Monthly Archives: July 2014

Massouka Margot’s Way

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Massouka Margot’s Way

moussaka,tomato, bread plated

Serves 4-6

 

At the market today eggplant and shoulder lamb chops were on sale—so of course this led me to salivating for a good Massouka. In my estimation, this is not an absolutely gorgeous dish to view, even when plated, and I do like aesthetically pleasing dishes to serve. However, it’s so good to eat, particularly when you make it the time consuming way, that I have forgiven its looks. I prefer it without sliced potatoes, however, it’s good with as well. I add instead of potatoes a yellow, orange or red sliced pepper and 2 zucchini sliced. I also used my processor for most of the chopping, etc. They come in so handy! I serve it sided with a crusty loaf of French bread and a nice light salad. And for desert, it’s fun to have some fresh cut up fruit along with Greek yogurt.  So, when you have a minute to spare, do give it a try. Also remember, you don’t have to follow the amounts of the ingredients exactly—it’s a very versatile dish and you can alter and make it just to your very own taste and liking.

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Ingredients:

  1. 1 large eggplant-slightly peeled—leave strips of peel about 1 inch wide in-between peeled sections and slice in 1/2 inch slices.
  2. 1/4 lb. potatoes, peeled, boiled whole till just barely done, drained, cooled and sliced in 1/4 inch slices (optional)
  3. 1 yellow, orange or red pepper-seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
  4. 2 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/4 inch slices (optional)
  5. 2 egg whites slightly beaten with a dash of water and placed on a plate for primary eggplant dipping –SAVE THE YOLKS FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE
  6. 1 C. (or more if needed) plain bread crumbs placed on one plate for secondary eggplant dipping plus save some extra bread crumbs to place on the bottom of your final baking dish.
  1. Some olive oil to moisten your baking dish and also to moisten the aluminum foil on the cookie pan to bake your eggplant
  2. 1C to 1 ½ C. grated Parmesan cheese or grated/crumbled sheep or goat milk cheese

 

Ingredients for the meat filling: 

  1. 1 lb. shoulder lamb chops if you can’t find ground lamb in the store. Remove meat from chop bone and grind in processor. You can use ground beef but honestly, I love the lamb flavor in this dish.
  2. 1/2 to 3/4 large yellow onion—diced
  3. 1 garlic clove, minced
  4. 1 handful of sliced mushrooms
  5. 1/4 C. chopped parsley
  6. 1/4 C. red wine
  7. 1/2 Tsp. ground cinnamon
  8. 1/8 Tsp. ground allspice
  9. 1 C. (divided in two portions) fresh plum tomatoes, crushed in the processor
  10. 1/2 Tsp. sugar
  11. 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  12. S&P to taste

 

Ingredients for the Bechamel Sauce:

  1. 1/4 C. unsalted butter
  2. 1/4 C. flour
  3. 1 C. whole milk, warmed
  4. 2 egg yolks slightly beaten
  5. Dash of ground allspice

 

 

 

Directions:

 

For the Meat Filling

  1. In a large and deep pot (but you can use a sauté pan), brown the lamb until the pink color disappears. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute or till fragrant. Add the wine and simmer until it reduces a bit. Add the spices, parsley, tomato paste, 1/2 C. crushed tomatoes and sugar. Allow the sauce to simmer on low uncovered for about 15 minutes so that the excess, if any, liquid disappears. It should look like a chunky tomato sauce. Season to taste with S&P. Now taste some more and see if you want to add some more cinnamon and allspice.

 

For the Eggplants

  1. Liberally salt each eggplant slice on each side and place them in a colander with a plate on top. Then place a heavy can on top of the plate. Let the eggplant slices sit and weep for at least 15 minutes but better if you can wait an hour.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place aluminum foil on a large cookie sheet and oil it.
  4. When the eggplant slices are ready, wash each slice and pat dry it with a paper towel. Then dip each side of each slice first in the egg whites and then in the bread crumbs and place on the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake the eggplants for 30 minutes but at 15 minutes, turn the egg plants over to the undone side.
  6. When the eggplants are done, turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

 

For the Bechamel Sauce: (If you wish a liberal serving of this sauce, double the recipe)

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat and using a whisk, add the flour to the melted butter whisking continually to make a smooth past. Allow the flour to cook for a minute but do NOT allow it to brown because otherwise it won’t be béchamel sauce; it’ll be brown sauce.
  2. Add the warmed milk to the mixture in a steady stream, whisking continually. Simmer over low heat until it thickens a bit. WATCH CAREFULLY.
  3. Take the skillet off the heat and slowly whisk in the egg yolks and a pinch of nutmeg. Return to low heat and keep whisking until the sauce thickens.

