There’s an old song called “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life”. Frank Sinatra sang it, but Shirley Bassey’s rendition is my favorite. If you’ve never heard the song, here’s the link. It’s worth a listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTV9VkyKYIU.
On Saturday mornings my father used to drop a needle on an old-fashioned vinyl while sipping on his tea. Sometimes it was this song. I still remember the soft crackle of Shirley’s voice wafting through our living room and into our breakfast nook, and I distinctly recall not understanding it. Why was this crazy woman wanting to know a man’s plans for the rest of his life? I didn’t know what I was doing the next Tuesday. Well, I was nine then. Now, I’m forty and madly in love. Luckily, I’m head over heels with the man I married. As a grown woman I finally understand the song, every little bit of it.
As I was preparing for my husband’s birthday dinner, I was reminded of the lyrics once again when she sings, “Let me be the one to hear the silent wish you make.” After sixteen years of marriage and two children, I do hear those silent wishes and I’m thankful for it. So, to celebrate those silent wishes I decided to create a table where we would make memories with our family, eat, drink, and sip life until sweet inebriation. Here’s to savoring each and every day with the people you love.
Below you’ll find the recipes and wines from our memorable evening. Thanks to thevinepost.com for the spectacular pairings.
Wasabi Ginger Smoked Salmon Crostini … Paired with Schramsberg, Blanc de Noirs, Napa Valley 2011
- 1 bag of crostini (unless you want to bake it)
- 1 container of whipped cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons of fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons of chopped chili peppers
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- Nova Scotia smoked salmon
- Wasabi cream sauce (store bought from deli)
- Mix cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of ginger and 2 tablespoons of chopped chili pepper.
- Cut smoked salmon into bite size pieces, add soy sauce, and remaining chili pepper and ginger.
- Spread cream cheese mixture on each crostini, add a few slices of smoked salmon.
- Add a dab of wasabi cream sauce on top. Serve cold.
Caprese Salad with Panko Crusted Mozzarella … Paired with Morris Farms, Vermentino 2013
(Recipe yields approximately 4 Caprese salads)
- 1 red tomato
- 1 yellow tomato
- 1 package of fresh cow’s milk mozzarella
- 1/2 fresh basil
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of panko crumbs
- Whip egg in a small bowl with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- In another bowl pour panko crumbs.
- Dip slices of mozzarella first in egg mixture and then in panko.
- Freeze for at least an hour (you can freeze overnight)
- Fry mozzarella slices in canola oil until panko golden and cheese unmelted. (approximately 30 seconds per side)
- Remove promptly and set aside.
- Prepare dressing by mixing dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange slices of yellow and red tomatoes, inserting basil in each layer and alternating the mozzarella slices.
Steak Chimichurri … Paired with Vizcarra, Riera del Duero, Spain 2011
(Recipe yields approximately 8 servings)
Ingredients for Steak
- 4 lbs of NY Strip or Ribeye
- 1/2 cup of corn starch
Ingredients for Chimichurri Sauce
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley
- 1/4 of fresh oregano
- 3 cloves of chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 sherry wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup of cilantro
- 1 tablespoon of group cumin
- 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper
Steps for Steak
- In a small bowl mix corn starch and salt
- coat steaks in corn starch and put in the freezer for 30 minutes
- grill steak to medium to medium rare
Steps for Chimichurri Sauce
- Put all ingredients in food processor
- Do not puree, just chop
- Serve at room temperature with steak
Chicken Rollatini, Tomato Cream Sauce … Paired with Casanova di Neri “Sant’ Antimo”, Rosso di Casanova di Neri, Italy 2013
(Recipe yields approximately 8 servings)
Ingredients for Tomato Cream Sauce
- 32 oz of pureed tomatoes
- 8 oz of tomato paste
- 2 onions chopped
- 1/2 cup of chopped basil
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup of sherry wine
Ingredients for Chicken Rollatini
- Italian bread crumbs
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Shredded Mozzarella
- Shredded Swiss
- 5 eggs
- 2 tablespoons Garlic powder
- 1 cup of flour
- 4 to 5 chicken breasts
Steps for sauce
- In a sauce bring 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/8 cup of olive oil to sizzle
- Add chopped onion and basil. Saute until onions are a golden color
- Deglaze with wine
- Add the tomato puree and paste, mixing in 2 cups of water
- Sautee on low for 1 hour.
