Thursday, September 14, 2006

Girlfriends for Lunch Menu

Beet, Blood Orange, Walnut & Rocket Salad Macaroni & Cheese Crusty Bread Warm Brownie Cups with Vanilla Ice Cream
(sorry no pics. use your imagination.)

2 1/2 lbs. beets
3 blood oranges (or regular)
1 large shallot, chopped
1/4 c. sherry wine vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil
2 bunches rocket (arugula)
1/2 c. walnut halves (toasted at 325 for 8-10 min.)

Oven 375. Wash aprox. 2 1/2 lbs. beets and cut away tops and tails. Place in baking dish, pour in 1 C. water and cover tightly with foil. Bake 45-60 minutes or until the beets are tender enough to be pierced easily with a toothpick or small knife. Remove foil, let cool then peel and slice thin. Season with salt and pepper (can be done in advance). (To wash hands after handling beets, rub fingers with salt then wash.)

Grate the zest of 1 blood orange (or regular) into a small bowl. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice from one half into the grated zest. Whisk in vinegar and olive oil, and chopped shallot. (This is your dressing).

From both ends of remaining 2 oranges, cut slices deep enough to expose the flesh. Stand each orange on end and neatly slice off strips of skin and pith, from top to bottom, all around, to expose the naked flesh. Cut oranges into thin slices and set aside for the salad.

Arrange rocket, orange slices and walnuts on plate. Dress.

Macaroni & Cheese
serves 10-12
8 T. butter
6 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
5 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. flour
2 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. pepper
4 1/2 c. (about 18 oz) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 c. (aobut 8 oz) grated gruyere cheese OR 1 1/4 c. (about 5 oz) grated pecorino romano
1 lb. elbow macaroni

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 3 quart casserole dish; set aside. Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 T. butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set the bread crumbs aside.

Melt remaining 6 T. butter. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk. Continue cooking and whisking until mixture bubbles and becomes thick and smooth, 8 to 12 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, pepper, cayenne, 3 c. cheddar and
1 1/2 c. gruyere (or 1 c. pecorino romano); set cheese sauce aside.

Cook macaroni in boiling water until outside of pasta is cooked and inside in underdone (2-3 min.). Drain and stir into cheese sauce. Pour into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese, and bread crumbs over top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Warm Brownie Cups
makes 5
4 oz. semisweet chocolate
8 T. butter
1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 c. cocoa powder
4 large eggs
1 t vanilla
1 c. sugar
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. Place a baking pan half full of water on a lower rack in the oven (like a 9x13 brownie pan).

Bring saucepan of water to a simmer. Place the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl. Place over water and stir with a rubber spatula until almost melted. Remove bowl from heat and let cool, stirring constantly.

Sift together (twice) all the dry ingredients except sugar. Set aside. (or put dry ingred. in a bowl and whisk).

In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and vanilla until foamy and light. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Stir in chocolate-butter mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients. Pour into five 8 oz. custard cups, filling each nearly to the rim. Place in baking pan; water should come halfway up sides of cups.

Bake for 30 min. or until brownies have risen to just above the rim and tops are cracked. They should be firm. Let cool 5 min. then serve dusted with confectioners' sugar OR serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.


The Willfords said...

I'm really lost on the orange part--how you cut it. You should post a pic or something. And I must say that I am extremely impressed by your culinary excellance. My condolences to the red bowl. I do remember dinner events where you had things served in it and it was an amazing bowl.

Jenni said...

Sounds like a lovely lunch. I'll bet that salad is so good. I had something like it at Whole Foods, I think they put goat cheese or feta in theirs, very tasty. I also love your week in menu's thanks for that.

laura said...

mmmm. i've been wanting that mac 'n' cheese recipe.

Linds said...

I'd start by eating the brownie cups and then if there was any room left, I'd start in on the rest. I've been wanting to try a beet salad. Thanks for the recipe.