Café de Cacao Frappé

November 25, 2007


A coffee that doubles as a dessert … It’s a very special way to top off a meal. SAM

1/2 cup strong black coffee, cold
1/2 cup crushed ice
6 tablespoons crème de cacao liqueur
1 teaspoon white crème de menthe
1 large scoop vanilla ice cream
1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped
Cocoa powder for garnish

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in a blender, combine the coffee, ice, crème de cacao, crème de menthe, and ice cream. Pulse until smooth. Serve in chilled champagne flutes topped with whipped cream sprinkled with cocoa powder.
Makes 2 servings.

Turkey-Mushroom Lasagna

November 23, 2007


Half the fun of holiday dinners is the leftovers. Turn all that extra turkey into a great, very non-traditional lasagna. If you’re lucky, you’ll have some left over for lunch next day. SAM

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 pound mushrooms, brushed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry sherry
3/4 pound shredded turkey
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/4 cup yogurt cheese
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese, divided
6 ounces no-boil lasagna (six 7-inch squares)
4 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup turkey or vegetable stock

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. In a chef’s pan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat, sweat the onion in 1 tablespoon oil, about 30 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms and sherry, raise the heat to medium-high, and sauté, uncovered, until liquid is reduced. Add the turkey, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper, and remove from the heat. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, yogurt cheese, and Romano cheese.

Starting with noodles, build 4 layers of noodles, ricotta mixture, mushroom-turkey mixture, and mozzarella, ending with mozzarella. Pour the stock around the edges. Tear off a length of tin foil 8 inches longer than the dish and make a 1-inch crease side-to-side across the center. Cover the lasagna tightly, pulling the crease apart to create a tent. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until browned.
Makes 4 servings.

Avocado Bisque

November 21, 2007


Elegant, refined, rich … and so creamy and delicious you’ll want to lick your soup bowl clean! Isn’t it fabulous to serve good food to the ones you love? SAM & HARRY

2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and roughly diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
Sea salt to taste
4 tablespoons fresh, chopped dill weed, divided

In a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the avocados, lemon juice, broth, cream, salt, and 3 tablespoons dill until smooth. Chill. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1 tablespoon dill and paprika.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Buttermilk Cornbread

November 19, 2007


Cornbread is great for the holidays! Serve it fresh with fried fish or spicy beans. Crumble it in soups and gratins. You can even stuff it in your turkey. You’ll need good quality, stone-ground cornmeal and a seasoned iron skillet. Make sure the skillet is really hot before you pour in the batter and you’ll get a wonderful crunchy, brown crust. Save some for me. SAM

3 tablespoons olive oil, butter, or bacon grease
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously coat a 9- or 10-inch iron skillet with oil, butter, or bacon grease and place it in the oven to heat.

In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs and buttermilk. In another bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry fork, lightly stir the cornmeal mixture into the egg-buttermilk mixture. Over stirring will make the cornbread tough. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and bake for 40 minutes. Loosen the edges and bottom with a thin spatula and invert the cornbread onto a serving plate.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.