Friday, November 9, 2012

Gourmet Night- November 2012


THE MENU:

Appetizers
Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Pear
 Rosemary and Cranberry Spread

Beverage
THE party punch

Salad
 Fall Salad with Maple Dressing

Main Course 
Curried Butternut Squash & Pear Soup
Cheese Ravioli With Pumpkin Sage Sauce 
Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries

Dessert 
Apple Pie in a Jar with homemade Vanilla Ice Cream




Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Pear


Yield: 16 appetizers

Ingredients:
16 thin slices pancetta
16 teaspoons soft fresh goat cheese (from a 5-ounce log)
2 small very-ripe pears, halved, cored, cut into ¼-inch slices
fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Place pancetta slices in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Using spatula, slide pancetta crisps onto platter. Top each with 1 tsp. goat cheese and 1 pear slice. Sprinkle with thyme and serve.
Tips:
*Plan ahead w/ your pears... purchase them a couple of days before using and let them sit on your counter to ripen.
Rosemary and Cranberry Spread
Serves 4-6

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons dried sweetened cranberries
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt

Place all cream cheese into a bowl and using a spoon, fold in all ingredients until well combined.
Serve along side crackers or toasted baguette slices.



THE Party Punch
recipe HERE

Fall Salad
*I tripled this recipe for my party of 9

6 cups loosely packed Baby Mixed Greens

1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup dried cinnamon apple rings (I used diced fresh apple w/ cinnamon)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (raw or roasted/salted, your preference)
*add more/less of these ingredients to suit your tastes!

Maple Dressing
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 large avocado, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
optional: dash of cayenne


1. Add all dry salad ingredients and baby greens to a large bowl.
2. Wisk together the dressing and add chopped avocados.
3. Add dressing to salad and toss very well.

  

Curried Butternut Squash & Pear Soup

Ingredients: 
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp brown sugar
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1-1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and diced
4 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and diced

Instructions: 
Step 1: In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, curry powder, cumin, brown sugar and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add broth, squash and pears. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until squash and pears are tender, about 30 minutes.
Step 2: Purée mixture with hand blender or transfer to food processor and purée in batches. 

Cheese Ravioli With Pumpkin Sage Sauce
Serves 6

27 ounces fresh four-cheese ravioli 
1/2 cup chopped green onion
3/4 cup butter
1 1/8 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dry sage leaves)
3/4 cup 100% pumpkin puree (Libby's canned pumpkin)
1 1/2 to taste Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Prepare ravioli according to package directions. Drain the ravioli and set aside, keep warm. (can toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking).
Meanwhile, saute the green onions in the butter over medium heat until the onions are softened and the butter is melted and begins to foam.
  
Stir in the pumpkin and heat through. Blend in the cream, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and the sage leaves, stirring well to combine. Serve sauce over warm ravioli.

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Brussels Sprouts
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1-2 cups fresh Cranberries
  • 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Sugar

 Instructions

Trim/clean Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half if desired (or you can leave them whole). Arrange sprouts and cranberries on two baking sheets and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper and roast at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown.
Combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and reduce until very thick, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the roasted sprouts. Toss and serve immediately.

 



Apple Pie In A Jar
Our Best Bites

You will need:
Half Pint canning jars (must be wide-mouthed!)
Pie Dough (I just bought refrigerated Pillsbury. 4 crusts were enough to make 9 pies)

Filling: (this is enough for 4 pies)
2 C peeled and diced green apples
2 T sugar- brown or white
2 T flour
1 T butter (divided between the pies)
1-2 tsp cinnamon

Roll out one of the pie crusts. Use the ring from the jar to cut out the tops and set aside. Use the rest of the dough to line the jars (you do not need to grease them).  Just take little pieces and press them in. Make sure it’s pressed all the way up to the top of the jar, or pretty close to it.

Fill the jars. You’ll need about 1/2 C filling for each jar. Divide it between the jars and dot a pat of butter on top (about 1/4 T).

Make sure your “lid” has a vent so steam can escape. You can use a knive to make a couple of slits or a tiny cookie cutter to make it decorative. When your topper is ready, slip it onto the top of the pie. Then use your finger, or a fork, to press the 2 pieces of dough together to seal.

At this point you can freeze the pies if you want! put the lids and rings on and place the pies in the freezer. When you are ready to bake, remove lids and rings from jars and place jars on a baking sheet (no need to thaw). Place baking sheet in a COLD oven. Then turn the oven to 375. That will give the jars a chance to warm up slowly as the oven preheats. Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the middles are bubbly. If you’re baking them fresh and not frozen they take about 45 minutes.

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