Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

Instead of posting specific meals, we decided to post 3 new dishes over the holidays.  They could easily be mixed and matched as you wish.  

The first was a Greek Octopus Salad or Appetizer that Karen is familiar with from her trips to Greece- Adapted from Gourmet.  We chose to pressure cook the octopus rather tan boiling it for 2 hrs as the recipe says...15 min in the pressure cooker.  You can see the octopus after cooking.  The skin sloughs off very easily and the tenticles can be cut into bite-sized pieces.  The dressing is made by mixing 1C olive oil, 1C white wine vinegar, 1 large onion, diced, 1T Greek Oregano, 1t freshly ground black pepper, 2t rosemary, and 1/2C lemon juice.  The octopus is placed in the dressing for at least 24 hrs. before serving.

The second dish was lamb tenderloin.  We saw this cut at the West Side Market in Cleveland and have not seen it elsewhere.  The lamb was browned in an oven-proof pan and finished for a scant 5 min in a 400 degree oven so as not to overcook the lamb, medium rare.  Remove the meat and add to the same pan 1/2C chicken stock, 2T dijon mustard, 1T rosemary, salt and pepper to taste.  Reduce the liquid to half and serve the pan sauce with the lamb.  We served it with butternut squash ravoli drizzled with olive oil and grated Asiago cheese.

The third dish was Argula, Bacon and Gruy`ere Cheese Bread Pudding - Adapted from Gourmet.  Start by cooking 6 bacon slices and removing to drain.  Pour off all but 1T or the fat and saute 1 large finely chopped scallot and 3 chopped garlic cloves.  When they are golden, stirl in 8 oz. of arugula and cook until wilted. Make a custard mix by mixing 1 1/2C milk, 1/2C heavy cream and 5 eggs in a bowl.  Add the bacon, arugula and 6oz. grated Gruy`ere cheese to the egg mixture.  Also add a cubed 1 lb. load of rustic white bread to the mixture.  Pour into a baking dish and cook in a 375 degree oven for 30 min.  This is a wonderful dish that could be served alone as a breakfast strada, we think.
We served the bread pudding with chicken breasts that were browned and removed from the pan.  One cup of chicken stock was added along with 8oz sliced mushrooms and 2/3C dry white wine.  The chicken was returned to the pan, covered and simmered for about 20 min.  The sauce was served over the chicken.

We show the cooked octopus, the salad, the lamb and the bread pudding.



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