Be Our Guest!

The Gourmet Girls met on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at Andrea's home for "Be Our Guest" night.  Unfortunately, Jodi, Raquel and Lynley were unable to make it, so there were eight of us: Andrea & her husband James, Lara & her husband Loic (and Baby Henri of course), LS & her friend Jeff, and me (Bridget) and my husband Rob.  We had a great evening and the food was delicious as always!  Lara brought the excellent Stuffed Mushroom appetizer, LS made a Mexican Caesar Salad, I did the Breadsticks (Our Best Bites), Andrea & James did the main Filet Mignon with Blender Bernaise and two sides; Brussel Sprouts and Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish CreamI made the dessert: Dolce de Leche Banana Toffee Pie (Our Best Bites). Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of the steaks!  Tip on the sauce: don't leave it on the stove too long or the eggs will cook!  The taste was super flavorful but the texture a little thick from cooking a bit long.  Thanks for the great evening and the THREE dishes Andrea!

 Stuffed Mushrooms
This recipe is so easy Lara texted it to me!
1 pound sausage 
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
Big mushrooms (Costco always has them)

Clean mushrooms and twist out stems.  Cook sausage & drain.  Add cream cheese to sausage & mix.  Fill mushrooms & bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Mexican Caesar Salad
(LS added tomatoes and jicama for color & texture)

(Our Best Bites page 30)

1 1/2 cups warm (105-115 degree) water
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS active dry or bread machine yeast
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups flour, divided

1. In a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer, if you have one), combine water, sugar and yeast.  Let stand for 10 minutes for until yeast is bubbly.
2. Add salt and stir.  Add 1 1/2 cups flour and mix well.  Gradually add more flour (usually between 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 cups, depending on your elevation and your humidity until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.
3. Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl.  Cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
4. Remove from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Roll dough into a rectangle 18 inches long and 9 inches wide and cut into 12 strips with a pizza cutter.
5. Roll out a piece of dough into a snake and then drape it over your forefinger and twist the dough.  Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining 11 pieces of dough.  Try to space them evenly, but it's okay it they're close; pulling apart hot bread is one of life's greatest pleasures!
6. Cover the pan with a clean cloth and allow the dough to rise for another 30 minutes.  When there's about 15 minutes to go, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  When the dough is done rising, bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Rub some butter on top of the breadsticks (just put a zip-top bag on your hand, grab some softened butter, and rub it on the warm breadsticks) and sprinkle with Garlic Bread Seasoning (see below) or the powdery Parmesan cheese in a can and garlic salt.  For a sweet treat, you can sprinkle the breadsticks with cinnamon sugar.

Garlic Bread Seasoning
1/2 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 TBS garlic powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
2 tsp majoram
2 tsp parsley

NOTE: I was inspired to make these after having them at two family dinners, made once by each of my sisters-in-law.  They didn't follow the recipe either.  I listed the above recipe as it reads in the book, however I made some changes.  After the breadsticks had risen on the pans, I brushed them with melted butter (I used 1 cube for a doubled dough recipe) and sprinkled with my version of the Garlic Bread Seasoning (I just used salt, garlic powder, oregano and basil) and then generously sprinkled fresh shredded Parmesan cheese (none of this canned stuff!)

This link is sort of the recipe Andrea used.  She used butter instead of olive oil and left out the simmering water method. This was more her version:
Cut ends off Brussel sprouts
Slice in half
Heat up skillet on med-high heat. 
Add butter and melt
Add Brussel sprouts and cook until bottoms carmelize 
Squeeze lemon over to desired taste and serve immediately

Enjoying dessert on the patio
Jeff & LS, James & Andrea, Rob & Bridget, Lara, Loic & Baby Henri
Guest Star Ryan in the background

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