Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Date Night" Menu

Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese Crostini
Alphonse Mellot Generatio XIX Sancere

Grilled Lamb Chops "Scottaditti" with Garlic Confit and Mint
Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2004

Chocolate Espresso Tart
Domaine de Coyeux Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise 2003

Mixed greens with Goat Cheese Crostini recipe
8 1/2-inch-thick diagonally cut baguette slices (about 4 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide)4 ounces (8 tablespoons) soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet)
1/4 cup olive oil2 tablespoons red wine vinegar1 small garlic clove, minced5 cups mixed baby greens2 tablespoons chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Preheat broiler. Spread each baguette slice with 1 tablespoon goat cheese. Arrange on baking sheet, cheese side up.
Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic in large bowl to blend. Add greens, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts; toss to combine. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad between2 plates.
Broil crostini just until cheese softens and begins to melt, about 1 minute. Arrange 4 crostini atop each salad.

"Scottaditt" recipe
Yield: 4 entrée servings
8 lamb rack chops, 1-inch thick, cleaned and trimmed
20 cloves white garlic, peeled
8 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sweet wine, such as Malvasia
2 cups dry white wine
4 sprigs mint, leaves removed
1/2 pound pom pom mushrooms, sliced 1/8-inch-thick
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat barbecue or broiler.
In a 8-inch to 10-inch pan, heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat and add peeled garlic cloves. Sauté slowly until browned on all sides, shaking pan to keep them moving, about 10 minutes. Add sweet wine and dry white wine and cook at a slow boil until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup. Garlic should be very soft at this point. Remove garlic and liquid and set aside.
Season lamb chops with salt and pepper and cook over hot grill until medium rare, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large 12-inch to 14-inch sauté pan over high heat. Add pom pom mushrooms and sauté until brown and soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour garlic and liquid into pan with pom poms and stir to coat. Add mint leaves and remove from heat.
Season mushroom and garlic mixture with salt and pepper and arrange in center of the plates. Remove chops from grill and arrange leaning against mushrooms. Serve immediately.

Tart recipe
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, (preferably 61 percent cacao), chopped
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons good-quality ground espresso beans
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment paper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
1 large egg

Make the ganache: Put chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl, and set aside. Bring cream and espresso to a boil in a small pan. Pour through a fine sieve over the chocolate; discard solids. Let stand 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, 1 to 2 hours.
Make the tart shell: Sift flour, salt, and cocoa powder into a medium bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the cream. Shape dough into a thick rectangle; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment paper to a 16-by-6-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Press dough into a 14-by-4 1/2-inch rectangular flan frame set on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Trim dough flush with top edge. Prick all over bottom of shell with a fork. Bake until firm, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Unmold.

Put ganache into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (such as Ateco No. 828).

Smooth mascarpone cheese over bottom of tart shell with an offset spatula.

Pipe ganache rosettes, one next to the other, on top of mascarpone to cover. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 day.

Monday, February 04, 2008


It seems that no matter what Seattle neighorhood you wander into, you'll find a culinary gem.

One misty morning while driving around an area known as Queene Anne , we happened upon Macrina. Our tummies rumbling, we pulled over and headed inside the tiny cafe. Warm and cozy, with stone floors, small parisian style bistro tables, and old world style display cases full of pastries and fresh baked breads, the place was full of people and conversation. While in queue to order, we scoped out the cafe for any prospects of a table. Luckily, by the time we made it to the counter one had opened up.
The menu was full of mouth watering options. Sweet or savory is always a pleasant predicament. It was between the Brioche French Toast (French toasted topped with fresh sliced apricots, creme craiche and lavendar infused honey with whipped butter and apple pork sausage links) or the Smoked Salmon Scramble (eggs softly scrambled and served with onion baily, cold smaoke salmon and herbed creme fraiche. Served with roasted potatoes and a salad of organic greens.) Ending up choosing the French toast, it was not disappointment!

Visit the site, get familar and get inside for a bite or for a meal!