Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oscar Dinner Menu

Sweet Orange Caesar Salad
Chicken Diable
Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
Chocolate Fudge Ribbon Cake

Sweet Orange Caesar Salad

3 T olive oil
3 T butter
4 cups Cubed crusty bread
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese Shredded
Salt and pepper

Salad and Dressing
2 Oranges
1 Large garlic clove, finely chopped
Juice of one lemon
1 T Dijon mustard
1 tsp anchovy paste
1/2 cup olive oil
2 sacks chopped romaine lettuce, 8 to 10 cups
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus a little more to finish the salad
Salt and pepper
Preheat 325 degrees

For the croutons, combine the olive oil and butter in a small pot. Place over medium heat and cook until the butter is just barely melted. Place the bread in a large bowl and toss with the oil and butter. Season the bread with salt and pepper and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheese.

Spread the croutons evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Let them cool.

For the salad, cut the stem end and the opposite end of the orange, stand the oranges on a flat side, and, using a paring knife, cut the peel from each orange in a long downward strokes, being sure to remove the white pith. Cut the oranges into 1/4 inch thick slices, and cut each of those slices in half.

To make the dressing, combine the garlic, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, mustard, and anchovy paste in the bowl you made the croutons in. Whisk until the anchovy has completely broken up in the mixture. In a slow steady stream, whisk in the 1/2 cup of olive oil.

When you Are ready to serve, add lettuce to the dressing in the bowl and toss to coat evenly. Add the shredded cheese, orange slices, salt, pepper, and the cooled croutons. Toss again. Adjust the seasonings and serve.

Chicken Diable

from Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan 

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves pounded lightly, at room temp

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

About 1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 medium shallot, finely chopped, rinsed and patted dry

1 garlic clove, split, germ removed, and finely chopped

1/3 cup dry white wine (I used Vermouth)

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoon Dijon or grainy mustard, preferably French

1-2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce

 Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 200 degrees. 

Pat the chicken breasts dry. Put a large skillet over med-high heat and add the butter and olive oil.  When the butter is melted, slip the chicken breasts gently into the pan.  Adjust the heat so that the butter doesn’t burn.  Cook the chicken until its well brown on the underside, about 4 minutes.  Turn the pieces over and cook until the other side is also well browned and the chicken is cooked through.  If the pan dries out, add a touch more oil.  Transfer the breasts to a heat-proof plate (one with a rim to catch juices), season with salt and pepper, cover lightly with a foil tent, and keep warm in the oven. 

Lower the heat to medium, toss the shallot and garlic into the pan and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring, until just soft, about 2 minutes.  Pour in the wine, and when it starts to bubble, stir it around the skillet.  Let the wine boil for a few seconds, then pour in the heavy cream.  As soon as it reaches a boil, stir in the mustard and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.  Taste and decide if you want more mustard, Worcestershire, or pepper. 

Remove the chicken from the oven, pour any juices on the plate into the skillet, and stir the sauce again. Serve the chicken with the sauce

Parmeasan Smashed Potatoes

3 pounds red new potatoes, unpeeled
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/4 pound unsalted unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a 4-quart saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until completely tender. Drain.

In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half and butter.Put the potatoes into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
and mix the potatoes for a few seconds on low speed, to break them up. Slowly add the hot cream and butter to the potatoes, mixing on the lowest speed (the last quarter of the cream should be folded in by hand). Fold in the sour cream, Parmesan cheese, the remaining salt, and pepper; taste for seasoning and serve immediately. If the potatoes are too thick, add more hot cream and butter.

Chocolate Fudge Ribbon Cake

Makes 16 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 48 to 52 minutes
Assembly time: 3 to 4 minutes


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain devil's food cake mix
1 1/3 cups buttermilk or water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs


1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

Place the soft cream cheese, butter, and cornstarch in a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sweetened condensed milk, egg, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Set aside. Place the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl, and with the same beaters, mix on low speed for 1 minute to incorporate ingredients, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer to medium and beat two minutes or until lightened. Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the chocolate batter, and do not stir. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until the top is firm and the cake tests done, 48 to 52 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring until the glaze is smooth.

Turn the cake out onto a rack or cake plate, and while it is warm, pour
or spoon the glaze just over the top. Let the glaze firm up before slicing, then serve.

The 'Glaze" recipe is the best ever, great on ice cream, or other cakes!


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