Blue Cheese Mousse
Mediterranean Phyllo Triangles
1/4 Cup Finely minced fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/4 Cup Finely chopped shallots (not green onions!!)
1/4 Cup Tarragon vinegar
1/4 Cup White wine vinegar
4 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Crushed red pepper (use less if you don’t like it spicy)
2 tsp Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 lbs Large Texas shrimp, cooked, peeled, but tail on, and de-veined
To prepare the marinade: Place parsley, shallots, vinegars, mustard, red pepper, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse first to chop things evenly, then purée. While the machine is running, add the oil in a slow stream. Pour over the shrimp and toss gently. Transfer to a zip-top bag. Refrigerate and marinate several hours or overnight for best flavor. Drain marinade and discard. Serve shrimp alone or with canapé toasts as an appetizer, or on leaf lettuce as an elegant first course! I know many of you are thinking, “Is she nuts? Marinate shrimp with all that vinegar overnight? It will make a mushy mess!” I don’t know why it doesn’t–it just doesn’t. It’s delicious; I promise.
Make ahead tip: Prepare a day in advance and allow to marinate overnight.
How to: Cook shrimp
In my mind, the worst thing you can do is to overcook shrimp! Here’s how I do it: bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt and any seasonings you like (crab or shrimp boil, celery, peppercorns, lemon slices, etc.). Add shrimp (shell-on gives better flavor) and stir. As soon as you see the majority of the shrimp turn opaque and begin to curl, take all of the shrimp off the heat.
Drain in a colander and immediately cover the shrimp with ice to stop the cooking. Timing varies depending on the amount of shrimp, how cold they are, etc. Peel when cool.
1 Tbsp Unflavored gelatin
1/4 Cup Cold water
12 oz Sour cream
8 oz Cream cheese, softened
1 Cup Small curd cottage cheese (not lowfat)
8 oz Good quality blue cheese, crumbled, at room temperature
2 Tbsp Minced fresh chives
3/4 tsp Dried oregano
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tsp Hot pepper sauce
Carr’s Wheat Crackers (or other sweet, wheat cracker) to serve
Apples, grapes, and candied walnuts (optional)
Sprinkle gelatin over water. Allow to “bloom” (a process in which the gelatin granules swell) for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small saucepan. Over low heat, stir until dissolved. Set aside, but do not allow to set; re-warm if necessary. Combine sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, and blue cheese in food processor. Process until smooth. Add chives, seasonings, hot sauce, and dissolved gelatin mixture. Blend well.
Grease a 4-cup mold with nonstick cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap with enough to extend over the sides of the mold; smooth out wrinkles and spray again. Fill with blue cheese mixture and lightly tap on counter to help settle. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to set. Unmold onto lettuce-lined plate, using the plastic wrap to help ease the mixture from the mold. Garnish with sliced apples, grapes, and/or candied walnuts. Best served with Carr’s Wheat Crackers.
1 lb Phyllo dough, thawed
4 Green onions, sliced
6 oz Marinated artichoke hearts, drained and minced
1/4 cup Minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup Chopped Kalamata olives
10 oz Frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 Tbsp Minced flat-leaf Italian parsley
1 Tbsp Minced fresh basil
4 oz Feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. In a large bowl, stir the filling ingredients together.
Carefully lay one sheet of phyllo on a cutting board. Spray lightly with nonstick spray (or brush with cooled, melted butter). Top with another sheet, spraying it lightly. Top with a third sheet; spray. Cut the stack of phyllo sheets into 2½-3-inch wide strips. Place a generous teaspoon of filling onto the end of one strip. Fold into a triangle, by folding the right-hand corner to the opposite side, as you would a flag. Continue folding until the entire strip is used. Place the finished triangle on one of the baking sheets and continue filling. Repeat, making new phyllo stacks and cutting into strips as needed until all filling is used. (Triangles may be individually frozen, then placed in zip-top bags and frozen for up to 3 months until needed. Do not thaw before baking!) Place triangles on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart, and bake until golden brown in the preheated oven, about 20 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and serve immediately.
NOTE: Phyllo dough is readily available in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Thaw phyllo gradually in the refrigerator, and keep sheets lightly covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap while working with them to prevent the sheets from drying out.
Makes 1 Drink
2 Large Mint Sprigs
2 tsp Superfine Sugar
2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
2 oz Light Rum
Chilled Club Soda
Garnish: Fresh mint sprig and lime slices
Strip mint leaves from sprigs and place in the bottom of the cocktail glass. Add sugar and lime juice, and muddle with a cocktail “muddler” or a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved. (You want to bruise the leaves to release the oil!). Add ice to the glass. Pour in rum, fill with chilled club soda, and stir. If you like a sweeter drink, you can substitute 7-Up or Sprite for the club soda. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and a lime slice.ipped cream.
Makes 1 Drink
1 Large Lime, quartered
2 tsp Brown Sugar
2 oz Vodka (rum is good too!)
1/2 Cup Crushed Ice
Lime Peel to garnish
In a cocktail glass or a small cup, muddle together the lime quarters and brown sugar, until juices are released and the sugar dissolves. Add vodka and stir well. Pour over crushed ice and serve garnished with lime peel. OR pour the lime-brown sugar-vodka mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice and shake until the shaker is frosty. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with turbinado sugar.