January 10, 2011

Dinner on a Snowy Evening!

The Maine House is hosting a Winter Evening Dinner!"
Winter months can be long in New England.
 So why not be warm and cozy inside and
welcome the family to a fine dining Friday evening?

A Maine House Mosaic

Estelle's Grilled Chicken Marinade
1 cup vinegar
2 cups vegetable oil
2 T. Salt
1 T.coarse ground black pepper
1 T.  fresh Lemon Juice
1 T. Lemon Pepper
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
2 large eggs

Boil first seven ingredients in saucepan and then cool. Beat in 2 eggs once the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Place washed a dried chicken pieces in large baggie. Pour marinade over the chicken, seal the baggie and refrigerate overnight. Grill chicken and discard unused marinade.

Cape Cod Chopped Salad
8 slices  thick-cut bacon
8 ounces baby arugula
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled

For the Dressing:
3 tablespoons good apple-cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup good olive oil

 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and lay the bacon slices on the rack. Roast the bacon for about 20 minutes, until nicely browned. Allow to cool. In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, apple, walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese. For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, mustard, maple syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Chop the bacon into large pieces and add it to the salad. Toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well. Serve immediately.

Potato-Artichoke Gratin:
4 artichokes
1 large onion, chopped
1 lemon, quartered
1 cup dry white wine
3 large baking potatoes, like russets, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

Place the artichokes, onion, lemon, wine and water to cover in a medium saucepan, cover with a clean dish cloth and simmer over medium-high heat until the artichokes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Drain the artichokes and when cool enough to handle, cut off the top half, trim leaves, remove choke, and remove heart. Slice heart into thin slices.
 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 8 x 8-inch baking dish and place a layer of potatoes on the bottom, place 1/4 of the artichoke hearts over the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the cream and some of the thyme. Repeat to make 5 layers ending with a layer of potatoes. Combine the cheese and bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and the top is golden brown and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Black and White Creme Brulee
2½ Cups Whipping Cream, divided
5 (1oz.) Semisweet Chocolate Baking Squares
6 Egg Yolks
½ Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
6 tablespoons of Light Brown Sugar

Cook ½ cup whipping cream and chocolate in heavy saucepan over low heat,stirring constantly,until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Whisk together remaining 2 cups whipping cream, yolks granulated sugar and vanilla until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth.
Whisk 1 cup egg mixture into chocolate mixture until smooth. Cover and chill remaining egg mixture.
Pour chocolate mixture evenly into 6 (6-8 oz.) baking cups; place cups in a 13x9x2 pan. Add hot water to pan to depth of ½ inch. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until almost set. (Center will be soft.)
Slowly pour remaining yolk mixture evenly over custards. minutes more or until set.
Bake 20-25 more minutes or until set. Cool custards in water in pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan;cover and chill at least 8 hours.

"Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
 He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow."
  Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

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