Tidewater Kitchen - August 2009

 

Perfect for Weekend Company!

by

Pamela Meredith-Doyle

 

   Everyone loves to have friends visit for a weekend. A lot of the time your memories will revolve around really good food. Here are some of my favorites that I have when guests come to stay.
    You can’t resist these dishes, as they are full of flavor and can be made ahead of time.
    A dear friend of mine that I visited recently brought bread-making back into my life. It is so special to have a loaf of homemade bread to share with everyone.

SIMPLE BAKED EGGS
This is the easiest way to prepare and serve several individual portions.

1 T. butter
6 large eggs
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
¾ t. salt
2 T. whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350°.
Coat each of 6 (6 oz.) ramekins or custard cups with butter. Break 1 egg into each prepared ramekin. Sprinkle eggs evenly with salt and pepper, then spoon 1 t. of cream over each egg.
Place ramekins in a 13”x9” baking dish and add hot water to the pan to a depth of 1¼ inches. Bake for 25 minutes or until the eggs have set.

EASY FRENCH TOAST
Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Tuscan bread is best for this recipe. The toast is prepared the night before and then baked in the morning.

2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 T. butter
2 T. corn syrup
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 t. vanilla extract
? t. grated orange rind
3 large eggs
6 (1½-inch-thick) slices bread

Combine the first three ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until bubbly and sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Pour sugar mixture into the bottom of a 13”x9” baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside and cool completely.
Combine milk and next five ingredients (through eggs) in a large shallow bowl and stir with a whisk. Dip the bread into the milk mixture, turning to coat, and arrange bread slices over the sugar mixture. Repeat the procedure with the rest of the bread. Pour the remaining egg mixture over the bread slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
Place one bread slice, caramel side up, on each of six plates and top each with some fresh fruit salad.

FRESH FRUIT SALAD with NUTMEG CINNAMON SYRUP
8 servings (about ½ cup each)

1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
½ cup orange sections (about 1 orange)
½ cup sliced banana (about 1 medium banana)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup maple syrup
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
1/8 t. ground cinnamon

Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and toss lightly.
Combine the maple syrup, nutmeg and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon over the fruit and toss gently. Serve immediately.

CHICKEN COBB SALAD with HOMEMADE GODDESS DRESSING
Dressing:
½ cup plain fat-free yogurt
¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 T. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 anchovy or 1 t. anchovy paste
3 T. chopped green onions
1 T. chopped fresh chives
3 T. white wine vinegar
1 t. chopped fresh tarragon
¼ t. freshly ground black pepper
? t. salt
1 garlic clove, minced
Salad:
8 cups romaine lettuce, torn
1½ cups chicken breast, cooked and chopped
2 tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
2 hard-cooked eggs, each cut into 4 wedges
½ cup avocado, peeled and diced
¼ cup (1½ oz.) crumbled blue cheese

To prepare dressing, place the first 11 ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, and chill.
To prepare the salad, divide the lettuce mixture evenly between four plates. Arrange each plate with chicken, tomato and egg wedges and avocado. Crumble blue cheese over each salad. Top each salad with ¼ cup dressing.

THAI SHRIMP SALAD with a LIME DRESSING
4 oz. uncooked linguine
12 oz. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup fresh lime juice, lime zest
1 cup olive oil
1 T. mustard
1 T. sugar
4 cups romaine lettuce, torn
1¼ cups red onion, vertically sliced
¼ cup matchstick-cut carrots
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup dry-roasted cashews, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add shrimp to the pan during the last 3 minutes of cook time. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again.
Combine the juice and sugar in a large bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Mix together with the mustard and add olive oil. Add pasta mixture, lettuce and the next four ingredients; toss to coat. Place about 2 cups of the pasta mixture on each of four plates. Sprinkle each evenly with cashews.

GRILLED SALMON and TRADER JOE’S HARVEST GRAIN BLEND
1 pkg. Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend (visit www.traderjoes.com for a location near you)
Cooking spray
4 (6 oz.) salmon fillets
½ t. salt, divided
¼ t. black pepper, divided
1½ T. minced shallots
1 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 T. fresh lemon juice
2 t. orange juice
1 t. Dijon mustard
2½ T. extra virgin olive oil

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper. Add fish to the grill and cook 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Combine the remaining ¼ t. salt and 1/8 t. pepper with the shallots, parsley, lemon juice, orange juice and mustard in a small bowl, stirring well. Slowly add the olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle the shallot mixture over the grain mixture and toss well to coat. Arrange pasta and salmon on a plate and serve.

HAWAIIAN BUBBLE BREAD
1 t. sugar
1 pkg. quick-rise yeast (about 2¼ t.)
1 cup warm water (100-110°)
1 cup ripe banana, sliced
½ cup orange juice
½ cup honey
2 T. butter, melted
5 cups whole wheat white flour
1 t. salt
Cooking spray
¼ cup cream of coconut
2 T. orange juice concentrate, undiluted
½ cup sifted powdered sugar

Dissolve sugar and yeast in 1 cup warm water and let stand for 5 minutes.
Combine the banana, ½ cup orange juice with zest, honey and butter in a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour and salt in a large bowl, stirring well. Add yeast mixture and banana mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until well blended. Add 2¾ cups flour, stirring to form soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Add enough of the remaining flour, 1 T. at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 1½ hours or until doubled in size. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and let rest for 5 minutes. Form the dough into 1½-inch balls (about 30 balls) on a lightly floured surface. Layer balls in a 10-inch tube pan coated with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine cream of coconut and 2 T. orange juice concentrate in a bowl and stir well. Pour 3 T. juice mixture over dough, setting aside the remaining juice mixture. Cover dough and let rise 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Uncover dough and bake for 30 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a wire rack. Stir powdered sugar into remaining juice mixture and drizzle over the top of the warm bread.

RUSTIC WHITE BREAD
1 pkg. dry yeast (about 2¼ t.)
1 cup warm water (100-110°)
3 cups whole wheat white flour
1 t. salt
Cornmeal for the pan
Cooking spray
1 t. water
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Add 2¾ cups flour and salt to yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Add enough of the remaining flour, 1 T. at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to your hands. The dough will feel tacky.
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Gently press two fingers into the dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.
Punch down the dough. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Shape dough into a 6-inch round and place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly coat the surface of the dough with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Uncover dough. Combine 1 t. water with the egg white and whisk together. Brush this mixture over the dough. Make three 4-inch-deep cuts across the top of the dough using a sharp knife.
Bake for 20 minutes or until bread is browned on the bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

VANILLA ICE CREAM SURPRISE
Makes about 1 quart
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups whipping cream
1 t. vanilla extract
1½ cups mini chocolate chips or any favorite cookie or candy

Combine eggs, sugar and milk with a mixer. Stir in cream and vanilla. Place all ingredients in an ice cream maker.
Once the ice cream is thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon, add the chocolate chips.

CHOCOLATE CHIP GINGER BARS
Makes 32 bars
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (plus more for the pan)
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 t. ground ginger
½ t. cinnamon
¼ t. ground cloves
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. kosher salt
1¼ cups light brown sugar
1¼ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 t. pure vanilla extract
12 0z. semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350°. Butter a 9”x 13” baking pan and line it with two crisscrossed pieces of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely in the pan, then cut into 32 bars.

FUDGY BROWNIES
Cooking spray
¼ cup butter
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cups sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
1 t. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°.
Coat bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
Combine butter and semisweet chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until butter melts. Stir until chocolate is smooth.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine butter mixture, vanilla extract and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.