 

Assembling the Moussaka:

  1. In a well oiled large round (10” or 12”) Pyrex dish, sprinkle the bottom with breadcrumbs. You are going to make at least 2 layers but it can be even three—so divide your ingredients accordingly.
  2. Leaving about 1/4″ space around the edges, place a layer of all of the potatoes if you are using them and if not, then start with placing a layer of sliced eggplant, then some of the remainder of the 1/2 C. of crushed tomatoes, and then the zucchini and pepper, then some of the meat sauce, then some cheese and so on except be sure to save some cheese for placing on top of the béchamel sauce.
  3. Then pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant and be sure to allow the sauce to fill the sides and corners of the dish. Smooth the sauce on top with a spatula and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the béchamel sauce is a nice golden brown color. Allow to cool for 15-20 minu8tes before slicing and serving.
  5. This dish can be refrigerated and made ahead up to when you place the béchamel sauce. If you do that, let the dish come up to room temp and make the béchamel sauce right before baking.

 

 

 

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Ten Wonderful Recipe Ideas for ALLLLL of that Zucchini in Your Yard

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10 ideas for eating all that zucchini in your garden

1 Pasta: Grab yourself one of those veggie spiral cutting gizmos, which let you render produce into pasta-like ribbons. Zucchini does particularly well. Toss the zucchini spirals in a hot skillet with a splash of oil for a minute or two, then dress with sauce and cheese as you would pasta. Or boil up real pasta, then add the zucchini for the last minute. Drain and dress.

2 Dip: Slice a zucchini in half and toss it on a medium hot grill. Cook until lightly browned and tender, then pop it into a food processor. Add tahini, garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice, then process until very smooth. Use as a dip for vegetables and chips, or as a sandwich spread.

3 Salsa: Dice and toss together 1 medium zucchini, 1 large tomatillo and 1/2 red or orange bell pepper. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapenos and a splash of hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Fries: Cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick sticks, then toss them first in a beaten egg, then in seasoned bread crumbs. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, then bake until crisp outside and just tender inside. As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle them with grated Parmesan cheese.

5 Boats: Slice a zucchini in half, then use a melon baller to scoop out the insides of each half. Mix together loose sausage meat, grated cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Pack the mixture into the hollowed out zucchini halves, then bake or grill (over low heat) until cooked through.

6 Frittata: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Whisk 6 or so eggs, then pour them into an oiled pan and cook over medium-high until the bottom is just set. Scatter the zucchini slices evenly over the top of the egg, then crumble feta over it. Broil until lightly browned and the center is set.

7 Grain salad: Toss finely diced raw zucchini with cooked and cooled farro or barley, halved cherry tomatoes, diced red onion and crumbled soft goat cheese. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

8 Tart: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry (thawed according to package directions). Run a paring knife along the outside of the pastry about 1 inch from the edge and cutting only halfway down. Arrange the zucchini slices in the center, then sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake at 400 F until puffed and lightly browned.

9 Chips: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet, mist with cooking spray, then season with herbs, spices, salt and pepper, whatever you like. Bake at 375 F until the chips are nicely browned.

10 Casserole: Cut a whole mess of zucchini into 1/2-inch rounds. Arrange several layers of them in an oiled casserole dish. Top them with a bit of marinara and some ricotta cheese. Repeat this layering until you fill the casserole dish about three-quarters of the way. Bake at 350 F until tender, lightly browned and bubbling at the edges.

Shrimp Bruschetta with Arugula and Wine

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Shrimp Bruschetta with wine and arugula


Ingredients

Baguette slices or toast points

Topping:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 packed cup arugula, chopped
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

Directions

For the toasts or baguette slices: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Arrange the bread/baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until light golden, about 10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes. Rub the warm toasts/baguette slices with the cut side of the garlic. Set aside.

For the topping: In a medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 2 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste, and add them to the skillet. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

In the same skillet, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the tomatoes start to soften, about 4 minutes. Turn the heat to high. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tarragon, arugula, mascarpone cheese, and chopped shrimp. Stir until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

 

Arrange the toasts/baguette slices on serving plates and drizzle with the sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.

