Monday, February 23, 2009

Mardi Gras recipes

Sour Cream Overnight Coffee Cake
This is an old North Dakota from my dad's cousin.

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 8-oz. carton lite sour cream
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
For topping:
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Lightly grease a 9x13-inch pan. In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs and sour cream. Stir the dry ingredients together, then add them to the mixer and beat well. Pour the batter into the pan. You may add fruit toppings of your choice (frozen berries work well, as do apples, peaches or other stone fruits, etc.). Stir together the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the cake. Refrigerate, covered, overnight. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

New Orleans Mardi Gras King Cake with Pecans
Recipe at CHOW

Cheesy Polenta and Egg Casserole
Recipe at Eating Well

Salmon-stuffed Eggs with Herb Dressing
This recipe is from the Bosnian owner of Kaya's Imports wine shop in South County. This time of year I use dried herbs and it's still pretty good.

Salmon-stuffed Eggs with Herb Dressing

6 jumbo hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

1/4 cup finely chopped smoked salmon

1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill

1 Tbsp. chopped capers

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. mayonnaise, preferably homemade

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Work egg yolks through a sieve into a mixing bowl, then add the smoked salmon, dill and capers; stir well. Add the other ingredients and stir until well blended. Fill the egg cavities with the mixture. Spoon herb dressing over the eggs. Chill until serving.

Herb Dressing

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chervil

2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

2 Tbsp. finely chopped watercress

1/2 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade

1 tsp. lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine the herbs and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add the sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk thoroughly. This makes enough dressing for a dozen eggs (a double batch of the recipe above).

Blueberry trifle
I love to make parfaits and I'm always tinkering with combinations; this is part my own and part two other recipes.

8 to 12 ladyfingers
Raspberry liqueur
4 oz. Neufchatel cheese (reduced-fat cream cheese), softened
3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt (or plain), drained of any liquid
1 tsp. honey (or more if using plain yogurt)
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
2 pints fresh blueberries

Place the ladyfingers in a small, flat dish and drizzle them with a few tablespoons of liqueur. Let them soak it up, turning them occasionally, until the ladyfingers are soft but not soggy, adding more liqueur if needed. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese, yogurt and honey until there are no lumps, then beat it on high speed until it's light and creamy. Stir in the lemon zest.

Layer the ladyfingers, blueberries and yogurt mixture in parfait glasses, using whatever order and amounts you prefer. For generously filled glasses, this recipe makes about four servings.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mardi Gras!

After debating the merits of a themed menu, and then considering which country to base my theme upon, I opted for a whole separate path, toward ease of preparation (this event will be taking place around 9 a.m., after all!) Here's what I have planned:

Sour cream coffeecake with berry-streusel topping

Polenta and egg bake with Match sausage

Salmon-stuffed eggs

Yogurt-crunch-fruit parfaits

There may be more, depending on how the morning goes! But this should get us off to a good start for the parade; we'll leave around 11 a.m.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered a dish. I'd like to give you the option of bringing a morning beverage (wine, sparkling wine, juice, etc.) or a post-parade snack. However, you're more than welcome to just bring yourselves -- we'll even supply a few beads to get you in the mood!

The address is 3230 S. 9th St. We're just off the Arsenal exit from Interstate 55, but it's sometimes closed to eastbound traffic on parade day. To circumnavigate, turn right onto Arsenal, then take the first left (onto Lemp), proceed south about two blocks and turn left again (onto Utah). You'll cross the interstate overpass and see our house ahead on the left, directly across from the church, at the corner of Utah and Ninth. If the exit is open, you can just drive toward the brewery and turn right at Ninth; we're two blocks ahead on the left. If you get lost, call 314.771.6322.