Friday, July 29, 2011

Citrus Berry Terrine

A recipe that clearly states it will take 2 hours to chill and then another 4 hours to not typically a FF recipe that you start at DINNER TIME on the designated Friday.  But such was the week.  After traveling last weekend for fun and then off for the entire week for business, "better late than never" was the attitude du jour.  And the payoff was worth it ~

Per Tricia ~

My family loves fruit and Jello, and with the
 continued excessive heat we have had - this week's
recipe was much anticipated. 

 It was a simple addition of fruits to
 plain gelatin, though I did wish I had gotten the
 canned citrus or even the pre-sliced jarred variety. 
It had been a long day (week :) and somehow the act of
 cutting up pink grapefruit seemed like it took longer
 than it should have.  As in "forever".......

But what a beauty. 

 The gelatin behaved exactly as Dorie suggested
 it would (but of course !) and by the time I added
 all the beautiful fresh fruit the dish looked amazing.
  Leave it to Dorie to elevate what  I might only have
served at home into something "company worthy".

This recipe was as pretty as it was tasty.
  I am so excited to add such a simply and delicious
dish to my summer arsenal.  Even if I won't be serving
 it to Nana (she is not a fan of gelatin, or berries....)

My husband was also pleased that this
 week's "clean up" involved significantly less pots :)
 Oh, what they do for Dorie food.

And when in Rome - or at least Baltimore - I made
 sure to stop at the famous "Lexington Market" as I headed
 out of town today.  Opened in 1782, it is 229 years old and
 still going strong.  There are over 140 vendors and it was
 an amazing culinary adventure.  Since I had to hurry home
 to make a terrine, I focused on the crab cakes and cookies -
both of which I had learned I HAD to get before leaving town. 

The crab cake shop I aimed for was Faidley's and
the bakery - Berger's.  I got the "house specialty" in both
and hit the road -air conditioning running full blast
 to keep it all safe.   Mission accomplished.

I made sure to share with Nana and she reported back
that the crabcakes were indeed the best she has ever
 tasted and the cookies were amazing.  Now I have
 to get her to try the terrine...........

Per Nana~

Tricia was on her own this week as I took a pass on
 making the berry terrine.  I'm not too big on berries,
other then strawberries, and I can not
tolerate gelatin of any kind.

I will, however, post the recipe for the Nutella
 pie that was pictured in last week's post.  Anne
 of "Cocoa and Quinoa" had asked about it, and
now that I know my  #2 grandson liked it,
I will gladly do so.   


1   8oz package cream cheese
1   cup Nutella spread
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 large Cool Whip  (8 oz)
1 graham cracker or chocolate prepared crust

Cream together cream cheese, sugar and Nutella.

Add 1/2 half of cool whip and pour into shell.

Top pie with other half of cool whip and chill until firm.

I sprinkled cocoa over the pie, but I'm sure some shaved chocolate would be nice.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Coconut Lemongrass Braised Pork

This one was certainly an adventure and Nana and I both
enjoyed trying many ingredients we had not cooked with before. 
Of course the fact that I read the calendar wrong and was prepping
for the berry terrine (until Nana mentioned she had picked up
lemongrass and celery root) kept it a lively week as well. 
The results ?  Surprisingly mixed.  Nana loved hers while I will
not be revisiting these pages again myself...... 

Per Nana~

When the temperature reaches 95 and above,
 you should check with your elderly neighbors.  
 Well, if your elderly neighbor is lucky enough to have
 air conditioning...... "forgetaboutit".  
 She is probably busy cooking.
This week I made good on all my cooking
 promises (and I had made a lot...)
 A blueberry tart and a Nutella pie for both grandsons,
 and an Apricot tart for hubby.  
Also in the mix was this week's recipe of coconut-
lemongrass braised pork.  Let me tell you, by
 Thursday evening I didn't want to know about food.  
( Thank Goodness we have a 50th Anniversary affair to
 go to on Saturday  and  "yay"  -I don't have to cook)

This recipe was fantastic and definitely will be revisited.

One of the things I love about cooking with Dorie
 is learning  about new ingredients.  I have never used
 lemon grass, celery root or coconut milk before.    

Dorie suggested a pork butt for the recipe, but I
 only know of smoked pork butts so I decided on
 a pork tenderloin, which worked wonders.  
I found the cutest tiny potatoes at Wegman's,
 used a few carrots, and at the end I threw in some left
over fresh corn kernels, and fresh string beans
all from the farm stand.  Great way to use leftovers.
Hubby was chomping at the bit about the delicious
aromas coming from the kitchen so I cut him a break 
and we had an early dinner.  We both loved it.

