Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mai Village: Where's the Beef?

September, 15, 2007, a date that will live in infamy. We were all too busy to cook and host so Preston proposed Mai Village Vietnamese Restaurant on University Ave. There we risked Mad Cow and Footh and Mouth by ordering the Bo 7 Mon; seven courses of dead cow. Then we repaired upstairs for the tour of Vietnamese antiques now owned by Hoang Doan [?], who has everything imperial that the Commies got rid of (one way or another): vases, tables, carvings, ceramics. All priceless and last sat on and drunk from by Bao Dai himself. Who would have thought, driving by, that old Hue was just aove your moonroof?

Then Marianne tendered her resignation and the rest of the MIMDC future hangs in the balance.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Marianne's freshness of the season

June 9, 2007 and Jolee's last in attendance :(

This is a dinner aimed at the freshness of the season. Brian will be joining us for dinner, so please adjust the recipe quantities accordingly.

Jeff: wine (Brian will also bring two bottles) - I think a white and a red would be a good - have fun selecting!

Jolee - Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Philip - Asian Pear and Watercress Salad

Preston - Chilled avocado soup

Me: Tuna steaks and sesame green beans

Strawberry and Rhubarb Galette
1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick of frozen butter, chopped into chunks
1/3 cup cold water
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh rhubarb
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon or nutmeg powdered sugar to taste

Pulse flour, salt and butter in a food processor. Add water, then process that, making sure to stop while there are still chunks of butter. Pour out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, then mold into a disc shape with your hands. Place into the refrigerator.

(If you don't have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender. If you use this method, the butter doesn't have to be frozen, just cold.)

Place strawberries and rhubarb onto the piecrust. Add sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg.
Pinch the dough up on the sides around the fruit and toppings and place in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Last Supper

What can beat Babette's Feast? How about Seder? It was good enough for Jesus.

Of course, we had to pose for the camera to recreate Michelangelo's famous meal.

Saturday, April 7, 2007 at 6:30pm
Philip's Place

Percy enjoyed his first dinner club and most especially the paw-washing rituals.

Our Order of Worship was taken from this rabbinical source:

Jeff; sherry and a Bordeaux-type red

We all painted crosses on the doors in lamb's blood; our first-borns were fine. Not so sure about any Egyptian neighbors though.

Here was the Seder plate of ritual food; rubber eggs, bitter herbs (endive) and charoset (here lovingly arranged crucifixion-style). The shankbone was replaced by the equally symbolic walrus penis bone (which was also not easten).

Hummus and olives: Marianne.

Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls: Jolee

Braised Lamb of God: Philip

It wasn't kosher but hallal killed.

Persian Charoset: Preston

This symbolized the mortar used to make the Egyptian slave-owners' pyramids. It is historically untrue (they were neither built with mortar nor by slaves) and tasted better too.

Macaroons: Nancy (with the orange zest option)

Sunday, March 4, 2007

112 Eatery

Nancy proposed Minneapolis's 112 Eatery on a snowy March 2 (the very next day being Craig's birthday). They had also just sold Nancy's house and bought a new one together. We ate, drank, and didn't have to shop or do the dishes.

Marianne is pleased with her duck dish.

Philip selected a cheeseburger.

Jeff the unpronouncable greens.

To Jolee went the ribs.

While Preston went for the tuna.

This looks like a sirloin

No idea what this was.

At last dessert: Tres Leches, Carrot Cake and Banana Cream Tart.

Next date:
April 7 at Philip's

Friday, February 9, 2007

Jeff's Valentine's Day Dinner

Sunday February 11th, 2007
Time: 6pm

Lima Bean Puree with olives and shaved Pecorino- Preston
Apple, blue cheese, and hazelnut salad on endive- Marianne
Savory Vermentino white wine- Philip

First Course:
Artichoke, fennel, crispy pancetta salad- Jolee

Main Course
Scallops with brussel sprouts- Jeff

Tres Leches white cake- Nancy


Lima Bean Puree with Olives and Shaved Pecorino

4 cups fresh lima beans (from about 5 pounds in the pod) or two
10-ounce packages frozen baby limas, thawed
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 rosemary sprig
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup oil-cured black olives (about 4 ounces), pitted and halved
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
One 2-ounce piece of Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved with a vegetable
peeler (3/4 cup)
Thin baguette slices, toasted

If using fresh limas, blanch them in a large saucepan of boiling
salted water until just tender, about 5 minutes; drain.
In a large saucepan, heat 3/4 cup of the olive oil with the rosemary.
Add the lima beans and garlic and cook over moderate heat until the
limas are soft, about 10 minutes. Drain the beans in a fine sieve set
over a heatproof bowl. Discard the rosemary sprig and reserve the oil.
Transfer the lima beans to a food processor and pulse until pureed.
With the machine on, gradually add the reserved oil and process until
smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and season with salt and
In a bowl, combine the olives, parsley and the remaining 1 tablespoon
of oil and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add half of the cheese and
toss gently.
Spoon the lima puree onto a platter or into a bowl. Scatter the olive
mixture and the remaining cheese shavings on top and serve right away,
passing the baguette toasts alongside.
MAKE AHEAD The lima bean puree can be refrigerated overnight. Serve at
room temperature.

