Kitchen Liberation Organization's
1995 Valentine's Dinner

France


Tomato, Cheese & Herb Tart

For the crust: Combine the flour and salt in the processor. Add butter and cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add enough water by Tbsp to form moist clumps. Gather dough into a ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375º. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 13" round. Transfer to 11" diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim edges. Freeze crust 15 minutes. Line crust with foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is set, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake until pale golden about 15 minutes more. Cool crust on a rack. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature).

For the filling: Cut each tomato slice in half. Place tomato slices on paper towels and let drain 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375º. Top crust with the Emmenthal cheese slices. Arrange the tomatoes atop the cheese, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle herbs, then Parmesan cheese over the tomatoes. Season with pepper. Bake until cheese melts and tomatoes are tender, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove the tart pan sides. Cut tart into wedges and serve. Serves 8


Duckling with Orange Sauce

Fasten neck skin of duckling to back with skewers. Lift wing tips up and over back for natural brace. Place duckling breast side up on rack in shallow roasting pan. Prick skin with fork. Roast uncovered in 325 degree F oven until done, about 2-1/2 hours, removing excess fat from pan occasionally. (If duckling becomes too brown, place piece of aluminum foil lightly over breast.) Duckling is done when drumstick meat feels very soft. Let stand 10 minutes for easier carving.

Heat orange peel, orange juice, jelly, lemon juice, mustard, & salt to boiling. Mix water & cornstarch; stir into sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in orange sections and liqueur. Brush duckling with some of the orange sauce; serve with remaining sauce.


Seafood Crepes

Crepes: Make 16 crepes using your favorite recipe.

Do-Ahead Tip: Stack crepes with wax paper between each. Wrap and refrigerate no longer than 2 days or freeze no longer than 3 months. Thaw wrapped frozen crepes at room temperature for 3 hours.

Filling: Cook and stir mushrooms and 1/4 cup green onion until onion is tender. Stir in seafood, cream cheese, half-n-half, and parsley. Cook, stirring constantly, until cream cheese is melted. Stir in sherry.

Assembly: Place about 1/4 cup filling on center of each crepe; roll up. Place 8 crepes seam sides down in each of 2 ungreased oblong baking dishes, 12" x 7-1/2" x 2", or ovenproof serving platters. Sprinkle each with 1/2 cup Swiss cheese. Cover and heat in 350 F oven until crepes are hot, about 20 minutes. Garnish each dish with half of remaining green onion.

Crepes

Stephen's subtle sense of humor comes out in his comments in his recipes ...

Beat all ingredients until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours so that the flour will absorb the liquid and thicken the batter.

Brush the bottoms of a 7" crepe pan and 10" skillet with melted butter and heat over medium heat. (I used a thin stainless 7" steel pan. That seemed to work better for me than Calphalon.)

Pour scant 1/4 cup batter into crepe pan and tip the pan to coat the bottom. Cook the crepe until the top is set and the underside is slightly browned (about 2 minutes).

Loosen crepe (a high heat rubber spatula is good for this) and flip it into the 10" hot skillet. Cook briefly (about 30 seconds) in the skillet. Meanwhile, wipe the bottom if the crepe pan with a paper towel to clean residue from the pan and wipe again with another paper towel that has a little melted butter on it if needed. Start cooking another crepe.

Stacked cooked crepes with wax paper between each one. Crepes may be used immediately, wrapped in foil and refrigerated, or frozen until later.


Winter Greens with Gorgonzola Dressing

Place bread cubes on a cookie sheet in a single layer and place in 400 F oven about 3 minutes, or until bread is dry. In a large skillet melt butter and fragrant with the garlic. Add bread cubes, stirring in the butter-garlic until crisp and pale golden.

In a small sauce pan on very low heat, warm oil and vinegar, whisking Gorgonzola until it is melted. In a large bowl, add greens & croutons, and drizzle with dressing. Salt & pepper to taste.


Cassis Sorbet

Puree thawed berries in a blender or processor. Strain through a fine sieve set over a bowl, pressing firmly on the solids with the back of a spoon. Combine sugar and water in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Stir sugar syrup and 5 Tbsp cassis into the berry puree. Chill berry mixture. Transfer berry mixture to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a covered container and freeze. Scoop sorbet into bowls. If desired, drizzle with more cassis and garnish with the mint. Makes 8 servings.