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On the patio by lifemate


									                        Italian Dinner for 12

                         6:00 pm – Apperitivo

                  Tuscan-style Sonoma lamb rib chops
Panzanella skewers with grilled eggplant, Artisan bread, and heirloom
             Grilled gamberetto with mint-jalapeno pesto


                         7:00 pm – Intermezzo

                  Periage Prosecco di Valdobbiadene
                       with house-made peach ice


                           7:15 – Il Primo

        Fresh local Artisan bread with Glen Ellen Olive Press
                          oils and vinegars

                        Wood-oven pizzas made with
fresh whole-milk mozzerella, carmelized-onions, bosc pears and (local)
                             gorgonzola cheese
                Compressed salad of rocket, fuji apples,
  medjool dates, Spanish Idiazabel sheep’s milk cheese and housemade
 carmelized walnuts, finished with a reduced Italian balsamic vinaiger
                     Norma’s Rustic Torta de Polenta
             with sage, Parmesano Reggiano and prosciutto,
              accompanied with a mélange of roasted peppers
                            and boutique olives
                    Saltimbocca (Veal and/or Chicken)
     Served with canelli Bean and raddichio with thyme-vinaigrette


                             8:30 – Dolci

            A pairing of homemade lemon-ginger sorbetto and
(local) vanilla ice cream, drizzled with Glen Ellen Limoncello. Served
                 with freshbaked anise-almond biscotti
          Wolf extra dark french roast coffee, Sonoma County
                    Italian Dinner for 12 - Timeline

buy groceries

      Tuscan marinade
      Reduced balsamic
      Polenta de torta
      Roasted pepper salad
      White bean salad
      Carmelized onions

trim lamb chops
roll veal & chicken saltimbocca
make and freeze lemon-ginger sorbetto in a plastic container
grate, crumble and shave cheeses
thaw mint-jalapeno pesto

review all servingware, equipment

7 pm
shots of tequila


make and freeze peach ice
scoop vanilla gelato and lemon ginger into serving dishes and freeze
pick up fresh baked bread
slice apples and pears, sprinkle with lemon to prevent browning
wash and chop all vegetables, salad ingredients, etc.
prep all food for transport

4 pm
marinate lamb chops
slice bread for dinner and cover
mold salad on plates, set aside

5:00 pm
grill bread and eggplant. skewer (do not dress).

5:30 pm
grill lamb chops
grill shrimp, skewer on rosemary

6:00 pm
serve lamb chops, shrimp,
drizzle dressing over salad skewers and serve

roll dough for pizzas, grill on one side, prepare with cheese, sliced
pears, etc. set aside

7:00 pm
serve prosecco with peach ice
bake pizzas

7:15 pm
serve pizzas

7:40 pm
drizzle salads with reduced balsamic, serve

7:45 pm
bake polenta in pizza oven for approx 10 minutes

8:00 pm
serve polenta with roasted pepper salad
sauté saltimbocca, set aside
make sauce
sauté eggplant, broil with tomato sauce and cheeses

8:30 pm
serve saltimbocca with white bean salad

9:00 pm
remove plated ice creams from freezer to stand at room temperature
brew coffee

9:15 pm
drizzle ice cream with limoncello, serve with biscotti
serve coffee, port

9:30 pm
shots of tequila

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons aniseed, ground
1 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped

1 large egg white

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line baking sheet
with parchment paper. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium
bowl. Mix sugar, melted butter, 3 eggs, vanilla extract and ground
aniseed in large bowl. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir with
wooden spoon until well blended. Mix in almonds.

Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, shape each dough half into
13 1/2-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Transfer both logs to prepared
baking sheet, spacing apart. Whisk egg white in small bowl until foamy;
brush over top and sides of each dough log.

Bake logs until golden brown (logs will spread), about 30 minutes. Cool
logs completely on sheet on rack, about 25 minutes. Maintain oven

Transfer logs to work surface; discard parchment paper. Using serrated
knife, cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices,
cut side down, on same baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes. Turn biscotti
over; bake until just beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Transfer to
rack and cool. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Store in airtight
container at room temperature.)

