Avocado Mousse in Smoked Salmon
Brie in a Blanket
SOUP OR SALAD
Serves about 20 as an hors d'oeuvre or appetizer
Total Prep Time: About 1 hour
8 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
Line a 4-cup round mold with plastic wrap (a Pyrex dish is good for this). Lay about 1/3 of the salmon over the plastic wrap, overlapping each slice slightly and hanging the ends over the edge, to cover the mold. Chop the remaining salmon into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and sour cream until creamy and well combined. Add the hot pepper sauce and salt and stir well. In a small saucepan, heat the lemon juice over very low heat. Pour into a 1/2-cup ramekin and sprinkle with the gelatin, stirring until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir into the cream cheese mixture. Fold in the chopped smoked salmon and scallions. Spoon 1/3 of the mousse into the mold, top with a layer of avocado slices, then gently spread with 1/2 the salmon roe. Spread 1/3 of the mousse on top of the roe, and top with the remaining avocado slices and roe. Spread the remaining mousse over the top.
Fold the overhanging salmon strips over to completely enclose the mousse. Cover with the plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 3 hours, or overnight.
To unmold, place the mold in a bowl of warm water for 10 seconds. Unwrap the plastic from the bottom of the mold and invert the mold onto a serving plate. Gently shake to release the mold and unwrap completely. Serve on or with toasted croutons or crackers.
Preparation Time: aboutr\ 30 minutes
2 packages refrigerated crescent dough
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, work the dough into a thin circle large enough to completely wrap the Brie. Place the whole wheel of Brie in the center of the dough. Using a fork, prick the top of the Brie in several places. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the green pepper sauce (right from the bottle) over top of the Brie trying to get it directly into the holes; let it sink in. Sprinkle the bits of minced chile over top of the Brie.
Carefully fold the dough up and over the Brie, working it together and pinching the edges, trying to smooth it out. Brush the beaten egg over the entire round and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes. Do not overbake or the cheese will run. Serve immediately with pieces of toasted pita bread, oiled bruschetta, or crackers.
Prep.Time: 40 minutes
3 cups diced peeled raw potatoes
2 1/2 cups chicken broth or consommé
1/3 cup finely minced onions
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Chopped fresh chives to garnish
Diced red bell pepper to garnish
In a large saucepan, combine potatoes and broth or consomme; bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes. Add onions; continue cooking until potatoes are tender. Put mixture through a ricer, sieve, blender or food processor; process only until mixture still retains some consistency. Place mixture into mixing bowl; add cream, mustard, salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and allow to cool; or refrigerate about 2-4 hours. Ladle into chilled soup cups; garnish each cup with chopped chives and diced red bell pepper.
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1/2 cup chopped Leeks
In Dutch oven, saute leeks, carrots and pepper in butter until tender. Stir in flour, salt and cayenne. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened and smooth. Stir in tomato juice.
Remove bones and skin carefully from salmon; break into chunks and stir gently into the hot mixture. Heat through; DO NOT BOIL Serve at once garnished with 2 lemon slices per bowl.
1 bunch arugula
Wash arugula under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels and coarsely tear or chop leaves to equal about 1-1/2 cups. Toss the arugula, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and serve.
4 slices lean bacon, finely chopped, cooked and drained
In a skillet, cook onion and garlic in oil until soft; add peppers and oregano and cook until peppers are crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and stir in bacon, vinegar, Parmesan, salt and pepper. (May be made to this point a day ahead and refrigerated covered.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange clams in reserved shells on a jelly-roll pan filled with some of the coarse salt (to balance the shells). Divide the bell pepper mixture among them; bake 12-15 minutes, or until they are just cooked through. To serve, arrange clams on a platter filled with more of the coarse salt.
4 Smoked Trout Fillets -- chilled
Combine first 10 ingredients in the order given, one ingredient at a time, whisking after each one. Continue whisking until mixture is smooth and shiny. Cover tightly and refrigerate 3-4 hours.
