Alphabet Soup!

This week our theme was alphabet soup. No, we didn’t make alphabet soup or any other kind of soup (that might happen in a future dinner, though). We did, however, assign a letter to everyone and we made dishes beginning with those letters. Once again, dinner was delicious; I’m pretty sure there is no meal we wouldn’t be able to successfully make — we’re just that good 🙂 The only member of our FND group in attendance that didn’t make anything (other than Robyn, who brought delicious macaroni salad from New Seasons) was Taylor, who is recovering from ACL surgery. If you could all send healing thought her way, that would be great! She did say our food had healing powers though, so if you’re ever feeling crappy, I would recommend making one of these yummy meals.

Nachos (N): 

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Black beans
  • Bell peppers
  • Olives

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread tortilla chips on baking sheet and cover with shredded cheese. Put in oven until cheese is melted.
  3. Add whatever toppings you like and enjoy!

Greek Orzo Salad (G): 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 6-oz. cans marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 tomato, seeded & chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • Red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 2-oz. can black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Drain artichoke hearts, reserving liquid.
  2. In large bowl combine pasta, artichoke hearts, tomato, cucumber, onion, feta, olives, parsley, lemon juice, oregano and lemon pepper. Toss and chill for 1 hour in refrigerator.
  3. Just before serving, drizzle reserved artichoke marinade over salad.

Greek Orzo Salad

Latkes (L): 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. grated onion
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible.
  2. In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt together.
  3. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels.

Latkes

Chocolate Pots de Creme (C) (via America’s Test Kitchen):

Ingredients:

Pots de Creme:

  • 10 oz. 60% bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (if using 70%, only use 8 oz.)
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 5 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder mixed with 1 tbsp. hot water

Whipped Cream:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Garnish (optional): 

  • Cocoa powder, for dusting

Directions:

Pots de Creme: 

  1. Place chocolate in medium heatproof bowl; set fine-mesh strainer over bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk yolks, sugar, and salt in medium bowl until combined; whisk in heavy cream and half-and-half. Transfer mixture to medium saucepan. Cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon, until thickened and silky and custard registers 175 to 180 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 8 to 12 minutes. Do not let custard overcook or simmer. **It is very important that you do not under- or overcook the custard. Definitely use a thermometer to get an accurate reading of the temperature and take off the heat between the recommended 175-180°.**
  3. Immediately pour custard through strainer over chocolate. Let mixture stand to melt chocolate, about 5 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth, then whisk in vanilla and espresso. Divide mixture evenly among eight 5-ounce ramekins. Gently tap ramekins against counter to remove air bubbles.
  4. Cool pots de crème to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 72 hours. Before serving, let pots de crème stand at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes.

Whipped Cream:

  1. Using hand mixer or standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat cream, sugar, and vanilla on low speed until bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; continue beating until beaters leave trail, about 30 seconds longer. Increase speed to high; continue beating until nearly doubled in volume and whipped cream forms soft peaks, 30 to 45 seconds longer.
  2. Dollop each pot de crème with about 2 tablespoons whipped cream; garnish with cocoa, if using. Serve.

Chocolate Pot de Creme

Fun with pots de creme

Delicious dinner 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy eating, everyone!

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2 thoughts on “Alphabet Soup!

  1. taylorstaste October 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm Reply

    The Chocolate Pots de Creme have true healing ingredients folded into its bittersweet, velvety goodness! Thanks, everyone, for making such a lovely evening during my first week of recovery.

  2. […] stuffing, sweet potatoes, olive bread & cheese, pots de creme (the same ones we had at the dinner we had after Taylor’s surgery last year) and mulled cider. Oh.My.Goodness. The mulled cider […]

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