ONLINE EXTRA — VALENTINE'S DAY DELIGHTS: Smoked Salmon and Brie Napoleons . . . Lime-Marinated Scallops . . . Foolproof Chocolate-Chip Fool, etc.
By: Herald Staff Reports,
Smoked Salmon and Brie Napoleons
½ stick butter (4 tablespoons), softened
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon capers, drained and very finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill tops
½ teaspoon lemon zest (wash and dry the lemon; grate about 1/3 of its surface, using a light touch to remove the yellow surface, not the bitter white part underneath. Save the lemon to grate a little more zest for garnish, and for juice for the main-course avocado, below.)
8 large round crackers, such as Breton wafers
Small wedge brie, rind cut off and discarded, cut into pieces roughly the size of the crackers
8 thin slices smoked salmon, of a size that will fit neatly on a cracker
In a small bowl, mash and stir the softened butter with a plastic spatula or a spoon or fork until it’s creamy. Add mustard, capers, dill and lemon zest and mix well. Refrigerate, tightly covered, for an hour or two or overnight.
Just before serving, spread each cracker generously on one side with the herb butter.
Start with one cracker, butter side up. Top it with a piece of brie. If you’ve bought sliced salmon, cut it to a size that will fit neatly atop the brie; if unsliced, slice it as thinly as possible and trim it to fit if necessary. Top with another buttered cracker, another piece of brie and another slice of salmon. Garnish with a little dab of butter, a teeny dill feather, 3 capers and a little lemon zest. Repeat to make a total of 4 napoleons.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per appetizer: 268 calories, 20 grams fat, 5 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams protein, 61 milligrams cholesterol, 837 milligrams sodium, 68 percent of calories from fat.
Prosciutto variation: Use unflavored softened butter, substitute thinly sliced prosciutto for the salmon and add thin pear slices. Omit garnish.
1 pound large bay scallops or sea scallops
Grated zest of 1 lime
¼ cup lime juice (squeeze directly into a measuring cup; limes vary widely, and it may take up to 2 limes)
½ medium red bell pepper, cut into very fine dice (slice it into thin matchsticks, stack together and cut crosswise)
Several sprigs cilantro or parsley (pluck off the top leaves and use as many as will loosely pack into a ½-cup measure), roughly chopped
Several unblemished leaves butter or Bibb lettuce, washed and dried
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper (optional)
If sea scallops are very large, slice into uniform pieces roughly 1 by ¾-inch. Place in a nonmetal bowl. Add zest; strain lime juice over scallops; add bell pepper and cilantro; toss gently so the lime juice coats all the scallops. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before serving.
To serve, place a couple of lettuce leaves on one side of the plate. Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Gently make parallel vertical slices about ¼ inch apart, down to the peel. Scoop the flesh from the peel in one piece with a large spoon and separate the slices (or peel each half and then slice). Fan slices in a semicircle on the other side of the plate from the lettuce. Drizzle 1 teaspoon lemon juice over them (a grinding of pepper is optional). Mound scallops in center of plate. Repeat with second plate. Garnish with cilantro.
Yield: Serves 2, very generously, as a main course.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 393 calories, 17 grams fat, 20 grams carbohydrates, 41 grams protein, 75 milligrams cholesterol, 387 milligrams sodium, 39 percent of calories from fat.
Foolproof Chocolate-Chip Fool
½ pint whipping cream
1½ teaspoons high-quality liqueur or cognac (nondrinkers can substitute 1 scant teaspoon vanilla)
3 teaspoons sugar
5 Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Chunk cookies, crumbled
½ pint raspberries (optional)
In a large bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer or eggbeater until it is thick but not stiff. Beat in liqueur (don’t be tempted to add more) and sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Gently fold in crumbled cookies and raspberries (reserve some raspberries to top the dessert) and spoon the mixture into bowls or glasses. Garnish with raspberries and sprigs of mint. You will have some left over to eat for second helpings or however you wish to use it.
Yield: Serves 2, with second helpings.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 587 calories, 51 grams fat, 30 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 179 milligrams cholesterol, 134 milligrams sodium, 77 percent of calories from fat.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon prepared achiote paste (see note)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon grapefruit juice
1 pound medium shrimp, deveined and peeled, tails on if you like
Cilantro leaves, chopped
Toast: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add garlic and cook until golden and fragrant, 1 minute. Add achiote, pepper, sugar and salt. Cook, mashing with the back of a wooden spoon, to a thick paste, 2 minutes.
Thin: Pour in lime juice and grapefruit juice, thinning to a sauce.
Coat: Add shrimp. Cook, tossing, until shrimp are cooked through and coated with beautiful orange/red sauce, 4 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl and sprinkle with cilantro.
Serve: Enjoy solo, over rice or dipped into a bowl of smooth guacamole.
Yield: Serves 2.
Note: Achiote paste, ground from annatto seeds, can be found alongside other Mexican staples at some grocery stores. Also available online at GourmetSleuth.com or MexGrocer.com. For a spicier dish, substitute two chipotle chilies canned in adobo sauce, crushed.
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, milk or white chocolate, cut into small pieces
3 cups Rice Krispies
Place the chocolate in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted then remove from heat.
Gently stir in the Rice Krispies cereal until evenly coated. Add more cereal if needed. Place the chocolate mixture into a 8- or 9-inch heart-shaped pan that has been buttered and lined with parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until firm.
Yield: 1 8- or 9-inch heart-shaped cake.
Cinnamon Love Knots Recipe
2 packages (¼ ounce each) active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
½ cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees)
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
4½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
¾ cup butter, melted
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add milk, butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Stir in enough flour to form a stiff dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1½ hours.
Punch dough down; divide into 3 portions. Cover 2 with plastic wrap. Shape 1 portion into 12 balls. Roll each ball into an 8-inch rope. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip rope into melted butter, then coat with cinnamon-sugar. Tie into a knot. Tuck and pinch ends under and place on ungreased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.
Yield: Serves 36.
Approximate nutritional analysis per knot: 174 calories, 7 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 29 milligrams cholesterol, 136 milligrams sodium, 26 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein.
Chocolate Crepes with Raspberry Sauce
1 cup fat-free milk
½ cup fat-free evaporated milk
2 egg whites
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided
¼ cup baking cocoa
½ teaspoon salt
4½ teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup water
4½ cups fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed, divided
Reduced-fat whipped cream in a can
1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
In a small bowl, combine the milk, evaporated milk, egg whites and egg. Combine the flour, ¼ cup sugar, cocoa and salt; add to milk mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch and remaining sugar; set aside. Place water and 3½ cups raspberries in a blender; cover and process for 2 to 3 minutes or until pureed.
Strain puree into cornstarch mixture and discard seeds. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a small bowl; refrigerate until chilled.
Coat an 8-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Stir crepe batter; pour a scant 3 tablespoons into center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to coat bottom evenly. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15 to 20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack.
Repeat with remaining batter, coating skillet with cooking spray as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.
To serve, spoon a scant 3 tablespoons sauce over each crepe; roll up. Top each with 1 tablespoon whipped cream. Garnish with remaining raspberries and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 203 calories, 2 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 30 milligrams cholesterol, 202 milligrams sodium, 42 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 7 grams protein.
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
½ cup whipped topping, divided
½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and jam until smooth. Fold in ¼ cup whipped topping.
Place 2 tablespoons raspberries in each of two small parfait glasses or dessert dishes; layer with cream cheese mixture and remaining berries. Top with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate until serving.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 213 calories, 13 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 31 milligrams cholesterol, 84 milligrams sodium, 21 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 3 grams protein.