Author, Gourmet Chef, and Ping Pong Champ!

Blog 22: Scorpio 9/23-11/22

July 26th, 2013 Evelyn Cole
scorpio

Scorpios have intense relationships with almost everyone. This is considered to be the most powerful sign of the Zodiac. Those born under it often have problems choosing between love and power. Those living with them need to deal intuitively, for Scorpios rarely express their deepest feelings, of which they have many. Most are winners, but their negative attitudes at times hurt them.

That’s why I repeat my three aphorisms here:

Three Aphorisms to consider as you plan a dinner party or your friends:

  1. Guilt feelings are worthless. When you feel one coming on, toss it in the trash. If you are actually guilty of something significant, apologize and then toss it.
  2. Worries are equally worthless. They accomplish nothing and are caused by fearful imaginations. The next time you worry about impending death or a soggy birthday cake, simply change the picture you are creating in your mind to a more pleasant one.
  3. Cease judging anything or anyone, including you. Judgment causes stress. Feel the freedom of non-judging and have a really good time. Of course, as you cook you have to taste, but that’s a minor form of judgment.

Here’s a dinner plan for Scorpio:

Appetizers: Bacon wrapped dates.

1. Cut one pound of bacon in half.

2. Wrap each half around a pitted date and secure with a toothpick.

3. Broil or grill until the bacon is crisp.

They can be served warm or room temperature

 

~~***~~
Entrée: Cioppino  (Italian Fish Stew)

There are several possible recipes for Cioppino. This is my favorite:

1. Mince in processor: 2 medium onions, 2 stalks celery, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, 3 cloves garlic

2. Braise this mixture in ½ cup olive oil in large pot until limp, 8-10 minutes over medium heat

3. Add 1 can solid pack cut up tomatoes (28 oz)

4. Add 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)

5. Add ½ can El Patio’s Salsa de Chile Fresco. Save the rest in a jar in the freezer for next time. If you can’t find this hot sauce, use regular tomato sauce sprinkled with red pepper flakes to taste.

6. Add 8 oz of water

7. Add a pinch of Thyme

8. Add 1 bay leaf

9. Add about a teaspoon each of basil, oregano, and fresh rosemary

10. Sprinkle with salt and pepper

11. Add ½ cup port wine and ½ cup white wine

12. Simmer for 20 minutes

13.  Add seafood:
Cracked crab or imitation crab
Raw shrimp peeled (about 20)
1-can baby clams or clams in shells
Scallops (cut large scallops in half)

14. Boil for 20 minutes.

15. Add 10 oz of any white fish

16.  Boil for ten minutes

Serve in bowls either atop or with lightly roasted French Bread.

 

~~***~~
FRENCH BREAD

1 French bread pan lightly greased (spray Pam)
1 package or 1 tablespoon dry yeast plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 and 1/2 cups warm water (wrist test for luke warm)
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour or semonlina flour
2 teaspoons salt

Glaze: 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 beaten egg

1. Dissolve the sugar and yeast in warm water in a 2-cup measuring cup if not using bread machine, to add to other ingredients. If using bread machine, add melted butter to flours and salt and sugar in the machine.

2. When all ingredients are in except dry yeast, put a tablespoon of yeast in last.

3. Set machine on manual. When  manual process ends, turn dough out on a lightly floured board.

4. Divide in half. Roll each half out to desired length, then tightly roll to form the loaves or leave whole for one large loaf.

5. Place seam side down with ends pinched under on the French Bread Pan.

6. Slash the top of each loaf with a knife.

7. Cover and let rise until doubled. You can get it to rise fast by putting it in an oven that has been warmed for one minute.

8. Beat egg and salt together for glaze.  Brush each loaf with glaze.

9. Place in 400° pre-heated oven and bake about 30 minutes until breads are brown and sound hollow when tapped.

10. Cool on rack.

Bread freezes well wrapped in foil. When needed, thaw in foil, sprinkle lightly with water, re-wrap, and heat for 5-7 minutes in 400° oven.
~~***~~
Dessert:  CROSTATA DI PINOLI (Pinenut Tart)

2  cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped very fine
6 oz. unsalted butter, melted

1. Mix flour, sugar and chopped pine nuts in small bowl.

2. Using rubber spatula, gently add melted butter to flour mixture.

3. Press dough into 10 x 3-inch high round spring-form pan with removable bottom.

4. Chill in refrigerator for a few minutes. (This part alone makes nice cookies.)
PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 350

1. Place aluminum foil over pastry and fill to top with dried beans or rice.

2. Bake 15 minutes; remove beans or rice.

3. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown.

4. Cool in pan.
FILLING

½ cup water
1 ½  cups sugar
6 ounces of cream cheese
1 cup ricotta
3 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
2 ounces pine nuts
1. In heavy bottomed saucepan, boil ½ cup of water and 1 ½ cups of sugar for two minutes to make sugar syrup.  Set aside.

2. In food processor or blender, cream together the cheeses, egg yolks and whole eggs. With machine running, slowly pour in the syrup.

3. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pastry shell.

4. Sprinkle whole pine nuts evenly over the top.

5. Bake tart for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden, but still slightly soft in the middle.

6. Cool to room temperature on cooling rack.

All items on this menu can be created in advance, Scorpio, so delete judgment in advance and enjoy the evening.

Written by Evelyn Cole

Evelyn Cole




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