Monthly Archives: December 2012

Janet’s Crab Mold Appetizer (an appetizer made the night before serving)

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Janet’s Crab Mold Appetizer- (an appetizer made the night before serving)

My friend is a twin.  She lives here in Sun Valley but her sister lives in Alaska.  This is the sister’s recipe.  Her sister says that at her parties her guests can’t get enough of this and I can see why.  It’s delicious!! and like potato chips, hard to stop once you start. Even though I don’t favor cream cheese that much, Miracle Whip at all or processed foods like canned mushroom soup, however, with this particular recipe, II totally concede.  If you think like me, I believe that once you taste this, you will too.

Ingredients:

1-      1-8oz. package of cream cheese

2-      1 small grated or finely chopped onion

3-      1/2 C. finely chopped celery

4-      1/2 C. cream of mushroom soup-undiluted

5-      1 package unflavored gelatin—(you only use 1 dissolved Tblsp. for this recipe)

6-      1/2 C. Miracle Whip

7-      1 ½ C. crab meat (fresh is the best however good canned , drained, will do)

Instructions:

  1. Heat soup in a medium sized pan and add the dissolved gelatin. (Dissolve the gelatin according to package directions.) Stir well.
  2. Add the cream cheese and the Miracle Whip.  Mix until melted.
  3. Add rest of the ingredients and put in a pretty greased mold.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Before serving, set mold in warm water to help release.
  6. Serve on a pretty plate surrounded by thinly sliced baguette bread, good crackers, and celery.
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A Holiday Menu to Accompany A Nice Beef Roast and/or a Pork Roast

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From Margot’s Table to Yours

Menu for the December 26th Holiday Dinner for Clients (2012)

Appetizers

Caesar Salad Spears topped with Shredded Parmesan

Lox Salad Spears topped with Dill Sauce

Jumbo Shrimp with sides of Dill Sauce, Red Sauce and Orange Marmalade/Horseradish sauce

Vegetables

Braised Celery and Julienned Carrots Caribbean Style

Zucchini and Mushroom Melange

Potatoes

Scalloped Yams and Parsnips

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes with Chives

Salad

Red and Green Salad with Pears, Cheese and a Cranberry Vinaigrette

Relish

Cranberry, Clementine and Pumpkin Seed Conserve

Desert

Linzer Torte

Balsamic Roasted Pears with Pepper and Honey over Manchego Cheese

Bon Appétit and Happy Holidays

Ruth and Gunnar Lie—Phone Message

“Everything was just wonderful.  There wasn’t one thing we didn’t love. Our son in law said I would like to cook with her because she used ingredients that are different.  I can’t wait to do it again next year.  I love some of those dips for the shrimp.  I could eat the orange marmalade one with a spoon.”

 

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

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sour cream mashed potatoes

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Serves 8

Sometimes plain is the best.  Mashed potatoes are one of those dishes where this axiom may hold tried and true.   In this recipe, one who is watching his calories can use low-fat milk and fat-free yogurt but frankly, I like the more decadent version.  As a last note, my daughter makes some really good mashed potatoes and she actually uses bakers.  She scrubs them well and leaves the skin on.  Then she boils them and when they are tender proceeds with the recipe below.  They are delicious and after beating them with an electric beater, you barely note that the skins were left on.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes or other boiling potatoes peeled and quartered-I used Yukon Gold and left on the skins
  2. 1/2 C. milk or half and half
  3. 1/2 C. sour cream
  4. 1/4 C. chopped fresh chives
  5. 1 egg well beaten (optional)
  6. S&P to taste
  7. Melted butter to float on top at the end (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water to barely cover.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
  2. Drain and place them back in the pot to mash by hand or with an electric mixer
  3. Add the milk and mash or mix until blended and fluffy.
  4. Stir in the sour cream, chives, S&P.
  5. If you wish you can add the one egg, beat some more and then put the potatoes in an oven proof dish.  Pour some melted butter on top and place under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes or until the top has browned somewhat.  The egg addition is a very old tradition and the reheating of the potatoes will ease your worries about the raw egg addition.

