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Southernfood.com, L.L.C.
1205 Johnson Ferry Rd Suite 136-419 Marietta, GA 30068

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Birthday Dinner

Birthday Dinner

serves 8

This menu is easily prepared so don’t let it intimidate you. Most can be done in advance, you know timing is crucial and I will give you tips on that. The crème caramel may be made up to 2 days in advance. I recommend this. The soup may be made the morning of the party and refrigerated once it has cooled. You then should set the table with your finest china and crystal. The veal must be pounded very thinly with a meat mallet. If you don’t have one then you can improvise with a heavy skillet, just whack it good. Put plastic wrap on your counter, then the veal, then cover it with more plastic wrap and pound away. The breadcrumbs can be made a day ahead. You can also coat the veal early in the morning and refrigerate it covered. The risotto must be made right before the dinner. You can make it while the soup is heating. It should take about 30 minutes to cook. Just keep it warm. I like to add the Parmesan cheese at the last minute so it won’t get sticky, trust me. Invite your friends to keep you company in the kitchen, they’ll do it. Enjoy!

 

Flaming Gin and Tomato Soup

Veal Giardino

Lemon Proscuitto Risotto

Crème Caramel

 

Flaming Gin and Tomato Soup:

Unfortunately, this soup must be flamed in 4 batches, but that’s okay because it is easy, cheap, and really great.

Per 2 servings:

1 tablespoon butter

1 scant teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced onion

1 teaspoon minced green pepper

1 heaping tablespoon cooked, chopped bacon

1/4 cup gin

1 1/2 cups tomato juice

Sour cream, for garnish

Over medium high heat, heat the butter in a small saucepan until the foam subsides, add garlic, onion, green pepper, and bacon and cook about 2 minutes. Be careful not to let this burn. Add the gin and flame with a long match. Gin is extremely flammable so be really careful. This is the reason you can only make 2 servings at a time. When flames subside add tomato juice. Then start over 3 more times. Garnish the soup with a dollop of sour cream.

Veal Giardino:

Dressing:

2 medium cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

6 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

1/2 small red onion, sliced paper thin

2 medium tomatoes, cut into ½ inch dice

Salad:

2 cups packed, trimmed watercress

1 medium Belgian endive, sliced

1 cup mixed field greens, rinsed

Veal:

4 oz Parmesan cheese

3 cups dried breadcrumbs

Nutmeg

Ground white pepper

4 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup olive oil

2 lb. Veal scallops, pounded paper-thin

At least 30 minutes in advance make the salad dressing: mix garlic, vinegar, and oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add onion and tomatoes and let mixture stand at room temperature until serving time. Before serving remove the garlic cloves.

In a large mixing bowl toss the greens. Cover with a damp towel and refrigerate.

Grate the Parmesan cheese in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add breadcrumbs, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1 tablespoon of white pepper. Process until mixed. Transfer to a flat dish and set aside.

At serving time, beat the eggs lightly in small bowl; set aside. Mix and set the oils aside. Dip each veal scallop into the egg, then press each side into the breadcrumb mixture, turning the scallops over and over until they are coated and no spots of egg show through.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the mixed oils in a large skillet on medium high. Sauté the scallops until cooked on each side. Transfer them to a paper-lined baking sheet and blot them dry. Keep them warm in a 250-degree oven while you finish cooking the rest veal. Repeat the process adding more oil as necessary.

Quickly toss the salad with the dressing. Top each portion of veal with a heaping cup of the salad and serve.

Lemon Proscuitto Risotto:

6 cups chicken broth (use Knorr cubes, please)

4 tablespoons plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups raw Arborio rice

2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

8 oz Proscuitto, chopped

Juice and grated zest of one lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring chicken broth to a slow boil in a medium sized saucepan. Set aside. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add rice and stir to coat for 3 minutes. Add ½ cup hot broth. Stir while cooking until rice absorbs the liquid. When the rice dries out add another ½ cup broth. Continue to stir and continue adding broth until all is used. Never drown the rice. Risotto is done when the rice is tender. Stir in Parmesan, 4 tablespoons butter, lemon juice and zest, proscuitto and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand a few minutes before serving.

Crème Caramel:

2 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 eggs

6 egg yolks

Line the molds with caramel: you may use 10 single serving metal molds or one large 2-quart mold. Dissolve 1 cup of the sugar with 4 tablespoons of water. Swirl them around and place on medium heat to completely dissolve the sugar. When the caramel turns deep brown, the color of shoes, so not too deep, then pour it into the molds, one at a time. Using hotpads, swirl the caramel around the bottom and partially up the sides. Let them sit on the counter.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Simmer the cream and milk with the vanilla for 5 minutes. Beat the remaining 1-cup sugar into the eggs and egg yolks and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the hot milk and cream, beating continually. Strain the mixture into the prepared molds. Put the molds into a large deep baking pan and pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the molds. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the custard is firm. Sometimes this takes a  longer time than 45 minutes so don’t freak, use your judgment. Cool and refrigerate. To unmold, run a knife around the edge of the custard. Put a serving dish over it and invert. Serve.



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