Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tonight's Dinner.... Wow

You might want to try this at home:

Appetizer

Fresh bread and italian dip (My contribution):

Fresh bread (we had roasted garlic) cut into pieces with..

Dip:
1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
sprig of Rosemary chopped
2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Salad

Constance's Salad (Colleen's contribution)

1 bag of baby spinach (we had to substitute romaine)
1/4- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 bag of dried cherries
1/2 small container of feta cheese

Dressing:
equal parts oil and balsamic vinegar (1/4 cup)
1 clove garlic smashed
1 tablespoon sugar You can add water if the balsamic is too strong.
Let the dressing sit for a couple hours in a tupperwared container (so you can shake it).
Serve over the salad. You can put chicken or salmon on the salad if you want a protein source.

Main course:

Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash:

Pesto: (Matt's contribution)

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup grated Parmesanio Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup Olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
Half an avacado
small can of black olives


Place basil leaves in small batches in food processor and whip until well chopped (do about 3/4 cup at a time). Add about 1/3 the nuts and garlic, blend again.Add about 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese; Add avacado, blend; blend while slowly adding about 1/3 of the olive oil, stopping to scrape down sides of container. Add olives, blend. Process basil pesto it forms a thick smooth paste. Repeat until all ingredients are used, mix all batches together well. Basil pesto keeps in refrigerator one week, or freeze for a few months.

This was awesome to eat with bread- great idea to bring to a party...

To make the squash (My job)

Cut 2 squashes in half lengthwise and take out the seeds. Place cut side down on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for an hour (for a very large squash). Take out and using a fork, fluff the spaghetti like strings out of the meat of the squash.

For the chicken (Matt and I)

Cube 2 chicken breasts into 1 cm squares
Place in a bowl with corn starch. Just cover the chicken with the starch (this will make the chicken super tender)
Saute the chicken in the leftover dip (see above) until cooked.

Now place the spaghetti squash, chicken, and pesto in large pot and mix. If needed, heat on the stove.

Dessert (Colleen)

Wicked Hot Chocolate Mousse

4 large eggs, separated*
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons coffee liqueur
4 teaspoons Chili Oil, recipe follows
7 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Spicy Whipped Cream, recipe follows

Whisk the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar, butter, 1/4 cup of water, coffee liqueur, and chili oil in a large metal bowl to blend. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water); whisk constantly until the mixture is very thick and frothy, about 3 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in another large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, beating until stiff and glossy peaks form. Remove the chocolate from over the water. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the warm chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold in the remaining meringue.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or overnight. Spoon the mousse into 6-ounce bowls. Top with spicy whipped cream and serve.

Chili Oil:
2 cups olive oil
4 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes

Combine the oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a heavy small saucepan. Cook over low heat until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180 degrees F, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Transfer the oil and pepper flakes to a 4-ounce bottle. Seal the lid. Refrigerate up to 1 month.

Spicy Whipped Cream: 1 cup heavy cream 1/4 cup granulated sugar Cocoa powder Ground cayenne pepper
With an electric mixer, whip cream gradually adding the sugar until soft peaks form. Top with a dusting of cocoa powder and a pinch of cayenne. Serve immediately.

I love roommate dinner nights!

4 comments:

Flatman said...

STOP TALKING ABOUT FOOD!!! :p

Wes said...

Yea! What flatman said!! You and room mate are rocking the dinner table, and so healthy too!! Made me hungry for bruchetta with all that talk of basil and such, LOL. Glad you had a great dinner!

Kate said...

Mmmmm...drool.

Cookie Monster said...

So when are you guys going to cook for your fellow bloggers?!