Zucchini and Mushroom Casserole

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Zucchini and Mushroom Casserole

8 serving

 

This is a good, easy and nutritional dish to serve.  Zucchini and mushrooms are so versatile so it’s nice to see them meld together.  Enjoy.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 ½ Lb. zucchini, trimmed and scrubbed
  2. Pinch of chopped or dried dill
  3. S&P to taste
  4. 1-2 cloves of garlic
  5. 3/4 Lb. mushrooms, sliced
  6. 4 ½ Tblsp. butter
  7. 2 ½ -3 Tblsp. flour
  8. 1 ¼ C. sour cream
  9. Bread crumbs dotted with butter
  10. Up to 1/4 C. chopped parsley (optional)
  11. Up to 1/4 C. shredded Parmesan (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cut the zucchini crosswise into one-inch slices.  Place in a pot with salted water to cover. Add the dill and garlic and some S&P.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the vegetable is barely tender (about 8 minutes).  DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  2. Drain, reserving 2 Tblsp. of the cooking liquid, and discard the garlic. Set the zucchini aside.
  3. In a skillet, sauté the mushroom in the butter (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally till they glisten; then stir in the flour. Cook about 2 minutes longer till flour is well absorbed.
  4.  To the mushrooms in the skillet add the sour cream and zucchini and the reserved 2 Tblsp. zucchini cooking liquid stirring constantly.  DO NOT BOIL but heat thoroughly.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a buttered or Pam sprayed casserole dish and top with some buttered bread crumbs.  If you wish, you can mix the crumbs with chopped parsley and/or some shredded parmesan.
  6. Brown quickly under the broiler.

Lox Salad Spears Topped with Dill Sauce

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lox spears

Lox Salad Spears Topped with Dill Sauce

Up to you as to how many you want to make

I love good lox.  Having lived in Beverly Hills, CA, I frequented Nate ‘n Als (established in 1945) a lot and they had the best lox ever.  Oh well, that was awhile ago and now I’m in a place where we do not, so far, have a  Nate ‘n Als. I wish we did so that I could revisit my childhood delights more frequently. I don’t travel much to Beverly Hills anymore and even though Nate ‘n Als supposedly delivers most everywhere in the US, that’s pretty pricey.  In any case, if you also like lox and some good unpackaged lox is available here in the valley, here’s a simple appetizer dish that is always a hit.

Ingredients needed:

  • Buy as much of good lox (preferably not pre-packaged) you wish to use.
  • Buy a combination of Belgium Endives and fresh Romaine Lettuce (as much as you visualize that you’ll need.  Left over’s always makes for a great salad.
  •  Also you’ll need the ingredients listed below for the Dill Sauce.

Dill Sauce Recipe 😦 makes about 2/3 Cup)

  1. 1/3 C. mayonnaise
  2. 1/3 C. sour cream
  3. 1 Tblsp. finely chopped onion
  4. 1 Tsp. lemon juice
  5. 1 Tsp. prepared horseradish
  6. 3/4 Tsp. dill weed
  7. 1/4 Tsp. garlic salt
  8. Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Mix the above Dill Sauce ingredients in a small bowl.  You can make this at the last moment however if you refrigerate this sauce for several hours it’ll make it taste even better.
  • On individual Belgium Endive and Romaine leaves, place a bit of lox and top it with the dill sauce and finalized with some capers.
  • Place on a pretty dish surrounded by some lemon slices.

Shrimp with 3 Different Sauces: Orange Marmalade/Horse Radish & Dill & Red

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Shrimp with 3 Different Sauces

Orange Marmalade and Horse-Radish Sauce

 Dill Sauce

Red Sauce

I do love shrimp and really, they are light on the belly and perfect to serve as an appetizer before a big meal.  I like to serve these three sauces along with them to give a person a choice of tastes.  Additionally, the easiest jumbo shrimp to get are those that are frozen and precooked but honestly, if you buy the deveined but uncooked frozen jumbo shrimp, they are FAR superior in texture and taste.  It’s really so easy to follow the directions on the uncooked package if you get it that way and if not, it’s still easy to do.  If frozen, defrost the shrimp in a colander with cold water running over them—for about 10 minutes.  Then, bring a large pot of water to a boiling point and add about 3 Tblsp. of salt per quart of water, dump the shrimp in the boiling water, bring back to a boil and then simmer uncovered for about 3 minutes—or till the shrimp are red and you can’t see their translucency.  Don’t let them boil too long though because then they’ll be tough.  I taste one at the 3 minute point and usually it’s just perfect then.  Drain them in a colander and plunge them in ice water so that they will stop cooking immediately.

