Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Time Party!

Hello Readers!

Although its cold outside, Spring is offically here! Outdoor parties are less popular in Spring than Summer, but I think the Garden Party is just as important an occasion. Sooooo this post is dedicated to a produce-filled menu  that works perfectly for any dining aalfresco occasion.

First the Appetizer:
Grilled Fontina Pizza with Asparagus and Scallions
Ingredients


6 thin asparagus spears

3 scallions

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

One 12-ounce ball pizza dough

3 ounces fontina cheese, shredded

1 tablespoon finely grated pecorino cheese

1 teaspoon oregano leaves, torn

Directions


Toss the asparagus and scallions with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus and scallions on high heat,  until lightly charred and tender, about 2 minutes.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pizza dough to an 1/8-inch-thick oval. Rub both sides of the dough with the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Grill the pizza dough over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp and lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side.

Top the crust with the asparagus, scallions, fontina and pecorino. Return the pizza to the grill, cover and cook until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with the oregano and season with pepper. Cut into slices and serve.

Second the Drink:
Mango Sour


1 cup mango nectar

3/4 cup vodka

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar

Directions

Stir together nectar, vodka, lemon juice, and sugar in a 1-quart glass measure. Shake half of mixture in cocktail shaker half filled with ice cubes until cold, about 30 seconds. Strain into glasses half filled with ice cubes. Shake and strain remaining nectar mixture in same manner.


Next the Entree:
Grilled Tuna over Lemon-Mint Barley Salad


Ingredients


3/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint, divided

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, divided

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 (6-ounce) Yellowfin tuna steaks

2 1/4 cups water

1 cup uncooked pearl barley

2 cups chopped tomato

3/4 cup chopped green onions

2 tablespoons capers

2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives

1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil

Cooking spray

Direections


Combine 1/2 cup mint, lemon rind, 4 teaspoons lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic in a shallow dish; add tuna, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt and water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in barley; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Spoon barley into a large bowl; cool slightly. Add remaining 1/4 cup mint, tomato, green onions, capers, and olives; stir well to combine. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and oil, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle over barley mixture; toss gently to coat. Set aside.
Prepare grill or broiler.

Place tuna steaks on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 2 minutes on each side until tuna steaks are medium-rare or until desired degree of doneness. Spoon about 1 1/2 cups barley mixture onto each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 tuna steak.

Finally the Dessert

Individual Lemon Meringue Tarts


Ingredients


Pastry:

11/2 pounds short crust pastry, recipe follows

Filling:

2 cups lemon juice

6 eggs

6 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Meringue:

4 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup sugar

Directions


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the pastry: Roll the pastry to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 6 (6-inch) rounds. Place the pastry in 6 (4-inch) tart molds. With a knife trim the excess pastry. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Line each tart shell with a piece of parchment paper and fill to the rim with pie weights.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the pie weights and parchment from the tart shells and bake for 10 minutes.
For the filling: Whisk together the lemon juice, eggs, yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract.
Pour the lemon mixture into a medium pot. Place over medium heat and stir with a spatula for about 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Pour the lemon mixture onto a baking sheet and cool completely.
Spoon the cooled lemon mixture or curd into the baked tart shells
For the meringue: Beat the egg whites with the vanilla extract and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Continue beating while adding the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. The finished meringue should have stiff glossy peaks. Mound the meringue on top of the tarts.
Make sure there is a good seal between the meringue and the edge of the crust. Bake the tarts in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the meringue is golden. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the molds.


Well, Enjoy All! And..... Send us reviews of the menu :)

Your Blogger,
-Holly-






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