- Add cream, salt, pepper to taste.
Note: This can be left to cook overnight in a slow cooker and frozen in containers for up to 3 months.
Steps for chicken
- In a mixing bowl, mix sun-dried tomatoes and cheese until mixture is evenly coated with sun-dried tomatoes’ oil.
- Wash chicken breast thoroughly.
- Slice chicken breast lengthways to create thin slices. Note: most recipes call for pounding the chicken thin. But I find this process messy and lengthy. With a good knife and steady hands you can slice the chicken very thin, avoiding the pounding.
- Spoon cheese mixture on the chicken and roll. Secure the rolled up chicken with a toothpick
- Prepare three bowls, one with flour, one with Italian bread crumbs and one with eggs beaten with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Dip rolled chicken in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in this order.
- Pan sear in canola oil and bake on 350 for approximately 30 minutes. Ovens vary so check to see that chicken is thoroughly cook or isn’t overcooking.
- Ladle sauce over chicken and garnish with chopped basil.
Lemon Shrimp Risotto … Patz & Hall “Dutton Ranch” Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2013
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- lemon juice from 1 lemon + lemon rind
- 1/2 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
- 3 cups of white cooking wine (not too sweet)
- 8 cups of chicken stock (could need more to be prepared with extra)
- 1 cup of arborio rice
- 1/4 of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 lbs of shrimp, peeled and cooked
- 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese.
- In large skillet bring butter and olive oil to a sizzle, add garlic, shallots, and mushrooms until shallots golden and mushrooms have begun to release moisture.
- Add rice and allow rice, stirring slowly until the rice is golden.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine.
- In a saucepan bring chicken stock to a boil and begin adding slowly to the rice mixture, making sure to wet the rice and then add more when the rice dries. Continue this process until the rice is soft and creamy.
- Add juice from one lemon and lemon rind from half lemon.
- Add parmesan cheese when the rice is cooked and the mixture is creamy. You may add more chicken stock or wine to taste.
- In a separate skillet cook shrimp in butter, garlic, and salt. Remove promptly.
- Serve in bowls or glasses, topping off shrimp parsley for garnish. You can also serve in family style bowl. In this case, mix in the shrimp.
Caramel Vanilla Cake
For the cake and frosting recipe go to http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/classic-vanilla-cake.html
Steps For Caramel
I used a straight recipe for the caramel from website below. I only added a teaspoon of vanilla in addition to the recipe. I also left out the teaspoon of salt at the end. http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-salted-caramel-recipe/
Steps For Cake
- Bake the cake and let the layers cool.
- Spread caramel between the two layers.
- Once the cake is built, spread caramel all over both layer and cool in the freezer.
- Use frosting to decorate the cake per the above recipe.
(Recipe yields 4 mini tarts or one large)
- 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons of corn starch
- 11/2 sticks of butter
- 4 tablespoons of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Fresh cut berries
Steps for Crust
- Combine sugar, butter (softened), and flour in food processor until mixture forms a ball.
- In a tart pan push the crust into indentations.
- Bake crust for 10 to 12 minutes on 350.
Steps for Cream (Not your traditional pastry cream)
- Pour 4 cups heavy cream and granulated sugar in a pot and begin to boil.
- Before the mixture boils, dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream and add to the heavy cream in the pot (whisk it continually) until it boils. The cream should thicken to a pudding like substance. Careful not to burn.
Putting in together
- Let tarts cool to room temp.
- Spread cream onto the tart.
- Arrange sliced fruits
- You may add a glaze. I used a store bought glaze. However, I prefer the tart without a glaze at all.