Black and Red Kir Royale Fruit Salad
From The Hearty Boys
1 cup seedless watermelon, diced
2 red plums, pitted and sliced
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 pint blueberries
1 pint blackberries
1 bunch red seedless grapes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup sparkling wine, chilled
1/4 cup Creme de Cassis
1 lemon, peel cut into strips, for garnish
1 bunch fresh mint, for garnish
- Toss all the fruit together in a decorative bowl along with the lemon zest and refrigerate.
- Immediately before serving, mix the sparkling wine and Cassis together and pour over the fruit.
- Gently toss, garnish with the lemon peel and mint, and serve.
Serves 6 to 8.
Greek Salad with Saganaki
From The Hearty Boys
3 heads Romaine lettuce, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup kalamata olives
1 cucumber, sliced
Greek vinaigrette, recipe follows
2 small red onions, thinly sliced
Saganaki, recipe follows
- Put all the romaine into a large mixing bowl. Add half of the tomatoes, kalamatas and cucumbers and toss to combine.
- Put the salad into a large decorative bowl, toss with 1 cup of the vinaigrette and garnish with the remaining tomatoes, cucumbers, pepperoncini, kalamatas, and red onion.
- Serve with the remaining vinaigrette and Saganaki on the side.
1 shallot, diced
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- Put the shallot into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well chopped.
- Add the lemon juice, feta, oregano, salt and pepper and pulse again to combine.
- With the processor running, add the oil in a steady stream. Pour into a small pitcher and set aside.
Makes 2 cups.
1 pound kasseri cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons brandy
1 lemon, juiced
- Preheat the broiler.
- Put the kasseri slices onto a baking sheet and brush with the melted butter.
- Place under the broiler until the cheese starts to bubble, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, douse with the brandy and ignite.
- Let the flame die down, sprinkle with lemon juice, transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.
From Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh
1-tablespoon vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
10 bacon strips, fried until crisp and crumbled
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups sour cream
1-teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot softens and the garlic begins to brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Put the spinach in a colander and squeeze out all of the excess water.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the artichoke hearts, crumbled bacon, cooked garlic and shallot, lemon zest, sour cream, salt and pepper.
- Mix well with a rubber spatula, and transfer to a decorative bowl.
- Allow to sit for 30 minutes before serving so the flavors can blend.
- Serve with crispy croutons.
1 French-bread baguette, sliced into rounds
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbls olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Arrange bread slices on 2 baking sheets. Bake bread until crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Rub remaining 2 garlic cloves over 1 side of each crouton.
- Lightly brush croutons with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Serve croutons warm or at room temperature with dips. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cool croutons completely; store in airtight container at room temperature.)
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From The Hearty Boys
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick margarine
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Chocolate ganache for topping, recipe follows
Special equipment: 9-inch round foil cake pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using a hand held electric mixer, beat the eggs and salt together in a large mixing bowl until frothy. Add the sugar and beat until the eggs are thick and pale yellow, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat an additional 30 seconds.
- Put the margarine and chocolate in a microwave safe container and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir to insure that the chocolate has melted. Microwave an additional 30 seconds, if needed.
- With the mixer running, pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture. Add the flour and beat 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat an additional 30 seconds.
- Spray the cake pan with a pan release spray and pour in the brownie batter. Place the pan on the top rack of the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes until the center is barely set.*
- Remove the pan from the oven and let cool. Top with the ganache and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
- To serve, remove from freezer and slice immediately. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
*Cook's Note: If tested with a toothpick the center will still be gooey. If tested by touch, the center will be soft. It will set once frozen.
1/2 cup (4 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
- Put the chocolate chips and cream into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
- Remove the bowl and stir with a whisk or fork until well mixed.
- Use immediately. If using the ganache later it will need to be reheated.
Yield: 3/4 cup