Monday, July 26, 2010

July 2010

We met at Janet's on July 18, 2010. Teresa could not make it and Jennifer, Carol's daughter, joined us.

The menu:

Appetizer (Mary): Crab cakes

Main Dish (Janet): Scallops in cream sauce

Side Dish (Angie): Nonna Luna's rice

Side Dish (Carol/Jennifer): Primavera Vegetable Medley
Salad (Carol/Jennifer): Boston Lettuce Salad

Dessert (Tonya): Peach cobbler
We started off with Mary's crab cakes. They were delicious! Mary did tell us that she could not get the cakes to brown in the oven, so she browned them on the stove. The cakes were very meaty and had a great flavor.
We made the main dish, Sea Scallops in Cream Sauce, together. The fresh herbs really made it taste bright and fresh. The dish was such a pretty color, with the white sauce, green herbs and red tomatoes. We discussed small islands as we ate this dish (read the entire recipe to get this reference).

For sides, we had both a complicated one and the easiest one in the history of cooking club. Jennifer and Carol brought a beautiful, colorful, healthy side called Primevera Vegetable Medley. Again, this dish had fresh herbs and it was delicious. I mixed my left overs with pasta and it was very good!
Primavera Vegetable Medley
Makes 6 to 8 servings

2 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil
1 (8 oz) container baby Portobello mushrooms
1 large onion, cut in to 1-inch pieces
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large carrots, sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 large yellow squash, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (8 oz) package sugar snap peas
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbs chopped fresh basil
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat butter and olive oil until butter is melted. Add mushrooms, onion, bell peppers, carrots and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add squash, asparagus, snap peas, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp tender. Add basil, thyme, lemon juice and lemon zest, stirring to combine.

I made rice as a side because I thought it would soak up the cream sauce while not being too heavy, like a potato dish. I found a similar recipe, with seafood and cream, that included rice, so that is what I used.

Both the salad and dressing were wonderful! A little trick I learned about left over salad... put the dressing on the bottom of your container, then put the salad on top. When you are ready to eat, mix it all together. This keeps the lettuce from wilting.

Boston Lettuce Salad
Makes 12 servings

3 tbs honey
3 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs tarragon wine vinegar
2 tbs minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Shaved Parmesan cheese to garnish

3-4 heads Boston lettuce, torn into bit size pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
½ small red onion, very thinly sliced
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts

To prepare the dressing:

Whisk together the honey, lemon juice, vinegar, parsley and garlic. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. This can also be made with a food processor. Refrigerate until serving time.

To prepare the salad:

Combine all salad ingredients and toss together with enough dressing to lightly coat the lettuce leaves. Garnish with shaved cheese and serve immediately.

Tonya made a scrumptious Peach Cobbler that started as a blueberry cobbler recipe. She served it with a side of Blue Bell Vanilla, which made us all very happy.

As a bonus, we had a taste of a Grilled Rhubarb Brown Betty that Janet made for her husband. It was amazing (though my photo is not). She did add some strawberries, which is a common ingredient with rhubarb.

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