Apple, Blue Cheese & Hazelnut Salad on Endive Leaves

by Laura Werlin Yields 35 to 40 hors d'oeuvres.


1 large (about 8 oz.) tart-sweet red apple, such as Gala or Braeburn,
cored and cut into 1/8-inch dice
3 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (to yield about 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup finely chopped celery (from about 2 large ribs)
3 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
5 Belgian endives, leaves separated; smallest leaves saved for another use
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
how to make

In a medium bowl, combine the apple, blue cheese, celery, mayonnaise,
and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Season to taste with salt.

To assemble, mound a small spoonful of the apple mixture onto the core
end of each endive leaf. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

To bring this hors d'oeuvre to a party, pack the apple mixture, the
endive, and the hazelnuts separately and quickly assemble them once
you arrive (don't make the apple mixture more than an hour ahead).
Also, you can toast and chop the hazelnuts for up to one month in
advance and freeze them in an airtight container.

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide
strips (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 lemon, halved, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 large artichokes

1 large fennel bulb with fronds, bulb halved lengthwise and very
thinly sliced crosswise, fronds chopped
2 medium heads of frisée, torn into bite-size pieces

Whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil and next 5 ingredients in small bowl.
Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in nonstick medium skillet over
medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and sauté until crisp, about 4
minutes. Transfer prosciutto to paper towels to drain.

Fill medium bowl with cold water. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into
water; add lemon halves. Cut off stem from 1 artichoke, then bend back
all outer leaves and snap off where leaves break naturally (only small
cone of pale green inner leaves will remain). Trim off all dark green
parts. Cut out and discard choke. Slice artichoke bottom very thinly.
Place in lemon water. Repeat with remaining 3 artichokes. Do ahead
Dressing, prosciutto, and artichokes can be made 2 hours ahead. Let
stand at room temperature.

Drain artichokes well; transfer to large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons lemon
juice and sliced fennel; toss. Mix in frisée and dressing; toss.
Season salad with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with prosciutto and
chopped fennel fronds.

Scallops with Brussels Sprouts

Brioza has a brilliant way of preparing brussels sprouts: Rather than
cook them whole, he thinly slices them, then sautés them with
pancetta, shallot and garlic until they're shredded and soft.
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon snipped chives
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 jumbo scallops (about 3/4 pound)
6 thin slices pancetta (about 2 ounces)
1/2 pound brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced

In a small bowl, whisk the crème fraîche with the finely grated lemon
zest, fresh lemon juice, snipped chives and 1 tablespoon of the olive
oil. Season the lemon-chive crème fraîche with salt and pepper.
In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil
until shimmering. Generously season the scallops with salt and pepper
and add them to the skillet. Cook the scallops over moderately high
heat, turning once, until they are golden and just cooked through,
about 5 minutes. Transfer the scallops to a plate; tent with aluminum
foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in another medium skillet, cook the pancetta over
moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 4
minutes. Add the brussels sprouts and shallot and cook, stirring,
until the brussels sprouts are softened but still bright green, about
2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the butter and garlic and season with
salt and pepper; transfer to plates and top with the scallops. Serve
with the lemon-chive crème fraîche.

Tres Leches Cake

Cake ingredients -
9 eggs
1-1/2 cup milk
12 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
Three Milks -
2 cups heavy cream
1- 5 ounce can evaporated milk
1- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Cream Icing Ingredients -
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar

For cake: Preheat oven to 350. Separate egg yolks and whites, keeping
whites at room temp. In bowl of an electric mixer, cream sugar and
butter together until pale yellow and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat
until fluffy again, 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In a third bowl,
mix milk and vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk
mixture to the butter mixture (a fourth at a time) until all are
combined. Beat until smooth after each addition. Beat egg whites with
cream of tartar until soft peaks from and, using a large spatula,
gently but thoroughly fold into flour and butter mixture. Grease
bottom of a 9 x 13 inch metal baking pan. Pour in batter and bake for
approximately 25 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool. (May also
be baked in an 11.5 by 17.5 inch sheet pan for 20 minutes; this size
rises very evenly, helpful for inexperienced cooks.
For Milks: Stir the milks together thoroughly; do not beat. Don't
refrigerate canned milks before using.

Creamed Icing: Whip cream and sugar together until stiff. When cake is
cool, slice or peel off the thin top crust. Ice sides first, creating
a small lip on top onto catch milk mixture. Pour milk mixture evenly
over top of cake (if necessary, poke holes in cake with a knife or
toothpick to facilitate soaking; you will probably need only 3/4 of
mixture). Finish icing top. Refrigerate. (if using an 11.5 x 17.5 inch
pan, cut cake in half to make 2 equal pieces. Soak first layer, ice
top if desired, and place second layer on top of it. Proceed as above.
Serves 12.

Look forward to seeing eveyone on Sunday!......can you believe nothing
chocolate for Valentines Day???? What am I thinking?

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you
respond to it.

...the evening of charm concluded with hand and foot massages, and a Maya herbal chorus. We meet again on March 2 at 112 Eatery.