S: Family Dinner
FC: Family Dinner | by Michele Gauger (with contributions from Thom Lytle, Devon Long-Lytle & friends)
1: Family Dinner | by Michele Gauger (with contributions from Thom Lytle, Devon Long-Lytle & friends) | Copyright 2011, Michele Gauger
2: ~ To Thom & Devon ~ Four years ago, I uprooted my life and moved to Cambridge, to start law school and a new chapter of my life. The past four years have been some of the best of my life, and so many of my favorite memories from my time in the Northeast come from our family dinners. I'm not sure we knew during that first dinner, which I believe was a "comfort food" theme, that we were starting what would become a monthly ritual. I always looked forward to our cooking extravaganzas - no matter what was stressing me out, be it law school, cranky students, or the bar exam, I knew that an evening with you two in your kitchen would be the cure to what ailed me. You opened your home and your arms to me, for which I will always thank you. And that "comfort food" theme established a comfort that you made me feel whenever I was with you. (I've included here some recipes we made together, along with some of my own recipes I think you'll like. When putting this together, I realized how many family dinners we've had! You may recognize some of the photos I've used; since I can't compete with either of you as far as photography prowess is concerned. I even used some of Tommy's photos!) Devon, I think you said it best when you came up with the subtitle to our much-considered-but-never-actually-executed cooking blog: "Friends are the family you choose." You both (along with Bryn and Webby, of course!) will always be family to me, and I'll miss you dearly when I move out west. But every time I open this book, I'll think of our family dinners and my treasured memories from all the times we've spent together. And it'll be like we're there again, back together at our family table. - Michele
3: Contents | Appetizers, Snacks & Starters - _____ - Soups & Salads - _____ - Main Courses & Side Dishes - _____ - Desserts - ______ -
5: Appetizers, Snacks & Starters
6: Mushrooms stuffed with mushrooms...this is a very meta appetizer. | Stuffed Mushrooms | 4 tablespoons butter 16 oz. button mushrooms, washed with stems removed and set aside 1/2 an onion Bread crumbs Salt & pepper | 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Finely chop mushroom stems and onion. (A food processor or chopper is the easiest tool to use to do this.) 3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion; saute until softened. 4. Add enough bread crumbs to bind the mixture together, but still leave it moist. Add salt and pepper to taste. 5. Arrange mushroom caps on a baking tray. Stuff the mushroom and onion mixture into each mushroom cap. 6. Bake the stuffed mushrooms at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, or until slightly browned.
7: 1. Cook shallots in 2 tablespoons butter over low heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in the shrimp and cook slowly for 2 minutes over low heat. 2. Add the wine to the shrimp. Cover and simmer for 1 minute. Then uncover the pan, raise the heat and boil rapidly until the liquid is almost evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 3. In a separate saucepan, cook 2 tablespoons of butter with the flour slowly for 2 minutes, low enough so that the mixture does not color. Remove from heat, and beat in the boiling milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 4. Beat egg yolk and cream in a bowl. Remove sauce from heat. Add 3-4 tablespoons of sauce to the yolk-cream mixture to temper the egg; mix. Add this back to the saucepan and return to heat; boil for 1 minute while stirring. Sauce will become very thick. 5. Folk the shrimp mixture into the sauce, along with the cheese. Check seasoning. 6. Melt the rest of the butter in a large pan. Saute the bread rounds on each side until golden brown, adding more butter if necessary. 7. Spoon some of the shrimp-cheese sauce onto the bread rounds, and arrange on a baking sheet. Brown slightly under a broiler. | 1 & 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots 8 tablespoons butter 1 & 1/4 cups shrimp, cooked & chopped 1/3 cup dry white wine Salt & pepper to taste 2 & 1/2 tablespoons flour | Fondue de Crustaces | 1 cup boiling milk 1 egg yolk 1/4 cup whipping cream 1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese Sliced white bread, cut into 2-inch rounds | "Fondue de crustaces" = fancy French-speak for "shrimp in cheese sauce on fried bread"
8: Bruschetta | Traditional Tomato Topping - 4-5 plum tomatoes, chopped (and seeded if preferred) - 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped - Fresh basil, chopped - Extra virgin olive oil - Shredded parmigiana OR goat cheese crumbles - Salt & pepper to taste Mix all ingredients. (Add as much olive oil as necessary to moisten the mixture.) Chill for at least one hour, then serve on toasted baguette slices. | Alternative topping ideas: Olive tapenade Basil/arugula/cilantro pesto Goat cheese/mascarpone* Artichoke pesto** *This is also good spread on the toasted bread underneath one of the other toppings. **To prepare, replace the basil in a traditional pesto recipe with a can of drained artichoke hearts.
