a pie dough and line a 10.5 inch tart pan with it, chill for 30 minutes or until firm; preheat the oven to 425; prepare the filling, trim and clean 12 small leeks and roughly chop them; melt 4 Tbsp butter in a saucepan over low heat ; add the leeks, 1 tsp salt and black pepper to taste; cook, covered until the leeks are very soft but not browned, about 20 minutes, if the leeks have given off a lot of excess liquid, drain (which I did); combine 2 large eggs, 1/4 cup Creme Fraiche in a medium bowl and mix well, add the leeks and mix again; add 3 slices of Parma ham coarsely chopped and about 3/4 cup of Gruyere cheese; pour the leek mixture into the prepared tart shell and top with 1 more slice of Parma ham chopped and 1/4 cup more Gruyere cheese; season generously with freshly ground black pepper; bake until browned about 40-45 minutes; serve warm or at room temperature.
Pork tenderloin with bean sprouts, Enoki mushrooms, red chili peppers over vermicelli rice noodles
I marinated the pork by first cutting pieces about 1 1/2 inch pieces and dropping them into a combination of white wine, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar and honey for about 1-2 hours; drain the pork from the marinade and brown in olive oil on all sides and cook through 90% of the way; remove the pork and set aside while you cook the vegetables, add sliced onion then sliced celery; after a couple minutes add a hand full of bean sprouts and the "noodle-like mushrooms" Enoki mushrooms; add a splash of chicken stock and cook until the vegetables are cooked as you like them and add the pork back in; heat through; soak the vermicelli noodles in boiling water for about 3 minutes and remove to your serving dish then top with the pork mixture; garnish with some celery leaves and thinly sliced red chili. This was a healthy version of a stir fry, I didn't want to add soy sauce and cornstarch, I wanted to keep it clean and healthy. It was very good
Baby purple and white carrot salad with orange dressing
It looks like sardines at first glance but Whole Foods had these "just picked looking" baby carrots, that came in 3 colors. I chose the purple and white but they had the orange ones too. I peeled and cleaned up the carrots then braised them in a tsp of butter and a splash of water until they were perfectly tender earlier in the day; I hard boiled 2 eggs and separately chopped them finely; To assemble I plated some greens (arugula and baby kale) on a white plate and laid down the precooked carrots that I cut in half, the eggs over that and the thing that really made this incredible was the orange dressing I made to top it all. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat with a Tbsp of olive oil then add a shallot finely chopped, juice 1 1/2 oranges and about 1 Tbsp of honey into the shallots and cook to reduce; add a pinch of salt and ground black pepper; strain into a small bowl and add the zest of one orange; spoon this over the chopped egg and carrots; season with fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper
Braised chicken thighs with celeriac, potato, onion and pancetta
I seasoned the bone-in skin-on chicken thighs with salt and pepper and browned them skin side down in a stainless steel skillet coated with a little grape seed oil; when the skin is crisp remove the chicken to a plate and drain all but a Tbsp of the fat; add chopped red onion, celeriac and potato chopped; stir around and coat the vegetables in the oil, adding more if you need to, season with salt and pepper; add a splash of white wine and a splash of chicken stock (maybe 1/4 cup each); add the chicken back in and place in a 350 oven for 35 minutes; add a couple handfuls of green seedless grates and put it back in the oven for 5 minutes; remove the chicken and keep warm; reduce the liquid along with the vegetables right in the skillet on top of the stove until you get a nice "sauce" consistency; plate the chicken and spoon some of the vegetables and sauce around. Yum
Swordfish over tomatoes and capers
I followed a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa for this. I must have seen this episode a few times and when I was at the store I saw the swordfish, I thought of this, here is the recipe. It was so good, the combination is great. The next morning I heated some of the tomato and capers combination and served a poached egg over and it was excellent!
Brioche bread pudding with rhubarb and cardamon whipped cream
I bought some rhubarb because it looked good but wasn't sure what I was going to make with it. I also bought some brioche buns and I thought of a bread pudding when I got them. Little did I know I was going to combine the two ideas. I also had a third idea and it was sticky toffee pudding, I looked it up to see what it was made from because I thought it might be made like a bread pudding, well not really, but one of the ingredients was chopped dates. I decided to add dates and cooked and sweetened rhubarb to my bread pudding. It was a 6 pack of buns and they were all stuck together, so I kept them together and cut open like a sandwich and again so I had 3 layers. In a loaf pan I spread some butter then one layer of brioche; sprinkle on some chopped Medjool dates; then add the middle layer of brioche; and then the rhubarb that I cooked with sugar, a splash of water, a pinch of salt and cardamon to flavor; top with the top layer of the brioche buns and prick all over with the tines of a fork to help it really soak in when you add the custard; to make the custard mix together 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of milk, a generous 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and a tsp of vanilla; pour this custard slowly over the top, it may take about 5 minutes to let it settle and let it soak in by helping it along with the tines of a fork; allow it to sit for about 15 minutes before placing it into a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes or until the top starts to puff up. The whipped cream is just whipped and flavored with cardamon, vanilla and confectioners sugar, good stuff!
Rice pudding with cherries and slivered almonds
I got a message that my new favorite lady Beatrice Peltre was demonstrating her rice pudding recipe for the associates at Google in Cambridge. I get updates from her blog and this came in one morning and we were eating it that night. I didn't make the topping the same because I used what I had which was fresh cherries. Her recipe in her book is topped with strawberries stewed in lemongrass and lime. Here is the recipe. I didn't have lemongrass (not something I keep on hand), but I added some lemon zest to the cherries as I stewed them a bit. Mmmm!
Crudite' Platter served with sour cream, cream cheese, mayo and lemon dip
I made this and the Gougere's below for a graduation party. The Gougere's are basically a savory version of the shell of a cream puff or profiterole or even the chocolate eclair. The savory version has Gruyere cheese. You can eat these as is or you can fill them, which was the intention here, to fill with chicken salad. There were a few more things made here but I didn't get the pictures.