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
Lemon Proscuitto Risotto
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.
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
2 cups packed, trimmed watercress
1 medium Belgian endive, sliced
1 cup mixed field greens, rinsed
4 oz Parmesan cheese
3 cups dried breadcrumbs
Ground white pepper
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.
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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.