It was Thursday, and party day, so this cook was up at 5:30. I owed Jerry and Paul a "breakfast in bed" from a lot of past teasing about not cooking Jerry a proper breakfast on the morning of the Desert GTG. I gave him a token for "Breakfast in bed" as a christmas stocking stuffer, and today, I would pay up.(The other cook slept until I was caffinated and my breakfast berry bread was ready at 7.) They got a pecorino, pancetta and sage omelet, fruit, juice, and berry bread with butter and coffee, and my debt was paid.
After his coffee, and the guys' breakfast omelet, I sent Brad to the grocery store for a few items we hadn't had room for, and started prepping veggies. I cut strips of lots of zucchini for the verdura al forno, and layered a large disposable pan with the zucchini, two cheeses, cream, bread crumbs and parmigiano. Next I used my one bowl for an Italian version (no cheddar in Italy), so I used fontina and the canned crab and Best Foods mayo I brought. Brad returned from the store and butcher where he picked up 40 sausages.
11:00 AM: Time for another coffee break!
With my second wind, and after being off my feet for 20 minutes, we cranked out a few more recipes for tonight. I sauteed the mushrooms while Brad grilled sausage, and prepped figs and apricots. I made the cheesy polenta with sage, so I would only have to heat it later.
By 2:30 we were as far as we could go. We had lunch, some down time, and took a nap until 5:00, when I could get the last minute items done.
A couple no-brainers: Crumble gorgonzola (or any blue cheese) over plump dried apricots, and bake at 350 for 15-20 min. until the cheese melts. Brush dried figs with olive oil and sea salt. Stick those in at the same time. YUM!
Hot Crab Dip:
2 8 oz cream cheese (softened0
2 cans crab
3 green onions, chopped
8 oz grated cheddar (I used fontina)
3/4 c. mayo
1/2 c. parmigiano or grated Pecorino-Romano
salt and pepper
Stir together and bake at 350 for 30-35 min.
Brie with Fig Jam or Marmalade
This was a soft pecorino, with peperocino honey spooned over the top that I found in Rome. Try it with your favorite honey and red pepper flakes.
3 c. flour
1 stick unsalted butter
¼ c. olive oil
2 T. sugar
pinch of salt
Combine flour, sugar, salt. Cream butter and blend with dry ingredients. Stir in oil. Add 1/3-1/2 c. ICE WATER (1T. at a time ) until dough is consistency of pie crust. Knead, chill wrapped in plastic for 30 min. Roll 2/3 of the dough into a circle and place inside a 10” springform pan leaving an inch of overhang. Chill shell and the other half of the dough.
2 lb. ricotta
9 eggs, beaten
½ lb. procsuitto (chopped)
½ lb. ham (chopped)
½ lb. salami or soprosatta (chopped)
1 ½ lb. grated mozzarella
6 oz. grated Pecorino Romano
½ t. pepper
In a LARGE bowl, combine eggs and ricotta. Stir in meats, cheeses and pepper. Spoon into shell. Roll remaining dough and form a lattice top. Brush top with egg wash. (one egg yolk and 1 t. water). Bake at 350 1hr. 15 minutes. May be served warm or at room temp.
That about covers the appetizers! I know, a little heavy on the cheese! Part 2 will cover dinner, people, and desserts!