Can't wait for that apricot tart with a little whipped cream.
Tomorrow we diet.....

Per Tricia ~

While I do not plan to cook this recipe again,
it is not because we "didn't like" it. 
 It was simply underwhelmingly.
  With all the new and wonderful exotic ingredients
 (ok, at least to me.....) that went into that pot ~
 I was very disappointed that the results tasted so bland. 

 Tumeric, cardamom, exactly 6 coriander seeds....not
 to mention a host of others, I was expecting quite the results. 
The only thing we could taste was the tumeric and curry.

 Just keeping it real. 
 I still enjoyed the whole process and the kitchen
 smelled amazing.  And Nana and I shared a great laugh
over the consistency of Coconut Milk ~ we both
 expected it to "pour" out of the can like condensed milk.

  The best part of the effort - I got to enjoy the lovely
 aroma of fresh lemon grass. I LOVE this stuff and made
 everyone in the house come and sniff it
(the part that did not go into the pot :)
  When they are waiting for "Dorie food" to cook, I
 can get them to do just about anything.......

P.S.- the "best" part of this French Friday ?  Nana and I bit
the bullet and booked a September trip to France !!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cold Melon-Berry Soup a la Nana

As the heading indicates, Nana "took one for the team" this week.  The only downside of enjoying a wonderful vacation is coming home to all the responsibilities that have built up while we were out sunbathing.  Even though this recipe is remarkably simple, I couldn't get my act together to secure a "dead-ripe" cantaloupe in preparation.  But I look forward to revisiting this before the melon season ends.

Per Nana ~

I waited patiently all week  for the cantaloupe
 in the fruit bowl  to ripen to the point of
perfection as I looked forward to making this
 week's recipe of cold melon-berry soup.

Today I bought the most perfect strawberries
 and mint leaves and found a small piece of
 fresh ginger.  I have never used fresh ginger
so I really had no clue about it.  I used my favorite
 kitchen tool, the handy zester, and grated away. 
After adding the ginger to the liquid melon
I decided to research fresh ginger.  
I had no idea it was supposed to be peeled.  Oops!
Too late to worry about it now.

I chilled the soup and the melon balls for a few
hours and found it interesting that the 
liquid thickened as it chilled.

After assembling all the ingredients, I
added a dessert wine called Vin Santo
 and topped with the mint.

The presentation was quite pretty, but unfortunately,
neither Hubby  nor I cared for the end result. 
 Perhaps using Vin Santo instead of the wine Dorie
 mentioned was the problem, or maybe my lack
 of knowledge about ginger  made it too strong.  
Thankfully I decided to prepare a single
serving and enjoyed the  remaining delicious
 fruit sans the soup.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Salmon & Tomatoes En Papillote

Nana and I are on week 2 of a lovely vacation on Martha's Vineyard. We originally intended to post last week but took one look at the kitchen of our rental and agreed that we were not risking any deposit on beets.  Way too much white ! 

But salmon is another story - especially when visiting
 a fishing community.  We enjoyed visiting the picturesque
 town of Menemsha and purchasing our fresh salmon
 from one of the adorable little fish markets. 

Menemsha is a gorgeous little fishing village
with an active marina, beautiful beach and little
 fish shops where folks not only purchase "to go"....
but also buy prepared food which they
 promptly sit and enjoy. 

The sunsets are perhaps the best part of this location
 since the beach faces Vineyard Sound, which allows you to 
see the sun setting over the horizon of water.
  The gentle waves here are as though you are on a lake,
 as opposed to the typical crashing
 waves on the ocean side of the island. 
It just makes everything taste a little bit better. 
 Not that this salmon needed any help......

Per Nana and Tricia-

This was as easy as we anticipated. 
Chop a few choice ingredients and make packets in
tin foil to be baked at high temperature. 

Most of the ingredients we bought fresh from
the local market here and even found some
 organic red scallions that werebeautiful and
 added a nice additional color to the dish.

So easy, yet Nana and I had not
prepared salmon this way before. 

But we will be again. 
 We especially like the idea of preparing this all in
 advance when you have company coming - and
simply being able to bake it quickly. 
As usual, Dorie made a great Friday even better ~

PS:  Instead of enjoying Dorie's beets last Friday,
we indulged in fresh lobster rolls from the
weekly fundraiser at the Grace Church
 of Vineyard Haven. 
 Not French, but definitely wonderful ~