Author, Gourmet Chef, and Ping Pong Champ!

Blog 17: Leo 7/23-8/22

July 26th, 2013 Evelyn Cole

leo

The heart rules Leos. They are born lucky. They enjoy many friends, opportunities, and heartfelt relationships. Once in love, Leos are faithful and don’t break a relationship without good reason. There are three metaphors for the growth of a Leo. The first is the Lion cub afraid to leave its mother. The second is the Lion, king of the jungle, protective, yet ruled by ego. The third is the Sphinx, wise teacher to others, less ego-driven.

Leos are great hosts. They enjoy feeding others. So let’s have fun with this one for fall or winter. The following recipes work for larger dinner parties, 10 to 12 guests.

 

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Appetizer: Keftedakia

(tiny meatballs) with small bowl of ketchup spiced with horseradish for dipping

2 slices of homemade-type white bread, trimmed of crusts and torn into small pieces ¼ cup of Ouzo or any anise-flavored liqueur 7 tablespoons olive oil ½ cup chopped onions 1 pound lean ground beef 1 egg 1 tablespoon finely cut fresh mint leaves or 1 tsp. dried mint ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic ½ teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper 1 cup flour

1. Soak the bread in the ouzo for at least 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it.

3. Add the onions and, stirring frequently, cook for about 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a large, deep mixing bowl.  Set skillet off the heat.

4. Squeeze the bread dry and put in bowl with onion.

5. Add ground beef, egg, mint, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.  Knead vigorously with both hands, then beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.

6. Moistening your hands periodically with cold water, shape the beef mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter.

7. Roll each ball in the flour to coat.

8. Refrigerate coated balls for an hour.

9. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat over high heat until a light haze forms above it.

10. Drop 8 to 10 meatballs into the hot oil and cook them over moderate heat for 8 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time to roll the balls about and to brown them evenly.

11. Transfer meatballs to platter with slotted spoon and cook the rest.  Add more oil to pan if necessary.

Serve hot.

 

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Salad:

Mixed greens with tomatoes, pistachios, dried cranberries, cooked diced bacon and feta cheese—dressed with Soy-Vay salad dressing if you can find it. Otherwise use your favorite.

 

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Entrée: Roast pork with fennel, scalloped potatoes, carrots baked in gin, and fresh broccoli lightly steamed, sprinkled with grated fresh pecorino cheese and virgin olive oil

Seven pound boneless pork rib roast 6 cloves garlic minced with 2 tablespoons fennel seeds 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and freshly ground pepper to make a paste with mortar and pestle or processor

 

1. Unroll roast if tied.

2. Spread most of the paste over meat, reserving one tablespoon or so.

3. Roll and tie the roast so that the white tenderloin is in the center and dark meat outside.

4. Make a few incisions with a sharp knife about ½ inch deep and stuff the rest of the paste into incisions.

5. Rub olive oil over the meat and place in roasting pan.

6. Roast uncovered at 350 degrees 2 ½  to 3 hours or until thermometer registers 170 degrees. Baste two or three times with pan juices.

7. Slice and drizzle oil over meat.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

 

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Oven-roasted potatoes

5 large potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters lengthwise ¾ cup olive oil salt, pepper 1 teaspoon oregano 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 ½  cups chicken broth juice of half a lemon paprika

1. Place potatoes in a single layer in 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

2. Drizzle oil over potatoes.

3. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Sprinkle with oregano.

5. Add garlic and toss lightly.

6. Add chicken broth and lemon juice.

7. Sprinkle with paprika.

8. Bake at 375 for one hour or until potatoes are tender and slightly browned. If potatoes become dry, add more broth.

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Carrots Baked in Gin

1 tsp sugar fresh ground pepper 2 pounds or less of carrots, scrubbed and unpeeled, cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces. ½ cup gin 1 tsp salt ¼ cup cold unsalted butter cut into very thin slices ½ cup water fresh herbs to taste

1. Turn carrots into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish so carrots aren’t crowded.

2. Add gin, salt, sugar and pepper to taste.

3. Distribute flakes of butter over the carrots and then pour over the water.

4. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, shiny side down.

5. Bake in center of 400 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes.

6. To finish turn contents into a heavy skillet, cook over highest heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until all liquid has evaporated; butter remains and carrots are shiny.
Serve hot with fresh herb garnish if you remember the herbs.

Makes 8 servings (great left over)

 

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Dessert: Macerated Fruit with Crème Anglaise Macerating is essentially a raw cooking process.

1. Combine four cups of fresh berries and fruit with 3 tablespoons sugar and ¼ cup Grand Marnier or other liqueur.

2. Cover and chill 2 to 3 hours before serving, no longer.

3. Combine 3 tablespoons cornstarch with ¼ cup sugar in saucepan away from heat.

4. Stir in one cup of half & half and one cup of cream.

5. Cut a vanilla bean in half and scrape its seeds into the cream with a sharp knife. Put vanilla bean pod in the cream.

6. Place mixture over high heat and bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Simmer until thickened and clear.

7. Add a little hot cream sauce to a beaten egg in a small bowl. Return all to saucepan.

8. Heat and stir until slightly thickened.

9. Cool and chill
This is a hearty menu. Lighter ones follow in Virgo

 

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Written by Evelyn Cole

Evelyn Cole




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