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Old 12-31-2004, 01:41 PM   #1
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I was asked to cook on Sunday for a friend - need an idea

Hi everyone - I was asked to cook on Sunday - A friend owns a quaint little martini bar downtown and he is planning a surprise holiday "thank you" dinner for his staff on Sunday. They will go to his house first and have cocktails then arrive at my house around 6:30 - since this is their first year in business he can't really afford to take them out and "have a grand time!" lol - Here is my menu -

I'm going to start off with

Antipasto Salad made on individual plates with a ring made out of a slice of baked Italian bread or somehow situated on the plate with the prosciutto looking like a flower in the middle and the rest placed around it.

Chicken Lombardi

Peas with Rosemary and Pine Nuts

Now - here comes only a "slight" dilemma - one person is vegetarian - so I thought I would do a side of pasta for everyone versus smashed potatoes - make a sauce for him from the Lombardi recipe in a separate pan - toss his pasta with it along with - what?? just some various veggies? i.e., zucchini, chopped tomatoes, asparagus tips, and he can also have some of the rosemary peas - anyone have something different in mind to make for a dish for 1 that is vegetarian and special?

Brainstorming ideas welcome!!!!

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Old 12-31-2004, 04:13 PM   #2
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Elf, my only concern if you use a sauce from the Lombardi on the pasta for the vegetarian is if the sauce will have meat juice in it. Not knowing the extent of this person's vegetarianism, that may not work for him.

I have a great recipe for tortolini or ravioli cooked in a balsamic brown butter sauce. It would go well with your chicken. What about that and steamed veggies as the side and that could be the entre for the vegetarian?

What's for dessert?
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Old 12-31-2004, 04:47 PM   #3
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I guess I didn't make myself clear PA - I would use the recipe for the sauce as the sauce is made before it goes on the chicken - but thanks for putting that into words that make more sense!!! 8)

Could you give me your recipe for the balsamic and brown butter sauce? It sounds absolutely awsome!!!!

I wish I knew if this person liked curry - I've got a great recipe for curried vegetables that would be great over spiced rice for him.
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Old 12-31-2004, 04:54 PM   #4
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I'm stoked on PA Baker's pasta suggestion (and I hope she posts it, hint-hint). Here's one I found:

Pasta Primavera

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
1 pound farfalle (bowtie pasta)
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.


You could prep the veggies ahead of time.


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Old 12-31-2004, 04:56 PM   #5
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I am too catseye - that recipe sounds like it would be perfect with the Lombardi - thanks for the primavera recipe too!!!!!!!
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Old 12-31-2004, 05:15 PM   #6
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Brown Butter and Balsamic Ravioli

I love this recipe and could eat the whole batch myself! I don't make it as much as I'd like since hubby's trying to keep carbs to a minimum. Enjoy it for me!

Brown Butter and Balsamic Ravioli

1 package, 12 to 16 ounces, fresh ravioli, any flavor filling (I like to use tortolini)
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for ravioli. Salt water and drop ravioli in water. Cook 8 minutes or until raviolis expand, float to top of water, and are al dente.

Add butter to a COLD pan, turn heat to medium-low to medium heat, and let it begin to brown. When the butter for the ravioli has browned, add cooked ravioli to the pan and turn in butter to heat through. Add balsamic vinegar to the ravioli and cook a minute or 2 longer to reduce the vinegar and glaze the ravioli. The vinegar will become thick and syrup like. Add cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to the pasta and remove the pan from the heat.
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Old 12-31-2004, 05:53 PM   #7
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(((((hugs to you)))))

Thanks so much!!!!! I think if I can find a portobella or spinach or even artichoke ravioli I will use that - otherwise it will be just cheese - and how bad can THAT be???

Thanks PA!!!!
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Old 01-01-2005, 08:30 PM   #8
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PA Baker, this is definitely not meant to be critical as I'm definitely gunna give the balsamic vinegar sauce a shot, but, if people find the flavour too imposing, crispy fry some Sage leaves in your butter (without the balsamic), remove & drain them & add as a garnish after plating up.

The Sage & butter sauce works really well, I use it with Asparagus & Ricotta Tortolini with Butter, Tips & Sage Sauce or simply on pasta as a quick meal.
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Old 01-01-2005, 09:49 PM   #9
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You're right, Brooksy, sage and butter is good. I have a recipe for a butternut squash gnocchi with a brown butter and sage sauce--I love the flavors together!
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Old 01-01-2005, 09:50 PM   #10
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Glad I could help, Elf! You'll have to let us know how your dinner goes!
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Old 01-01-2005, 10:26 PM   #11
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Yes, and let us know when you plan to start catering professionally! :D
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Old 01-02-2005, 08:59 AM   #12
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Yum, yum here! (Really like that Balsamic and Brown Butter sauce, PA! And Broosky, I do love your idea, too!!)

I'm looking forward to hearing of your outcome with the meal, Elf!
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:18 AM   #13
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Elf, I made your chicken Lombardi this past Friday and DH absolutely loved it! In fact, I had chicken thawed for Saturday and couldn't decide what to do with it. When I asked DH for ideas, he said "make what we had last night!!!" I would have except I was out of mushrooms. Thanks for a good recipe--I think it will end up in our regular rotation for awhile!
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:54 AM   #14
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Thanks PA - My hubby "demanded" the same thing - I too was out of mushrooms - so here's what I did - I had a couple white onions, cut in half, and made about 1/2 inch slices - really, really caramelized WELL in some butter - they got really brown and sweet - used those instead of the mushrooms - still used the marsala and everything but started reducing it in another pan then by the time I added it to the onions, deglazed the pan - cooked together for about 3 minutes - it was ready to pour over the chicken.

(we had it 3 times that week :oops: )
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:56 PM   #15
 
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Hi to KitchenElf...

A thought on some of your recipe ideas...

If some of us cannot get "Marsala", then, "looking this up" in the great "wine book", would it be okay to use a "sherry" rather than a Port Wine?

Port seems kind of "red" and "fat"...

Is the sweetness a big thing? A really "dry" sherry ("Tio Pepe?) could have the "structure" in it, but if you want sugars might get a bit expensive and might well "crash" what you are describing...

Will look forward to your reply...

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Old 01-12-2005, 12:09 AM   #16
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Absolutely the perfect substitute Lifter!! Right on the money!

A dry sherry still has enough sweetness - just as much as a Marsala
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Old 01-12-2005, 07:13 AM   #17
 
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Thanks "'Elf"!

Will have a run at this as soon as we "eat our way out" of last Sunday's roast turkey leftovers and work up to "wanting" chicken (not that this will take all that long!)...

This recipe is intriguing, and I really want a crack at it...

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