February 17. 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 the gourmet girls dinned once again over a fabulous meal. Location: Lara Dixon's. Unfortunately L.S. and Andrea were unable to attend (we missed you guys!) We did have the pleasure of a guest chef, our friend Maridee. See pictures and recipes below!

Below: The four Gourmet Girls in attendance
Bridget, Lynley, Jodi and Lara

Below: Lynley and Bridget

Below: "Gourmet Guest" Maridee, Jodi and Lara

Appetizer: "Sun Dried Tomato Hummus" by Bridget

Bread: "Onion Focaccia" by Lynley

Salad by "Gourmet Guest" Maridee

Main Dish: "Pork Medallions with Mustard Cream Sauce"
by Lara

4 thinly cut pork maedallions
1 T butter
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 can canned chicken broth
2 T whipping cream
1 T course-grained Dijon mustard
Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over med-high heat. Add pork to skillet and saute until brown and cooked through, about 2 min. per side. Transfer prok to plate. Add onions to skillet and stir 1 min. Add chicken broth and cream. Boil until sauce is thick enough to coat the spoon, about 3 min. Mix in mustard. Return prok to sauce. Simmer mixture utnil pork is heated through, about 1 min. season to
taste with salt and pepper.

January 2009

January 13, 2009 was our first gourmet gathering of the new year. We dined at Andrea's for anther incredible meal. Unfortunately LS was not able to join us, so our friend Jenny Flinders "subbed" for Laura and brought a tasty "Baked Artichoke Dip" for our appetizer. The "salad" was a wonderful "Marinated Asparagus" by Lara and Andrea treated us to "Sea Scallops with White Wine Sauce". The side by Lynley was "George's Fluffy Mashed Potatoes"; Jodi provided not one, but two options for bread/rolls, and Bridget whipped up an "Orange Cake" for desert (Williams Sonoma "Baking". As always we had a wonderful time chatting and catching up. We also implemented a new element to our gourmet gatherings; emergency preparedness! Jodi and Lynley provided us with excellent information on water storage, as a result of their research on providentliving.org and fema.gov. We all set a goal to work on our water storage this month.
Chef Andrea
Lara, Jodi, Andrea, Lynley & Jenny

Lynley & Jodi

Lara & Andrea

Jenny & Bridget

Baked Artichoke Dip
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups (8 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 TBS cider vinegar
2 TBS chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cans (13 1/2 oz each) artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped (see Cook's Note)
1 can (7 oz) diced green chiles, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese, the vinegar, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the artichokes, bell pepper, and chiles. Transfer to a decorative baking dish, and using the spatula, smooth the surface. Scatter the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Bake, uncovered, until lightly browned and gently bubbling around the edges, about 34 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 45 minutes before serving directly from the dish.

Asparagus Vinaigrette
2 lbs fresh asparagus
Salt and pepper
1 shallot
3 T sherry wine vinegar
1 t Dijon mustard
3/4 safflower oil
1 egg
Peel and chop the shallot. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil so the vinaigrette emulsifies and thickens slightly. Whisk in the shallot; taste for seasoning. (Vinaigrette can be made ahead of time but omit the shallot until ready to marinate).
Trim the asparagus. Tie into a couple of bundles and boil in a large saucepan of salted water for 5-7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again. Marinate for at least an hour.
Boil the egg. Separate the yolk and white after cutting the egg in half. Run the yolk through a strainer and coarsely chop the white. Use as a garnish on top.
Serve at room temp. Serves 4-6.
Easy Parmesan Rolls
1/4 cup Butter
1/4 cup Mayo
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (from the can, not fresh)
12 frozen Rhodes rolls
Mix first three ingredients, then roll Rhodes frozen rolls in mixture. Raise and bake as directed on package
Rosemary Cottage Cheese Bread
1 cup warm water
2 Tbls brown sugar
1 Tbls coarse kosher salt
1 Tbls dried rosemary
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup cottage cheese
4 cups flour
1 Tbls yeast
Combine warm water, salt, rosemary, pepper, cottage cheese, and brown sugar. Stir in yeast and flour until well combined. Knead on lightly floured surface 9-10 minutes or until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let raise about 1 hour (doubled). Punch down. Form in 2 circular loafs or put in 2 regular loaf pans. Allow to raise another 30 minutes. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes.

Orange Layer Cake
(yes, those are orange shavings on top, not carrots)
2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus extra for dusting
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup undiluted, thawed frozen orange juice concentrate
Cream Cheese Frosting flavored with Orange
1 lb cream cheese
6 TBS unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1.4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 12 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 TBS undiluted, thawed frozen orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
Bring the cream cheese to room temperature. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter. Using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to low, add the sugar, and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to room temperature before using.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 round 9 inch cake pans and dust with flour.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In another bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and, dividing the four mixture into 3 batches, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternatively with the milk and orange juice concentrate, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks, turn top side up, and let cool completely.
Place 1 cake layer, top side down, on a plate. Spread 1 1/4 cups of the frosting over the top. Place the second cake layer, top side down, on top of the first. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Serve immediately, or cover with a cake dome and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.