Author, Gourmet Chef, and Ping Pong Champ!

Blog 4: Aquarius 1/20-2/18

July 26th, 2013 Evelyn Cole

aquarius

Dinner parties are a great way to channel subconscious energy, to love others without embarrassment, and to accept accolades for your creations. It’s easy to compliment a specific dish. After all, it’s not Nobel Prize worthy, nor football Super bowl challenging. It’s just good food and warm smiles.

Aquarians are hard to pin down. They come in a variety of personalities. Others sometimes think Aquarians are eccentric because their minds are extremely quick and busy continually, often causing insomnia. Also, they have strong social, political, or environmental beliefs.

Three ways for an Aquarian to relax before a dinner party: One, read each recipe all the way through to make sure you have all the ingredients and utensils on hand and to slow down your mind. Two, enjoy a glass of wine as you cook. Three, give your beliefs a rest.

 

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Here’s an Aquarian kind of menu with Valentine’s Day love and hope for Spring:

 

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First Course:  Delicious Cauliflower Vichyssoise

1/2 cup garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large heads of cauliflower cut into florets
2 quarts of chicken broth
1/2 cup of half and half or whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste
(Makes 3 quarts. Can be halved or frozen)

1. Sauté garlic cloves in olive oil in huge pan.

2. Add raw florets and two quarts of broth. Cook until tender.

3. Puree in blender.

4. Add ½ cup of cream, salt, and pepper.

Et Voila! C’est magnifique, and low calorie.  Serve hot, lukewarm, or cold.

 

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Entrée: MOJITO STEW

This calls for Cuban Mojito Simmer Sauce. Trader Joe’s no longer carries it. I tried a big city Trader Joe’s but asked for Mojo Sauce. The young male clerk didn’t know how to react. His face reminded me to ask for Mojito sauce instead. They didn’t have any so I found this recipe online and love it.
Mojito sauce
1. Heat 1/3 cup of olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add 6 to 8 chopped garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds.

3. Add 1/3 cup of lime juice and 1/3 cup of orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Remove from burner.

 

Mojito Stew:

1. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a fairly large saucepan.

2. Add one cup of diced onion and sauté for 8 minutes.

3. Then add 2 cans of drained black beans, the mojito simmer sauce you just made, and a pound of diced meat: chicken or pork or shrimp or fish.

4. Simmer for 15 minutes and serve over rice.

This serves 6 to 8 diners.

You can add another half pound of meat for 8.

 

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A salad with your favorite dressing goes well with this stew. So does French bread.
All can be made in advance. If you double the simmer sauce recipe you can use it after it cools as a salad dressing on sliced avocados and fresh fruit.

 

Finish with: Chocolate Espresso Marscarpone Pudding

6 large egg yolks (save whites for Baked Alaska)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
12 oz. Marscapone. Best to use at room temp.
1-1/2 tablespoons of instant espresso coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon of boiling water. (I use the water from the pan—see directions below)
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
one cup of cream whipped for serving on top
1. Whisk yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl until pale and creamy, about one minute.

2. Set bowl over pan of simmering water and whisk until mixture is thickened.  About three minutes.

3. Remove from heat. Whisk in cocoa, dissolved espresso, Marscapone, vanilla and salt.

4. Refrigerate in airtight container 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

Serve with whipped cream and your guests will float home happy.

 

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If you have an e-reader like Kindle, Nook, I-pad, or just plain computer, read a couple of chapters from Hurricane Love. It’s about a euthanasia trial and relationships established during hurricanes, but it does have a few cooking scenes. Here’s one:

Joanna watched Ralph set a huge platter of Gorgonzola linguine in the middle of Dan’s round dining table. Wisps of steam rose from it. A fresh spinach salad and a loaf of crusty French bread sat on either side of it. She and Lucille applauded; Ralph beamed.

Dan held Joanna’s chair for her. Unused to such courtesies, she bent her knees to sit and pulled the chair forward, surprised to discover he was helping her move it in close to the table. She watched Lucille fold her long body into her seat like a velvet drape drifting softly into place as Ralph held her chair. Joanna let go and released her breath. She heard Dan pull in his chair, but didn’t watch.

“To a great chef, one who creates miracles out of meagerness,” Dan said raising his glass in toast.

“Amen,” Lucille said, lifting her glass. Joanna followed suit.

“Thank you, thank you, folks.” Ralph served a large portion of the creamy pasta onto each plate. “A French writer once said that there’s only one way to prepare for death: to be sated to the brim in heart, soul, spirit, and flesh. Shall we practice?”

 

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Written by Evelyn Cole

Evelyn Cole




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