Main  Ingredients:

  1. 2 ½ lbs large shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked and chilled.

Marmalade/Horse Radish Sauce: (makes 1 C)

  1. 3/4  C. Orange Marmalade
  2. 1/4 C. Orange Juice
  3. 2 Tblsp. fresh lemon juice
  4. 1/2 Tsp powdered ginger
  5. 1 Tsp. Prepared white horseradish
  6. 2 Tsp. Dijon-style mustard
  7. 1/2 Tsp salt

Instructions for the Marmalade/Horse-Radish Sauce:

  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Serve at room temperature.

Dill Sauce: (makes about 1 C)

  1. 3/4 C. olive oil
  2. 3 Tblsp. lemon juice
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 1/2 Tsp. dry mustard
  5. 1 Tblsp. fresh chopped dill or 2 tsp. dried dill weed
  6. 1/2 Clove garlic (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Let stand overnight in the refrigerator.  Discard the garlic and serve the sauce chilled.

Red Sauce

Ingredients: (makes about 1 C)

  1. 1 C. ketchup
  2. 2 Tblsp. cider or wine vinegar or lemon juice
  3. 4-6 drops of Tobacco sauce
  4. 1 Tblsp. horseradish
  5. 1 Tblsp. minced chives or grated onion
  6. 1/4 C. finely chopped celery
  7. 1 Tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  8. 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  9. 1 Tblsp minced parsley

Combine above ingredients well and use for shrimp dipping.  Chill before serving.  (Makes about 1 ¼ C.)

Caesar Salad Spears

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Caesar Salad Spears

Serves around 6-8

 

This is a wonderful light and delicious hors d’oeuvres to have-particularly before a hearty dinner.   For a faster version, I have used pre-made Caesar bread crumbs and anchovy paste—but the homemade version is a bit tastier I think.  No matter, you and your guests will enjoy this and beware-they do go quickly.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 2 C. 1/4 –inch-diced white bread or for shortcut use somewhat crushed Caesar store bought croutons
  2. 1/4 C. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus some for garnish
  3. 5 Belgian endives
  4. Lemon wedges for garnish and additional color

For Dressing: (you can double this recipe because it’s good for a left-over salad dressing)

  1. 2 minced anchovies or a comparable amount of anchovy paste
  2. 1 egg yolk
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 2 Tblsp. grated Parmesan
  5. 1 Tblsp. red-wine vinegar
  6. 1 Tblsp. lime juice
  7. 1 Tsp. Dijon mustard
  8. ¼ tsp. Worchestershire sauce
  9. 2 dashes Tabasco
  10. 1/2 Tsp. salt
  11. 1/2 Tsp. ground black pepper
  12. 1/2 C. olive oil

 

Directions:

  1. If you wish to make your own croutons, preheat oven to 350.  In a medium bowl, toss the bread with 2 Tbls. of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread the bread on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, stirring once, until golden and crisp.
  2. In a food processor, blender or by hand, whisk together ingredient #4 through #14. When well blended slowly add the olive oil.  Taste to see if you wish to add more S&P.
  3. Trim the endives and remove the largest leaves from 3-4 of the heads. If you wish you can stack the leaves and trim them to about 4 inches. (I don’t do this.)
  4. Thinly slice the remaining endive and toss with the dressing and the croutons.
  5. Spoon the salad onto each spear and garnish with grated cheese.
  6. Note: If you wish you can use a combination of endive and romaine heart leaves to fill and also you can chop very finely some of the romaine for the inclusion in your salad mixture.  So then you would have a mixture of endive and romaine hearts.  I personally like this combination.  It’s also more financially economical.