Makes about 3 Dozen.
Bon Appétit
December 1999
Janet Mercuri, North Royalton, OH

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 16-ounce bag frozen sliced peaches, thawed, juices reserved
1 cup chilled Prosecco or other sparkling white wine

Stir first 3 ingredients in medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Blend
peaches and reserved peach juices in processor until peaches are finely
chopped. With machine running, gradually pour in sugar syrup; process
until smooth. Add Prosecco and blend well. Transfer mixture to
container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours. (Can be made
2 days ahead. Keep frozen.)

From Cooking Light

3 cups water
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons honey
1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 8 lemons)
Lemon slices (optional)

Combine the water and sugar in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil,
stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and stir in
honey. Cool completely.

Grate ginger; place ginger on several layers of damp cheesecloth.
Gather edges of cheesecloth together; squeeze cheesecloth bag over a
small bowl to measure 1 tablespoon ginger juice. Combine the sugar
mixture, ginger juice, and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze
according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon the sorbetto into a
freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm. Garnish
with lemon slices, if desired.

Yield: 4 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Makes about 4 cups.
Bon Appétit
May 2005

Rosemary sprigs double as flavoring agents and skewers in this
beautiful hors d'oeuvre. Only half of the pesto is used for this
recipe; toss the remainder with pasta or spread thinly on crostini or
grilled chicken breasts. What to drink: Pinot Grigio.
click photo to enlarge

Mint pesto

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons (packed) feta cheese
2 tablespoons (packed) Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped jalapeño chile
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups (packed) fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

24 large uncooked shrimp (about 2 pounds), peeled, deveined, tails left
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
24 4-inch-long woody rosemary sprigs

For mint pesto:
Combine first 7 ingredients in processor. Using on/off turns, process
until mixture is smooth. Add mint leaves and lemon juice; process until
smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Gradually
add oil and process until mint pesto is smooth and creamy. (Can be made
1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

For shrimp:
Preheat broiler. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Whisk oil,
garlic, and parsley in medium bowl to blend. Add shrimp; toss to coat.
Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Arrange shrimp in single
layer on broiler pan. Broil until opaque in center, about 2 minutes per
side. Transfer to large bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice and toss with
1/2 cup mint pesto. Starting at base end of rosemary, skewer 1 shrimp
on each sprig. Arrange on platter and serve.

Makes 24.
Bon Appétit
March 2004

Panzanella is a traditional Italian salad made with day-old bread
moistened with tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette. Here we grill fresh
bread and swap grilled eggplant for the traditional cucumbers. Paired
with the lamb chops it is a dish to devour.


For the dressing:
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

24 rib lamb chops, about ¾ inch thick each, trimmed of nearly all fat

For the salad:
2 small globe eggplant, cut into ½ inch planks
4 slices Italian bread, about ½ inch thick each
4 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into ½ inch thick pieces or cherry
Large basil leaves, cut into ½ inch pieces
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
24 wooden skewers, soaked in water

To make the dressing: in a small bowl whisk together the dressing

Pour off 1/2 cup of the dressing to brush on the lamb chops and 4
tablespoons to dress the salad. Brush both sides of the chops with the
1/2 cup dressing, cover them with plastic wrap, and marinate at room
temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.
Discard any of this remaining dressing.

To make the salad: Brush both sides of the eggplant and bread slices
with the remaining dressing in the bowl. Grill the eggplant over
Direct/High heat until tender, 4 to 6 minutes, turning once halfway
through grilling time. Grill the bread over Direct/High heat until
lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling

Cut the eggplant and bread into ½ inch cubes and place in a large bowl.
Add the tomatoes, basil, and reserved 4 tablespoons of dressing, toss
to blend, and season with salt and pepper.

Skewer the salad on the wooden skewers, including basil

Season the chops with pepper. Grill over Direct/High heat until the
lamb is medium rare, 3 to 5 minutes, turning once halfway through
grilling time. Serve hot with the salad.

Makes 12 2-chop servings.

½ gal. chicken stock
2 cups polenta
5 oz unsalted butter
5 oz roasted peppers, diced
4 oz prosciutto
2 oz mozzarella, grated
2 oz parmesan, grated
2 oz gruyere, grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
3 oz chopped garlic
salt & pepper

Place the chicken stock and butter in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the polenta and
cook, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the remaining ingredients. Cook,
stirring, another 5 minutes, check the seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the polenta into sheet cake pan and chill for 1 hour. Using a round cookie cutter, mold the
polenta into individual servings. Reheat the slices in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes. Serve
with roasted red pepper salad.

