Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Menu

Capesante al curry con zenzero e salsa di burro, vino bianco (Curried Scallops with ginger and white wine butter sauce)

Lo Scrigno Di Venere(Yellow Pasta Shells filled with Spinach Fettucine)

Brasati costole corte (Braised Short ribs)

Formaggio Polenta Cynlinders(Cheese Polenta Cynlinders)

Dessert -

Brown Sugar and Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Maple-Espresso Glaze

no translation here… it is what it is!
Oh and I could not sleep last night, so there is some creme brulee that devon and I whipped up at 1am also.

Woke up to what sounded like rain! Rain! Sure enough I looked out the window and it was raining! Now it is sunny 30 minutes later. Gotta love Southern California!

Doesn't phase me a bit today. Hubby headed to the market to get all my ingredients bright and early. I get to spend the day in the kitchen.

I started with the most important... THE CAKE!!!

Brown Sugar and Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Maple-Espresso Glaze Cake (Bon Appetit):

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips

3 cups all purpose flour, divided

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon maple extract

4 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk


1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons (or more) whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

print a shopping list for this recipe

PreparationFor cake:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 12-cup Bundt pan. Spray pan generously with nonstick spray. Dust pan lightly with flour. Mix chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons flour in medium bowl. Sift remaining flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt into another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and maple extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chip mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely.


Mixing the chocolate chips with a little flour before adding them to the batter helps the chips stay evenly suspended in the batter and evenly distributed throughout the baked cake (otherwise, they may sink to the bottom).

For glaze:

Combine powdered sugar, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons cream, and espresso powder in medium bowl. Whisk until smooth, adding more cream by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to drizzle. Spoon glaze decoratively over top of cake; let stand at room temperature until glaze is firm, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.

1st course (appetizer):
 Next moving on to the scallops which will be our appetizer, paired with sauvignon blanc.
You have to start out with the sauce in a heavy saucepan, melt 1 TB butter over high heat. Add 1TB  minced shallots (just call them green onions people!) and 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger... saute for 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine. Cook to reduce to a glaze. Add 1/2 cup grapefruit juice and fish stock or clam juice ( you know, who has fish stock or clam juice on hand? Found clam juice at the store thankfully). Bring to a boil and then simmmer and cook to reduce by half.  Strain and return to same pan. Remove from heat and whisk 6 tablespoons butter into the sauce, 1 TB at a time. Cover and set in a warm place. (I just covered and put over a double broiler that was off heat).
In a large bowl combine 16 sea scallops, 1 tsp curry powder, a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss and coat. (this is where I go all cheap and I put them in a large ziplock bag and shake it around.). Melt 3 TB Butter over high heat. Saute the scalllops... turning often about 4 minutes total.
To serve drizze the sauce evenly onto plates. put scallops on plate. Sprinkle with minced fresh chive.
Serve with a sauvignon blanc wine to start off your palate right!

2nd Course:  Lo Scrigno Di Venere(Yellow Pasta Shells filled with Spinach Fettucine). This is from one of my culinary school textbooks and I have been dying to try it. YUM!
This is a long drawn out process recipe. Supposed to be a test to see if you have mastered all of the pasta making. So we will see how this goes. I am not putting up the whole recipe, but will post my process. You start by making a Bechamel sauce. This is a basic staple recipe for all italian cooking. A white sauce that consists of flour, butter, boiling milk and salt. Pretty basic and it is in a ton of italian recipes.

Next making homemade spinach pasta. This is a first for me. my text book said if I mastered this, that I have mastered pasta. Guess what?!?!?!? YAYA BAYBAY!!!

but seriously... this was the best dish. DA BOMB!!! You gotta try it. For real!

You have to realize that this was a challenge. But so much fun. You have to make 1 huge noodle.

You have to make the cylinders to make the soup.

and you have to make bechamel sauce.

the inside of the pasta

3rd Course MAIN COURSE: Braised short ribs with leeks and green peas. and cheese Polenta ( I hate peas, but they are on there for people who like them. And you have to use fresh ones or I will barf.)

4th course: CAKE! see previous pics

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