Italian Dinner for 12 6:00 pm – Apperitivo Tuscan-style Sonoma lamb rib chops *** Panzanella skewers with grilled eggplant, Artisan bread, and heirloom tomatoes *** 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 Friday buy groceries prepare: Tuscan marinade Vinaigrette 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 Saturday am 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 6:30 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 ANISE-ALMOND BISCOTTI 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 temperature. 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 PEACH AND PROSECCO ICE 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.) LEMON-GINGER SORBETTO 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 SKEWERED ROSEMARY SHRIMP WITH MINT PESTO 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 Shrimp 24 large uncooked shrimp (about 2 pounds), peeled, deveined, tails left intact 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 TUSCAN STYLE RIB CHOPS WITH PANZANELLA SKEWERS 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. Direct/High 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 tomatoes 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 ingredients. 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 time. 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. TORTA DE POLENTA 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. CARMELIZED ONION, PEAR, AND GORGONZOLA PIZZA 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 browning. Serve immediately. ROASTED RED PEPPERS WITH OLIVE CAPER DRESSING 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. ARUGULA SALAD WITH MANCHEGO, APPLES, AND CARAMELIZED WALNUTS 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 R.S.V.P. October 2003 Catal Restaurant & Uva Bar, Disney, Anaheim, CA SALTIMBOCCA (VEAL ROLLS WITH SAGE AND HAM) 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. VEGETARIAN SALTIMBOCCA 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.