Seven Courses for Seven Ladies

The gourmet girls have met again! Lucky for all of us LS has returned to the Beehive State and more importantly, to the gourmet girls! We had a wonderful evening of food and fun on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 over Raquel's beautiful table. We started off the evening with two appetizers; Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta by LS and Barbeque Bri Quesadillas (Keeping Up Cookbook) by Jodi. Andrea spoiled us with Amazing No-Knead Sourdough (Keeping Up Cookbook) and Bridget made a spring salad with Nana Katie's Caesar Dressing (also from Keeping Up Cookbook)! Raquel favored us with delicious Holiday Leg of Lamb (yes, even though it is May). Our side was Smashed Peas with Mint Butter by Lara and Lynley favored us with not one, but two desserts; Bananas Foster and Lemon Pineapple Sherbet in fancy to-go containers! It was once again a fabulous evening!

"The Gourmet Girls"
Bridget, Lynley, Lara, Jodi, Raquel, Andrea &LS
Bridget, Raquel &Jodi
LS, Lynley, Andrea & Lara
Barbeque Bri Quesadillas

1 pound rotisserie or cooked chicken, shredded or diced
2/4 cup of your favorite barbeque sauce
1 pound brie, thinly sliced
1 large mango, finely diced
1 bunch green onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
12 small flour tortillas
butter for frying
Spread a thin layer of barbeque sauce on one tortilla. Top with desired amount of meat, brie, mango, green onions and cilantro. Top with another tortilla. Repeat for remaining tortillas.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little butter to the pan and cook quesadillas until each side is browned and cheese is melted, about 1 minute per side. Cut in wedges and serve hot, then watch them disappear!

Amazing No-Knead Sourdough

Bridget's Spring Salad with "Nana Katie's Caesar Dressing"
Bunch of spring mix lettuce
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (I use pre-cooked and do it in the microwave)
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted in a pan with 1 TBS butter and 3 TBS sugar just until golden brown
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Handful of grape tomatoes (love those big ones from Costco)
Handful of croutons
(Coincidentally I bought the same ones Grace recommends in her cookbook: "Old London Round Toastettes")
1 tsp lemon zest (I used a Tablespoon, which makes it very "lemony")
3 TBS lemon juice
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp white wine vinegar (I used a Tablespoon, gives it a zing)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
I made the dressing ahead and put it in a bottle with a lid. Just before serving, I shook it well, tossed it throughout the salad, then added the croutons.

The "Foster" of the Bananas Foster in the Making!

Bananas Foster all dished up

6 TBS unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
finely julienned zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 ripe bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 pint best-quality vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup banana-flavored liqueur
1/3 cup light or dark rum
2 TBS fresh lemon juice

In a chafing dish or a frying pan over medium heat, melt together the butter and brown sugar. Add the lemon zest and cook, stirring to blend the butter and sugar thoroughly, for 2 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon. Reduce the heat to low, add the bananas and cook, frequently spooning the hot sauce over them, until tender, 5-7 minutes; the timing depends upon how ripe the bananas are. Just before serving, divide the ice cream among 4-6 bowls. Pour the liqueur, rum and lemon juice into a small saucepan and place over medium heat until warm. Alternatively, pour into a small nonmetal bowl and heat in a microwave oven set on high power until warm, about 40 seconds. Bring the pan holding the bananas, the pan or dish of warmed spirits and the bowls of ice cream to the table. Pour the liqueur over the bananas and ignite with a long kitchen match. When the flames die out, spoon the bananas over the ice cream and serve.

Lemon Pineapple Sherbet (not pictured)
2 quarts whole milk
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple with juice
2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring until well blended. When you add the lemon juice, the sherbet will appear to curdle, but that is not a problem. Pour into an electric ice cream maker. Process according to manufacturer's instructions . Transfer sherbet to a freezer-safe container & freeze for 1 hour to firm up before serving.