Kitchen Liberation Organization's
1994 Valentine's Dinner

Italy


Grilled Antipasto

Greg is hard at work, trying to remember exactly what he did for this one, as it was kind of invented on the fly. The only thing we remember (collectively) is that Greg managed to make lots of flames when grilling. He also managed to use up most of a 2 liter bottle of extra virgin olive oil. That probably contributed heavily to the flames!

Baked Garlic

Peel off all the outer paper-like layers of the garlic heads -- but do NOT peel the individual cloves, and leave the head together. Cut the top off each head, exposing the end of most of the cloves.

Place each head of garlic, top side down, in oven-proof custard cups or similar containers. Add enough olive oil to half-fill each container and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until the garlic is soft.

Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes, without removing garlic from oil. To server, pop a few cloves out of their skins onto Italian bread and drizzle with a bit of the olive oil.

Braided Italian Loaves

Interspersed in this recipe are Stephen's comments. This was the first time he made bread, and it came out fantastic! In 1995 he made bread sticks and crepes, and was voted our Bread Man.

Combine sugar, salt yeast, and 2 cups flour.

Heat butter and 1-3/4 water in pan over low heat until it reaches the temperature recommended by your yeast package. (Butter may not melt entirely)

Mix liquid into dry ingredients with a mixer at low speed until blended (a hand mixer works fine for me). Beat 2 more minutes at medium speed (this helps form the gluten). Add another 1/2 cup flour to thicken batter and beat another 2 minutes. Stir in 1-3/4 cups flour to make a dough (I do this by hand, but a Kitchen Aid should also do a good job).

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead, working in more flour as required to get desired consistency (about 3/4 cup). (Just beat the living daylights out of it for about 10 minutes. Either this part or braiding the loaves is the most fun. I can't decide which.)

Divide dough into two equal portions, cover, and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Grease a large cookie sheet and dust with cornmeal.

Working on a lightly floured surface, take one portion of your dough and divide into three equal portions. Form three ropes with the dough that are a little longer than you want the final loaf to be. Place the three ropes side-by-side and begin braiding from the middle of the loaf to one end. Now braid the other half of the loaf (I bet that you saw that one coming huh?). Place the loaf on a cookie sheet and brush on oil. Repeat with the second half of the original dough.

Cover loaves with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 425F. Remove the loaves from the fridge, uncover and let them sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Bake for 20 minutes.

Beat egg white (one egg will do) and 1 tablespoon of water. After loaves have baked for 20 minutes, brush them with the egg-white mixture and bake 5 minutes longer. Loaves should turn a beautiful shade of brown and sound done when you thump them. Cool the loaves on a wire rack when they are done.


Fettucine with Red Pepper & Pesto Sauces

This one was a mixture of homemade and kluge. The pasta was made from scratch, and we have pictures to prove it! The Red Pepper Sauce was made from roasted red bell peppers, pureÚd, and thinned with something no one can remember. The Pesto Sauce was made with commercial pesto, thinned with olive oil. We piped it on the pasta making cute patterns.

Homemade Pasta

Place flour on working surface. Shape into a mound and make a well in the center. Add salt & egg to well. Supporting the outside of the well with one hand, use a fork to rapidly mix egg with a circular motion, drawing flour from the inside of the well. When dough forms a solid mass, shape into a ball. Remove all caked flour/egg from hands & working surface. Lightly flour hands and working surface with all purpose flour and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour at this point if dough is moist or sticky. If dough is too dry, dampen hands and continue kneading. Shape into a ball and cover bowl. Let rest 15 minutes. Shape into noodles by hand or use a pasta machine.

Pasta Verde: Add 1/4 cup of minced, cooked spinach (drained & squeezed dry) when mixing in egg. Additional flour (1/4 to 1/2 cup) may be needed if dough is too sticky.

Pasta Rossa: Add 1/4 cup pureed canned beets (or beet baby food) when mixing in egg. Adjust flour as necessary.


Creamy Vegetables in Pastry Shells

Prepare pastry shells according to package directions. In medium saucepan mix soup and milk. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until heated through. Divide vegetables among pastry shells. Spoon sauce over vegetables and pastry shells. Serves 6.


Veal Scaloppini with Savory Sauce

Dredge veal cutlets in flour, shaking off excess. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown, shaking skillet frequently, about 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms from skillet and keep warm. Add 2 Tbsp oil to skillet and heat over medium heat. Add a few of the cutlets and brown well, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer to platter. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Repeat the browning process until all cutlets is cooked, adding 2 Tbsp oil for each batch.

Add 2 Tbsp oil to skillet and heat over medium heat. Add pine nuts and cook until golden brown, shaking the skillet frequently. Add sage, anchovies, & garlic and stir 1 minute. Return mushrooms to skillet. Stir in wine, scraping up browned bits, and simmer until thickened. Whisk in butter, 1 Tbsp at a time. Spoon sauce over cutlets. Garnish with fresh sage leaves. Serve immediately. Serves 6.


Triple Chocolate Cake

Waiting on getting a copy of the recipe.