Scallops With Noodles and Asparagus

We made this up last week and I have to admit I am slow in getting it posted. It is truly delicious and not hard to put together.

 

  • 8 oz. no yolk noodles
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • about 16 large scallops, cut in half horizontally and ligament removed from the side.
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

Cook noodles in water until almost al dente, stir in the asparagus for about 2 minutes more. Drain and transfer to a platter, covered with foil to keep warm.

While cooking the noodles, rinse then pat the scallops dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until it begins to bubble and the foam subsides then add the scallops. Increase the heat and sear, turning once and cook through (about 2 minutes in total). Transfer to the platter with the noodles and keep warm.

Add wine to the skillet and deglaze, making sure to scrape up any of the brown bits for 60 seconds. Stir in the water and cream and boil to slightly reduce for about 3-4 minutes.  Simply pour the sauce over the noodles and scallop/asparagus mix. You could also plate out the noodles and asparagus and then pour the sauce over each portion. Either way, you won’t have to wait long for all he oohs and ahhs.

Red Pepper Jelly

This is good for appetizers, serve with cream cheese, crackers and, of course, a glass of wine…yummy!

 

  • 2 cups ground red peppers with juice
  • 5 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 bottle certo
  • 6  8 oz. canning  jars with lids

Combine peppers, sugar, vinegar and water in a large saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes.

Return to heat and bring to a boil, add lemon juice and boil, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Stir in certo and remove from heat.  Stir for 5 minutes.

Pour into sterilized jars and seal. (Makes 6 cups)

 

Taste Rating: 8.5

 

 

Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms

Portabello mushrooms are great at any time.

Serves 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
  • 6 finely chopped button mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 3 canned plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp fresh, chopped sage
  • 1/2 cup chardonnay wine

Heat one tbsp oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Lightly brown breadcrumbs until they are a light golden brown. Transfer this to a large bowl.

Clean medium Portobello mushrooms, stems finely chopped, gills removed.  You can even peel the top layer off and not affect the mushroom in any way.

Now heat one tbsp oil in same skillet and saute the button mushrooms, stirring until cooked;  add the mushroom stems, salt and pepper to taste, stirring for about three minutes.

Add the tomatoes, sage and one-half of the wine cooking until the liquid is almost evaporated. Set aside one-half of the bread crumbs and stir the mushroom mixture into the remaining bread crumbs.

Heat the last one tbsp oil in a skillet and cook the caps upside down, covered for five minutes. Turn caps over and add the remaining wine, cook covered just until caps are juicy but tender and fill the caps with the filling.

Heat mushrooms through until hot. Sprinkle remaining toasted bread crumbs on top.

Note: By removing the gills, you are removing the bitter part of the mushroom.

 Serve a nice white, crisp and chilled wine and voila! Wonderful.

Welsh Cakes and Stuffed Camenbert Cheese

This could be a wonderful appetizer but also great just for an afternoon luncheon with friends or even a shower for someone special.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  •  1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 large egg, beaten with a fork
  • 1/3 cup light cream

Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl.  Cut the butter in until it becomes crumbly.  Stir in the raisins.  Add egg and cream. Stir until dough holds together forming a ball.  Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about one quarter inch thick.  Cut into three inch circles.

Heat your fry pan to a medium low temperature. Cook cakes, a few at a time, until both sides are browned.  Just make sure it is not as hot as you would have for making pancakes.  Serve cold with the Camembert below.

 Stuffed Camenbert

  • 4 oz. small camembert round
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp sliced toasted almonds
  • 2 tbsp sliced seedless red grapes

Cut the cheese round in half horizontally. Mash cream cheese and orange juice together.  Add almonds and grapes. Mix well.

Place on bottom round of cheese and place other half on top. Place in center of serving plate and surround with Welsh Cakes. Absolutely wonderful to look at and eat but not hard to make. Just make sure each guest has his own spreader knife.

Boxing Day Breakfast For The Weary

You worked hard getting dinner ready yesterday and the cleaning up afterwards. You should be rewarded and I can’t think of a better way except for this two fisted start to the day.

 

Nectarine Melt

Serves 2

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups lemon sorbet
  • 2 ripe yellow mangoes, pitted and diced
  • 2 ripe nectarines, pitted and diced

Pour the milk in the blender and add one half of the sorbet.

Blend together and when smooth, add the remaining sorbet. Again, blending until smooth. Now add the fruit and process until smooth.  Serve immediately with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top.

 

Chocolate Crepes – Makes 8-10 crepes

 

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking cocoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup half and half cream
  • 2 large oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 6 oz. best quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 oz. best quality white chocolate. grated
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries

After sifting the flour and cocoa together, make a well in the center and gently whisk in the sugars and milk until smooth and no lumps. Cover this for 30 minutes and set aside.

Peel the oranges into segments with no pith, saving the juice. Keep the segments and juice in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Heat an 8″ crepe pan or non sticking fry pan over medium heat and brush with melted butter.  Pour a couple of tablespoons of batter in and swirl the pan around to cover with the pan.  Cook for only a minute and turn over to cook the other side.

Remove, and cover with a tea towel For the remaining layers, use parchment paper between each one so they don’t clump together and keep the towel covering them all.

To make the sauce, drain the orange segment and combine the juice and chocolate and cream in a saucepan.  Over low heat, stir until the chocolate has melted.

To plate….put a spoonful of sour cream on one quarter of the crepe. Sprinkle white chocolate over and fold into a wedge.  Spoon sauce over it and spread the blueberries and orange segments over the top.

Sit back, eat slowly and remembering the last couple of days, shout for all to hear “Damn I Did It!  Congratulations.

Merry Berry Martini

What a way to start the Christmas “spirit”.  Try it!

 

  • 2 parts Raspberry Vodka
  • 1 part Chambord
  • 1 splash White Chocolate Liqueur

Make sure the martini glasses are chilled (frosty, actually). Pour the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake it really well.  Strain into the icy cold glasses and add a couple of frozen berries (blackberries).

There, now go and open your gifts.

Rudolph’s Red Nose Martini

 

This is the time of year to make the drinks look festive and, therefore, more enjoyable. You can dip the rims of the glasses in vodka and twist in raspberry syrup.

 

  • 4 parts Vodka (Grey Goose is the best)
  • 2 parts Chambourd (Black raspberry)
  • 2 parts Creme de Cassis

Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with crushed ice. Shake until well blended and cold. Strain into chilled martini glasses, add a raspberry on the bottom.

Hint: If planning ahead, place the vodka in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to get cold.

Thank goodness, I thought I had stopped making martinis…..later.