 

Spaghetti and Meatballs the Easy Way

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\spaghetti & meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs the Easy Way

Makes 6-8 servings and about 30 golf sized meatballs

 

Here is a dish that bases itself on simplicity and best of all, can be made one or two days ahead of time and then reheated very slowly. The sauce is extra creamy because of the butter in it and the meatballs are cheesy for a bit of a different twist. There are no added spices except for salt and pepper so that’s why I stress simplicity in nature. I made it for a friend of mine who just finished a brutal series of chemo treatments and could only taste and eat simple food. Pasta helps her settle her stomach and this was a perfect dish for her at this difficult moment in her life.  However, you don’t have to have been through that kind of hell to enjoy this dish. I used my 10 inch wide deep pot (though I wished I had a 12 inch wide pot) and my food processors. Processors make life in the kitchen so very easy don’t you agree? As well, if you wish a saucier dish, either cut down on the amount of spaghetti to use and/or add one more 28 oz. can of tomatoes plus some more butter to the initial recipe. And of course, if you wish to add your favorite seasonings to the sauce, that is always an alternative but it is very delicious just as stated and that also is what my friend requested.

 

Ingredients:

For the Sauce:

  1. 2- 28-oz. cans of whole peeled tomatoes in their juice
  2. 1/2 C. unsalted butter (1 cube)
  3. 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and halved through the root end
  4. 1/2 Tsp. salt (or more if you wish)

 

For the Meatballs:

  1. 1 C. fresh breadcrumbs made in the food processor from crust less French or country-style bread
  2. 1/3 C. whole milk
  3. 8 oz. ground beef
  4. 8 oz. ground pork
  5. 1 C. ground in the processor Parmesan cheese (about 5 oz. of the shaved variety will do the trick)
  6. 1/3 C. finely chopped Italian parsley (about 1 bunch) once again I used the processor
  7. 1 Tsp. salt
  8. 1/4 Tsp. ground pepper
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 2 large garlic cloves that you’ll use your garlic presser to add to the eggs

Spaghetti, etc. 

  1. 1 pound spaghetti (cooked per directions al dente)
  2. Fresh grated Parmesan cheese for serving
  3. More Italian Parsley for decoration

 

Instructions for the sauce:

  1. In a 10 inch or preferably a 12 inch deep pot, place a strainer over the pot and pour the canned tomatoes into the strainer so that the juice goes in the pot and the tomatoes are reserved. Place the tomatoes in the processer and pulse very briefly—just so that they become finely chopped.
  2. Place the tomatoes in the pot along with the salt and onions.
  3. Simmer for 45 minutes without a top. I used a splatter pan to top my pot.
  4. Taste the sauce and if you feel it needs more salt and ground pepper, go for it.
  5. Also, if you want a smoother sauce, you can use an immersion blender the process the sauce briefly. But you don’t want a too smooth sauce and you do want to have texture. So, I skipped this step totally and find that my sauce is definitely smooth enough.

 

Instructions for the meatballs:

  1. Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl; stir till the breadcrumbs are evenly moistened. Let stand for 10 minutes
  2. Place the beef and pork in a large bowl, mix the two and add the 1 C. ground Parmesan and parsley. I use my hands for the mixing.
  3. Whisk the 2 eggs in a separate bowl; press the garlic into the eggs along with the 1 Tsp. salt and 1/4 Tsp. ground pepper. Whisk once more to make sure it’s all blended
  4. Add the eggs to the meat mixture and combine it all with your hands. Try not to man handle it too much.
  5. If the breadcrumbs have been soaking for 10 minutes, now’s the time to squeeze the milk from the breadcrumbs and save the milk. My breadcrumbs sopped up all the milk so I didn’t have any to reserve and actually I didn’t need any more to form the meatballs. It all depends on the bread you use.
  6. Add the breadcrumbs to the meat mixture; using the hands, quickly and gently mix the meat mixture just until all the ingredients are evenly combined. Do not over mix.
  7. Place this bowl, covered with saran rap, in the frig for at least 15 minutes but it could be even one hour.
  8. By this time, I think that your sauce has finished its 45 minute simmering gig and you can then take the bowl with the meat out of the frig. and start forming golf sized meat balls to put in one layer in the tomato sauce. If the meat seems to be sticking to your hands, you can dip the hands in some milk and the balls will form easier.
  9. Bring the sauce with the meatballs to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer till meatballs are cooked through—about 15 to 20 minutes.

