Author, Gourmet Chef, and Ping Pong Champ!

Blog 12: Gemini 5/21-6/20

July 26th, 2013 Evelyn Cole

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Gemini’s ruler in Greek Mythology is Mercury, the messenger of the gods who darts around the heavens delivering news. Gemini is also called the sign of the twins—two personalities eager for new experience, moving so fast they forget to take some basic steps such as accounting and record keeping.

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Since we’re the twins, making two of everything, we have fun just planning a dinner party.

So here’s a suggested plan:

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Appetizers: Filet Mignon in puff pastry

7 ounces of frozen puff pastry
Boursin cheese at room temperature
½ pound of beef tenderloin trimmed of fat and cut into ½ inch cubes.
salt and fresh pepper
1 large egg lightly beaten
1. Pre-heat oven to 400.

2. On a lightly flowered pastry cloth, roll out puff pastry to a 7-1/2 by 15 inch rectangle. Cut pastry into 1-1/2 inch squares.

3. Spoon a scant ¼ teaspoon of the Bousin in the center of each pastry square.

4. Season the beef with salt and pepper and set a cube on each square.

5. Fold the pastry over the beef, tucking in the corners.

6. Arrange pastries seam side down on a large baking sheet lined with foil.

NOTE: The recipe can be prepared to this point and frozen up to one week.

7. Lightly brush each pastry with the beaten egg.

8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

 

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Salad: Mixed greens with shelled and salted pistachio nuts and dried cranberries.

 

Add cut up tomatoes and feta cheese and olive oil & vinegar dressing.

If you make a Balsamic vinegar dressing add a half-spoon of honey.

 

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Homemade French bread and/or Wheat Pecan  (email me for these recipes)

 

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Entrees: Salmon on a bed of creamy cabbage  (Wolfgang Puck recipe)

1-1/2 pounds green cabbage
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
freshly ground white pepper
6 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
1 shallot minced
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup Sherry vinegar (available at World Markets)
1-1/2 pounds of salmon fillet, skin attached, scaled and cut into 4 equal proportions
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Trim cabbage. Slice into thin slivers. Bring large pot of water to boil. Salt water, add cabbage and cook one minute to blanch. Drain well.
1. In a large skillet combine cabbage with 2 tablespoon of butter and cook over low heat 3 minutes.

2. Season to taste with sea salt and white pepper.

3. Cover and cook until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in 5 tablespoons of cream and continue cooking a couple of minutes. Set aside.

5. In a small saucepan combine minced shallot with one tablespoon of butter and dash of salt. Cook over low heat 3 to 4 minutes.

6. Add wine and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by 2/3, about 3 minutes.

7. Gradually whisk in 1 tablespoon of cream and 5 tablespoons of butter.

8. Cover loosely and keep warm.

9. With sharp knife, score salmon on skin side in crisscross pattern.

10. Generously season both sides of salmon with salt and pepper.

11. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over moderately high heat.

12. Place fillets skin side down in skillet. Cook without turning until skin is very crisp, about 3 minutes.

13. With wide spatula, turn salmon over and cook 1 minute longer.

14. Remove from heat. It will continue to cook.

15. Spoon cabbage into a large serving bowl.

16. Remove skin from salmon and place it on top of cabbage.

17. Pour sherry vinegar sauce over all.

18. Garnish with herbs if you want. It’s delicious without and can be made in advance and re-heated in oven or microwave.

 

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Second entrée: Classic  Ragu Bolognese  

6 servings, double for 10 or 12
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions finely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
2 celery stalks finely chopped
8 oz lean ground beef
8 oz ground veal
3 oz thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
½ cup dry red wine
3 cups beef or chicken stock, divided
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk
1 pound of fresh fettucine
Finely grated parmesan or pecorino for serving
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add onions, celery, and carrots that have been chopped in a food processor if you have one. Sauté until soft, about ten minutes.

2. Add beef, veal, and pancetta; sauté, breaking up with a spoon until browned, about 15 minutes.

3. Add 2-½ cups of stock and tomato paste; stir to blend.

4. Reduce heat to very low and gently simmer for 1 ½ hours.

5. Season with Kosher salt and fresh pepper.

6. Bring milk to simmer in a small saucepan.

7. Gradually add to sauce.

8. Cover sauce with lid slightly ajar and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until milk is absorbed, about 45 minutes, adding more stock to thin if needed.

Ragu can be made two days ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled.

Re-heat and serve over pasta with freshly grated pecorino.

Your guests can choose between entrees or try each. They will fill up on these, therefore dessert can be a simple plate of orange slices that have been soaking in Cointreau all day.

 

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Reading from my poetry book, From A Train Window, available at Amazon.com.

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Written by Evelyn Cole

Evelyn Cole




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