I will try to post some pictures over the next few days, but in case you want to use these recipes for Easter, here are the highlights from Melissa's Shower ... enjoy! Email me with any questions... xo c.
Chiffonade of Lobster Chez Denis
from Craig Claiborne's The New New York Times Cookbook
2 lbs cooked lobster meat, cubed
1 egg yolk
1 T. white wine vinegar
1 T. good (Dijon) mustard
1 T. tomato paste
1/8 t. cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce, to taste
1 c. olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 t. chopped fresh tarragon, or 1/2 t. dried tarragon
2 t. Cognac
3/4 c. halved grape tomatoes
6-12 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1. Place yolk in mixing bowl, and add vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne. Gradually add olive oil, beating vigorously with wire whisk. Beat in lemon juice, tarragon and Cognac. (OR, place all these ingredients in bowl of food processor and blend until dressing has consistency of thickened creamy dressing.)
2. Fold lobster, tomatoes (and optional 1/2 cup cubed foie gras) into dressing; if desired, this can be done 1/2 hour-1 hour ahead.
3. Shred romaine by stacking leaves and cutting into as thin slices as reasonably possible. 6-7 romaine heads will make one bag of shredded lettuce.
4. When ready to serve, mix lettuce thoroughly with lobster/dressing. Serve immediately.
Ham and Cheddar Scones
Based on Ina Garten's "Cheddar Dill Scones" from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
1 lb. cooked piece of baked ham (packaged?)
1 block Seriously Smart Cabot White Cheddar Cheese
4 cups plus 1 T. all purpose flour
2 T baking powder
2 t kosher salt
3/4 lb. (3 sticks) unsalted cold butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup cold heavy cream
Dice ham into small dice, then cook in 1 t. olive oil in pan until lightly browned (to make sure all the water is completely out of it, and to deepen the taste a bit).
Cut cheese block into dice the same size as the ham pieces (a little smaller than 1/2-inch cube).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine 4 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter and mix on low speed until butter is in pea-sized pieces. Mix the eggs and heavy cream and quickly add them to the flour/butter mixture. Combine until JUST blended. Toss together the ham and cheese with 1 T. flour, then add to dough. Mix until they are almost incorporated.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 1 minute, until cheese and ham are well distributed. Roll dough out to 3/4-inch thickness (as if you were making biscuits, for example....). Cut into square, then half into triangles, OR use biscuit cutter to cut into rounds. Place on baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper. Brush tops with Either milk/cream or egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes until outside is crusty and insides are fully cooked (you may have fried cheese around the edges, but no worries there; plenty is still inside the scones). Serve Best Hot!
Spinach Cheese Quiche
For Crust (From Martha Stewart's "Pies & Tarts" Cookbook)
Pate Brisee (I Always 1.5x the recipe, and have done so below; this makes plenty for two pie crusts for 12" pies)
3 3/4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. cold crisco shortening, cut into cubes
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 to 1/2 c. cold water
Place flour and salt into bowl of food processor. Add butter and shortening and blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water, a T. at a time, through spout in processor, until dough just sticks together.
Remove dough and dump onto countertop. Split in half, and form each half into a disk. Dough should stick together, not be too dry but not be too wet (really not SO difficult, but you get better at judging this the more you do it). Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least an hour. After at least an hour, place dough on well floured surface (or on Silpat, or plastic wrap) and roll out to a couple of inches larger all around than your pie plate. Place in pie plate (again, gets easier with practice), and place in fridge, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to use.
For one quiche:
4 eggs, whisked
2 cups half and half
1 pkg. chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed until as much water as possible is Removed
1/2 pkg. shredded cheese (I like monterey jack/cheddar combination)
Place spinach in pie shell. Salt and pepper. Then place cheese. Combine eggs with half and half and pour over the spinach/cheese. Place in 415-degree oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until puffed and lightly brown on top. Let sit at least 10-15 minutes before cutting.
If you don't want to make the pie crust, use a frozen shell. You might need a bit less liquid, though, because the crust is not as deep as regular pie plate.
Salmon with Lemon Rice -- Click HERE for Gabrielle Hamilton's recipe on House Beautiful.com