Italian Goat Cheese and Pesto Torta
Strawberry Lemonade Punch
6 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
10 oz. frozen thawed strawberries
8 oz. can crushed pineapple
2 liters gingerale
blend first 3 ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. When serving, put mixture in punch bowl and add gingerale. Garnish with fresh cut strawberries if desired.
*I doubled this recipe for gourmet night
Mixed Green salad with Horseradish dressing
12 cups mixed greens
1 pkg. cooked and crumbled bacon
8 oz. feta cheese
1 apple, diced (I diced mine ahead of time and put in a container with some gingerale. Shake up the container to ensure the apples are all coated. No browning!)
|*I forgot to take a picture of my main course but I found this one online. Similar, but not quite what mine looked like!|
Spicy Grilled Tilapia with Creamy Grits and Mushroom Scallion Sauce
Mushroom Scallion Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms (cremini)
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1/4 tsp)
- Salt and black pepper
- 5 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking grits
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4-5 whole peeled carrots, tops removed, sliced lengthwise (I used a cheese slicer for thin slices)
- 1 TB olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 6 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
- Jamaican jerk seasoning
Grits: Bring milk to a boil over medium heat. Gradually whisk in grits, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper. Turn down heat, cover, and cook until grits thicken to desired consistency, stirring frequently. Keep warm until ready to serve.* not too long or they will get rubbery.
Sauteed Carrots: Heat saute pan to medium high. Add olive oil, carrot ribbons, salt & pepper and saute until just tender.
Tilapia: Rinse and dry fillets and then sprinkle each side liberally with jerk seasoning. Place in a baking dish rubbed with butter and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily. You can also grill or broil.
Plate entree by spooning grits on center of plate. Lay tilapia on top of grits. Top with mushroom scallion sauce, lay the carrot slices on top of fish in a criss-cross manner and serve immediately.
Raspberry Pistachio Cheesecake
Pistachio Graham Cracker Crust
- ¼ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature for at least 6 hours
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste, or seeds from 1 whole vanilla bean
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- ½-1 cup raspberry jam
- ½ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, pulsed in a food processor until coarsely ground
- 3 (1/2-pint) containers raspberries
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
3. To make the filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and vanilla paste or seeds on medium-high speed, scraping down the bowl several times, until the mixture is completely smooth, about 5 minutes.
4. Turn the mixer to low and beat in the eggs one at a time, until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the sour cream until blended.
5. Place the cake pan in a roasting pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the cake pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour in the boiling water to come about ½ inch up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the filling is set but still jiggles slightly in the center, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from the water bath and let cool to room temperature. Chill for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight, in the pan.
6. To finish, remove cake from the pan. In a small saucepan, warm the jam over low heat until liquid. Let cook slightly. Brush the top and sides of the cheesecake with the jam. Cover the top of the cake with a single layer of raspberries. Holding the cake with one hand under the bottom, and working over a sheet pan to catch the excess, gently press the ground pistachios all around the side of the cake. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.