Cut toasted bread slices into quarters and divide evenly on individual serving plates. Top with chilled trout fillets. Spoon sauce over trout; sprinkle with capers; serve immediately with chilled champagne or dry white wine.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rub olive oil over both sides of the steaks and season both sides with salt and pepper. In a large heavy (cast iron) skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add steaks to skillet and cook about 4-5 minutes (this will yield medium-rare). Turn steaks, press the blue cheese topping onto the top of the steaks, and place the skillet into the hot oven. Cook 4-5 minutes or until cheese begins to melt and brown.
Remove the skillet from the oven, transfer steaks to warmed serving plates, and return skillet to the stove top over medium-high heat.
Pour wine into the hot skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until slightly reduced, about 3-4 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons cold butter, taste and adjust seasoning and spoon sauce around the steaks and serve.
2 large uncooked lobster tails (10-12 oz.ea) -- thawed if frozen
* Double Cream from Devon, England can be ordered from www.britishdelights.com or telephone (985) 455-1973
Cook lobster tails in a large pot of boiling salted water until just cooked, about 5-6 minutes. Immediately remove with tongs and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking; drain. With a sharp knife, cut lobster tails in half lengthwise; remove meat from tails, reserving shells.
SAUCE: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat until just beginning to smoke. Saute reserved tail meat about 20-30 seconds. Remove pan from heat and add the brandy. (to ignite, use a kitchen match and swirl skillet over heat until flames subside, 30-40 seconds.) Stir in double cream and mustard. Bring to boil. Remove skillet from heat, add tarragon, cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Arrange lobster tail shells, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Divide meat evenly between shells. Return skillet with sauce to medium heat and simmer, stirring often, until reduced by one-thir, 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk heavy cream in a medium bowl until stiff pweaks form. Remove skillet from heat and whisk in egg yolk and whipped cream. Divide sauce evenly between stuffed shells. Broil until browned on top, 3-4 minutes.
2 large Idaho potatoes
Peel the potatoes and cut them into very fine julienne strips with a food processor, mandoline, or by hand. Do not wash them; it is important to retain the starch so that it helps the potatoes adhere. Salt well, let them sit 3-4 minutes, and wring them dry in a clean cloth.
Season the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Wrap each chicken breast completely with a generous amount of potato strips, packing the potato around it by cradling it between both hands. Do not execute this step too far in advance of cooking time or the potatoes with darken.
Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet and cook the chicken breasts until well browned on the first side. Turn and brown the second side. To serve, slice breasts diagonally with a serrated knife and serve hot with sauteed spinach.
3 cups prepared fresh vegetables, such as sliced leeks, asparagus pieces, cubed new potatoes, julienned carrots, sliced zucchini and yellow summer squash, cut green beans.
In a large skillet, cook and stir vegetables, onion and garlic in hot oil over medium-high heat 3 minutes. Stir in stock, alfredo sauce, and tarragon or thyme; mix well. Cover and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Ladle into serving dish; sprinkle with cheese and serve.
1 cup whipping cream
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except lime slices and mint; beat on high speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Spoon into dessert dishes. Garnish with lime slices and mint.
1 pint French vanilla ice cream
FOR THE SAUCE: Prepare a day ahead and keep chilled. Place thawed raspberries and sugar into a blender or food processor. In a cup, combine cornstarch and creme de cassis; mix well until cornstarch is dissolved, and add to raspberries. Process a minute or two until thoroughly pureed and as smooth as possible; strain mixture into a small saucepan. Heat sauce to simmer; cook and stir until thickened slightly. Pour into a small container; cover tightly and refrigerate 12-18 hours.
Use two chilled wine goblet to assemble the dessert. While chilling the glasses, reheat the sauce in a small saucepan over low heat until heated through. Place one scoop of ice cream into each goblet; spoon one-fourth of raspberry sauce over ice cream. Sprinkle with a few fresh raspberries. Repeat with the remaining ice cream, then remaining suace. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle remaining raspberries over. Serve immediately.
1 package Lemon Gelatin (3 oz.)
Lightly oil a 4-cup decorative mold, or 4 dessert glasses. In a bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in grape juice. Chill until slightly thickened. Gently fold in whipped topping; pour into mold or glasses. Chill until set. Garnish with lemon peel if desired.