Dinner with Italian Cutlets
Dinner party for 6 people. This is a dinner party for when you feel like doing something special. The ratatouille moulds will take a bit of time but the result can be stunning. Lamb cutlets for the main course is a tasty treat, especially with the hint of sherry and garlic. And what better dessert than chocolate Tiramisu with mascarpone cheese, strong espresso coffee taste, and Kahlua coffee liqueur
40g butter or margarine
2 rashers bacon
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
1 medium carrot
2 sticks celery
440g can chestnut puree
1 litre water (4 cups)
1 vegetable stock cube
¼ cup cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Heat butter or margarine in large saucepan, add bacon, onion and garlic, cook over medium heat until onion is soft. Add carrot, celery, potato, chestnut puree, and stock cube. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Blend or process mixture until smooth. Return to pan, add cream, and reheat without boiling.
Sprinkle with chives to serve.
Serves 6 people
Ratatouille Moulds with White Wine Sauce
Mould can be prepared a day ahead and kept covered in a refrigerator.
1 medium eggplant, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
White Wine Sauce
½ cup dry white wine
1½ tablespoons plain flour
2 vegetable stock cubes in 1 cup water
¼ cup cream
Method for Ratatouille Moulds
Place egg plant on wire rack and sprinkle lightly with salt. Stand for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly under cold water and pat dry with absorbent paper.
Heat oil in large frypan, add onion, garlic, and eggplant and stir over medium heat until eggplant is soft. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir occasionally and allow to cool slightly.
Lightly grease 4 moulds of ½ cup capacity. Place strips of greased foil down sides and across base of each to make it easier to turn mould out.
Spoon mixture into moulds, cover, and refrigerate for several hours. Turn onto serving plates, serve cold with sauce.
Method for White Wine Sauce
Place wine in small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until wine is reduced to about 2 tablespoons.
Melt butter in small saucepan, stir in flour and cook over low heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually stir in combined stock cube and water, and wine.
Stir over hight heat for about 3 minutes until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in cream to serve. Serves 6.
Italian Cutlets with Garden Vegetables
2 tablespoons oil
1 large clove garlic, crushed
½ cup olive oil, extra
4 large potatoes
2½ tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Place cutlets on tray. Combine oil and garlic in a bowl, spoon over cutlets and let stand for 2 hours.
Peel potatoes and carrots and cut into 2.5 cm cubes. Heat extra oil in large frypan, add vegetables and toss until golden brown. Add cutlets and fry until golden brown and tender.
Remove from pan and keep warm.
To remaining butter in pan, add lemon juice, sherry, basil, salt and pepper, and parsley. Bring to the boil and stir constantly; remove pan from heat and put cutlets on serving plate. Add vegetables and spoon sauce over cutlets. Green beans make a good accompaniment.
White and Dark Chocolate Tiramisu
100g white chocolate, roughly chopped
300ml thickened cream
55g caster sugar
500g mascarpone cheese
175ml prepared strong espresso coffee, cooled
125ml Kahlua, or other coffee liqueur
24 sponge finger biscuits
300g fresh, or thawed, raspberries
chocolate sauce to pour over.
Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water) Allow to melt and stir very gently until smooth. Set melted chocolate aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, whip cream to soft peaks then fold into cooled chocolate.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons of sugar with an electric beater until pale in colour, then whisk the mascarpone. Carefully fold a quarter of the chocolate cream into the mascarpone mixture. Combine coffee, Kahlua, and remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar in a shallow dish. One at a time, dip 8 of the sponge fingers into the coffee mixture and lay in a row on a flat serving platter.
Using a palette knife, spread half the mascarpone mixture on top, then scatter with half the raspberries. Top with another 8 dipped sponge fingers, remaining mascarpone and raspberries followed by remaining dipped sponge fingers.
Cover loosely and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, drizzle tiramisu with the chocolate sauce and cut into 8 slices. Alternatively, dust the top with some cocoa powder and serve chocolate sauce in a bowl on the side.