1 package active yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
Olive oil for brushing
Mozzarella cheese
Gorgonzola cheese
Carmelized onions
2 pears, thinly sliced (sprinkle with lemon juice to stop browning)
Sea salt & white pepper

Proof the yeast with sugar and the warm water.

In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and
mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters
around the dough hook, about 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 mintes longer. The
dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a
warm spot for about 30 minutes. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled.)

Divide the dough into 6 balls, about 4 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and
tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface,
roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1
minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the
balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, remove
the balls of dough from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for about 15
minutes, then continue with the recipe.

To prepare each pizza, dip the ball of dough into flour, shake off the excess flour, place the dough
on a clean, lightly floured surface, and roll out the dough. Grill lightly on one side and set aside
on a baking sheet.

Lightly brush each circle of dough with olive oil. Layer with mozzarella cheese, carmelized onions,
sliced pears, gorgonzola and salt and pepper. Bake at 425 until cheese is bubbling and crust is

Serve immediately.

8 large peppers, red or yellow or a combination
4 tabelspoons capers in salt, vinegar, or brine, rinsed
40 black or green olives
12 tabelspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tabelspoons balsamic or wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Place the peppers under a hot broiler, turning occasionally until they
are black and blistered on all sides. Remove from heat and place in a
paper bag. Leave for 5 minutes.

Peel the peppers, then cut into quarters. Remove the stems and seeds.

Cut the peppers into strips and arrange them in a serving dish.
Distribute the capers and olives evenly over the peppers.

For the dressing, mix the oil and garlic together in a small bowl.,
crushing the garlic with a spoon to release as much flavor as possible.
Mix in the vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing
over the peppers, mix well, and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes
before serving.

For a "compressed" presentation, the chef uses a three-inch ring mold
to mound the salad in the center of each plate. You can use a cleaned-
out can, with top and bottom removed, as a mold.
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup walnut oil
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

8    cups arugula, chopped
2    Red Delicious or Fuji apples, unpeeled, cored, thinly sliced
6    ounces Spanish Manchego cheese or sharp white cheddar cheese, shaved
1    1/2 cups pitted dates, chopped
1    cup Caramelized Walnuts, chopped
4    large shallots, minced

Boil balsamic vinegar in small saucepan over medium-high heat until
syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 4 minutes.

Whisk oil and Champagne vinegar in bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
(Can be made 4 hours ahead. Keep at room temperature. Rewarm balsamic
syrup before using. Rewhisk vinaigrette before using.)

Toss arugula with enough vinaigrette to coat. Toss apples, half of
cheese, dates, walnuts, and shallots in large bowl with enough
vinaigrette to coat, seasoning salad with salt and pepper.

Mold in layers. (Arugula, then apple mix, then layers of remaining
cheese. Drizzle balsamic syrup around salads.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Bon Appétit
October 2003
Catal Restaurant & Uva Bar, Disney, Anaheim, CA

14 small veal escalops
2 ½ chicken breasts
16 small slices prosciutto
16 leaves fresh sage
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup fresh or canned beef or chicken stock, warmed

Gently pound the veal slices with a mallet until thin. Lay a piece of
prosciutto over each slice. Top with a sage leaf, and season with salt
and pepper. Roil the escalops around the filling and secure each roll
with a wooden toothpick. Repeat with chicken.

Heat half the butter in a frying pan just large enough to hold the
rolls in one layer. When the butter is bubbling add the veal/chicken,
turning the rolls to brown them on all sides. Cook for about 7-10
minutes, or until the veal/chicken is cooked. Remove to a warmed plate.

Add the remaining butter add the hot stock to the frying pan, and bring
to a boil, scraping up the frond with a wooden spoon. Pour the sauce
over the veal/chicken rolls, and serve.

1 ½ inch slice eggplant
Flour, for coating
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 thin slices mozzarella cheese
Tomato/pasta sauce

Salt the eggplant and allow to stand for 1 hour. pat dry. Coat with
flour and scook over low to moderate heat wituntil soft. Turn and cook
the other side. Move to a heated plate, cover with sauce, mozzarella
and parmesan cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve.

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