Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Amber - July 2007


15 chocolate and cream sandwich cookies (such as Oreo)
1 tablespoon milk
8 to 9 ice cream sandwiches, depending on size
1 pint mint chocolate chip ice cream
1 pint vanilla frozen yogurt
1 pint strawberry ice cream or frozen yogurt
1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. Coat bottom and side of a 9-inch round springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line side with waxed paper, using spray to help adhere to pan. Trim paper to height of pan.

2. Finely crush 12 of the cookies in a food processor. Add milk; pulse just until mixture holds together. Set aside.

3. Unwrap 4 ice cream sandwiches. Working quickly, cut each in quarters. Stack strips of sandwiches on end, packing them snugly together, around waxed-paper-lined pan. Repeat with remaining sandwiches to form a stand-up edge. Spoon cookie crumbs into center of pan; press firmly over bottom. Freeze 1 hour.

4. Remove all 3 flavors of ice cream or frozen yogurt from freezer and let soften for 15 minutes at room temperature. Transfer mint ice cream to a small bowl and stir until good but firm spreading consistency. Repeat with vanilla and strawberry. Remove pan from freezer. Spread mint ice cream on bottom, then top with vanilla and strawberry, spreading all layers level. Top with thawed whipped topping, swirling top decoratively. Crush remaining 3 sandwich cookies and sprinkle over cake. Return to freezer; freeze overnight.

5. To serve, remove side of pan, then waxed paper. Cut into wedges.

Shelbie - July 2007


1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (or feta cheese)
1/2 cup dried cherries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.
Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve.

Shelbie - July 2007


For the Balsamic BBQ sauce:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken or steak:
4 pieces chicken (any combination of breast or leg-and-thigh pieces) or 4 pieces of New York strip or Club strip steak
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the BBQ sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15 to 20 minutes.
For the chicken or steak:
Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Lightly coat with some of the BBQ sauce using a pastry brush. Place the meat on the grill. Place the remaining BBQ sauce, still in the small saucepan, over low heat or on the edge of a gas or charcoal grill and allow to gently simmer while the meat cooks.

Cook the chicken about 8 minutes per side. Cook the steaks starting at about 4 minutes per side until a meat thermometer reads the desired temperature, 120 degrees F for medium rare, 135 degrees F for medium (about 6 minutes per side), 155 degrees F for well done (about 9 minutes per side). Continually brush the meat with BBQ sauce every few minutes. Remove the meat from the grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve with the heated BBQ sauce alongside.

Alternately, the chicken can be baked in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the chicken skin side up in a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and spoon the BBQ sauce all over the top of the chicken. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.