9: Hummus | Salsa | Food blog buzz words I will not use in this book: "Impossibly" "Garlicky" "Foodie" "Scrumptious" "Crumb" (when referring to the quality of a baked good, i.e. "it has a lovely crumb") | 1 can stewed tomatoes 1 can Mexican stewed tomatoes 1-2 tbsp. chili powder Chopped jalapenos 1 bunch cilantro leaves 1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 tsp. salt Half a cup vegetable oil Mix all ingredients.
10: Cheese Palmiers | Edgar the French Chef | Thaw one package frozen puff pastry as directed. Roll | 425 ~ 12min 6-8 | with egg wash. Sprinkle puff pastry with paprika. Top | out to approximately 10 x 14 inches. Brush surface | pastry with shredded cheese (I like to use a mix of | Cheddar and Gruyere). Double-book-fold the pastry | and cut the roll into 3/4-inch slices. Place on baking | sheet, with lots of space between slices and with the | sliced side down on parchment. Bake for approximately | 12 minutes or until browned at 425. Flip to serve.
11: Fried Eggplant | 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds Flour 3 eggs Italian-seasoned or panko bread crumbs Vegetable oil Salt & garlic powder ---- | 1. Season eggplant slices with salt. Place 2 layers of paper towels on a microwave-safe plate, and arrange eggplant slices on top in a single layer. Place 2 more layers of paper towels on top, Top with an upside-down plate. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. Allow eggplant to cool, then gently press down on the slices to press out the air. 2. If using panko, season bread crumbs with salt and garlic powder. Coat the eggplant slices with flour, then in egg. Then coat each slice in bread crumbs. (Setting up a three-tray breading station is the easiest way to carry out this process.) 3. Fry the eggplant slices in hot vegetable oil till browned on both sides. You may need to change out the oil to avoid burning any bread crumb remnants left in the oil. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt while still hot. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping, or use as a base for eggplant parmigiana.
12: Fish "Tacos" | Tempura mix (store-bought) 1 pkg. roasted nori, cut into squares 1 avocado, sliced Plum tomatoes Jalapeno Fresh lime juice Cilantro, chopped Salt & pepper Fresh, sushi-grade fish of your choice (optional) | 1) Prepare tempura mix as directed on package, using ice cold water. Use a little less water than called for, making the batter slightly thicker than normal. 2) Seed and very finely chop tomatoes. Repeat with jalapeno, adding as much as you want for spiciness. Mix tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 3) Slice fish into large bite-size slices. 4) Heat up 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a shallow pan. Coat one side of each nori square in the tempura batter. Quickly fry each piece until crisp. 5) Top each slice of nori with sliced avocado, slices of fish and some of the tomato mixture. Can add hot sauce if desired.
13: Just for laughs... | See how the ceramic mushroom family has gathered to show their children what happens to bad little mushrooms. | Once upon a time the world was young and the words "mackerel" and "pudding" existed far, far away from one another. One day, that all changed. And then, whoever was responsible somehow thought the word "fluffy" would help. | I don't think you're ready for this jelly. I don't think you'll ever be. None of us will. | Now we know why people lose weight on Weight Watchers! | Real Weight Watchers recipe cards, circa 1974. Much as I'd love to take credit for these clever quips, I cannot. They are from http://www.candyboots.com/wwcards.html.
15: Chewy Amaretti Cookies | ~ 7 oz. pure almond paste ~ 2 large egg whites (at room temp.) ~ 1 cup sugar ~ Pinch of salt | Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 large sheet pans with parchment paper. Pulse almond paste, sugar and salt in a food processor until paste is broken up. Add egg whites and puree until smooth. Transfer batter to a plastic ziploc bag and snip off a corner of the bag. Pipe 1-inch rounds of batter onto the parchment paper-lined pans, keeping the rounds 1 inch apart. Dip a fingertip in water and gently tap down the peaks on the rounds to make them flat. Bake cookies for 14-18 minutes, till puffed and very slightly browned. (Halfway through baking, rotate the pans to ensure even cooking.) Let cookies cool completely before removing them from the pan.