Archive | March, 2011

Eating (like) Elizabeth

23 Mar

To honour the passing of Dame Elizabeth Taylor, thoughts run the gamut.

National Velvet cupcakes with Butterfield 18 cream frosting?

Apple She’ll-Never-Crumble?

And what about that famous “artichoke” hairdo?

Recall the famous Chasen’s Chili cablegram while in Rome filming Cleopatra in 1962:
“The chili is so good. All gone now. Please send me ten quarts of your wonderful chili in dry ice to 448 Via Appia pignatelli. – Love and kisses, Elizabeth Taylor.”

When we think of Liz, we think luxury. And we also think of booze. Here’s a round up of Internet recipes.

Her 1988 bio/diet book contained recipes for lobster salad, dietetic chocolate mousse, and hamburger with peanut butter.

It also had this California tuna salad. We’re certain she would prefer it with poached lobster, of course.

1 can tuna, drained & flaked
1 t. tomato paste
2 T. mayonnaise
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 pink grapefruit, segmented with pith removed
lettuce or salad green of choice

Mix first 5 ingredients and place atop salad greens

First day of spring

20 Mar

First day of spring! With snow on the ground, we are deluding ourselves, but patio days in Lilly can’t be far behind. Time to think pink.

For the shrimp:

1 lemon, halved

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 pound extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined

For the salad and vinaigrette:

2 medium ruby red grapefruits, segmented and juice reserved

1 large avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon honey

1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

2 ounces snow peas (about 24), strings removed and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch strips

16 Bibb lettuce leaves, washed and dried

To poach the shrimp: Place 3 cups water in a medium saucepan. Squeeze the juice of both lemon halves into the water; add the squeezed halves to the water, and add the bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the shrimp. Cover and let stand off the heat for 8 minutes. Have ready a medium bowl filled with ice water.

Drain the shrimp into a colander, discarding the lemon halves, bay leaf and peppercorns. Immediately transfer the shrimp to the ice water to stop the cooking and chill, about 3 minutes. Drain the shrimp and transfer them to a large dry bowl; refrigerate until needed. (The shrimp can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

To prepare the vinaigrette: Place the reserved grapefruit juice in a 1/4-cup measure. If necessary, add enough water to equal 1/4 cup. Puree the juice, one-quarter of the avocado, lime juice, honey, ginger, salt and pepper together in a blender until smooth.

To serve: Remove the bowl of chilled shrimp from the refrigerator and add the grapefruit, mint, snow peas and remaining avocado. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss gently to coat. Arrange the lettuce leaves on four plates and top with the shrimp mixture. Drizzle each salad with any dressing left in the bowl.

makes four servings

Think pink

16 Mar

Spring is coming and we’re already thinking pink.


We are looking forward to barbecued pizza, and earls’ pesto shrimp and lemon is our inspiration. It was created by an earls chef who previously worked at 4 St. Rose.


California Shrimp Pizza

2 12-inch pizza dough portions
2 Tbs pesto
2 tbsp confit garlic oil
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella or provolone
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled feta
6 oz (170 grams) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup pesto
2 lemon wedges

Preheat grill and pizza stone on high. (500F)
Stretch the dough into rounds. Place on a floured or cornmeal dusted sheet. Brush with garlic oil to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with one-quarter of mozzarella.
Sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes and top with another quarter of mozzarella and half of the feta to keep them from burning.
Coat shrimp in vegetable oil and top them on pizza. Repeat steps with second pizza.
Grill or bake for 10 or 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.
Garnish with a drizzle of pesto and service with lemon wedges.

Spaghetti Madness

3 Mar

This bit of retro teen hilarity came to mind as we thought of a way to use up leftover sirloin meatballs, roasted red pepper pasta sauce and the tail end of a box of farfalle. We tossed those three together, and layered a mix of leftover bits of cream cheese, sour cream and parmesan in the middle, and added the final layer of pasta/sauce/meatballs.

We tucked in chunks of two baby Bel cheeses for molten surprises.

It looked naked so we topped the whole thing with the last of a bag of breadcrumbs we toasted in olive oil and garlic.

We often use the layering technique to use up extras in fridge. Lately, we’ve been forgoing cream cheese and using up sour cream with a sprinkling of whatever cheese is one hand.

But here’s a showstopper from Sisto: bigger meatballs baked with rigatoni. Oh my.

Our throw-together inspiration came from a recipe someone posted from a 1974 issue of Seventeen Magazine, which called for celebrating your successful campaign for class president with a boxed Kraft spaghetti dinner kit, cream cheese and sauteed green peppers and a sprinkling of French’s fried onions on top for the last five minutes of cooking. Of course. Eep. Others call this white trash horror Million Dollar Spaghetti or spaganga.

Winner’s Spaghetti
1 (10 -16 ounce) package thin spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 lb lean ground beef
28 ounces spaghetti sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green (or whatever colours you have handy) bell pepper, seeded, chopped
8 ounces cream cheese
parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 and boil and drain pasta.

Brown beef and drain fat before adding spaghetti sauce.

In another pan, saute onions and peppers in butter until lightly browned. Combine with cream cheese.

Layer in a casserole dish and top with parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Bake uncovered for five more minutes.

Remove and let stand before serving.