 

sauce in pot

 

Additional Hints:

  1. If you are making this ahead of time, cool slightly and chill in frig. uncovered till cold and then place a cover on it. Re-warm gently before serving.
  2. When you are ready to serve this dish, cook the spaghetti and drain it. I always run cold water over it when done so that it’ll stop cooking.
  3. When serving I use a huge serving dish which has been heated so that guests can help themselves. (You can also individual plate it.) However, for my platter, I remove the meatballs from the tomato sauce to a separate dish, place the cooked spaghetti in the middle of the platter, spoon the sauce over the spaghetti and surround this with the meatballs and some extra sprigs of Italian parsley. You can also throw some shredded Parmesan over it all and/or place a dish with the Parmesan to the side of the dish for guests to help themselves.
  4. Of course, DON’T FORGET the hearty red wine such as Chianti to go along with this dish. A baguette of French bread is also a nice addition. For the green stuff, I actually just make my Original Caesar Salad. Desert? Fresh black cherries and my no-churn coffee ice cream. Bon Appétit.

B&B Styled Catering For the Families of Dori and Craig During Their Very Fun and Busy Wedding Event June 28,2014 through July 1,2014

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DATES

Brunch-9AM—Coffee & juices @ 8am

Expected guests will be 11 for breakfast and at least 11 for appetizers and dinners

Ice Creams, home made, are of two unchurned varieties and the flavors include coffee, almond, chocolate and fresh fruit

Fresh Cookies daily

BREAKFASTS-9AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPETIZERS—6PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DINNER—7PM

Special Event and questions
June 25 Wed.
  • German Apple Pancake
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Everything but the kitchen sink Scrambled Eggs
  • Canadian Bacon with Rosemary
  • Lavender Lemonade
  • Sweet Mini stuffed peppers, assorted cheeses and crackers
  • BBQ at Homestead Ranch-Hamburgers, accruements buns
  • warm sausage & potato salad
  • Desert: Chocolate Truffles, Melting Moments, homemade ice cream & fresh fruit
Craig and Dori will be providing all of the delicious beef from their grass fed beef at the Double Springs in May Idaho.
June 26 Thurs.
  • Mexican Egg Casserole with sour cream, salsa and guacamole
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Sausage Links
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Mexican pastries
  • Watermelon Fresca
Margot does not cater Margot does not cater 10am hike & lunch to roundhouse
June 27 Fri.
  • Dori w/cook this pre-made overnight casserole,etc.:
  • Scrambled Egg Bake
  • Bacon
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Sweet Potato Fingerlings
  • OJ
Margot does not cater Margot does not cater 8am golf2pm mani,pedi

5pm rehearsal dinner

7pm rehearsal dinner-Cristinas

June 28 Sat.
  • French Toast a la Crème Brule
  • Strawberries
  • Ham Slices
  • Hard Boiled eggs
  • Strawberry Lemonade

 

 

 

Margot out by NOON

Wedding Wedding WEDDING 5pm
June 29 Sun. Judith McQueen w/do Mexican Brunch @ 11 am
  • Baklava Baked Brie
  • Assorted nuts
  • Baguette slices
  • Apple/Pear Slices
  • Oven Poached Salmon with Dill Sauce
  • Lemon Lovers Asparagus
  • Apricot Couscous
  • Red and Green Salad with Pears, Cheese & a cranberry Vinaigrette
  • Crusty Sliced Baguette
  • Linzer Torte (My treat and to celebrate the newly weds) and homemade ice cream
 

 

11am Mexican brunch by Judith McQueen 

Margot w/serve appetizers at 7pm and dinner at 8pm.

June 30 Mon.
  • Eggs Picante in ramekins
  • Fresh Pineapple
  • Pan Grilled Pork Chops with Fresh Sage
  • Focaccio
  • Lavender Lemonade

 

  • Antipasto plate
  • Flank Steak stuffed with Provolone & Prosciutto and another with Portobello mushroom,Spinach, Pesto, Parmesan and minced onion and garlic
  • Macaroni & Cheese a la Italiana
  • Roasted Broccoli Florets with Basil and Lemon
  • Fennel Salad a la Sciliana
  • Freeform Fruit Tart and homemade ice cream
July 1 Tues.
  • Scramble Egg Bake
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sausage Links
  • French Baguette Slices
  • Lavender Lemonade

 

  • Shrimp Bruschetta with Wine and Arugula
  • Giant Shrimp with orange Marmalade Dip
  • Fennel Roast Beef Roast with Creamy Mustard Sauce
  • Potatoes a la Provence
  • Glazed Organic Small Carrots
  • The Original Caesar Salad
  • Left over deserts but was going to make a chocolate trifle
  • Homemade ice cream