Friday, August 25, 2006

"Without bread, without wine, love is nothing." - French Proverb

Ahhhhh Naramata was gorgeous - a true super ending to the summer season. I had such a great time with my sister and brother in law. We ate amazing food at the Naramata Spa/Restaurant (couldn't get a recipe from the Chef as he already left the house when I asked). We also drank copious amounts of fabulous red Cab and I made a nice dinner one night for the family....I've been savoring that weekend and have been re-inspired in all areas of my life. As the summer season comes to an end and as the crisp cool air of fall begins to cast it's cozy spell, my husband and I have found ourselves enjoying a few good meals together in bed. Here are two delicious recipes that are easily savored while under the covers watching a good movie:

Grilled Cheddar and Bacon with Mango Chutney: 8 slices of whole grain bread, 1 1/2 tbsp. of unsalted butter, softened, 4 tsp. mango chutney, 6 oz. of thinly sliced Cheddar (preferably Colby or Longhorn), 8 cooked bacon slices, halved crosswise. Spread 1 side of each bread slice with butter, turn over 4 slices and spread with chutney, then divide cheese and bacon among them. Top with remaining bread slices, buttered sides up. Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skilley over moderate heat until hot, then cook sandwhiches, 2 at a time, pressing occasionally and turning over once, until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes total per batch. (Recipe from February 2005 Gourmet Magazine).

French Onion Omelet (from Mr. Breakfast): 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 cups coarsely chopped red onion, 1/4 cup chopped shallots (optional), 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/4 cup sliced green onion
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme -- crushed, 6 eggs, 1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (4 ounces) 1. In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add red onion, shallots (if desired), and sugar. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender and golden, stirring often. Remove 1/4 cup cooked onion mixture and set aside. Stir green onion, mustard, and thyme into skillet.2. In a bowl beat together eggs, water, salt and pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese and reserved onion mixture. Cut into wedges. Makes 6 main-dish servings.

Eggs a la Tara: Here is a different take on a standard omelet - it is a simple souffle. In a small 6" frying pan melt some butter with fresh garlic over a medium heat. Mix together 6 egg whites (absolutely can not let any yolk get into it or it won't whip) until thick like whipping cream. Fold in the beaten egg yolks, but don't mix. Pour eggs into garlic/buttered pan and cook until the bottom of the eggs are set and nicely brown. Then take off the stove and put under the broiler in the oven at about 400 degrees until brown. Top with cheese of your choice and melt. The egg souffle will slide out of the pan. Serve with some salsa.

Artichoke, Roasted Shallot, and Camembert Donduta (this is a deluxe version of a warm artichoke dip from the September 2004 Bon Appetit magazine): 1 large head of garlic, 3 tbsp. of olive oil, divided, 6 large shallots, peeled, halved through root end, 2 tbsp. or 1/4 stsick of butter, 2 8-ounce packages of frozen artichoke hearts thawed, 1/2 cup of dry white wine, 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, 1/2 cup of whipping cream, 1 12 to 14 ounce wedge Camembert cheese, rind trimmed, cheese diced, 2 tbsp. of chopped fresh tarragon, then some purchased colourful nacho chips or the veggie ones would be nice too.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place head of garlic in centre of 12 inch square of foil. Drizzle with 2 tbsp. of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal foil around garlic. Place on prepared sheet. Toss shallots and 1 tbsp. oil in medium bowl to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter on sheet around garlic packet. Roast until shallots are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer shallots to work surface; chop coarsely. Continue roasting garlic until very tender, about 15 minutes longer. Open packet; cool garlic. The squeeze garlic from all cloves into small bowl and mash. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add artichoke hearts; saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Add shallots and 2 tbsp. of garlic; stir 2 minutes. Add wine; simmer until reduced to glaze, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of broth and cream; bring to boil. Add cheese and tarragon. Simmer until cheese melts, stirring often, about 4 mintues. Thin with broth if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve with chips.

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