Sunday, January 8, 2012

SSC Presents: Laura's 7 Course Holiday Extravaganza!

Going home for the holidays can be dreaded for some - full of those awkward moments you'd love to avoid when everyone is in forced merriment mode. The typical escape in my hometown is the local dive bar serving up cheep drinks and shitty bands. Most of my high school is there after Christmas dinner to drink the pain away and catch up with those you probably never gave the time of day to back when you were a selfish teenager.

This year instead of quickly stuffing myself with delicious food my Mother and Aunt have slaved over and ducking out right after desert I decided it was time to reward my family for being fairly
normal and treat them to a 7 course wine pairing meal. It was definitely one of the best presents I've ever given and I think they truly appreciated it. I purchased wine samplers for everyone from our former SSC writer Rachel's new company With her sommelier knowledge she helped me develop a menu that was truly unforgettable! Now if my family could just learn to stop asking me if I've 'found anyone special yet'...

- Laura

The Menu
Executive Chef, Laura Cook • Sous Chef, Nancy Cook • Sommelier, Gary Cook
    Fried Oyster with Rouille Sauce
    Spring Rolls with Shrimp
    Papaya Dungeness Crab Salad
    Seared Scallops
    Charcuterie Plate
    *Lemon Sorbet*
    Moroccan Slow-Cooked Lamb
    Flourless Chocolate Cake

    The Recipes

    Fried Oysters with Rouille Sauce

    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    saltine crackers
    6 eggs

    Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil on high in frying pan. Whip up several eggs in a bowl. Crush saltine crackers seasoned with salt and pepper by placing in a gallon zip lock back and use rolling pan to crush. Place in shallow bowl. Dip oysters in egg then cracker crumbs, coating thoroughly before placing in frying pan. Heat until golden brown on both sides.


    Rouille sauce recipe can be found on our 'A Taste of New England' post!

    Spring Rolls with Fish Sauce

    • 1/4 cup fish sauce
    • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 4 cups hot water
    • 8 6-inch-diameter Vietnamese spring-roll sheets
    • 16 uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, halved lengthwise
    • 4 small Bibb lettuce leaves, halved
    • 1/2 cup thin strips green onions
    • 1/2 cup thin strips seeded peeled cucumber
    • 4 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves

    Mix first 4 ingredients in small bowl. Set dipping sauce aside. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger; sauté until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add shrimp and cilantro; sauté until shrimp are just cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

    Pour hot water into large bowl. Using tongs, dip 1 spring-roll sheet in water 5 seconds. Remove from water; place on wet towel. Let stand 30 seconds (spring-roll sheet should be soft and pliable; if still stiff, sprinkle with more water).

    Place half of lettuce leaf across top third of spring-roll sheet. Arrange 4 shrimp halves on lettuce. Top with 1 tablespoon each of green onions and cucumber. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon mint over filling. Fold sides of spring-roll sheet over ends of filling.

    Starting at filled side, roll into cylinder. Place on plate. Repeat with remaining spring-roll sheets, lettuce, shrimp, green onions, cucumber and mint. Serve with sauce.

    Papaya Dungeness Crab Salad with Curry Sauce & Citrus Emulsion Dressing

    • 2 large Dungeness Crabs - cracked
    • 3 Papayas - peeled, halved with seeds removed
    • Boston lettuce
    • 2 avocados sliced
    • 1/4 cup toasted almond slices
    • curry sauce (great recipe for it here)

    Citrus Emulsion

    3 tablespoons orange juice
    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 teaspoon grated orange peel

    Mix all ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

    Place 2-3 leaves of lettuce on plate with 1/2 a papaya on top. Fill papaya pit with crab and drizzle crab with curry sauce. Add avocado slices and almonds then dress with citrus emulsion.

    Seared Scallops
    1/4 pounds large sea scallops (tough ligament from side of each discarded)
    7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, divided

      Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sear scallops, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 5 minutes total.

      Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
      3lbs potatoes- pealed and cubed
      1 tbsp wasabi powder
      3/4 cup milk
      4 tbsp butter

      In small bowl combine wasabi powder and 1tbsp water and let sit 5 min. Place potatoes in large pot; cover with salted water. Bring to boil and cook until tender (about 20 min).

      In medium bowl combine milk and wasabi paste. Add milk mixture and butter to potatoes. Mash until somewhat smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

      Cilantro and Parsley Pesto
      3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
      1/2 cup fresh cilantro
      2 scallions - coarsely chopped
      2 large cloves garlic
      2 tbsp fresh lime juice
      1 tbsp white wine vinegar
      1/2 cup canola oil

      Food process or in a blender puree parsley, cilantro, scallions, garlic, lime juice and vinegar. With machine running slowly pour in 1/2 cup canola oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

      Plate mashed potatoes with several scallops on top. Drizzle with pesto mixture and serve warm.

      Moroccan Slow-Cooked Lamb

      • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
      • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
      • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
      • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
      • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
      • 1 large onion, finely chopped
      • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
      • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
      • 2 1/2 pounds trimmed boned lamb shoulder, cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces
      • 1 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
      • 1 cup dried apricots (about 5 ounces)
      • 2 large plum tomatoes, chopped
      • 2 cinnamon sticks
      • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
      • 2 teaspoons (packed) grated lemon peel
      • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

      Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add lamb and toss to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add lamb to skillet and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally and adding 2 more tablespoons oil to skillet between batches, about 8 minutes per batch.

      Transfer lamb to another large bowl after each batch. Add onion and tomato paste to drippings in skillet. Reduce heat to medium; sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth, garbanzo beans, apricots, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and lemon peel and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.

      Return lamb to skillet and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until lamb is just tender, about 1 hour. Uncover and simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

      (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.) Transfer lamb and sauce to bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

      Flourless Chocolate Cake

      1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
      1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
      1/4 cup coffee liqueur
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      7 large eggs, room temperature1 cup sugar
      powdered sugar

      Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Stir chocolate, butter, coffee liqueur, and vanilla in heavy large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool to lukewarm. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and 1 cup sugar in large bowl until thick and pale, and slowly dissolving ribbon forms when beaters are lifted, about 6 minutes. Fold 1/3 of egg mixture into lukewarm chocolate mixture. Fold remaining egg mixture into chocolate mixture.

      Place prepared pan on baking sheet. Transfer batter to pan. Bake about 55 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Gently press down edges of cake. Cool completely in pan. (Cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.)

      Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Remove sides of pan; transfer cake to platter. Remove parchment paper. Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar and serve.

      Wine Pairings
      Wine samplers purchased from our former SSC writer Rachel's new company!
      The wine pairing is listed under each course.

      Fried Oyster with Rouille Sauce
      Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco, Italy

      Spring Rolls with Shrimp
      Colomé ’10 Calchaqui Torrontes, ColoméValle, Argentina

      Papaya Dungeness Crab Salad
      Moss Wood ’09 White Blend, Margaret River, Australia

      Seared Scallops
      Blackbird ’10 “Arriviste” Rosé, Napa Valley, California

      Charcuterie Plate
      Château de Pierreux ’09 “Brouilly” Gamay Noir, Brouily, Beajoulais, France

      Moroccan Slow-Cooked Lamb
      Argyle Winery ’08 “Reserve” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

      Flourless Chocolate Cake
      Brokenwood ’09 Shiraz, Hunter Valley, Australia

      The Menu, Charcuterie Plate

      Lemon Sorbet, Family fun!


      Christa, Phoebe and Laura

      About Laura
      Laura manages consumer marketing for Sonos, a wireless music system. Her great loves are travel, music, eating and drinking – a nice pairing, don’t you think? Since she’s managed to find a job that has to do with music, all her spare time is spent traveling the world tasting local libations and looking for her next great meal. Born and raised in organic Oregon, Laura has always had a taste for fresh and local food and recently has been getting pretty good at making it on her own,thanks to her weekly vegetable delivery from Boston Organics!

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